A portion of the special time we observed as a family at the cemetery included a letter I wrote to our daughter. I have read many books that encouraged this act. It felt quite strange at first, almost unecessary. I thought and prayed about how to consisely describe my feelings and the truths I hold to. Suddenly the words did pour out of me. A part of our life story. Writing a letter to our stillborn daughter gave me the opportunity to see more clearly what God has wrought. Perhaps this may be the first in a series of letters... who knows?
Thank you for letting me share it with you.
Our Dear April,
Sitting down in the quiet of the evening, I assumed the words would pour out of me. Words of love, words of hope, words of pain.
But sometimes, even for me, words are hard to come by.
Maybe it is best if I try to express to you what my life was like before you and what has become my life after you went to Heaven.
My life before you was perfectly, wonderfully comfortable. I had a loving husband, 4 beautiful children--Chase, Drew, Joy and Juliet (your big brothers and sisters) and the blessing of close family and friends. All my dreams had come true. Surely, I believed God is Good! How could He be anything but with the abundant life I was living?
Below the joy that was my life lie a deeper fear. I was afraid at any moment the good life would come crashing down. I was afraid that my faith would not be strong enough to trust God during the storm. I was afraid bitterness would envelop me, and I would believe that God was not. so. good. after all.
Big fears, and Big joy. That was the tough balancing act I tried to maintain all on my own.
But you know, April-- God knew all of these fears, even the ones I don't admit to you today. He knew my divided heart.
And then came you.
Your Daddy and I were beyond delighted when we learned that you were on your way. Well, honestly, Daddy was a bit more sure than I was about having 5 children, but as the days went by, I grew more and more in love with you and my dreams for you began to blossom. Having no complications with any of my other pregnancies, I was thrilled to pass 8 weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks, 17 weeks. Surely, I believed God is Good!
When I went to the doctor that day and learned that your little heart was no longer beating, I was devastated, confused, and scared. I realized in that moment that my perfectly comfortable life --was no longer.
The moment I had dreaded for years was upon me, and God had allowed it.
We went to the hospital so I could deliver you. That is where we first set eyes on you and learned you were a girl. These are precious, pure moments that I will carry in my heart forever. You were frail and oh, so very tiny. We loved you, we love you. God choose to have you born on the birthday of your brother Drew and your sister Juliet. April 15, two months ago today. What an extraordinary day. You were already with Jesus.
My life after you is not perfectly, wonderfully comfortable. I still have a loving husband, 4 beautiful children, and the blessing of close family and friends. Not all of my dreams for you have come true. But, little tiny April, can I tell you of something else that has changed in my life?
The good life did come crashing down, but I am not afraid. God has been powerfully present in the days since we said good-bye to you. Bitterness did not envelop me although my heart aches for you.
You have changed my life, God has changed my life. The once paralyzing fears have been vanquished.
I do not claim to know the reason God has allowed this sorrow in our lives, but I trust that He will reveal His ways.
I still want to carry you, I still imagine you wiggling around inside, I still long for that first photo of us as a family of seven. I still want to be your Mommy.
Little tiny April, you were a gift to us. A gift that goes on, and surely, I still believe God. Is. Good!
Until we meet again,
"Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything." James 1:2-4