This is dedicated to all of the mothers who have lost a child.
Once upon a time…
She sat down on the toilet and heard a ”pop”. She was twenty weeks pregnant and something didn’t feel right. As she sat there for a minute all of the water that enveloped her gift from heaven… it just poured out. And when she arose and left that bathroom her stomach was half the size as it had been, and her life refused to be the same.
“He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 113:9)
Yes, but sometimes He doesn’t. Sometimes that living, breathing being taking up residence within our inner walls abruptly fades to black and is ripped from our bodies in ways that feel so cruel and violent. And the space that remains just sits there empty and unfilled…a womb broken and lonely and missing its fulness.
That hole bleeds for real – physically, mentally, emotionally, and yes…spiritually. And as the blood pours forth from the body, the heart bleeds a pain so raw that she can only cry out in groans undetected by human ears.
Agony. Sorrowful cadence. Salty tears.
It is the most unnatural thing in the world to lose a child.
That next day is spent in the hospital delivering a dead baby boy. After five hours of hard labor and knowing he is already dead, he is “born” and she will not let him go. Nope, so don’t even try to take him from her.
She holds him close for the whole day. She examines every part of him so she can memorize his face, fingers, and even his tiny tongue that will never give suck to her aching breasts. He matters, you know? He lived inside her and now he lives in Heaven. He cannot come to her but she will go to him… someday.
These precious, painful, heart-stabbing moments are captured forever on film as a professional photographer offers to take their pictures together for free…the only family photos with this tiny soul… the boy that touched her in ways that words will never be worthy to describe. So mommy and daddy and baby, (or the shell of him) pose so that they will never, ever forget. So she holds his cold and stiff body to hers and as all the other mothers on that maternity ward are rejoicing, she laments fierce. And as the torturous day continues and the casket is chosen and the name given, they say goodbye…for now.
Death is funny like that…it leaves a girl thinking it’s forever, but it’s not. And as demons hover and whisper, and surround her in a thick, black fog, she tries to remind herself that she will see him…Henry…again. Time to leave the hospital and ache and bleed at home…
The comforts of home cannot heal the deep sorrow that permeates her and she feels the night even when it’s day. And when it feels likes it’s just a little too much to handle, something happens…
God, in that gentle, still, small voice reminds her of what she still has, and He does so through the sweet words of her husband when he longingly says to her, “You still have me, Babe.”
What a ridiculously true revelation. And oh, how it resonates inside of her. She. Still. Has. Him.
Tears of sorrow lean into tears of joy…gratitude. Pure gratitude. And the heaviness lifts as she begins to cry out in praise…praise for this man, praise for God’s perfect will, praise for taking care of her tiny one in heaven, praise for her salvation…
Gratitude is better than grief. And when we exercise it, healing follows. But when we purposefully hold onto the sorrow, we unknowingly reject God’s friendship, for He is no stranger to sorrow.
Jesus enfolds His wings of compassion over her and she breathes Him in and her wounded spirit is touched and healed, and she is filled with a strength she has never felt before. The knowledge of his holiness pervades the knowledge of the loss, and the empty places within her are filling. Though she walked through the valley of the shadow of death…HE was with her!
Only God could turn such sadness into exultation! Only He could carry the weakness and lend the strength. Only heavenly hands could mend a ripped heart so completely, and only a grief acquainted Savior could understand her pain. Jesus wept with her when she cried and He held her baby when he died and He rebuked Satan when he lied.
“…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). And we can be sure that as we rest in Grace, the morning light WILL come, and new life will reveal itself and need to be shared with the lost and hurting. And after enduring such incredible lessons in the valley, we will be able to shout triumphantly from the mountain top! Because His victory is ours, and although there are seasons of crosses and the nails hurt so much – the resurrection life is close behind. Amen and Amen.
So, to all the women out there who have lost a child – young or old, big or small – Jesus cares. He really, really cares. And if you will surrender that loss and place it into His nail pierced hands, He will lovingly take it and use it in ways you could never imagine. It. Is. Time.
“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)
Let Love lift you, carry you, and heal you. And like her, you will live happily ever after in the strong arms of the God Who loves you.