An Unwanted Anniversary

Written by
on March 31, 2014

It’s not an anniversary I wanted to have. This time last year Phil and I said goodbye to our second child when a miscarriage took the little one from us to join a sibling already in heaven.

By all accounts, this one should have never even been conceived. A month earlier I had had a test that revealed an uterine fibroid much larger and more invasive than the doctor originally suspected. But the results of the test got lost between the lab and the doctor’s office long enough for us to give our window of conception for the month a try. And when the doctor called to tell us to avoid conceiving if at all possible, it was too late.

After the phone call we waited, and a few weeks later, we learned a child existed just before it was gone. Phil imagined this one was a boy. God put the name “Haven” on my heart, and that’s how we remember him.

We moved forward with surgery and learned afterwards that the fibroid had almost completely filled my uterus. Almost. Apparently just enough room existed for conception to occur and, miraculously, it did.

“Why, Lord?” I ask the question with an open hand, not a clenched fist. He knows the desire of my heart and has let me taste it twice before taking it away. Will I ever hear a child call me “Mama”?

open hands

Earlier today I sat in a darkened sanctuary and listened as a choir, orchestra, and readers led us through the chapters of the Easter story. Suffering, death, resurrection … familiar themes.

Then a pastor read the seven last words of Jesus and this one pierced my heart in a new way:

“Woman, behold, your son!” Then He said to His disciple, “Behold, your mother!” John 19:26-27

And it struck me that, if it was important enough to Jesus to make introductions as He was dying, then I can trust that He will not overlook introductions in heaven.

The enemy of my soul would want me to think our child was a mistake, or worse, that God would have prevented it if He truly loved us. “Does God really love you?” has always been one of his most effective tools of deception.

But instead, we choose to believe that God, in His infinite wisdom, allowed us to participate with Him in the creation of an eternal being. For reasons we cannot know now, He has taken this child to be with Him. A few weeks in my womb, an eternity with Jesus.

Believing in His love and remembering His faithfulness gives me hope that one day, I too will hear the words spoken from the cross, “Woman, behold your son.”

These thoughts are tender to share, but I think they’re important. Particularly for the women who look wistfully at the pregnant bellies around them. The lives of our little ones aren’t celebrated with pictures posted all over Facebook. But the pictures in our hearts … those are still priceless to us.

I like the way Selah captures the heart of what it feels like to reflect on the life of a little one who is gone too soon for us. May this reminder encourage our hearts today: our little ones are held by a Gentle Shepherd and cared for with a tender hand, albeit not our own. And the same hands that carry them now, carry us too.

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