On September 19, 1998 I gave birth to our first baby. Josiah James was stillborn at 22 weeks. We found out on September 16 that JJ didn't have a heart beat and we went to the hospital on the 17th. JJ was born Saturday night. He weighed 8 ozs. I easily held him in the palm of one hand. It was a night that forever changed my life.
I read in one grief book that when you lose your parents to death you lose your past but when you lose your child you lose your future. While that is true in so many ways I want to spend today remembering what I gained.
By going through the loss of our first born I gained an ever growing empathy for so many women who have suffered that same loss. It made me stop and realize how many times I had shared platitudes with people who were literally knee deep in grief.
By holding JJ I gained an understanding of how gracious and loving our heavenly father is. He willing laid down the life of his son for mankind.
I also gained a new realization of what a blessing it is to have healthy children. God is very generous by loaning us the precious gifts for a time.
I also gained a new understanding of the faithfulness of God. Prior to losing JJ I knew in my head that God was faithful. I knew that the Bible taught about his faithfulness and I really believed it. But when the world collapsed under my feet I learned first hand about God's faithfulness. I learned that even when my circumstances change, my God is still faithful. He still loves me, he cares about me and he never leaves me alone.
In the loss of a child I did lose some of my hope for the future. I grieved the loss of something unknown. But God was so loving and gracious that he opened the doors of heaven and poured out his blessings in my life. He comforted me with his comfort and walked with me during some of the darkest days of my life.
This was the scripture that one of my dear friends shared with me.
May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant your support from Zion.
May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will live up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.
If you know someone who has suffered the loss of a child, I highly recommend the book Mommy, Please Don't Cry. This is written like a children's books with simple text and beautiful illustrations. It will bring many tears but also much comfort in knowing that the children we mourn are in the hands of a loving heavenly Father.