I had just laid my newborn baby down to rest and knew I should close my eyes until she needed me again, but I couldn’t resist the overwhelming urge to write the thoughts that were running through my head. It was strange, the words I was hearing were directed to me, not from me. It was as if the voice of God was thundering a very personal message and I had to capture it.
Once my pen hit the page, the words kept coming faster than I could write.
I knew Rebecca would not live long, the doctors were adamant about that; and her physical impairments were obvious, so I felt foolish doubting them, but it felt so wrong to believe she would die!. There were so many questions and such confusion causing fear and anxiety. I needed a “word from God.”
When the student is ready the Teacher speaks.
I can’t help but wonder if this is why God allows difficulties in our lives. It makes us ready to learn. Writing down “God’s Comfort” empowered me, like the embrace of a warm, soft blanket in front of a beautiful fire His voice was protecting me from the fierce storm outside. I felt His love and wisdom and it brought certain peace, which is still hard to explain, even eighteen years later.
Every year around this time, I like to share those words somewhere. On March 5, 1999 (just a few weeks after I wrote them) we shared them–unedited–at our daughter’s funeral. Today, I want to share them with you. My prayer is that you, too, will gain a new perspective on the goodness of the heart of God, even if goodness seems far from your reality.
God’s Comfort to Our Family and Friends
This child is my gift to you, like a delicate flower.
Do not expect her life to last like that of a carnation.
Her purpose here is a quick and powerful one.
Enjoy each moment.
Do not waste time in meaningless comparison,
And do not get caught in the trap of self-pity,
Or you will miss the blessings I have in store for you.
I love you and long to bear this yoke with you.
I want to ease your pain; I do not want to take it away.
Because if I did, I would take away all the victories, the lessons, the character being created in you.
I promise, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
I will bear this load with you, if you just draw near to me.
Trust in me, and tell of the wonders you will see.
There are great riches in store for you,
But if you only look at the pain and sorrow, that is all you will see.
Look unto Me and my Son.
When you want to find comfort in the sympathy of others
When you feel as though no one understands,
When you are tempted to sit and compare your circumstances with others,
Look at the cross, look at the life of my Son.
He knows what it is like to anticipate great trials and great pain.
He understands rejection and betrayal.
He knows misunderstandings and false accusations.
He understands what it is like to be raised by a father who is not his own.
He has felt every physical and emotional pain.
He has felt separation from Me,
And I have felt the great pain of losing a child I so dearly loved.
Let me bear this cross with you.
You have honored me as Creator and Master; right now, let me be your “Daddy.”
Climb into my lap, and I will give you rest.
Wait upon me and I will renew your strength.
Trust in Me, and I will provide all your needs.
But if you turn from Me, and blame Me, How can I reach you?
I will wait, and I will welcome you back when you are done with your fight,
But I will not fight back. I am a gentleman.
I will stand at the door and knock, but you must open the door.
Only then will I enter in; and you and I shall dine together.
I will be your God, I will provide for you, protect you, comfort you and counsel you.
I love you and My grace is sufficient for you.
My power is made perfect in weakness.
Give to me your challenges, I find that to be the greatest gift of all.
And you will know my peace.
Finding purpose in your pain
If you are suffering a deep emotional battle today, I encourage you to allow a new perspective to change your stress level. Circumstances may not change and the pain may not go away for a long time, but you can find peace and joy in the midst of it. Do not be ashamed of what you are feeling. Do not stuff it, deny it or cause others to suffer for it. Instead, allow it to do its work in you and empower you to make a difference in the world.
Before having my Trisomy 18 baby, I was a very private and prideful person. I was no help to anyone suffering because I was naive to the power of pain. Now that I get it, I realize many people consider me power-less when I share Rebecca’s story after so many years, but the truth is that I don’t want to waste my pain.
Every one of us is going to suffer in life somehow. If it is suffering that brings revelation, then let us not hold back from sharing with each other what we have been through so that others know they are not alone. I choose to leave my Footprints Through the Sand to help someone else see their way through their stormy days. How about you? How have trials changed your perspective on life?
March is Trisomy Awareness month. If you know anyone who has suffered the loss of a Trisomy baby, would you share this blog or refer them to my book, Footprints Through the Sand: a Consolidation of Life-altering Stories of Loving and Losing Our Trisomy 18 Baby so that together we can help ease the stress of those suffering this emotional battle? Also, please connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, Goodreads or visit my website at http://catrinawelch.com for more information.