By: Jennifer Murray

Mourning with Those Who Mourn

romans 1212 be joyful in hope patient in affliction faithful in prayer

It’s been a full week, and there are several things on my heart that I would love to blog about, but this one is the heaviest. It’s not easy to write, it’s not easy to communicate, and it’s certainly not easy to live out.

As a mom of quadruplets, I’ve come in contact and gotten to know lots of other moms of multiples, and others enduring high-risk pregnancies.  The internet has enabled so many of us to find one another, connect, and share the joys and challenges of parenting. In the same manner, it hits us incredibly hard when a fellow mama has to say goodbye to baby born too soon. It consumes our hearts when she has to say goodbye to another sweet girl just days later.

Suffering is a guarantee in this world. Each of us will continue to encounter grief, death, and unexplainable sorrow.  It’s too difficult to comprehend, however it’s a reality of this life.

“The fact of suffering undoubtedly constitutes the single greatest challenge to the Christian faith, and has been in every generation.” –John Stott

God uses such sorrowful tragedy to show Himself faithful to us. He is the only one who can cover us with His sufficiency in a time of weakness.  It points us heavenward and causes us to cling to the cross, yet leaves us with questions that cannot be answered.

Brad and I grieved the loss of our friends’ baby just a few weeks ago. Tears flooded our eyes, as we waited to hug our friends in front of the casket of their tiny yet perfect son. Brad turned to me and asked that all familiar question that accompanies loss. “Why?”

Why them? Why were we allowed to bring home four babies, when our friends have waited so long to hold just one?

He gives.

He takes away.

Yet we are to bless His name and His design.

“As long as I live I may never understand why we had to say goodbye to two babies. What I do know is that He sustains. He is still on the throne. And, He loves me more than I will ever have the ability to fathom.”  – Mare

In satisfaction and in suffering, regardless of our circumstances, our confidence should be on Christ and His glory.

“Do we find God useful for our circumstances or do we find Him glorious regardless of circumstances?” – David Platt

But what can we do when those around us are suffering?  We can grieve with them. We can pray. We can mourn. We can have hope.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:12-14

Will you take a moment to pray for our friends who are in the midst of this struggle? I’m sure you are facing your own battles and grief, and you are welcome to share those in the comment section so that we can pray for you also.

Praying that you find hope, strength, and courage in the midst of trials, Friends!

*Since this post, I’ve learned that Mare’s third baby has passed away. Please continue to pray for this family and for little Olivia as she continues to have a tremendous fight ahead.

21 Responses to “Mourning with Those Who Mourn”

  1. frelle
    April 12, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    I’m so grateful that you took the time to write this out, and give your readers an opportunity to pray for your friends. Thank you for giving a window into your faith and your perspective. You are blessed. And no one knows the deep and unsearchable reasons for God to give and take as he does. But your words help. I know they do.
    frelle recently posted.. Need

  2. Teri Lynne Underwood
    April 12, 2012 at 11:52 am #

    Oh Jenn, praying with you!

  3. Chrissy
    April 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    What a beautiful post and great reminder. Praying along with you.

  4. Rebecca Ishum
    April 12, 2012 at 12:14 pm #

    I’ve been following along with the other quad mom’s story as well. I cry every time I read her posts. You are right. It could have so easily been anyone of us.

    At the same time though, I’m so challenged by her response. Would I have had the same response? The way she is living this situation out is definitely a testimony to those that watch and grieve with her. God is faithful and will use this to further His Kingdom. I just wish I could give her a hug and cry with her for a bit.

    Thanks for your post.
    Rebecca Ishum recently posted.. "Mama!" *pitter, patter*

  5. Stacey
    April 12, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    Jenn, I know exactly how you feel. It’s a bittersweet guilt- having my own healthy foursome (plus one) and not understanding why me, and why not them? Why were we so “lucky”, and they must endure their worlds crushing around them.

