Christa Black

40 Minutes: The Life and Death of Luca Gold Gifford, March 5, 2014

There’s a strange war raging today.  The greatest moment of my life shares the title of the worst moment of my life, and I pound like a gong violently between the two extremes.

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My baby girl Luca Gold “Goldie” Gifford entered the world yesterday at 11 am, and was taken from my world 40 minutes later.  She is gone from my arms.  And there is no greater pain that a mother can know.

One minute, I’m in awe at the number of miracles climbing like mountains around us in the dark valley of these moments, evident over the last 9 months of her creation inside of me.  And the next minute, I’m wailing from the chasm that lies empty inside my heart and my womb.

But strangely enough and completely unexpectedly, within the greatest pain lies the greatest comfort.  And the Comforter is closer than ever, wrapped like a gift within the closest grief I’ve ever known.

 

The night before I went into labor, I knew we weren’t supposed to go home.  Moses, Lucas and I had finished dinner at my parents house, and even though my due date was still weeks away, I just had a hunch we needed to stay close to family that night.  As labor pains began mildly and very inconsistently at 4:30 am, I still wasn’t sure if  this was false labor and didn’t even get out of bed for a couple of hours.  But at 9 am as contractions became more extreme and closer together, I knew—this was the day I was going to meet my baby girl.

Studhubs raced out of the house, heading off to buy diapers we hadn’t bought yet, back to our house to get clothes and items we knew we’d need but hadn’t been prepared for.  We had a hunch she was coming early, but we hadn’t expected on her coming 2.5 weeks early Mom and Dad raced around the house, excitedly getting ready for my home birth, and I texted the midwife letting her know I was in labor and this truly was the real deal.  A friend came by to get Moses, the birthing tub was being aired up and filled in the living room, and as I sat on the edge of the bed readying myself for the next contraction, I felt a drop like a bowling ball into my pelvis.

Waddling in between contractions, I raced to the toilet, knowing my water could break any minute.  Within two contractions, I felt the pop and water rushed forth in preparation for life.

Still no midwife.  Still no birthing tub.

I texted Lucas….”My water broke!”  It was 10:40 am and I was sitting alone in the dark, back on a guest bathroom toilet.  I could hear the bustle in the living room as family scurried around, trying to get everything ready, knowing she was coming soon.  Within a few contractions, I could feel the shift.  I screamed out, “Babe, she’s coming!” and as the words came out of my mouth, so did she.  I stood up just in time to catch her little body as Lucas raced around the corner, sliding across the floor to catch her as well, with the midwife on his heels.

The second we pulled her little body up, we knew.

Luca wasn’t going to make it.

Our beautiful baby girl had a rare disease called Anencephaly where the top of her skull, parts of her brain, and her scalp didn’t fully form.  There are a few hunches as to why it happens, but only 1 in almost 5,000 babies are born with it, and it apparently occurs within the first month or so of pregnancy.

As I pulled her close to me, both Lucas and I began to weep, not knowing if our beautiful daughter was even alive.  The midwife ushered us into the bedroom where I laid down and cradled her close, our tears falling on her soft little skin.  She didn’t look as if she was breathing and wasn’t showing any signs of life, but as the midwife put the stethoscope up to her little chest, she exclaimed, “She has a heartbeat!”  We looked at each other and cried even harder, holding on to her like we were holding onto life itself.

 

I will never forget the 40 minutes we shared with our daughter as her heart fought to beat on this earth.  What a little fighter she was, longing to be with her family as long as her little body would allow.  We curled her delicate fingers around ours, kissed her sweet soft skin, prayed, embraced, and cried.   We dressed her in something pretty and soft, wrapped her in beautiful blankets, took picture after picture longing to never forget.  Every moment stabbed with excruciating pain, while the ecstasy of joy filled our nostrils like a beautiful fragrance and clung to our hearts like bursts of hope.

Life and death came to us yesterday, wrapped together in a beautiful package so intricately intertwined, we simply weren’t able to tear them apart.

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As her little body left my arms for the last time yesterday, driving off in the little wicker basket with the funeral director, I began to wail as if my heart had been torn from my chest.  She’s all alone I screamed inside.  My baby girl is all alone!   Then, like a lightening bolt from the sky, an almost audible voice shook my spirit to the core.

“I’m not alone, Mommy!  I’m not alone!”  

I looked up into the sky and as clearly as I could see the sun, I saw my little girl, embraced and smiling in the arms of Jesus, whole and healed….ALIVE.

And every time my hands long to touch her little face….

Every time my heart weeps at the loss…..

Every moment I feel like I might explode from grief….

Or when my exhausted body aches to pull her close, I’ll always remember her words of truth.

“I’m not alone, Mommy!  I’m not alone!” 

xx,

CHRISTA BLACK_OFFICIAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Angela Nasby

    I’m in shock and just bawling. So unspeakably sorry for your loss and so unshakably grateful that she is in the arms of Jesus. I wish I had more comforting words to say. Just know that I love you and that you’ll be in my prayers, sweet friend.

  • http://www.jamieivey.com/ Jamie Ivey

    Oh Christa I am so sorry. So very sorry about all of this. The beauty and pain mixed together is part of the mystery of Jesus. I will be praying for you and for your family.

  • Casey

    Praying for you and your sweet family. I am so sorry for your loss, but so happy baby girl isn’t alone.

  • Chris DuPré

    Christa and Lucas, I am so sorry for your loss. My heart broke for you as I read your story. You are a brave lady to share this so soon. I am grateful for the words from heaven that came to your heart…she is not alone. I am sure that He will also speak to your both, that you are not alone either. You have many who love you and will be praying for you. Much love!

