10 Things Parents of Stillborn Babies Want You To Know (Part 5): Don’t Change the Subject

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“Hey, did you guys hear about Johnny??!!”
the proud father excitedly asks his fellow co-workers. “He hit 2 home runs, and he pitched a no hitter in Friday’s game!” “In fact, it was the first no hitter in the schools entire history! I can’t believe it!” The crew gives him a nod of acknowledgement, as if to say “We heard you just mouth a few words in our direction, so we are simply agreeing with what you said.” Then, it’s simply business as usual. No congratulatory words. No excitement. No further questions. Just a simple nod is all little Johnny gets from the crowd. Waiting for any kind of response turns into an agonizing silence. The father waits with annoyance. Nothing. Not a peep. Dead silence. And I mean a dead, awkward, rude, painful, you-gotta-be-kidding-me kind of silence. Apparently, this father’s excitement for his son’s athletic performance is not catchy. He is hurt, but there is nothing he can do about it. He can’t force them to be interested. By not hearing a word of congratulations in response to his son’s great story, the father feels like he was dissed……..treated with contempt. The hurt cuts deep. And the hurt isn’t primarily that he was dissed, but that his son was dissed.

As we continue on with my series on how to minister well to those who have suffered the loss of a stillborn baby, the next two points will be condensed into one overall point.

Parents of stillborn babies want you to know…………….

 

#6 We want you to become more comfortable in conversation, and not change the subject so quickly whenever we talk about our precious babies.

#7 When we bring up in conversation that we had a stillborn, we want you to know that simply saying “I’m sorry” is a much better option than total, dismissive silence.

 

Children Deserve Better

The poor, stressed out daddy now figures he can at least brag to the people who attend the same book club meeting he does. He’ll tell them about his son’s amazing performance. “Surely they won’t ignore my own flesh and blood son,” he thinks to himself. “After all the time we’ve spent together. After all the times I listened to their pathetic stories.” This one is a shoe-in, right? After he arrives at the meeting, he goes through the above scenario again. The father repeats, “My son Johnny hit 2 home runs today, and he pitched a no-hitter!!” But this time, things are different. There is a response. As the leader of the discussion group looks toward the others, he says “Oh ok, good for him. Hey, did any of you guys see how many passing yards Brady had last night? He is on my fantasy league ballot, and I missed the box score.” Ouch. The son is dissed yet again. This father may never get over this hurt. And he may hesitate to share anything valuable again. He feels like no one cares about his son. He is feeling the pain of rejection. Not for himself per say, but mostly for his child.

More Than a Baseball Game

As bad as the above example is, imagine that you were talking about more than a performance in a baseball game. Imagine you were talking about the day your child was born. Even more, imagine if you are talking to someone about the day your baby was born……..and died. No parent wants their child to be ignored, either in person or in conversation talking about your child. Especially when you are talking about the painful ordeal of seeing your baby come forth from the womb……….dead. No life. No breath. No smile. No crying. No anything. Then, imagine you try to talk about your baby with others, and instead of being given the gracious liberty to do this, you are shut down because someone had a “more important” topic to discuss. They don’t even give it a second thought. This is so disheartening to parents of stillborn babies. When you ignore our conversation so flippantly, you are communicating to us that our baby is second class. That our baby doesn’t matter. That our baby is too much of an inconvenience to even talk about, or listen to someone else talk about. You communicate to us that you believe that our baby is still born, but not still loved.

Babies Come From God

We all love to talk about things we love. I know……..I’m a genius to figure that out. And since parents love their kids, they also love to talk about their kids. Logical, isn’t it? And parents love for people to listen to them when they talk about their kids. And for good reason. Scripture says, “Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him” (Psalm 127:3). They are the fruit of a mommy’s womb. They have DNA of both mommy and daddy. They are the miraculous, beautiful result of the one flesh union the Bible talks about (Ephesians 5). And most importantly, babies are human beings created in the image of Almighty God. He has planned for the existence of each and every baby who is ever conceived. Notice I didn’t say born, but conceived. Scripture clearly teaches that life begins at conception, which means that every life of every baby began at conception……..not when the first breath was taken outside the womb.

Could this be why stillborn babies are ignored so much? Is it because he or she never breathed outside the womb? Is it because some people don’t consider them to have ever been fully human? I don’t want to get too far into the abortion issue on this post, but my point is worth considering. Here’s what the Scripture says about personhood in the womb……

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).

King David’s personhood is spoken about long before he ever emerges from the womb. Notice the personal pronoun “my” repeated twice in the above verse. If you are the parent of a stillborn baby, remember that God says they were a person from the very moment of conception. It is a good thing to remind the people in your life of this fact as well.

Love Comes From God

God is the one who implants the love within us that we have for our babies.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God (1 John 4:7).

