Monday, July 26, 2010

Matters of Faith

Some parents wonder if their thoughts, doubts, or decisions about "what's next" mean they lack faith. One mom has a baby on life support but agonizes over whether it is appropriate to discuss the possibility that her little one might not survive. Another mom wants to stop life support but other family members urge her to reconsider. Still another parent is scared to try to heal her child's condition naturally. These are all weighty matters that hang about each parent's neck and shoulders like an immovable stone cross.

If I stop life support does it mean I have given up?
Can God still provide a miraculous healing regardless of the treatment I choose?
If He does not, does it mean I lacked faith?
If I talk about death or dying does it mean I don't believe God for a cure?

Here are my thoughts. I don't think that believing death could happen is a sign that your faith is weak. I don't believe that your faith was insufficient if you believed God for a miracle and your baby died. Both Sarah and Abraham had moments of disbelief when told they would have a son. They even "messed up" by taking matters into their own hands and even laughing at the prophesy, but it did not block their blessing. Granted, God spoke to Abraham and even sent angels to reinforce the message ... most parents have not heard a direct word from God or from one of His messengers. But we do have the Word of God which can and should be applied liberally to our lives. There are countless scriptures that promise healing, help, comfort, children, blessings, warnings, etc. Find them and read them aloud, often. I also believe there is power in the words we speak, so watch what you say. If you have conflicting thoughts about what's next, pray! And listen for the response. Fast when you pray for even more clarity.

We've been encouraged to have faith as a mustard seed. A mustard seed is such a tiny thing, but when given the chance to take root and grow it turns into a huge plant which is well known for diverse uses and its amazing flavor. The same is true for our faith. It is whatever it is right now. Maybe your faith is even minuscule like a mustard seed, but God says that's all you need! If you allow the seed of faith to take root, develop and grow, it will transform into an amazing tool that has many uses. Among the most coveted is its ability to sustain you when nothing else can.

Until then, partner with someone who can and will believe for you.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spin

If you're a grieving parent, I encourage you to try something new this week. Here's my suggestion:

Help someone.

You may or may not be on the receiving end of a supportive network of family and friends. But many hurting parents have an extremely difficult time seeing outside the walls of their pain. I've personally seen people flourish in spite of their pain. These are just everyday people who decided to to reach out although death has stolen their angels. Connect with them and read their stories (links provided below). Others have created media empires as they reached out to others ... John Walsh of America's Most Wanted fame comes to mind.

As for me, before I even wrote Stolen Angels I sat with a woman as she delivered her stillborn baby ... I also volunteered to be a bereavement support group facilitator for military families. In addition to writing Stolen Angels, these became outlets where I could make a huge impact and I believe losing our children wasn't in vain.

Your efforts don't have to be on such a grand scale as John Walsh's. The stories and links I provide here are about those who gave back in the area of infant and pregnancy loss ... You might decide to do something in a completely unrelated field. It's all up to you ... open your eyes ... look around ... there is a community of people who could use a helping hand.

Stories of people just like you:

Carly
Megan

Monday, July 05, 2010

Words of Encouragment

Originally written for Christy's blog at http://www.safe-haven-blog.blogspot.com
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The old well-worn words of encouragement from your Christian brothers and sisters might not provide the comfort intended. I hesitate to label them “clich├ęs” simply because scripture is truth and food for the mind, body and soul - no matter how well-rehearsed or ill-timed the delivery may be. Sometimes when grief is fresh you don’t want to hear that “your child is better off,” “she’s with Jesus now,” “you’ll see him again one day,” “you’ll always hold her in your heart,” “God never places more on you than you can bear,” and so on and on and on.

Sometimes you want to hear, “I’ve been there and it won’t always hurt this bad,” “It’s okay to get mad, have questions, and have doubts ... it’s okay to scream,” doubts are normal and it doesn’t cancel out your faith,” “with me, you don’t have to be strong. You can cry, and snot, or thrash on the floor … it’s okay.” “I’ll help you get through today.”

Sometimes complete and total acceptance of your grief experience is all you need to get through some of the tough days and weeks ahead. Other times a simple hug will do. Don’t worry about being strong or acting spiritual. Don’t let the burden of others’ expectations stifle you. If there isn’t a safe outlet to express the hurt or tough questions then journal, join a support group or an online community.

I’ve been there and it won’t always hurt this bad. It is a harrowing journey chocked full of briar patches and pits of despair, but one day you’ll catch yourself smiling. It may just be the same day you found comfort knowing your precious baby is safely tucked in Jesus’ arms.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Safe Haven Blog

Most people avoid reading or learning more about infant and pregnancy loss because it is a painful subject. I don't think these people are trying to be uncaring, they just don't know what to say, how to say what they feel, but immersing self in the world of parental grief is heavy stuff.

I had the pleasure of meeting a woman who has a heart for hurting parents. She has never lost a baby herself, but saw a need in the grieving community and has stepped in to fill it. She maintains a blog exclusively for parents with sick or dying children ... she devotes hours of her day to updating others in the blogosphere of these parent's and special children's needs and prayer requests. When you have a moment visit her blog, and write a few kind words. In this line of work, every kind word goes far.

http://safe-haven-blog.blogspot.com

Blessings!

Sharee