Saturday, February 02, 2008

For We Know in Part....

I am SO grateful for all the comments and emails with words of comfort, ((((hugs))))), and especially for your prayers. Ever since I decided to share the news, first with family and then here, I have felt an increasing sense of peace. Maybe blogging is just cheap therapy :), but I am convinced it is prayer that has enveloped me with a nearly physical sensation of a warm, comforting blanket around my shoulders.

I also feel like recognizing this little one's short life publicly has allowed me to let it go more easily. Though none of us will know him or her on this side of heaven, he or she exists there now. Perhaps the purpose God had for its life was best fulfilled there rather than here.

I've been thinking on a testimony that I heard years ago, from a father who had lost two children in infancy. Both had anocephaly (no brain or just a brainstem); one died a few minutes after birth and one actually lived to age 3. As a father, he begged the Lord to give him some sort of an answer to the question: "Why? Why create a baby that will only live for a few moments or years?"

The family had two older daughters. One night one of them walked into her parents' room, thought they were asleep, and went back to bed. The next morning, they asked about her nighttime visit.

"Oh yeah," she replied. "Jesus gave me a message for you. He said to tell you that Mandy and Toby are very busy in heaven, preparing the house and guarding the throne."

The father said that as he considered this message, he thought of the verse: "The least on earth will be the greatest in heaven." Who is least on earth than a child who only lives a few minutes or years after birth? Or one who never sees the light of this earth?

This son or daughter that I never got to meet could be much greater in heaven than you or I will ever be! There is so much of the big picture that we, clinging to our two or three little puzzle pieces, do not see.

This week I have had to remind myself repeatedly of this truth. Not only did I find out about my baby, but my father forwarded me the obituary of the 17-year-old son of a childhood friend (a Christian mom that I've stayed in touch with), killed in a single-car accident. And on Thursday, a beloved mom from our tight-knit theater group (the one who wrote the Charlie Brown analogy) found out that her cancer has spread...all over. She is just full of tumors, but as full of love for her Lord as ever. In a letter to the other families, she says:

I have nothing but a clear goal of honoring my Saviour through my suffering--whether I go this year or next, whatever time He chooses--it is HIS will--not mine. ...I am not giving up--I have much Hope and I know that if God wants to heal me and perform miracles, then He shall, but I do not claim to have the power to tell God what to do--HE IS GOD!!!!! and HE IS GOOD!!!!! And as hard as it is--it MUST be that way--HIS WILL. ...So please do not weep for me out of sadness or woe, but be glad that He gave me this time to be a light for Him and have a much more heavenly reward than ever imaginable! I get to go see JESUS! ........How cool is THAT???????

This morning, with all these sorrows on my heart (as well as the progressing cancer of our friend John Fawcett), instead of dropping off my kids at theater rehearsal, I followed them inside for the first 20 minutes of student-led worship. And now this is the song of my heart for today:

Blessed be your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where the streams of abundance flow
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say...

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

Blessed be your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be your name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say Lord,
Blessed be your name.

5 comments:

tonia said...

you put tears in my eyes this morning jeanne...

thanks for sharing your faith.

Anonymous said...

My mom, referring to Megan's death, always said that when we cry out "why?" God answers with "I love you." I think we are supposed to keep asking "why?" because that is how we begin to listen to God, and to FEEL His answer. --Kansas Sis

Anonymous said...

And, might I add, that your testimony to His love blesses others, like me! --Kansas Sis

Kathryn Judson said...

Adding my prayers to the circle.

The blogger over at Higher Up and Further In went through similar sorrows last spring. Her post at http://higherupandfurtherin.blogspot.com/2007/04/i-have-three-in-heaven-now.html has a link to a song she wanted to share with everyone who has lost a child. I think you might find it comforting.

(((hugs)))

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

The song that you picked reminds me so much of a month when a friend of mine from church and I both lost babies early in our second trimester. We both were able to praise God in and through the circumstance. I think that knowing each other was a great comfort to each of us, so I pray that you will continue to feel comfort in sharing your story.