I'm sure there are people that come across this blog of mine who wonder why I share my story so openly and honestly. I thought I'd share how this blog ever came to be in the first place and why I share as I do.
In October 2009, when I was four months pregnant with Lily Katherine, my mom came across a video tribute that Lauren had made for her precious son, Jonathan, who had Trisomy 13 and lived for less than an hour after birth. From there, we found her blog. I remember weeping as I saw the video and as I poured over their amazing story. I also remember thinking I couldn't imagine that pain and didn't know if I could ever handle it. The story especially impacted me because I was pregnant. I was so blessed by Lauren's blog and decided to start my own. I had never really thought about blogging before, though I have always enjoyed writing. I decided it would be a great way to share my story and how God had changed my life through my daughter's life. I wanted to encourage other young women to choose LIFE for their babies, when facing a crisis pregnancy. It was an easy way to share with others all that had happened in my life and all God had done without having to discuss it in person. I also wanted to chronicle my pregnancy and Lily's life once she was born. My first post was entitled My Hope for this Blog.
The months passed and over time, I wasn't thinking much anymore about Jonathan and Lauren. March rolled around, the time when Lily came and went, and it was then I remembered their story. I was overwhelmed with how good my God is. I knew that He had led us to their story to prepare us for a future, a loss, only He knew was to come. I went back to visit Lauren's blog and was connected to the online community of babyloss. It was the support and encouragement I needed. If it weren't for Lauren's blog, I doubt I would have ever known about this online community that has come to mean so much to me and has been an instrumental part in my journey of grief and healing. It has also given me a platform to share my story of redemption and LIFE. I remembered the beautiful songs Lauren had in her video and emailed her, asking their names and who they were by. If I hadn't of seen Lauren's video, I would never have had known about the perfect songs I played at Lily's services. To this day, those songs are still my very favorites.
I never could have dreamed that my little blog would turn into everything it has. It has changed and transformed through the different seasons of the soul and the different twists and turns of life the Lord has taken me through. I thought it was to be one thing, but God had much bigger plans for it than I did.
Nothing in me desires to show what a wretched sinner I am, yet I write because I am compelled. With everything in me, I declare Jesus is Victor always, and it is my desire that whoever reads or hears my story will walk away with that truth in their heart...
Any darkness can be overcome by the precious blood that the Lord Jesus Christ shed for us. And it is only by His blood that we even have testimonies to share! What an honor and a responsibility it is to share hope, truth, and life with those who don't know Him. With each breath, I will sing Him praises and tell of how He transformed my heart and breathed life into my being. I share my story with you because He has made the desire so deeply engrained in my heart that I have no choice but to proclaim to all who will hear how He has saved a wretch like me! This isn't my story, it's His story, the story He's chosen to write for my life. I am weak and I am nothing without my precious Lord. Oh, but what a blessing and an honor to be chosen by Him to be the words in His redeeming story of LIFE!
This is who I write for:
-For women in unplanned pregnancies. I pray that through my story, someone else might choose LIFE for their baby. I pray that whoever is reading this will see the gravity of their decisions. Maybe you are in an unplanned pregnancy right now or maybe you will face one in the future. I pray you remember these words, this story, and CHOOSE LIFE. The Lord has you here, reading this, for a purpose. I can truly say I get it because I do. These are not empty words, but words from someone whose walked in those shoes. Twice. The first time, I chose an abortion. The second time, I chose LIFE. And even though my daughter died at fullterm, I would never choose another way. The loss of her is so different than the loss of my first baby. She died with dignity. I promise you the Lord will give you what you need to choose life and obey Him. Take it from someone whose chosen both ways. No matter what happens, whether you choose adoption or parenting, whether you're baby is stillborn like mine was or whether they are born completely healthy. Know that no matter what happens, when you obey God and choose LIFE, He will give you what you need. When you choose LIFE, no matter what comes, it is the right choice, a choice I've never regretted!
-For post-abortive men and women. If you are in bondage because of a past abortion, you don't have to be. Jesus will meet you there. You don't have to live with the sorrow that leaves you breathless, the shame that cripples. You are not alone. If you need someone to talk to as you begin walking down your path towards healing, I am here for you. But, remember, I am a mere human. Jesus is the only one who can truly give you what it is you need. Cry out for Him and watch as He runs to your rescue. I pray that through my story women and men will see the healing God can offer your heart after an abortion. One in four women have had an abortion. That means that many men have been involved in it as well, whether they realize it or not. Because it is something that happens so often, I am sure that there are people who will read these words of mine who have been in these shoes. Don't be afraid to accept your child as your own. It is so important to name him/her. Ask the Lord to reveal to you what gender your baby was. Ask Him what his/her name is. I can tell you from personal experience how healing this is. It is so important that people talk about the issue of abortion and not leave it hidden in the dark. There are women that have lived with the pain, shame, and regret of it for decades. It is time to bring what is in the darkness to the light!
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." ~Psalm 147:3
For more resources and information for post-abortive men and women, click here.
