Monday, March 1, 2010

Positivity from Pain

Kristi and Katy at Butterfly Mommies have posed this question...

"What positive things have come from the loss of your baby?"

For me, I knew from the beginning that God would make beauty from these ashes.  He had to.  It was the only way for me to make sense of Shyla's death.  Before I left the hospital, I had already heard stories of how Shyla's life and God's faithfulness to me had touched people.  His grace was overwhelming.  Woman after woman came to visit me in the hospital and shared their stories of loss.  Eight months before mine, eighteen years before mine, thirty years before...

These women told their stories like I tell mine.  With love and conviction.  But one thing surpised me.  How many of these women I had known for many years and I had never known of their loss(es). 

I knew I had to give this kind of grief a voice.  My first opportunity was to speak at a banquet for our local Pregnancy HELP (Holding Each Life Precious) Center in November.  While planning Shyla's service, we had asked in leui of flowers, donations be made to the HELP Center.  Just three weeks after our loss, my family took these donations to the center.  It was beautiful to see all of these baby items all stacked up.  All in memory of her.  All for the use of other mommies and babies.  Sweet.  Bittersweet.  But Beautiful!


I had the opportunity to share her story and to raise awareness for Pregnancy and Infant Loss infront of the 250+ people in attendance.  I spoke of God's grace and how he comforted us in the days and weeks since our loss.  I spoke of how every life is precious and not to take one day with your children for granted.

Immediately following the banquet I had women to begin sharing of their loss.  God moved my heart by thier willingness to share.

I felt led to make care packages for mommies who may walk through a similar loss and the first "batch" was delivered to the hospital on the day I was scheduled to deliver Shyla.

At Christmas time, we sent a letter to our family and friends and asked them to do a random act of kindness in memory of Shyla.  We had such a wonderful response.  Reading all of the kindness done in honor of our daughter was a beautiful way to begin our Christmas morning!  (You can read these acts by clicking on "Shyla's Stocking" in the left sidebar under the "labels" tab).

Recently, I have been asked to work with a group of ladies in coordination with the March of Dimes to help bereaved parents and support parents with babies spending time in NICU.  They are such a wonderful group of ladies.  They have decided it would be nice if the group could help with the care packages.  Several things have already been donated for the packages and lists are circulating the area to get more donations.  I was overwhelmed.

I also have been blessed to be asked if we would be the March of Dimes Ambassador Family for a tri-county area this year.  I had the opportunity to share Shyla's story at the March of Dimes Kick-off and I have been asked to share again this coming week at the Regional Hospital to kick-off the internal fundraising for their March for Babies Team.

It is wonderful to be asked to share her story and raise awareness.

Maybe someday, no parent will have to go through what so many of us have.

God has become more than just a friend to me through all of this.  That is probably the most beautiful thing yet.  From my pain He has never left me.  When I feel angry or hurt or blessed, He is there.  While I may never have all the answers, I know the One who does.  And until I see my baby girl again and am in His presence, I will keep speaking the sweet name of my child and the of the awesome love and grace of my Lord.


5 comments:

Karen said...

This was a beautiful post of God's faithfulness and how He is moving, even when sometimes we don't feel like He is.
Thank you for sharing...it blessed me today=)...
Blessings...

Marie W said...

Such a wonderful post. I asked the Lord after losing Alyssa-Joy, please let something positive come from my loss. He has done so million times over. He has also done the same to you. What a mighty God we serve! I am so glad that you are able to share Shyla Joy and treasure her memory by helping others. You may not be aware of the extent, but you and Shyla Joy have made a huge impact on many. May the Lord continue to bless you my friend.

Kristie said...

Hi Mattie, this is the first time that I've looked at your blog, it's BEAUTIFUL! (why does it make me want to hug somebody?) I love it! And the opportunities you have to share Shyla's story is amazing!

Jessica said...

This is such a beautiful post. It is so great to see God's grace as a result of loss. Thank you for sharing. :)

Holly said...

This was beautiful to read. What wonderful things have come from Shyla's life!