Life is such a gift. I gave birth to my 4th healthy son just 6 months after my sister lost her son. In the same hospital and with the same doctor.
As I drove to the hospital with my husband at 3:00am, I cried all the way there. I stopped crying long enough to walk into the hospital and ride up the elevator take a picture in front of the L & D sign. When I walked out the doors the waterworks began again. I tried to keep it together but I couldn’t as I asked the front desk lady to not put me on a certain side of the hospital. She looked shell shocked as I explained that my sister had lost her son and we almost lost her. She promised we would not be over there. The idea that my family, and most importantly my brother in law, would have to walk down the hallway where everything had just happened six months prior had me grieving and stressing. She promised me everything would be Ok and we would not be over there. I felt like I was walking into the past but we weren’t. We were literally walking into the future.
Grief mixed with joy is the weirdest feeling. On one hand I could not wait to meet my son and I was in active labor, on the other hand I was still traumatized from almost losing my best friend and holding my still nephew. The brothers and cousins’ prayers leading up to the birth were that we would get to take the baby home. In one way I felt like they had been cheated of the innocence of the joy of pregnancy and new life and in the other hand I realized just how special it really was to have a healthy baby. And at their young age the value for the miracle a baby is was not lost on those young kids. A baby, any baby is a gift to be cherished and honored as one.
He turned six today and I can’t help but feeling filled with emotion as I think back to what an amazing and difficult time it was. The survivors guilt of giving birth so close to a loss. The pain of watching my sister suffer physically and emotionally and yet I was given the gift of life again. Tears still flow freely as I go back to this moment. Although the pain is not as fresh, it’s still there. But what lingers more it’s the overwhelming gratefulness that the Lord knew just what we needed after such a difficult time. The Lord’s plan to bring into our world at just the right moment, at just the right time astounds me.
“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,” Acts 17:26-27 ESV
My sisters and my mom were in the labor room with us that morning as new life came screaming into the world. But, in that moment, all I could hear was laughter. I laughed as he was born and the room joined in. Holy Spirit’s presence filled the room with a much needed peace. Happy years replaced our sorrow, if even for the moment, and hope filled our hearts as praised the Lord for this gift. Joy that had been lost returned to bring healing. Judah meaning “praise” and it couldn’t fit him more. He was the beginning of so much more. Even death is not the end.
In the past six years we have experienced more pain, grief, and loss (some of that in our foster journey) but as I think about Judah’s birth and everything that wrapped around it, my faith is built. The struggles of life will happen again, that I know for sure. But as trust is tested again and again, my God is found faithful- the Living God, the Creator, Healer, Savior and Friend.
The Lord is my rock, my strong tower and my salvation. He is trustworthy and I chose to put my hope in the only thing that can’t be shaken! Happy Birthday to my little man. We continue to praise the Lord for you and will evermore.