-To educate others on abortion. It is not a political issue, but an issue of life and death. It is important we educate ourselves on the truth of abortion, so that we can fight it! We must pray for the end of abortion, by praying for hearts and laws to change. I fight for unborn life, but, I also fight for the women in the unplanned pregnancies, as well as those who have already chosen to have an abortion. There are many people that are hurting. I feel that the culture and so many people put the face of a monster on women who've been involved with an abortion and the enemy uses this to keep these women silent. These women are not monsters! And don't pretend like you understand their situations until you walk a mile in their shoes. It is easy to agree with beliefs, never being tested by them yourself. No, these are precious men and women who are loved by God as much as these unborn babies are. He has a plan for both. He desires to heal, redeem, transform both. Abortion hurts everyone involved. But no matter how one is affected, He is greater! Be available to these men and women as a listening ear. Pray for them!
-To cope with my losses and work through my grief. It is so healing to have a place to come where I can just be. I can say and write however I'm feeling about my losses and that's okay. Writing has been such an instrumental part in my healing. I encourage others to try writing as well, rather in a private journal or a blog or both (like I do). Through my writing, I want to document this journey, so I can look back and see how faithful God has been through it all. Writing and photography are creative outlets for me and this is a place where I can do both.
-So others will know Lily and Luke through these words. These words will forever be there for my children, grandchildren...all the way up to great-great-great grandchildren to read and know my heart and my babies. I will never let their names and legacies die! So often, I wish there was something solid that I could read or hear to know my family that passed away long before I came to be. I want my future family to know me in a way I never knew my great-grandparents.
-For men and women who have lost a baby at any gestation or a child at any age. Through my sharing, I want to break the silence of men and women who've lost babies and show that it's okay to talk about it. I want to give a face to these women. I want to encourage them along their own grief journeys and point them to Jesus. I want to give others ideas on how to honor and remember their babies. I also want to share songs, blogs, websites, and other resources for babyloss parents.
Click here for my babyloss resources.
-For the unborn. To be a voice for Luke Shiloh and Lily Katherine and show all who will hear how precious and valuable each life is to our God. All is not lost...Luke Shiloh's life had meaning and purpose and God is using it, even though he's not here. Because of his life, people are seeing how abortion affects women. People are seeing how precious each life is to our God, through the stories of both my precious children. The cry of my heart is that the Lord would use the lives of my babies in the life of another. In this place, I want to share other stories of LIFE from men and women around the world. I want to share books, blogs, movies, and other Pro-Life resources.
Click here to see my compiled list of Pro-Life resources.
-For pregnant women. To help them realize how precious this time of their life is and not to ever take it for granted. To make memories during this time...doing things like taking a belly cast, getting a 3D/4D ultrasound, getting beautiful maternity photos done and other things to cherish forever. Because the thing is you never know how long you will have and what a sacred time this is.
-For anyone who feels they are beyond the healing and forgiveness of Christ.
"There is no pit too deep that God's love is not deeper still." ~Corrie ten Boom
I am working on a post to go much further into this.
-To declare that His strength and grace is sufficient in all things. The Lord has shown me that He desires me to live each and every day like March 16, 2010. Desperately relying on Him for everything and knowing I am helpless without Him. Depending on His strength and trusting fully that He is sufficient for me. Every moment of my life, whether full of sorrow or joy, should be spent at His feet. He desires to be a part of all aspects of my every day.
He is using me, weak Hannah Rose, to show others how He can provide strength to get through any and all things, when you call out to Him and depend on Him. Me, terrified of child birth, never thinking I'd have to birth my deceased child. I stand in awe, totally amazed, that I got through all this. At times, I find myself looking back on everything I've been through and almost not believing it really happened to me. I find myself wondering how I did it all. And He gently reminds me, you didn't do it. I did it through you. And I smile to myself and think, ah, yes, my precious Jesus. And I realize I wouldn't have the strength to get through that today. I feel so weak. He reminds me that no, I don't have the strength to get through it today because I don't need the strength to get through it today.
My mind goes to a conversation Corrie ten Boom (one of my spiritual heroes) had with her father as a young girl. Fear had come into her heart as she thought of the possibility of her father dying and she thought she couldn't live without him. Her father, Casper, then asks her, "Corrie, when we go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your train ticket?" "Why, just before we get on the train," she answered. "Exactly. And so our wise Heavenly father knows when we're going to need things too. Don't run out ahead of Him, Corrie. He will give you the strength you need, just in time."
So many people have said to me they don't know how I've gotten through this and that they never could. It was never me, but my Jesus and I pray my story points all hearts to Him. I pray whoever hears this story will not walk away thinking Hannah Rose, or Lily even, but Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus, for it is He for whom every heart is longing. I pray you will see that He gives us what we need the moment we need it, not a second before or too late. His "train ticket" of grace is there for us to face things we could never imagine facing before. It doesn't make things easy or take away the pain, but somehow it is sufficient to bear what would otherwise crush those who have not made the Lord their hope. Don't expect to understand or know today what you may face tomorrow. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~Matthew 6:34. If you're called upon to face something unimagineable, rest assured that grace ticket will be handed to you by our loving Father the moment you get on the train, not a moment before. God's strength is there for us when we need it and is not overcome by our circumstances.
Count your weakness as a joy, a gift because it can draw you to Him and He can prove Himself faithful in your life!
"He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." ~2 Corinthians 12:9-10
So, my friends...how did you start blogging and what are the reasons that you do?