Chloe Elizabeth Krosschell
June 5, 1993 ✟

I don’t know what caused me to go to my hutch and take out the little mahogany box. Maybe it’s the fact that today was her due date (October 16, 1993). I was so excited to be having a little girl, and what better month for a little girl to be born than October… with a pink birthstone.

This baby was a celebration baby – I had conceived her on my 25th birthday. The timing was perfect, our son Bret was two years old. We knew we wanted four children, each two years apart. We had planned everything, perfectly!

Sometime earlier, I had played a “game” with a string, and my wedding ring forecasting my future family. It told me I would have four children… three boys and one girl. Little did I know, how this game would torture me in the months to come.

“We may make our plans, but God has the last word.” Proverbs 16:1

I woke up very early in the morning on June 5th in labor. I knew right away that something was wrong. We drove to the hospital in silence – my husband, holding my hand the whole way. He knew that was what I needed. They met us at the door with a wheelchair. I lay there on the hospital bed as they searched for my baby’s heartbeat… “It had to be there…it was so strong just a couple of days ago …keep searching!”
“Please God, don’t let this be happening!”
“Help, God! Help!”

The monitor stayed silent. There was no heartbeat. The room became somber… everyone moving about quietly and respectfully. I would deliver my baby girl later that day and hold her tiny lifeless body in my arms. I cherished those sweet moments before they took her away, and walked us through the steps of making funeral arrangements.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

I was very thankful for all the people that surrounded us during those dark days. It taught me a lot about how to respond to others during times of loss.

• I learned that to bring food is good, but to bring paper plates, drinks, and toilet paper is better.
• I learned that you don’t need to have words and that just sitting together is sometimes best.
• I learned to respond to the Holy Spirit’s whisper when I am told to send a note or give a hug.
• I learned that people like to talk about their loved one that they just lost. (Oh! There was nothing sweeter than hearing her name.)

I have used these things that I have learned the past 26 years, to go to friends during their time of loss, and to not be afraid.

“But I trust in you, Lord; I say, you are my God.”
Psalm 31:14

I wish I could tell you that “I did it well!” and that I had used my experience, of losing a child, to point others to Christ.
I wish I could tell you that my faith grew and that I had been full of trust and hope.

But. I. Didn’t.

Instead, I withdrew like a scolded puppy, whose back dipped in the middle and tail was tight between its legs. I found a safe place to hide, and I waited for God to dish out my punishment. This was not a gospel story to me; this was punishment from God. Punishment for all the wrong decisions I had made. Where in the world did my young mind ever start believing in such a vengeful God?

For many years, I viewed God as a strong, authoritative, disciplinary God. I knew He loved me, but it was a distant, scary love. A love I had to earn. Did I really understand the Gospel? Could I ever accept the depth of the Father’s love for me? Maybe it was deeper than that. Maybe, I needed to forgive and love myself to accept that God had forgiven and loved me… enough so that He sacrificed His child, for me! Losing my baby became a story of redemption for me.

“You, Lord, are forgiving and good. Abounding in love for me.”
Psalm 86:5

• I have learned that I have a weak spot in what I believe. That the enemy preys on the opportunity to feed me a lie.
• I have learned that when I forget that my God loves me more than punishes me, then I have to go to the Word and replace those lies with Truth.
• I have learned that I am not kind to myself, but that I should be! God has not given me a spirit of timidity, but He has called me to be confident.
• I have learned that He has created me to be EXACTLY who He needs me to be, in order to complete the redemptive story.
• I have learned that there is no greater sacrifice, no greater pain, than to lose a child, and He deeply knows the same pain.

“The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.”
Psalm 30:4-5

Nine years later, I held my fifth child in my arms, a baby girl. (Not only was that silly little voodoo game that caused me such distress wrong, but this was my third girl and fifth child. My God is much greater than a string, a ring, and an old wise tale!)
As I looked at that new baby, the Holy Spirit spoke deep into my soul and simply said to me,

“Well done, my daughter. I know it was very hard to give me your child,
but this baby you hold in your arms is very important to me.
I have great plans for her. Trust me!”

I have held on to those Holy Spirit words. There are still days that are hard, but for the most part, I can rejoice knowing that Chloe is in the arms of Jesus and that one day, I will hold her again. I have chosen to live life fully because that is how she would have lived. She already had.
My precious baby has shown me how deeply loved I am by God, how to love (and forgive) myself, and how to truly love others.
Every June 5th we celebrate her life and the things she taught us with angel food cake… it is a sweet celebration!

~ Kimber Krosschell