A wonderful woman in my life gifted me with this book, Holding On To Hope, by Nancy Guthrie, to help me process my grief with the Lord. Tonight’s chapter was on gratitude. It was a painful chapter to read. You see, I have been struggling deeply the last two days with anger — that ugly emotion that scares me to feel and face and process and bring before the Lord. But Nancy Guthrie’s chapter on Gratitude was exactly what I needed to read tonight.

You see, she helped remind me that everything I have is a gift from God: my two children; my wonderful husband; my amazing church; my parents and sisters, great in-laws; my two precious babies in heaven. None of it belongs to me. And on the one hand, that thought terrifies me. I could lose my husband; my home; my other two children…the list goes on. It is well within God’s rights to remove these gifts from me too. I have felt that fear many times since I lost my first baby.

Moreover, how is this a gift? To have my baby for a month and then to lose my baby? Where is the gift in that?

I don’t know the whole story. But this chapter of this story tells me there is a gift here too. This is the gift of loss. My precious baby is safe in heaven, the best place I could ever desire for my child to be. So for now, this is a gift of loss:

A gift of perspective on what is most important in life. A gift of seeing how loved I truly am by so many around me. A gift of tasting that somehow God Himself is enough for me, even in this deep valley, and that His love and perfect grace are enough to carry me through. A gift of humility and relearning to trust. A gift of faith. A gift of growth and transformation. A gift of hope. A gift of lessons in joy.  This is the gift of loss.

I know there is more. More I will see in the days to come. I cannot imagine it now. And so, for tonight, I beg my Father that He will begin to open my eyes even more to see His gracious and good gift to me even in this deep loss. I pray He would make this verse true of me:

Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.