This is the third year that Gracie and Co has had the privilege to participate in this spring retreat. Haven of Hope is a ministry dedicated to helping mothers that are grieving the death of a child. Their verse is “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those that are crushed in spirit” Psalm 34:8
In March, they will have their retreat for 2016, and have doubled the number of spaces needed. Last year, there were 30 and this year they are planning for 60. Normally when the number doubles from one year to the next at an event, that is a good thing and it is good that this many mamas will be together and be loved on and ministered to…. but in saying that, the reality is that 60 Mamas have lost their babies.
I cannot imagine. Each one of them, at some point, has lost a child and has made the decision to leave their home and travel to Texas to be together with other ladies, who just like them, are walking the same journey, grieving for their loss.
I met my friend, Shannon, 5 years ago, through her blog, Sweet Blessings. As my Mother had just lost her battle with pancreatic cancer, Shannon was blogging about missing her mother, who she had lost several years before to cancer. My daughter, Lara, just happened to have found her, (she was also a Baylor graduate!) and sent me the link to read, knowing it would be meaningful to me. Of course, I connected at once and sent her an email. That was the start of a sweet, sweet friendship over the miles, through these last 5 years. Instantly connected since we both had lost our mothers, but oh so much more to the friendship through these years. She has the biggest heart for others. She shares Jesus each and every day through all she does. She has been through brain surgery and back, shining for Him through it all. She is a huge part of Haven of Hope.
They put together a welcome basket each year for the ladies that are coming. I made a pack of notecards for each welcome basket. This year we chose just the simple cross to embellish the front of the card with one word under it… BELIEVE
It is our prayer that this will be a special time for each lady there, to be loved on. to be comforted and for her life to be changed from the new friendships that she will be making.
Thank you , Lord, for placing Shannon Long in my life. Thankful that you brought us together through one of the darkest times in each of our lives . Thankful that we can keep up with each other, pray for each other and encourage each other over the miles and thankful for her sweet heart for others. Praying for each lady who will be at this Haven for Hope retreat, that hearts will begin to heal, friendships formed and You will be glorified.