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Heartbreak and joy

War Cry comments on new parenthood

The polar opposite emotions demonstrated the joy and heartache parenthood can bring

OVER the past two weeks contrasting family stories have appeared on the front pages of daily newspapers.

After the birth of the latest royal baby, pictures showed Prince Louis being proudly displayed by his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The happy news was greeted with heartfelt joy by many people.

In contrast, in the days that followed, the front pages carried the sad story of Alfie Evans. The pictures and reports clearly highlighted his parents’ stress and heartbreak as, despite doing all they could, they lost their 23-month-old son as a result of a rare illness.

The difference between the stories of the two families could not have been greater. And the polar opposite emotions they experienced demonstrated the joy and heartache that parenthood can bring.

Somebody who has witnessed both at close quarters is Joan Gibson. For many years she worked as a midwife in Salvation Army hospitals in Zambia and Zimbabwe. In her interview in this week’s issue of The War Cry, she reveals how precious each new baby was but also how, after 40 years of midwifery and countless successful births, she can still remember the times when the babies did not go on to experience the long life their parents hoped they would.

There is an expectation that a pregnancy will result in the beginning of healthy new life. When that doesn’t happen it is right that support, both spiritual and practical, is given to those who have been affected – along with the hope that they will find healing for their broken hearts.

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