Thursday, April 13, 2017

Joy and Heartache

Just before Valentine's Day we joyfully shared with our families that we were expecting another baby.  Telling our children included a pre-birthday celebration with cake and baby related presents.  Kaomi was the first one to vocalize the idea we were presenting them through the presents that they were opening.

Cake for our party

Presents for announcement

Over the next couple of weeks we talked with joy about the new baby.  The kids were attempting to come up with names for us to consider and everyone was excited with the anticipation.  My Dad and Mom gave me a great new maternity shirt for my birthday.

We had studied Psalm 139 in our Biblical worldview class, we had studied it in our Adult Bible Fellowship class one Sunday, I had studied it in my personal devotions, and Jeff had discussed it with our family one evening during family devotions.  All of this was before we shared the news with our children.

Sadly, our baby passed away when I was eleven and a half weeks pregnant.   We looked at the tiny baby and truly the words from Psalm 139:13-16 returned to my mind and I knew it would be okay.

"For I you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

Our baby's tiny thread-like fingers on a tiny hand, the eyes, nose, veins were all wonderfully made and God knew how many days our baby would live.

Jeff built a little box and we buried our Baby "J" as a family and mourned as we realized this was the only thing Jeff would build for this baby.

God knew that our joy over this baby would only be a short number of days and his peace is comforting.  The heartache is something I've never felt before, but all I could pray in the following days was "Thank you God for a beautiful baby."  Our children brought comfort they don't even know they were giving through their impromptu hugs, unexpected comments, laughter and smiles, piano practice of the song Blessings and others.

Thoughts of a grieving father:
I just can't imagine going through this without a deeply rooted relationship with my Creator. February 24th was by far the most emotionally difficult day of my life...I felt a pain and deprivation I have never felt before. It is a mystery to can I so deeply miss someone who I have never met? Why do I love this unborn child so much? I can't fully describe it. I didn't understand my own emotions and I still don't (many who know me would be surprised that I even have emotions). Those emotions are even welling up as I write these words...6 weeks after that day.

And yet, through it all there was never a moment that I doubted God's goodness, sovereignty, or mercy. Never was I angry with him. Never did I question his authority over my life...over all life.  I am saddened, and yes, even still experience moments of sorrow, but who am I to question the Almighty Creator? Who am I to say he made a mistake or that he owes me something better? I have to believe that this plan...that I did not choose...that I did not the best plan for me and my family.  I also have faith that my sweet baby is at perfect rest with Jesus, and he will never have to experience this life with sin and pain and sickness. I rejoice that God chose this special path for my baby, and as Su said above, we still got to experience joy for a short time because of this blessed child. Appropriately, we have chosen to call our baby 'J' for the joy and peace we all experienced through the whole thing, even until now.  Without God, we would have all the emotional pain and sorrow, but none of the hope, peace, and joy.  I couldn't survive without that, without Him.

When you see me, you won't see my sorrow because of the words of Psalm 139:

Psalm 139:1-6
[1] O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
[2] You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
[3] You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
[4] Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
[5] You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
[6] Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it. (ESV)