On November 15th 2007, already knowing the heartache of losing a child, and being all too familiar with the way an ultrasound can change your life forever in ways you never imagined, we walked into a dark ultrasound room. Expecting our fourth child, the air was filled with joy, yet laced with fear. We laughed nervously and joked, all the while choking back tears and fright. We found out we were expecting our fourth boy and minutes later we were told we would likely not have the chance to raise him. His brain was lagging in growth.
The days that followed were filled with confusion and desperation. We prayed and prayed for our sweet boy, who we lovingly nicknamed "Happy" to be born healthy. I wasn't sure I could handle the loss of another child. I was not ready for the "options" that followed his diagnosis the following week. The only thing we were sure of was that this baby, our Happy, was a perfect gift from the Lord and we would trust the Lord with Happy's life. We dedicated our son to the Lord, knowing that though what was to come would likely be painful, his grace would be enough.
The diagnoses proved to be correct. We loved on our Asher for 35 beautiful moments that I will never forget.
Fast Forward 2 Years...
This morning, November 15th, 2009, aware of the significance this day held two years ago, I dressed our FIFTH gift from God in her Sunday best and stood on a stage in front of our church family and dedicated our Hope to the Lord, acknowledging the perfect gift she is. I cannot even wrap my mind around the emotions that filled me today. As pastor Bill placed his hand on Hope's head and said, "Lord, we are so thankful for Hope,..." Tears stung my face as I thought of the dual meaning of what he had just said. I stood there on that stage holding on to Hope, in that same worship center where I have so many times in the past few years held on to hope.
This is not a story of redemption or restoration. I do not believe the death of my sons will be redeemed or restored this side of Heaven, and I am learning to be okay with that, redemption and restoration will come. Hope's life does not make up for the loss of her brothers' lives and our hope does not lie in Hope. This my friends is a story of God's all sufficient grace. He gives and he takes away.
And as I stood in the back of the worship center this morning praising the God who gave me five amazing children, and took two of them away, I sang the words
"Your grace is enough for me
God I see your grace is enough
I'm covered in your love
Your grace is enough for me
I could not help but be amazed by the truth in those words. In the past several years there have been times that I was so deep in a pit that I never thought I would see the light of day again and times on the mountain tops that I just want to shout with joy to all creation. He has been there through it all. He provides grace enough for each day, never more never less, just enough for the day so that you wake up the next day needing Him just as much as you did the day before.
I am a HUGE fan of David Crowder Band (understatement of the year) and lately the song I OVERPLAY is "How He Loves Us". It is almost like I daily need to hear those words to remind myself that even on the hardest of days, God is there, He holds each of my tears in the palm of His mighty hand and He loves us with a passion we cannot even fathom. He never deserts us, even when we feel like he has, and his grace is always there and always sufficient.
I have no idea what you are going through as you read this tonight, maybe you are in the pit of despair, or maybe you are on a joyful mountaintop, either way, I can assure you God is there, his grace is sufficient, and He will not let go.