The Gift That Grief Gave

“My Baby… My Baby… Darra is my Baby…” That’s what my mommy sang to me when she held me in her arms… I think any good mom has “that kind of moment” and “that thing” they do and share with their little ones that forge the memory of their little ones in their minds forever… what a GIFT!

I had lots of those moments with my first child and daughter, Hayley… and in addition to having those moments, I was able to call and share them with my mom. Having been the ultimate, #girlmom of three, when it came to raising a little girl, I KNEW who to call.

It was really different, first pregnant in a pandemic and then unable to share in person all the new pregnancy and #boymom moments with my friend and the greatest example of motherhood I’ve ever seen.

Yet here I am… after the craziest but most beautiful birth story I could’ve asked for… and here he is.. my Caleb. God lovingly and divinely decided to take my mom home before Covid really hit and I’m so glad He did. She didn’t have to suffer with anymore pain or the high risks she would’ve have in this pandemic. Now she gets to do what she loved most, which is worship the Father 24/7. And every time I worship and spend time in the presence of God, I get to be where she is! I get there by using everything she and my dad taught, modeled and poured into me for years, as my first worship leaders and mentors. There another priceless GIFT!

It’s my desire to give that same gift to my children. Talking to my dad recently he shared with me a quote he heard from the President-elect, Joe Biden:

” The day will come when the memory of the person you lost brings a smile to your lip before a tear to your eye — that’s when you know you’re going to make it.”

I’m grateful to say I have smiles. The thought of “regifting” the knowledge of how to get into His Presence makes me smile. The memory of overhearing my mom in prayer and worship, alone in her room with the door closed makes me smile. The memory of her on the altar at church bowed before God and leading others makes me smile. I could go on and on… I still have the tears, even a year later, especially when I lay my baby boy down and the house is quiet and all the hustle of wife-life and mommyhood is still again. I’m learning I can’t get so busy that I forget to remember and embrace those moments, those memories.. OR ELSE… you talking about an UGLY CRY! It’s so much more draining when I let it pile up.

But whether with soft tears, ugly cries, the occasional sob or the deep weep, I have a smile that can soon follow, maybe even a chuckle or belly laugh and I always a solid assurance and joy from KNOWING I will see her again! Hallelujah!

My mom ministering on Mother’s Day 2019. She reminded women to take care of themselves in her sermon: “The Exceptional You” at Fellowship of Prayer International (Atlanta, GA)

So many have transitioned this year for one reason or another… you may be reading this and in the process of grief yourself… months in, one year, ten or thirty years… Rolling into holidays and “firsts without”, I can’t say for sure or agree that it gets “easier”. It just “gets”. It’s a process, so you’re always in it, a process that keeps going… you just learn how to navigate the new normal, the new reality. You never forget. You choose to accept that your newfound reality is better than whatever alternative that loved one would’ve had to face. That’s where I am, and I pray the same grace would rest on you, even as you read this. I leave you with this:

In John 14:27, (ESV) Jesus said “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

So go in peace. Do not be troubled. Do not live in fear.