Have you ever had a wonderfully unexpected gift come out of the most dire of circumstances? I mean one that sticks with you for a lifetime and changes your whole perspective and attitude? One that breathes life back in to deflated situation that you can’t move past. Earlier this week I was reminded of one that I will be forever grateful.
I am the mother of 4 wild, wonderful, and very unique kids. Three girls and The Boy. Only one was planned, which when Casey found that out, she has never let the others live it down. I love to refer to them as ‘surprises”. While we were always rattled as they always came at the worst times, we are blessed beyond belief. What many do not know is that there were more.
Tucked in our child line up are babies that we have never had the opportunity to hold and get to know. While our children know no different, as parents we feel the holes and wonder everyday who they would have been, what they would have looked like, and how these precious ones would have added to our family dynamics.
Mourning these sweethearts was never an option as I either didn’t have time to or it was too hard to allow myself. It was much easier to just stuff the pain away as I chased their siblings around. One of the little unborn darlings left us on Mother’s Day. Physically I rebounded very quickly and wandered down the hospital corridor to see a fresh little pink bundle in a basinet. Not even a tear was shred. I hurt, but I put one foot in front of the other and marched on with life. Cliff said, “I feel like someone hit me in the stomach with a baseball bat”, but clammed up after that. Once I got home and on my feet again, we didn’t talk about it. When it happened again, life went on as the hurt festered inside.
About 10 years after the first baby left us, God started peeling back the layers of my heart to unearth the wound I refused to deal with. I was sewing Easter outfits for the kids and listening to a cassette tape of Frank Peretti’s Tilly. While Frank is known for his creepy Christian Fiction, this one is totally different. It tells the story of a mom, who years after aborting her baby, gets a glimpse of that child in heaven. It’s an amazing story of hope, forgiveness, and redemption. My heart wound started to be washed out as I sobbed my way through putting in sleeves and zippers. Miraculously, the Easter duds held together that year only by the grace of God.
Then, God aired out the gaping heart hole by breathing in the gift of identities. He gently whispered names for them in my heart.
Not long after that, I knew I was to tell the kids. Cole was just a little whirlwind and too young to get it, but the three girls would. I sat them down and with tears rolling down my cheeks began.
Misty’s reaction was so unexpected. She was so excited! Her blue eyes danced and she could hardly contain herself.
I was so shocked. What was this child thinking? She had always had a unique spin on life. A couple of weeks before had been her 4th birthday. She asked for a Craftmatic Adjustable Bed. She had seen them on her favorite tv channel-The Weather Channel! Not Disney. Not Nickelodeon or the Cartoon Network. The Weather Channel. There were days we just kind of wondered about her….
Right now she was pegging out the concern meter. Maybe I hadn’t explained this correctly. Maybe she was just too young. Maybe…
She flew into my arms and said “Oh Mama, that means I have brothers and sisters just waiting for me in heaven!” The joy in that child’s voice and celebration on her face breathed healing on the incision of my heart. Yes, I knew where those babies were, but I was blinded by loss. In an instant I went from “Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted for her children are no more” (Jer 31:15) to God turning my ‘mourning into dancing”. He gave me “comfort and joy instead of sorrow.” (Jer 31:13).
That day our heavenly children became a part of our family. We have feathered angel wings that grace our Christmas tree to remember our children that have just beat us to our heavenly home. We will always imagine and wonder, but for now this is enough. No one do we trust more to keep an eye on our kids than Jesus.
As we focus on the events that Good Friday brings, can you imagine the hurt the disciples must have felt? How they could see past that moment and the circumstance? They were blinded by loss, sin, grief, disappointment, guilt, confusion……-everything that keep the wounds on our hearts from healing.
But, Easter morning came! Jesus rose and with joy and celebration we all can dance again.
Photo credit: http://www.desipainters.com/jesus-2/