He Loves You

I wanted to be there, no question.In fact I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

Three years ago I was a few months on the other side of losing my Audrey and it was time. Time to head to the hospital.Time to watch life start again.Time to rejoice for others while allowing my heart to mend in the process.

I found the room where he would be born, and little did I know that this room held a beautiful reminder of a promise.

I am always good, love.

Hours, agony, and exhaustion gave way to the moment we had all been preparing ourselves for. It’s time.

Oh. It’s time.

The doctors reached, the momma cried out, and I felt my fingers tighten on my shirt as I watched him being born.

A baby. Just a sweet little 8 pound reason to keep believing that God was still on the throne.When just weeks ago I had stood in a cemetary and said goodbye to the red hair and the tomorrows that yesterday swallowed up.

I wanted to be there, no question.  In fact I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

It’s been three years, almost. And my eyes start to burn and my jaw wants to tighten because it means that time keeps moving on without her…and why? Why does it insist on doing so?

But here I am again. The same hospital. The same momma that says “Happy Birthday” when her babe is born and loves and loves because she doesn’t know any other way. I came to support her, and to see what it looks like when hope comes bursting through the seams of life.

It won’t be long now. Her body is saying it and the doctors are agreeing. She is ready to start life all over again, and as her face flushes and her heart pounds, she screams out just as the doctor pulls her new daughter from her.

And there, on a bright morning in Nashville, I watched them lay the sweet, waxy, pink baby on her chest and there was no more screaming and no more fear or pain. It was all gone away, and in its place was this child. This promise that everything that hurts that way will be redeemed, and it feels possible here.

The baby doesn’t scream at all, and what might be nerves give way to the recognition that it seems to be her newborn nature to simply be still. The doctors smile and laugh and bundle and then Jess holds her perfect Adeline for the first time. All eyes are wet with love and relief, and I do a good job of celebrating. It’s so easy to celebrate when you’re with people you love and rejoice easily over. And the room reminds me that it doesn’t always go the way it has gone.

Sometimes the babies get to go home with their lullabye-singing mommas and their head-over-heels smitten daddies.

Sometimes, often really, they get to watch her sleep in her cradle and have whispered conversations about whose nose she got and why her hair makes those sweet little circle shapes and oh, how they want to devour her.

I know it happens, because it has happened to me.

What right do we have to a love like this? A love that says “yes,” before it knows anything other than “mine.”

And yet, I also know the other.

And as the nurses left and the baby rested and all lights were dimmed and peaceful, I wanted to hold her just for a moment. Not long enough to remind me of everything but long enough to feel Him.

I needed to feel Him.

She was, I thought, about this size. But no, of course she wasn’t. She wasn’t anything like this, and she never would be.

But who am I; this tender-hearted witness to the love that came down?

Not just here, and not just in life.But also in death.

We have no say in the matter, really.

We love as deeply as we are carved, and when the day is done we rise to see another.

I didn’t get to see the life I wanted with her.

I brush my face against Adeline’s and a part of me wants to whisper, “Do you know?”

Of course she doesn’t.But one day I pray she will.

That she will know me as the one who found the right hospital room despite all of the wrong turns I could have made between Audrey and her.

That she will know that I will love her the way I love her brother and that she will always remind me of the day love made sorrow stand still and rest in the truth.

But oh, how I miss her.

My tiny, pink-flesh and damp-haired baby girl. I never got to see your eyes, but I will. And I will know every part of who you are and what mattered more than everything I could see.

Because I have a God in whom I trust, in spite of the two very different rooms.One that rejoices, and the other that mourns.

How could this God be so?

Are you wondering why? Why would a good God let this baby have this and that baby have that?

I am here, friend.

And instead of asking why, might I offer a simple solution that I believe will answer the true question. I’m not sure it ever was “why” in the first place, but maybe “Who.”

He is my most intimate friend, my most respected Father. He is the One who carries the sun to it’s place and remains as faithful as rain falling down, down, down

Into the place where you thought nobody would remember.

He does.

Not only that but He loves you. He loves you. HE LOVES YOU.

I lost her. I cannot see her again in this life, but I am not tormented as I was because of those three words that tell me I have nothing to fear.

He loves me, loves me, loves me. Over and over and upside down and in every way I can’t get my arms around.

And this new little love shows me breath and smile and tears. I have lights of my own, this house full of blessings.

I have enough to know that what I don’t know is safe.

One day I will meet He who says it is so. I don’t know that I will ask the questions I think I will. What’s the point of why when you have the Who?

