Any onlooker who saw four ladies at Applebee’s that night may have mistaken it for a girls’ night out. They may have assumed we gathered for a much-needed time away from our mom duties. A time to kick back with old friends.
But it was far more than the typical “Eating good in the neighborhood” kind of evening.
I had briefly met one of my dining companions before that night. But the other two were strangers when we were first seated. We all had one terrible thing in common. All four of us had lost our baby girls within 5 weeks of each other.
That night we shared our stories with one another for the first time. It was raw and real and heartbreaking. We were sisters in Christ and sisters in grief.
Somewhere between the spinach and artichoke dip and the goodbye hugs in the parking lot, I discovered I was not alone. I was not “crazy.” I was not a bad Christian. I was not doing grief wrong. My pain was as valid as I thought it was. For the first time, my shattered heart found comfort in the company of other shattered hearts.
To be honest, I wasn’t excited about going to Applebees that night. Part of me wanted to believe that no one could understand how I felt. The loss of Faith Isabella was devastating. It was life-altering. I was sure that I was alone in feeling like I did.
However, starting that night, God showed me a community of mothers who had experienced miscarriage or infant loss. God used this community to show me who he is.
He used the stories from brave souls to help me discover his understanding, their arms to bring me his comfort, their ears to show me how he patiently listens, their lips to remind me of his words, and their tears to show me that he hurts with me.
Through the presence of others who were brave enough to share their stories and struggles, God showed me that he never left me. He was working to care for me and comfort me. He was orchestrating a path forward. A way to survive what seemed unsurvivable.
Community is one of the beautiful things that God can miraculously grow from the ashes of loss. We feel a bond when we find someone who knows the often-unspoken truth of our pain. They have also lived through the long nights, endless tears, and awkward things people say when they don’t know what to say.
Yet, even deeper than this bond, is how God can use these connections to remind us that he is with us. He sees our tears. He understands our hurts. Psalm 34:18 says he is “near to the brokenhearted.” What if he uses other grieving people to allow us to experience how near he is?
God alone is enough to carry us through our darkest moments. He is the God of all comfort – but how beautiful it is when he allows us to share comfort with one another (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). He can use the people he brings into our lives, or the stories we read, to show us that we are not alone.
A prayer for the one who is grieving the loss of a little soul
Dear Heavenly Father,
You promise to be near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). Please show your presence to the one who is hurting. Bring others around her who help her see your spirit of comfort and compassion. Hold her in your loving arms, just as you hold the little one she is grieving.
In Jesus Name,
You can read more about my story of losing our daughter Faith Isabella here.
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Email @ Carrie@choosingfaith23.com