The Lord has really laid it upon my heart to start blogging again. Truthfully, I have fought Him every step of the way because social media is just so much easier and accessible. I have been praying for some time for God to use me and grow our ministry, and blogging and writing keep coming up. So what better post to start with than one on National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day!
When I sit and really reflect upon this season we are in, I am so thankful for the life of Faith and how God grew us to be where we are today. I would not be who I am if I had never had the chance to be her mommy. In a time such as this in our country, we see more and more people jumping on the abortion bandwagon. I think it has never been more important in our lifetime to celebrate life...no matter how short it may be.
May 19, 2011 is a day that will live forever in our hearts. It was the day that Faith Mackenzie Vaughn was born into our arms and 42 minutes later, she entered the gates of heaven. Those 9 months and 42 minutes molded us in ways that we could have never dreamed. In the five and a half years since she was born, so much life has happened. You know the story...we wrote a book. I graduated college. We moved far away from home to serve Jesus Christ in full time ministry. All of those things are so scary and overwhelming, but we knew we could trust Jesus in these things because He gave us courage through the life of our daughter.
In remembering her, I also remember all of the parents who have lost a child. Whether in an early pregnancy or years into their lives, losing a child is the most devastating thing I could ever imagine. While the world moves on about their everyday lives, we sit and wonder how we will make it through the next day, hour or minute. We never forget our children who have impacted us so much. And guess what? Jesus never forgets either! He created each of them in His image, and loves them so much more than we ever could. During Faith's pregnancy and birth, we clung to the verse in Jeremiah 29:11 that says "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future." God had great plans for your child from the time the world was spoken into existence. Their hope and future is in heaven, as is ours if we belong to Him. As Rob and I clung to that verse for her, we also came to realize that promise was for each of us too. We could either withdraw from the world and try to make sense of what happened, or we could trust in God's plans for Faith and for each of us. There were many days we did both! It wasn't easy, and there are still days that are hard. We continue to watch His plans for us unfold every day as we serve to spread the Gospel here in WV. None of this would have been possible if we hadn't learned to trust Jesus with our greatest treasures...our own lives and the life of our child.
Moms and Dad who are grieving the loss of your precious little one...we remember each of you as you navigate life with a huge hole in your heart. The Bible is full of the promises from our Heavenly Father. Psalms 34:18 says "The Lord is nigh to them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." And one of my absolute favorites in a time of grief is James 4:8- "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you." Cling to the Lord and He will carry you through these uncertain waters. Our prayer is that you have the hope of Jesus Christ and eternal life through salvation in Him. I know I will see Faith again, because Jesus paid the price on the cross at Calvary. He made a way for me and you to have eternal life with Him in heaven, along with our sweet children.
If you or someone you know is experiencing the grief of losing a child, I would like to share our story with you. You can purchase our book, Our Faith Renewed, here. If you are local to the WV area, I have some on-hand and can ship directly to you. Our story is one of love, life, grief, marriage struggles, and redemption. God has been so incredibly good to us and we want you to have the same hope we do...in Jesus!