Guest Post

Closer to Christ Through the Cross by Danielle Erwin

Join me in welcome Danielle Erwin today. She brings a guest post to you straight from her heart. Grab some tissues and make sure you are sitting down. (Warning: Deals with miscarriage and loss.)

When you lose someone you love, you feel alone, like no one understands you or feels the magnitude and depth of the loss as you do. No matter how much you desire support, you always find something is lacking. This hole within, this empty feeling, is the space your little one occupied and can not be replaced by anyone or anything anyone says or does here on this earth. You will carry his or her memory with you. It will always be a silent part of you that only God can touch, and so you will only find rest in His peace. As you move through the silence of your day, He will move in the silence of your heart.

I felt the pull in spring of 2018 to explore this pain I couldn’t seem to relinquish, so I went to our parish’s Adoration chapel for the last hour of my oldest child’s first communion retreat. I sought His peace and knew releasing tears must be part of it. I thought the Blessed Sacrament was going to be exposed, but He wasn’t. I slid in a pew anyways. Our pastor was in there as well. I planned on having alone time with Jesus so I didn’t have to hide my tears and I didn’t anticipate anyone else being there. I secretly wanted my pastor to leave, I wanted to cry in an empty room, and without me saying anything, he left a few minutes later. I didn’t even want to look up as he walked by, so I leaned my forehead against the pew in front of me.

I got this feeling in my stomach, like something needed to be let out. So I started praying the Rosary. The Apostles Creed came and went with no issue, then an Our Father, Hail Mary…and by the second Hail Mary, tears began. I could barely utter the words without my eyes producing more of that salted water. Third Hail Mary proved no different. I stared at the Tabernacle where the Hidden Jesus resides, and meditated on the words each time, I couldn’t dig deeper to understand why they came during those words, but they did. I turned my gaze towards the statue of Our Lady, His Mother. I continued with a Glory Be thinking the waterworks would dam up, but to no avail. Then I rushed through the Fatima Prayer, thinking that saying it faster would prevent the emotion that led to tears, but the tears ignored me.

I announced the first Glorious Mystery, the Resurrection, and thought on it for a bit. My tiny saints entered my mind again, they’re with Him. I knew they were at the forefront of all problems with the broken dam that was my eyes. I allowed them to join me as the first decade of the Rosary of tears flowed from me, unable to be stopped. I felt a little more of what I held in my stomach release, but knew I had much farther to go. I continued to analyze the statue of Mary as I couldn’t remove my eyes from hers. Her face remained loving as always. Her arms open, and palms of her hands beckoning for me to come with all I have. So I let her take it as I uttered and meditated upon the words of the Hail Mary in that first decade. My tears were hers. I could go no further than the first decade since more people entered the chapel, and I didn’t want to share my tears with them.

I looked towards His Crucifix ever so briefly, then away again in shame, for His Cross is, was, and ever shall be far heavier than mine. But maybe these crosses I’m given play a role in what He desires for me? I turned back to Our Lady, I’m not worthy of her gaze or Christ’s Presence, but I know they beckon and I couldn’t refuse my Master’s call. So I asked why, through an ocean of tears. I asked why and, at the same time, said I knew why, but I asked why anyways. It was as if speaking the words was enough. So many times I think how it’s been so long that I’ve been thinking about Marky and Lucy, but I realized I’ve been thinking of them as someone else would, someone who didn’t go through losing them, and so I’ve never experienced this release. My release has been through words til now.

Now, I’m permitting myself more than words, for I needed more. I bring myself to Him, and let Him have me back, me as the talent still being fashioned to return to Him as He would like it to grow. And right now, I’m in a limbo in life, just sailing along the waters, doing the basics, or trying to, failing, and forcing myself to rise and take up my mat again and again. Because Lord, I can’t do this life on my own. That’s why I have You, to guide me. Let me be a vessel though which Thy Will be done. My spirit is willing, but flesh is weak, and so I push against your pull, I don’t give easily.

My “why?” is my stubbornness showing through, my “not yet” is the rich man who asked how he could follow you, and who went away when You told him to give up all he has. My heart is stubborn as his, my spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak. Yet I keep returning, in tears, knowing better than to continue this game, to keep running away and coming back like a child who is teasing You. Yet in Your Mercy, Your forgiveness never ceases, nor does your call. So Lord, in my weakness I beg You to soften my heart, to clear it of clutter, and instead make room for You so that my body and soul may be one with Yours. Then will there be no more argument between body and soul and You. No more awkwardness, only Peace, the kind of Peace which comes from knowing and following Your Truth. So let it be written, so let it be done, all in His Holy Name and for His Glory alone. Amen.

I still wondered after that day why pain remains when the cross of loss is already suffered. I remember reading some time ago that the cross is in the waiting. We remember how Christ was sentenced to death by Pilate and was made to suffer the many beatings and then carrying His cross to Calvary. How heavy the burden of our sins! Then, He was nailed to the wood and hung there for three hours before He gave His life in saying: it is finished. Life here on earth is my cross. The waiting is for Heaven. My Calvary is every hardship this world deals me. And so, my losses are only some of my crosses. They’re part of my journey to Heaven, part of my Calvary. Christ did not deserve His cross, but I do deserve mine and much more. I pray I may bear them all with His Grace and that He may use them to bring me to eternal life with Him!

No More Doubts (Jan 17, 2018)
(Written for Mark William Erwin, miscarried at 16weeks)

So many what ifs cross my mind
But each answer proves me oh so blind
For each question seems a doubt
That since he’s gone, he’s missing out

How dare I question why
When I know he’s with a great Guy
Why do I question what he’s getting after birth
And compare to what he’d get here on earth

For love, he has his Family in Heaven
With the Spirit, he’s an advocate for our family of seven
For guidance, he has His Father’s Hand
For food, he has the Son of Man

We weep because he won’t get more time here
But really, what need we fear?
No time to deal with the worlds’ way
But straight to Heaven, ne’er lead astray

We shed tears because we loved
But rejoice for he’s with Love above
We cry for the loss of your little soul
But there’s joy for reaching our goal

As parents we all yearn
We seek and our hearts burn
Tho the chances seem oh so faint
For our littles to all become a saint

Why then should we mourn
When they end this earthly sojourn
When they leave this life seemingly quaint
To join in heavenly joys and become a saint?

I want to thank you for joining us today Danielle and sharing your precious heart with us. Dear readers, be sure to check out Danielle’s beautiful book of poem for those coping with miscarriage – Holding On, available on Amazon now.

You can find Danielle online on FB:

On her blog:

holding on

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