This is Part VII in a mini-series honoring our heaven-baby, begin by reading Part I, Longing for Baby #5 here.
Friends, a few years ago, I was the friend who just didn't know... I had no grid for child loss...
It feels a bit like the book of Job... well-meaning friends or even personal self-introspection demands a reason for the loss, after all, this devastation is NOT supposed to touch the righteous, am I right?!
You are right.
Your cry for justice is surely heard before the Lord's throne (Revelation 6:10) and that is precisely why there will be a day of reckoning, see notes below.
John 10:10 unveils our common enemy. It is not God who stole your baby... but our enemy, the devil, who not only lives to bring accusation and shame upon every person made in God's image... but has an insidious goal is to steal, kill and destroy everywhere he goes.
Again, I am just being as vulnerable and transparent as I can here in an effort to release as many from the bondage of shame and darkness as possible. I didn't know how heartbreaking losing a baby, a mere 8-10 weeks old would be. There is a BATTLE happening right now in our nation over the validity of life in the womb. Beloved, your grief and heartbreak over this lost little life is valid! Your baby is a person and you did lose a child. The joy and the hope comes in this truth as well because for most of your life... eternity... you will enjoy sweet fellowship and friendship with this precious, hidden member of your family!
I honestly, could never have imagined how much I would be affected and I have such a different level of compassion and grace whereas I just didn’t know before…
Obviously everyone is different, but for me, I made a list of kind things you might do for a friend or a family member who is grieving the loss of baby. This list has been inspired by all the kind things our family and friends did for us last fall. We felt very loved and cared for.
1. Mourn with those who mourn.
You don't need to say the right thing, provide answers or consolations... there is such a freedom found in the silence and tears. Think of Jesus coming to his dear friends Martha and Mary. He knew Lazarus would rise again, but He affirmed the dignity of these two women made in the image of God, by weeping with them (John 11:35).
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans."
"In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise."
2. Make or buy them dinner.
We had a meal train set up by friends for us which was incredibly helpful especially in those first couple weeks following...
3. Drop off groceries.
Again, so helpful, one friend was bringing us dinner and asked if we needed anything from the store (which we did!).
4. Offer to take/watch their other kids & make it FUN!
This is a LIFESAVER… this momma needed to cry, and its not super fun for kids to see mom crying. Going to a friends house, eating chicken nuggets and playing with new toys was amazing for everyone!
5. Buy/send their other kids something fun to occupy their time (ie. new toy, puzzle, maze or activities book, playdoh etc.)...
Again, the kids, though they are sad, bounce back to wanting to have fun 24/7 very quickly… just having something new to occupy their time (that I didn’t need to oversee or help with) gave Michael and I a little extra time to process, nap and grieve.
6. Text them encouragement & scriptures, check in periodically to let them know you are thinking of them.
Don't necessarily expect a text back. Again, every person is different, for me, I felt very loved by all the little encouragement or simple "I'm thinking and praying for you" texts... friends sending me worship songs or scriptures... I may not have texted them all back immediately but it was very encouraging to know so many were thinking of me and lifting me up in prayer.
7. Send flowers.
Beautiful things are beautiful and help :)
8. Buy a little necklace or subtle jewelry the mom can wear to remind her of baby…
This was something I truly cherished. It was very hard to “not be pregnant” when I was “supposed” to be… wearing a little necklace with a flower commemorating the month she went to heaven helped me feel like I was still carrying her in some way - if that makes sense, without it being weird. Even until today, I am wearing that necklace... Maranatha's due date would have been next week, and who knows, I may take it off next week, I may keep it on for longer... but having a tangible reminder of my heaven baby was so helpful for this momma.
9. Come over and do a load of dishes & laundry.
Not everyone will be comfortable letting you do this, but if it feels right, making yourself available to help with the household basics can be such a blessing. Come into that home to pray, bless, love and sing worship songs. This can truly shift the atmosphere and bring peace.
10. Encourage them to rest, grieve & take time to process.
This is especially helpful if you serve in a work or ministry environment with the momma... or if you are in their circle of close friends. Help take pressure off them by validating their need to take time off to reflect, process and grieve.
11. Leave a self-care prize on the porch for mom.
A snack, a pretty tumbler with a box of tea, some bath salts or lotion...
12. Listen if they want to talk, but don't push it if they don’t.
Again, this goes back to mourning with those who mourn. Be sensitive and gracious. Listening and simply being available speaks volumes!
13. Remember their baby.
Again, every person is different, but if you know the day baby went to heaven make a note on your calendar for next year to send them a scripture and some encouragement on that day next year. Or if they named baby, use baby's name when you talk about him/her... the little things, the little moments of remembrance, etc.
I hope this is helpful. May Jesus help you be a good friend who loves at all times and encourages others to lean upon Jesus, even through difficulty, tragedy and heartbreak.
This concludes my mini-series on miscarriage, honoring the life of our heaven baby.
You can read my previous post on Grieving, here.
There will be a fearful day of reckoning where Jesus will come down a second time from heaven. This time, He will not come as a baby - but as a warrior. Study Revelation 19:11-21 to learn more about how He will judge the wicked who are alive in the earth on that day. He will then bind satan for 1,000 years as Jesus Himself rules as king upon the earth. At the end of the 1,000 years, satan will be released one more time to deceive as many as he can, stirring up rebellion against the Lord and come against Jesus sitting on the throne in Jerusalem. Revelation 20:9-10 tells of his swift and final end as he is cast into the lake of fire.