Walking With You: Finding Hope and Healing With or Without a Rainbow

For the final WWY post in this segment, we will share our experiences with longing for another baby to fill our empty arms. Some experienced a subsequent pregnancy after loss. Some may be fearful of embarking on that journey again. Some may not be able to have another child, whether due to infertility or other reasons. Some may have found that having another baby, however precious a gift, was not the key to healing the grief. Can you experience hope and healing…even if there is no rainbow after the storm?

So, yes, I’m quite behind in getting this final post in the WWY blog series up. There have been several reasons including a really busy few weeks at work and a quick get away with my husband to celebrate our ninth (!!) wedding anniversary. But really, I just was not ready to write this post last week.

I still am not quite sure what I have to say on this topic. We do not know whether or not we will have another child. That is a question that we both wrestle with and while I, more so, long for a baby to hold, it is just too soon for us to make any sort of decision. Naomi was supposed to be our last child. And now that she is not here with us it is so not what we had pictured.

I will say that right after Naomi died my desire to have another baby was so strong. And I think a lot of that was tied to my idea of trying to recapture the pure joy I’d experienced with my previous two babies’ births. I felt at the time, in the initial raw stages of grief, that the only way to regain joy was to have another baby. But now I can say, with certainty, that joy and hope is possible again…and its found in God.

There are no easier answers but one of the things I’m coming to understand is that the sorrow I feel over Naomi’s absence with us right now will never go away. I’ve been thinking that healing, what I’ve been shooting for, meant a return, somehow, to how it was before, to how I was before. I think I’m starting to understand that sorrow, instead of being something to work toward being rid of, can actually deepen and widen joy, making even the ordinary every day become infused with a preciousness because this moment with these ones I’ve been given is a gift. And each of those moments I had with Naomi, they were gifts too, though well watered with many tears.

I was talking with my counselor recently about this very topic and happened to mention the term “rainbow baby”. Its such a popular term in the baby loss world, I guess, that it didn’t occur to me that she wouldn’t know it. So after explaining it to her that got me thinking about rainbows…they come after a storm. The rainbow in the Bible was a sign given to Noah of the covenant God made with him and with all living creatures following the flood, that never again would God destroy the earth with the flood waters — God’s promise to sustain life, not to destroy it, even when passing through the deepest, darkest storm. And I see God sustaining my life, even as I’ve passed through the valley of the shadow of death. Whether God chooses to give us another child one day or not, I see rainbows all around, made more beautiful by the tears that continue to fall and refract the light into millions of breathtaking colors.

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5 thoughts on “Walking With You: Finding Hope and Healing With or Without a Rainbow

  1. This was beautiful. I like you, have started to “give up” (in a sense) on healing. I used to want healing so badly because I thought it would bring the old me back and make everything normal again. After almost 2 years of grieving I have figured out that I don’t think I will ever fully be healed this side of Heaven from losing Caleb, but I dont want to either. The pain has given way to more joy, deeper joy. I see life with a freshness and crispness that I didn’t before and I know Jesus in a way that is so intimate. Thank you for this post. Praying that you continue to see the rainbows around you. Thank you for walking with me and I will continue to follow your journey!

    • Yes, I think I have to give up my ideas on what healing looks like. At first it was a leap of faith to just believe that I could function normally again, as in go to work, take care of my living kids, etc. I still have days where that is a huge challenge and where I really just want to stay in bed. But instead of fighting to get away from the pain I am taking tentative steps to embrace it. You’re right, there is a sense in which I don’t want to fully loose the pain. I look forward to continuing to follow your journey as well. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. As I read your blog, I realized I was contemplating the fact that you really can’t have a rainbow without sun and water. I suppose one could spiritualize the connection between tears (water) and the Son of God (sun). I have to admit being one of those bereaved parents who have struggled in my faith after our son died and the ensuing aftermath – and I’m sure I’m not the only parent who has wrestled with God following the death of a child – so I tend to not tie things up in neat little cliches such as that. It can be too easy to apply concepts with broad stroke to all bereaved parents when we are as unique as our child and our loss. Thank you, though, for your blog today, for your openness in sharing your loss, and for the encouragement I found in your rainbow reference.

    • Hi Rebecca,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’m glad you found some encouragement in what I shared. For me its been important to see that “rainbows” come in many different forms, not just in another baby. I’m glad you can be honest about your struggles with faith and God. This is a hard, hard road that we each walk in our unique ways. Thanks again for stopping by. I appreciate you sharing a bit of your journey as well.

  3. You share a whole lot of hope and joy in this post! Yes, you have much pain, but your hope in God’s deliverance from pain to healing, is awesome. The pain definitely magnifies our thankfulness for what He has given… and sometimes… in what He has taken…

    Many Blessings…

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