For the past 12 years July 22nd has been one of my least favorite days of the year. It is a day that brings up a lot of hurt, emptiness, and heartbreak. It is the day our first son, Taylor, was born. For many years I kept everything bottled up inside and did not allow myself to mourn the loss or process through the grief. I do not think I had the strength or maturity to properly work through the emotions. Little by little I allowed myself to start feeling the pain. I knew if I was going to try and have another baby I had to properly deal with the loss of my first child. Over time I realized I was never going to have the strength, it was something I couldn’t handle on my own. Along the way, especially after losing Asher, I learned a few things about grief. First, it has to be dealt with. In Holding onto Hope Nancy Guthrie says “I realized I had a choice-I could try to stuff the hurt away in a closet, pretend it wasn’t there, and wish it would disappear, or I could bring it out into the open, expose it to the Light, probe it, accept it, and allow it to heal. I chose to face it head-on, trudge through it, feel its full weight, and do my best to confront my feelings of loss and hopelessness with the truth of God’s Word at every turn.” As I read her words, I found myself saying out-loud, “YES, YES, YES!!”(*along with a little fist pump). I have also learned it is okay be sad and heartbroken over the loss. I don’t have to say “well, my baby is in Heaven so I am happy and rejoicing”. We live in a fallen world and all experience the hurt and suffering that come along with it. We must still trust that the Lord is sovereign over all things, but we can still be sad. Truth is, He is sad with us. I know He has mourned with me over the loss of my boys, and I feel so much comfort knowing He personally shares my grief. So today, I let myself be sad.
Looking back now, even though we were unaware, I guess July 22nd was the first page in our adoption story. This year July 22nd brings a new, unexpected type of heartbreak for me. Today I cannot help but think of all the birthmothers who are making the choice to give their children up for adoption. My heart hurts for them. After losing two babies I can understand the loss and emptiness they will feel when they hand their child over to pretty much complete strangers. No matter what their circumstances may be, they will walk a hard road of grief and emptiness that can only be healed through the power and love of Jesus Christ. So today, July 22nd, please pray for these women. Pray for their pain. Pray that if they do not already know about the saving grace of Jesus that someone will share it with them…because speaking from personal experience, their grief is something that CANNOT be handled without Him.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. Psalm 34:5