For the first time this year, Hope Mommies—a 501(c)3 non-profit organization sharing the hope of Christ with women who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss—will offer a free gift for those who want to donate to the ministry through the annual Giving Tuesday campaign starting November 27. The gift is a book I have written, Made for a Different Land: Eternal Hope for Baby Loss; the book also includes chapters from several contributors.
Today, I hope to provide an opportunity for the contributors to the book to speak from their hearts about this project and their ministries of words. I asked each contributor to send a paragraph about her mission in writing for grieving mothers, what chapter she contributed to Made for a Different Land, and what she hopes women will gain from her writing. Here were the responses:
“I want to encourage women, in their grief, to turn toward God and not away from Him. In my own grief, despite the natural instinct to pull away, I threw myself in desperation on Jesus, and I found Him to be everything I needed…full of love and compassion, near to my broken heart, kind and faithful…and most of all, good. And my heart filled with gratitude for all He was to me in my deepest pit. Through the prayer I contributed to this book I want other women to know that He is just as good and faithful to them, a solid and immovable rock in the deepest pit of grief.”
“Through my roles as a pastor’s wife, ministry leader, and editor for Hope Mommies, God has graciously provided me with many opportunities to use my story as a platform for sharing the enduring hope of Christ, most particularly through my writing. It is my earnest desire to magnify the name of the Lord through my sorrow, and to encourage others to fix their eyes on Him in every season—especially those who have experienced the loss of a child. I write so that He may be more greatly known, because He alone is worthy. For this project, it was my privilege to write about my first Easter after loss. Whenever I think of that day when Christ arose and death was defeated, I am brought to tears. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, I have been raised with Him, through faith, to new life, both now and for eternity, and because of the cross, my babies are safe in the loving hands of God. It is my prayer that God will use my feeble offering to point others to the cross—the place where our brokenness was mended, our greatest need was met, and death was swallowed up in victory. Because He lives, we hope.”
“Several years ago, after burying my only son, I vividly remember feeling lost and alone in my grief. No one in my real life, no close friends or family members, had lost a baby in the way that I lost my son, and I deeply needed connection to someone who understood my pain. This is my mission for writing to grieving mothers: to offer an honest ‘me too,’ yet also share the hope, healing, and ultimate redemption that has come as a result of laying my burden, my loss, at the feet of Jesus Christ. In the book, my piece shares the idea of being three years closer to meeting my son, Chance. I share the circumstances surrounding my loss and tap into the lessons I have learned over the past three years of grief and healing. I hope to encourage readers to find purpose in their pain and choose hope over resentment by trusting the magnificent tapestry Jesus is weaving behind the scenes.”
“When I was first introduced to Hope Mommies, I knew immediately that I would like to serve this ministry in some capacity. Writing is also passion of mine, so the two quickly intertwined. Writing to grieving mothers is a sweet balm to my soul, and I pray that my writings deliver the comforting truth that God has for all of our anguished hearts. What an honor it is to be invited to contribute to this project. I wrote a Hope Letter to Blair, my hope baby. It is an avenue for me to be honest—’with’ her and with you all—about my struggles with missing her and to also celebrate the victories with how God used her to nurture my spiritual walk. I am hopeful that my contribution will encourage transparency in your personal loss journey.”
“After the loss of my first two daughters, I looked for similar stories of loss, hoping that others who lived through such pain would point my weary heart to Christ when I could hardly see Him through my tears. And so, as God has used His Word and others to guide me in my grief, it is with great joy that I now offer what He has done in my own journey to others who are navigating such sorrow. It's an honor to not only write for Hope Mommies but to contribute a chapter on the hope of heaven in the new book Made For a Different Land. I pray that through the pages of this book and the chapter I have contributed that other women would be drawn to Jesus and the great hope we have in Him both now and for eternity.”
“I have always loved writing, but through my journey of motherhood, my mission for my words shifted. I once wrote primarily for personal healing, but now I write words of grace to encourage those seeking hope by sharing honest, authentic stories from my own life and how God meets me there. I contributed the story of my first Christmas following loss, and my prayer is that women who are in those dark and lonely places of grief around the holiday season would not only feel less alone as they read along, but that they would also experience freedom and hope in their suffering.”
“I first understood the power of the written word to inspire, encourage, and challenged when I was a sophomore in high school. But it wasn’t until losing my firstborn son, Max, less than a year after miscarrying our first baby, that I understood and experienced the power of the written word to heal. I contributed a chapter to this project on the one-month milestone of grief. My hope is that other women might see themselves and their stories reflected in my writing and find words for their experience they might not have been able to articulate themselves. My healing came through God amidst believing community, and I consider myself blessed to be a part of that healing in the lives of women through my writing.”
“It has been almost 8 years since my daughter, Kinley, went to heaven. I write for other grieving mothers because I want them to know that they’re not alone, they’re understood, and there’s hope moving forward. In Made for a Different Land, I wrote about experiencing the one-year anniversary of my daughter’s death. This was such an important milestone for me in my grief journey. It was a time of reflection on how God had provided for me and walked me through the darkest time of my life. My prayer is that other hope moms will discover the faithfulness of God through my testimony.”
I know the contributors would all join me in expressing gratitude to the Lord for all He has been to us in our hollowest days. And because of all He has done, we seek to open our grieving hearts with candor in this book’s pages. My prayer is that these words and the humble openness we endeavored to maintain might help lift readers, and especially grieving mothers, to the truth and grace of the Lord Jesus. You can follow Hope Mommies for more details on the Giving Tuesday campaign. The book will also be available for purchase on January 1.