They wanted to gather and publish stories from other child loss survivors in hopes of encouraging hearts and strengthening the faith of parents facing the unimaginable.
I don’t mind saying that in spite of all I’ve written in this space for the past seven (!) years, it was challenging to distill my thoughts about that night, the days that followed and my own faith journey since into a single chapter.
But I, and a dozen other parents, did just that.
In our own words we tell our stories. We share our struggles and our triumphs. We write honestly about how our faith was challenged and how it carried us through.
Every chapter was written by a parent who has a child (or children) in Heaven. Several chapters were written by dearly loved and greatly admired friends.
One chapter is mine in which I share Dominic’s story.
It was a long process but I’m happy to report that the book is now available on Amazon!
Eleven different chapters full of heartache, hope and help written BY bereaved parents FOR bereaved parents (and those who love them).
Until Then: Stories of Loss and Hope would be a blessing to any bereaved parent, to friends and family of bereaved parents (to help them understand the journey) and also to ministry leaders who will, at one time or another, be in a position to shepherd and counsel bereaved parents.
This is a labor of love.
All proceeds above production costs go to ministry to bereaved parents, not the authors.
Consider purchasing a copy or two for yourself or as a gift.
I realize I’m venturing into fuzzy theological territory here but I truly believe that somehow, some way the hard things, the traumatic trials, the heartbreaking tragedies of our lives will be represented in Heaven.
But just like Jesus’ glorified but still scarred hands, they will no longer be ugly, misshapen reminders of pain and defeat; they will be beautiful, glorious testimonies to God’s amazing grace and enduring love.
They will shout “Victory!” over every single thing the enemy thought would defeat us and destroy our faith.
Sometimes people ask, “How can you cling to Jesus when He could have saved your son, but didn’t?”
I give the same answer Peter gave, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
When I was asked a few years ago to speak to a group of hospice care workers, I titled the presentation “Lifting the Veil on Grief”.
One of the topics I covered was how experiencing the death of a loved one-especially out-of-order or untimely death- can cause even the staunchest believer to doubt.
And the first thing I said was, “Doubt in the face of overwhelming sorrow and hard circumstances is absolutely normal. But doubt is NOT disbelief.”
So often friends, family, clergy, social workers and others want to steer hearts away from doubt because they are afraid that entertaining questions or expressing disappointment in God will always lead to someone losing faith.
I remember vividly the first time I read through the passage in Exodus 12 describing God’s instructions to the Israelites for the initial Passover.
The Lord impressed on my spirit that while the blood was necessary (sacrifice had to be made) it was obedience of each person to place themselves under that blood that saved them from the death angel.
They were spared because they believed and acted according to that belief, trusting God to do what He said He would do.
It’s the same with the blood of Christ-He is the sufficient Sacrifice and the full payment for sin.
For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
1 Peter 1:18-19
It can be hard to believe that over the long years life may include. It can be difficult to refrain from adding something else to the abundant gift of peace and victory over death Jesus offers.
His easy yoke and light burden are often weighed down by earthly desires and worries I’m not made to carry.
This whole season has been about laying things aside-attitudes, habits, incorrect theology.
Today’s fast is about taming desire and choosing simplicity (in some form or fashion). Try not to buy anything today (or even shop for something).
Jesus is enough. His shed blood was sufficient for our salvation. Adding to Him only distracts us….Jesus’ yoke is easy and His burden is light. (Matthew 11:29-30). Our additions are not.
Alicia Britt Chole
Try not to add anything to the perfect grace and mercy of our Lord.
Receive the fullnessof a life lived like the sparrows-justtoday, only today.
The precious flow began before, not on, the cross. Jesus’ blood was shed at every point of rejection. Through fists and staffs and whips, Jesus’ blood fell in Caiaphas’s house and Pilate’s palace and every point in between.
Alicia Britt Chole
**As promised, I am sharing thoughts on 40 DAYS OF DECREASE (a Lenten journal/devotional). If you choose to get and use the book yourself, I’ll be a day behind in sharing so as not to influence anyone else’s experience.**