To hurt so deeply is a sign that we live in a fallen world, not that we serve a small God.
In 2008, Angie Smith learned partway through her pregnancy that her fourth baby girl, Audrey, was “incompatible with life.” Contrary to the doctor’s recommendation to abort, Angie chose to embrace whatever life God would allow Audrey. I Will Carry You is her story.
It is raw with the deep emotions of saying goodbye to a baby.
I clung to her, staring at the door, keenly aware a part of me was going to go with her, never to return.
I appreciated this book for many reasons.
First, I find it encouraging and convicting to read about trials much greater than what I am going through. It puts life in perspective and increases my thankfulness to God for His earthly blessings in my life. It is also a reminder that we never know what tomorrow holds, and we should pursue God in the smooth times, preparing our hearts for potential valleys.
Second, Angie’s trust in the Lord’s plan for her life shines through in her account, providing an example of faith and obedience worth following in our own struggles.
Third, I Will Carry You helped me get an inside look at the grief involved in losing a baby, hopefully equipping me to be more empathetic toward ladies who have miscarried or lost an infant.
I so respect the purposeful decisions Angie made to choose joy and trust while in the middle of grief.
Part of trying to cultivate a grateful heart is looking for opportunities to share the gospel through my loss and seeking ways to bring God glory through the loss. When I feel like hiding in my room and ignoring the world, I start to feel depressed, and resentment sinks in. Picking yourself up and going about your life as if it’s all a gift isn’t easy when you have lost something precious. But that’s just it; I can either focus on what I have lost, or what I have gained, and I choose the latter. Sometimes I have to choose it a couple of times an hour.
Without downplaying the intense difficulty of losing Audrey, Angie kept her sorrow in perspective and grounded herself in what she knew to be true of God. She also chose to see her loss as an opportunity to share the gospel–what an unselfish and beautiful response to suffering. For that reason, among others, I recommend her autobiography.
What the Lord has given us can either be taken into ourselves as pain or given back to Him as a holy offering, one that glorifies His name and gives meaning to our loss.