This month is hard for me, especially this week. Lucy had two different due dates, July 2nd and July 7th. Every year when July rolls around I find myself depressed and aching for my daughter. She should be turning two years old this week. Oh how my heart hurts when I think about all of things I’ve missed in the past two years. I wonder who she would have been today. Would she be a strong-willed, feisty and defiant little girl like I was? Or would she be sweet, gentle and thoughtful like her Daddy? Would her hair be blonde and curly like mine was? Would her eyes be blue like mine or brown like her Daddy’s and big brothers’? My arms still ache for the feel of her in them. I yearn for the weight of her little body on my lap and on my chest. I miss her smell and the sound of her voice and her chubby cheeks. What kind of birthday party would she have wanted? I miss her so much. She and Nora would have been exactly the same distance apart (age wise) as Liam and Asher. I was big and pregnant when we celebrated Liam’s second birthday. I think of all the fun that Nora will miss having with her big sister. This month is always a reminder of all the life that is missing from our family.
Soon after Lucy died I was told that it wasn’t right for me to say “She SHOULD be here.” Or “She SHOULD be this many months old.” Supposedly, it implied that God made a mistake and that I wasn’t trusting Him enough. I disagree. “Should” reminds me that this was not God’s original plan for the world. His FIRST plan was a world of harmony and perfection, not a place where babies die and children get cancer and our hearts are sick with sin. After we chose sin over His original plan He devised a new plan, one of REDEMPTION. His new plan is beautiful and just like the original one, it is rooted in His unconditional love for us, but it is wrought with pain and suffering. His first design was better and it comforts me to know that it would not have involved my baby dying. God hurts to see us in pain and He hates death and suffering, which is why He sacrificed His own boy to save us and redeem us. As I type this with tears running down my cheeks and a hole in my heart for my missing girl, another little girl has the hiccups and is shaking my whole body with her wiggly LIFE, reminding me of His redemption. This month not only reminds me of who is missing, but now it reminds me that He does redeem our pain and our suffering like He promises. Nora’s life does not remove the pain of Lucy not being here, but it adds joy to the hurt and it is a small glimpse of the perfection, restoration and redemption that waits for us in heaven.
Josh always said Nora would be born in July and I told him it would never happen. I never thought she would even make it to June. But here we are on July 2nd, Lucy’s due date, and instead of aching for my second girl like we thought we would be, I am still swollen with her life inside of me.
I would like to remind you that God aches when you ache and He hates death and suffering. He will redeem your pain and restore your losses, whether it’s on earth or in heaven, HE WILL DO IT. He will heal you and replace your ashes with beauty.
Psalm 130:7 O Israel (or Bethany or whatever YOUR name is) hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with Him is plentiful redemption.