"Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can't heal." I want to believe those words, I really do. And most days I can, but it's days like today that it can be a struggle. You see, tonight I'm leading worship at the Annual Embrace Memorial Mass. It is one of the most powerful and difficult events I am blessed to be a part of all year. Tonight is a night that families in Atlanta gather to remember the lives of their little ones. Lives that were cut far too short. All Embrace is a ministry that seeks to celebrate those lives.
The story of how All Embrace came to be begins with a woman named Nicole Hartman. Nicole is a dear friend of mine whom I met several years ago on a Life Teen Women's Retreat. Her story wrecked my heart. She had been happily married for years, desperate to start a family. After several years of trying to conceive and suffering the pain of several miscarriages, Nicole and her husband Peter felt that they were being called to adopt a child. They are now the proud parents of an adorable little girl named Olivia. As a result of her own struggles with losing her children, Nicole felt called to found a ministry called All Embrace. The main goal of the ministry is to serve families who have gone through the loss of a child, whether it be through miscarriage, stillbirth, or any other circumstance. This ministry was born out of the ashes of defeat and utter despair. It is living proof that God can turn anything and everything into something beautiful.
It has been incredible to witness God use Embrace over the years to help countless families as they journey through their loss. The death of a child is a pain I cannot even begin to imagine. Many families suffer their loss in silence. Through ministries like All Embrace and services like what we are going to do tonight, they don't have to suffer in silence anymore. It is an opportunity to come together as a community to celebrate the lives of these babies. To celebrate their short but precious time on this earth. To celebrate that they are in better hands now and that one day, their parents will meet them again. To celebrate the GIFT that they are. They were not mistakes, they were miracles, and God had a plan for them just like He does for all His children.
If you could, please pray for the families that are gathering tonight in Atlanta. Please pray for healing, for peace, for strength in the face of this trial. I leave you with the lyrics from a new David Crowder song called Come As You Are that we will be singing for communion tonight.
If you have suffered a loss, please know that I am praying for you and your family today. I know that I can't take away your pain, but I can stand by you and be a prayer warrior for your heart. If you know of a child who is now with God, you can send me an email with their name at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will place their name in the book of remembrance for this evening's service.
For more information about All Embrace, go to http://www.allembrace.com