In my first post I focused on a promise fulfilled by God to Noah. As the waters receded after the flood a dove appeared with an olive branch signifying that there was life after the storm. Today I want to focus on the other promise made shortly thereafter - the covenant made with Noah and for generations to come: the rainbow.
"I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life." Genesis 9:13-15
I think about the way God used that first rainbow so long ago and how the covenant has not changed. It reminds me that God keeps His promises and that there is life after the storm.
Rainbows, in the loss world, have a similar meaning. The term "rainbow baby" is used to describe the child that comes after a loss, whether miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss. A bright rainbow follows the storm (loss) and gives hope and new life. When I was pregnant earlier this year I felt like I was seeing rainbows all the time - it gave me hope that maybe I was indeed pregnant again, either that or God was reminding me that he was still with me in this storm. I was pregnant, and yet the storm thickened with my miscarriage. While heartbroken, my husband and I refused to give up hope.
It can be so easy to misunderstand what God is doing in our lives - I feel as though Olive's life and death are beginning to take on more purpose, and I am seeing things much more clearly than I have before. And while I would do anything to hold that sweet baby in my arms once again, have her here to raise and watch grow, I know that was not part of the plan. I understand that might not make sense to all of you - there are days it still confuses the heck out of me, but I trust that it was for the best (as hard as that can be to say) and trust that God's will is being fulfilled exactly as it was intended. I am finding so much beauty in her life AND her death - it's hard to put into words.
There are certainly mixed emotions that come with every part of this journey. But way back when we decided to remain hopeful, and I specifically chose to try and see the beauty in our circumstances. I am humbled, yet again, at the graciousness of God as He has blessed us with another new life. It has been a rocky first trimester, both physically and emotionally, but we are so thrilled to announce that our second rainbow baby will be joining us later this year. There are so many feelings that come with another healthy pregnancy, but the best way to describe it is by a popular quote that is often shared in the loss community:
It is understood that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of any storm. When a rainbow appears, it does not mean that the storm never happened or that we are not still dealing with its aftermath. It means that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover, but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.