    The only peace I have found out it in the past 7 years is believing (and knowing) that my kiddos are destined for some wonderful, amazing things, and they are going to bless the lives of others more than they have already blessed mine. They are a gift.

    My heart breaks with every family I work with that has had a loss, and I just have no words for them. “I’m sorry” just scratches the surface.

    Hugs for you, and those that are struggling. I totally get it. :)

    Stacey

    • Christy
      April 12, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

      Stacey, I also believe that the parents who suffer these losses are destined for wonderful, amazing things as well. Already, they have blessed our lives by sharing the strength they draw from God in their time of suffering.

      I have been privileged to meet some amazing people whose lives were transformed by an episode of tremendous sorrow. And they went on to bless the lives of others because of the path God set them on the day they suffered their loss.

      His hand in everything.

      Christy

  6. Katie
    April 12, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    It is so hard, isn’t it? I pray with you.

    I have a friend who lost her 6 year old daughter on Saturday morning to brain cancer. Seems so hard to fathom, with 3 healthy kids of my own, how in 14 months she could be diagnosed and gone…

    I feel like all I can do is to keep praying.
    Katie recently posted.. Roasted Peeps (aka My Husband is a Genius)

  7. Rachel Marsh
    April 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    I too have experienced this kind of loss. It’s so hard to understand.

    Encourage you friends to find acceptance, not answers. That’s not to say from time to time you won’t find a tiny bit of a reason.

    I do…but, you have to have acceptance to find them. Our precious daughter Eleanna was born and went directly to heaven July 16, 2011. That same day a family in the room next to me said goodbye to their daughter Ayla. Today I consider Ayla’s parents some of my closest friends. Because of that bond and have them just understand has to be part of the reason that this happens… To help the next one with a loss. Now that being said you cannot embrace this if you haven’t accepted God’s love for you is greater than your pain.

    Babies should not die…but, they do. And it seems that those who have experienced that kind of loss are here to help others who have had the same kind of loss. Does it seem like enough of a reason…no, but I’m sure there are more I just haven’t found them yet.

    As you also said hope is a big part of this as well. With out Hope I would not be 26 week pregnant with twin boys after loosing Eleanna. It was hope that after 5 years of infertility I knew I would be a mother to living children… I just needed to keep working at the steps (IVF) one more time…

    Your friends will be in my prayers.

  8. Genevieve @ Turquoise Gates
    April 12, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    I lost a “miracle” baby at 14 weeks, and it was devastating to me. Holding your friends close with tears and prayers today. Thank you for writing so we can share in the mourning and uplift your friends in prayer.
    Genevieve @ Turquoise Gates recently posted.. Letters to Aaron: a rose by any other name…

  9. Brittni Mason
    April 12, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    Jen,

    Thank you so much for your thoughts and request for prayers. My heart breaks to not have my baby with me, but I’m honored that God chose me to carry Maxwell. God has chosen us to represent him during our storm. I believe God will use Max’s life, although short, to further his kingdom. Because of Maxwell’s passing, I have been humbled to see God working in the lives of friends and loved ones that I have specifically been praying a long time for. Baby Maxwell reached his purpose to draw others towards Christ in a very short time. God works in mysterious ways that we are not created to understand but I do know the Lord is faithful to all he has promised. Sometimes there is a misunderstanding that when we live life in Christ everyday will be rainbows and sunshine. God never promised an earthly life free of problems, but how wonderful that he promises a perfect life in Heaven if we live for him. Just because a prayer didn’t get answered the way we wanted doesn’t mean that he is not there. I can tell you, he has given me an overwhelming amount of strength through this storm. I have seen and felt him working in our life. I pray for others, who have also walked through this storm, that they too will feel God’s strength and find peace and joy in the promise that one day, if we live for Christ, we will get to see our loved ones again.

  10. Emily
    April 12, 2012 at 10:04 pm #

    Praying for your friends as they grieve. Come, Lord Jesus.