  • http://annieblogs.com AnnieBlogs

    Friend. Praying for y’all. I’m so so sorry.

  • elizabethesther

    christa…….your faith. Your beautiful faith. I remember sitting with you and feeling the precious baby bump that was little Luca. That IS Luca. She’s ALIVE. I hold you in my heart. Prayers and love and hugs every single moment of this day for you. Lighting a candle at church this weekend. ALL THE LOVE TO YOU.

  • Laura

    My heart is hurting for you and the tears are flowing. Praying that the peace and comfort of Jesus’s presence will wash over your hearts in His love as you heal. Thanking God for Luca’s beautiful eternal life with Christ!

  • http://www.emergingmummy.com/ Sarah Bessey

    No words , Christa, but so many prayers, groaning with you. Lighting a candle and I promise that I will remember Luca Gold Gifford.

  • http://thechuppies.com/ Kara @ The Chuppies

    oh christa…I am so sorry. Stopping to pray for you now…what a beautiful name for a precious little one.

  • Karen Yates

    Oh Christa. My heart. Praying for you this moment.

  • Marisol

    Oh Christa and Lucas, I have no words, I am just crying and asking the Lord that He will cuddle you and Lucas in his arms as babies. Thank God for that vision, I know in the middle of our horrible pain He give us visions and hope, because is true she is with our Saviour.

  • Hannah

    Bawling my eyes out with you. Please know you are not alone. You are loved by millions whose lives have been tremendously touched by your authenticity but most of all, and I know you know this, you are loved by our heavenly Father. I pray that His loving arms of comfort surround you now and that He does what only He can do. Praying for your whole family. With so much love.

  • Deb Anderson Weaver

    There are no words. May God hold you.

  • Sarah Markley

    I’m so so sorry Christa. Weeping and praying with you.

  • Jemelene

    Praying for blessings of comfort and peace upon you.

  • http://alliworthington.com/ Alli Worthington

    Sending prayers of comfort and love.

  • Cara Dowdy

    Words cannot express the pain I feel for you, but this is beautiful. And so was Luca’s precious life! Bless you and Lucas with Comfort and unexplainable Peace.

  • http://www.inahazelnutshell.blogspot.com/ Laura Werezak

    You don’t know me Christa, but through this piece I can feel a tiny fraction of your pain and your comfort as my own tears run down. Thank you for writing, it makes us all a little braver. Your daughter’s broken body is already made whole… She is NOT alone… and neither are you.

  • Anna Smith

    I cry with you my lovely as one mommy with another. Much love xxxx

  • Ingrid

    So sorry for your loss. Praying for your family…may the peace that surpasses all understanding & His love overwhelm each one of you.

  • AshleyMJackson

    My heart is broken for your great loss. May she be ever in your hearts, and holding Jesus hand till you see her again someday.

  • Amanda

    Keeping your family and yourself in prayer . Would give you a physical hug if I could. X

  • Claire

    Christa,
    You came to WinShape Camps for Girls this summer and touched the lives of so many young girls with your story and with your heart for Jesus. I was sitting in the the audience that night with 10-year-olds all around me and knew that you were speaking to me just as much as you were speaking to them. You have spoken to me again tonight. As I sit here writing with tears still in my eyes and on my cheeks, struggling with my own battles and burdens, I know I am not alone. Not for a second has my Father left me alone. This knowledge is salt water on old hurts that never really healed: painful, tear-inducing, yet cleaning and refreshing. He is there for pain like losing Luca, and He is there for pain like mine. Thank you for reminding me of that today. Know that you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers in the weeks and months to come. Thank you for sharing your story. It is so very sad, but it is also so beautiful, because God’s grace is never ending. Thank you.
    Claire

  • gretchen

    Oh, I am just so sorry. Here via Sarah Bessey. Praying for your family right now.

  • Kayla Powell

    I heard you speak for the first time a couple of weeks ago ay a Redeeming Pink conference in Stafford, TX. I was blessed beyond words listening to you bear your heart and I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for you with all my heart.

  • Heidi Tuttle

    My heart is aching for you Christa and Lucas. You are a pillar of strength to even share this with us and your life is a testimony to EVERYONE. I really honor you and my heart is breaking for you right now and I am crying and praying and begging for your Peace and Comfort*

  • http://refineus.org/ Justin and Trisha

    Oh my sweet friend, I’m so sorry for your pain with which no words can describe. Praying for your heart and family!

    ~ Trish

  • KristenStrong

    Christa, I’m so, so sorry. Holding you and your family tightly in prayer.

  • Diana

    I’m so so sorry for your loss. I lost my son at 41 weeks, on the day I was to be induced, on October 2. It’s a terrible painful grief but know you are not alone. I hope Max and Goldie are playing together in heaven. As a parent, there’s no better place to have my son.

  • Kim Hood Audi

    Tears are streaming from my face, Christa. I can’t imagine. I’m so very sorry. What a beautiful gift Jesus gave you, to see your little girl in His arms and hear her say that she’s not alone. Indeed she is not. And indeed, she is WHOLE and ALIVE with Jesus. I know your heart and Luke’s heart will ache for her. May Jesus continue to speak words of comfort and life to you both. And to little Moses. May Jesus guide you both through how to lead little Moses through this process of grief. And may He hold all of you so very closely. Prayers for all of you, Kim (a college friend of Libby’s…and Luke’s)

  • emily p freeman

    Saying a prayer for your family tonight, Christa.

