Blinded, blurred, borne

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
~ Psalm 62:5-8 ~

I sat with my Bible open but blinded by tears. On my knees in new ways, my heart broken into a million new and tiny pieces when my baby died a year ago...the baby who was such a miracle that first day. Cousin-twins for a second time running, my sister and I burgeoning with babes at the same time, living an eighth of a mile apart, sharing every joy and wave of nausea, the unpacking of the baby clothes and the stocking of the nursery in expectation. Dreams awakened, not by my own idle thoughts, but by the miracle of life itself within me. A year later, I still struggle with the intentional awakening of my desire, when He, in His omniscience, knew that desire would be burnt on the flames of loss in a few weeks time.

No guilt in life, no fear in death/This is the power of Christ in me/From life's first cry to final breath/Jesus commands my destiny. The darkest days of my grief quickly passed, like the fleeting breath that was a few weeks of pregnancy, a fleeting shadow remaining and new tears welling up when I hold my nephew, Robert, conceived that same week as my son, Theodore. One babe born in this world, one babe born in heaven and borne forever in my heart like a heavy stone. In looking intently at that pregnancy, I focused too much on a reflection, neglecting to turn my eyes upon the source of the glory, the miracle. I saw only the gift, and not the gift of  God. With words, I praised Him, but my heart was frozen and my eyes remained fixed on the promise of another child, not the promise of another child for eternity. In this lapse of eternal perspective, I forfeited the joy in large part. Promise blurred with tears, hope squelched by sorrow.

Not that it's easy to keep eternal if just by recognizing my error, I can erase my grief, quell my tears, staunch the flow of anguished pleading words at the Throne when I pray. I believe God supports grief and is with us in grief. He grieves with us that this world is cursed because of human sin. But He has also lovingly, lavishly provided the solution to our problem: Grace. His own Son, sacrificed on the cross, so that death will never be the conqueror. 

And as He stands in victory/ Sin's curse has lost its grip on me/ For I am His and He is mine -/ Bought with the precious blood of Christ. Death for my babe, whose last recorded size, on the pathology report, was 2.45 centimeters long, has been swallowed up in the grave of Christ, when his disciples and the soldiers found an empty tomb. My tears are swallowed up in the gift of life eternal granted by the spilling of His holy blood. 

What heights of love, what depths of peace/ when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!/ My Comforter, my All in All/ here in the love of Christ I stand. For God, out of sorrow flows joy. And that is the gift offered us in the blood of His son. Believe this miracle happened as reported in the Gospels and other historical texts of the time, and for you as well, out of sorrow will flow joy. That is the power of the blood.

That is the promise of the Gospel. And that is the life I now live. I am redeemed. My unborn child is redeemed. And someday we will both be resurrected and reborn to a life of joy that will never end.

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.
Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.

My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Those who are far from you will perish;
you destroy all who are unfaithful to you.

But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; 
I will tell of all your deeds.
~ Psalm 73:21-28 ~

*Song lyrics excerpted from In Christ Alone, a modern hymn written in 2002 by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty

Post from the archives, written November 28, 2009. A few new words from the added experience and grief of a year without my son. New photos from churches in Minnesota - a yellow Methodist sanctuary at sunset in Rochester, and Native American Catholic space lit in morning in Naytahwaush, Minnesota.