Today was one of the most difficult days of my life, but I can truly see the healing hands of God at work in all of us. We spent about 4 1/2 hours at the funeral home together, making decisions about where to bury baby Luke (They have wisely decided to have him “held” here until they choose his final resting place). This way, they can feel the Spirit’s urging to go where ever they feel He is calling, and then have Lukie join them there.
(written on 5/30, posted on 5/31)
I was blessed to be able to see him today, and he looked so beautiful. He just looked like a healthy, strong, big boy, ready to take on the world. I had been worried about what that moment would feel like, looking at him in his little outfit in his tiny casket. I felt great peace as soon as I walked into the parlor…he looked like himself to me, and that was a great comfort. I ruffled his little hair up and talked to him for a few minutes about how much he was loved. I held his hands and squeezed his little roly-poly thighs. As everyone who had come to the funeral home made their way up to him, cries echoed throughout the room. There were only a few of us, but we each spent time alone with sweet Luke.
Often times the guttural, aching sounds gave way to hushed prayer, and I realized that this is the mark of the believer in this horrifying moment. “Lord, I am empty, I am angry. I want it to be different. You could bring him back right this second if you so chose…but, it feels like for reasons we do not understand, you have chosen this instead….and so, we come humbly, barefoot, with our heads bowed, and we just ask for you to help us survive this grief.”
If we didn’t need Him so much, we would all be tempted to turn our backs, I’m sure.
Today, that feeling has predominated my thinking…”I need you, I trust you, but I feel like you have failed me by letting them go.” And then two breaths later, I am saying, “Oh Lord Jesus, come and mend. Come and heal. Only You can fix this disaster!” What a strange balance. At the end of the day it comes down to this, and for years, when I have been faced with any difficult situations, minor or major, I have told Todd that I have heard God said to me:
Either you do or you don’t.
I can’t tell you how many times He has made it that simple. Either you believe in Me, or you don’t. There is no grey.
And so today, locked in the embrace of my sweet sister-in-law, standing in front of her son’s casket, I had to answer…I do.
Nicol and I still bear wounds from our surgeries, and we have no babies to make the pain feel worth it….Lord, I do.
Nicol sang at Audrey’s funeral while holding Luke…that image has brought tears to my eyes, none of us knowing what was ahead…..I do.
I stared at his sweet face, and I kept wondering in my head, “What is she doing up there Luke? Tell me what she is like…who she is….what she loves…” I do.
There are no words to express what my eyes have seen today, I feel that even attempting it would be a disservice. It was holiness I have rarely experienced, and I am grateful, so grateful to my Lord, Who loves us enough to make Himself known.
I know that for some of you, it may seem that “luck” is not on our side as a family, that we are victims of chance. I want you to hear me say this loud and clear.
God Himself chose this to happen. Trust me, that is not the easiest sentence I have ever written, because I am human, and I am a grieving mother. I know that none of this is a surprise to Him. That doesn’t mean we don’t feel every bit of the loss, or that we just go about our lives because it’s all okay now. It just means that we are steady in the belief that God knows what we don’t, and none of this changes Who He is. None of it.
I am sure that people who do not trust in the Lord will be tempted to ask why such a great God would let us suffer so much. I am not going to pretend that I don’t ask that myself sometimes, but I will tell you this, and it has made all the difference.
I ask Him.
I don’t let myself “reason” through it, because I can’t. I don’t let my anger fester too long, or I will, in my own weakness, crumble into nothingness. I just cry out to Him and tell Him that I don’t understand, that I am angry, that I want answers. I want to know why. And He gives me momentary peace, and reminds me of the two words that drift around us we mourn.
Luke’s memorial service is set for Monday at 3 pm. Details will be posted when I have all of the information, but visitors are welcome.
In the meantime, please keep praying. And know that they are reaching us…not one of them is in vain. Thank you,