  • Tam Hodge

    I am sorry. So very sorry….

  • serenityw

    Christa- thank you for sharing your daughter’s story and your heart. Today marks the one month anniversary of the birth and loss of our son- we had ten precious minutes with him. I share your heartbreak but I also share the beautiful picture you have of your baby resting in the arms of Jesus. I will do my utmost to remember you in my prayers. May you be filled with a peace that passes all understanding and out of that peace may you give yourself permission to grieve.

  • Krystin Behannon

    I can’t even begin to imagine the inner conflict you, Lucas, and your families are experiencing. But what an amazing testimony to your faith. Your and Lucas’ strength and composure in this, your understanding of the power of your own words – in death, in life, I’m confident and covered – is and will continue to be a huge inspiration to many. What a blessing for Luca to be held and shown full love in the arms of her earthly parents and her Heavenly Father in the same day! I hope you continue to find peace and that you feel sweet Luca watching over each of you. I hope each comment, share, click, and read feels like arms to hold you up when you feel like collapsing. Rest, roomie, she’s whole! I’m thinking of you and praying for you as you continue to process.

  • Kate Vera

    Oh Christa we are so sad to hear this, and so sorry for you and Luke’s loss. I was in tears as soon as I saw. Praying for peace in your hearts and in your home during this time.

  • Shallan Daly

    there are those of us who grieve for our children due to their illnesses, their diseases, their short/youthful years on His planet, their circumstances, etc… and then we are reminded of the positive of their lives through such a painful loss as what your family experienced with your daughter. thank you for sharing her 40 GEORGOUS minutes with us and your phenomenal 9 months with her and reminding us all how blessed each second counts and how we determine those seconds. you are all in my lil family’s prayers. god bless your family, yours and your daughter’s AMAZING message, and all your hearts in the time to come. <3

  • http://www.ipaintiwrite.com/ Pamela Hodges

    Thank you for sharing the life of your beautiful daughter today. Hello Luca Gold Gifford. Hugs and kisses for you and your family. I cried when I read your message to your mommy Luca.
    xo
    Pamela

  • http://www.influencechurch.org Phil Hotsenpiller

    Christa and Lucas. I find myself sitting — starring at the keys on my computer. I can only say that, we love you and know that “Goldie” peers through the thin veil of glory with words that only the Spirit can utter.

  • Tara Porter-Livesay

    Thank you for sharing Luca Gold with us – her life and her passing into the arms of Jesus. I am so very sorry, Christa and family. Praying for comfort and space and time to grieve.

  • Quincee Maples

    Christa, thank you for your words of honesty and for being willing to share that with everyone. Your vulnerability is a blessing to so many other women who have lost a child. I am praying for you and your family and anticipating the day we get to see her in your arms again.

  • Jess

    Christa, I am so sorry. How odd to reconnect with you on this day (maiden name: Coleman… memories of time spent with you in Flippen-Perrin & the “pretty room” with Dr. Wink come flooding back). I am so so sorry for your grief & remember with you your sweet daughter. I pray for His grace to flood into this day and continue wrapping around you as you walk the road of grief.

  • jennipearl

    Praying for you all.

  • Susan Reynolds Walker

    So, so sorry for your loss…. My heart and eyes are weeping with you. What a wonderful gift you have knowing Goldie is with Jesus. Praying for you and your dear family. Great grace and peace to you.

  • Sarah Silvester

    Oh my heart is breaking for you, there are just no words to do justice to the loss you’re experiencing… I am so very sorry Christa, Lucas and Moses and family. Thank you for telling us your story. Peace and hope to you in the days and years ahead xxx

  • Andi Andrew

    I just love you so much. So much. And am with you all heart and soul.

  • Jennography

    I am so sorry….

  • Zachary Parker

    Christa, I am so sorry for your loss! My heart and prayers go out to you and your family.

  • Christina

    Words cannot express how sorry I am for you loss. You and your family are in my prayers.

  • Carrie Crawford

    There are no words. But I cry for and with you and hold you in prayer. So sorry.

  • Rob

    Wow CJ…. Love you. – Robby

  • Christina G

    Christa, so very sorry. I am praying for you. You are loved not only by the Lord but by all of us you have touched. Much love sent your way.♡

  • Anna

    Praying for all of you. So sorry for the loss of your sweet little one. May you continue to know his tangible grace and peace right now.

  • Lois Seco

    I have no words but wanted to leave a comment to show love and support. Your writing is beautiful and so heart-wrenchingly sad. A thousand thank yous for your honesty and vulnerability, we are honoured that you would share this with us. You are a remarkable woman. May you know more and more love and comfort in this precious and difficult time. Praying for you, Lucas, Moses and your family. Xxx

  • Kris Wolfe

    This is so touching and beautiful. I can see little Luca up with Jesus too, and even if it was 40 minutes, she’s reached so many people through this, here and now. She’s a world changer! Luca, you are amazing!

  • Debi Selby

    Oh Christa. Praying for you and your family tonight. What a beautiful and amazing thing Heaven is. It has come a little closer to you now and is a more precious place with your daughter there. Praying you feel God’s presence closer than your breath.

  • Tai Ann McClendon

    Your words are so precious. Thank you for sharing your pain and your treasure. We are praying peace and comfort and that the presence of Jesus is so incredibly near. If you need anything in the next weeks and months, please don’t hesitate to holler at us…..babysitting, grocery shopping, you name it. Just call.

  • Mel Little

    Thank you for sharing your heart

  • Lisa Haines

    Christa my heart hurts as your heart is hurting for your loss of beautiful Luca. I pray for you, Lucas and Moses and pray you feel the peace that Luca now feels in her Father’s arms.