  11. Stacey Holsey
    April 13, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    As my heart breaks for this family and we will add them to our prayers I ask that you also add Heather and Cole to your prayers. They suffered a loss early in a pregnancy to be followed by a pregnancy that also ended in loss at 23.5 weeks. They are encouraged by the future that God holds for them.

    Jen you are such an amazing person in so many ways!

    Love and prayers to your friend…

  12. Crystal
    April 13, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    I know exactly what you mean and have been through this before with several friends’ babies. I’ve also blogged about it (http://crystalkupper.blogspot.com/2010/10/what-it-means-to-be-held.html as well as others — it seems to happen to me a lot, and I’m not even a multiples mom) and also wondered why. God is so faithful to answer that question, even when it doesn’t make immediate sense. Praying with you, friend.

  13. Cyndi Spivey
    April 13, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    Jenn I know you well enough to know you have cried many tears for this family and prayed many prayers. They are blessed to have you as a friend!
    Praying for this family,
    Cyndi
    Cyndi Spivey recently posted.. Fashion Friday

  14. Liz
    April 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    Jen,
    You have such a wonderful way with words. It is hard to believe the hurt that we feel for others when they experience a loss like this. When we lost our twins at 20 weeks, my faith seemed to grow stronger than it had ever been. His presence in my life at the time, amazed me. He is our mighty God, with the perfect plan for all of us. I don’t think I have ever heard it said better than the quote you used from Mare. I will keep your friends lifted up in prayer as well. I hope to see you soon!

  15. Danielle Smith
    April 13, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    Oh my heart… Prayers and love my friend. Sending all kinds of love their way… Wish I had words to heal…
    Danielle Smith recently posted.. I Believe: The Love Of A Child Can Heal Anything

  16. Carrie
    April 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    dear friends of mine recently lost their son to trisomy 18. we have been blown away by their testimony of faith during such a devastating time. the father recommended this article to me and i thought it would be worth passing on. it is an article called ‘Two Minutes to Eternity,’ and is an incredible perspective. praying for you and your friends and you grieve and for their precious little fighter who is left.

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2011/july-onlineonly/minuteseternity.html?start=1

  17. Amanda
    April 13, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    I have never lost a baby but I have friends who have lost unborn children. It is not fair and we question why all the time.

    My sister recently gave birth to her first baby–my first nephew! He is a month old tomorrow (the 14th) and he is still in the NICU. He was born at 37 weeks, so not an early birth. But there were complications related to low amniotic fluid levels and under developed lungs–which are now resolved. He still has issues–all of them related to feeding and vomiting. But I keep asking WHY? Why him? Why my sister? Why did I have 2 healthy children who I got to bring home from the hospital when I was sent home? Why did my sister struggle for SO LONG and go through so many options to get pregnant? Why was she told so many times during her pregnancy that something was wrong–but it always worked out?? Why did she finally get to have her baby….but yet she still doesn’t HAVE him b/c he is still in the NICU??

    I feel tremendous guilt being around her (we live 3 hours away) with my 2 healthy boys–even though they are almost 4 & 8. I have cried so many tears just wondering and asking why can’t he come home and be with his momma and daddy?? I know there is a reason for all of this…just right now, we don’t know the answers. But eventually, the answers will become clear.

  18. Maggie
    April 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    I’m so sorry for your friend’s losses. We lost out first born after being born at 28w4d. We have our second son now who is a year and 20 days younger than our first. If your friends need to talk to someone who “gets it” I’m available.
    Maggie recently posted.. Happy Easter

  19. Holly
    April 15, 2012 at 1:43 am #

    Praying for Olivia with all my heart.

  20. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect
    April 15, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    Oh, honey, I hear your heart. And mine breaks with yours. I can’t truly imagine this kind of pain, but I will pray for your friend. Love you!
    Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect recently posted.. Monday Morning Mmmm: Veggie Butterflies

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