This is really hard to share because this is so close to my heart, and such a raw fresh pain, but writing about the valley we are walking through is my therapy. It helps me to grieve. AND it helps me to honor my baby… the memory of her. As I write this, I weep, and I hope that you will weep with me as I bare my heart and soul through written word.
I had a dream of a little baby girl and this dream has been like a light in my heart for many, many suns and moons.
She had light brown bouncy curls for hair, just like her two older sisters, dimples and freckles like her brother Ethan, big beautiful eyes like all our babies, but this baby would have Mama’s eyes… a deep blue.
I dreamt of cuddles, kisses, and playing dolls, of baking tiny cupcakes and sneaking frosting with giggles and digging in the dirt weeding together like her older sisters used to do.
Yes, there is no doubt in my heart that this baby will be missed forever, and that grieving isn’t something one can do in a week, or month, or a year. The grief that comes with losing a child and all the dreams that attached themselves to the hope of what is to come do certainly last a lifetime.
I am forever changed. And I will never be the same.
As my husband put it yesterday, we will never forget or get too busy to pray for the babies who are unborn, whose parents joyfully dream with a hope of what is to come.
None of us know what tomorrow will hold. We cannot assume, nor should we live today as if tomorrow is certainly going to be a normal day. Every day is a gift. Every child is a gift sent from the Father of Lights!
In grieving, we felt the healthiest way for our family to properly process this loss, was to name our baby.
Now, because I miscarried at exactly 12 weeks (3 months gestation), we didn’t yet know the gender of our baby, so just as we name her by faith, it is by faith we believe our baby was a girl. It was unanimous among our family to name her the name we all knew was our baby girl’s name all these years.
We named her Selah Rose.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
Selah is a curious term or word found in the Bible which is often found at the end of many Psalms and used three times in Habakkuk. God uses the word Selah about 74 times in His Holy Word. As I have been studying the Psalms and writing down all the verses where Selah is mentioned I am learning more about God and the purpose He has had for my daughter. It is amazing to me that God laid this name on my heart, knowing her before she was created in my womb, He, in His goodness planted a seed of a dream in my soul, a yearning for her.
Psalm 66:4 “All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah. “
There are many different interpretations of the meaning of Selah, all of which just make me weep at the how all describe our baby who is now ALIVE in Heaven with our Lord and Savior, and how she has fulfilled and will still fulfill a great purpose here on earth in our lives.
Selah is defined as a Hebrew word that has been found at the ending of verses in Psalms and has been interpreted as an instruction calling for a break in the singing of the Psalm or it may mean “forever.”
SELAH (see-la) is also known in Hebrew as meaning ‘a musical interlude; to pause and think about what was just said or sung, or to pause and watch for a visual demonstration of what was said or sung.’
When we see a Selah in a portion of Scripture we should pause and think about what we have just read. One musician describes his interpretation of the meaning of Selah to be this: “In my head when I read “Selah” I say “think on this”. In the Scriptures, Selah is used as a literary technique to cause the reader to meditate on God’s word.’
Psalm 3:8 “Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.”
Psalm 49:15 “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah”
If I were to list out all the Psalms that end in Selah, you would be moved to tears thinking that this baby is calling us all to pause and meditate on what God’s Holy Word is saying to us.
All these years, I just believed that name to be beautiful. And when I looked up the meaning on Baby name websites, I loved the interpretations to mean a modern day Amen, a time to pause and thank God, to remember and meditate on Him.
Now as I am on this journey of grieving a dream of a daughter that I believed was a promise from God, I am learning more about her and the purpose of her life in my own as I read through the Scriptures where she gently and beautifully says, “Mama, pause and meditate on what God is saying here. Mama, praise Him.”
Again, as I look further into the meaning of Rose three things come to my mind as I am meditating on my daughter. The rose bud of a flower, the past tense verb form of rising is, she rose, and the lighter pink dessert wine called a rose’.
- A rose wine is defined as any light pink wine, colored by only brief contact with red grape skins. We had only brief contact with our Rose.
This imagery is powerfully meaningful to my husband and I because we cultivated and planted a vineyard with our first five children 9 years ago and lived on that property together for over a decade teaching our children about the biblical imagery behind gardening, weeding, viticulture, and harvesting. We ate what we grew for a decade, and we worked hard. But the bigger vision my husband and I had was to teach our children work ethic and eating the fruits of your labor, which we prayed, as we disciple them would yield a heavenly fruit in their souls. We were attempting to purposeful grow godly fruit in our children.
This metaphor of Selah Rose’s name meaning colored by only brief contact with red grape skins is SO powerful.
- The past tense verb form for the word to rise is “she rose.” Selah has risen to her heavenly home. She literally rose.
- The original context of which I had dreamed of choosing the name Rose was inspired by the flower of a rose.
We had 42 stubborn Rose bushes on our property when we bought it. I was just in love with the Rose when we were thinking and dreaming of buying that house. I had NO idea how much work they would be, all the hours spent pruning, fighting aphids that threatened to attack my precious roses! Every spring we would unleash thousands of lady bugs on the property to battle the aphids–the kids loved it. In all the years I tried to keep black spot and disease and death away from those roses, I could not succeed. So, I would cut the roses as buds and put them in a vase. It was the only way I could enjoy them because if I left them on the bush, they were sure to die.My time enjoying my roses was always brief.
In EVERY sense and meaning of her name, our baby girl resembles and represents all of her name, the beauty of a small rose bud, who has risen to Her Creator, Redeemer, and King, who resembles the link pink rose that only had brief contact with us the grape skins who God is harvesting and reaping fruit from (he prunes us to make beautiful fruit).
This is me pausing to grieve my baby girl, my dream of a baby girl, who was so deeply loved, yearned for and has made such a HUGE impact in our hearts and lives that we will never be the same. This is me pausing in awe and thankfulness to God for the gift He has given us in her short earthly life as well as the promise of her eternal life which she now delights in with the Father.
Pause and praise. We will do that Selah. Mommy loves you so much.
Many of you may have seen our families baby announcement here on Mother’s Day 2017.
We didn’t want to wait too long to tell others because we desired your prayers, so at 10 weeks, we shot our little video announcement. Little did we know that in just a couple weeks we would lose our baby. But, I am SO glad we did tell you because I wouldn’t want to go through this alone.
This is and has changed me forever.
If you think of us, pray for my older children, for them this loss is great. They will remember this so much more than our little Solomon for example. They had already given of themselves selflessly to be helping mom more, because of their love for me and the baby. We were praying for a Sprinter van for our family of ten to fit in since we only have one car right now.
The point is there were things in life that were changing, things we were having fun dreaming about because we were now the Tolpin Ten. We will forever be the Tolpin Ten.