March 11th was to be a glorious day. It was my due date. Our sweet little Emma was due that day. All was going according to plan. Labor was progressing. I called the midwife and we met her at the birthing center. Then, things went south. Quickly. She couldn’t find Emma’s heartbeat. We were rushed to the hospital and the doctors confirmed that Emma didn’t have a heartbeat.
We went from planning for a baby to planning our baby’s funeral…all in the matter of a few minutes.
I’ll never forget how broken I felt. I mean utterly and completely broken. My heart had been shattered in a million pieces and lay on the floor of that hospital room.
But, I also remember that the first image in my head and heart following the doctor’s announcement, was that Jesus was holding Emma. She was in His arms and He was rocking her for me. I knew she was beyond OK – she was in the arms of our Savior. What better place could she be? Aside from me holding her, Jesus had her. She would never know fear, failure, deceit, disease, pain. She was complete and whole in His arms.
We are approaching her sixth heavenday. I think of her every day. She’s always with me…in that space in my heart reserved just for her. Her pictures grace the walls of our home and are on our refrigerator. She’s still a member of this family, even if she’s not here physically.
I chose Emma as my word for E for several reasons:
- Some of you may have lost a child – whether through stillbirth, miscarriage, accident, disease, etc. My intetion is not to make you sad, but to help you remember that God is in control. He knows everything about every single day we face here on earth. He walks with us and sometimes carries us during those difficult days of loss and mourning. Psalm 139 says that God knows us while we are still being formed in the secret place. And, that He knows the number of our days before we’ve even had one. God knew that Emma wouldn’t breathe a single breath. And, he guided us through those murky waters of grief. He brought us through to the other side. He can do the same for you.
- Our time here on earth is but a mist, a vapor. In the breadth of eternity, we are here but a miniscule amount of time. Take the time TODAY to tell those you love how much you love them. Show them your love. Don’t waste a single day on anger or bitterness, for you never know how much time you have left. You are not guaranteed even your next breath, so take heed and enjoy the time with your loved ones now.
- Embrace the grief. Don’t mask the pain with something else. Embrace it. Move through it. I know. It’s dark. It’s ugly. It’s a normal reaction and one that we can navigate through with Christ leading the way. His light is an illumination in the dark that guides you through it. One way or another we have to maneuver through grief or it will bite us in the end. King David said in Psalms 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” Let Him light your path. He also wrote in Psalm 23 that even though we walk in the shadow of death we should fear nothing for God is with us, protecting us. Take that to heart dear ones. He is right there with us through it all. Lean on Him.
- You are not alone. Thousands upon thousands of women and men have faced the loss of a child. Reach out to someone who’s walked your path. They can be a blessing to you while you navigate through the loss and grief. Call me. Email me. Leave me a comment that you need help. Reach out to me and I’ll walk with you as well.
And what is Emma doing now? She’s sliding down rainbows and picking flowers in the clouds. She’s in eternity. One day I shall meet her in heaven. She’ll be standing right behind Jesus when I enter those pearly gates…of that I have no doubt. I’ll finally be able to feel her arms wrap around me and hear her say, “I love you.” I look forward to that time. Until then, I have a God-given plan and I will work that plan until He calls me home.
For those of you who are interested, I wrote my memoirs of dealing with the grief of losing Emma – all from a Biblical perspective. You can view it or purchase it on Amazon: Shining Through the Grief: Memoirs of Emma’s Mom. No affiliate links on this one.
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