I wanted to feel her pain…

Hannah holding Audrey Rose

Recently I had a close friend experience great loss, and all the grief that comes with it. My friend had lost her baby girl at 24 weeks pregnant. Such a tragedy! Her loss affected me deeper than any other loss I had witnessed or had experienced first-hand. I was pregnant too, and just 4 weeks ahead of her. So blame it on pregnancy hormones if you want, but I feel like there was something bigger and deeper happening in my heart.

I had made it a habit, subconsciously, to turn my eyes from tragedy or someone else’s problems. It can be awkward, what do I say? What do I do? It is easier to just stay silent, and go about my day. It is very easy to justify that someone will do or say the right thing. Sure I send my condolences, send a meal, pray, etc, but what about the days to come when tragedy’s pain is still there? Do I continue to reach out or be a shoulder to cry on? Or do I let it become “yesterday’s news”?

All too often, I go home, and push other’s tragedy away. I shut the door behind me, and as evening sets in I settle into my nice, quiet, and cozy home. I let myself forget about others problems. Whether it be a friend in a situation like this or the homeless man sitting on the side of the street, the child neglected around the corner, the wounded soldier sitting on a hospital bed, or the wife and kids sitting at home longing for their husband/daddy to come home.

Watching my friend go through such great pain opened my eyes to so many things that I needed to change. I would find myself crying, at random, days and weeks on end. I could be cooking, cleaning, or knitting and the tears would flow. I would go to bed and cry for her; I wanted to call her at that moment, hug her, go throw something with her, scream with her. Whatever she needed I wanted to do it with her…I wanted to feel her pain! I couldn’t look away. I didn’t want to look away! “Why?”, I asked myself. Why suddenly did I passionately want to feel someone else’s pain? I began to realize that when you truly love someone and care for them deeply you will do anything for them even if it means getting down in the dirt and the pain of it all.

This very personal revelation further beckoned me. I began to ask myself, “do I love my heavenly Father like that”?

Whoa! A huge reality check for me! I had always thought to “fellowship with Christ in His suffering” was an obligation, and quite honestly I would try to avoid it. On the contrary, it isn’t an obligation it’s a privilege that I can be that close with Him. If I truly desire closeness with God I will want to fellowship with Him; I will want to feel what he feels…good or bad.

So I am learning to be there and care for those I truly love when tragedy strikes. It can be awkward, but I am willing. And I am also learning to change my mind-set of what it means to fellowship with Christ in His suffering.


4 thoughts on “I wanted to feel her pain…

  1. wow – really love this post! i have to say, I think God was probably putting Hannah on your heart during that time. We lost a baby at 38 weeks…Melissa and Moses and Melissa’s parents all waited with Aaron and I as I labored with him. In a time where we needed our familie’s to take care of David, God brought other ‘family’ to labor with us. Walking through that time was the hardest I have ever faced, but I know without a doubt that God placed the right people all around me to help carry me through. I am sure you were one of those people God placed in Hannah’s life.

  2. I am so sorry to hear about your loss Rachel. Glad to hear you had good support around you. I think we don’t really realize how sufficient God’s grace is until we are faced with a situation that leaves with nothing left to do, but to fall into it. I hope you are doing well…it feels like an eternity since I’ve seen you.

  3. First of all I want to introduce myself. I met your awesome husband at Jumping Tandem retreat last weekend & I find myself wanting to know YOU too. He talked highly of you..especially about your art on etsy.

    Second, this post just grabbed my heart. The picture alone looked so familiar, and then I read and I understand why it hit home. I watched my baby sister lose her baby girl Nyah at 24 weeks. She was so tiny and we held her just like your precious friend is holding her love in the pic.

    My sister was only 17. She and my other younger sister had come to live with my husband and I in their teen years as our Mom was battling mental illness. I found myself mother of teenagers and newborns. And then the pregnancy. And then the diagnosis and pressure from the doc to abort. And then watching my young sister (who feels more like a daughter to me, as I have always been very maternal toward her) bravely keep her baby knowing she would lose her. She gave birth… we watched Nyah take one little struggling breath… and then no more.

    Thank you for writing this. It comforts me to know you get what it is to walk through this very specific pain with one you love. I love how you talk about stepping into others pain. I am now in the cancer world and I’m getting much better at doing just that…funny how sometimes God doesn’t give us the option, huh? And oh how beautiful it is when we choose to be fully present in others pain, fully loving and leaning on our Lord.

    Blessings to you!! I’m off to pin some of your amazing work on etsy, just like I told your sweet husband I would. LOVE THE GROWTH CHART!!!!


    • Thanks for stopping by Amy! I am kind of embarrassed by my blog as I haven’t done much with it lately. 🙂

      I would love to get to know YOU too! Dan meets all these cool people all the time and it leaves me longing for relationships too. I’m grateful for social connections like this and FB.

      I’m sorry to hear about your sisters loss. It is such a tragedy losing a baby. I hope and pray she has found strength in Christ to get through. He is always faithful! You are a gift to your sisters.

      After reading through this again, now 2 years later, I find myself in tears. Although my friend says she doesn’t get sad seeing my Chloe Love, who would be the same age as her Audrey Rose, I still can’t help but think it lingers somewhere deep within her. Just makes me sad AND angry. Our girls were suppose to grow up together like we did.

      Although it’s all so tragic I am grateful for the life lesson(s) I’ve learned.

      I am also grateful to you for supporting my etsy store. I’m very humbled by your kind words and your desire to share my stuff. I wish I had more time to make more things…in time I guess 🙂 the ruler is my best seller; I’m glad you like it 😀

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