    Love,
    Lisa Haines (Influence Church)

  • Chamene Coffman

    Thank you for sharing this journey with those of us that love you and your family. Those of us you have met once or twice or maybe not at all. I cannot find the words to comfort or help, I know God can. Prayers that God will help all of your loved ones find peace comfort and healing.

  • Tawni Miller

    With tear filled eyes, I want to say how very sorry I am Christa. Your strength is so amazing and I know that it is only because of God that you are able to even lift your head, let alone write about your experience. Thank you for being an encourager in the midst of an extremely discouraging and tragic event. My heart breaks for you and I will keep you and your precious family in prayer in the days and weeks ahead. God bless you and give you peace.

  • debi

    So sorry for your loss, hang onto those precious 40 minutes……..she will always be a blessing to your family and so many others. Your in my prayers….God Bless you

  • Elizabeth Jackson

    My heart aches for you to read this. How beautiful the comfort of father God is. I’m so glad you had her living moments here on earth in the comfort of a home with you family surrounding. Sacred. Jeff and I will be praying for you all.

  • tina CHamberlain

    GOD bless you and yours at this time of loss.My daughter shannon lechler-Dowell went through the same with our baby camyrn 11years ago, if you need to talk go to her facebook page and message her after a couple weeks, she will in christian sisters arms be glad to talk.Godbless you all Tina lechler Now chamberlain.

  • Betty J. Ekhator

    Sorry to hear of your loss, but your baby girl is now in heaven with dear Jesus. Thank you for sharing your strength in such a hard time. May God heal your heart and use you for His glory, as you share your story. Amen.

  • beckybrowning

    Your baby girl was snuggled by the best mommy and daddy ever!! She left your arms and went straight into Jesus’ arms. I can’t imagine how your heart must ache. I’m so very sorry for your pain! Please know that you have sisters and brothers in Christ on the other side of your screen who are crying with you and lifting your family before the throne of God. Sending you a hug!!

  • David Oswalt

    Beautiful truth of pain and promise! We certainly understand her grief, and share her joy.

  • April Shierling Hawkins

    Christa, I heard you speak at the Pink Conference. You were amazing then and even more so now. I know that precious angel is loving on Jesus and telling him about the fantastic 40 minutes she had with you.

  • Sara A in SC

    I am so sorry for your loss. May The Comforter overwhelm you with His Goodness.

  • Laura Denny Anderson

    Thank you for this. We lost our 21 month old daughter unexpectedly 10 months ago today & your words are comforting. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I identify totally with where you say when you feel like you will explode from grief. That’s how I feel. Just totally overwhelmed. Peace be with you until you get to hold your precious daughter again.

  • Angela Ewers

    You are not alone either! I would love to help in any way that i can. Angie and Todd Smith know me and my organization, RockGoodbyeAngel.org I have three angel babies in heaven! Luca is not alone and Jesus is with them. I too have seen them whole and happy in a reoccuring dream. I hope we can connect so i can share resources as well as the song and book ive written for comfort. Angela Ewers

    • Ginean

      Thank you for your post, I sent a comment through your contact page.

  • Alexandria Sharise Henderson

    I’m so sorry Ms. Christa. Thank you for sharing memories of your Luca with us. I wish I could tell you how much your experience has helped me. Love and strenght to you and your family:)

  • Jacqui

    Dear Christa and Lucas: my heart is heavy for you. On Wednesday as I was browsing my Facebook page I came across a story of a mom who was banned by facebook For 24 hours because she posted pictures of her son Grayson James Walker who also had anencephaly without his knitted hat. The mom then posted a video which depicted her special moments with her son. i saw the video and was moved and torn for Grayson and his parents. I got curious and read more and more about this defect. I read more and more and saw a few more videos. When i get home thursday evening my daughter tells me that your Goldie was born with this defect. And lived 40 beautiful minutes. My heart sank. I quietly prayed for you and your husband. I believe God was preparing me to receive this news about your Goldie. Although we don’t know you personally we feel like we do. I love you. Thank you for sharing your moments with Goldie. I am thankful that Goldie reminded us that she is not alone which means she is with Grayson and the others and they are not alone. Just like our Lord he never leaves us or forsakes us. Thinking about you Christa.

  • crashcrs

    Christa, you have been an inspiration to so many. Because you have shared this painful and tragic time I know through God you will give so many hope & courage. You & your family are in my prayers.

  • Kate B

    I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I literally cannot fathom the pain of this situation. I am glad God has found a way to provide you some bit of comfort, and I pray that He continues to sustain you and your family as you go through this storm. I will keep you all in my prayers! All my love and may peace find your spirits!

  • Heather Ledeboer

    Christa, thank you for sharing your deepest pain. Your family has been on my heart since Angela texted me the news last night. This evening as our family and friends met in our home for small group, we lifted you up in prayer. I want you to know that I have walked this road before you almost 6 years ago and although it can be a very difficult journey, you are not alone. Please know you are covered in prayer and that I would be more than happy to listen or answer questions if you ever want to email, or talk (Angela has my contact info). I also gave her a copy of a book manuscript that I wrote following the loss of my son, Sawyer and if it can bring you any comfort to read my story to feel less alone in yours, I will feel blessed. There is also a Q&A section at the back where FAQ’s were answered by many different mothers who lost a baby that can also be a comforting tool to see how we all often struggle with similar things despite the differing situations that may have brought us to that point. I am so very, very sorry for your DEEP loss.