I might just bow down, down, down…And before the King I will whisper with the stillness of heaven’s peace-if I can stammer the words. Sweet, sweet girl…how I have wanted to hold you again.

I wanted to be there, no question.

I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.


*To read Adeline’s entire birth story and see pictures of her, please click here*


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  • http://inspiredrd.com Alysa Bajenaru

    Oh Angie, that was so beautiful. Thank you for writing and reminding me that the Who is all that matters, and that Why isn’t a question at all.

  • http://jennyrain.com JennyRain

    Your words wrap such a tender grace around my heart today… beautiful. Loved watching the tweets about where Jessica was and how you were right there emotionally, physically, and spiritually with her :)

  • http://www.mommieswithhope.com Teske

    Absolutely beautiful…what a comfort to me, a fellow grieving mommy who’s, quite honestly, having a really tough day.    Many blessings, Teske

  • Kori

    Oh it has been a while since I have read your blog – so glad i found my way back today. Your words reach my heart in a way that makes me long to just crawl up in His love and rest – you are so right – it is the Who not the why. Thank you for reminding me today.

  • Debra

    You amaze me! You absolutely amaze me. You are so selfless and to have gone through all that you have, it just blesses me to see how much you love others and to see the amount of faith that you have…wow. I am blessed by you! Thank you for reminding me how much He loves us. I needed that today. I just want to crawl in His lap.

  • AE

    For me, it was a text message announcing yet another dear friend was walking down the aisle. The white dress is still hanging in the store, where it was almost purchased 2 years ago. As my phone beeped-my heart sank- but almost immediately the Lord whispered: I love you. Over and over again until I knew it was true in the big things and also the small.

    And I came here today to find this: Time to rejoice for others while allowing my heart to mend in the process. Thank you, Angie. You’ve written my heart, yet again.

    Thank you for living your story.

  • http://beranville.blogspot.com/ Rachel Beran

    Such a beautiful post…bringing tears to my eyes (and I don’t often cry)!  Yes, I wonder too what I will say.  But, I love, “What’s the point of why when you have the Who?”  Looking forward to looking into His eyes…and hugging the two little ones He holds for me in heaven.   Thank you for this post!  Thank you for putting things back into perspective today.

  • http://countingmyblessings.tyepapd.com BlessingCounter

    Angie, I can’t even begin to tell you how this touched my heart. I really don’t even have adequate words to share all of the thoughts racing through my mind, except to say thank you for this.

    I am one of the bloggers going to Bolivia with World Vision. I am being blessed by the bloggers and their friends already. I am definitely thankful that the Lord opened this door for me.

    You write beautifully and I look forward to following you in the future. 

  • paige

    Wow.

    Paige

  • Ellen Goebel

    Love you, sweet Angie.  I still feel it in my chest when my mind is taken to that place and time for you, and I pray for continuing mercy for you and grace and peace.  You are beautiful.

  • http://gitzengirl.blogspot.com gitzengirl

    I love you, sweet friend. whispering prayers of thanks for your Audrey today. (((you)))

  • http://thepartythatneverquits.blogspot.com Jen

    Oh, Angie. I can’t write all that is in my heart. But I hope you felt the long, tight hug I sent across the wind to you. Hopefully I’ll follow it soon. Love you much.

  • Andrea

    This is so beautiful and so moving.  How wonderful that we have the assurance of knowing we will be reunited with our loved ones again some day. 

  • http://www.taylor-elaine.blogspot.com Taylor

    Touched my heart!! Love reading your words, Angie! I can’t wait to meet sweet Audrey in heaven and tell her what a wonderful mommy she has!!!!

  • http://profiles.google.com/jamie331988 Jamie Reese

    Beautifully said. You put how I’ve felt into words when I can’t. 8 weeks after my baby boydied I stood in the delivery room watching another baby, whom I already loved, come into this world. I could never have imagined sheer joy and absolute pain existing together. Thank you  

  • http://candelierious.blogspot.com Lis

    I knew you wouldn’t have it any other way. <3

  • Bellasaid32

    Oh sweet Lord. You are such a treasure, Angie.

  • Hwward

    I am in tears.  This is exactly how I have felt so many times since I lost my daughter.  You put into words so eloquently what I have only felt in my heart.  Thank you for that.

  • Jessica Smith

    So beautiful.  

