You Are a Warrior; You Can Be Happy Again
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.
When my daughter died, I couldn’t imagine being happy again. It was like something in me had died on that awful day in February 2011. Something called joy. I resigned myself to the fact that a dark cloud would always be overhead, the sun would forever seem dim, and I would mourn her death every day for the rest of my life. Thankfully, God did not leave me alone in my grief and condone what could have become an endless pity party. Joy returned through His Word, family, friends, and the rest of His beautiful creation. It’s a choice—one I had to resolve to make each day. But sometimes guilt would start creeping in. I would feel guilty when an hour or two had passed where I didn’t think of Kinley. When I caught myself laughing at something funny, it somehow seemed unfair to her.
Fight the Guilt About Feeling Happy Again
A lot of Hope Moms I have talked to have struggled with guilt over being happy. When your child dies, you don’t expect to be happy again. But the day comes when you are. You have a good day. You actually smile at some point. But then the guilt washes over you and Satan floods your mind with thoughts like:
- How dare you be happy?
- How do you think your child would feel if they could see you enjoying your day when they’re not there to share it with you?
- You must not love your child very much.
Mommas, all those thoughts are straight up Satan. He wants you miserable. He wants you stuck. He wants your lives to reek of despair and hopelessness.
But here are God’s comebacks to each of Satan’s lies:
Fighting Lie #1
Lie: How dare you be happy!
Truth: You have reason to be happy. In fact, you should radiate joy:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
Philippians 4:4 (NIV)
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
John 10:10 (NIV)
Fighting Lie #2
Lie: How would your hope baby feel if he or she could see you enjoying your day without him or her?
Truth: Your hope baby is in My presence every day, every minute. Your hope baby feels nothing but joy. He/she wouldn’t want you to live in endless mourning, but with purpose and peace:
“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.”
1 Thessalonians 4:13 (NIV)
“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.”
Ephesians 4:1 (NIV)
Fighting Lie #3
Lie: You must not love your child very much.
Truth: You will always love your Hope Baby. My Word defines love and warns against falling for Satan’s lies:
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
1 Corinthians 13:6-8 (NIV)
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)
Satan uses guilt as a means to suck out joy and twist truth. When you feel your thoughts spiraling downward, claim God’s Word as your defense.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
God’s Word is our weapon against Satan’s lies. Jesus, Himself, used Scripture to silence Satan when He was tempted in the desert (Matthew 4). Satan came to Jesus when He was alone and vulnerable. Jesus had been fasting for forty days in the desert. He was hungry and tired. The devil waits for our desert times to attack us too. He preys on our weaknesses. But we are not defenseless, and we are not alone! We have God’s Spirit in us, and He has prepared us for battle—spiritual battle that we, as Christians, engage in every day. Ephesians 6 tells us how we are to equip ourselves:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)
You, sweet momma, are a warrior princess. As daughters of the King, decked out in God’s armor, we can face Satan head on. And the guilt he tries to spread has no place in our lives. Arm yourself in God’s truth.
Does Feeling Happy About Conceiving Again Mean My Hope Baby Is Forgotten?
Another common struggle of Hope Homs that’s linked to guilt over being happy is concerns surrounding conceiving again.
After losing Kinley, I desperately wanted to try for another baby. I worried people would think I was attempting to replace Kinley. Then I would worry—Is that what I’m trying to do? I didn’t get to take Kinley home from the hospital. I didn’t get to read her a bedtime story or even feed her. With another baby I could experience all of those things, but would it take away from Kinley’s memory? Would having another baby make Kinley seem less important, or even worse, forgotten?
I knew in my heart that no other baby could ever replace my daughter. A new baby would not be a substitute but an addition to our family. We would not be starting over but moving forward. In moving forward, we take Kinley with us. She is not a memory we bury or an idol we worship. Kinley is our daughter, a member of our family, and nothing, and no one, changes that.
Kinley now has a younger brother and a younger sister. They have not filled her place in my heart, but my heart has expanded to make room for them. Levi and Leighton bring laughter, light, and joy. They are not replacements but reminders of God’s faithfulness.
I praise God for bringing joy back into my life. Freedom in Christ frees me from my guilt and worry.
But maybe that’s not you yet. You might be at the beginning of this journey where your pain is so raw and joy seems impossible. Sweet sister, I’ve been there. Keep going. Keep trusting God to grant you the desires of your heart. His blessings may not unfold in the way you thought they would, but they will come. They may already be present in unexpected forms.
Trust Him for the good. Embrace life and the truth of God’s Word. You are a warrior!
- StephanieHope Mom to Kinley
Stephanie Blanks is an elementary school teacher turned stay-at-home mom. She is married to Matt and has four children: Lyston (7), Kinley (who went home to Jesus in 2011), Levi (4), and Leighton (2). Stephanie enjoys singing in her church praise band, running, reading, and spending time with her family.
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