And thats when I found True Worth.
Maria has the gift of the written word, and has a way of connecting with women and encouraging women of all ages that they are more beautiful than they will ever know. I love to read her work. She is a blessing to many.
Fast forward a few years and she discloses the unthinkable. . .
That her unborn son, Gideon, would not be able to live outside the womb.
I cannot imagine getting this news. I cannot imagine the pain and grief Maria has experienced over the past few months. The pain of knowing that the sweet life inside of you would be born into this world, and then taken from this world a few hours later.
Yet, Maria has been a pillar of faith. Her family has used Gideon's story to touch the lives of many. She has used Gideon to share the message that God can take our deepest wounds and bring peace, joy, and unfathomable love.
Back in June, Maria hosted a "Gideon Blue" give away on her blog. Her family created blue bracelets in honor of their precious son, and her mother painted a beautiful picture in her grandsons honor titled "Shades of Peace."
From her blog. . . "The star in the upper corner is a button we used on Gideon’s Memory table at his service, surrounded by a little dash of yellow it is there to remind us of the hope of heaven. That while in this life we embrace God’s peace to get us through the sorrowful and the scary…we are also emboldened by knowing that hope is still to come. All tears will be wiped away and we will be whole again."
There family is working on a memory book. "One that tracks the journey we have been on and attempts to encapsulate all that God has accomplished," she explained. Maria asked that her readers leave a comment for the book, sharing something God has recently revealed, or maybe an example of Gideon Blue in their own lives. Maria stated she would enter all comments into a drawing to win the above bracelets and painting, and that each and every comment would be included in their memory book.
I felt God prompting me, and so I wrote. . .
"Your story has touched many. I have been so blessed by your transparent reflections. It is amazing how God can use such pain and heartache and turn it into good, and dare I say. . . even joy? My oldest daughter, now age 2, has some severe developmental delays. We learned back in November 2013 that she has Cohen Syndrome (confirmed via genetic testing). Your story has reminded me that God is so very GOOD. All the time. No matter what. And that JOY can be found even in the mist of pain. Even in the midst of death (to me this means death of the type of child I envisioned when dreaming of growing our family). Thank you for your encouragement and allowing Gideon to make a difference."
And I won the giveaway. A coincidence? I think not. God was hard at work behind the scenes. And so now the beautiful bracelets and painting sit on the shelf in Clara's room. And I am reminded, daily, of God's goodness and faithfulness, even in the midst of life's ups and downs.
I am reminded to be strong, like sweet Gideon, and to never let the challenges of life sweep over the hope that we have in heaven. A reminder that God is close to the brokenhearted.
Because there is coming a day, friends. A day with no more pain or heartache or tears or sadness. And in that day, that moment, all things will be made anew.
Love this girl with my whole heart
Thank you again, Maria, for being brave. For being strong. And for allowing God to do a mighty work within your family.