Grief and Loss

Powerful Prayers

The call came early this morning.

I almost knew when I went to answer the phone that this was ‘it’…

I dont know how, one of those God-moments, I suppose.

On the other end of the line was my mother in law, the woman who has been both an enormous emotional support as well as physical support these last months.

“She’s at the hospital in labor. Her water broke this morning.”

Words that for many, including this dear woman, that should bring excitement, joy, the answer to the age old  anticipated of “when?”

But I could hear her voice cracking on the other end of the line. I could feel her tears steam quietly from her eyes, as hot water droplets flooded from my own. My heart sunk low in my chest and the pain from those first moments and months awoke in full force. Our hearts were breaking again, together.

“I’m thinking of Philip today. Just cant think of one without the other.”

I know. 

It felt good to hear his name across the phone line. It felt good to know he was remembered. It was about the only good I felt in those first moments.

My heart was breaking again. Over my son. Over this child’s arrival.

Today  should  be a day of excitement, joy, anticipation, newness… Yet I found that the storm of emotions raged all the more, one wave swelling with both grief and pain, another wave with excitement and joy. The current pulls me from one to the other without warning, and there, I flounder in the deep waters.

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you” God says in Isaiah 43:2. It’s been one of the verses that has gotten me through so very many “deep water” moments. It’s saved me. And though I dont feel it in this moment, I know that it will save me yet again.

“I’ll pray for them” came from my mouth. Words that didnt want to come, but needed to. God wouldnt let me selfishly hold them back. In the same way they prayed for us, when I was in the hospital, saying goodbye to my child, so I will pray for them. I would pray for their baby’s safe arrival. I’d pray for their strength in this, because I don’t know what its like to be on their side. Prayer is not something to be selfishly held back on account of my current emotions. It is a responsibility. It is a gift. And I will use it to His glory, not mine.

Because though my heart was breaking again, I did  not wish for their hearts to break as well. I wished for them to find joy and excitement, to have those big innocent smiles on their faces as their sleeping child awoke to our world. I prayed for the moment that their child’s eyes opened and her shrill baby cry filled the white walls of the hospital room. I prayed for their health, their safety. I prayed for their new family. I just prayed. And kept on praying.

I did what I thought was impossible…I prayed.

I just kept reminding myself that this child is a blessing. And though I dont understand the timing of it all, He does.

Will I trust God’s timing in even this? 

I must. Or rather, I must keep trying. He is the only one who can ever give me the answers I so desire.

I struggle with the concept of How to love this little neice of mine when the timing of her arrival has brought much pain. Yet the love is already there. Love so deep for her that it breaks my heart yet again when I think of it. I’m just not sure- not ready perhaps-  how to let it out without denying the love for my son. Without feeling like if I love her, my love for him would be erased or lessened, because I know that is impossible.

Thoughts of my son race through my head, memories of my time in the hospital, his quiet, still body. I pray simply that they get the exact opposite of what we had. That they find joy where we found sorrow. That they find life where we found death. That they find an earthly future with this little girl, while we found only a heavenly future with Philip. And that maybe, because of him, they hold her a little more closely. That they enjoy her quiet breaths and big blue eyes a little more fully. That they value these moments with her. Moments I never had.

My heart is breaking again, but this time, I have choices. So I choose to love in the way I can. I choose to pray. I choose to keep going, thorugh even this.

After all, “When you go through deep waters,  I will be with you.”

What more assurance do I need than that? The God of all Gods is with me in even this. He is before me, beside me, above me & below me. He is my rock in the storm. And He has never failed me yet.

And so I will continue to trust Him in this as well. And I’ll keep on praying.


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