And even those who don’t know God savingly still have that parental instinct to love and care for their children, and to be zealous for their well-being and their reputation. No matter what the circumstances are of a baby being conceived, or what kind of physical and mental defects the baby may have, or what kind of problems they are born into, they are precious, beautiful, and always a gift from God. He gives the gift of children with the responsibility for parents to love them. And He is the One who empowers us to love them. The fact that parents of stillborns continue to love their babies many years after their death is a God-given emotion. And despite how painful it is sometimes to love a baby you never had the chance to play with, I still wouldn’t trade this pain in for anything. And I’m sure other parents would agree. The pain is evidence of the love we have for them. The memories are even more evidence. Dealing with the pain keeps our eyes focused on Jesus. He dealt with much worse pain. He can handle ours. And one day, He will completely heal our pain.

Sacred Ground

God knows His precious little ones. And the Bible clearly teaches that personhood begins the moment sperm and egg unite together. Remember, God is sovereign over this baby being conceived. He knows and loves the stillborn baby more than even the parents ever will. God is certainly not responsible for sins anyone commits in the conception of a baby, but He does decree the baby’s conception. In fact, He decrees all things that come to pass. No baby is ever a “mistake.” I was not a Christian when my precious Ariana was conceived. Having sex outside of marriage is clearly forbidden by God. But her birth was still known and decreed by Almighty God. This is a great mystery, of course. But it is the truth of Scripture. So, when a parent of a stillborn baby starts talking about how they had a baby who died during the birth process (or shortly before), remember that God knit this stillborn baby together in mommy’s womb (Psalm 139). Please regard this conversation highly. Not only to minister and show compassion to parents who are deeply hurting, but because the baby is the handiwork of the Almighty. When you listen to someone speak of how much they love and miss their own child, and how much pain they are suffering, you are standing on sacred ground.

We Sympathize With You

It may be uncomfortable for you (we know this). You may not know exactly what to say (and it’s ok, we understand). But other times, you may be thinking about that job promotion, or the fact that you really just want to go home and get something to eat. These things may be true to one degree or another. After all, we are all human and have needs. Conversational skill takes time, education, and effort. Ministering to others effectively takes lifetimes to learn. We don’t expect you to be perfect. But we want you to know that it is hurtful when you remain silent when we just want you to ask a question. Just one question about our baby. It doesn’t matter what it is. Just some type of acknowledgement would be worlds better than total silence, or changing the subject altogether. Little things like that mean so much to hurting people.

Saying “I’m Sorry”

If we bring it up in conversation, you can be absolutely certain that we want to talk about our babies. And we do not desire to have a one-way conversation. We are talking to you. We want you to be a part of the conversation. We are inviting you into our world to bear a little of the burden we have experienced, a tiny piece of our suffering in having a stillborn baby. At that moment, we are giving our hearts to you. We are sharing some of the most intimate, painful details of our life with you. It is a golden opportunity for us to vent our hurts, to take joy in bragging about our baby, to remember and cherish those moments we had with them. Please let us have that experience by listening and speaking words of compassion.

And if you don’t have a clue what to say, just look at us in the eyes softly with compassion and say “I’m so sorry that happened to you.” That’s all. Nothing more is needed. But anything less might be taken as dismissive silence. And that is not good either. As grieving parents, we do want some type of response. And if you simply make eye contact and say “I’m sorry”, you will minister more to us in those few seconds than you will ever know. We certainly don’t expect you to have the same raw emotions as we do. And we don’t even want you to pretend to have the same emotions either. We just want your ears, your eyes, your mouth, and most of all………..your heart. Even if only for a few moments.

We Can’t Help It

Parents of stillborn babies can’t help being hurt and upset when their baby is treated like a second rate conversational topic. No matter who you are, whether your children are living or dead, God has given parents such an immense love for them that we simply cannot help how we feel. We make no apologies for our hurts. Parents of stillborn babies cannot help the fact that blogs like this one have to be written. Everyone else in the world may change the topic, or remain silent. But you can bet your bottom dollar that’ll never be us. We will never stop talking about our babies. Despite all the awkwardness, we will keep trying………always. Our babies are worth it. They may have been stillborn, but they are still loved. And they always will be. So everyone might as well get used to it. Stillborn babies never had the chance to enter a human conversation. Hopefully, the parents are doing their best to make up for lost time.

Conclusion

David Platt once said……..

There is a unique pain that comes from preparing a place in your heart for a child that never comes.

Platt is right. And since the stillborn child never comes, the parents will work tirelessly to bring that child to others. And they do it through conversation. It is the only way for them to give others a glimpse into a life that ended way too soon. Don’t make parents regret that moment of opening themselves up to you. It is much too precious to them.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! If you enjoy my articles, you can subscribe to this blog by email. It’s free!  And no spam at all! Simply find the box that says “Stay In Touch!!” and enter your email address. The box will be on your upper right (computer), or bottom part of your screen (phone). I appreciate your support!  (-:

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44 Years of Horror: Our Prayer to Overturn Roe v Wade

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Our hearts cry out to You, our Lord and our God, to end this brutality of abortion, to end this wicked crime,
To end the destruction of so many precious little babies, we plead with You fervently, for now is the time.
And just as the persistent widow kept pressing the unjust judge, we come to You, Lord Jesus, again and again and again,
For You are infinitely better than the widow’s judge, You are the only One who can put an end to this unmerciful, vicious sin.

