I sat to write and couldn’t. The doctor’s appointment was at noon and it was well past three o’clock. I hadn’t heard a thing.
Before I realized it had been three hours, I didn’t have any concerns that this appointment might bring even a hint of bad news. I’ve had this sort of ‘blessed assurance’ about this baby going full term and being healthy.
Until I sat down here at the three hour mark [and you know how it goes when you sit down… I thought, “What if?”
What if God took another baby from them? From us? My mind processed. I walked through the valley of the shadow right there inside my heart, and again, surrendered and declared my trust. I trust Him with my dearest treasures: My children, and their spouses, and my grand babies. My family. My friends.
I realize they are never really mine, these gifts from Him. They are gifts. Letting go of two gifts has so impacted me regarding the incredible miracle . . . the extreme value of one teeny-tiny life.
Losing Theodore was extremely painful for our boy and his bride, and for us who love them. But in the midst of the pain and heartache, the Lord was so near. His nearness was tangible. And sweet. As I cried out to Him for so many specific things, He answered every single cry of my tender heart except the one for Him to keep Theo in there. God took his son home to Heaven, and we traced His hand in the details of the journey. Enough to surrender any and all rights to having him here.
Losing baby Joy, [That is the word God gave me to pray over the next baby when we first learned Caitlin was pregnant again: Joy] baby Joy stopped growing at 7 weeks, I’ll admit, the loss was shocking. “She” was a Christmas miracle, announced in December around when Theo was due.
Again, we processed through the grief and surrendered. This time, less trauma than our loss in August.
And no matter what happens here, there remains this enduring hope because of Jesus.
Soon after the second loss, we learned of another new baby. And we rejoiced.
I’ve been praying fervently for this baby to stay in the womb for 40 weeks. [guess which ‘word’ God gave me for this baby? ABIDE!] And I’m praying for a healthy and safe delivery.
We love God and our love is proven genuine when we trust Him in the dark.
He proves our love for Him when, in His wisdom and soveriegnty, He withholds something from us that we earnestly cry out for. And because we know He is good and He is love, we trust that any withholding of His power and mercy from us must have extreme value for us and for His Kingdom purposes. And it is only temporary. [and all good parents can relate!]
Dear Job, thank you for enduring in faith. Thank you for setting your hope and faith on God.
Dear God, thank you for your word and your Holy Spirit, guiding and comforting, solidifying our faith, which you say is more precious as pure gold.
Because . . . Heaven. Forever. Abiding in Your glory. And. I. Can. Hardly. Wait!!!!!
Thank you Job, and the rest of the great cloud of witnesses, for fixing your eyes on Heaven; for encouraging me through enduring suffering, loss, hardship, persecution . . . and your being burned at the stake, crucified and sawn in two.
And thank you God, that even though sometimes we suffer here, your abundant grace and goodness are poured out on us every single day, even in the dark.
Our Theodore, “Gift of God” has a legacy that already speaks of God’s faithfulness.
“Knowledge of our pain bringing about beauty is powerful. If we can see that even though we’ve been broken another soul has bloomed, we can take one more breath and move forward for one more day.” ~Caitlin Schwanke
I did get a call a few minutes after I sat down to the keyboard. The appointment just went long. The voice on the other end, obviously joyful – pricked my heart and my own joy leaked out through thankful eyes.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23