Our daughter, Hannah, and her husband, Peter, were expecting their first baby on September 15. After 36 weeks and 4 days of a very healthy pregnancy, on August 23, their beautiful daughter, Charlotte Raye Aman, was born into heaven. Life changed.
Charlotte is our first granddaughter and she is teaching Craig and me much about grief and the faithfulness of God. These are just a few of the things we have learned so far.
1. God is always working. We witnessed His faithful provision within minutes of getting the shocking phone call and throughout the week following her birth. Someone once taught me to be on the lookout for God at work in your life. As we looked for Him, He made Himself clearly known to our kids and to us. He was so kind and so good.
2. God’s grace is sufficient. We were rendered utterly clueless. How do we as parents comfort our children in the midst of this heart wrenching pain and loss? We knew we could not fix it, therefore, we wondered what were we to do? And so we prayed, “Less of me, more of you. You are sufficient. Your love, your grace, your comfort is sufficient.” Freedom came. We rested in His sufficiency. We found joy in serving our kids and other family members. We were grateful for the times God made the needs of our kids clear, and any time anxiety arose in the uncertainty of it all, we prayed, “Less of me, more of you.” And peace came. He was abundantly sufficient.
3. God’s Word is powerful and life-giving. I recall learning many years ago; read, study and meditate on God’s Word when things are going well so that when things fall apart you will have truth to stand on. I witnessed Hannah speaking God’s Word into her baby girl as she cradled her soon after delivery. Hannah knew the Truth and she was passing it on to her precious child. Hannah was standing on God’s Word when her life was falling apart. It was powerful and life-giving for those of us who witnessed those moments.
4. God is the God of all comfort. Our family is thankful for the comfort we have received from the Lord. He has used many of you to comfort us through visits, loving cards, hugs, caring words, meals, phone calls, emails, and text messages. He has comforted us through His Word and daily devotions that have been right on target. God is with us and His Presence is comforting.
5. God is Hope. We are confident that Hannah and Peter will be reunited with their precious baby girl again for all of eternity. That hope has been a secure and firm anchor for our souls. We are excited about that reality. We grieve with hope!
God is in control. We know God could have spared Hannah and Peter this heart-breaking loss. We wrestle because we do not understand His ways. However, we know that God is in control, so we can safely say that He has this too. We believe that Charlotte’s death is a product of our fallen world. We will all die. So for now, with our limited understanding, it is reassuring to know that our Living God has everything in His control. It is also helpful to look back and see clearly that His Sovereign hand has always held us securely in His grip.
Affectionately, from my mother’s broken heart, Steff
PS Hannah and Peter found this letter to be very helpful. So do I. http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/letter-to-a- parent-grieving- the- loss- of- a –child.
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
I Thessalonians 4:13-18