Strength. A very thought provoking word really. What is strength? A show of muscular ability? How much you do? How much you can take? I think true strength lies in knowing how little you can actually handle. My friend showed enormous strength yesterday. She held her newborn baby for hours praying for God to breath life into him. She rocked and prayed. But the true strength came when she realized that God had her child, that He would hold him much tighter and much safer than she could. Her strength came in letting go of what she could see here and taking hold of the unseen. I know her heart is broken. Into a million tiny pieces that will NEVER go back together quite the same way. But she will persevere. Why? Because that is what the Lord commands of us. One day, she will be reunited with her little one. Most importantly, she and her little one and her Savior will all be together. May that circle never be unbroken.
But what next? If her child had been born with life, she would have 6 weeks off from work to get to know her baby and find a routine. People would give her time to figure out how to be a mom of a newborn again. People would offer advice and give gifts. In the south, we take food. What do you do for a mom who carried her baby full term and yet comes home with no little one to snuggle? Is 6 weeks enough time to get into the routine? What advice can be given? What gifts should we bring? We are in the south...we will still take food.
Do we visit and pretend nothing happened? Do we ask about the baby? Ask about the name? Do we ask about labor? Do we ask to see pictures? I never carried a baby full term only to have no baby to carry home. But I have miscarried. It isn't the same. But I can remember the feeling. I can recall the first time I had to tell someone we lost our baby. I can remember the pain. I didn't want to cry but I did. I wanted life to continue, but I didn't want to forget. I talked about the baby, only to certain people. I miss my baby. He or she would have been 8 in November of this year. We lost our baby in March. I don't want our baby to be forgotten. I spent three months giggling over the fact that another baby was growing. I have spent 8 years trying to not be sad.
My friend spent almost 9 months preparing for a baby....6 weeks won't help her feel joyous. 6 years won't. For a mom, no amount of time will ever help you get past loosing a child, no matter how old they were when you lost them. But never pretend that child didn't exist. Because they did.
My friend has faith. Faith in the Lord. That is how she will survive this. Her faith. I have faith in that. It is all I have.