Life is an interesting thing, is it not? Those who possess it can be hard, strong, formidable, or they can be helpless, weak, needy. We all start out on this lower end and it is in this lower end we find the ones who are in need of the most protecting. Even when we move into the second level, many may think we stand on our own, or we have it set and are unconqurable, there are still some needs there.
The thing about life, however, it does not matter what stage we are in, all of us are susceptable to the one thing that is guaranteed for us all...death. Each one of us must deal with death, whether that is of a loved one or even in ourselves. We often see ourselves starting to fade, where we no longer can do what we used to, or we are not as flexible or strong as we used to be. Then as the course of time progresses, that gets more and more till what we have is just a small portion of who we were.
But when we are young, we do not think of this. We believe the whole world is ahead of us and there is a very small part of us that take awareness of consequences of what we do. In some ways this, perhaps, is a good thing. But when we look at the death of a loved one that is not even born, where does this fit on the scale?
This weekend was not a good one for my family and I, as I saw firsthand the loss of my baby (whom we have affectionatly named Baby M.). My wife miscarried after, what our best calculations were, seven or eight weeks. How does one deal with this? I assure you that in my family, the range of emotions varied greatly from moment to moment. This is where my opening statement becomes important. There are some traits in that second realm that I personally must present, the coldness, the level headed, the directness, dealing with what is going on. I must maintain this posture to help, not only my children, but also my wife through their grieving process.
But inside I feel like the second catagory.
How can someone miss someone whom they have never seen, never felt, never carried. My wife did. There is a connection there I do not have. But still there is a missing part in my heart and life. I have been, in the moments of which I was able to hide away, I was able to think. And often the thought came back to what was going to happen, or what could happen. I pictured myself with a third little baby (I was praying for a boy) to watch running around the house. I pictured my other two kids carrying the baby and playing with him. I pictured, in my mind, having to tell my kids to give the baby a chance to play on the floor!
We even had names picked out. My other kids were getting into it as well and we had many funny names chosen (of course all names had to go to the final approval with the naming committee: I.e. my wife and I). Some of the names chosen were April, Endurance, Joseph (my wife really did not want this one but I thought it was a good one), Liam, and I am sure there was another that I am not thinking of right now. But there were the funny names that were brought up, which really was not going to get past the committee: Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, Mephibosheth, etc.
In one afternoon, all of this was gone. Not just delayed, but gone. I found myself making a statement, or about to, saying,
Now, you just wait till little Endurance gets here.
I had to come up short on that one due to the fact that our baby was not going to be coming. He was gone. I think that is the hardest blow for me. What would be, is not going to be. Even my kids had plans. My son was going to take Baby M. fishing...at four days old! My daughter was going to dress Baby M. up (if you wanted to know, my daughter wanted a baby girl). David had to deal with this himself, and look at what he said in 2 Samuel 12:23.
We had to tell both children that it would be a while before those things can be done (although I was in agreement on the fishing stuff). But no more. Gone, just like that. Even typing hurts.
I think of what the Scriptures say in James 4:14. Our lives are like a vapor. Baby M.'s life was indeed that. Seven or eight weeks. I know life is short but that was a blip, maybe, on the radar of life. I am sorry if this comes off as harsh, but perhaps this is me working through emotions, there are many alive today who are evil beyond compare, who sit for years on death row, or who are in powerful positions, and they live long lives. Often I have thought,
Where is the justice in that?
I am reminded of passages such as Psalm 75, for God is indeed the judge. It is not my job to judge, and I absolutely will not speak against my Lord. He is good, even in the moments of life that do not make sense, He is good. I know He had a plan for Baby M, and that plan was fulfilled. What it was, though, I don't know. What will come of it, I do not know. All I know is that, in the words of Job 1:21, Blessed be the name of the Lord.
God is the one who gives and takes. It is in His perfect will, and perfect plan. I do not see what the end may hold through this, but what I can see, and what I do know, is that even in this moment of grief and sadness, I can and know Jesus is walking with me through this. It is His strength.
My life verse is sitting very much on the front of my mind: 2 Corinthians 12:8-10. More specifically, 2 Corinthians 12:9. It is His strength that gets me through. It is His strength that carries my family. It is His strength that upholds us.
I do not know how those who do not know Jesus make it. If it were not for Jesus, there would be no hope. Life, no matter how short, is empty without Him. Someone reading may think,
This same Jesus is the one who took your child. How can you still praise Him? Could He not have saved Baby M.?
Yes, He could. He did not. That tells me that His plan was different than my wants. So what gives? My praise for God because of a bad thing, or my will? I will surrender my will. There is an underlying truth that I also find hope in, through this. I believe that all are born into sin. This is what we find in Psalm 51:5; 58:3; , Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 5:12; Ephesians 2:2-3, etc.
However, we are held guilty when we know the law, for without the law there is no sin: Romans 4:15. Therefore, it is not that Baby M. was perfect, regarding what I am about to say, but that Baby M. had no knowledge of the law. This is the age of accountability, and Baby M. was never there. As such, I fully believe that I will see my baby in Heaven. He may know me before I know him.
There is hope, and dare I say peace as well? Those who do not know Jesus and have made it to the age of accountability, without Jesus, this peace cannot be had. Do not get me wrong, there is still grief. But I am comforted knowing that Baby M. is in a much better place and is never going to experience the sin and pain of this world.
I know this post is a little longer, but it is also helpful for me to put into words some of my feelings. I am sure there will be more but this helps me to establish a base line upon which to heal. Yet there are a couple of things I will encourage:
1. First and foremost, if you do not know Jesus, I do not know what is holding you back? No matter what it is, I have found no greater friend, and helper, than Jesus, even in the hardest of times. I do not know what your past may be, or what you have gone through, but there is a loving Father in Heaven who loves you and is here for you. Does this mean that we must surrender our will? YES! Failure to do so is a failure to allow Jesus be God and not ourselves. May I plead with you to come to Jesus? He alone can save from sins and give hope and peace, even in the hard times of life.
2. If you do have children, give them a big hug. But also evaluate how your relationship with them is. I know some that have absolutely destroyed their relationship with their children and they do not care. It is all about self. But if you are hard, harsh, and perhaps a little self focused, you never know when the day comes when you lose your children. Please, repair, and grow a better relationship with them while you have them and can.
3. In all things, God is God. He will have His will. Do not try to fight against His will. We may not understand, and we may not see the end from the beginning, and, well, we may even walk through the valleys and storms, but God is still God. If you call out to Him, and accept His sacrifice on the cross, He will be there for you. Not to remove the storms, no, that is not always the answer. But through the storms, He will guide you through and closer to Him.
4. Cherish each moment you have with your family. Do not waste it away on things that will not matter in one, three, five, ten, twenty years.
I am not sure I have a lot more to write. This is not to say this exhausts all my feelings for I know that will take some time. I also know this is more personal than I normally post. I know not what God's plan is, but I do know that He is good. He always has been, He always will be, and, yes, He is good.
To God be the glory both now and forever. Amen.