National Rainbow Baby Day.
This week my newsfeed became flooded with precious pictures of rainbow babies. Darling gifts that came after harrowing loss and deserved to be celebrated and held close. I felt my eyes grow misty as I saw the sweet little faces– a gift to so many mommas.
And yet, I would imagine it is a bit of double-edged sword having a rainbow baby– a gut-wrenching reminder of loss and a shift to reverent redemption. A mother’s heart never forgets her baby.
I saw mothers I’ve held dear in unspeakable grief, and I saw brave mommas step forward for the first time to bring light to their pain– a reminder that we are never alone.
A rainbow sheds light and color where there once was only gray rain. What a beautiful reminder of hope. What a necessary calling to keep walking through the storm.
But with a bit of a heavy heart, I was taunted by the fact that there has been no rainbow.
Don’t get me wrong, I rejoice with those who have carried rainbows. There is not one ounce of hard feelings. But longing for my own? Certainly, there is longing.
Bedtime prayers brought the litany of people we want to keep safe to the mouths of tender hearts as the final words rang out. It was almost an after-thought really; our smallest saying, “Oh! And that baby who lives in heaven. What is his name?”
JACOB! I wanted to scream. I felt the emotion and the weight of his memory rise up in my throat, seemingly distant to everyone but me. His name was Jacob! Don’t you remember??
And still, there has been no rainbow.
To be frank, it has not been the scenario I might have imagined. My timing, my plans, my hopes for the light and color breaking through have been somewhat skewed by an alternate storyline.
But somewhere in the journey, in the months that have turned into years, with memories that remain fresh, I am learning the beauty of a rainbow relinquished.
Relinquish (v.): to give up or cease claim
You see it might be easy, even fair, to stamp my feet and clench my fists and cry out for the redemption that I felt I could claim to be mine. But maybe redemption doesn’t always come through rainbows. Not every great storm ends in color breaking through, right?
Maybe redemption comes in the first ray of sun breaking through the clouds.
Maybe it’s the first cool breeze after the steam of summer.
Maybe it’s a lone beautiful flower in full bloom after a long, hard winter.
Maybe, just maybe, that redemption we’re looking for can be found in the tiny moments of goodness, peace, and progress when we once wondered if all hope was lost.
Your arms may feel empty. Your heart may have been left broken. Your footing may have felt unsure. And in the midst of it all, you may have found yourself looking longingly at another’s happy ending. But may I be so bold as to remind you…
Your story may not look like her story. And THAT. IS. OKAY.
It’s your redemption you’re after– in whatever part of your story might be broken.
Maybe one day we might get that rainbow after all. But until then, there is goodness waiting after the storm if we’ll only look. We are promised that. If it’s not good, it’s not the end. Relinquish the rainbows, chase your own light, and watch as the clouds part and redemption breaks through…