July 24th 2015 is a day that I will never forget, it was a smoky hot evening and the sky was starting to share glimpses of that spectacular orange color it displays during wild-fire season. I was happy with a full belly and merry heart after being on a dinner date with my husband and although everything in my life was not perfect, I had this overwhelming amount of Joy! Walking home from down town as we often do my phone began to ring as I looked to see who was calling I was sort of alarmed, one of my oldest and dearest friends was calling, except she is the kind of person who texts and doesn’t call. I answered the call and my heart was soon draining of every ounce of Joy it had been filled up with that evening. “I think I am losing my baby!” “There is no heartbeat!” “I am on My Way to the hospital!” “I need you to come!”
I remember nothing about getting to the hospital and nothing about finding the room I only remember coming into the room and enveloping my husband her husband and her in a huddled tearful prayer. Prayers are so different, honest and heavy when you are truly at the end of yourself, when you see just how small and powerless you are. When your life goes from joyful to tragic in one swift moment.. Praying heartily for God to change His mind, for Him to grant live birth, for Him to change every second of these awful moment with tears and petition and broken hearts we wept and prayed and embraced. There we were four complete individuals unified by our hearts desire for life. We knew the knowledge of good and evil and we were crying out for the good while slugging it through the evil.
Sonya would labor throughout the night and we would cry throughout the night. We would laugh some and remember old stories trying to pass the time and oh how I wish I could paint a picture of the silent prayers traveling upwards toward heaven on behalf of mother and her child.
The early morning came and the baby was coming Sonya was ready to deliver and I was still hopeful, hopeful that every doctor sonograms and gut feeling was wrong. Sonya began to push and I held her hand I wanted desperately to make this better so I began to tell Sonya of all the heart breaks that her sweet baby would not have to endure on this earth, my wise and kind friend asked me if I could tell her later of these things. She wasn’t ready for the hope before the heartbreak. I would soon understand how important it is to grieve before we rejoice. And since we are His children we are His heirs, In Fact together with Christ we are heirs of Gods Glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share in his suffering. Grief before Grace, Heartbreak before Hope Repentance before Redemption. This is the pattern of heaven, the pains of labor will come before the joys of new birth. The pain of labor came and Emmie was born with a bountiful amount of heartbreak. I can think of nothing more devastating than to hope for and labor for a baby only to have that hope completely snatched from the heart. When she entered the world without her breath it’s as if we all were punched hard in the stomach and the wind was knocked out of us, especially her sweet mama and daddy.
There she was lifeless,motionless and breathless and there I was hopeless. I knew that we served a God of miracles and that we had a tremendous amount of faith and yet there we all were beholding a breathless baby. She was fragile and so tiny and parts of her skin was not fully covering her flesh. A fresh dose of hell had been hurled at my oldest friend and faith laid shattered in a plastic bassinet with a pink beanie on her head. When tragedy befalls a christian so does darkness you feel like God has abandon you. You feel like He has put you out on the back porch in the black of night and left you there. You feel like you can’t trust Him, like you knew all along he was holding a grudge, like He was waiting till that perfect moment when you had complete peace and joy in Him to snatch that rug right out from under you. And isn’t that the way of the enemy, the way of our untrusting flesh, to swoop down on us while we feel entirely alone grasping for breath and our hearts are spilled out in broken pieces. “Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden?” “You Certainly will not die”! “For God knows that when you eat from the tree you will be like Him, Knowing good and evil”. Genesis 3. Our flesh says, ” You can’t trust God in this!” And our flesh is right we have no ability to trust God with out The Spirits help and this is the time of battle in which we must set the eyes of our understanding on things we cannot see. This is where because of help from the Holy Spirit and the Love Of The Body we take our shattered pink beanie faith and say I still trust in a God I cannot see.
Why would a loving God allow this to happen? Our Loving God knows that this place is not the end of existence, that death can not hold us and that Emmie is alive with Him. This world and all its heartaches are nothing in comparison to the Glory and Joy awaiting us. Our God knows that a still birth is not the end of life, it is the beginning of life in heaven.
Sonya asked to hold her and we took pictures and cried some more. About an hour went by and it was time to let Emmie go and I cannot begin to put into words what it felt like to have to watch Emmies mom say goodbye to her. Beholding the death of a child, the death of the hope for its life while all along God is holding your child, it is a game of endless Tug of War. It is a game of Tug of War that wakes you at night, that makes you cry tears until your forehead burns and that bruises your heart every day of your life. It is a game that Sonya myself and countless others will play until we are also buried. Our hearts are in heaven while our flesh lives here. Life is eternal and the evidence of this is no clearer demonstrated than in a mothers heart and memories and longing for her child. Children are a gift from God beautiful bundles of sorrow and Joy!