I have read Lindsey Dennis’s book“Buried Dreams” and have truly felt like I have experienced her journey with her. Lindsey’s writing is beautiful and honest. Her heart and love for God and for others pours out from the pages of her book. Lindsey’s story describes her journey with her first two daughters Sophie and Dasah. Lindsey was told that her first baby that she was carrying had a fatal diagnosis. Sophie was born and lived 10 hours. When Lindsey was pregnant with her daughter Dasah, then she was told that her second daughter also had a fatal diagnosis. Dasah lived exactly twelve hours after she was born.
Lindsey’s journey is filled with the love and support of her family and friends. I was brought to tears throughout the book as I watched her friends and family find all sorts of beautiful, touching ways to stand with her and to celebrate her two daughters that she had been told may only have a few hours to live if even that. Lindsey’s questions of why this was being allowed to occur continued throughout both pregnancies as she had to bury both of her daughters.
However, despite her pain and agony, Lindsey would choose to continually place her faith back in Jesus. Lindsey was honest about the pain that she was experiencing and of how she did not understand why she had to travel down this road twice. Lindsey pulled in scriptures, excerpts from books, and heartfelt thoughts and questions. Through Lindsey’s tremendous pain and struggling, Lindsey each time chose to place her hope and her trust in her Savior even though she had the heart-wrenching pain of burying her first two children.
Lindsey’s faith and hope are beautiful examples to us all of how we can look above our circumstances and still find faith and joy even in the midst of tremendous pain. Her family and friends are incredible examples of how to come alongside someone that is hurting and grieving and to be there with them and for them. Lindsey has had countless people not just nationally but internationally pray for her and her family.These same prayer warriors journeyed along with Lindsey as she traveled these roads of sorrow. Lindsey’s husband, Kevin is a wonderful example as he shares his faith and hope throughout the book as she shares portions of his writing and words. At the end of the book, Kevin shares his heart and thoughts in the closing section.
She often shared throughout her story her challenge of looking up to our Lord in the midst of her pain and circumstances. She often wrote about joy and sorrow colliding. As she shared her faith so beautifully throughout her book, she shared her pain, her questions, and her purposeful continued engagement of worship.
She shared the differences in the pregnancies of her two daughters. She wrote about how they “celebrated throughout Sophie’s pregnancy”, and “through Dasah’s pregnancy, they focused more on family time”. Her pastor Renaut said to Lindsey and Kevin, “While Sophie’s story taught you how to celebrate in grief, Dasah’s story is teaching you how to suffer in grief. Both lessons hold equally beautiful truths of God that your daughters are teaching you.” Renaut asked them, “What would it look like for people to suffer with you, and for you to press into the loneliness and ask God to meet you there?”
Wow. What wise words from Pastor Renaut. As we grieve, are we able to celebrate and suffer all on the same journey? My belief is yes. I believe I can see it throughout my own journey of becoming a widow in August 2011 after my husband suffered a work related accident that left me a single mother to three children ages 16, 14, and 11. I believe I can still see it even when just 22 months after my husband’s death, my only son died instantly in a car accident at the age of 18. I believe that I continue to experience both: suffering and celebration. As Lindsey throughout her book uses the phrase when “sorrow and joy collide”, I believe that this is such an accurate description of how these grief journeys are filled with so many different aspects and vary for each individual that is walking on their own grief journey.
Lindsey quoted “Dr. Timothy Laniak who once said in response to a friend who had suffered devastating loss, ‘Welcome to the darkness. There are more questions than answers in this place. But you’ll find good company among those who understand how little we understand- but still hold on to God’s hand.'”
What a completely truthful description by Dr. Timothy Laniak. To suffer devastating loss is darkness. I have found more questions than answers. I have found good company among those who understand how little we understand, but we still hold on to God’s hand. Such truth. Such wisdom. Such the heart of my journey of missing my guys and of seeking the peace that passes understanding.
