Agony. Their baby girl was gone. She was diagnosed with Potter Syndrome a few weeks prior and was now...gone. At 32 weeks. Sitting alone at my computer feeling my own little unborn squirm and move - I lost it. I burst out in an angry and hurting cry - though I'm sure nothing compared to how this little ones momma must have cried. And is crying still. Her own flesh. Their own blend of life...gone, in a moment.
I couldn't breathe. The "what if's" started and I felt like I was suffocating. Then, I got a grip, and felt a wave a grief wash over me all over again as I remembered this sweet friend from college. We lived in the same dorm. She had life. She was beautiful. She was artistic and fun. There's no way she would have had this plan for her life... if we were in charge of the planning.
"God" I cried. "Why?" and then I just sat there. The illumination from my computer screen bouncing off the tears that streamed down. And the thing is... I know too much. I know my theology on God and WHO He is and What He does. I know scripture. I know truth. But its in those moments - the sharp, grasping, squeezing ones - that my brain goes numb and my heart sways. Because instead of this person just being another sad story...another one of those, "oh, can you imagine?!" type deals that you don't really know but you feel sad about for 2 seconds...this one is staying with me. It's personal. I KNOW this girl. I KNOW the man she married. And here I sit looking at pictures of her precious baby girl who is now in the arms of Jesus... instead of theirs. Which, in our Christian circles is so comforting to talk about. But when its YOU, that comfort isn't always immediate. Truth be told, sometimes it takes years.
I can't help but connect. And maybe this is why we are commanded to "weep with those who weep". And maybe this is why I lost my own little one those few years ago. To feel...again. To remember. Though I never held mine at a developed 32 weeks - I held mine in different ways only a mother could understand. I remember taking the "tissue", as they called it, in to the pathology lab. I remember the dull ache in my soul as I handed over the part of me I had lost...to a lab worker wearing white rubber gloves, who had no idea how important this little piece of life was. Do you know what it feels like to carry your unborn in a plastic bag?! An 8 week grown tiny life whose heart stopped. Who you never get to meet. Who you will always, always, always wonder about. And yet - when you look at your growing, healthy, earthly existing 2 year old, you think... "So, what is her plan?" instead. Bittersweet is a horrible word for those moments.
The other night at my teen bible study one of my girls surprised me by answering a question on God's sovereignty. It blew. my. mind. I had to swallow hard and blink fast to keep going. Or I knew what would follow...
"Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness. Why do the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him." Psalm 115:1-3
My God. My sovereign, omniscient, holy God has a plan. It's not something He makes up as He goes. And more then the plan... His Love. His faithfulness. His all encompassing protection and guidance. It's a package deal. We don't understand and maybe that's where Faith comes in. When we just have to weep, mourn... and then get on with it knowing that "To God be the Glory" - even though we don't totally understand that. Loss is something I'll never be comfortable with. And I know that in my "current condition" it's wise to guard my eyes and heart from things. But, honestly, I'm so thankful to GOD for allowing me to mourn all these miles away with a fellow school mate. I'm thankful for the way God magnifies the blessings in my life and reminds me that although there is no guarantee in some things... eternity with Him is for sure.
And, I have to wonder...as my brain always does... Why? Why allow me to see and feel this now? The mystery is almost too much for me.
But, life goes on, painfully. And even today I'll go to the local hospital and meet two brand new babies. Full term babies. Born healthy and happy, being held by mommies and daddies. And my heart will sting and burn for my friend - but, on the other hand - what a comfort, again, to remember just WHO is in charge. I can smile that way. Life is weird. Life is beautiful.