When I first returned to typical routines, a few weeks after losing my baby, I remember driving down the highway and I caught myself admiring the color of the sky. Had I ever noticed such normal beauty before my loss? In that moment I realized how my sweet baby had changed my life for the better. Because of my angel baby, our most simple gifts and the everyday miracles are now noticed. My life now is more rich and vibrant and full, not despite my loss, but because of it. God gives us blessings in our grief, sometimes many. These blessings don’t make the loss worth it, but we can choose to be grateful for every gift that comes our way.
I’m currently reading again One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp because it’s summer with fewer to-dos on my list so now during nap time I do my two favorite things, reading and writing. In this beautifully written book, Voskamp uses the phrase “God-communion” to explain how one can live an emptier, fuller life. When I think of what has happened to me since I lost my baby in January I think that’s the best explanation of this miraculous fullness and gratitude. Out of necessity I learned how to be in deep communion with God. The emptying of my womb and what I desire most on this earth, to be a Mama, got me to a place where I can experience fullness from Him alone.
For a long time, most of my adult life, I’ve had a tattoo on my ribs that I got in light of another type of heartbreak. In the midst of that sadness I felt a yearning to be fully alive in taking advantage of every moment, not wishing for something or someone more. But I think, prior to losing my baby, I lost sight of what being fully alive really means in Christ. It’s not necessarily a seize the day, take every moment captive, type of life. I will tell you though, as a humble brag, that I am very good as an avid-list maker and planner at that lifestyle. No, living fully alive is embracing this God-communion lifestyle instead. As VosKamp put it, “Does earth have anything I desire but Him? I have to ask it. And I know the answer: When I remember the gifts and how He loves me… I am moth drawn again to His ardent flame.” Drawing near to God, and thanking Him for the gifts He’s given you, not focusing on your desire for more or what’s lost, that is how you live fully alive.
My sweet Abigail says a very short, independent prayer every night. She started doing this recently, and it’s serving as a great reminder for my spirit too. She so simply says out loud before she begins to dream, “Dear God, thank you so much! Amen.” I bow my head too and say thank you, thank you, thank you. After losing my baby, this spirit of gratitude has helped me to take much less for granted and to focus on His love for me. Living life in this way gives me greater joy than I’ve ever known possible. I have my babies to thank for that. Being a mother, of an angel and of my Abigail, is the best gift I’ve ever been given. Even death can’t take that away. I do worry sometimes, especially now that I’m six months from loss, that I will lose my marvelling and deep gratitude for the simple things. But then I remind myself that my baby has changed me forever because I am Mama forever, but more so because I am Christ’s child forever.
Dear God, Thank you so much. Amen.