As I have been reading Lindsey’s book I have been on a plane ride that is traveling over a vast amount of our country… from the desert, mountains, and the palm trees to the beautiful snow-capped Rockies and then returning back into the south that is displaying it’s beautiful fall colors. In just in a few hours on this clear day I am witnessing the beauty of the different areas of our country that are so reflective of the changing seasons of our own lives. As I read Lindsey’s book, my eyes were so often brimming with tears as I felt her pain and questions that pour through the pages. And then I would truly rejoice as she grounded herself in her faith as she purposefully chose to trust God in the midst of unanswerable questions and pain. Throughout her book’s beautiful pages, I would see her again and again finding hope and joy in the midst of her pain.
Lindsey also describes the lessons she learned from choosing to worship and praise in the deepest pain that she could imagine. She shared how she learned to truly lament and to boldly travel through her grief. She shares snapshots of her journey with her counselor. She shares experiences on the beach where she was doing battle with her questions and with The Lord. And yet each time as she questions or battles, she plants her feet solidly in her faith and raises her heart and her mind to worship The Lord who she continues to place her trust and hope in.
This book is such a blessing on my own grief journey. I am so thankful that she shared her story so honestly and so eloquently. I am so thankful that she did not shy from any part of this journey and instead chose to share her hard questions and pain. When we can truly see so deeply into someone’s pain, questions, and journey then how much more powerful are their examples of faith and hope. How much more do we marvel at the healing of God’s Hand in their hearts and minds as we truly understand the depth of their pain, their disappointment, their fears… in Lindsey and in her husband, we see such beautiful examples of faith and hope.
A shared friend of Lindsey’s and mine, Julie, introduced us on social media. She said that even though we were experiencing different types of grief that she thought that we would be able to connect. I have been deeply encouraged as I have read through Lindsey’s journey. I have cried as I have read of the times when she shed her tears and felt broken beyond repair. I have heard her questions and disappointments through my readings. I have praised with her as I read how she battled to walk through unanswerable questions and the deepest pain. I have rejoiced with her as I read in each victory that she and her husband have had, and as I have watched with joyful tears, as she has also been able to experience some of life’s greatest blessings and treasures.
I highly recommend Lindsey’s book to anyone who is grieving… to anyone who is struggling with pain and unanswered faith questions… to anyone who wants to be refreshed and encouraged in their faith. Her constant pull in and use of Scriptures not only enhances her story but grounds us all in the lives and witnesses of countless others throughout The Bible. I am ever thankful for her openness, her honesty, and her beautiful example of hope and faith.
I was very excited to read her book as I was already touched in reading her story through her blog, “www.vaporandmist.com.” Thank you Lindsey for your honesty in sharing your journey and the lives of your two beautiful daughters. Thank you for being open in your faith questions and for being such a beautiful example of how to “posture yourself towards God” as you wrestled through your questions and pain. Thank you for being such a wonderful example of how we all even in the midst of deep pain and darkness are able to still lift our eyes upward and worship.
Julie, I am ever thankful that you “introduced” me to Lindsey on social media. I am so glad to have the blessing of being touched and impacted by her story and all that God is doing in and through her and her husband and their beautiful family.
As I read this book, I thought of the devotional from Charles Spurgeon, Beside Still Waters, “Trust in The Living God. 1 Timothy 4:10 Still, we have trusted in the living God, and we have always found Him worthy of being trusted…We bear testimony that we are trusting The Living God.” If an ill wind blows, believe that somehow or other it will blow some good. If a rough tide comes, believe that some way or other it will wash you nearer your desired haven. Trust in The Living God.”
Lindsey’s book throughout all of it’s chapters gives witness to her continual choice of placing her Trust in The Living God. If you take the time to read her book which I highly recommend, you will be blessed.
“So she called The Name of The Lord Who spoke to her, You are a God of seeing, for she said, Have I even here looked upon Him Who sees me? Or have I here also seen Him Who sees me? Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi (A well to the Living One Who sees me.)” Genesis 16:13-14
Where can I go from Your Spirit? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:7-10
“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17