Friday, October 14, 2016

Capture Your Grief ~ Day 14

Day 14: Beliefs + Spirituality
October 14, 2016 

Day 14. Beliefs + Spirituality: Has the death of your child strengthened or changed your beliefs? Share as much or as little as you like. Please be respectful to the beliefs of others today. We are all in this together and our differences are what make this project so beautifully interesting. Choose kindness.

For today's prompt, I am going to share some words that I wrote on Lily's 5th birthday and some that I wrote on her 6th birthday...

Some might think that because it's been 6 years, that I should be "over" my loss. I assure you, I will never be over her. Could you ever stop thinking about or loving your child? My friend Stacy said something about her daughter that I feel as well with every fiber of my being: "it never gets easier to have the ground between us." Yes. Whether it's been one year, five years, ten, or a hundred... it will never get easier to live without her.

And I am thankful for that.

I am thankful that through the unique challenges I face in mothering a child in Heaven, that I must learn to depend on God more and more.

God taught me about laying down my life for the cause of Christ when He asked me to lay down my life for Lily's. He asked me to give up my "rights" to my body and say "yes" to loving her. He asked me to say "yes" to His plan for the life growing within me. I said "yes" to growing to love her and now I'm saying "yes" to loving her even more through the years without her by my side. I am saying "yes" to being asked to say "goodbye" or rather "see you soon," instead of having her here to grow up before my eyes.

Because saying "yes" means trusting in His plan. It means trusting that He created her life, for a purpose, before the foundation of the world and not only did He create her, but He chose to take her to be with Jesus for a reason too. He knew her name. He knew her purpose.

On March 16, 2010, God asked me to surrender my "rights" as a mother to raise my baby girl on Earth. Every March 16 after that, when I wonder who the little girl born on that day in 2010 would have grown up to become, I must surrender again.

May my heart continue to say, she is Yours, Lord. She was never mine to keep. She is Yours, she has always been Yours... sent from You as a gift and sent back to You, still a gift to me, to this world, to anyone blessed to hear her story. May my heart continue each March 16, and every other day of every year, to say she is Yours God. Her legacy and life is Yours. Even when I can't see through my blurry tear-filled eyes and heavy heart, still my heart will choose to say, she is Yours...  My heart will choose to give her back to You. My heart will choose to trust You. My heart will choose to thank you for the story You are writing for my life. A story that I pray brings You glory. I pray that how I respond to this loss will honor Lily's life and point to the goodness of Jesus Christ, all the days of my life. May I be a good steward of this beautiful story of LIFE and redemption!

This beautiful drawing is from my sister-in-law/best friend/Lily's Aunt Kala. She gave it to me on Lily's 1st birthday. I think it sums up what God is teaching me about surrender. It's me giving Lily to Jesus, not clinging to her, but willingly, though painfully, giving her back to Him, because I trust the good heart of my Father. I trust that the One who so lovingly crafted her purpose will gently care for her until I can.

The author of one of my very favorite books, Glenda Revell wrote, "My affliction became the cord with which He drew me to Himself."

I can honestly say that the affliction of losing Lily and living these past 6 years without her has been a cord that has drawn me closer to Jesus than anything in my life. We can't see what God sees. He knows what will best sanctify us in this life, what will give us a yearning for Heaven and a longing for eternal things instead of temporal.

I believe the reason Lily died is because we live in a fallen world. God's best would be for her to have lived. But even in the midst of a broken world where babies die, God is still sovereign. He is still working it for good, for so many reasons, some I've been witness to. One of the greatest goods I've seen the Lord work from her death has been to draw me unto Himself in a deeper and fuller way than if she had lived.

Glenda also wrote, "Our dear Father is much more concerned with our eternal destiny than with giving us temporal pleasure. And unlike earthly fathers, God knows precisely what we need of both pain and pleasure to draw us to the ultimate good He has planned for us. I know now that God did not forsake me during my dark night of sorrow. All the time He was drawing me to Himself by peeling away, one by one, those objects of my longing, that, if given, would have kept me from longing for Him. God was on my side. His strong arm, which, in His great wisdom, so sorely bruised me, would eventually, in merciful tenderness, gather me into His bosom."

He has a plan and purpose for my pain. Sometimes, things don't need to be "fixed" in the way we humans want them to be. Brokenness can be a tool used in the strong hands of an Almighty God.

John Piper wrote, "When we have little and have lost much, Christ comes and reveals Himself as more valuable than what we have lost."

That's where I am 6 years from losing my precious baby girl... missing her just as much as March 16, 2010. Remembering *she* is not missing anything. Realizing how much I have lost. Recognizing that Christ is more valuable than anything or anyone. Longing for healing and Heaven.

-Click here to see all of my photos from CYG 2016.


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