Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Life is a Gift

This weekend while visiting Josh's family, Susie and I were able to attend a baby shower for Josh's cousin Lisa.  She was expecting her first baby, a girl, and they planned to name her Arayah (which means ray of hope).  This baby was a big surprise for Lisa and her husband Shawn, who found out they were expecting after she was already midway through her second trimester!  She's had to scramble to get ready for the baby's arrival.

Sadly, this morning as we were leaving for home, we found out that Lisa was going in for a c-section and that the baby would be stillborn.  Arayah had her cord wrapped around her neck four times.  Lisa was able to see and hold her baby even though she was no longer living.  Our hearts just break for Lisa and Shawn, as well as Josh's whole family.  


It is difficult to understand God's timing with this.  Arayah had no prenatal care for her earliest weeks, but was just fine until just two weeks before her due date.  Lisa just had her baby shower, and now at home has stacks of new baby girl things that she surely hasn't even had time to organize quite yet, to remind her of her loss.  It feels like God gave this gift and got their hopes up and then took it away.  

But I DO know that God is good.  He gives and takes away.  He holds all things in His hand, and works all things together for good for His children.  I am praying now for "a ray of hope" to shine in the hearts of Lisa and Shawn as they mourn their loss.  Hope in God's grace and goodness.  Hope in Christ to sustain them as they journey through these extremely difficult days.  Praying for the nurses and doctors to be kind and gentle and understanding.  Praying for many friends and family to pour out their love to Lisa and Shawn now and in the months to come.

And I realize more than ever that life is a gift.  The months that Arayah lived in Lisa's womb were a gift.  The hours, or days or years that any child lives is a gift.  We must solemnly consider how often we take life for granted, how easily we assume that everything will be just fine.  We presume upon the Lord.  Please take a moment to be grateful for the life God has given you -- the years you were able to spend with the loved one you've lost, or the years you continue to enjoy with a small child running circles around you.  We are not promised tomorrow.  And yet, with our hope in Christ, we can hope for all eternity!  

On that day when Christ has come and made all things right, we can say "O death where is your sting?  O grave, where is your victory?"

But for now we feel the sting.  Please join me in praying for grace for these hurting parents.  

6 comments:

Brittany said...

My heart is heavy for Lisa and her husband. What a horrible tragedy for them to live through. Gid IS faithful and He DOES bring ALL things together for HIS good. Praying.

Tricia Walder gave me a book called Symphony in the Darkness, Hearing God's Voice in Seasons of Grief. It's written by Barbara Rainey and her daughter Rebecca Rainey Mutz. Tricia can get them free for you, if you're interested in passing it along to her.

Donette said...

Oh how I understand this sorrow. We are but 11 days from our 5 year anniversary of losing our own little girl. I will be praying for Lisa and her whole family now as they grieve and for Lisa and her husband as the grief will continue for many months and years. God is faithful and he provided much grace for us during that trial, but is still heartbreaking.

Emily Benzing said...

That was a beautiful post, Gret. Very true, each moment is so amazing. I try to live in light of that, but how quickly we forget!

Rachel said...

Gretchen,
Thank you so much for sharing this urgent request in such a beautiful way. I will also be praying for a ray of hope in Christ to sustain and nourish them as they (and the whole family) grieve this loss. Your words were "fitly spoken"; thank you for affirming the truth and encouraging all of us to rejoice and be thankful for what the Lord HAS given; we take so much for granted.


I will pray over this loss in your family.

Blessings,
Rachel W

Devin said...

I have been struggling this morning over the loss of Baby Sam (on my FB page) and came here to read what happened to your cousin...THANK you Gret, for this reminder. It does sting now, and we forget that God is good, all of the time--even when we think things may be senseless, they are for an ultimate greater purpose.

Lilliana was gone one year May 31...I understand this pain very well, and will keep this family in my prayers.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Yes and amen. So hard. Been there with 3 miscarriages, then there again when this happened to friends. Each time your heart breaks.
Yes Life is a Gift...no matter the amount of days...a gift from conception on.
Blessings as you minister to them,
Janette