Just As The Sun Sinks
I looked down at my baby boy, pink and soft, wrapped tightly in a white plush blanket, this miracle of joy who began in my life 8 months earlier, had now joined me in the world only a few short hours ago. Even though I was considerably exhausted, I could not take my eyes off of my son, I could not stop thanking God for this wonderful day.
I was all alone at the moment, lying on my hospital bed, curtains pulled around my shared space. The quiet noises of machines were going off around me, and I could hear the sounds of people passing in the hall way. There were nurses talking quietly, I could also hear the people who were just moved into the room next to me. They had only been sent to wait here temporarily. I listened for a bit, and then began to cry.
I was sharing the grief of the couple behind the curtain. From what I could hear, in the last few minutes of silence, she too had been on a 9 month journey, and so near the end, had it all ripped away from her. There had been a complication and they had lost their baby girl. I could do nothing but cry for them. I began to wonder, how could God let this happen? I could imagine their pain.
Yet here I was laying, gazing at my beautiful baby boy, my heart overflowing with joy. My gift from God. I couldn't understand why I would deserve this, something so great, and so special. Was I really so different from the woman lying only a few feet away from me? God chose for me to be the unworthy mother of someone so perfect and small, and I couldn't understand why.
I could feel the devastation, it was washing over me like waves coming through the thin yellow curtains. Something inside of me was just so crushed, and I didn't even know the people, I didn't even know what they looked like. How long they had waited, anticipated this day. How it had turned out to be so full of grief was a mystery to me.
A seed of doubt was sown in the back of my mind. Why God, it questioned as it began to grow, how could You? What could they have possibly done to have something so perfect torn away from them? They don't deserve this. Nobody does.
I then turned over to my more selfish side. God, I thought, wasn't this supposed to be one of the happiest days of my life? Now their pain was smothering my joy. My heart, that had just experienced more happiness than ever before, was actually breaking for the couple in the next room.
I listened for a while longer. They seemed to be a fairly young couple just like my husband and I. When they were ready for her surgery, they wheeled her out of the room. I could hear her muffled sobs, and the low comforting reverie coming from her equally despondent husband. I could not see, but I knew he must be holding her hand as they left the room. Though they were now gone, their sorrow remained like a low fog in the room. The pain was so much like something I had experienced before.
I was somewhat angry at God. He had changed my life so much in the past year, and I was fully devoted to Him, trusted Him with everything I had. Still, He could let something like this happen, so close to me, on such a perfect day, all I could think of to do was cry.
After a while though, I knew that what I was doing was selfish. I didn't lose this baby... it had nothing to do with me. I was entirely alright, it was their life that had been shattered today, when mine was completed so perfectly with a son. I began to let go of my selfish notions and pray for the healing of their hearts, for them to come to God with their sorrow, because only He could take away pain and bring new life, I should know that better than anyone.
While I was praying, stroking my sons soft hair, tears still coming slowly, Evan, my best friend, and now husband, walked in holding a tray with some food on it. He stopped abruptly reading my face, put the tray down slowly and walked to my side, sitting down on the chair that was already pulled close to the bedside.
"Jane, what is it?" He whispered quietly, full of compassion. His eyes swept over our little Alec, just to make sure there was nothing wrong. Seeing that he was as perfect as ever, he looked back into my eyes.
I now had to tell him how God had taken away the baby of the parents in the next room. Would he understand my pain? Or just think of it as life, as God's will. Though I too knew it was God's will, I just couldn't understand.
"It's just that the people... in the other room...they lost their baby." I managed to get out with a few short pauses, holding back the sobs that threatened to escape with every word.
"What people?" He asked looking behind him, they hadn't been here when he left, nor when he had returned.
"She had to go for surgery." I whispered.
He took my hand and kissed it. He placed his other hand on Alec, the tiny bundle, sleeping softly.
"I'm sorry." He said leaning onto the bed and resting his head on my lap below our baby.
"It's okay," I said, "I just don't understand why something so bad could happen along with something so good."
He looked at me, his brown eyes searching, and sat up.
"I guess that is just what God had planned for them... something they are going to have to get through, you know. I'm not saying it isn't terrible." He replied slowly, measuring my reaction.
"I know it's God's will!", I exclaimed, "But why did it have to happen. Why do I get to be happy, and take home a baby, and they have to suffer. Nobody deserves this."
Tears began to fall again like before, and I was now sobbing. Alec's little face began to scrunch up, like he was about to cry, I rocked him gently.
"Shhhh." I whispered, "It's alright baby. Everything's going to be okay." I kissed him softly.
I was brought back to a moment in my life, almost two years ago. It was the day after I got back from the hospital, about a year after Evan and I were married. It was our first pregnancy, and after 3 months we had lost the baby, a miscarriage. We didn't even get to find out if it was a boy or a girl. It was very devastating, and I was having a really hard time with it, I hadn't been strong in my faith then, so I didn't understand why it had to happen to me. I thought God hated me. I was in the dark, the sun was no where to be found. It was a desolate time in my life.
A girl I knew had come by the hospital, she knew about what had happened. Rose was a pretty close friend, although we didn't have the same beliefs at the time. When she came, she was only there for a short time, and had dropped off some white daisies and a card. I thanked her, although it didn't cheer me up any.
After a couple days, I found the card and opened it. It read:
Dearest Jane and Evan,
I am terribly sorry for your loss. You are always in my prayers.
God Bless, Rose
P.s. Job 1:21
Such a short message, but I could feel there was so much more to it than the words on the paper. Right away I went to my room, still holding the card. I walked into my closet and dug out my bible, I hadn't opened it in a very long time.
I got down on my knees at the edge of my bed, closed my eyes and said a prayer, something I hadn't done in a while, something I didn't even know that I knew how to do. It was a short prayer, but from the heart. Lord, I prayed, please help me. A small plea, a simple surrender.
I flipped open my bible and began to search for the verse written on the card. I finally found it, although I was alone I read it out loud.
The last line stood out to me the most.
"The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
I began to cry. At first there were tears of anger, how could I bless the Lord for what he had done to me? How could I forgive this?
Slowly then, just as a flower grows, or a sunset sinks into the earth, healing began to wash over me. The Lord was lightening my load, bearing my cross. I then knew that everything would be alright.
Evan understood my experience, because he was going through the same thing I was. Through Him we were able to heal. From then on we kept moving forward, God's grace keeping us going. Even when bad things did happen, He was there to catch us in the palm of His hand.
As I looked at my baby now, I remembered what it was that I believed. God has a plan. He gives and takes away. I pulled Alec closer to me.
"It's true Jane." Evan said, "Everything will be fine."
He leaned forward and kissed my cheek.
"I believe you." I whispered.