  • Julie Curley

    My heart aches but I’m so grateful for God’s presence in the midst of your pain and His great love that gave you words you will hold forever in your heart. Our prayers are with you.

  • http://beckykeife.blogspot.com/ Becky Keife

    There are no words of comfort to offer greater than the gift Christ has already given you. I weep with you in your grief..the stirrings of loss of my nephew and sweet babe’s of close friends. Your words are so beautiful and raw and will surely reach the deep hurting place of another mama and draw her closer to God.

  • Megan Rowbotham

    Praying for you, your heart & family. You are such an incredible mother.

  • Brady Bruton

    Man oh man oh man. I’m so sorry. There is nothing that can prepare us for such events except the grace of God. I’m amazed that you are able to write this so soon with such honesty and eloquency. Having just gotten to be with you guys was a blessing and my wife and I are definitely praying for you guys. I just wept when I read your story. Know that there is a purpose and a legacy beyond what you can see. 40 minutes on earth can be more effective than 40 years or 140 years. There’s nothing to say that will bring more comfort than what God can bring. But you guys brought into life a warrior that you’ll get to see in Heaven. She now gets to see the face of the Father and will get to welcome you in. If you need anything at all let us know!

  • iloveaha

    I have so many tears. For me it was 21 yrs ago. My husband and me were so distraught we couldn’t speak so instead we kept a notebook and passed it back and forth. We poured our hearts out to each other on the fine blue lines and each day we felt stronger. It never gets easy but it does hurt a little less over time. Keep the lord closer to your heart, don’t let anyone tell you how long you should grieve, and keep your heart and soul open to more miracles. Know that you have a beautiful little saint watching and praying over her famy and when God wills you will be in heaven together forever, God Bless you and your family. You are very strong and courageous, love and prayers Mary

  • RoseyBishop

    Friends of mine went through a similar experience. My heart goes out to you and your family. Amazing when we see our loved ones before us, standing with God! You impacted my life more than you know through a WorshipU last summer and your book, God loves Ugly. And now through your words here. Your baby girl is a miracle in her own way. Thank you for sharing your personal story.

  • Brent

    Wow. Thank you for sharing. Beautiful and heartbreaking and awful and hopeful. Now to go find some Kleenex

  • Rachel McCord Schirmer

    I cannot begin to say how heartbreakingly sorry I am for you losing your baby girl from this earth. The strength and beauty you carry with you gives inspiration new meaning.

    As I share your tears, please know, I am sending you my angels to comfort you and your beautiful Goldie.

    God will always restore that which was lost. Your beautiful baby will be with you always. I cannot imagine what you and your family is feeling right now, but I offer my love, heart and deepest compassion for you. M

    You are in my prayers and forever in my heart.

    Your sister in Christ,
    Rachel

  • Melinda Fidler

    That was beautiful!! So sorry about your loss.. Jesus will take good care of her

  • Gabi

    Carrying you in my heart and thoughts…

  • Bree

    Oh, Christa. This is written so beautifully and raw and pure. Thank you for sharing your emotions and confidence in the hope of The Lord in such a tragedy. I’m so, so sorry for the loss of Luca.
    We are losing our son to Batten disease and our once ‘typical’ child has lost almost all he’s ever known. He’s nearing the end but when you write, “But strangely enough and completely unexpectedly, within the greatest pain lies the greatest comfort. And the Comforter is closer than ever, wrapped like a gift within the closest grief I’ve ever known.” I can boldly shout, “AMEN!” And when you talk of the sobs and tears, “AMEN!”
    Thank you for sharing a most tender place in your heart. I share about my son, Zekey over at BreeLoverly.com

    Bree

  • Pastor John and Maretta Rohrer

    Oh Christa. If I could I would hold you in my arms and cry with you. I, too, held our baby girl only a short moment. We lost her in birth due to a prolapse cord. God has shown me her in heaven as well and though I ache with her loss, I am profoundly comforted knowing that one day we will be together. I will be praying for you. Hugs.

  • Sue

    Heartbreakingly beautiful. Praying for you right now, that God gives you comfort and strength in the knowledge that your precious baby girl is safe in the arms of Jesus, and she is healed, whole and perfect. One day you will be reunited with her in Heaven. Sending you much love xxx

  • Fe

    Christa, praying for you and your family. Thank you for opening your life for us to see Jesus so profoundly displayed – through the good, the celebrations and the tragedies. May the God of all peace comfort you and your family as you mourn your precious baby girl.

  • Amy Christine

    I can honestly say i know how you feel having lost a child. I know how empty your arms will feel and the depth of grief that only a parent can feel. Your world may even stop for a while, but that is ok. I pray that the comfort of the Holy Spirit will so wrap you and your family in His presence so tight right now and will give you the strength you need physically, emotionally and spiritually to get through what you are going through now. I bless your spirit to come forth to be prominent over your soul and body so that you may receive all the rest and revelation the Holy Spirit bring to you through the day and night.

  • Leigh-Ann Cascio

    You and your family are being bathed in prayer for the last few days and the months ahead. Libs texted me on Wednesday morning and my heart broke for your family. This morning I kept listening to the song He Is With Us over and over. I hope you find comfort in knowing that indeed He is with you and little Luca. Thank you for this moving tribute to her short little life. Praying for y’all.

  • kristine

    You are indeed COVERED by His great love! Praying for you all.

  • Brooke Schwab Shepard

    The hardest thing you could ever do and you did it beautifully. My heart aches for you.

