Some of the best blessings during times of mourning are the ones you’ve had a long time that already mean something to you. When you have an attachment to something that has already brought you comfort, it’s like a comfy default.
17 years ago, my (not-yet) sister-in-law gave me this little prayer bear “Hope” before I went on a mission trip to Ireland. It was perfect for me to take with me on the plane and cuddle on the other side of “the big pond.” Hope has been my companion during many youth retreats and mission trips.
When we lost the baby, my precious stuffed animal (a gift from my husband on our first married Valentine’s Day) needed a friend and, honestly, I needed more cuddles! I loved it when all my older three would sit right next to me and on my lap. I just needed extra touches and holding Hope in my hand when I was trying to sleep added that extra special touch.
I had to borrow her back from our oldest son, so he eventually got a brand-new replacement Hope from Great-Grandma’s collection :). I treasure Hope even more now because she’s been cuddled by my little man, too.
Hope was PERFECT for cuddling and gave me good comfort. She still rests on my bedside table in case I need an extra squeeze at night.
Sometimes comfort comes from things and places we already know and are already places of solace for us.
Sometimes it helps to engage the five senses to comfort ourselves. Here are some of the things that I found comforting while I was mourning.
- The sound of the familiar voice of a loved one on the other end of the phone line,
- The smell of my husband’s eggs, bacon, and toast on a Saturday morning,
- The taste of Mini Eggs… there’s nothing else like Mini Eggs,
- The feel of the blanket my dear friend crocheted for me wrapped around, reminding me she loves me enough to take the time to make it for me, and
- The sight of a verse I’m looking for right where I expected it to be on the page.
I knit baby blankets for each of my children. I still wanted to make one for the baby, but I knew it wouldn’t get used, so I did something else instead. I knit then crocheted this tiny little square to put in (her) baby journal I started writing in when I found out I was pregnant. When we found out each of the four were really there, I started writing to them in journals the older three will get when they’re adults. The baby will never get (hers), but I still put it with the others’ baby books. It has (her) ultrasound picture in it and this little square reminder.
It’s ok to make things for your child that s/he’ll never use. It may heal a part of your heart that you got to do something for your baby. It’s already hard enough to not get to do all the other things, but there are things you can do to honor your little one’s life. As a way to honor your baby’s life and bless someone else, you could:
- knit or buy a blanket you donate to Project Linus,
- buy a toy and donate it to your local Homeless Shelter or Toys for Tots at Christmas, or
- make a financial donation to Compassion International or St. Jude’s Hospital.
It’s ok to hug your own “Hope, the Prayer Bear” a little tighter right now, to ask for extra hugs from your loved ones, and to want to honor your little one in special ways. There’s a reason her name is Hope.
My Prayer for you:
My prayer for all of us is that we will remember that our “God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3b) When we are feeling lost, may we find peace and comfort in the One who has always been and will always be there to comfort us.
A Prayer you Could Pray:
Dear Jesus, I need Your comfort. Please remind me where I can find You and bring me little reminders to show me You are with me. In Jesus’ name – Amen
Things to Ponder, Pray, or Journal about:
- What is some-THING (healthy and innocent) that you use to comfort yourself?
- Is there something you could give someone else to comfort them today?
- Talk honestly about God about your need and desire for comfort and confess any actions or thoughts you’ve had about finding comfort apart from Him and His provision for you.