“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world.” (President Ronald Reagan October 25, 1988)
1 in 4 families will not have any word to describe them when they lose their child – except maybe heart broken, lost, hopeless, empty. Faith45 was born out of a dream to help families walking this road of child loss and navigating a new normal of life without their child. Faith45 exists to raise awareness and provide support for families experiencing miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss.
With October being Miscarriage and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I would like to introduce Faith45 to you and continue spreading awareness in hopes that we can continue to help families.
Our story begins in 2016. Early in the year, we found out we were expecting out first born, a little girl. And early on, we also found out that she was very sick. She had a genetic condition that doctors began telling us meant she would most likely not survive child birth. We began begging God to just let us meet our little girl.
Well on November 15, 2016 God gave us our miracle and our little girl not only survived child birth, but also survived another amazing 45 minutes. It was the best and the worst day of our lives. Having to say goodbye to a child is something no parent should ever have to live through. The days and weeks that followed were the hardest of our lives.
About a year later, we began feeling like we wanted to do something and to help families going through what we had just gone through, in any way we could. Our dream started with an idea to provide these families with the items we found that helped us most. And so, came the idea of Faith Boxes. A Faith Box is filled with items that we hope can offer support in these times that feel so impossible. These items include: books, children’s books, devotionals, bracelets, music, journal, candle and forget-me-not flower seeds. We offer three different boxes – one for miscarriage, one for stillbirth and one for infant loss.
As Faith45 began to spread, we also had women begin to approach us asking how they could help and sharing their stories and how they want to help women going through what they went through. This is where our one-on-one mentoring program came from – women just wanting to help and love on women going through these hard times. These women, Faith45 mentors, reach out 1-2 times a week via email, text or phone call and are just there to listen and encourage along this journey.
We pray God continues to use our story, as we continue to honor our daughter by doing everything we can to help others in their stories.
Faith45 will be hosting a remembrance night on Saturday, October 12 at 6:00pm at Harbor Life Church in Grandville. It will be a night to remember and celebrate the lives of our children and to gather as a community. It is not just for those who have lost, but for anyone who has walked with someone, prayed for someone, knows someone who has lost or just wants to support this community.
It is a free event and this year we have the honor of welcoming singer, songwriter, author and recording artist Becky Nordquist! She has been working on a project called “Before We Said Hello” – an album and devotional honoring miscarriage and infant loss. This project will be released to the public on October 15 but will be pre-released at this event. She will be performing songs from the album and sharing her heart. She is no stranger to grief and loss and strives to bring mercy, grace and the love of God to those who are broken, wandering and wondering where God is in the midst of suffering.
Also during the month of October, jb and me will have materials and resources available about Faith45 in stores. Stop in to see our Faith Boxes and resources we have available. We will also be selling Faith45 t-shirts to help raise money to support families!
Tuesday, October 15 is National Infant Loss Awareness Day and to honor that jb and me will be donating all proceeds of their swan creek candle sales to Faith45!