Ever since Lucy died I have been praying and asking God to let me see her in a dream. I kind of know what she looked like because I got to see her after she died, but I was only half way through the pregnancy. I always wonder what she was going to look like as a newborn baby or a 6 month old or a 3 year old…I just begged God to let me see her. It would be so easy for Him to show Lucy to me in a dream. The cynical, stubborn part of me said, “You are making me go my lifetime without knowing her, you could at least show me what she looks like in a dream.”
Well, a couple nights after I found out I was losing baby Jude, God gave me what I wanted. He showed me Lucy in a dream and it was one of the most painful things that I’ve ever experienced.
In my dream I realized that I needed to breastfeed Lucy. It was lunch time and I hadn’t fed her since the day before. I was full of milk and was horrified when I realized I hadn’t fed her that day. She was in the NICU, so I had to rush to the hospital to feed her. I thought that if I didn’t get there fast enough she would die. I ran as fast as I could, but the “Royal Wedding” was happening. I had to run through the Royal Wedding and everyone kept saying, “Hey, where are you going? You’re going to miss William and Kate’s wedding!” (I think this stems from my extreme anxiety over the birth of the royal baby. The baby is around Lucy’s age and will always be displayed to remind me of how old Lucy should be.) I finally got to the hospital and couldn’t find Lucy. People asked, “Which baby is she?” and I said, “She’s the sickest baby here. She’s probably the only baby here who’s going to die.”
Finally, I ran upstairs and a sweet nurse put her hand on my arm and guided me to the corner. And there she was. The sun was streaming in through a window onto my Lucy, lying in her bassinet. I asked, “Is that her?” And the nurse said yes. That part of my dream kills me and brings me to tears every time I think of it because I had to ASK if that was my daughter. I didn’t even know what my baby looked like. How heartbreaking to not know your own child. I cried out, “Lucy! Lucy!” and she turned her face towards me and laughed out loud. She smiled up at me, so happy to see me. She was so cute. Her cheeks were so chubby and she had a short, light brown fuzz of hair. She had scratched her face because her fingernails were too long. I realized later that she was about 5 months old, not a newborn. If she had been born alive in February she would have been 5 months old when I had the dream. Lucy was wearing a pink onesie with tiny flowers all over it. Her chubby belly filled out the onesie so perfectly. She wasn’t sick at all. She was healthy and happy and reaching for her Mama. I reached out both of my hands to pick her up and right when I touched her sweet little body, I woke up.
When I woke up I was kind of disoriented and thinking “Where’s Lucy?” and then it hit me, like a knife in my heart. She’s dead. She’s not filling out her pink flower onesie with her chubby belly. She’s dead. She doesn’t need me to breastfeed her. She’s dead for the rest of my life. I felt like I was reliving her death all over again. Have you ever had a horribly realistic nightmare where someone you love died? It’s terrifying and when you wake up you are so relieved to realize that it was just a dream. It was all just a dream. It was the opposite for me. I thought my daughter was alive and when I woke up I realized it was all a dream. My daughter is dead in reality. This horrible nightmare is my reality.
I immediately asked God, “Please, don’t ever do that to me again. I will wait to see her in heaven.” Oh, my heart, she was so cute. I cry every time I think about that dream. I’m weeping as I type this, and I weep every time I proofread this post. I try to push her sweet face out of my mind because it’s too painful to bear seeing her and to know I have to wait until I die to have her. I cried for days after that dream because it was like reliving her death. That dream has plunged me back into my grief like nothing else, even more than miscarrying Jude. Now before I go to sleep I ask God to please not let me dream about Lucy.
Now I know why God was reluctant to give me a dream about my Lucy. The whole time I begged Him to give me a dream about her, He knew what it would do to me. He knew it would do more damage than good. He knew it would be better for me to wait until I was in heaven to see her. This was a very important (and extremely painful) lesson for me. I ask Him for so many things- things that seem rational and good (like saving my daughter’s life or giving me another baby or even taking my pain away.) Perhaps God knows what the best thing for me is. Perhaps He knows more than me. Of course He knows more than me! Why do I forget that He knows EVERYTHING, including the future? Why do I think my plan is better than His?
Timothy Keller (one of my favorite preachers) imagines God saying:
My son, when a child of mine makes a request, I always give that person what he or she would have asked for if they knew everything I know.
Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?