Finding joy in the midst of anguish
by Seth Taylor, Director of Student Ministries
The possibilities were endless. The future was bright. Plans were made. When we found out, we were filled with an ecstatic, uncompromising joy. We immediately started what any new found parents would do—think a singular thought: What are we getting ourselves into? We already had two children, and adding a third meant that we were no longer playing man-to-man defense, but zone. Were we ready to parent, no longer at even numbers, but with the tides against us?
Then the games started. “Well, if we have a girl, what do you think about this name? And a boy? Oo, I know, this name is perfect. Wait, what room are they going to stay in? Do you know where the old baby clothes are? How are we going to arrange the car? How does our insurance work with babies again?
We recklessly made plans for this new-found, poppy-seed-sized child of ours. We prayed for a healthy baby and for everything to go well in the pregnancy nightly. God, surely, would answer this prayer for us.
Then, nothing happened. My wife didn’t feel the usual signs for the approximate weeks of being pregnant. The worries followed. Hollow thoughts that we can have no influence over plagued us in the back crevices of our minds.
Then the cramps. Then the bleeding.
Then the tears.
I have been told that it is hard to believe in God and have a relationship with Him due to the limitations of God and our senses. If I can’t see Him, feel Him, hear Him, how can I love him?
In light of recent events, I want to pose a couple more questions related to the previous one. Can you mourn someone that you never saw? Can you feel love for someone you never heard, or felt? Can you mourn the loss of a loved one that you never knew was there?
I can tell you the answer to that: absolutely. I never saw my child, I never heard, or felt, or sensed it in any way, shape, or form. I never had a conversation, or was able to hold him or her.
Despite that, I loved my kid. For as short as he or she was on this planet, I loved. Although I could not comprehend and I knew nothing about the human that passed, I lovedhim or her.
My Father can be like that, too. I don’t always seehim. I don’t always hearhim. But I loveHim. He is the reason why we have hope. Christ came down and experienced the pain of loss and separation. He has felt what I felt.
He died on the Cross so my child can be with Him.
King David had a child who died, too. He knew it was coming, and he prayed and prayed and prayed for God to withhold His hand. He did not. But look at what David says in 2nd Samuel 12:23:
“I will go to him, but he won’t return to me.”
I desperately want my child back. I want to meet that squishy face. I want to hold those tiny hands. I want to hold up that inevitably too-large-for-the-body head.
But he won’t return to me. I will, one day, go to him. I will, one day, join my child with the Father. It will be the ultimate reunion. The hope of Jesus Christ gives me this bonus gift: that I will meet a child of mine that I never met and we will, together, spend eternity worshipping the Lord. What a great God we have.
God is good. Always. Lord, please give my little one a hug for me, and say I will be there soon.