"The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy"

While the process of planning the previously mentioned baby shower is filled with hope and fun, an entirely different reality is the one that has been tugging on my heart.  The other night I read a blog that many are familiar with called, "Bring the Rain."  I ended up sobbing for probably an hour as I read the beautiful, heart wrenching story of a mom who lost her baby girl two hours after she was born.   It's the story of a sweet gal named Angie, who's married to a guy in the Christian group, Selah.  Just last week her book, "I will Carry You," was released, telling the story of her "sacred dance of grief and joy."

I have thought about her story for two days, and have felt such sorrow for the moms who have lost a baby or a child.  I have many friends and family members who have suffered the kind of devastating loss that I can't even imagine, and whose children I have grieved for.  I have prayed and cried out to God for these women, pleading with Him to fill their wombs and overwhelm them with his mercy and healing.  And I know I can only offer so much encouragement, as it would be impossible for myself to come close to understanding their loss.  I've also read and listened to the stories of other godly women who have traveled down this road, like Molly Piper and Raechel Myers from Finding my Feet, as well as people in my own life, who have had to surrender all control while crying out and trusting completely in the Lord for strength.

In the meantime I've been having a conversation with God concerning the "whys" of the prevalence of this kind of loss, and the fear that tempts to plague my own heart while I'm in the praying stages of getting pregnant myself.  I have prayed for years that God would prepare my body and that of my husband's to be able to produce and deliver healthy babies, though I know I cannot plan and do not hold the future in my hands.  Knowing that fear does not come from God and I am called to trust him completely, I know that I must pray for the Holy Spirit to give me the ability to surrender.

Reading the story of Angie's precious baby girl, Audrey Caroline, was a powerful experience for my heart.  It has filled me with a soul stirring perspective on the journey of being carried by God in times of seemingly unbearable pain.  She has beautifully written the conversations she has had with God, and shares through her story what peace that passes all understanding, a product of God's faithfulness, truly looks like.  It is painful to read the specific vulnerability and honesty of this mother's grief, as I feel such deep sadness for the loss of this sweet baby girl.  Yet it is also unexplainably comforting to see the way Angie shares God's hand of faithfulness in the midst of it all.  Their story exudes the peace that comes only from our strong and steady God who does not change.  The stories from these godly women have brought forth the truth that while we consistently endure the highest of highs and the lowest of lows throughout our lives, He remains the same.  His promises do not change, his love does not falter or waiver, he continues to hold us as close as ever before, and He is always drawing us into his presence.  His grace alone covers all the ugliness that is endured while here on earth.  And he alone knows how he will carry us through.  Audrey's beautiful story is one that speaks of surrendering to this truth.  She is just one of the many beautiful little ones who are desperately missed here on earth, but are now dancing with our Father in heaven.

 I pray today for my own heart and the hearts in all of us, that through every moment and any kind of fear, grief, sorrow, loss, or pain, we would clearly see, know, and believe in the absolute fullness of God.  And that we would know the inexpressible and glorious joy that comes from doing so until we can stand before him and enjoy the promise of no longer knowing the experience of pain.

And I sincerely pray for God's love to pour out on each and every woman with a child waiting in heaven.  I pray that God would provide the strength they need to persevere until the joyful day when they will reunite with their precious little ones.  And until then, that He would pull them close and graciously pour out an unexplainable joy.

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