When the Pain Is a Gift

I remember family and friends tentatively peeking in then rushing to my side to meet this little one. He had caused us all so much grief yet brought us closer than we could ever imagine. I can still picture the looks of love, wonder and sadness on each of their faces as they humbly held the tiny child. It was a holy moment. And I cherish the ones who shared it with us.


My grandmother exclaimed in surprise, “Well he’s cute!” And I laughed. Because we all wondered if that would ever be said of my son. And only grandma would have the guts to acknowledge it. Oh how I loved hearing her say it.

I remember wanting to stop time. Just one more minute with him. Please.

But time betrayed me.

I remember walking away. Leaving him behind in the arms of the undertaker and falling into a well of grief I wished would swallow me whole. But I didn’t have that luxury. My daughter needed me.

I remember feeling love so deep and true from my friends and family that it literally sustained me in the months and even years to come. They prayed for us and walked with us and ensured we were never ever alone in our grief.

I remember my husband. My rock. My best friend. The one person on earth who ached as much as I did for the son we never brought home. The one who defended me and protected me all the while leading his little family through this tragedy with dignity, grace and utter selflessness. He gave far more than he received from me.


This is the week I remember. And though it pains me, it is well with my soul.

Maybe God designed this subconscious system to ensure we remember. Because remembering ushers in healing. Remembering offers new perspective and acknowledges how far we have come. And remembering continues the work of restoration.

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10

Every year I see anew how through the pain, the Lord never left my side. He was there all along whispering strength into my heart and comfort into my soul. He sent His children as His hands and feet to care for me physically and emotionally. He is still using this pain in my life to draw me until Himself. And I hope I never forget it.

I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. Psalm 77:11


This article originally appeared at TwentyShekels.com.

Tammie Haveman
Tammie Haveman
Tammie is the wife to a gem of a husband and mama to four of the nicest kids you’ll ever meet. She chases her kids and a menagerie of horses, goats, and chickens around her little hobby farm out in the Minnesota countryside. Tammie is passionate about God’s command to love and serve others in community. She plays an active role in women’s ministry at her church and serves as assistant director of a nonprofit that wraps around isolated kids and families. Tammie blogs about hospitality, faith, and serviceat www.twentyshekels.com. You can also catch her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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