Death is a part of life.
We are all dying.
Our days are numbered by the Almighty.
A man’s days are numbered. You know the number of his months. He cannot live longer than the time You have set. Job 14:5
We all know this, yet when death visits us we are often caught by surprise.
Two weeks ago a sweet friend had her unborn baby called home to eternity. She was 35 weeks pregnant when her daughter’s heart stopped beating.
We were all shocked and saddened.
No one is ever prepared for such a trial, such a deep heartache.
It was 28 years ago when my newborn baby was taken home, she was my first child. I know all too well the heartache my friend was enduring.
I was honored to be able to be in the hospital waiting room while my friend birthed a lifeless, tiny body; at the same time knowing this precious soul was already with our Heavenly Father.
It’s difficult to keep a holy perspective in time like this.
Our friend Robin was also there, she actually was in the room while tiny Lydia was brought from the womb. It was five years ago to the day that Robin’s precious William was born into the arms of Jesus.
Robin’s emotions are still so very raw yet she did an amazing job of holding our friend’s hand on this dark, lonely road… talking her through what to expect… taking beautiful pictures that will be cherished for a lifetime. The Lord used her gift of mercy to minister in a way that only she could.
There is something so very special about a community of women, a community of Godly women. We have the privilege and responsibility to hold each other up through these dark days… as well as celebrating and rejoicing in the bright days of life.
Because of our experience with the death of our daughter and because of Robin and Scott’s experience with William, we were able to jump into action. I believe that in a small way this is how God uses our heartaches, our trails, for good and for His glory – when we help each other.
Jeff and our son-in-law Josh, built Lydia’s casket. It was a sobering, yet, holy task. They dug her grave on the family property. Scott made arrangements with the funeral home and spent hours comforting a grieving dad. One of our elders prepared a beautiful, private memorial service. This is how we, the body of Christ are to help bear one another’s burdens.
I walked along side the wheelchair as my friend held her baby while she left the hospital. I took that tiny body from her arms and placed her in a casket. It was a very surreal experience, yet one that was so special. Jeff and I drove her empty body to the funeral home. There are no words to explain the honor of being able to meet such a tender and precious need.
Family, a covenant family (promise keeping, loyal family bound by Christ) is to take care of each other. We all have our own ways to come along side to minister… to love in action. For some it is the ministry of food as the burden of feeding a family is lightened by the community of (usually) women. For some it may be the ministry of prayer as we lift up aching hearts and weary spirits.
For others it may be words of comfort and encouragement either spoken or written.
For some it may be more practical, hands on help in the home or doing things such as this beautiful cross Kelly’s husband Aaron made.
The important thing is that we hold each other up using the gifts that God has called us to.
All of these things are the hard things in life, but there is such a rich beauty at the same time. You never really know love until you know pain.
We were not created to go it alone. We need each other!
From the Heidelberg Catechism:
What is your only comfort in life and in death?
That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul,
both in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.
“O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Psalm 39:4
I’d like to share a book I wrote with hopes of encouraging other people who are helping parents cope with the death of a baby. Most people do not know what to say or do. This book shares some insight.
Get Your’s Free
Where Do We Start?
Food for the Sick