Every year that October 12 arrives, we celebrate the birthday of our daughter. Our little girl. Our baby. She is 22 years old this year.
I have seven daughters and three sons here on this earth to hold and to love. I know what my daughter, Elisabeth would look like now. Just like her sisters. Beautiful.
The days that I carried her in my womb were long. Knowing that after a full term pregnancy, she would go home to be with Jesus, made every day longer than 24 hours. Nights were not spent in sleep. We had our time then. And all day. Our days were ours. A gift.
Many well-intentioned remarks about how young I was and would be able to have more children, fell on deaf ears after a time. I learned to not take those comments so personally. Actually, I have learned to not take much of any thing personally.
For when you are carrying a baby that is going to die, there will be opinions and emotions that other’s infringe upon you, and your heart is meant all for your baby.
Nine months after knowing we would have our first baby, we delivered Elisabeth. Naturally, breech, and beautiful. Her eyes were a deep, deep blue. I knew they would turn brown. Like my Lydia’s. Thirty-five minutes of pure, un-interrupted love with our little girl. We sang, we prayed, we took pictures. We had a few select friends and family members there. They shared in our baby’s birth, but to them it was more grief, I am sure. To us, we were celebrating, like today, her birth. Her life, and the meaning God had in this moment of time for our lives.
A moment we carry with us today. But, with empty arms.
The release of a baby to another’s arms is a tearing, searing pain of the heart. No matter what the circumstances. Looking back, the release into our Savior’s Arms was nothing but peace. Her eyes closed, and she took her last breath in our arms, and we held on like nothing else mattered. And it didn’t. The grieving and pain move in at different times for everyone. For us, it took a slow beat of our heart every October 12th, to realize that God meant this loss for His Glory.
For His Glory? Why would I write this letter to my Elisabeth for all of you to read? Would there be any point other than to glorify the Lord as He healed our hearts like no other could. He kept me from drowning in grief that I felt would over take my young heart and mind.
I want you to know, to testify that He is GOD, and He has a much bigger and better plan than I could have ever tried to change when the Dr. told me – “Your baby will not live.”
And yet, our story never ends. Four miscarriages and the loss of Infant Twins at birth took us down a path that I feared would be the definition of our lives. And so did many others. It is hard to explain to people who cannot live your faith, your life, and the mountains that God is moving in you – that you are OK with the BIG picture. Their hearts hurt for you, or for themselves, and they cannot see the space that God has cleared out to pour His Grace into.
Was there always a peace or the ability to write or talk about the loss of our children? Surely, no. But isn’t that the Glory of God? His healing power has left an amazing insight into God’s grand plan, and not a cold empty spot in my heart that will never heal. Did we battle bitterness or anger. Yes. Do we miss the baby we carried and love? Yes. When everything in me screamed this is wrong, or this can’t be right.. Or when I collapse in grief when we said good-bye one last time.. I would not have understood that one day, like today, I could see a pain so differently.
But His glory is revealed in our weakness. Our tears fall fresh every October 12, and sometimes in between.
But, to the beautiful young woman in Heaven, that sings to Her Lord and Savior, and would not want us to grieve forever, We say, “Happy Birthday our little girl” You will always be so dear to our hearts. You have taught us so much. To God be the Glory.
We will see you in Heaven.
If you have experienced the loss of a baby or child, would you allow me to pray for you?
Your story will sink deep into my heart, and I understand the stages of loss are not all painted with a rosy picture. I hear you, and will pray for you.
What are you going through right now? Hugs my friend.