  • Jedidja

    Thank you very much for this story!

    http://kostbaar.blogspot.nl/

  • Jedidja

    … and I’ll praying for you and your family!

  • Camille Waggoner

    Christa and Luke. I love you both so much. I am so sorry for this- I don’t have words to say- just many feelings of great love and sorrow and prayers for you both. This blog and the words that you wrote- wow… I just love who you are- the way that you receive comfort from the Great Comforter- I could feel Him even through reading your words… I love you to the moon..

  • lj

    I lost a child at 16 weeks, and God also comforted me with a vision. Just a shadow image of Jesus with two children and one saying hi mom. I couldnt think why two children then later God reminded me that we had lost another child years before (only about a week old). God is good and He loves us very much !

  • Melissa Birrell

    Oh Christa, your beautiful words have brought me to tears. Praying for you and your family, including your gorgeous girl, healed, happy and free with The Lord. Love and hugs to you and your family x

  • autumn mc clain

    So sorry for your loss. So happy for your faith in Jesus and His comfort. Thanks for sharing. It makes everything more understandable.

  • Dawn Shay

    Your story is so beautiful! I had a foster child that is 19 that had experience something sorta the same. She was 38 weeks pregnant when she went to the hospital for a pain to only find out that they couldn’t find her baby girls heartbeat. She still had to go through labor and delivered a still born baby! Do you think it’s a good idea to share your story since it’s such a touchy subject. I try to give her words of encouragement and pray for her every night. I will keep your family in my prayers also.

  • Rita Reidenauer

    My prayers for your healing hearts will be with you. The Prince of Peace is there with you, Lucas and Moses and with your baby girl, Luca as well. Much comfort and love being sent to you sweet child of God.

  • Char Jagoe

    As I read this, I was thinking of how many times the number 40 is mentioned in the Bible… a time of testing for Moses and Jesus – but there is joy in the morning… 40 minutes created a lifetime of memories for your little family. Those 40 precious minutes were a miraculous evidence of God’s love. I am sure there were tears in heaven at the entrance of Luca Gold…

  • Olivia

    I want to say I “stumbled” upon your blog today, but I know that is not the case at all! I have never been in your situation, but as a fellow follower of Christ, know that you, and your family, are in my thoughts and prayers. God never leaves us or forsakes us and your words as a mother touched me today. Thank you for sharing, I will continue to lift you up in prayer.

  • Angela Bond

    Congratulations on the birth of Luca Gold. She is truly a gift from God. Every good and perfect thing…) May God give you comfort and strength as you walk through this most terrible loss.

  • Sbm

    The pain of losing a child is like no other. I know it well, as almost 11 years ago May 15th I had to watch my son take his last breathe in my arms. He passed from Potters syndrome. We found out when I was 5 months pregnant. Offered abortion many times, we chose life and the best we could give him. We got 4 amazing hours with him . The pain is still there, but knowing he is with our Lord gives great comfort. He will always be my little boy who is loved beyond words.

  • Rosalyn Dion

    I am praying for your sweet family and will continue fervently!

  • Ara

    I don’t know you, and I cannot even imagine what your going through. My heart breaks for you!!! May God bless you & keep you close!!

  • tasha

    What an amazing revelation to have in the mist of such treacherous grief!! God bless you and your family!

  • Liz

    My heart aches for you, sister. I, too, have been there, but we lost our baby at 5 weeks. I hope you find peace, and we will pray for you.

  • Mommy2angels

    So blessed to hear that the peace of our Father has touched you as it did me when our Aislynn left this world. She would be 6 now. I imagine she is staring at heaven’s newest angel. Love and prayers to you.

  • Ginean

    God comfort be with you and family. Thank you for sharing, thank you for your transparency in such a difficult time.

  • Inga-Mae

    Dear Christa and Lucas. I am sorry for your loss. I love you both so very much even though we’ve never really hung out besides the casual bombarding you with countless ninja pictures during the been up 2 days. You’ve always been true hero’s and inspirations to me and the revelation of the GRACE and Mercy of our Lord Jesus. The impact you’ve both made thus far in your journey in this brief life already leaves a legacy for generations forever. You’ve both changed my life through social media mainly so i can’t imagine the lives you’ve changed in your personal friendships with others. All that to say that in the midst of this tragedy your outlook on God and revealing that to others is Luca’s testimony that again will impact generations forever. I love you and I love Luca. So sorry.

  • Suzie

    lost a grandchild 2 years ago…still painful. We are sorry and are praying with you and for you…

  • Phillip Edwards

    Our hearts are broken for you guys. So sorry to read this but trusting in the God of all comfort to sustain your family during this time. We’re praying for you!

  • Melissa Keegan

    Praying for your family as you celebrate the life and the new eternal life of precious Luca. May it give you peace knowing that she was loved into existence and is with her Lord and Savior. Melissa

  • Shandy

    Praying for you and the family!!!! She truly is not alone!!! May you rest with Jesus little one!!

  • Lara Sterosky

    Oh my gosh! So well written. I am bawling. I can see Jesus holding her, but she is trying to get away. She wants to fly away. She is such a precious angel. I am so sorry for your loss. May Luca and your family find some peace.

  • Kimi

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I just went through a similar experience. My son had Acrania. We found out at 13 weeks that he wasn’t going to make it after birth. I carried him until 38 weeks when I went into labor. He passed away during labor and delivery. April 24th, 2013. It’s been almost a year and I’m still healing from it. God has given us another baby though. I am due in August and all looks well! He will bring beauty from the ashes. God bless you and your family.

