Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Six months later
My sweet Harper,
It has been 6 months since I held you for the first and last time. It was the most difficult day of my life, to go through the pain of child birth, knowing there would be no prize at the end. No screaming baby, just silence. Your tiny body was so fragile, I could not bear to hold you for long, fearing I may break you. Instead, the nurse dressed you in a beautiful Threads of Love gown and placed you in a tiny basket. Daddy and I held you for hours in the basket, kissed your cheeks and forehead, studied your perfect hands and feet.
I hate that we are separated from you, and from God. I hate that we live in this fallen world, with pain, sickness, hurt, violence, hatred, war, and poverty. But, I rejoice that you will never know any of these things. That the only thing you will ever know is love and joy. I rejoice that you are safe in the arms of Jesus, and that we will all be together again someday.
Tomorrow we celebrate the birth of Jesus. An event that changed this world forever. I am so thankful that Jesus chose to humble himself and become man, to suffer and die for all of us, that all who believe in him would not die, but have eternal life in paradise. I rejoice that God knows my pain, the pain of death, but that the death that we know is not the end. It is the beginning. I can't even begin to wrap my head around what Jesus endured, and how much God loved us, to sacrifice his son for us, for Jesus to take our punishment for us on the cross.
I rejoice that even though I can never be "good enough" to get into heaven, I am saved by the grace of God. The sacrifice of Jesus, and my belief in my savior and his sacrifice means that even though I am a horrible, wretched sinner, I will see him, and you, my daughter, someday.
I am thankful for the word of God and for his promises. God told me when I was pregnant with your brother that I would have a son and should name him Joseph. And we did. I was completely unaware of the meaning of your brother's name at the time, and did not learn it until much later. Joseph was the first-born son of Jacob and Rachel. Rachel was infertile, and saw Jacob's other wives have many children. When the time was right, God blessed Rachel with a son, whom she named Joseph, which means "May he add" (Genesis 30:24).
I trust that God will bless us with more children someday, children that will live here with us on earth. I believe that was what he promised us when he told us to name your brother Joseph. We have been reading passages from the Bible all month, one for each day. When we read Luke 1:45, I was again reassured of that promise: And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.
I read stories of women who became pregnant again soon after they lost a baby, and hoped that would be me. But it is not. We are still waiting. As painful and heartbreaking as it is, I know that the plans of the Lord are always a million times better than anything that I can think of. Your daddy is a testament to that. I went through many years of loneliness, heartache, and sadness before God blessed me with him. It was worth every single second of waiting. And I know this season of waiting will be worth it, too. Whether we are blessed with children that are born from my body or grown in our hearts, it will be so much more awesome than anything we can imagine.
Harper Pauline, you have blessed us in so many ways, even though you never took a breath on this earth. Friendships have been made, others have been served, ministries have been started, compassion and empathy have grown. I trust that this is only the beginning of your legacy. We love you so much, and can't wait to meet you in heaven.