That We May Be Able To Comfort Others
God gave me a unique opportunity yesterday to pour my own grief and experiences into an hour or so of ministering to a dear, sweet friend. For me it was a profound experience and I am so thankful the Lord was able to use me in this small way.
This sweet friend of mine delivered her full-term, beautiful baby boy stillborn yesterday. It is a story I have heard many times in my support group, but one I can never fully grasp or understand, and one I certainly didn't expect to happen to someone I knew. My heart broke for her when I received the news and I spent the next hour or two weeping and crying, pouring my heart out to God, begging Him to give this sweet couple the grace they would need, and knowing that I’ll never fully understand what they are going through.
I instantly thought of the stories I have listened to and tried to think of what would be important for this couple in the days and months ahead. I know everyone is different, but I wanted to be sure that their little boy had a chance to wear his own clothes and be swaddled in his own blanket. I sent messages to family and friends and then continued to pray.
In the evening I received a call from my mother-in-law. Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep was unable to send a photographer until the following morning, and that was just too late. My father-in-law is a photographer and offered to go take photos right away. He asked me to come with him, to help him with the photo shoot. I didn’t even have to think about it. Of course I would go.
He was the cutest baby boy. So perfect looking. Another friend was there and we were able to get this sweet baby ready for some beautiful photos. We handled him lovingly and with great care and all I wanted to do the whole time was to treat him the way he deserved, in a way that would somehow minister to his mama. I made sure that my father-in-law remembered to shoot all the tiny little details. He took great care in capturing every angle, every moment that this mommy and daddy spent with their son, kissing him and stroking him. It was such a sad moment, and yet such a beautiful one.
A year ago I never could have imagined being in this position. A year ago, I’m not sure I would have been able to go. But God has led me on a path towards this day and this moment. He told me that I was meant to comfort others with the comfort He has given me. He told me not to waste my own suffering, but to pour it into something better - a better blessing. I don’t know if I was able to be much of a blessing to this sweet couple or not, but I do know that these photos will be a treasure to them, that they will cherish these memories of their beautiful son. And I’m so grateful that God led me to be a part of that - even while I felt so unequipped and unworthy to be there in those sacred moments.
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."2 Corinthians 1:3-4