A year ago today, I was pregnant. And then, a year ago today, I wasn't. A year ago, my nightmare became my reality. My child was with me one moment, and then irretrievably and painfully just gone. And there was nothing I could do to stop it. The thing I had many times imagined, to prepare my heart just in case, had come to pass. And now I'm changed.
I think back over the last year, over the changes that have come to me and my family. And I can now say, with confidence and not the way I did at first as though I was trying to convince myself of its truth, that I am thankful. I am thankful for so very many things. I am thankful for the blessing of the child we conceived and lost a year ago. I am thankful for the trials and building year for our marriage. I am thankful for the second child we conceived last year, and all too soon lost. I am thankful for the burden the Lord has placed on Curt's and my heart for adoption and the children we are chasing down even now. I'm grateful for the balm that adoption has been to us. I'm thankful for the hope of holding my children who were here for just a short time in eternity. I'm grateful for being broken and for the healing that only Christ can offer. I cannot imagine suffering the loss of our tiniest little blessings without the secure hope of an eternity where our family is gathered together in worship of our King.
I'm just a little too empty today to come up with a compelling explanation for the last year. The year was big, painful, amazing, blessed, blessing, long, and slow. And there's so much wrapped up in all that has happened, I hardly know where to start. So here are some words I shared with a friend who recently lost her tiniest one. I hope she won't mind me sharing them with you as well.
The pain from the loss of a tiniest little one is indescribable. I wish I had been better prepared for it. But no one told me. I never imagined. There's no funeral for loved ones to mourn with you. There's no celebration of life, there's no official acknowledgement of the time we had with our tiny ones, and closure is hard to come by. There are so many questions and feelings and emotions and thoughts. It can be overwhelming.
Here are some ways that our precious Father comforted me. Curt and I rejoice that we will never agonize over our fourth and fifth children's salvation. They are already in the King's Court, and we know that better is one day there than a thousand elsewhere. Their lives are real, they lived here on earth, they are precious and wonderful gifts, and they live even now to praise and worship the same God who we praise and who gave them to us for eternity. They will always be ours, and we will for a short time be separated. I will see them; I will hold them; I will know them and call them by name. In my heart, they already have names. I imagine sometimes what our table will look like in Heaven with our whole family gathered.
There is a blanket of silence and solitude surrounding a mother who has lost her child as you have. Dear friends still just don't know what to say. And whether they do or not, it seems that they forget. Or they think the mother forgets. But there is not a day that I don't consider my precious lost ones. And there's not a day that I don't look forward with hope to the moment that I see my Savior and that He introduces me to the children I never held.
Even now, I am weeks away from the due date for our second child we lost in the last year. And I can tell you this: the Lord does give comfort; He is merciful. As Elisabeth Elliot said, "God never withholds from His child that which His love and wisdom call good. God's refusals are always merciful -- "severe mercies" at times but mercies all the same. God never denies us our hearts desire except to give us something better." We so love and desire to hold our babies, but what we receive in their place, we trust, is more precious. I am far closer to Curt and to my Jesus for having received and lost our children. By His Mercy, I know Him more.
I share this not so that you'll pity me or any mother who has lost. I share, so that you can know that the reality of that loss is probably so much worse thank you think, if you haven't experienced it. I want to encourage mothers who have lost their babies that there is healing, comfort and hope. I want to encourage their friends to remember and comfort the ones who have lost. And I want to remember my own lost children, children I count as my own, even though they're not with me right now.
So that's it. It's been a year. A hard, good year. I'm so grateful for the lessons I've learned about where our hope truly is. Our hope is in a Savior from our sins, sins which separated us from our Creator, a Creator who loves and values us so highly that He gave His only son to die for us and reconcile us to Him. And I'm so thankful.
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