QUEBEC - A CALLING TO RECLAIM HOPE
Seeing people go through difficult times can be hard. I wouldn't say I am good at it, but God has been stretching me in this area and about a year ago he opened a door that I never thought I could walk through.
Monday morning I woke up to a phone call, a newborn baby had passed away in the night just after birth. It was the hospital calling me to ask if I would be willing to go photograph the baby and family. About two years ago, someone told me about a need, through an organization called Now I Lay me Down to Sleep. It seemed strange at first on why a hospital would need a photographer, but i pursued the idea and was overwhelmed by this special need and the possibility to serve with them.
This great organization is committed to helping families grieve the lose of their newborn child in a loving and caring way. To do that they provide remembrance photography which provides photos with their newborn who has passed. It is so painful, but there are glimmers of hope knowing that these pictures may, in some way, help the families find healing through their season of grief.
Monday morning, I had planned to spend the day relaxing with my family after a busy weekend, but instead I found myself driving to the hospital and praying. Praying that God would be with me, give me peace and strength, use me in a way I don't have the ability to be used, and that somehow in a broken and difficult situation that His love would be known to this family.
I met the most beautiful baby girl that morning who was now in the arms of Jesus and I met a mother who never got to meet or know her baby girl. As I drove home from the hospital I thought about life, death, grief and pain. I thought about the God that I serve and how He calls us to be the church to those who are hurting. As Dom and I begin this journey of planting a church, this to me is one of the core values of being the Church. The verse Romans 12:15 came to me as I was driving home from the hospital "Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep." I'm learning what it means to walk with others during their time of weeping.
I consider it such an honor to be with these moms and dads in their vulnerable time and knowing that God is using my gifts to help them grieve. I found myself reminding a hurting new mom that it's okay to cry and not to smile while I took photos of her with her baby. I knew that when she looked at these photos it would be a reminder of her holding her baby, mourning and weeping as her arms tightly held her precious baby. I wanted the photos to remind her of the few short hours she was able to hold her baby before her arms were empty. I wanted the photos to remind her of all the little details she may forget over the years. The little nose, the dark curly hair, tiny fingers holding her mothers finger and the ten little toes. Although I have never experienced this, to me that would be one of the greatest gifts I could receive as I walked through the grieving.
What does it mean to walk alongside of those that are grieving and hurting? It is using your gifts and talents to selflessly serve others without reward to show them God's love, grace, and peace. I Peter 4:10 says "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.
I look forward to serving along side wonderful people in Laval, Quebec to serve those in our new community. I pray we become the church that is known for their love of others and care for those who are hurting. That together we become the church that people experience God's love for them in a way they have never experienced before and that healing and love would overflow to our communities.