Do you hold a symbol, photo, song, or image close to your heart that reminds you of your precious. Heavenly baby? Is there a certain smell, sound, or flower that when you come into contact with it, you feel a sense of closeness to them?
In fact, I have many, including ladybugs, butterflies, lilies, hearts, feathers, rainbows, eagles, scriptures, and many songs. And though I know Deuteronomy 18:10b-12a clearly warns us against contacting the dead (...Let no one be found among you who interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord...), it is most definitely okay to remember them, feel a closeness in our hearts, and honor their lives. All these things are merely reminders and “little joys” in my new life after loss.
Our loved ones that have passed before us, now live in our hearts. And It is through their priceless memories that they can still “live” with us each day.
When we are broken with grief, God encourages us to look to Him for answers. We are asked to reach out and talk to Him ...Throughout the last 9 years of this grief journey, I have done just that. I have asked, wept, and listened. Followed by asking, weeping, and listening.
Talking with God has been my safety net, though I will admit, there was a time in this journey where I struggled with talking to Him and being open. And even though Psalm 139:4 says, He already knows our thoughts before we even speak them, I felt ashamed and wrong for the feelings and questions I had.
Friends, after gallons of tears and many hours of counseling, I finally let go of “hiding” my disappointments, burdens, and brokenness from God, as I was reassured countless times of His love for me, no matter what I was going through. And that nothing could separate me from His love... not even death. Romans 8:31-39
How freeing it is to finally be real and honest with the One who has the ability and love to heal our brokenness. How freeing it is to know, I am loved, in spite of my struggles. How freeing it is to know, I have someone on my side, no matter what I feel like inside.
As the years have passed and as I have become more and more transparent with God, I have come to believe all those “little joys” I find, see, and hear are actually gifts I receive from Him, as He is reminding me, He has not forgotten my pain. He notices me and knows my heart so very well. He knows how often I think of my precious babies, my grandfathers, and my beloved chihuahua, each and everyone whom I miss so incredibly much. He knows the amount of joy I feel when I see something that is a positive reminder of their lives. He understands what kind of encouragement I need. He is the giver of Hope and Peace, and I believe with all my heart, these “little joys” are always from Him... simply because He loves me.
Last Tuesday, March 27th was a tough day for my heart. It is a day that leaves my heart heavy and has for the last 9 years. It is the day, we lost our first precious baby, Leilani Mae. On that day, she was surgically removed from my womb and her ashes were then spread in a place I was unaware of for the following 6 years. The trauma, guilt, and closure has been something that has required a lot of time to process for me. Her death has been the hardest for me to accept and process, for reasons I still cannot explain.
Each year, I try to do something to honor her. Sometimes, I paint, release a balloon, buy flowers, plant flowers, or just spend time remembering her. This year, I went for a walk with my 5 year old son, Elijah, to soak in the sun and listen to praise music. Though that wasn’t really a way to honor her, it is what my heart needed.
Friends, about a half mile into our walk, lying in a pile of leftover mud and salt from winter was a white cross with gold sequins. The pureness of the white, and the light reflecting from the sequins is what caught my attention.
I quickly picked up the cross, snapped a photo and put it in a safe place in my stroller. I felt a rush though my body and I grinned from ear to ear, as my heart was blessed in such a touching way. My dear, sweet Leilani is alive and well! Though I already knew that, this cross reminded me again. She is with Jesus. She is whole, pure, and full of light. And her memory can be good. Most of all, I know in my heart, Jesus has not forgotten my love for her, as he blessed with me a “huge joy” on what has been such a difficult anniversary date.
I know our friends and family don’t always validate the lives of our babies that are no longer here. I know they don’t always remember dates, and events, or our hurts and brokenness... Though that pain is intense, it is okay because God does. He remembers everything. He will never forget. And, He will not judge us for our feelings, questions, or tears. Reach out to Him.
I encourage you today to think about something that brings a closeness and positive reminder to you of your baby. Thank God for that, and know, it is a gift from Him because He loves you and He remembers you, always.
Have a blessed week and look for the light, even if it is only a crack. xo xo xo