Suffering Well…Through the Loss of a Child

Suffering Well…Through the Loss of a Child

a reflection by Jessy W.

On February 9th, 2023, my third-born son Joshua was delivered via emergency C-section at 26 weeks and 4 days old when I had a placental abruption. By a miracle of God, both of our lives were spared and he was delivered safely and transferred to the NICU where we expected him to stay for the next 11 weeks or so. 

But over the next several days, he unexpectedly experienced several complications due to prematurity. On February 12 we made the extremely difficult decision to transition to comfort care. On that day, he left my arms to be in the arms of Jesus. I then spent the next few days in the hospital receiving transfusions and treatment for preeclampsia/HELLP syndrome. 

I’ll admit, the loss of Joshua shattered my world. I had never experienced a loss like this before. I didn’t know how my family, or I, would ever recover from it. I felt like I was drowning in grief and trauma. I felt so broken and weak. We were all confused, disappointed, and full of questions with no answers. I spent a lot of time trying to make sense of it all, searching for a “why” or “how” and spiraling down dark paths of “what ifs”. I cried out to Jesus from the depths of my soul. I learned how to lament. 

“Lament is a prayer in pain that leads to trust.”

Mark Vroegop

In his book Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy, Mark Vroegop says, “Lament is a prayer in pain that leads to trust.” It’s trusting in God’s love, faithfulness, sovereignty, and power to redeem ALL things; even when we can’t see, and even when things still hurt. It’s being honest about all the ways this world lets us down and trusting that He never will. We put our trust and our hope in the LORD. 

It was there in the darkest moments that Jesus met me with such kindness and mercy. I learned that the only thing I could do with my pain was surrender it all to Him, just as I had surrendered Joshua. 

Grief and healing is a messy process, and there’s no roadmap. I couldn’t escape it, fix it, rush it, or put the pieces of me back together again on my own (and believe me, I’ve been trying). 

What I have learned is that It’s OK to feel weak. It’s OK to not be OK. It’s OK to have to rely on others. It’s OK to fall apart sometimes, as long as we are falling into the arms of Jesus. 

There’s so much grace in suffering. Paul in 2 Corinthians 12: 9 says, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 

At this point I am just trusting Jesus with my brokenness.

It’s been 17 months since Joshua’s death. What a journey it has been and continues to be. My most recent journal entry after a particularly painful day sums up what my suffering with Jesus looks like lately- “ At this point I am just trusting Jesus with my brokenness. I trust that he is gently putting me back together again and mending and healing the broken things. Lord give me patience and humility. Be my strength. Help me to keep trusting you. Help me to see. Amen.”


  1. Ronnie Wallace

    Thank you daughter -in-law. Our prayers did not go unanswered. You are awesome in every way! What a ministry you have coming. I pray I can live long enough to see your vision come to fruition

    Your father-in-law
    Ronnie “Bonka” Wallace

  2. Kirsten Wallace

    Jessica we love you so much
    Every day without fail I think of that beautiful boy Joshua. I am proud of you and your healing journey

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