  • Nathalie & Ken

    My heart just aches for you Christa, Lucas, your baby boy and your family and friends…you all will be in our thoughts and prayers…but joy filled knowing she is not alone, Jesus is near her and you all.

  • Erik

    Grace and peace sister! My heart breaks for you and your family. Grateful that Our LORD and God comforts you now more than ever.

  • http://www.itsokaynow.com Hannah Etsebeth

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story… my heart breaks for the loss of your daughter during this life. Praying for you all now…

  • Melanie

    Oh. My heart breaks for you and your family. May God be carrying you in your arms at this time and may you somehow find peace in this tragedy. This little one blessed your life.

  • Lubna Hector

    Praying for you and your family. Thanks for sharing, our hearts go out to you all. May God give you peace through the pain. I am so sorry for your loss. God Bless.
    Lubna

  • Yvonne

    Christa, I am so very sorry to hear this and so moved by your story. I have just recently been really blessed by your teachings on Bethel’s online worship course and am also in the middle of your book. Because of that I feel as if this had happened to someone I know and feel really heartbroken for you and your family. Know that in Ireland tonight I’ll be praying for you and your broken heart.

  • Tonya

    Christa, I’m so sorry for your’s and your husband’s loss of your baby girl and my husband and I send our love and prayers. I see a picture of you and your family being sheltered under His wings. Lots of love…

  • Caye Siller

    We lost one too in June and my heart will forever be touched by these stories in a personal way. He turns our pain into passion. My mother named me “Goldie” after her mother as well……..so this was an extra special story. Thanks so much.

  • Joy

    God bless you and your family. My heart is overwhelmed. God is with you all and Luca is with Him. I will pray for you :)

  • Michelle Gallagher

    Words cannot describe the strength I feel from the words you have written. I have not experienced the loss of a child but I have received a tangible experience of the power of His unconditional grace and love. Thank you for sharing. My deepest condolences for you and your beautiful family.

  • pat Huff

    Christa&Lucas, words can’t Xpress how deeply we feel Ur loss,….., We’re praying 4All of
    U, let His living arms embrace U,rest In HisPresence, in the wks.&mos.2come& know that we will cont.2 lift Ur family up2 the Father, Ur NOT Alone, know we feel Ur heartache,
    (I had 10.miscarriages B4my last 2kids), Little Luca(Goldie)will #1day run greet U as We enter His Gates, hold2that promise, Lady &Lucas,&Moses,….we luv U&we’re holding U B4 His Throne, hold2HisLuvingHands,He’ll carry U thru this, inJesus Name,….amen!

  • Angie Larue Atkins

    I will be praying for you and your family!!! I believe this testimony of faith will touch some unbelievers hearts! God bless you!!

  • Rene

    So sorry for your loss.

  • Sara Harms

    Oh how my heart breaks for your empty arms. I am praying for you here in St. Louis. Your teaching on shame has brought so much freedom to my life. I am forever grateful for you and though you don’t know me, you have a treasured place in my heart. Praying this sacred and awful space is filled with His comfort and grace. <3

  • Kirsten Schwarz

    My heart is broken for you and your family. I’ve been such a fan of your spirit and faith for so many years now. You are such an inspiration to me, especially with my own faith life! Every couple of weeks I would get the thought “I wonder if Christa had her baby yet!”. I am praying and praying and praying that God continues to bring you peace. Little baby Luca is safe and running around into his arms now… What a wonderful place to be!! God Bless you, Christa!

  • http://www.perinatalhospiceoh.com Maria LaFond

    Luca Gold <3, Kristina Marie <3, Anencephaly.info.

  • Bethany W

    I recently experienced the loss of a child, my son, He was born December 28th and was gone right before new years. I thought it would destroy me and it still tries but I cling to my maker and healer. I don’t question God or his plans but I refuse to let the devil use this to destroy me. My son is loved and nothing else matters so I choose to be strong. I will be praying overwhelming peace for you.

  • http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/matthewlarocca Kimberly LaRocca

    I saw a friend post your blog on FB earlier and I knew I was suppose to read it. Your words hit awfully close to home. Loosing a child is the most vile, foul act that can ever happen to you but I too can attest it was the most beautiful moment I have ever been privileged to witness. Our son Matthew ‘went home’ almost 3 years ago after an 18 month battle with a brain tumor. You are so right, our babies are not alone, they are with Jesus! Whole, free, healthy and waiting for us. My motto is every day I am one day closer to seeing him again. It excites me! This is not a journey for the faint of heart, it is a hard one but I have seen the hand of a very Sovereign, faithful, patience, loving God the entire way. He gets it all. Lean hard into Him, even when the answers aren’t there. God doesn’t waste a single tear, He redeems them all and brings joy again. Not overnight but He brings joy. Praying for peace to continue to wrap you tightly and that you will be surrounded by those that can sit quietly, listen and pray for you just like Job’s friends did. That is a ministry in itself. I see Jesus in your owns words from your last blog, He knew what He was doing bringing you home! Prayers for your entire family…Matt’s momma

    Isn’t
    it just like God to take the place of your deepest pain, redeem it, and
    make it the place of your deepest healing? – See more at:
    http://christablack.com/2014/02/christa-studhub-moses-and-baby-update/#sthash.978uacM8.dpuf
    Isn’t
    it just like God to take the place of your deepest pain, redeem it, and
    make it the place of your deepest healing? – See more at:
    http://christablack.com/2014/02/christa-studhub-moses-and-baby-update/#sthash.978uacM8.dpuf

  • Denise L. Heesch

    Just lifting you all up precious ones.

