God Can Be Trusted

Taking a fun train ride with Daddy at the zoo.  This picture reminds me that my family can go forward confidently with God . . . no matter what the future may bring, we can trust our Conductor.

It is pleasant to have the sun warming me through my winter window this morning. My heart feels cold after another miscarriage, and I grieve the loss of my child.  Little did I guess last week, when I posted memories of our Jewel, that the life of the newest member of our family would be so short.  Psalm 127:3 clashed head on with Job 1:20-22:

“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is His reward.” Psalm 127:3
“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshipped. He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.’ Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.” Job 1:20-22

This morning as I tried to get breakfast around, moving my tired aching body, my tears welled up not from chopping the onions, but from my sorrow – my child has died. 

While I know this is true … there will be no need to pull out the maternity clothes, no exciting birth announcements, and no need to put “Baby Coming!” on my calendar for October … I also remind myself that his/her death is only part of the story. Our little Jade wasn’t allowed to sit in the baby swing, coo, receive hugs and kissies, say “Mama” or “Daddy,” eat a blueberry pancake, or have his or her toes tickled. These were my hope, but God had something better in mind for Jade.  And he/she is very much alive!

Centuries ago, when King David grieved the death of his child, God revealed to him that he would get to see his child again in the future:

“I will go to him but he will not return to me.”    
2 Samuel 12:23

My child was and is a real person, designed by God, known by God, with a divine purpose for his/her life:

“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your words, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I as made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.” Psalm 139:13-18

Someone innocently asked me, “How old was Jade?” With complete appreciation for their good intentions, it simply doesn’t matter how far along I was, nor how old Jade was when he/she died.  Jade was alive, inside me. Then Jade died, inside me. Death of a loved one is always painful … there is never enough time.

In my mind I had already planned where the baby bed would be, pictured my boys’ excitement in meeting a little sibling, and was seriously thinking through names.  I wondered what Jade would look like and could envision a future of getting to know this person as they grew up, praying and trusting that he/she would grow up to love and serve God.  I’m trying to thankfully reflect on the brief time we had together. Just a little while to treasure my special secret … to dream … to prayerfully dedicate this child inside me to God.

Even though God saw fit to take Jade home, it doesn’t mean I can’t trust Him. God knows all and can see everything. In comparison I’m like a blind ant scurrying around, unable to see the rock 10″ ahead of me. This God Who knows how small I am, lovingly calls me His own. He knows my grief. He promises never to leave me – He is holding me. When I am at the point of not being able to pray, utterly weighed down by sadness, He is working behind the scenes to bring the answer to my needs. He reaches out to me with . . .

His Word

My husband Tim
Caleb & Joshua (my children on earth)
Family …
and beauty in unexpected places

God  has provided!  One friend, not knowing why I wasn’t feeling well, suspected, and brought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers.  They have been a balm to my spirit.  A close friend brought a meal and took the boys for a couple hours.  A precious neighbor helped in various amazing ways, providing the support we needed at just the right moment.  Our pastor and his wife got on their knees to pray for us, asking how they can help.  My sister took our boys for a couple of days so we can rest and have time to grieve.  Friends and family have prayed and offered suppport.  They have rejoiced with us and grieved with us about Jade.

I’m not sharing my heart with you so you can feel sorry for me.  Please don’t!  I want you to know that we have a beautiful child in Heaven named Jade.  And far more importantly, I want you to know GOD CAN BE TRUSTED.  We can have joy in our hearts, and we can smile through our tears, because God is real!  Whether God gives you a husband or not.  Whether He gives you children or not.  No matter what the diagnosis, no matter how many lost dreams you experience, nothing changes Who God is.  And Jeremiah 29:11 is still in the Bible.

It’s okay to grieve. He can help me through. He has a plan. He will not waste this. There is hope!  And someday, I will look into the eyes of Jesus, and He will introduce me to my beautiful treasures – Jewel, Gem and Jade … who by God’s grace never experienced the pain of this earth – only the beauty of God in His home. I was never able to tell them about Jesus, but the first One they ever met was Jesus.  I am a very blessed mother of five.   May all my children bring Him glory, there and here.

Suggested resource for those suffering a loss of a child before or after birth:  Grieving the Child I Never Knew by Kathe Wunnenberg

Together 60 Years!

Today my family celebrated my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary.  They were married on November 3, 1951 in Des Moines, Iowa.  Our day was spent reliving memories, driving around their old neighborhoods, hearing stories, visiting the Iowa Hall of Pride museum, eating at a 50’s diner, enjoying each other.  It was a day to remember!

Sixty years seems like a long time, but they say they don’t know where the time went.  It seems unreal that they are knocking on eighty, because it wasn’t long ago that they were young and in love.  I’m happy to report that they are still in love.

My Mom is almost always smiling.  As a kid it would irritate me, along with her contant humming, but now I am refreshed by her spirit of joy!  I see in her a woman who has been faithful to her man through ups and downs.

“Wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:22

She is submissive!  Sometimes I have encouraged her to speak up for herself in certain situations, but she usually chooses to quietly pray about matters instead.  I am thankful for a mother who smiles with her eyes, voice (over the phone), lips and heart.  She is an example of a faithful wife and prayer warrior.

My Dad sold three pigs to buy my mom’s ring, and they had a short engagement because he was drafted into the army.  Although he didn’t end up going over to Korea, there were many stressful moments related to his service to America.

In my Dad I see a man who has taken care of his wife and loves her more than he did when he married her. 

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and
gave Himself for her…”  Ephesians 5:25

My Dad claims that my Mom proposed to him.  His teasing is accompanied by eyes sparkling with fun.  My Mom groans with a grin tugging at the corners of her mouth. She’s heard this story a hundred times.  Today we got “the rest of the story” on video.  The truth seems to be in the middle: they shopped for rings together, but he wasn’t formal in giving her the ring, so she nudged him a bit, “Aren’t you forgetting something?” 

I count myself extremely blessed to have parents who have stayed married for 60 years. Thank you, Mom and Dad!