Two years ago, I shared with the Waiting In Hope family about the loss of my daughter Elizabeth. While I never got to meet her or hold her in my arms, I carried her for 21 weeks and she was and will always be my first child. (To read more of her story click here)
With October being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, it is hard to not have reminders each day about the little girl I still have yet to meet. Not that any of us who have lost a baby really need reminders, right? I think about her every day and I don’t believe that will ever change nor do I want it to.
This is a hard topic because it is sad and difficult and there isn’t a lot that makes sense about why our babies don’t get to come home with us 9 months later. But if you are in the middle of grieving the loss of your baby or if you are thinking about the child you lost years ago, I want to boldly proclaim to you that hope and joy are coming.
Currently, I am re-reading a book called Heaven by Randy Alcorn. I read this book for the first time a couple of months after we lost Elizabeth. As you can probably tell by the title, the book is all about heaven and what it will be like after we die for those of us who have put our faith in Jesus. And to warn you before you rush off to put this book in your Amazon Prime shopping carts (WHICH YOU STILL SHOULD), I will warn you that it is bigger than some of my college textbooks. But, y'all, this book is life-changing.
As I read every page in this book, I can’t help but think of my baby girl experiencing all the miracles of heaven and being in the presence of our Lord and Savior—And it brings me such joy and hope.
Elizabeth was really sick her entire life in my womb. Even in the place where she should have been the safest, there was nothing I could do to protect her from the numerous ailments that left her paralyzed and without vital organs. But in heaven, my sweet girl is running and skipping and living life to the absolute fullest.
I have another daughter now. She is 11 months old and full of personality. Having a kid here on earth has been such a blessing and I am grateful. I wouldn’t change it at all. But, it comes with challenges too. The pressure of being a good steward with this treasure that God has lent to me is quite heavy. Every time I watch the news, I want to lock Kinsley up in a bubble so she never learns what SnapChat is or finds out that not everyone wants what is best for her.
There was a speaker at a Passion conference a few years ago that explains this thought process really well. He is a father of 4 girls and lost one of them at a young age. He explains that while it is heart wrenching not to be able to see his baby grow up alongside her sisters, he knows that God entrusted him with those four girls with the sole purpose being to guide them like arrows to a target. So when people ask him the question (which makes me cringe a little every time) “How many kids do you have?” he tells them:
“Three in the quiver and one on the target”.
Ladies, your little ones are on the target. They are waiting for you in heaven so you can spend eternity together. That miscarriage, the stillbirth and death - that was not the end.
There is so much left ahead of you and your little ones. If you have given your heart to Jesus, have hope in the future. The years without your kids aren’t going to be easy, although the searing pain does get easier to manage with time. But, these years will be just a blip on the radar compared to the eternity that you will have with them in Heaven.
I can’t recommend the book, Heaven, enough. I encourage you to read it and think about your lost little ones with each page. They are experiencing the glory of the Lord right now and as a mother, I can’t ask for anything more than that.
Mattie Givens - WiH Guest Contributor and friend - Follow growingthegivens.com