I’m not sure how to even start explaining this evening. The group that came out to the talk about losing a child was small – probably around 20, although it never occurred to me to count. We think there were six children represented. One mother lost her son at the age of 27, another a daughter at the age of 24. I think the other four were infants. The television reporter that interviewed me before we started asked if I was looking for there to be a large crowd. I said that I honestly hoped there would not be. A large crowd would mean a lot of grieving mothers and fathers, a lot of missed children. I spent some time in the last few days praying that God would bring those who needed to be there, so I trust that this was the perfect amount of people. There was a small amount of sharing that I’m not sure would have happened in a larger group.
At first, I wasn’t sure how to read the reaction. I almost felt as if people were bored. Listening through translation is hard because it just slows everything way down. But as I got into the telling of our story, I saw eyes filling with tears and heads nodding in understanding. Sweet Iwona gave me strength as I made eye contact with her and knew she was praying me through this.
Women came up and wrote the names of their children on flowers and placed them in the vase with the one for Grace. The tears and long embraces with these grieving moms needed no interpretation. I talked with others who told me about their friends who lost babies and one who told me about siblings she didn’t know she should have had until relatively recently. The evening was very emotional. Though there were many tears of sadness, I feel as if tonight I was in the center of God’s will for me. It feels good to be in that place, no matter how hard it is. I pray with all my being that those who were there really heard whatever God was wanting to speak to their hearts.
I can’t begin to express my gratitude for all the prayers that were offered to support me through this. I am especially grateful for the amazing husband God has blessed me with. Before the evening started, Ben prayed over me. His words melted my heart and brought God’s peace over me in a way I’ll never forget. As I stood at the podium and waited while Andrzej gave the introduction, I just knew that there were people, literally all over the world, praying for this time. I don’t talk about things in this way often, but I truly felt your prayers. It wasn’t until later that I learned that Ben had posted a message to Facebook as the event stated. Many replied that they were praying right at that moment. Thank you, Body of Christ, for lifting me up today.
You haven’t lived until you have seen a room of Jewish 70-year-olds doing The Funky Chicken. I have lived a full life and may now die in peace.
Today I decided I needed some sleep. I was starting to feel a little on the exhausted side, and I knew that being tired would heighten the emotion of today being Grace’s birthday. So I slept through breakfast and chose to stay behind while the guests took a road trip to a nearby village. I did some laundry, prepared some VBS video ideas with Anna, and helped April out a little with preparing Ben’s birthday party (her Ben, who is 9 – not my Ben who is…. older). Big Ben mowed the grounds and then left with Dave Hatfield for another church visit on behalf of Polish Christian Ministries.
Some of you might have put two and two together in that last paragraph and realized that we attended a child’s birthday party today, on what would have been Grace’s 8th birthday. Emotional? Yes. I wouldn’t have been able to handle it the first year. But God’s grace is sufficient, and He has had His healing hand on me for 8 years. Many of you offered special prayers on my behalf today, and I have a wonderful husband who takes care of me. Instead of sinking into a state of heartache, I found myself thinking that God is using Grace’s life for His purposes this year more than ever – and that is something to celebrate. Although I did choke up a little when my mind filled in her name during the “Happy Birthday” song, I think I made it through the day fairly well. Thank you to all who said an extra prayer for me today. Say one more… I’m about to try to go to sleep!
I guess I’ve decided to share this video with you…. although I think I look terrible and I had to chop down what I was going to say into such a short statement that I think it sounds stupid. It is the TV announcement of the infant loss event happening next week. Radio recording is Monday. (Crazy!)
Published on TV Masuria