  • http://www.soaringandstillness.blogspot.com/ Chickadeesmama

    Absolutely beautiful.  I thought that the sorrow of following Audrey’s story, all of the prayer and tears and ache that I felt for you as a fellow mother had dissipated. Once again my eyes tear; I cheer you for not missing it for the world…for it’s those things that we wouldn’t miss that are at times the most difficult to attend.  You are a beautiful mother and  a friend beyond measure.

  • Anonymous

    Tears streaming, mascara running, and HIS love flowing through me…

    We serve such an AMAZING God who is in each one of our situations, whether there is rejoicing or mourning. He is ALWAYS with us and what a BEAUTIFUL reminder of His promise this is, Ang. Thank you for sharing your heart, once again.

    Loving sweet Audrey with you today and always. She is forever a part of my life…

    Love you

  • http://smallingworld.blogspot.com Melanie

    Yes, yes, yes, yes! I have lived these words of yours. Thank you for writing our story, for speaking His truth!

  • Mindy Essex

    “What’s the point of why when you have the Who?”  May I always feel free to ask questions, but always remember that in the end, this is what is important.  Thank you.

  • Jean Marie

    Angie - 
    I love reading when your heart spills over and I can feel God bending down, heavy in the air surrounding ….. 

    Praise God for the deep blessings of Adeline and Audrey. and for the deepest blessing of Himself. 
    I love you,
    ~ Jean Marie 

  • Jean

    Great post – tears in my eyes.  You are a great writer!

    • Jean

      I forgot to mention that I think you wrote this just for my friend who would have celebrated the first birthday of her baby who went to heave just 3 days after birth – what timing of this post!  God is good. 

  • http://itwasbroughtonbylove.blogspot.com Southern Gal

    This makes me cry and rejoice all at the same time.   How  I wish it had happened differently for you.  But God’s got you in this as you so eloquently give Him the honor and glory.  Love you.

  • Brandy

    What a dear friend you are to truly desire to rejoice with your friend in spite of your pain. That speaks of your tremendous character-and your life so clearly marked by His Amazing Grace.  I pray in this moment you are overwhelmed by His specific love for you. What a wonderful vessel you are of His love for others. thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/vanderbiltwife Jessie

    So beautiful, sweet Angie. My grandmother joined Audrey in heaven this week. Years of pain, sadness. I don’t even know what to express. Just thankfulness that we can look toward heaven with hope.

  • Wilma

    Beautifully written, Angie!!

    I have a great-niece that just an 8 month old beautiful baby girl just over a month ago. She is leaning on Jesus like she never has before in her life. It makes my heart feel good to see her do that rather than be angry at God for taking Lyla so soon. God, in his infinite wisdom really does know what is best. We just have to trust Him and trust in His love.

    God Bless….

    • wilma

      that was supposed to say that she just “lost” an 8 month old

  • Connie L Amato-Mahle

    Sweetest Angie,

    What an intricate weaving of words to display love and awe of a new life.  Without a doubt, I am sure that Jessica is very proud to call you ‘friend.’

    How your heart must have stung and rejoiced at the same time as you witnessed this beautiful celebration!!

    May God continue to carry you when you need Him the most (*Mary Stevenson).  My prayers are with you often!  I pray for the sweet life that you WILL share with your beloved Audrey one day.  A life that will make up for the one that you have lost.  A life that is surrounded with love, memories and milestones that you have longed to share with your sweet, sweet Audrey.

    Godspeed, my friend!  Much love & friendship from PA!!

  • Lindsay

    Beautiful, beautiful words.

  • Karenshaydunn

    Thank you for sharing that sweet story.

    I’m almost 12 years out from losing my daughter, and a week out from being told that I won’t be able to have any other children of my own. Adoption seems to be unreachable.

    I have to admit, I’m struggling with the title of your blog post. In my heart of hearts, I know it’s true, I’m just tired of the pain and sadness. I wish, hope and pray for something to celebrate of my own. It just doesn’t feel like it will happen…

  • Diana Trautwein

    Angie, I do not know you at all, except as the delightful co-conspirator/partner of Jess at the Bloom book club.  But this – this is just exceptional.  Not just the writing, the story-telling (both of which are beautiful and real) – but the heart.  The heart behind your words, the grace, the learning to follow ever more deeply even into the dark places, the willingness to reach for the light, to choose hope, to choose Love.  Thank you so very much. Now I’m going to try and figure out how to subscribe to this blog!

