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Come and find solace as you get to know us who share in this journey of grief. We have been praying for you and extend our deepest and sincere sympathy. We “hope” you experience comfort and peace in this safe haven of love and support.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Legacy...

Those of us who've experienced loss seldom have the opportunity to share the stories of our children who are with Jesus. In fact, it ca be downright awkward, and oftentimes others deliberately choose not to ask about them. Or, if we do begin to talk about them, the subject quickly changes as the conversation becomes uncomfortable.

Today, however, was not one of those days. Today, I got to share my story...the story of Chloe's life [and death]. More importantly, I got to share how God used her tiny life to change me and to reach others. This is her legacy. She may not have lived long, nor did she accumulate any earthly wealth. Her minutes were few, but her story touches many. Her life was brief, but her legacy is just beginning. Today, I am one proud mamma.

Earlier in the semester (I currently teach college, so I live on semesters), I had the opportunity to speak to an infant development class about the topic of prenatal diagnosis and perinatal loss. I shared my personal story about this very topic and candidly spoke about Chloe, my faith, and the experience as a whole. I have done this every semester for the last four years, so it was nothing new for me to share. I was happy to have done it and thankful for the opportunity.

Several weeks later, a student unexpectedly arrived at my office, stating that she had been in that classroom that day. As a Christian herself, she was so pleased to hear me speak of faith at a large, secular institution. I thought to myself, and probably even voiced, "How could I not when it's such a huge part of the story?" For me, it's nearly impossible to detangle them from one another because they have been weaved together from the very start. The very act of human creation is a picture of this very thing, as in Psalm 139, God's Word states,

"For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made..."
Psalm 139:13-14

The student explained to me that she had an assignment to do for a journalism class and was hoping that I would allow her to interview me about my experience. Her completed project would be comprised of a written story, along with a presentation of sound clips (from our audiotaped interview) and pictures of Chloe that I'd be willing to share.

My initial thought to myself was, "I'm too busy!" In fact, the time in which she dropped in on me was sandwiched in between two other "interviews" with students who were completing projects for other class assignments. I jokingly told my friend, who is also in academia, that I think students were assigned to interview their worst professor this semester because I literally had 6 other interviews with students! I digress. Anyway....I was immediately intrigued with this student's project and embraced it. I felt as thought it were a wonderful opportunity to share Chloe's life and my faith in Christ. How could I say no?

So, we met this morning over a warm cup of coffee and I shared. I told her about Chloe and how we had planned for her. I told her about the dreaded day of her diagnosis and the choices no mommy should ever have to face. I told her about Gabe and his loving heart toward his baby sister; a sister he'd never really know on earth, but who is still very much a part of our family. I told her about Justin and his sacrificial love, care, and protection over me through this difficult time. I told her about how Justin met Jesus for the very first time. I told her of friends who came alongside and walked through the valley with us. I told her about you, my fellow mommies, who have sadly walked this road too. I told her about my hope in Jesus and how I couldn't imagine going through it without Him. I told her all this and more and it was wonderful to share. This is Chloe's legacy. This is her life. She is reaching others...one student, one "mommy," one college class, one blog reader at a time. God is using her for His glory and I have done nothing more than simply obey.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28

Even if you can't see it in the fog of your grief right now, I want you to know that your child has a legacy too! Indeed, that baby's life has purpose. Perhaps some of you have already discovered some aspects of their legacy. Others of you may have yet to uncover such treasures. I'd love to hear from you...whether it's a prayer request for discernment or a way in which you've felt called...

How have you been able to carry on the legacy of your own child? In what ways do you feel called to do this very thing?

2 comments:

Jill said...

Great post Teske! The idea of our little ones leaving a legacy is so powerful and so true. Each one has impacted our lives in a big, big way; in a way that is so unique! Our little one has taught me things I pray my other kids never will! One lesson I continue to carry is the importance of faith (not sure how I would have walked thru that time without Christ) and the hope it provides. This Thanksgiving I'm thankful for the legacy of your little Chloe (and your obedience) - Mommies of Hope is an amazing ministry!! Blessings to you, Jill

java diva said...

I have been so touched by the acts of kindness done by the parents of those whose babies have gone to be with Jesus. It has been a deep comfort and inspired me to think it's something I must do in memory of lulu. What exactly, I'm not sure yet.
This post was very timely. I keep hearing "tell your story" every day wherever I look. Lulu's memorial service is coming and I have the opportunity to speak at it, but I am not sure if God wants me to. And I am not sure what He wants me to say, if He does. Every night thoughts go around and around in my head and I have no peace, I have not discovered the story He wants told. But He will provide if it's His will.
Teske, please share the interview with us, and even the audio bytes! I'd love to hear them. So cool, what a blessing. And your humor is not lost on me...I highly doubt you are the worse professor! Silly!!