November 15th is a day that will forever be marred to our family. It is a day that represents deep sorrow and pain and terrific loss. November 15th is the day that I found our almost 6 week old son lifeless and not breathing. November 15th is the day that I screamed a horrific scream that still haunts my dreams. November 15th is the day that I dialed 911 for the first time in my life and begged the lady on the other end of the phone to hurry. November 15th is the day I saw my husband plead with the Lord for a miracle as he administered CPR on his own lifeless son. November 15th is the day I called every single person in my husbands contact list. I needed every person I knew on their knees begging our Father for my son. November 15th is the day that I ran away. I couldn't watch the paramedics working on my son. I lay in the fetal position not even sure what to pray. November 15th is the day I saw the paramedics carry my sweet baby boy, lifeless, from our home, never to return. November 15th is the day I took a ride in an ambulance and sat in a hospital waiting room and looked at the faces of those around me as they begged God on our behalf. November 15th is the day my husband had to tell me our son was dead.
November 15th changed my life forever.
November 15 is the day God said no.
And November 15th is the day God began to work to bring beauty from ashes. It started there. He held us and loved us and ministered to us. He showed His grace upon grace upon grace to us that day and the days following.
One of the most profound things I remember from that time is what a very sweet friend said at Aaden's memorial service. She told us how an enormous number of people from our church had gathered at her house to pray when they got the call at 6am that Saturday morning. They begged and pleaded with God for a miracle. And when that miracle did not come in the way we all hoped, she said 'I prayed the hardest prayer I'll ever pray.'
Those words still minister to me. They are a reminder that we are called to enter one another's hurt and pain and tragedy. We are called to open ourselves to that pain and to carry the weight of those burdens on behalf of the one who is hurting. Those words are a reminder that we praise God even when it hurts. Even when we are severely disappointed. Even when he says no.
A friend gave me Beth Moore's 'Praying God's Word Day by Day' devotional after Aaden died. It holds simple daily prayers of scripture that really ministered to my heart the days following Aaden's death. The entry for November 15th is utterly profound. Beth Moore writes, "Completely surrender your hurt to Him, withholding nothing, and invite Him to work miracles from your misery." She prays 2 Corinthians 4:8-10, a reminder that though we are afflicted in every way we are not in despair because we have Jesus, we have the ultimate gift of Life, of the hope of an eternity spent with Him.
I have seen God work miracles from my misery. I have seen Him bring joy where there was only pain. I have seen Him bring peace where there was only anxiety-filled sleepless nights. I have seen Him bring laughter and dancing. He has turned my mourning into dancing.
So, today I write. November 16. A day that represents the start of a new life. A day that represents healing. Today I write about God making beauty from ashes. Today I introduce to you one way God will do that very thing.
Today I introduce you to AadenSage.
AadenSage is a line of paper goods and products designed specifically for those who are suffering the loss of a child. Beautiful paper that will minister to the heart of a mom and dad who desperately just want to celebrate the life of their child. Thoughtful gifts that will help a friend who desperately wants to love on the one hurting but isn't sure how. Pretty treasures that will brighten the day of the ones suffering.
For the past 4 years I have experienced true love and sacrifice and selflessness from the most amazing family and friends. That is God's grace in my life. My heart aches for those who do not have such investment from friends and family. I want to wrap my arms around those mamas and squeeze them and say "there will be joy again one day... I promise." Until I can physically do that, hop on a plane and hug each and every one of them... I will settle for ministering to them in the best way I know how, through beautiful paper and gifts.
One very tangible way we were ministered to immediately after Aaden's death was people giving financially that enabled us to completely cover the expensive funeral costs. My hope is to help others in the same way; so, a portion of all profits made will go to families in need of assistance in covering funeral expenses.
So, go meet AadenSage. [http://www.aadensage.com]
For the next week or so the shop will only have the art prints and the thank you cards as I want the emphasis to be on celebrating life.
I have a beautiful announcement of this new ministry ready to mail out for anyone who is interested or in need. Please contact me at email@example.com