I have not been able to get my friend Chelsea off my mind today. I have known Chelsea since childhood. She lived just down the street from me. We are the same age. We became mothers at the same time. We both have three-year-old sons. She was actually at my house the night I went into labor with my son. We both got pregnant again at the same time, me just a few month behind her like before. We both gave birth in June, her to a little boy named Micah. Her son was full-term and healthy. However, just months after Micah was born he was diagnosed with a fatal illness. It is only a matter of time until he will join my girls in heaven.
My heart breaks for her as it does for anyone who has ever lost, or will lose, a baby. I was imagining what I might say to her after Micah passes away. Infant death is such a devastating and confusing thing. Having experienced it myself I know that there is really nothing that can be said or done to lessen the pain. It just takes time. Lots and lots of time. And she will have plenty of people telling her to be strong and that God works all things for good and that Micah is whole in heaven as God intended...blah blah blah. All the things that I hated to hear as none of them brought my babies back to me. And she will plaster a smile on her face and talk about God's grace and mercy and faithfulness just like I did, but go home after the funeral and cry for her son night after night, who God could have saved but didn't...and she will have to live on without him while everyone else goes home to ALL their children. It is a level of reality few will ever know. And it is a much harder road than anticipated.
I guess if I could say just one thing though, it would be to be honest with God about how you feel. Give Him your questions, shout out your frustrations, cry out your disappointments, talk through every thought and feeling. Include God in the process at all times, even the ugly times, because at the end of the day He is the only one who will carry you through this. He wants to carry you through this. Let Him.
It took me a long time to really process and accept that God did not take my babies from me. Sin did. And by sin I don't mean my sin. Losing my daughters was not my fault. By sin I mean the sin of the Fall. We live in a fallen, dangerous, imperfect world. And even my sweet babies were not exempt from the consequences of sin entering the world. But what sin tried to destroy, God restored. God rescued my girls from death and placed them in heaven. He healed them from their injuries and made them whole. And what sin tried to make permanent, God made temporary. My pain is limited to this life only. It will end when I am reunited with my daughters in heaven. My girls are waiting for me. I will see them again.
Chelsea, Your son will be waiting for you too. And you will get through this. I promise. And I will be here to help you. Why God has allowed us to bare this burden we will never know. Why us? Why our babies? So much does not make sense. But at least we can bare this burden together, bonded in Christ first, and then bonded by our babies. Kiss that little boy for me. I know you are soaking up every moment with him. I am praying for you all.
Visit Chelsea's blog at http://www.micahpaulmarshall.blogspot.com/.