15 May A Seed Sown in Grief
October 14th, 2017— a day in time that forced my husband and I to our knees in full denial, absolute heartache, and tremendous suffering. However, that day also marks when, for the first time in my life, through unbearable pain and with every ounce of energy, I mustered the words, “Okay God. Not our plan…but Yours.”
Jones Kipenzi Richardson was born at 11:00 am on Saturday morning after going in for a routine sonogram, where we would find out that, despite every perfect measurement and previous scan, her heart had stopped beating and she was now soaring with the angels in Heaven.
It was by far the worst 24 hours of my life…laboring a child that was no longer living. Working so hard to deliver OUR daughter, our child who would not receive a birth certificate…just a death certificate. We struggled to understand that there was nothing in the world we could have done to keep this from happening. There was no “known” condition or defect that caused this to happen, other than our King, our Lord, needed her…and we had to be okay with that.
It took some time. But eventually, we did come to that place of being okay. We did it because we trust God with every muscle in our body, and know that God needed our sweet girl more than we did. We prayed for God to show us how our daughter was being used for Kingdom work…not suffering….and He did. He showed us that in every possible way.
I have seen the Lord work in me, my marriage, and my relationship with Him in more ways than I can even put into words. I would literally need over 100 pages to describe in detail the calling I have received. My very favorite is my marriage though.
The Tuesday before losing our Jones, my husband Evan and I saw rocky ground for the first time in a long time. Hours of hashing out miscommunication, expectations, goals, wants and needs, and ways that we could pray for each other….because in all honesty…we hadn’t. Life had gotten busy, schedules were all over the place. We were raising a toddler with one more on the way, budgets were blown, and we had begun to put ourselves first before each other. It was the hardest, but best conversation we had ever had. And I know, in my heart of hearts, God knew we needed to have that conversation before entering into a time of complete trial and suffering 3 days later.
I simply cannot imagine surviving the last 7 months without having my husband by my side. I have never held that hand of his tighter, and WE, together…began clinging to the Lord with everything we had.
Between my husband and I, we can count on two hands the amount of people that have come to know and walk with the Lord since our daughter’s passing and sharing our story of how we turned suffering into joy. I know that is not something that I myself am capable of doing. I know SPECIFICALLY that the Lord has used our daughter’s story of perfection….to bring those that are lost and wandering to comfort and salvation…and to a place they can call home.
My life before losing our Jones was fast paced and rushed – many times I felt like I was just “going through the motions.” I now wake up each morning longing for Heaven like never before. Knowing and telling myself I will do absolutely whatever it takes to ensure I walk through the doors of eternity and see my daughter face to face. And quite frankly, I have also found within me a passion of getting as many people to Heaven as I can – pointing them to Christ and telling them the Good News of salvation. I have truly found my purpose—telling those around me near and far about a perfect, healthy baby that was needed for Kingdom work…not earthly work.
Through our loss I have learned that God is EXACTLY who He says He is. He is true, He is sovereign, and He is RIGHT. And after what seemed like an eternity of trying to conceive and become pregnant again…God has blessed us with the opportunity to become parents once more.
Amidst the overflowing emotions, anxiety and worry…lies a single seed of hope and faith that causes me to trust that God is in absolute control….and just like Matthew 17:20 says, “I tell you, even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed, nothing would be impossible.”
I find true and utmost joy in knowing the Lord’s hand is on this child.