  • Sky

    I have no words I just found out today and my heart is broken for you and your family. I lost twins shortly after birth 7 years ago. My family is praying. thank you for your strength, you are truly an amazing women.

  • Ann Duran

    Christa – I have no words. Word has spread through Lamesa and FUMC. We are lifting up you and your family. You and your family are loved and we are wrapping our arms around you.

  • Matt Birkenfeld

    Praying for you all – for the Father’s peace and comfort to flood every second of your days. I’m so sorry for your loss but so inspired by the words of this blog and your transparency. Love you guys!

  • Laura Will

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=B4xY-5cULO8
    I hope you can find comfort in this song. Jonathan David Helser wrote it about a friend of his daughter when she died at birth as well. Luca “Gold” is dancing on the streets of gold!

  • Katie Swan

    Praying for you and your family. Such a beautiful girl.

  • Shelley and Gary Barron

    OUR HEARTS ENTWINE WITH YOU, AS DO OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS TO A GOD WHO TRULY IS THE ULTIMATE COMFORTER . THIS IS OUR PRAYER FOR EACH OF YOU. OUR LOVE ALWAYS.

  • Caroline Hartung

    Christa,

    I am so terribly sorry for your loss. My heart aches for you all although I know she is with our amazing Lord! I pray for you and your family for comfort in this loss. Thank the Lord for the time that you had with her!

  • Angie.S

    I wept and share your grief at losing Luca Goldie….I experienced the very same heartbreak at losing my preterm baby girl Ashley few years ago…she fought hard in the NICU for 36 hours before God decided she was too perfect for earth and called her home….I wanted her back so badly but all we could do is to surrender and kiss her goodbye….I hope you and Lucas would take time to grief for the process of healing takes time…Till now I tear whenever I recalled the ordeal I went through but out of the ashes of sorrow, God brings new joy and hope. My blog which I kept for Ashley is http://ashleyisourangel.blogspot.sg I pray our common experiences will bring you some comfort…With love from Singapore….

  • Mary Smith

    Dearest Christa and Lucas and Moses, I just found out about Luca from a missionary friend’s post on FB and a friend of hers who posted your story w/ Kari’s post about another family going through the earthly loss of their newborn baby. My first thought…could it possibly be the same Christa that I enjoyed at the conference a few years ago w/ Graham Cooke at your parent’s church in Abilene? Beautiful, gifted Christa then pregnant w/ Moses, whose book and CD I love? And amazing Lukas, who gave my husband and me each a prophetic word? In tears, and praying for you and your family. Everyone has expressed their sadness in such meaningful ways, that I will just join them and say how terribly sorry I am. At the same time, thinking how much love our Father has for you by allowing you to hear from Goldie that she is not alone, and for your friend’s precious daughter who was taken to heaven to visit w/ your precious little one so that you would “know”. May the God of all comfort continue to wrap each of you in His mighty arms and provide you with a continuing testimony of His love for you, and maybe even a “sneak peek” into the heaven of Goldie swinging away with her friends on her mountain. Peace, comfort and blessings.

  • heather

    So sorry for your loss!

  • Kelli

    And you are not alone.
    It’s been 5 years since I lost my son and I can empathize with the overwhelming grief and peace colliding. Jesus is with you and so many of us are and will continue to hold you and your family up in prayer.

  • Nat Mardon

    Oh Christa, I don’t know what to say. I had no idea when I saw you speak at Designing Women last year in Brisbane, Australia, in the early stages of your pregnancy, that you would become a woman walking the same path as myself. I had no idea that you would come to know this pain, this heart ache, but the Comfort that comes only from the hope we have in Heaven and in the Comforter. I haven’t followed your blog closely in the last few months, so I was surprised today to read of Luca’s ascension to Jesus’ arms. Shocked and deeply saddened, yet in the strangest way even more connected because I’ve walked this path too – not quite the same – our little Sebastian was stillborn at 34 weeks in Sept 2011 due to an equally rare chromosomal disorder – Trisomy 18, but the pain is still the same. The time we had with him, still as precious. And the hope and comfort from the Father still the same backbone to getting through it.
    My heart and prayers are with your family right now. I wish you didn’t know this pain, didn’t belong to ‘this club’ but I know that even though the good will never outweigh not having her here, God will be able to use you and Goldie in an almighty way, and I cannot wait to see you again at Designing Women this year. Your ministry was powerful before, God is going to use this for amazing things for the Kingdom.
    But for now, love and prayers. Take your time, grieve as you must and as long as you must. All my love. xx

  • Teresa

    I just wanted to let you know that I am praying for your family. We also lost our daughter to Anencephaly. I pray that you find peace and joy knowing that your daughter is in Heaven.

  • Elizabeth Wojtowicz

    Wow Christa,
    I cannot put into words. My heart truly goes out to you and your beautiful family. I am so sorry for your loss. Reading your piece made me choke but also made me feel Luca’s sweetness and love and peace.
    This touches my Heart in many ways, because even though Luca is in Heaven now and an Angel there and among us, your story touches me so deeply!
    We love you sweet Luca! May God’s arms caress you and love you always! xx

  • Erin

    So so sorry…did you not have an ultrasound to detect this? Prayers to your family!!!

  • Misti Abrams Gil

    Christa, I too lost a daughter to anencephaly. My Gabriela Faith was born in 2002. I’ll be praying for you and your family. Feel free to contact me anytime if you just need to know someone who’s been down a similar road. (I’m a friend of Kim Dietz…she told me about your blog.)

  • joe hernandez

    I love YOUR STORY. So powerful. I too have a baby with Jesus.