This morning was a long and tearful morning as I spent time journaling. I just kept writing, “Why God?” “Why!” “Why did you do this to us?” I know it isn’t true…but it feels like this just doesn’t happen to anyone but us. Surprisingly, one of out of every 115 births in America is a still birth. But to my aching heart it feels sometimes like God let everyone else on earth take their babies home…except for us. It breaks my heart that we never got to bring baby Charlie to our home. He never came through our front door. He never slept in his little crib. He never held his teddy and cuddled with him. He never…I could go on forever about all the “nevers.” Sometimes it hurts so bad I can’t breathe. Sometimes it hurts so bad I question God’s love for us. Some days the sorrows “like sea billows” just roll on and on, and do not stop to let me catch my breathe.
The other day I was having one of those drowning moments in the kitchen. I had prayed that morning that God would just do something, or use someone, to speak something into my broken heart. To remind me that He loves Charlie and He loves us. To remind me that Charlie is with Him and being held in His arms. I was in the kitchen, when all of a sudden Emma walks in and says, “Mommy, did you know that Jesus loves me even more than you do? He loves me more than anyone!” It was so out of the blue. I’m not even sure why she said it, but I am so glad she did. It was what I needed to hear.
I know its true that the Lord loves Emma more than I do…but do I believe that the same is true for my little one who is now with Him in heaven? Do I really believe that the Lord loves Charlie more than I do, and is doing an even better job loving him than I could? Do I really believe that to die is gain, and that Charlie missed nothing by skipping earth and going straight to be with Jesus? Do I actually believe that God taking our baby from us was loving and kind and best? Most days I just feel so shocked, and angry, and sad, and overwhelmed that I can’t even make it that far in my thoughts yet.
But what I do know is that all of the things that I know and see about Jesus…are things I have to actually take by faith because I can’t physically see them. I am taking it by faith that the great “I AM” …is. I am taking it by faith that He “is good and does good.” I am taking it by faith that He has “gone to prepare a place for us.” And I am taking it by faith that He loves us with a love unlike any other love. And in faith…I love Him back. When I was in college, a friend of mine had a “picture of Jesus,” sitting on her desk. It was a blank piece of paper in a frame, and at the bottom of the picture were the words…“Whom, having not seen, we love.” – I Peter 1:8. I love that.
Interestingly enough, it’s the same way with our baby son. Most parents get to love their newborn babies out of what they see about them. They see their sweet smiles, their tiny toes, their beating hearts…and the love just grows and grows. We now have to love our little one out of what we know to be true of Charlie today…all things that we cannot see with our eyes. We have to love our little boy by faith. Faith in Jesus and His promises. Faith that today Charlie is with Jesus is Paradise. Faith that today our sweet boy is seeing the things that, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has planned for those who love Him.” Faith that in a beautiful Place (that we’ve never been), lives an amazing Person (whom we’ve never seen), who sits at the right hand of Almighty God…and holds our baby in His arms. I’ve never before had to take so much by faith. From the moment I met Jesus, I have believed all these things He has said. Now I have to live them.
Knowing that the baby I long to love is with Jesus, whom I also have not seen and love…somehow helps. Suddenly, the Person I love very most and the tiny person I love most are in the same place…and I’m needing to learn what it looks like to love both of them by faith all over again. And needing to believe more than I ever have that indeed little Emma is right…Jesus loves the most and Jesus loves the best.
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
can’t wait to hear that trump,