To Read on the Journey

Friday, October 15, 2010

a year from now

this week is baby loss awareness week.  a week to remember babies "born into heaven."
to those of you who have lost a child i mourn with you your great loss, and i celebrate with you that some day we will be reunited with our children in Glory.

yesterday i posted "out of line," where i shared thoughts on the Psalm 139:16, "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

one of those days written by God, that i may never understand this side of Heaven, was the day God took our son Caleb home.

but yesterday as we sat at the table sharing moments written by God i was reminded of and shared about another day penned by God's  hand.

the day Saturday, February 10th, 2001.  i was at a  4 day retreat, The Walk to Emmaus.  my husband had joined men from all over central California the weekend before on "The Walk," and this weekend it was my turn to join strangers, at an unfamiliar church in the middle of nowhere, hoping to come face to face with Jesus.

but i didn't think i would.  really,  part of me didn't want to. i was mad at Him. it had been almost 5 months since he took Caleb home. i was sad. i wanted my baby back, in my belly, i wanted to be looking forward to the month ahead when he was due. instead i was dreading it. mourning everyday without him.

during the afternoon on this day of The Walk, we were lead into a sanctuary where we were given the opportunity to meet with a pastor for counsel and to be anointed with oil (freedom.  we could sit in the pews for as long as we needed, but we could not leave the sanctuary until we met with the pastor.

i sat there alone for what seemed like hours... the last one to make the walk to the altar.

as i sat in that pew i ignored God.
He did not ignore me.
He spoke.
teary eyed i pretended to ignore Him.
He cradled me.
i wrestled Him to release me from His arms.
still, He held me.
He cupped my tearful face in His hands.
i closed my eyes.
He spoke, "Beloved."
i cried..."why? why did you take my son? i want him back"
He listened.
still unable to look at Him i asked, "will i always feel such grief?"
He whispered, "Denise, your life will look different a year from now."
"What?" i asked confused.
He spoke again, "your life will look different a year from now."

i made my way to the altar, where the Wonderful Counselor  continued to lead me into Comfort, Truth, and Peace as the pastor spoke and anointed me with oil. 

i left The Walk assuming God meant my grief would change within the next year. i didn't think He meant  for me to take Him literally.

the week before Sunday, February 10th, 2002,  i was 38 weeks pregnant with a little girl.  michael and i met with the o.b. for a routine check up and to ask about being induced (something i'd not done before).   the doctor agreed, and scheduled us for Sunday.

as we drove home, michael and discussed how odd it was that the dr. had chosen Sunday. wasn't that his day off?  "why Sunday" i asked.

and i heard, "your life is going to look different a year from now."

Exactly One year later, 
on Sunday February 10th, 2002 at 2:58 p.m., 
Josie (Josefine, "may God add") was born.  

How precious to me are your thoughts, 
O God! 
How vast is the sum of them! 
Psalm 139:17

Josie isn't a replacement for Caleb, but the Joy she has added to our lives has replaced our grief.  God was so generous to write her into our lives.

Friend, God is LIVING and MOVING.  He sees you.  He knows you.  He holds you.  He holds your past, your today, your future.  He has a plan for you.  and more than anything HE LOVES YOU. 

May He lavish His love on you, and may you open your heart to receive ALL of His love! 


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Denise for sharing your heart with me. It touched me. Keep doing what God has called you to do. Love, Martha

Thea Nelson said...

PRAISE JESUS. I am stunned as I read this--but then again not at all surprised that He did it in this glory-and-redemption-covered way. I am in awe of the One who wrote your story this way!!!!!

deb said...


I love reading how you are both strong and authentic.

and that you honour your daughter as a replacement for grief not Caleb.

Paige said...

Beautifully written Denise. I love how God shows us just how into us He is by keeping the details detailed. He knew what would happen a year from that day and He kept His promise. He always does!

Love you-

Home's Where My Heart Is said...

Denise, this is one of the most beautiful stories I've ever read. I love how you described the wrestling with and ignoring God. I've been there so many times, and you described it perfectly.

Exactly one year later. How great is our God..

Michelle said...

As a mother of a child that isn't with us today, I know the pain and hurt. I also know the experience of joy of the next child. Thank you for sharing your raw honest emotions with us.

Jenn said...

1 year and 19 days after my D&C when we lost our baby Jordan, we held Natalie Kate (now almost 4) for the first time, born healthy & hearty at 9&1/2 pounds.

I have come to the understanding that babies aren't replaceable, but joy does come in the "mourning". Our joy over Natalie did not take away my grief for Jordan. They are both my children and I wanted them both. She is definitely my rainbow baby, something beautiful after the flood of pain.

Alexis said...

Isn't He amazing? Thank you for another example of His love.

The Writer Chic said...

When we had our first u/s with Erin, the tech placed her EDD at 5/26. We knew we'd have a repeat c-section at 39w, which would have made her birthday 5/19....exactly a year to the day after we lost our Duncan.

God had a different birthday for her in the end, but for months after that u/s, I saw not a coincidence, but providence.

denise said...

God is rewriting your story, indeed. I love how you said that in your last post.

And then shared this beautiful story.

Simply Sara said...

tears yet again.
can i tell you again how much your beautiful heart amazes me.

you just honor God so much.
please move to canada.

Kristen said...

sara she is moving to idaho first.... :o)

lovely my friend, just lovely!