As I sang Silent Night tonight, first at church and then again and again as I rocked Teddy to sleep with his little brothers’ ashes beside our rocking chair, I couldn’t help but think of how many other mothers were also having a silent night without their little baby. The statistics tell us 31% of our baby’s lives will end too soon resulting in miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss. We hear this sort of loss is common and many have walked this path before us and will walk it after us, but knowing that doesn’t sooth our pain. The pain of losing our own flesh. Our pure and innocent babies.
The moment we begin to walk the road of motherhood, we say yes to God’s plan for that child. Even if that means the child will only live in our womb for a few days. He has a plan and he chose us to mother that baby. What if Mary would’ve said no to the Angel Gabriel and God’s plan? She could’ve – after all, God gave us each free will, including Mary. But Mary didn’t say no. She said yes to God’s plan not knowing exactly what was going to happen to her life or her little boy’s life. Later in her child’s life she watched him suffer the most excruciating death known to mankind.
As I write on this Christmas morning, our house silent, I think of how God uses the weak to lead the strong. Jesus could’ve come to earth of heroic size and stature – but he didn’t. God chose him to come as a weak baby, dependent on his mother. I can imagine Mary, a teenage unwed new mom gazing into Jesus' eyes thinking – this was not the way it was supposed to be. She was surrounded by animal filth and delivered the King of Kings far from home. But she trusted God and knew his plan was good. I imagine even in the chaotic barn, our familiar song, Silent Night, rang true for Mary and Joseph after Jesus was born. The night was silent, the night was holy – because our Savior had come – but also because they had laid their eyes for the first time on their little boy.
Before and after Simon’s life, I was reading a book by author Teske Drake called Hope for Today, Promises for Tomorrow. This book is specifically written for mothers who have lost babies and it is designed to walk with you in your grief. Teske also founded a ministry and support group called Mommies with Hope. Shortly after Simon’s death, I contacted Teske to inquire about starting a Kansas City chapter. While MWH is still in the preliminary stages of the application process for new chapters, I hope that someday the group I plan to start next month is an official Mommies with Hope meeting group.
Whether you are a mother that lost a baby ten years ago or ten hours ago - I would love to open my home to you for prayer and conversation. This open invitation is extended simply to any woman who has lost a child due to miscarriage or loss of an infant, even if you have other living children or are currently pregnant.
The group will primarily follow the format outlined on the Mommies with Hope website - prayer along with sharing our stories about our babies. I will also refer to Teske’s book, Hope for Today, Promises for Tomorrow, although the group will not study the book as a whole together. I plan to buy extra copies of this book to have available at every meeting for anyone who comes for the first time and would like a copy.
The first meeting with be on Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 7:30 PM. Throughout 2015, we will meet every third Thursday of each month. Please email me for more info if you would like to attend at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, if you would like to listen to Teske's story of loss (infant loss and two miscarriages) you can do so on the links below. She was a guest on one of my favorite ministry’s broadcast called Focus on the Family. They are audio and about 28 minutes long a piece.
My prayer: Dear Jesus – I ask you hold me and other moms who mourn the loss of their child on this Christmas day. Validate our thoughts and emotions when we think, “Someone is missing!” There is someone missing. Our precious babies are with you. We each long to gaze at them one more time or maybe even for the first time. We know your promise of Heaven and are thankful we will see our babies again. But Lord, we aren’t sure how long that will be! Sustain us on earth as we continue to find joy in You but also desperately miss our children and question the walk we've been given. We know your original plan for us was different. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Comfort me and other moms who yearn for a sleepless night of taking care of a little infant rather than a sleepless night of tears missing her baby so much. Thank you, Lord, for sacrificing your own son and saving me. Saving each one of us. You are almighty and everlasting – the alpha and omega. Come, Lord Jesus. Come. We long for heavenly peace.