Today is a day I hold dear to my heart; it’s the day my precious daughter turns one.
As I plan for her birthday party, smell the cake baking in the oven, blow up colorful balloons, wrap gifts in shiny paper, a tear makes its way down my cheek. I thank God for His grace that I am able to celebrate this day, this joyous day.
As I sort through pictures scattered on the living room floor of the year’s past, my heart is overcome. I pull out a picture, buried under a multitude of joyous memories past. This picture, one I had not dared to display, captured a very different memory.
A tiny, not quite three-month old baby, lay with eyes closed on a pediatric sized gurney. Her pale little body against stiff white sheets, tubes and wires covering her in all directions, bright examining light shining down. I go back to those moments, those days. Ten days spent in the pediatric intensive care unit, three of which my husband and I did not expect to walk out of that hospital with our baby. Three days of no hope. I have burnt in my mind the memory of the doctor looking into our eyes as he said “I’m so sorry, there’s nothing we can do.”
I know I am supposed to be writing about bravery. You’re probably expecting me to tell you what I did to cope in that situation, the strength that I had, the will that I had to never give up. Honestly, I was anything but brave, anything but strong, and in my heart, I had given up all hope as we prepared to say goodbye to our three month old daughter.
The nurse quietly asked if I wanted to hold her. I quickly nodded as the tears continued to fall. I situated myself in the chair beside her bed, nervously rubbing the palms of my hands together as she scooped her limp little body out of the bed. Gently, she placed her in my arms; her pale, limp little body laid motionless as I nestled her close to me. I held her close as I grieved. Gently I stroked the hair across her forehead, distorted through my tears.
It was time for another assessment. I had to let go. The nurse gently took her and laid her once again in the bed, the cold, oversized, empty bed, on stark white sheets. My mind began spinning, I felt like throwing up, as I stared at the examination light shining down on her little body. I began losing my already deprived sanity. I dropped to my knees in the corner of the room, fists clenched tightly as I grabbed fistfuls of my hair and began sobbing. I had hit rock bottom. Everything in me wanted to hold on, wanted so badly to grasp something, anything, and not let go. I had no control over anything, nothing. Physically letting go of my baby cemented that in my mind. From Beyond The Miracle, by Kristen Wald
The truth is, I was not created to face that moment, that trial alone. I was not created to be strong on my own accord. I was not called to be brave by my own strength; and neither are you. During those times, Christ invites us to lean into Him, to give Him our burden.
Cast your cares on The Lord and he will sustain you. He will never let the righteous fall. Psalm 55:22
In the midst of my greatest fears, my greatest sorrow, in those moments that hurt to breathe; in those moments I felt as though I was being pulled under and drowning in the ferocious waves of my storm, I cast my cares upon The Lord.
I surrendered; I let go.
I let go of my desires, I let go of my dreams.
I surrendered the very thing in this world that was more precious to me than life itself; my child.
And as I let go, Abba Father took hold.
He took hold of me.
I felt the darkness disappear; I felt the burden I had been carrying lifted off my shoulders. I could breathe again. I knew in that moment of surrender, it was none other than God Himself who gathered me in the folds of His garments and carried me through the valley of the shadow of death. The peace of sweet release, the burden of holding on to that which I had no control was lifted. I felt indescribable peace; I knew that regardless of where my child was, rather in my arms, or in the eternal arms of Jesus, that she was held by the Good Shepherd. I held on to the promise of God’s faithfulness and His love; His love for me, and the richness of His love for the little children, for my child. My heart was still breaking, not wanting to say goodbye, but willing to let go. From Beyond The Miracle, by Kristen Wald
We all face storms in our lives, moments when it hurts to breathe. Moments when we wonder how we will survive the trial. But our God is faithful, He is indescribably vast, and He is able.
I challenge you to be brave, but be brave in The Lord. Be brave as you surrender and lean on His rich promises!
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Isaiah 40:28-29
Kristen Wald is a wife and mother of two beautiful girls. She is a helpmate to her hard working husband and homemaker for their family. Although as a child, she grew up in church, in a loving Christian family, it has only been throughout the past couple of years that she has begun to taste the fullness of life in Christ. She has a passion for writing and a love for music. Above all else, she feels the urgency to instill the word of God into the tender hearts and minds of her children and to share the story of God’s grace bestowed upon her with everyone she meets. Please visit her Facebook page: Beautiful Life Ministries for more info. about Kristen.