By Bryan Dailey
I can’t believe it’s been almost nine years since my wife Tracy and I lost our daughter Emma at birth.
There wasn’t anything wrong with her, not one thing. We had no answers, no reasons, not even a guess. Somehow, we’ve made it this far. The reason for that is Jesus Christ.
After the loss of Emma and being at home with a one-year-old little boy, your mind can start to wander. You busy yourself with the things you think will fill that hole in your heart. For me, it was many hours on the job and a lot of that time drinking alcohol.
My son Jackson, who is now ten, probably remembers a time when daddy wasn’t around. Those first four years flew by, and before we knew it, another baby was on the way. This time, a healthy baby boy named Caleb arrived and two years later another, Bennett.
Life was good, but Emma had only begun to open up hearts and stir up conversation. We held close to this little experience until Bennett was born. It was then that we were open to allowing God to move in our journey and heal our hearts, opening them up to come alive. We realized on a much bigger scale that His plan for our lives consisted much more than just being and getting through the days.There were other people out there that we had met that had experienced the same similar circumstances, and we felt like God was calling upon us to be a light in the darkness for this type of suffering here on Earth.
There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about Emma and what she would have looked like, who she would have become and what she may have accomplished in this world. This is sobering, but I know now more than ever that God’s purpose for her short time here was to bring salvation, not only to her family, but to many other families that are dealing with the same issues, the same type of life story.
The grace and submission that comes in a relationship between two broken individuals can only be found in Christ. It’s only through him that our marriage, our hearts have been and will continue to heal. Tracy and I sought Jesus out on our own. Now, we look back and can thank God for working in us, and continuing to work in us through each other, our children, our friends and the countless individuals and couples that have come in and out of our lives. Some have stayed for a moment. Some are life lasting. Some we will see soon, and some we may never see again in this life, but God knows His plans.
We do know this:
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
I’ve learned to love others where they are, not where I think they should be, and I’ve learned to get to know them just as Christ allows us to know Him. I’ve learned to pray for peace, and I will have it. This world can be difficult and the circumstances we face can cause lifelong pain, but the key for me in rising from the ashes and in coming alive has been to seek Jesus. He is the only one with the ultimate power to restore and heal every broken heart.
Bryan Dailey is a husband to Tracy, father, and cofounder of Emma’s Footprints.