  • Lynn Worley

    I was thinking about time as I watched a man return to the beach of Normandy, the same beach he’d invaded 67 years before. Yet in that moment, he was there. Not there now, there 67 years ago. Time had folded in on itself and he was reliving every moment. You went through one of those moments, time folding in on itself and you were back there with Audrey. Never seems to matter how many years have passed…but the Lord is with you every step of the way!
    Praying in Seattle!
    Proverbs 3:5-6  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
    Prayer Bears
    My email address

  • Maurinorebecca

    Great blog once again Angie , I thank God for you and your strong and beautiful faith.
    Rebecca from France

  • Kacie

    Thank you for always being so transparent and sharing your heart. As an expecting Mommy that has been told her little boy won’t survive more than minutes this means a lot. I’m scared and often ask “why”. This was such a great reminder that He loves me and He loves my sweet Isaac who will probably be meeting him very soon.

  • Ljentes

    Beautifully written as always. Brings tears as I think of my Andrew, but an excellent reminder to continue to celebrate life with others. And to remember that He loves us and that–joy of joys!– someday we’ll see our children again.

  • http://cindygraves.wordpress.com/ Cindy

    “What’s the point of why when you have the Who?” – Oh my, straight to my heart. Beautiful.

  • Coby

    Absolutely. ABSOLUTELY!  “What’s the point of why when you have the Who?”  Doesn’t that just put things into perspective and quench doubts and fears?  My pastor recently said in a sermon, “You have to be okay with the fact that, sometimes, you don’t get to ‘get it.’” 

    Just beautiful.

  • Jocelyn Merkel

    Beautifully written, Angie.  What an encouragement!  I cried as a I read and missed my own sweet Everett.

  • Alyson

    Beautiful, Angie, wonderfully beautiful.

    “the day love made sorrow stand still and rest in the truth.”

  • ELizabeth W

    “I never got to see your eyes.”
    I can not count how many times I have said those exact words.  I am a mom of 6 boys.  My one and only little girl was born still at 32 weeks over three years ago.   I can’t wait to see her eyes. 

    Thank you for this very touching post. 

  • http://www.athankfullheart.blogspot.com Miranda

    I don’t know what to say. I just pray that you know my heart and when you see my comment – you will feel the gratitude that I have for you. I read your book in less than a day. I wept, I smiled, I prayed, I nodded. You are amazing Angie and I know it’s all because of Jesus. I pray for you and your grieving heart because I know it’s still there. I truly hope that I can brighten your day in someway because I know how encouraging comments always lift me up.

    Blessing, Miranda

  • Davechelleforsythe

    what  a beautiful post Angie.  brings tears to m eyes.  He loves you, He loves you, I believe this with all my heart and never felt it more when I lost my baby.

  • Holly

    Oh my – such beautiful words…. I really have none

  • Cherie@knittedintheheart

    Thank for sharing these beautiful words.  They minister to my soul as I’m still waiting with empty arms and a longing in my heart….and yet watching God fill the hearts and wombs of others.  God is good.  He has blessed me in so many ways.  I choose to cling to His Goodness.

  • http://www.elisvalley-perfectlove.blogspot.com Jennifer

    Beautiful words…beautiful heart! I think the thing that haunts me the most is that I never saw his eyes.  I even lifted his lids to try to see them… I wanted so badly to see his eyes. I know that because HE loves me and I love HIM, I will one day see Eli’s eyes.  I long for the day…the day that I wrap my arms around him in a bear hug then look into those beautiful eyes that I never saw here.

  • Ann Voskamp

    A. mess.
    This had me a beautiful mess… for you, for your memories, for the love and glory of our Jesus.
    God is always good and we are always loved… He never changes.

    I love you, friend…
    Ann

  • http://profiles.google.com/bonnie.gray Bonnie Gray

    Angie, this was beautiful.  Thank you for sharing such pain, beauty and joy.  There we see God – in you, in her, who we will meet with you — as you introduce her to us, hand in hand one day.  *hugs*

  • Tpoteet

    Angie, your post and especially reading you wonder whether you will even ask the question of the Lord that you think you will reminds me of a line in a song “The Silence of God”  by Andrew Peterson.

     ”And the man of all sorrows, he never forgot

    What sorrow is carried by the hearts that he bought

    So when the questions dissolve into the silence of God

    The aching may remain, but the breaking does not..”

    It’s the kind of silence of love that hold me while I ask  all my questions, which is what I need more than answers, until my questions stop and I look up at who holds me. 

  • Searching for Grace

    Such a heart you have, Angie.  Words cannot express.

