The other day I read a story about an Australian couple, pregnant with twins, who had decided to "selectively reduce" one of the twins because he had a heart defect that would have required multiple surgeries to correct. Well, evidently the procedure didn't exactly go as planned and BOTH babies died. They were 32 weeks. Thirty-two. Weeks. I'm still sitting here puzzled, wondering if anyone else is wondering: at what point did the choice become a tragedy?
But that's not what I'm going to write about.
Every morning I get up somewhere between 5 and 6, and make the bed as soon as my feet hit the floor. If nothing else is accomplished in my day, at least the bedroom started out in some fashion of order. I turn on the radio and half-listen to a rather mundane super-early morning program called "Haven Today" on Moody Radio.
Tuesdays are change-the-sheets days. So I get up, strip the sheets and put clean ones on before I even head to the bathroom. So this morning I do my Tuesday morning routine, flip on Haven Today...and there's a man who is being interviewed who apparently just wrote a book called "Heaven is for Real." Since I caught the middle of the program, I don't know exactly what happened, but evidently this guy's son had something horrible happen at the age of three, and it sounds like he was in some sort of coma or was clinically dead. And after the boy was revived, he started talking about....things his parents had never taught him about heaven. And Jesus. And God. It came out in snippets. He'd be playing in his room, and he'd run out to his parents to blurt out something he had seen, or that Jesus had said to him, during his "time" in heaven.
Now I have to cut out here and say that I'm very skeptical about so-called "near death experiences" where people claim to see light and walk through tunnels. It's not that I don't believe them, it's just...I don't know...it was kind of trendy for a while to make such a claim. Among other things. But Moody is very sound and choosy in the material they present on their station. I know they wouldn't just put a quack on there who claims to have seen God in a drug-induced haze.
Anyway. So I was kind of intrigued listening to this man talk about his son and the things he had seen. I was enjoying a program that I normally find to be kind of lame.
And then the program host said, "...and then he met a certain little girl. Tell us about that."
I'm going to have a hard time writing this.
One evening, the boy blurted out, "I have another sister." And he ran back to his room.
The man's wife stopped cold - what did he say?? They had never told him about a miscarriage they had had years before, at around two months gestation. The parents followed him into his room, telling him you don't just say something like that to your mom and then leave the room.
"I have another sister. She looks a lot like Cassie (their other child)." And he went on to describe how she looked, how tall she was, and things she had said to him. She was so excited to see someone from her family.
"But she already has a family there, because He adopted her," the little boy told his dad.
You mean Jesus adopted her?, his father clarified...
"No. His Dad did."
God adopted his tiny sister into his family of children - that I love to imagine at times - playing around His throne.
I had started to lose it when he started the story about "I have another sister." By this point, I was face-down and sobbing on my bed.
I still miss Levi's sister. I know Glory Baby was a "she" and most anyone who's lost a baby before you even have a chance to wrap your mind around it will tell you they know the baby's gender in their heart. It's not like I think about it all the time or dwell on it or anything like that. It's just that at this time of year - the week that it all started to unravel - the loss is just that much more apparent. I love my little boy to pieces. But I loved that baby too. And I find myself just weighted with uncharacteristic sorrow - but then I look at the calendar and think, "Is it already that time again?"
I feel stupid that I still grieve one loss, one early-pregnancy miscarriage, when so many other people have lost so much more. But grief is grief, no matter what he wears when he waltzes into your home unbidden and unwelcome. Whether it's the death of a child, a relationship, a dream...it leaves a wound that eventually heals but is still blaringly obvious to the one who bears it.
After sobbing again on my basement floor (surrounded by laundry, mind you),I went for a walk this afternoon just to do anything to shake the fog that insisted on following me all the livelong day. I began thanking the Lord for anything I could think for which to be thankful. And then I began, instead of dwelling on my loss, to pray for an armload of people I know right now who would give anything to have a child. Who would give anything to be pushing a bundled-up little boy in an over-sized jogger on a cold afternoon. People I know and love who never thought Grief would show up at their door and muscle his way in. Who never once imagined that this was a road they'd have to walk.
So you know who you are. I prayed for you today. I prayed you'd be comforted to know that your child is adopted by the Creator Himself. I prayed the desire of your heart would be answered and your womb would open to receive and nurture life. I prayed for you by name.
And I came home feeling revived. We ARE loved by a mighty God.