It is said that 1:4 women (and families) experience the loss of a child. On November 1, 2019, I became that statistic. I became the 1. I joined a sisterhood that I never expected I would ever be a part of: a group of women who live day to day in the depths of their sorrow, wear grief like a coat upon their shoulders, and whose hearts will have a gaping hole on this side of eternity. This is a woman whose child is gone too soon.
One year. A year of deep sorrow, and yet of hope. One year ago today, our son Lincoln opened his eyes to see the face of Jesus. As my husband and I embarked on our journey of grief and loss, we also embarked on a mission of Hope. Lincoln would change the face of loss. He would be a beacon of light and hope in a dark and devastated world.
Trusting God through this season isn’t easy. In fact, most days are somewhere between painful and unbearable. Not only did we lose our Lincoln, but in May of 2020, we mourned his sister, Bailey, as well. Our season went from “God uses all things for His good” into mirroring the cry of Job, “He will not let me catch my breath, but fills me instead with bitter sorrows.” Grief upon grief. Sorrow upon sorrow—even deep sorrow which leads to bitterness.
And yet, I remember those early weeks of grief when God began to speak a vision into my heart. I knew that our Lincoln’s (and now Bailey’s) life would be used for restoration and redemption. I remember sitting by our fireplace feeling so very lost, and yet hearing the Lord say gently to my heart, “I am for the lost. I would leave the 99 to save the 1.” It resonates with me more than it ever had before—I am now that 1. 1:4 isn’t a label to be defined and oppressed by, it is a number that Jesus values —the 1. He loves us enough to seek us out, find us in the valley of our despair, pick us up, and carry us back to shelter and comfort under his wings. I’m so blessed he finds me when I need it. I’m so grateful He is for the one.
In many ways this is the beating heart of Lincoln’s Hope. We don’t focus on the millions, (although I hope we reach a million families one day!) but we faithfully go after the one. One loss. One family. One brokenness. One hope for restoration. We are for the one.
If you’re in this journey with us, we are for you. We are a shoulder you can cry on, arms to hold you tight, and prayer warriors fighting for your legacy. We are here for your families. Our sorrow does not hold us down but gives us the courage to push forward for a future. We are one year on this journey, and we are thankful (yes I said thankful) for the opportunity to support the families we have, and pray for the others who we will serve in the future.
Happy one year to Lincoln’s Hope.
Happy birthday Lincoln Judah.