Your Name is full of justice and mercy, for You are the Lord Most High, the One who gives us our life and breath,
For in You we have our existence, our very being, but Roe v Wade has brought to this nation nothing but death.
The slaughter of the unborn is contradictory to Your Holy Name, for your Name itself is the Way, the Truth, and the Life,
But abortion providers take that life which You graciously give, and sever millions from the womb, no different than a serial killer with a blood soaked knife.

Planned Parenthood is the worst offender, for they are much like the infamous King Herod, having shed countless streams and pools of innocent blood,
Grant them repentance over their wickedness, for You are storing up Your righteous wrath, even more so than in the days of Noah, and the worldwide flood.
Planned Parenthood has no compassion for life and personhood, and their only regard is for their own wallet, and their own prosperous existence,
So we plead with you Lord, just like in Luke, when the bold friend knocks on the door at midnight for some bread, please do not ignore our persistence.

Image result for praying for pro life imagesLord Jesus Christ, bring justice to the United States of America, and unite our diverse nation together under this vitally important cause,
To love and cherish those who cannot speak for themselves, who cannot protest for their very own lives, who cannot change our nation’s laws.
There are those who get angry and shout, “But it’s the woman’s body! Leave her alone and go away!”
But we know that to You, a baby is just as much a person, created in Your own image, knit together by You, with a complete DNA.

Oh Lord, please help our President Donald Trump, also Congress, and the Supreme Court, to make the right moral choices,
To legislate in the fear of You, according to Your Commandments, and give us what America needs, righteous and God-fearing voices.
Make them fear only what You think, and not what sinful man may do to them, or that their popularity might fade,
Cause them to please only You, to create and uphold laws that protect the unborn, and to finally, once and for all, overturn Roe v Wade!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! If you enjoy my articles, you can subscribe to this blog by email. It’s free!  And no spam at all! Simply find the box that says “Stay In Touch!!” and enter your email address. The box will be on your upper right (computer), or bottom part of your screen (phone). I appreciate your support!  (-:

Dear Scarlett Johansson, I Beg You From Inside the Womb

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Dear Ms. Scarlett,

You don’t know me, but I have heard of you. I think you have a really pretty name, a name I would love to have, a name I would love to keep,
But guess what? Babies like me don’t get to have a name, even though I am a person made in God’s image, a human being, truly unique.
And I am a baby girl, just like you once were, but now someone is coming to hurt me, and no one hears me when I cry,
Oh Ms. Scarlett, won’t you speak up for me? Won’t you stop them? Won’t you at least try?

I hear you gave a famous speech recently, fighting for rights that are being denied,
It must have been great, it must have been powerful, for I hear many people even cried.
I was wishing real hard that you were fighting for babies like me, but then I found out that the lady with a really pretty name,
She was not fighting for me, she was fighting for those who are trying to kill me, please tell me that you were just playing a silly game.

There isn’t much time, they are coming for me, I hear them walking into the room,
Ms. Scarlett, was I bad or something? What did I do? Why should I meet my doom?
I am in a place just like you once were, inside my mommy where it’s supposed to be safe to stay,
But now I’m scared in here; but it wasn’t scary for you. Oh, Ms. Scareltt, I don’t wanna die, would you please pray?

I hear them saying things to mommy, horrible things they are gonna do to my organs and my bone,
Oh, Ms. Scarlett, please make another speech, and tell the scary people to please leave me alone.
Mommy told them that some man did something bad to her body, on the day I got made,
Now they are going to do something even worse to me, they don’t care about either of us; the scary people got paid.

Many people are telling mommy that it’ll be better if she doesn’t have to worry about me anymore,
They told her that, if I live, I would just be a nuisance, a reminder of a bad memory, an unpleasant chore.
I heard my mommy talking to these people about that speech you made, she said it’s the reason she brought me to the scary place today,
She said you told everyone that this place is “safe” and “gentle”, and I wondered how that could possibly be?! Ms. Scarlett, your silly game I don’t want to play.

I wish that man didn’t do those bad things to mommy, I wish he wouldn’t have been so mean and full of hate,
I bet she was very afraid when he did that bad stuff; it wasn’t her fault, she only wanted to wait.
But it wasn’t my fault either, and now the scary people are going to murder me. And you know what? They won’t even bury me in a tomb.
Oh Ms. Scarlett, please hear me! Please! There is no time to spare. Listen to God’s voice who said, “For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.”

Yes, lady with a really pretty name, don’t you know that Jesus Christ put me together in my mother’s womb?
And now, because of your speech, the scary people are going to suck my insides out with a vacuum!
Don’t let them do this, I beg you! Make them stop being scary. Make them go away. Make them flee!
Oh Ms. Scarlett, won’t you help me?! Won’t you stop them?! Won’t you speak up for me?!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! If you enjoy my articles, you can subscribe to this blog by email. It’s free!  And no spam at all! Simply find the box that says “Stay In Touch!!” and enter your email address. The box will be on your upper right (computer), or bottom part of your screen (phone). I appreciate your support!  (-: