General CBF

When I’m found in the desert place: Falling back on faith

By Jessica Jasper
On  Friday evening I sat in the floor holding a young mother as her two-month-old passed away. It was my first infant death as a hospital chaplain. I sat in the floor with the mother clinging tightly to me, and rocked back and forth with her.

As we rocked I whispered in her ear the only prayer I could muster up in that dark moment. “Lord. Lord. Please Lord. Help. Lord. Lord. Please Lord Help.” We said this over and over again between tears.

It is Sunday afternoon as I write this, and I still haven’t processed all of the emotions–mainly because I haven’t had the time. There were other traumas that night and other families that needed my shoulder to cry on and my prayers for strength. I didn’t get to bed until after 4 a.m. All of Saturday was devoted to getting caught up on sleep.
Today at church the song Blessed Be Your Name, by Matt Redman was sung. The lyrics really touched me.

Blessed Be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

As a hospital chaplain I feel that I have been called by God to walk alongside people in their darkest hours. It doesn’t get much darker than losing a baby.

When the doctor informed the mother of the death and the mother collapsed into my arms, I honestly questioned why MY GOD, creator and sustainer of all, would allow such a thing to happen to such an innocent little life. In that moment I had to make a conscious effort to fall back on my faith.

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

As the family gathered around the tiny lifeless body of their two-month-old baby, I offered a prayer. It was the hardest prayer I have had to pray thus far. Through gritted teeth I thanked God for her precious little life and asked God to surround the family in their time of sorrow. After the prayer I made the sign of the cross on her itty-bitty forehead and said “May you rest in the arms of Christ.” The mother refused to leave the hospital until I whispered in her ear that I would take care of her baby.

To honor my word to the mother, I went back into the trauma room and helped the nurse tuck the precious little baby into the body bag. As I tucked the blankets around the lifeless body of another woman’s child, I felt honored to be the hands of Christ.

As I left the hospital early that next morning I couldn’t help but have a smile on my face as I said “This is what being a Christian is all about.” Believe me when I say that there is no way I would be able to do this kind of work without the power of Christ. I give him all the credit. I’m just so amazed that God is able to use little old me.

Jessica Ann Jasper is a 2007 graduate of Georgetown College and a student at Baptist Seminary of Kentucky. She is currently serving as chaplain associate at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown, Ky. She is the wife of the Reverend Roger L. Jasper of Living Faith Baptist Fellowship, and mother to Paul (9) and Anna (6).

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