This is a heavy post. I’m going to write about our experience with stillbirth, so if that topic is difficult for you to read about right now, you might want to skip this one and that’s okay. I understand and I’m right there with you.
Today is our 8th wedding anniversary and I wanted to post something, but it’s hard to find the words. Writing has always been a source of comfort to me, so I’m dusting off my blog site in an attempt to form some coherent thoughts. I’ve been pretty absent on social media lately because honestly, we haven’t felt like celebrating or sharing much of anything. When we made our wedding vows eight years ago, we promised to be there for each other through the mountaintops and valleys of life. We just didn’t have any idea how deep the valleys could be.
Our precious twin baby girls, Audrey James Brown and Eden Jean Brown, were stillborn at 24 weeks on March 24, 2023. The last few months have been a terrible blur of tears and questions. There just aren’t words to adequately describe the loss we feel. Nothing could have prepared me to give birth and not hear our babies’ cries. Nothing could have prepared me for the emptiness I would feel as we drove home from the hospital without them. Saying goodbye to our children in the place we were supposed to begin our lives together was the hardest thing I have ever done. This grief is so heavy and loud. The simplest tasks seem impossible. Going out in public is terrifying. Every moment is filled with the enormity of what and who we have lost.
This loss doesn’t make sense to us, but we are doing our best to trust God and place the pieces of our broken hearts in Jesus’ hands. My faith has been shaken to the very core, but of this I am certain: God is still good. He is still sovereign. He still loves us. He is near to our broken hearts and crushed spirits (Psalm 34:18). Through Christ, death is not the end. We are not okay right now, but we are trusting that we will be. We are grieving right now, but we know a time is coming when there will be no more tears, sorrow, or suffering. It hurts right now, but we believe God will eventually make something good out of this season. I will never understand why our babies died, at least not until I get to heaven. But it’s not my job to understand. My job is to remain faithful to my God who has never failed me.
Instead of looking for anniversary well-wishes, I write this post to ask for your prayers as we continue to walk through this painful season. We have a long road ahead of us. Please also pray for Sutton, as she’s still processing the loss of her little sisters. So many of you have been praying for us, and we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We are so thankful for our people who have pointed us to God and reminded us of who He is.
Audrey and Eden are so loved, and we desperately wanted to live life with them here. They were so beautiful, so remarkably and wonderfully made. Though their lives here on earth were so much shorter than we planned or wanted, they deeply mattered. One of the truths that has proven most comforting during this season is something our pastor said during Audrey and Eden’s funeral service: God knows and loves our babies.
While we will carry this grief with us forever, we are thankful to be able to grieve with hope. It brings me hope to know these precious babies, who I love so deeply, are in the presence of the One who loves them with a love greater than I am even capable of. Because of Jesus, we know where our babies are, and we know we will get to meet Audrey, Eden, and the baby we lost last year in heaven one day. I am so thankful for salvation and I’m clinging to that promise as hard as I can. Until then, I will do my best to honor my children’s lives and lean on Jesus. I will tell our story with hope that it might provide comfort to other grieving parents one day. And today, I’m thankful for a new perspective on our wedding anniversary – one that serves as a reminder that God gave us each other to make it through life’s valleys together. I can think of no better way to honor Audrey and Eden than by allowing their lives to bring Jimbob and I closer to one another in our marriage and closer to our Heavenly Father in our faith – one day at a time.