See the little button on the column to the right called “Gallery of Wings”? Okay, I know you see it because my stats tell me you’ve been clicking on it. I was kind of hoping I could add the button, nobody would notice, and maybe this little aspiration would dwindle. But all it’s doing is growing! So I would like to share what exactly it is, and ask for your support and prayers over it.
Wings as a symbol of renewal have been especially close to my heart since Sam’s death. Renewal. Redemption. Resurrection. Heaven. I paint them and draw them all the time lately, and have wondered if it’s an image the Lord has laid on my heart to share.
It has also been very healing to connect with other women who have experienced the loss of a baby or are anticipating a loss. I cannot put words to the beauty I have been honored to witness in the lives of grieving women.
My aspiration is a melding of the image of wings, my heart of connection with grieving mothers, and my own daily healing. I would like to paint a set of wings on a small canvas for mothers who have lost babies. Between each wing, I will paint the name of the baby lost. I plan to send the original painting to the mother, and scan a copy of the painting to post in the online gallery as a memorial. I hope this will be a source of healing for others. I know it will be a source of healing for myself over the years.
Sometimes it is so tempting to move past loss with haste. We think of grief as a movement from point A to point B, and the space between as a span of time to endure. Certainly, some days are all about survival, but I believe that there have been days during this Valley when I have been called to be still. I am inspired to look around, to soak in my surroundings, to notice who else is here. And as I have rested in the Refuge, I am inspired to gather treasures. There are many treasures in this dangerous Valley. I believe this Gallery of Wings may be a treasure for me for years.
I also believe that my sadness was initially the way I was able to stay connected with Sam. It was how I acknowledged that he was real, that he and his whole story are welcome in my heart, and that I would not forget him. Sadness and tears are healthy and necessary, and I am glad I did not suppress them. The days when joy began to return were frightening at first, because sometimes it felt like forgetting Sam. But eventually, I learned to stay connected with Sam in other ways in addition to my tears (not instead of!). I wrote. I painted. I loved Steven. I loved others. I connected with others and told my story. And now, I am beginning to dream again… of a gallery full of wings and the names of babies whose lives mattered just because they happened.
What a miracle, that God could take the heart of an empty-armed mother and make it dream again. It is almost magical.