There are pains I can’t imagine. Sometimes my thoughts wander that direction. Sometimes I question myself. Would I be strong? Could I endure? Is my faith secure?
One such pain is that of losing a baby. I remember the emptiness I experienced when we miscarried our second baby. We had tried for eight months, and after seven weeks of pregnancy, we miscarried. I had this sense of failure, of guilt and responsibility. Brandon and I had anticipated having that baby before we even had a confirmed test. We grieved the life we would never know, the baby we would never hold, the little cry we would never hear. It was a loss that changed me. It was a loss that gave me a glimpse to a pain I can’t imagine, carrying a baby, delivering and burying such a small body.
It grips my heart to know and see families endure this pain. Last week I had the privilege of sharing a time of remembrance and reflection with families who have suffered the loss of their baby. Each year the labor and delivery and neonatal intensive care unit staff at Saint Francis Hospital holds a service in memory of our babies lost. I was honored to share the closing at our eighteenth annual Angel Tree Memorial Service. I sought the Lord for words of hope, comfort and peace. He was faithful to provide, but it was the time during the service when the families shared their stories that testified to the hope, comfort, peace, strength, endurance and faith only one who has walked that road can share.
A few days before the service, I read an insert in the Tulsa World featuring Life Share Oklahoma stories. The front story was “Pistol Annie,” written by her mother, Abbey Ahern. This family had remarkable faith and bravery. Their precious baby was diagnosed with anencephaly, and they made a decision to give life through her precious life. Their baby girl passed away 14 hours and 58 minutes after her birth, and became the first newborn infant organ donor in the state of Oklahoma. Abbey shares their journey through her blog, Tomorrow Will Be Kinder. There she quotes, Angie Smith, “I gave my deepest hurt to the Father who wanted nothing less than every bit of it.”
It is true that a mother carries her children in her heart forever; however short a time they are given. Selah sings a song in memory of member Todd Smith’s baby titled, “Audrey’s Song.” The lyrics reflect the faith and assurance these families display.
“I will carry you.
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And I will praise the One Who’s chosen me
To carry you”
Personally, I know how great of an impact these babies make from the moment they enter our world. Each staff member who steps in to provide care is touched by that life, and we are deeply grateful to the families who allow us to share those moments with them.
As we enter this Christmas season, and scurry around finding the perfect gift, let us reflect on the One who came to give us the most perfect gift. Life. His gift is eternal and His gift gives us the peace to know that one day these families will be reunited where there will be no more pain, or sorrow, or suffering; only life; never ending.
visit www.lifeshareregistry.com to register to be a donor
Audrey’s Song: (Angie Smith shares their story on her blog at angiesmithonline.com)
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