Thursday, October 3, 2013

Capture Your Grief 2013-Day 3

CAPTURE YOUR GRIEF 2013 Photography Project 
Day 3: Myths
October 3, 2013 ♥

Day 3. Myths: Do you believe there are any myths about grief? You could write the myth on a piece of paper and photograph it.

There are lots of myths about grief. But, today I want to address something in particular.

Quite often, well-intentioned people subtly say something along the lines of me needing to put "what happened to me" (losing my child) in the past and step forward into the future.

What I hear when people write/say something like this is that I need to "get over" my child. You see, I will never get over loving Lily, therefore I will never get over losing her. I will never be the person I was before having and losing Lily. And you know what? I wouldn't want to be. This is not something I will "recover" from, as if I have the flu. I don't ever want to forget her or "move on" from her. 

To move on from her would mean to forget her which would mean I don't love her. That isn't possible. To move on would mean I don't embrace the calling God has on my life, to be her voice. To move on would mean forgetting everything God did in me because of her.

I lost not only my baby, but my three-and-a-half-year-old - the age she'd be today. I lost her at every age. But I've gained so much more than I've lost. God gave me the gift of her life. A brief, yet beautifully brilliant life that has changed my own forever.

Just because I grieve "out loud" and write and speak publicly does not mean I have not stepped forward into the future God has for me. I step forward and carry her with me every step of the way. I am not crying all day in my bed every day, lonely and depressed. No, quite the opposite. I have a passion and purpose to embrace my LIFE and all God has for my LIFE. I am a full-time college student, a nanny, a speaker, a writer, a daughter, a sister, a niece, a granddaughter, a friend, a volunteer, a mother, and most importantly, someone who loves Jesus above all else (among other things).

Feeling the loss of her has taught me how to love more deeply than I ever did before. I would never want to be who I was before. I am stepping into the future, with her always in my heart.

Even if people think it strange that I talk about Lily every day, I will not be silenced. I am a mother and mothers love their children every day, not just some days. I want to break the taboo surrounding pregnancy and infant loss. It is healthy and normal to grieve the loss of your child forever! I will always grieve and miss Lily, but that does not mean I cannot live fully and joyfully and grasp a hold of the future God has planned for me.
But there is another way God is honored in our grieving. When we taste the loss so deeply because we loved so deeply and treasured God’s gift — and God in His gift — so passionately that the loss cuts the deeper and the longer, and yet in and through the depths and the lengths of sorrow we never let go of God, and feel Him never letting go of us — in that longer sorrow He is also greatly honored, because the length of it reveals the magnitude of our sense of loss for which we do not forsake God. At every moment of the lengthening grief, we turn to Him not away from Him. And therefore the length of it is a way of showing Him to be ever-present, enduringly sufficient. -John Piper
I feel God in the "gone-ness" and the countless "might-have-beens." I feel Him in her absence. I want others who read and hear my story to see authentic grief. Because you see, grief is a messy thing. It is not clean and tidy. Sometimes, it feels like I just keep saying the same thing, just in different ways that, I miss Lily. I wonder if people get sick of hearing it. This life of grief is painful, it's hard...

But, even more than that, it has drawn me closer to Jesus than a life without grief would have. The Lord changed my mother heart towards both my babies and it is because of that love He has placed within me that I miss them and grieve them so much. Because I taste the love so much, I taste the loss so much. I see what I am missing without them... all those might-have-been moments. I see the value of their lives, created in the image of Most-High-God. I believe that intensely grieving the loss of little ones who never live outside their mother's wombs testifies to the fact that all LIFE is so, so precious and valuable.

You can give God your grief. He cares for you and your heart.

-To see all of my photos from the photography project click HERE.
-To share your own photos on the event page and to see the lovely photos others are sharing click HERE.


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