Children Are a Gift
“Imagine a priceless vase or ornament is dropped on the floor and smashed to pieces. The woman who loved it kneels down. She picks up the pieces, one by one. She looks at each one in detail, turning it round, as if to remember where it once belonged. The vase was loved and so when it was shattered, every piece was worth picking up, no matter how small. A grieving person will often want to talk about the smallest detail of their loss. It is as if every broken piece is taken up and wept over. When you listen, you may feel that the detail was small, but it is part of something that was supremely valued, part of something dearly loved” (Colin Smith). Our Hope Babies are unique, precious, supremely valued, and dearly loved gifts from God to us; through this series, we speak about them together and remember them.
It’s a scene that I’ll replay in my mind for the rest of my life. Sitting on the floor of our white tub, watching clots of burgundy run down my legs and past my feet. Tears poured down my cheeks, becoming one with the water as it drowned out the sounds of my guttural wailing. It’s a surreal feeling; watching life leave your body and run into the drain. I have lived this memory twice. It feels sacrilegious of sorts. Insensitive and cold. To carry life but instead of giving my babies a proper goodbye, I watched pieces of the life that was once inside of me run into the sewer.
From my medical chart, the words, “chemical pregnancy” and “miscarriage” were scribbled in ink and then filed away with hundreds of other charts as if I had suffered and recovered from a common cold. Life kept moving forward all around me but I just felt paralyzed by pain.
In the months after my losses, I questioned God’s heart for my babies. I wrestled with His goodness and struggled to wrap my mind around a God who would create life only then to allow it to be snatched away. Did their lives have meaning? What was His purpose in creating them?
It was in the midst of this wrestling that a friend spoke some powerful words to me. These words, while painfully honest, allowed me to re-shape my view of God and to walk forward in healing. She said, “Brittany, we are never promised that we will give birth and raise our babies until they are 18 years old and ready to leave the house. Whether you carry your baby for five weeks of pregnancy or you raise him or her until grown, that child is a gift. You were chosen to be a mom, but our babies are not ours. They are God’s. We are gifted our children for a time, to raise them, and we don’t get to control how long we will have them.”
My friend’s words brought two pieces of healing for me. First, I was able to acknowledge that my baby’s short life had a purpose. On this side of heaven, I may never fully understand the significance of his or her short life. But by acknowledging that my baby was a gift, I was able to walk forward believing that God never has, nor will He ever, create life whimsically or without intentionality.
Psalm 139:13-16 says, “For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me; when as yet there was none of them.”
Second, I was able to release much of the anger I was feeling towards God over the loss of my baby. Psalm 127:3 says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” For a short time, I was gifted the honor of being a vessel for a life. My body protected and cared for a precious baby and all the while, God knew that he or she would never take a breath outside of my womb.
Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” In recognizing my baby’s life as a gift, I was able to lay down my will and to trust that God’s vision for our family was bigger than my own.
Three years after our first loss, my husband and I found ourselves facing the same heartbreak again. This time, while still incredibly painful, physically and emotionally, I chose to hold this baby’s life with an open hand. I wrote the words, “There is power in the name of Jesus” in big bold letters on our family chalkboard. My husband and I rallied friends and family members to be on their knees in praying for an earthly miracle. When it became clear that we had indeed lost another life, we were, of course heartbroken. Instead of questioning God’s motives and character, we simply chose to be grateful; grateful for the time we had with each of them, grateful for the memories of announcing our pregnancies and the joy we felt in the weeks that I carried them.
Because we believe that our babies were gifts to our family, we choose to speak openly about them with our other children. As a family, we have named them and we often speak of Finley and Asher. Our 8-year-old daughter is often quick to remind us of our babies when she sees a beautiful sunset. When we speak of heaven, we remind our 3-year-old son that Finely and Asher are there waiting for us. Each Mother and Father’s Day, we include our babies in the celebration. This year, it was in the form of an apple tree that we planted in our front yard.
Are you planning or did you plan anything this year to remember the gift of your baby(ies) and set your sights on heaven? Share it with us in the comments.
- BrittanyHope Mom to Finley Sky and Asher Simeon
Brittany and her husband, Jeremy live in Colorado with their three children Mackenzie, Levi, and Evelyn, their Black Lab Boston and a menagerie of bunnies! They have two Hope Babies, Finley Sky and Asher Simeon. Brittany is passionate about encouraging women to live authentically and abundantly. She is a writer at www.littlemountainmomma.com where she shares openly about her journey through postpartum depression and her experiences of pregnancy loss.
Photo credit: Pix-Elated Photography
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