Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Looking Up - Hope Mommies Winter Retreat 2014

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

I almost did not attend the Hope Mommies retreat this year.  With a 6 week old and a 22 month old who both need me, it was a difficult decision to leave my family for the weekend.  Really.  Who leaves a 6 week old!  Pulling away from our quiet home (aka my precious girls) in the wee hours of the morning on Friday had me in tears.  Much of my heart just wanted to call Erin and the team and tell them I wasn't coming.

I am in a different place than I was three years ago.  I can smile - even laugh - when I think of my son.  Yes, I miss him dearly each and every day, and not a single moment goes by where he leaves my heart and mind, but much of my grief is replaced with hope and joy.  Was this retreat necessary for me when I had a newborn and toddler who I was not wanting to leave?

This is all probably a lot too honest, but those were my thoughts as I pulled away from my home.

Yet again, the Lord blessed Hope Mommies with a retreat venue that was filled with His glory and beauty.  Balcones Springs is nestled in the Hill Country, and as I drove through the gate, a renewed mind and heart washed over me.  Thank you Jesus.  I was met by the faces of our leadership team and volunteers.  Many of those faces so familiar in my grief journey these past 3.5 years.  I stared at them and wondered what my life would be without them.  I knew I was supposed to be there. 

Before the women arrived on Friday evening, several of the leadership staff had a vision while we were praying about our babies all gathered together as their mommies gathered together.  What a gift from the Lord to imagine that sweetness.  I have imagined that with each retreat, and am in awe that our children...my Holden...is in the presence of Jesus as we gather.

This weekend I met many new hope mommies who shared their beautiful, hurting hearts.  I listened to their stories about their precious little ones in heaven in tears.  Lots of tears.  Remembering my life three years ago, in their shoes, it hit me how merciful God is to heal wounds. Women reached out to God through worship (our worship was led by Sandra McCracken and L.E. Taylor), reached out to others by creating Hope Boxes, carried their sister's burdens as they also bravely shared their own, and most importantly, pressed deeper into the healing and living Word of God.

If you are a new hope mommy reading my blog, please know I was in your shoes.  I was in the darkest valley, looking up to the hills and clinging to the hope of Christ, even when it was so hard to do so.  It was a joy and humbling honor to be by your sides this weekend.  Tears are flowing as I imagine what work God is going to do in you through your precious children's lives.
I wrote this blog to praise the Lord.  He alone is our healing hope.

I read Psalm 147:3 in a new light today.  The Psalm does not say He will leave big scars and a shoddy mess.  It says the Lord will bind our wounds.  Fully.  Praising God for bound wounds, and the hope of complete healing in eternity. 

Oh my sweet baby boy.  I am sure you were praising God with me, "He has done great things, we will say together, we will feast and weep no more."  Oh to spend eternity praising God together.

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