Comfort-Giving and Receiving

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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.    2 Corinthians 1:3-4

June 1st was the one year anniversary of the launch of our blog.  We wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who have been supporting us and reading our posts!  We hope that somewhere along the way this year, you have found some inspiration from our blog!

June 1st is also the anniversary of a very painful event in my life.  I was debating whether to share this post and talked it over with Jules.  She thought I should share, in the hopes that it may touch someone else who has been through this same experience.  Thirteen years ago on June 1st, I lost our second precious child to a miscarriage.  It was one of the hardest and darkest days of my life.  In one day, the hopes and dreams we carried in our hearts for this little one were gone.  I was overwhelmed with sadness and grief and it took me many months to move on from this loss.

In the midst of this sadness, I found comfort in God’s presence and in those He sent to comfort me.  As friends and family heard of our loss, I was surprised at the number of people that opened up and shared their own stories of  similar loss.  It was a comfort to know that I wasn’t alone and that I would survive this  grief and get through it.  As the Bible verse above states, God gives us comfort during hard times, so that we can then comfort others.  I found great comfort in those He sent to console me.  My sister-in-law, who had also recently suffered a miscarriage, gave me a special angel charm with the birthstone of the month our baby was to be born.  Someone also gave me an idea to keep a memory box.  That box contains congratulation cards and e-mails we received, and other mementos from the pregnancy as well as letters I wrote to the baby.  I look through this box in honor and memory of our child every year.  Everyone handles this type of loss differently, but this really helped me process my grief.  As the years passed, it did get easier to accept the loss.  This child will always be in my heart, but I was able to move forward.

Over the years, I have found that I have been on the other end of offering comfort to loved ones who have lost dear, precious babies.  Sometimes it is hard to understand why bad things happen, but I do believe we can take those experiences and find the positive in them and use those difficult times to help others.  Thirteen years later, I know that God had a plan for our lives and how our family was to expand.  After that loss, I was never able to have any more babies, but we found the perfect child for our family through adoption (which is a story I will share another day).

As you travel through life, I encourage you to look for opportunities to offer comfort to those around you who may be experiencing a similar difficult situation you have lived through.  You never know, you may be just the person God intended to be there to offer comfort and solace to the broken-hearted.

~Blessings,

Jen

Silent Vigil

Psalm 139:13-18. Praise God for the way He has intricately woven your baby together, first in your womb, and now outside of it. Thank Him for the opportunity to watch His hand at work. Thank Him for forming all of your child’s days in His book, long before they took their first breath! Be comforted that He has a plan for them and is in control.

I have just returned from visiting my daughter and son in law. My daughter gave birth at 34 weeks to preemie twins. It certainly was not what any of us expected. My visit was delayed until they came home from the hospital. I finally traveled to Georgia when my granddaughter came home, leaving her brother still in the NICU; he just wasn’t strong enough to come home yet. I didn’t realize that for almost the 2 weeks I was there, I would be going daily to the hospital to be with my grandson. I quickly found out what an exhausting job this is. I’m sure unless you have been through it, you just can’t understand. I had no idea how hard it would be. It’s quiet in the NICU, as little babies are trying to grow. Parents keep silent vigils, leaning over cribs, talking and praying with their babies. Everyone seemed tense and tired. The nurses were great, for the most part. You really wanted to get to know the nurses you would be intrusting to nurture your baby when you couldn’t be there. Walking out at night and leaving that tiny little guy in that room was hard on me, I cannot imagine what my daughter was going through. He was really doing okay, we were lucky; he just had to get strong enough to eat. There are many preemie babies going through a lot more than and we were grateful his problems were small. Dinner was usually eaten at 8:30 or 9:00 without much energy or enthusiasm. And every day we got up and repeated the day. One day I just placed my hand on that tiny little head and prayed to God to help him get stronger so we could bring him home. And finally he started making progress and at last they declared him ready to go home. What joy and relief.

It is pretty amazing what God can do, but I would strongly encourage all of you to remember these parents of preemies. They are going through a lot and they are exhausted. Remember to let them know you are praying for them; take them a meal or two or three. Your support is more important than you can ever imagine. And I can attest, as the Psalms said, God certainly did intricately create two beautiful little miracles.

Meet Brooks and Elle!

TwinsHave a wonderful week,

Julie