Wednesday, October 21, 2009

THIS is what you say

Tonight I want to share with you something that my mom wrote to me after my recent miscarriage. After a loss like that, many people are not sure what to say, and sometimes, afraid to offend, don't say anything. But I can testify that after experiencing the loss of my brother to cancer, and then the loss of this baby, it truly IS comforting when people say something as simple as "I'm so sorry for your loss."

And thankfully, many people expressed their support and love for me and our family through words like that. I received notes of encouragement, offers of childcare, prayers on my behalf, and lots of expressions of support that all helped me to process things and think through my grief in a healthy way. But I want to highlight this note from my mom because it ministered to me so deeply and encouraged me so greatly and, well, it's from my mom, who loves me and understands me and labored to give birth to (11 pound, 1 ounce) me. (yikes!)

I had written to my parents and told them what was happening, and that I was doing ok, but "sad." Here is what my mom wrote in response:

"Dear Rachel and family,
We are sad, too, but know that God's plan is perfect, although beyond our understanding, and we know that He will always care for us and even our tiny babies. I hope that the weekend's activities can go on without you, for you will certainly need to rest and have some quiet time alone. We will pray for your health and that you will not need to go back to the doctor. . . Some of my friends are praying for you all, too. God is always good, and He will carry you through this time. (Easier for me to say, since I have never experienced what you are going through . . . but still, I believe.) You can find joy in loving the precious girls you have birthed and who are so special in every way. We wish we could be there with you, but know John and your very good friends will lift you up. Take some time for extra hugs! Until later, Love, Mom."

In those few short lines, my mom affirmed her love for me, her faith in God, and encouraged my faith in Him too. The Lord used her words to comfort me again and again, so much so that I just had to share them with you.

May I encourage you to share some gospel-affirming, life-giving words to someone hurting today? Is there someone in your life struggling with something you empathize with, but don't quite understand? Ask the Lord for his wisdom and then step out to share. Don't be intimidated by another's difficulty and "not knowing what to say." The Lord will guide you, and your hearer will be blessed by your care and concern, even if you feel your words are not profound. Let His spirit help you choose gracious, caring words to bring comfort to someone else's soul today.

1 comment:

Liz said...

Even though I have been through what you have just experienced, I still have a hard time trying to find the "right" words to say. What might be encouraging to one person is offensive to another and I desperately do not want to offend. So please know that I continue to pray for your healing and that I am glad you have a wonderful mother who takes your feelings seriously and takes precious time to encourage you from the other side of the world.