I remember so well the fear that swept over me, the nauseating knot in my chest, as I realized that death had cast his shadow on our family and taken my unborn child. I wasn’t prepared for the sickening sense of loss I would feel, or for the loneliness that accompanies a miscarriage. Nobody else knew that child. Nobody feels the loss like the mother. I wanted life! I wanted days, time, memories with this person! The world tries to convince us that life begins at birth, and they numb their pain by calling a child a fetus. I am not a believer. I call it a life. I call it a person, an eternal soul, created by the Lord. You don’t feel loss for random cell tissue. Random cell tissue is not created in the image of the Godhead, but a person is. The pro-choice movement is all about changing the terminology so that mothers don’t believe they are carrying a life. But if I believe this is a life, then I feel the loss for what it really is: a death. And if I believe this is a death, then I have so many questions…
Why, Lord, would you take a life so early? Can the dead praise you? Can the dead proclaim your love? Do you show your wonders to them in the grave?
Your answer came to me from Your Word, “Where were you there when I laid the earth’s foundation? Have you given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place? Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out? Do you know when the mountain goat gives birth?”
Oh, to be like Job and clap my hand over my mouth when You speak. Would I understand Your ways if I would be silent? Instead I am like the disciples, trying to place the children where I think they should be, trying to enforce an order that I think is right
You answered me again, “Let the little children come unto me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
Oh, to be like Abraham and open my hands willingly when You ask for my greatest treasure. He knew Your wonders, he understood Your power, that You could raise the dead if that was necessary to keep faithful to Your promises. His faith did not forget Your kindness when asked to give up his own son.
What do You do with these souls, Lord, these souls who never experienced the sinful world?
I do not know the plans of God, but I know that He is good and kind and faithful. And when I do not know or understand, I assume His goodness, I believe His kindness to be greater than I can imagine.
Do these unborn souls have a special place in Your heavens, Lord? Do You have a unique plan for them in Your kingdom? Is there a reason why You want them so young? Can I have the faith to be content with not knowing, believing that if I did know my mortal mind could not comprehend how wonderful Your plan is?
When I feel pain and death, when I feel the squeeze in my heart of loss, am I looking too closely at the story? Should I look further into the future and believe that You will take this and create something perfect out of it? You are the one who made the mountains with your breath, who used blood to save the world, who used a gruesome crucifixion to conquer our greatest foe. Can You not also take a dead baby and create something more beautiful than my imagination can come up with?
I find comforts in thinking of my baby with great-grandmothers, with cousins, without pain, in heaven. Would these seem like small comforts if I understood the real joy they have in Your presence? Is my imagination so limited that I cannot fully know how great Your kindness is to them?
I want to have on this earth. I want to have time and memories and experiences and loved ones. You are teaching me to open my hands, to be content, to store my treasures in a different place. Maybe this life is not about having, but about learning to live with open hands. Maybe the purpose of life is to die, and the purpose of dying is to see, and when I finally see, maybe I will understand why it was so important for me to live with open hands. I believe Your glory will make all my sacrifices seem ridiculously small. Will You not give back ten thousand times what You have asked of me? Will You not fill my open hands until they overflow? Is the weight of Your kindness too much for me to hold now?
My first child entered heaven six years ago this week. Can I be so bold to consider myself blessed? “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted” “Blessed are those who mourn” I believe these things. As time has numbed the initially sting of loss, I am thankful. Thankful to be considered by You to give up a child who has never seen day, who entered Your courts after their heart beat only a few months, who is seeing now Your kingdom come in heaven while I still wait to see to your kingdom come on earth.