Monday, June 5, 2017

Grace

Some posts are more difficult to write than others. This one took me over eight years to write. I was torn between keeping something so intimate and personal to ourselves and feeling moved to share our story in hopes it may help even one other person who may stumble upon or be drawn to read it. Eventually, I chose the latter. And so...here is the story of our Grace.

Nine years ago, I was a young mother, blessed beyond measure with three healthy, beautiful babies. While none of our pregnancies came easily, I held on to the hope of having just one more. It wasn't happening, and Steve and I were just beginning to think about possible adoption, when one day after picking the kids up from school, I began to feel tremendous pain. Steve eventually talked me into going to my doctor, who immediately admitted me to the hospital. At this time, our children were eleven, seven, and five. My sister and mother came to stay with the kids while Steve waited with me at the hospital. Finally, with the help of medication, my pain subsided, and my doctor came in to tell us that I was pregnant! It was very early on, and he had some concerns. I will always remember how he sat down and spoke with me, as opposed to at me, and explained that he was a doctor, not God, and only God knew what would happen to this new little soul.

Later that evening, after Steve had left to go home to our little ones, I prayed until I fell asleep. I had a dream that night, a dream that this baby was a little girl, and when I awoke, I decided to call her Grace. Steve arrived, and while we talked, he told me that he felt too the baby was a girl, and so she became our little Grace. I was discharged after a few days, and while my HCG levels were not rising, I held out hope. My doctor discharged me with strict instructions to rest, and told me to call him when the bleeding started. It didn't hit me until I was home. He said when... not if...the bleeding started.

Steve and I decided then we would not share the news of this baby with our children. I realize this is not a decision everyone would make. For us, it was the right one. Our children wanted a baby as badly as we did. They prayed for a new baby all the time. We just couldn't explain this situation to them when it was so raw to us. And they were still so young.

Eventually I did in fact experience the heart wrenching ache of losing a baby. I experienced a miscarriage, and spent the following week having my blood tested to watch the HCG levels diminish. It was the most emotionally, physically, and mentally difficult period of my life. But my faith carried me through that dark time. And God let me know that our Grace was with Him, and we would be reunited with her someday.

I will never forget the ways that our sweet Grace reached across eternity to let us know she was happy and safe and at home with God. The first time it happened was shortly after our loss. I was giving Rhett a bath, and suddenly he looked right at me. Out of the clear blue, he said, "Mom...I gave my guardian angel a name. I named her Grace." I will never forget the feeling of our baby letting me know that she would always be with us. I literally felt her. I knew. I just knew.

A few weeks later, Steve and I went to the gift shop at the convent here in town. We were looking for something that would keep our little Grace near to us and a part of our family as well. The sweet little nun helped us pick out the perfect piece, and as we were leaving she smiled and told us that God would bless us again very soon. I felt a sense of peace come over me when she spoke those words, and I clung to them during the difficult months that followed.

Later that year, on the day our little Grace was due to be born, Steve took me out for the day. We went to lunch at Red Lobster, and yet again I experienced the goodness of God. After we were seated, our waitress made her way over to our table. She was so happy, and approached our table smiling. Before she said a word, I knew. I just knew. She smiled again and said hello. Her name? Grace.

Finally, when we arrived home that day, the day our baby was due to be born, I saw that we had received a letter from our friend Father Leon. On the back of the envelope, he had placed a sticker. The sticker was of a young girl with long brown hair. She had angel wings. I knew once more. It was my Grace.

I am so thankful for those messages from God. Although this is a very personal part of our lives, I share it to give anyone who is in the same situation hope and peace...hope for the future and peace in knowing that God hears all prayers, and answers them in His own way, in His own time.

A year and a half or so  after we lost our Grace and were comforted by a sweet nun in her gift shop, we welcomed our surprise blessing...our Flynn. Flynn Grace. I am convinced that our precious Flynn was sent here for us by not only God, but also by her sister Grace, as a sign that God does indeed hear all prayers. Our family is proof of that.

Our blessings...

Including our little Grace...

And the sign that touched my heart and let me know that our Grace was happy in Heaven.







21 comments:

  1. What a gift to set your heart at rest and its so beautiful that you named Flynn's middle name Grace. Love to you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a moving story and tribute to your sweet Grace. God always shows up when we need Him most.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for sharing your sometimes painful, but always sweet event with Grace. I am sure Flynn Grace makes you happy every single minute. God bless and keep you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for sharing your Grace with us! How wonderful to have signs from above. What comfort you must feel, and to know that she and your dad have met and are spending time together.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh my goodness, I love the signs from God and baby Grace! They gave me chills and of course, tears. :) Thank you for sharing this with us today. Yes, He is good all the time and His timing is perfect. (((((((Hugs)))))))

    ReplyDelete
  6. So moving, it left me feeling overwhelmed but at peace. I have been blessed with three beautiful daughters, seven if they had all lived and think of them daily.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am sooo proud of you for posting this, momma, and wording it so perfectly. <3 I love you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Billie Jo, thank you for sharing your experience of God's Grace with us. God bless you, my friend. ♥

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh the tears are flowing. This is so beautiful my dear Friend. Thank you for sharing. I completely know that God's mercy was shining down on you and allowing all of those moments and messages from your beautiful Grace to wing straight to your heart.
    Sending you many hugs and blessings Billie Jo! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh what a sweet story. Isn't it just like our Heavenly Father to remind us of His love in ways only He could? What a wonderful reunion you will have one day!

    ReplyDelete
  11. OH my goodness Billie Jo. This is the most beautiful post ever. I am so very sorry for your loss and am so glad that God whispered in your ear time and time again that your baby Grace was a gift from Him. All too brief and with so much ache but still a blessing. One day, when you see your daddy again, you'll hold that sweet baby. And Flynn? She is a gift from God and from your Grace.

    Thank you for opening your heart. I pray it blesses someone that has had such pain.

    xoxoxo tara

    ReplyDelete
  12. Billie Jo, what a touching post. I love how God reassures us in ways that we can not even imagine that He would. How joyful it will be to reunite with your baby Grace one day! God bless you and your family!

    ReplyDelete
  13. God bless you for sharing your beautiful story. It is a wonderful reminder of God's loving care for us all, if only we open our eyes and hearts.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I know this was very personal and not easy to share but thank you for sharing this testimony. What a wonderful Hand of Grace God has given to us all. Bless you my sweet friend.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh Billie Jo,, this is probably my favorite post of yours. Grace is such a beautiful testimony to your deep faith and love. Just reading it brings me renewed hope of the joy that awaits my husband and I when we meet our babies that we have miscarried. Thank you Billie Jo for your witness to life! St. Grace, pray for us!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you my friend for sharing your story. I am so very sorry that you had to go through such grief. I am comforted in the ways God has let you know that your little Grace is with him in heaven. The signs are all around us. We just have to look for them with our hearts. The waitress named Grace really go to me. That is truly amazing. ♥♥♥

    ReplyDelete
  17. {{{Billie Jo}}}} sending you lots of hugs and love...thank you for sharing, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Thank YOU for sharing your sweet story that I am sure will comfort someone else in their walk! Blessings, Roxy

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh my dear. God bless you and your mama heart. These little ones are never (ever) forgotten; instead, they are in heaven praying for us. Your special post, I am sure, has helped someone else, who quite possibly just miscarried themselves. Grace continues to work through you :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for saying hello!

I will answer any questions you may have through email, so if you would rather not do it that way, please let me know. I'll answer here. Just remember to check back for a reply!

Billie Jo