On this day nine years ago our baby’s heart stopped as we helplessly watched on ultrasound. It was by far the worst day of my life. A day that broke me to my core and divided my life into before and after.
Of all the days of my life so far, I have thought about February 8th the most. That day is buried deep inside me. Malignant. Permanent. I wish I could root it out and erase it forever. But despite the trauma and pain I felt on February 8th, 2013, there is this one part that I could never erase, even if I was given the choice. God’s presence. I have never felt the presence of God in my life like I did that day. He was there with me, standing in the room next to Josh. The doctors, nurses and family members came in and out but He never left. He was a physical presence in the room, holding me up and carrying me. And He repeated the same phrase to me over and over again, an audible voice in my head. I WILL REDEEM IT. The greatest loss of my life. My irreplaceable baby girl had been taken from me. And yet God promised me that He would redeem the loss. It felt impossible. But when He spoke the words to me again and again as I labored and birthed my lifeless girl, I knew He was speaking the truth. I trusted that He would fulfill His promise to me.
After we got home from the hospital I looked up the meaning of “redeem” and it means “to free from what distresses or harms, to change for the better, repair, restore, to exchange for something of value, to make good, to atone for, to make worthwhile.”
That is a big promise. Today, nine years later, these questions keep coming to mind-
Has He redeemed it like He said He would?
Did He keep His promise?
The answer is no and yes. During the last nine years God had redeemed far more than I ever thought possible. He has not restored Lucy to me, but many other “permanent” losses have been restored to me. God is keeping His promise and I know He will fulfill it completely once I get to heaven. So today, on Lucy’s ninth birthday I wanted to list nine things that God has redeemed since that day in 2013 when Lucy died.
- My dream of having a daughter on earth
- My pregnancy and childbirth experience
- Our dream of having a large family
- Our trust in doctors and the medical community
- My ability to advocate for what is right, even if it goes against the cultural norm
- My breastfeeding experience
- My ability to speak up for and protect my children
- My ability to celebrate and cherish other women’s pregnancies/babies
- Inner joy and peace
His gifts abound day after day. Even though God has done far more than we ever could have imagined, we still ache for the one thing He has not yet redeemed, our Lucy Dair. Our grief is palpable today as we remember our daughter and wonder who she would be at age nine. We remember how she was neglected by the medical team we entrusted her to. We work through forgiveness again and again. We ask God to restore what has been taken from us, and we wait for Him to fulfill His promise. And if I quiet myself and close my eyes I can feel His presence here with me in my grief. He still hasn’t left.