Even though this book wasn’t published until September 2014, it was the fulfillment of a promise I threw out to God in anger the summer of 2007, around the time our baby that had died was supposed to be born.
Hope During Heartache was the book that God used to show me the purpose He had for my life … and that was to be His secretary and write the words He gave me to say.
I had mentioned earlier that in December 2006 we had a miscarriage. Then, February 2007 my husband got very sick and I was dealing with not just navigating with him a diagnosis (he wasn’t diagnosed until May) but also trying to walk through the grief of losing our baby.
Maybe you’re thinking, “I haven’t experienced the death of a child. I don’t think this book would be one I need to read.”
In the words of a reader who posted a review, “I finally understand! I finally get it!!! I now am able to feel how very difficult it is to lose a child due to a miscarriage, stillbirth or death after birth.”
During the early months of my grieving, I wanted to find a book that would offer me hope … a promise of sorts that I would find joy in life again someday. I didn’t want a medical book or facts … I wanted to read someone else’s experience back to the land of the living.
I found one book that was a compilation of other women’s stories who had lost their babies … but it left me angry. The women were angry, they used angry language and I closed it feeling angry.
It was after reading that book I had a strong conversation with my Heavenly Father. I told Him what I wanted and since I couldn’t find it, I would write it myself!
Little did I know (I should have known better) God would take those angry words flung out in the midst of my hurt and use them to show me His purpose for my life.
A series of events occurred between the summer of 2007 when I spoke those words to God, including attending my first and only writer’s conference (so far) in October 2011, and in September 2014, Hope During Heartache was published.
This book is a compilation of 13 different men and women, some of whom were friends of mine I approached to share their stories of heartache, others I met after beginning the project, each sharing their heart about their own personal experience of losing a child and how God restored their hope.
The stories were written and I was in the midst of getting the finals edits done … but still hadn’t find the right picture for the cover. It was summer and I was starting to panic. I knew what I wanted, but couldn’t find the right look.
Only God. September 2014 I was working concessions at our kids’ football game when a huge storm rolled in. The next morning my husband was scrolling through Facebook and he found the picture. He showed it to me and I knew right then, that was the perfect picture for this book cover.
I didn’t know the person who had taken the picture, but reached out through Facebook and when I told her what I wanted to use it for, she immediately agreed. She shared with me her sister had experienced the loss of a child as well, so when the book was officially published, I sent her a copy hoping it would offer some “hope” to her sister as well.
God showed me a two things with the publishing of that book. First, this ministry that our family was participating in was based on His timing. He had the perfect picture for me and hand delivered it to me. I needed to be patient with His timing because the storm hadn’t even occurred during the months I was frantically searching for the right image.
Second, God used the kindness of a stranger to bless me with a cover for His book, the one I had promised Him I would write seven years before it became a reality, and I pray the book encouraged her and her family as they grieved the loss of their family member.
That’s the way God is – He chooses to bless more than just the person the blessing was originally intended for.
Have you, or anyone in your family, experienced the death of a child? Please share with us by hitting reply. I’d love to continue this conversation with you.