|"Gone Too Soon" by Stephanie Dyer of Beyond |
Words Designs. This beautiful painting reminds
me so much of Luke and Lucy because they
were gone too soon from this world. It
portrays a mother who has lost her baby
early in pregnancy.
It turns out we have a lot in common and lots to talk about...we are now "email pen-pals" and write back and forth at least a couple times a week. It's always so fun to see something from her in my inbox! :) In just a month and a half, I feel like I've gotten to know Brittany so well. We never seem to run out of things to share with each other.
We have a lot of the same beliefs about Jesus and life and have a very special connection because of two precious little ones that came and went in 2009...we both regretfully had abortions at the ages of 17 and 19. And those two babies have changed us forever. A big part of who we both are now is because of them. We were both also the same gestation - 6 weeks - when we had our abortions. Brittany has a name plate for her baby on the wall at NMU, just like I will be placing a plate on the wall for Luke.
I have tried to find other stories of young women like myself who regret their abortions...who have named their baby...who love the National Memorial for the Unborn...who are passionate about LIFE and standing up for LIFE...who believe that it's important to honor these babies short time on earth in beautiful ways. I have found that in Brittany and I am so thankful to the Lord for her sweet friendship.
Brittany named her baby Lucy Marie, who she feels God has revealed to her is a girl. Lucy's name is even close to Luke's name...And Luke, Lucy, and Lily all begin with an "L" and have four letters.
I want to be a Pro-Life speaker and share my story and so does Brittany! We talk about sharing our stories together one day - how amazing that would be! Brittany will be speaking in front of a large church for Sanctity of Life Sunday in January, so pray that God speaks through her! Pray that someone may hear her story and choose LIFE if they are in an unplanned pregnancy or find healing if they've had an abortion and are living in shame and guilt.
We enjoy talking about all sorts of things from our day-to-day life. But we especially love having someone to talk to that understands this grief and this love.
I can see many reasons why God brought Brittany's friendship into my life. We are able to encourage each other in our journeys without our babies, cheer each other on in speaking out for LIFE and share resources that have been a part of our healing. We also enjoy talking about our dreams to be a voice for life and share different ideas for ways to get involved, as well as different things going on in the "Pro-Life movement." It is nice to have someone who is comfortable talking about Luke with me and loves and remembers him with me. Often times with others, it can feel somewhat awkward to talk about Luke. I feel no judgement or condemnation with Brittany...just someone who "gets it" and understands the hope and healing I have found in Christ. Yet she also understands that this is something I will carry with me forever. So many people think that those who have had an abortion have no right to grieve that loss since it was their choice. Brittany and I hope to show people that it is okay to grieve your baby, no matter how he/she was lost! (I have a lot more to say on this and will be posting about it soon). It is my honor and joy to remember Lucy with Brittany. For Christmas, we did an ornament swap in honor of Lucy and Luke (which I will be posting about in my next blog entry).
Another thing God has revealed to me...I have slowly been dealing more with the loss of Luke through the years. Everything with Lily happened so fast and so soon after losing Luke, that I haven't truly processed and worked through everything with him yet because I was so focused on her. I honestly didn't even realize there was more with Luke that I needed to deal with until Brittany and I started writing. She has encouraged me to find a Post-Abortion Bible study small group to work through at a local Pregnancy Center. I have thought of doing this before, but couldn't find anything in my search. She found one for me online and I will now be starting the study in January. I doubt I would have decided to do this, or even found a local study, at least at this time in my life if it weren't for her. I know that God supernaturally healed me from my abortion when I chose LIFE for Lily, and I know where I am in Christ and that I am washed whiter than snow, redeemed, and set free...but I believe there may be things deep down in my heart that are still buried and that the Lord desires to bring to the surface to deal with. I don't want to leave anything unhealed when I know God desires to heal every bit of my heart and life! If Brittany hadn't of told me how much going through a study helped her, I might have thought I didn't need it.
I also really want to start volunteering at a Crisis Pregnancy Center next year and I want to be completely ready for that and do everything I can to prepare. I have already worked through a Bible study and have dealt with my grief over losing Lily. I am not sure exactly what I want to do at the Pregnancy Center, but I have felt God drawing me in that direction for a while. Before, it didn't quite feel like the right time, but now it does. Brittany also volunteers at her local Crisis Pregnancy Center and is part of the reason I have decided to pursue this. She mainly works in the Post-Abortion ministry (which is some of what she will be speaking about in January, along with sharing her story). It has been nice to ask her questions about what it's like to volunteer and what not. We are able to share our different experiences with each other, which has been a huge blessing. Since talking with Brittany, God has stirred in me more of a heart for Post-Abortive men and women. I feel him calling me to step out more in this area and will be sharing more of that soon.
Brittany lives very close to the National Memorial for the Unborn and will be coming to Luke's Remembrance Ceremony when I have it there in the spring (I have a date on my mind and hope it works out). It will be wonderful to meet her in person, give her a big hug, and remember both our babies together. I am so happy she will get to be there! She had a Memorial Service for Lucy there and has given me ideas for what to include in Luke's Service. When I place Luke's name plate on the memorial wall, it will be right above Lucy's! They are saving the spot for me. It will be very special and sweet to know their plates are right by each other. I like to picture them being friends in Heaven. And I know one day, Brittany and I will meet our precious babies. I look forward to meeting Lucy too!
At NMU, they have a wall where people are free to leave remembrance items for their babies. Since Brittany lives so close, she has offered to take things there for me that I want to leave for Luke. I will mail it to her and she will take it for me. Items can be left on the wall for only a year, so when that times ends, Brittany said she will mail them back to me, so I can keep the things in Luke's memory box. How thoughtful and sweet of her! :)
I have loved sharing different resources with Brittany as well as ideas to honor and remember Lucy. It has been so special to share with her ways I had chosen to memorialize Luke. Just talking about him so much has helped me process things more and connect with him more, as my child. I feel a deeper love in my heart for Luke now. I thank the Lord for this precious friendship that has drawn me closer to my son. I look forward to lots more emails to be exchanged with my new friend! :)
Today is a very significant day for Brittany, one that I want to recognize. Today is Lucy's 3rd "Heaven Day." December 29th, 2009. Today is also the date a year ago that I first saw Luke's ultrasound photo.
|I lit a candle today in honor of Lucy on her|
Heaven Day. I took a photo with an angel
because angels remind Brittany of Lucy. :)
|Photo by Carly Marie|