Today would have been my baby’s 13th birthday had God granted her the time. He didn’t; He gave her only three quick weeks of life.
Shattered dreams leave deep wounds in our hearts, and the healing is a slow process. It takes time to work through all the pain and confusion; but when we do, we receive beautiful life-changing revelations that should be shared with others. It is easy to become bitter, afraid and recluse, it is more challenging to believe there is good in the midst of bad. Our family has chosen to stand on our belief that God has a plan that we can trust and that He works all things to the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28)
Rebecca was a Trisomy 18 baby with many physical challenges that gave her a 95% chance of being stillborn. I was blessed to hold my baby 21 many more days than other Trisomy moms; how could I complain?
Today I have been preparing our traditional fish dinner and setting out little keepsakes for my three other children to remind them again this year that though I miss their sister, I celebrate them on her birthday. Rebecca’s short life had a big impact on their lives. That is not a bad thing. It is good for them to have a story to tell, especially if it encourages others.
I used to thi
nk that my testimony was nothing to offer because it was so simple and pure. Now I feel the pain I have suffered has brought much value to my story. I wouldn’t trade my sorrows for the world. In many ways I think of my loss as an honor. I do not like being the center of attention, but it seems to me that the difficulties, caused others to watch us, which gives us an opportunity to shine and bring hope and courage to our onlookers – who may not have ever noticed us otherwise. The process of grief has shown me that life isn’t all about me.
I want God to get the glory in all I do, and if it means being humble enough to let others look, and vulnerable enough to share my heart, even at the risk of criticism or pity, then so be it. I don’t want to waist my pain.
In order to give others the most beautiful things in life, sometimes we must hold a stem full of thorns. Let’s do it anyway.
Catrina Welch is an image- and life-coach whose message is not as much “what not to wear” as it is, “Know Who You Are,” which is the title of her book of guidelines for your personal image identity. Catrina has also written a Bible study to help women overcome their image issues. It is titled Supreme MakeOver: a Rich and Refreshing Devotional Experience. Her other books include Footprints Through the Sand: a Consolidation of Life-altering stories about Loving and Loosing a Trisomy-18 Baby and Confident Beauty: Reflecting the One Who Made You with the Images in Your Mirror and Your Soul, which will be available soon.