11 Things Esther Taught Me – A Reflection on the Last Eleven Months

photo(23)The last month has been very interesting in our family. I’ve had so many things on my mind, but haven’t gotten them all down in writing. Our first Christmas without Esther, entering a new year, and lots of other adjustments.

I can hardly believe that Esther’s first birthday in heaven is coming up in less than a month. It still seems like she was just here. But then, I realize just how long this year has been as we have walked through this grief.

The 15th marked eleven months since we met our tiny girl, and said goodbye until heaven. I’ve been reflecting a lot on these last months and how our family has changed – how I have changed. In light of the eleven months we have been on this journey, I wanted to share 11 things that I have learned from my second daughter’s life.

Through Esther, I have learned…

1. The absolute privilege it is to carry a child. To be pregnant, nurturing life within my own body. There is nothing like this incredible gift. It is so easy to take for granted. Esther taught me the reality of this miracle.

IMG_11362. How to be brave. Eleven months ago I walked through things I never thought I could live through. In so many ways, Esther made me brave. I had to rise up and be her mommy – even when it meant a silent birthing room and a funeral instead of a welcome home party. The strength I have gained walking through the last year sometimes surprises even me.

3. To hold both tightly and loosely to those I love. Tightly, because this life is temporary, and sometimes shorter than we think. And loosely, because our loved ones don’t really belong to us. We are not always in control. But God has an eternal plan that is far better than anything in this fragile life.

4. To love with abandon – my husband, my children, my family, my God. Life is too short to let conflict, strife, or worries interfere with my most precious relationships.

5. To Appreciate every day. Looking back now, it was such a short time we had Esther with us, but such a rich time in our family, because we made the most of it in so many ways.

6. How to trust in the faithfulness of God when everything falls apart. He alone is a rock that cannot be shaken. As I look back over the last 343 days, I recognize that my God has truly upheld me by His power.

Esther 12 week US7. To live for eternity. This life is a vapor and eternity is coming quickly. Esther reminds me daily of this truth and helps me prioritize my time and my life.

8. To NOT fear the future. God already knows what’s ahead and His grace will be there to walk through the good and bad times. Sometimes I am tempted to fear what other horrible things could happen to us. But then I remember the promise I have that He will never leave me nor forsake me.

9. The significance of one baby, no matter how brief their life. Esther’s life and death is not just a statistic to me. The 1 in 200 babies that died later in pregnancy. Or the 1 in 1000 that died of a cord accident. No, she is a real person. Although her life was short, it was purposeful, and it was impacting to her family and those around. I often think of all the babies that have died in the womb. Those whose death has brought immense pain to their families. But instead of just leaving pain, I now know the potential for every baby to leave immeasurable joy and new purpose in life. Esther’s life brings me joy everyday. Simply because she lived, and she was mine.

IMG_1178.JPG (2)10. The power of a mother – baby bond. Of course, I experienced this bond with Kyla, but in a somewhat typical way. The power of the bond I have with Esther is something more – it is supernatural. I’ve had to walk through the bonding process without her physically being here. Yet I feel just as close to her as I do Kyla. And the closeness I feel has brought me a great deal of healing and hope for the future.

11. The reward of heaven is far greater than the temporary pain of this life. To be honest, heaven has always seemed like such a far away place. When my own child passed from this life into her eternal dwelling, I felt like a part of me went with her. I began to read and study about the eternity God has prepared for those who fear Him. I’m more excited than ever for the day I will be able to step into that reward.

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  1. My heart to you


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