Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hope is here.

      On August 2, 2011, Tony and I had the privilege of meeting and saying good bye to our sweet Lucille Hope Warnock.  As I scroll back through my few posts in the last couple months, it has only included news about our 4th little one on the way or about Becca's hospital visit...that sounds about right. This summer has been hard, but good. I went in two weeks ago for my 20 week ultrasound and no heartbeat was found. We went directly to the hospital to be induced. We heartbreakingly walked into a delivery room that had always represented joy and excitement, but that day it represented death and fear. I was terrified to bring little Lucy into the world knowing we would never get to know this precious little girl. In the process, there were so many decisions that needed to be would we be able to say good bye, what would her name be, how would we memorialize her, how would we handle this grief and still be there for our living children, our ranch family, and finish out a busy summer at the ranch?  

   After about 5 hours of labor, it was time to bring Lucy into this world and say good bye. The moment that I had feared the most ended up being the moment that brought me the most peace. We met her and held her and knew she was the Lord's.  Lucy will always be a reminder of the gifts that God has given us to steward. These children, living or dead, are not ours and there is hope in that. Through tears sitting by my bed, Tony read Lamentations 3:24. It says, "The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him."  We knew she was to be Lucille Hope. The Lord has used her short life to change ours forever. I am still crying even writing these words, but minute by minute I am experiencing the Lord's mercies in new ways. 

    My sadness still comes in waves and washes over me every few days, but I do feel like I am walking through this with an old Jesus. I have walked with Him almost my entire life and through losing our baby girl, I realize I trust His character because I am so familiar with who He is. He is good and my soul finds rest in that. So, Tony and I do consider it pure joy to have met and loved sweet Lucy and we will forever be changed by her.

    One week after she died, we decided to have her cremated and do a memorial at our home. We welcomed anyone who wanted to attend and were blessed by having some of our closest friends and family attend. One of my sweet staff gals has such a gift with photography and she gave me this slide show last night. One of the hardest things about suffering the loss of a child at this point in pregnancy is that nobody else gets to meet her or know her, so I am hoping and praying this gives you insight into her little life. My incredible husband led the memorial and we then sprinkled her ashes into our pond at the ranch. It was beautiful!

   "The Purest Place" was the song we chose for J. Ham and Jason to sing at the end of the memorial. Through heartache, I have experienced in such a pure way the Lord's love and I do only pray that He will always keep me in that place. 

Thank you, Hanna, for this perfect dedication to always remember our baby Lucy. Thank you to the Fosters, McClish's, Jeff, Brittany, Freyschlags, Smiths, and our entire ranch family for grieving with us. Every tear you shed brought us comfort and healing. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for being incredibly generous to help us through this process and for loving us so well. Thank you, Jennie and Katie, for being so much more than sisters to me and for loving Lucy like you have.  And thank you, Nana and Papa, for being you! We were so grateful you were a part of this. I know I have not personally been able to thank every individual for every sympathetic word spoken and every prayer lifted up, but words cannot express to each of you how much it means. You are the representation of our Lord's love...Thank you for being His hands and feet.