If you were to meet Nicole you would find her to be warm and bubbly. Her hair would likely be adorable since she’s an amazing hair stylist. She is a lover of Jesus and nineties rap music. She’d probably make you feel good about yourself. And there’s a good chance she’d hug you.
If you were to meet Nicole you likely wouldn’t know she is grieving. Nicole and her husband Brock are parents to three children, but one of them lives heaven.
Her path to becoming a mom took two years and once pregnant she was elated. Early ultrasounds showed a healthy baby. Life was good until week twenty when a second baby and complications were discovered.
Weeks of bed rest could not keep those little loves in the safety of her womb. The day the twins were born was both the best and worst day of her life. She never heard them cry. She didn’t get to hold her babies. Three medical teams crowded the operating room doing all they could. It wasn’t enough for the son they named Evan.
Evan was just too little.
Nicole held Evan as he went to be with his Heavenly Father. She cried like she had never cried before and she was angry with Jesus like never before. Despite that, she clung to her faith. One verse, in particular, Matthew 17:20 “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Sometimes a mustard seed is all you have.
That faith, her family, her closest friends, and Evan’s brother Quinn kept her going. She says, “all 2.8 pounds of Quinn held me up.” They needed each other. They were both fighters. After 8 weeks in the NICU Quinn came home.
Despite Evan’s tiny size, he left an enormous hole. One that will never be filled.
After an anxious second pregnancy, they added another son to their family. There is joy and laughter. There are good days and bad days. She is still mad at Jesus. But she loves Him too.
This devastating loss has given Nicole a different perspective. She views life through a softer lens now. She is less judgmental as she now knows firsthand the hidden pain people carry. In the depth of her own pain, Jesus spoke to her. He promised to meet her where she was. Right there in the thick of misery. He met her there and now she lives with a motto of meeting other people where they are.
This beautiful gift of acceptance is freely offered.
Early on she and Brock decided they wanted to find a way to honor Evan and make a difference in his name. They formed Evan’s Army and raise money for the March of Dimes. This organization is committed to helping decreasing premature birth rates. So each year they collect donations and participate in the March for Babies. You can support Evan’s Army and this great cause by clicking here.
Evan lives in heaven, but he is visible here on earth too. His photo is lovingly displayed in their home. His brother speaks of him often. His name can be heard each night in prayer. Cards are signed with all of their names, including Angel Evan. His memory is alive.
They will never forget their littlest love and they don’t want others to either. His short life changed their lives forever.
If you know someone who has lost a child please don’t ignore the loss. There is no glossing over their pain. I know you don’t know what to say. You are afraid to say the child’s name. Silence will not lessen the grief. Grieving parents are grieving regardless. The sound of their child’s name is music to their ears. It is a song that brings joy and sometimes tears, and they need to hear it.
When Nicole enters heaven and meets Jesus, He had best be ready to immediately hand Evan to his mother and pull up a chair. As far as Nicole is concerned He has a lot of explaining to do.
There are so many things in this life that we can’t make sense of, but if we hold on to that mustard seed one sweet day we will perhaps understand.