What would you say to a mother, your friend, who carried her child 9 months and then the child died? How would you comfort her?
It is hard to imagine how hard it would be an expectant mother to lose her unborn child after 9 months of pregnancy. It is hard to imagine the pain and suffering of any mother or any father when they lose a child. I cannot imagine. I have never even been pregnant, and have only felt the sorrow of thinking I was pregnant to only find out once again, I was not pregnant.
But just because I haven’t experienced doesn’t mean that I do not know those who have suffered such a devastating loss. I remember the day I found out a friend of mine was pregnant with a child who would not live. The expectant mother was told that she would most likely miscarry, the child would likely be deformed, and that if she was able to “deliver” her child, the child would not live longer than a few minutes after delivery.
My heart was broken for this dear mother. What do you say to a friend that is pregnant but would never be able to raise her child (in this life)? I wondered what I could do for her and her beautiful family.
First, I prayed for a miracle. I believe in miracles and I believe in the power of prayer. But even as I prayed that all would be well with the child and that Christ would heal the baby in her womb, I felt I should pray what to pray for. My begging for a miracle changed. I began to pray specifically that my friend and her family would be surrounded by those who loved them, that they would feel of the love and support of family and friends. I prayed that they would feel intimately of the Savior’s love for them.
I began praying for a miracle of healing of the child, but then my prayer and fasting changed to a praying for a miracle of healing for the broken hearts of this dear family. There is only one who can heal broken hearts. There is only one who knows our hearts intimately.
How I prayed for this sweet sister and her family. Prayer was one of the only things I could for this family. My husband and I prayed for them morning and night and fasted for them. How I hoped that the baby would come out “fine”, and the baby was beautiful and practically perfect, but he only lived a short while. Long enough for his family to hold him and spend a few precious hours on earth together.
It wasn’t until months after this child’s birth that the mother told me of the miracles that surrounded the day of her child’s birth and death. I cried as she told me of how many family members helped in small and big ways. I cried as she told me how close she felt to the spirit and the Savior. I cried as she told me how loved she felt even during a very difficult time.
What she experienced was difficult, but she was not alone. My prayers were answered, the spirit testified to me that the very things I prayed for were the very blessings she and her family received.
Many times in my life I have learned that God has not ceased to be a God of Miracles. He continues to bless his children. He hears and answers our prayers. I do not understand the meaning of all things, but I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and he answers our prayers and continues to perform miracles everyday.
There will be difficulties in our life. There will be challenges that may cause our very hearts to break. But Heavenly Father so loved us that he offered up his son as a ransom for our sins and suffering. His precious gift to the world was his Son, Our Savior Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus Christ our hearts can be healed and we can be cleansed from sin.
Our Heavenly Father and the Savior will guide in how we pray and what to pray for. They will bless and watch over our loved ones. When we think there is nothing we can do for someone suffering, we can always pray. We can pray if we live next door, or we can pray if we live on the other side of the world.
I do not understand all the suffering of this life, but I do know that in the midst of the suffering we may come to know how loved we are and how much our Father in Heaven loved us, to offer up his Son on our behalf.
I need to continue to pray for others who are suffering, I need to continue to seek the counsel of Him who knoweth all things. I need to pray for support in my “trials” and “temptations”. He has promised me personally… He has promised all of us if we but “Ask, we will receive.”
We have to knock on his door if we want to be invited into his chambers. I want to be invited in. I want to sit and commune with him. I want to receive the blessings he has waiting for me if I but ask. But sometimes the asking is the most difficult part of the equation, especially learning how to ask for the “right things”.
I am so grateful for the Christmas Season, for a time to celebrate the birth and life of our Savior. I am so grateful for his love. I am so grateful that he lives and continues to bless us with miracles!