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Archive for July 4th, 2011

I have written a number of times about our pregnancy losses. The responses I have received to them, have indicated how very common, how very painful and how very life-changing they are on those who share such experiences.

Truly, to have experienced the loss of a yet to be born child can leave a permanent imprint on the hearts of those who loved that child even before he or she took it’s first breath.

Today, July 4, is the 20th anniversary, of the due date of our first child. One who died, in utero, around sixteen to eighteen weeks gestation. I admit that this date has rarely, except on the actual due date, had any significance for me. The date that I have more commonly remembered is January 21. And this past years anniversary was particularly significant.

For those who have experienced loss, any loss, the anniversary of that loss can be felt in many different degrees. Some years the date passes, and it is not until the day later, or even weeks later, that the significance of that date is remembered. Other years you remember it every moment of that day, and the days, and even weeks, surrounding the date.

This year was a little of both.

It was Thursday, January 20, and my family was having a jovial, sarcastic, humorous dinner together (in other words … a ‘normal’ dinnertime). As we were laughing, eating, re-creating the events of the day and sharing plans for the day to come, I stated “I can’t wait for tomorrow, I get to go to chapel!” You see I work in a Christian high school, and every Friday morning our school has ‘chapel’. I enjoy chapel, but I have not ever said that I was eager to go, so it was a rather odd statement for me to make.

The next day, Friday, January 21, I filed into the gym, with about five hundred other staff and students, as well as parents. I was feeling pretty good that day. Eager for a good work day, and for a time of school community worship.

The music began, and it was okay … nothing ‘wow’ish’, but it was good.

Following the worship time, and a few announcements, the speaker for the morning was introduced, a local pastor. I didn’t know him, had no connection to him. He started with prayer, and then addressed the scriptural reference point that he would be focusing on as he spoke … Matthew 6:19-24

… and my heart stopped

… and my palms became wet

… and my throat became so dry

… and my mind raced … what is today’s date?

… and I remembered …

… and tears fell against my will.

The reason for the emotional and physical reactions to the mention, and then reading of that scripture is that one night, as I slept, after the loss of our first child, I had a dream. The dream was of a man, I do not remember what he looked like, but I knew, with everything within me, that it was Jesus. And, in the dream, I handed a baby to Him … our baby. And Jesus looked into the wrapped up child, and His eyes were riveted to the tiny babe, and He smiled … that wonder-filled smile that we all smile, when we gaze into the face of creation. And then He looked at me, with such love, such compassion, such comfort, and He said “I will take care of your treasure for you, until you return. While you have this treasure, with me, in heaven, your heart will be here too.”

And, the dream was over.

And I opened my Bible, and found the passage, Matthew 6:19-21. And I knew that God had given me the confidence of His care for our child, and the promise that we would one day meet, and the comfort of knowing that our child was in even better hands, in heaven, than he or she would ever have on earth (even though we loved that child so much).

And that, for all of my days, I would live my life with my heart focused on the treasures that await me in heaven. And that our three earthly children would grow up knowing that as much as we, their parents, love them … God, in heaven loves them even more.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,

where moths and vermin destroy,

and where thieves break in and steal.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,

where moths and vermin do not destroy,

and where thieves do not break in and steal.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Matthew 6:19-21

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