  • Cat Moore

    Angie, this is just beautiful and made me cry!  I love friendships like that…the ones where it feels comfortable to celebrate.  I admire you so much.  Love you, friend! 
    xoxo, cat

  • Debby Abitz

    Oh Angie.  What you wrote SO describes my experience.  I met you on the cruise in February, and we talked for a while about our stories.  But I  remember so clearly, being asked to help a first-time mom at her first birth, 2 months after we lost our Elliana, and thinking EVERYTHING you described.  I was SO happy for them, and after the baby was born, I left the room so the grandparents and new parents could all be together, and found a corner to just let it all out. I know the “other” outcome too well.  Twice I’ve experienced it.  But “Rejoice with those who rejoice” is NOT dependent on circumstances.  We are just to rejoice.  And then there will most assuredly be a time to also “weep with those who weep”.

  • Jessica W

    “I have enough to know that what I don’t know is safe.” Yes, and amen. So many questions even 2 years after I held my stillborn son in a mournful room like the one you described. . .but I’m not sure I’ll ever ask mine either.    

  • http://profiles.google.com/holleygerth Holley Gerth

    Beautiful, Angie, just beautiful. The raw places are the most tender too, aren’t they? 

  • Amaris Miller

    Through the tears running down my cheeks, thank you for your honesty and faith and courage.  Thank you.  Thank you, Jesus.

  • Lynn Worley

    Know that I’m continuing to pray!
    Psalms 57:1-2 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.
    Prayer Bears
    My email address

  • Anonymous

    Wow is all I can say.  “it doesn’t always go the way it has gone”… thank you for the reminder.

  • Rebecca

    I never knew how many of “us” there were until I came to be here myself. Those of us who haven’t seen our baby’s eyes. The pain is still so raw as I only said goodbye a week and a half ago, but it helps to know that I also can rejoice when others are blessed with life in that hospital room. I long for the day when it can be me, but for now I choose to rejoice with those who are already there.

  • Helen

    Thank you for this post…it’s 3 months now since my own baby Jeremiah died. It felt like you wrote this just for me. My 6 month-old niece and my sister have been staying with us for a few days and I have loved being with them both but I do miss my own baby, so do his daddy and two big brothers. I am so thankful that Heaven is a real place and that eternity is a real promise. God is good. Thank you for reminding me I’m not alone on this awful journey. Btw the Selah song ‘Hope of a Broken World’…beautiful, and all the more so because of what you and Todd have experienced. Thank you both.

  • http://streamsofconsciousnessinadesertland.blogspot.com Chris

    It’s been 7 years since our only biological child was bornstill. My wallpaper on my phone reminds me that I am loved because I am loved because I am loved because I am loved. God loves me. Just because. 

  • pamelacase

    Well written. And received. He does indeed love … like no other. Thanks sweet friend.

  • Kaye

    Absolutely beautiful post.   Thanks for sharing your heart.
    I sent a little gift for the new little bundle of joy, yesterday, to you, for you to give to Jessica and her family.  So thankful all are doing well.  She is a precious little baby girl and yes, He Loves Us!!!  And for that LOVE, we are so very thankful.
    Blessings always,
    Kaye
    Matthew 21:22
    P.S.  Pre-ordered your new book today!!!  Was THRILLED to find it!  Counting down the days until I receive it!

  • NickieKillian78

    Thank you Angie, I needed to hear this. I ask those questions all the time, and I try to make sense of it with my finite mind. The only conclusion I have come to is, from God’s perspective, my baby in heaven never had to know the cruel world, and it is better for them, if not maybe for me, to have them there.

  • http://www.mysongstosing.com Nina

    thank you. ” I have enough to know what I don’t know is safe.” love that line.

  • http://twitter.com/gritandglory Alece Ronzino

    heartwrenchingly beautiful… 

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  • Amanda K

    “It does not always go the way it has gone”… I needed to hear that!  Thank you Lord for speaking to me through you.  God bless you and yours!

  • Jessica

    I’m holding onto this as tightly as I can… He loves me, He loves me, He loves me… though all of my loss… Angie, thank you for sharing your heart and your faith. He has changed us through your words… healing words. God bless you and your heart!

  • Heather

    I have this post bookmarked. Four years ago, I lost my daughter at birth. Six weeks ago, we welcomed our third child, a healthy, precious boy. I have compared him to her so many times. His face reminds me of my living daughter, and also of my angel daughter. I am so blessed to have him, and still I miss her.

    Nine months ago, I emailed you and asked for your prayers and you responded to my message with that prayer. Thank you. They were felt.