Ending on Loss; Ending on Redemption
Each child gone ahead from among us is a precious person made in the image of God—and all having been made into Hope Moms, we together declare motherhood in each of our journeys. We are eager to go above and beyond in showing honor and love for one another (Rom. 12:10, 15). Through this series, we honor each other’s experiences of motherhood in love through our shared God of hope.
My eyes opened as the sun started to shine through the curtains in room 307. The room where just hours before I met and said goodbye to my only son, Chance Michael. The room where I experienced profound sadness and also profound peace. The room where both cries of despair and cries of praise were lifted to my Father God. The room I entered with a child in my womb and would leave from empty handed.
And as the sun began its ascent into the heavens on April 5, 2015, my thoughts turned to my new identity in motherhood. I am no longer the mother of two living daughters, but also the mother of a son who lives with Jesus. I am a mother who delivered her stillborn son, a new reality and pain so deep I didn’t know if I could recover—my motherhood journey now shaken and rocked to its core.
Chance spent 20 weeks in my womb, and five breathless hours in my arms. His features and tiny body will forever be etched in my memory. I will never forget that cute-as-a-button nose.
My thoughts raced ahead of me, internally questioning whether we would try again for a healthy pregnancy or if we would end on this brutal loss. Another child would never replace my precious Chance, of course, but I thought maybe some healing and redemption would come by a full-term pregnancy and living baby, instead of the trauma of a silent delivery room.
Desiring to Complete My Motherhood Puzzle
God graced me with His truth that morning as if to say, “Dear child, focus on My words and not your racing thoughts. Take heart and wait on Me.” He gave me Isaiah 40:31.
“but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.”
God was urging me to wait well.
To rely on His unfailing and never-ending strength, instead of my own. To trust that in time, He would give answers to the questions, but that day was not the day for answers. That day I needed to put one foot in front of the other in hope and trust, not complete the puzzle that is my motherhood journey. He assured me that by waiting well I would not be overcome by circumstance.
Several weeks after Chance’s funeral, a sweet friend from church stopped me when she spotted me across the church aisle. “I want you to know I have been praying for you. Specifically, I have been praying that God would show you the purpose in Chance’s life.” With that one simple sentence, her prayer became my prayer too. I had never thought to pray this prayer, but in that moment, it sounded like a good way to turn this tragedy back to truth.
So I would pray day, after day, after day, “God, please show me the unique purpose in Chance’s short life. Show me. Make known the purpose in what currently feels like constant pain. Give my heart awareness of some meaning to this, Father.”
I was overwhelmed and some days overtaken by the reality of our experience. I learned quickly that amidst all my racing thoughts, I also had to ask the Father to clear my mind of any untruths in order to make space for His answer. This was key in my ability to listen.
The day my friend stopped me at church, I was sitting in the aftermath of the storm, and I chose to focus on the gentle whispers of the Father in the Word. I kept praying and searching the Scriptures and asking and listening. And over time, I heard His reply.
The purpose in Chance’s short life and stillbirth and burial is the sweet reminder of the promise of Jesus. The promise of heaven. The promise that there is so much more to life than the day-to-day grind that so easily bogs down my heart and my head. There is so much more than what I see with my eyes. “When you think of Chance, may you always think of Me. When the world hears of Chance, may they always be reminded of Me.” Such a tender answer from a God tender in mercy.
Ending on Loss, Yet Full of Redemption
I don’t believe God is glad that people experience death, but I do believe He allowed this to happen for His glory. His greater purposes. For the pointing back to His Son.
And while this belief does not remove suffering or instantly heal the hurt, it does redeem it.
The word redemption is seen often in both the Old and New Testament. Redemption, in a biblical sense, means a “deliverance by the payment of a price.” This is exactly what Jesus did for us on the cross. He saved us, rescued us, from our sins—giving us the hope and promise of eternal life with Him. Redemption came for each of us in the form of Jesus’ bloodshed that day on Calvary.
Admittedly, I had reduced God’s methods of redemption, healing, and restoration. I assumed closure and a heart-made-new—a full rescue from my sorrow—would only be possible through a subsequent full-term pregnancy and living baby. My son was gone, my heart broken, and thus it only made sense to fill that empty space with another baby.
Yet, when I reduce God’s methods of redemption in such a way I am reducing the message of the Cross. Jesus died so I could live. He came to heal and make all things new and give abundant life—and all of that is possible by the gospel. Sorrow is turned to joy when I put my belief in the Good News of Scripture.
Redemption will come, sweet sister, even if another baby never comes.
Full restoration is possible because Jesus is the answer.
Jesus is healer and Jesus is the prize. Not another baby cradled in my arms.
He alone satisfies my deepest hunger, not another child. My flesh and (limited) earthly view of heaven tempt me to think otherwise.
The purpose in my son’s life, a continual pointing to Jesus, made the decision to end my motherhood journey on loss a bit easier. This does not mean there aren’t days where the pain stings or I am caught off-guard by tear-stained eyes. This decision does carry a bit of heaviness with it and is multi-layered.
But here’s where it gets good.
I think about Chance daily. Daily. Which means I think of Jesus daily. My eyes are heaven-lifted daily. I am turned to His promises time and time again. I am reminded of purpose and truth repeatedly. What a blessed cycle for this Hope Mom.
What a gift.
What a sweet blessing on this journey of motherhood, this ending so to speak.
God makes wholeness out of brokenness, dear ones.
He and He alone fills the empty spaces and empty arms.
Even though I am a mother ending on loss, I am not a mother without redemption as the theme of my story.
“The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
“I am not saying this because I am in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
- BrittnieHope Mom to Baby A and Chance Michael
Brittnie lives in Sugar Land, Texas and enjoys writing on her blog and other outlets, baking, lingering coffee dates, and soaking in moments with her family. She is a wife to Brandon and a mom to Clara, Camille, and Hope Mom to Baby A (Clara’s twin) and Chance. Psalm 62:1-2 is her go to verse when she needs quick encouragement. She is author of Desert Song, and you can visit with Brittnie at her personal blog, A Joy Renewed, where she shares her faith and family, and encourages her readers to claim joy despite circumstance.
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