It was almost June and we finally decided on a name for our fourth daughter who was due at any moment of arrival. Grace Daniella is where our hearts settled us and we were all in great anticipation to meet her. That first week of June was a frenzy as the school year activities were in full swing including milestones like kindergarten graduation, many family birthdays and the mundane OB appointments along the way. On the morning of June 8th 2017, I woke up with significant contractions and being versed in the birthing process and at 39 weeks along, I was confident this was the day we were going to meet the new addition to our growing family.
I casually began to get myself ready and prepared, making arrangements for our other children and planning the time my husband will meet me at the hospital since he had business meetings to get through that morning. I vividly remember being very nonchalant the entire time, excited to meet my new baby but also in a bit of autopilot since this wasn’t foreign to me by this time around.
Yet, in just a moment’s time, I would hear the piercing sounds of pain draining my entire being as those who were to aid me in bringing this blessing into the world, had to tell me there was no heartbeat. The doctor, with tangible agony in his own eyes, telling me: “YOUR DAUGHTER HAS NO HEARTBEAT", was more than I could physically bear. I let out bellows of screams and cried out to God but it was as if the wailing sounds never even left the room. I never felt so alone, and with no one by my side, I could not catch a breath as my body began the process of shock. My tears were endless and my words were powerless. I was broken in an instance.
I gave birth to Grace in a matter of 8 hours and had to face the reality of this nightmare in the most tangible and vulnerable way possible. She was stunning and perfect. Beautiful, yet lifeless. My heart crumbled inside myself even further as I held my stillborn daughter. Is it possible to even try to explain what was happening on the inside of me? I was plagued with questions. Why us? Why this? Just why? I just needed my baby to breath. Instead, we had to tell her older sisters that she was gone, and wouldn’t be joining our family the way we intended and hoped for. We were planning a funeral instead of celebrating new life.
This is where our journey began.
The grieving nestled itself into our lives at an accelerated rate. Fear stormed us daily, even consuming our children like fire! Trying to navigate through such darkness and be the best mom was one of the hardest things to get through. I wanted God to take my heartache, but that seemed impossible to grasp. Slowly and gradually, there became a hardening of my heart as the months went by. I became numb to my surroundings and callous to the ability to feel anything at all. It was as if the world was spinning and I stood mechanically still.
But through it all, God was faithful! The heavenly Father was there with me collecting every tear I shed. He was gently holding my hands in the sorrow and despair as He personally nursed me back to health with His lavish love. One of the key ways healing came to my heart was through a short seasonal flower that was in bloom in the month we had her, the peony. Peonies became the sweet symbol of faith that I would be whole again. As it was no coincidence that it was also my favorite flower, there was great abundance in my home of peonies and they became a constant, steadfast reminder that my sweet daughter was in the hands of Jesus. The closest I felt to Grace was in nature and being in flower fields, something my Pacific Northwest home provided much of.
But He said to me, “ My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness , so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
This was the scripture that has become my anthem over my life and the brief moments I shared with Grace. It has become a banner over my heart when I think about her. As I journeyed on through the grief, and my heart was being repaired, I became so aware of the Father’s love in a greater capacity than I ever knew possible. He was gentle, endearing, and patient as I walked out this incredible loss.
Grief is the response to loss. There is no right or wrong way to grieving and time is the essential key to process it. Time has no limits and you must surrender yourself in the pressing of how you will rise up again from such a painful event. I encourage you to give yourself space, time and some freedom to be honest in what you feel. You are not alone, for God is ever present and near.
In the beginning of 2020, a close friend asked me a question. Are you healed from the heartache? It was a jolt to my soul and I realized that there was something holding me from actually wanting this healing. That grief and pain was so ingrafted within me, I almost found a type of unhealthy comfort in it.
I had a poor idea of what true healing meant with an understanding that if I allowed full healing to happen, it would be abandonment to Grace. Heartache, sadness, and Grace all became synonymous with each other. In this revelation, is where God met in the most profound way that has changed the course of my life.
In late January of 2020, at a prayer meeting I had a vivid vision of Grace. This was the first time I was able to see her with new eyes to perceive and without the lifeless body of a shell she was born into. We were in a sanctuary and there were people singing. I was in the crowd and Grace was on stage, with other children doing a choir performance like children would do for school or church productions and Jesus was the conductor. She began to wave to me, her face beaming with a giant smile to get my attention like any child would do. There was no need for that wave to heed my attention because I was fully locked in and engaged with her as I watched in awe. As I watched her in those moments, I knew she was telling me that there were no plans to leave that stage but she wanted me to know she saw me watching her. In that brief time period, my heart was assured that she was well taken care of.
Piece by piece, I felt my heart coming back together in the most refreshing way and I exhaled the pain I closely held near me as a way of comfort.
Our God is in all the details, and He desires to shower us with the desires of our hearts, and more importantly, He provides us what we need in the moment to bring us into wholeness.
What the enemy has meant for evil over your life, you will see that the heavenly Father will turn it around for good. His love is a free gift with every intention to bring you closer to Himself in the most personal way. Stretch out your hands to His and allow Him to walk along with you in this journey. God did not take you this far to just abandon you now. I prayer over you is that Jesus would bring you full assurance of His deep love for you in His intimate attention to detail. May Jesus speak peace to your soul.