“… and dear Jesus please give us a little brother, one that we can keep for a long, long time. Amen.”
I opened my eyes and smiled at my son who had just blessed our morning meal. His request was so sweet, so sincere and honestly, so random. We hadn’t been talking about babies and he had no idea what Josh and I had been discussing regarding expanding our family. And he most certainly wasn’t privy to the “25% chance each pregnancy” statistic the doctors had given us after Charlie passed away. This request simply came from the depths of the heart of a five-year-old boy with childlike faith. Precious.
A short time later my heart broke for my husband when he shared a part of himself with me that I didn’t realize was hurting. He shared how, since Charlie’s passing last September, he didn’t feel like he had the life energy for something he truly loved, something that I know God has gifted him with and has been used before for His glory. I wept over this broken piece of him and asked God to please take that brokenness and heal it in some special way. The ladies in my Bible study prayed along with me, although they prayed without fully knowing the details of this request labeled “unspoken.”
Several weeks later I woke up before the kids to spend some time alone with the Lord. I sat at our kitchen table, shades wide open so I could take in the beauty of the daybreak.
My heart was stirring. God was putting a song in my soul but I didn’t quite know what it meant.
In the midst of deep sorrow
I see Your light is breaking through …
You amaze me, redeem me, call me as Your own …
These lines from Kari Jobe’s I Am Not Alone looped over and over again in my mind. I know what I wanted them to mean but I was too afraid to believe it.
After Charlie passed away Josh and I both prayerfully considered what to do about adding to our family. We both felt led to try just one more time. I knew it was time for my body to let me know if this was the start of that one more time.
I opened my Bible to read, trying to push aside the desire to run upstairs and find out for certain. These were the holy words I laid my eyes on that very morning:
Come, and let us return to the Lord; for He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. Hosea 6:1
Tears filled my eyes. I immediately ran upstairs and just moments later the white strip of plastic confirmed what my heart already seemed to know.
The Lord was giving us another chance at life.
As I sit here typing I can feel 21 week old Baby #5 squirming and wriggling around inside of me. We have had a total of three ultrasounds so far, each confirming that this little guy (yes … little guy) is healthy and well and on a growth trajectory to come home with us Thanksgiving week. We are truly grateful.
I know that not every story of loss ends this way – a healthy pregnancy following a very troubled one. I don’t want to pretend that I’ve done this right and that’s why God is adding this sweet baby to our story. All I know is that it’s happening and my soul is quietly rejoicing. It seems a bit too surreal sometimes for more than hushed whispers of thank you directed heavenward.
We’ve experienced two very deep losses over the last few years. I’ve met so many women who have lost babies in so many different ways and I know that, while we have been cleared of the anomalies that claimed Evie and Charlie’s life, there are a thousand other possibilities that could take this sweet guy from us. I’m trying not to think about those.
Instead I am trying so very hard to rest in the fact that my good Father wants to give me a good gift. Not because I am good or deserve a redemption baby after losing Charlie but simply because He is good. And if I as a sinful mother know how to give good gifts to my children, how much more would my Heavenly Father know how to give good things to me?
Every day I am grateful and hopeful and wonder what life will be like with three kids to love on. And every day I am scared and anxious and confused about how God works. But I continue walking in this story God is writing for me and I’m hopeful for what this November will bring.
… every good gift and every perfect gift is from above … James 1:17