Singer-songwriter, worship leader, author, and speaker Becky Nordquist is prepping for the release of her poignant and compassionate new project, Before We Said Hello, which is slated to release from Music for the Soul on October 15, 2019.
The release is planned to coincide with National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, which includes, but is not limited to, miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS and the death of a newborn. The project includes two songs, "Before We Said Hello" and "Heaven's Playground," along with a companion devotional book, Before We Said Hello. Music for the Soul is an organization that uses songs to tackle life's toughest issues, including infant loss, abortion recovery, depression, abuse, and others, in ways that can be heard, remembered, and revisited.
Each song is crafted with input from those who've suffered through the hurt, as well as professional counselors and clergy. The results are honest and real, offering a path to healing and hope.
Q: Becky, thanks for doing this interview with us. Let's start with yourself: Tell us a little about your ministry in music and the type of music you make.
Thank you so much for having me! Such an honor to share this time with you. I've known since I was a small child that my voice was created to honor God and to encourage others to seek Him and worship Him, whether that is through speaking or singing. I love encouraging others through sharing music and the Word of God. I sing and write mostly worship music and inspirational songs of encouragement for our journey here on earth. Nothing delights my soul more than worshipping with the people of God and encouraging others to seek healing and restored relationship with Jesus.
Q: You have a new book and music coming out soon, and they have to do with the issue of infant loss. Tell us why this is an important issue for you?
1 in 4 women experience Pregnancy or infant loss. I am the 1 in 4. I have experienced 5 pregnancy losses and one stillbirth. There are people all over the world walking around with this ache in their souls, this loss, this grief and nowhere to go with it. The stories I've heard already are incredibly sad, some women hiding this pain for 50 plus years! I felt so alone in our losses due to this unspoken code of secrecy. Suddenly you find yourself included in a silent society of mourners. Our world really doesn't deal with this manner of loss very well. As people have become more vocal about it, the conversation has begun, but it hasn't come far enough. We don't know how to come alongside people in this kind of grief. We need the conversation and education to continue to grow. We need to offer space and a place for those hurting and grieving.
Q: In your life, you have had experienced losses yourself. Tell us about some of your losses. What gave you strength and hope during those times?
I learned early in life that there will be circumstances I simply will never have an answer for, at least not a satisfying one. Including the five lost pregnancies and a stillborn child, I watched both of my parents and my brother die of cancer, stood at the bedside of dying extended family members and friends, and have walked the loss of marriage and nearly all of my earthly possessions. But I chose long ago, no matter what, I would cling to God and His word, that no matter how I felt, I would keep talking with Him through the journey and the broken, even if that meant I wasn't happy with Him (it's not like He doesn't know when we are angry with Him). I relinquished my 'right' to get the answer to the questions "Why me?" and "Why this?"
He gave me eyes to see that this world, this life, is not all there is. He meets us and brings us eternal riches in the depths of our ditches. He showed me that anything I hand over to Him will become useful and He exchanges beauty for my ashes. I have to be willing to hand over my ashes first. Through each loss I gained deeper relationship with Him and an appreciation for how short life is.
Q: Let's talk about the new book. Briefly, what is the book about?
Before We Said Hello devotional book is about reaching out and reaching up. Reaching out to fellow mourners, offering encouragement and hope, and helping them to reach up toward a God that walks with them in their pain. He understands loss. He weeps with us in our losses. There is not a quick fix to get over these things. We learn to walk forward in life with them. It includes multiple stories of pregnancy and infant loss from various authors, each offering an element of hope and encouragement. The devotions are short with accompanying questions to meditate on and a space to journal. Before We Said Hello will make a great gift for those who don't know how to love on someone who is walking this road. It also includes a QR code for the reader to download both songs as well.
Q: How does this book help people who are suffering loss?
A: It is our prayer that this book will first help those hurting to know they do not walk this road alone. We want them to know they can and should mourn, that there is a way through the loss. What is invisible to the outside world is visible to God.
Q: You also have two new songs coming out with the book. Tell us about them.
"Before We Said Hello" is a crushing ballad written by Dove Award winning songwriter and Music for the Soul founder, Steven Siler. We met by chance. He heard my story and things moved along from there. A kindred heart, like me he longs to talk about things that are somewhat uncomfortable for people to speak of in order to bring healing for the heart and soul. The ballad addresses pregnancy loss in a way that few are able to put words to, expressing the weight of saying goodbye before we ever get the chance to say hello to these precious little ones.
"Heaven's Playground" holds a deep place in my heart as I joined forces with Steve and another award-winning songwriter, Tony Wood. The song was birthed after we buried our baby Niklas. His autopsy revealed many defects. His life on earth would have been difficult, to say the least. God gave me the vision of a little blonde boy running through an open field of flowers. I could see Jesus smiling, arms outstretched, standing in the center of a playground with little children giggling and playing. That is when I wrote down what I call a "chicken scratch" of a song. Amazing writers they are, Steve and Tony came alongside and penned a song that will be applicable for not only pregnancy and infant loss, but for those who have lost small children as well. I literally sobbed in my hotel room that night as I listened to the work tape. Never would I have been able to write and release that song alone. A place in my own soul was healed that night. They are truly gifted, tenderhearted, men of God. What an absolute honor to call them brothers and co-writers.
Q: There are some who may be reading this article who are suffering from loss. What words of encouragement can you say to them?
Your baby's life matters. You do not walk alone. Whatever we willingly hand over to the Lord, He heals, He uses and redeems. He does not waste one step of our journey when we commit those steps to Him. One day, we will meet those we were forced to say goodbye to before we had the chance to say hello, perhaps on a beautiful playground drenched in sunshine, blue skies while hearing the welcoming sound of giggles.