“My baby”, she moans. “My little boy is gone. He’s gone forever. My precious baby”, she chokes out through the sobs that wrack her body.
I held this precious mother as she sobbed in my arms. I stroked her hair as she cried for her baby. As this precious mother mourned the loss of her baby, my heart broke yet again. Inside I cried out, “God, how many times? How many times must my heart break like this? How many times must my heart be ripped in two? How many times must a mother’s heart be broken over losing a child? God, help us. Please, please hold us close.”
I held her close until the heart-wrenching sobs subsided and her body stilled. She wept until no more tears could come.
The loss of a child. I sit here and can write, as I never thought I would be able to – never WANTED to be able to – that I know. I KNOW.
I know the pain. I know the feeling of loss. I know unbearable pain of separation. I know the depths of sadness, of grief, of heartache. I know what it is like to mourn the loss of your beloved child. This was not on my list of things to accomplish in life: know the pain of losing a child. Nope. Not what little girls sit and dream about when they are young. It certainly wasn’t in the plans for my life when I laid them all out nicely…but God’s plans are bigger. His ways are higher. His thoughts are higher than mine.
And he asks me to submit. To surrender. To follow. To hold tight to His hand as he leads me through the fire.
The depth of the pain is hard to describe. I wanted someone who understood. I wanted someone who knew what I was going through. I wanted someone to empathize with me. Not to sit there and tell me it would be ok. I had lost my child – my child. “How is it going to be ok??”, I wanted to scream. “I lost my baby.”
Yet as I searched, desperate for someone – anyone – to understand me, I found only the face of God. The face of God. I came face to face with the Father. I came face to face with His heart. I saw the scars of His pain. I saw the pain of loss in His eyes. The wounds of His heart. The ripping of His heart in two. The agony He felt. He took me to the place, to the time, to the day He lost His child. His only child. His beloved Son. He took me there. and showed me His perspective - His view on the day my Savior’s blood was poured out for me. He let me walk through the events of that day with Him…and experience just a millionth of the agony He felt when His Son breathed His last. He whispered, “I know, Amy. I know. The excruciating pain you are experiencing, I experienced it all. The depth of loss, the separation, the agony, the grief…I understand.”
And as I sat. and watched with Him as my Savior, His Son, bled and died – I saw the Father’s face. I saw the pain etched there.
He whispered as He held me close during some of the darkest moments of my life, “I am here. I have felt your pain. All that I am asking you to endure, I have already endured Myself. I KNOW. And I will carry you. I will see you through the fire. The other side is sweet, Amy. Heaven is still yet to come.”
And so, just as He gently turned me to Himself, I gently turn her to the Father. To the One who truly understands. To the Someone who can truly empathize. To the Someone who will not just turn a sorrowful face toward her, but who will turn one of hope. One of true Hope. He turns toward us a face of understanding, of compassion, of unfailing love.
He did not just turn a sorrowful face in my direction, but he cupped my face in His hands and lifted my eyes upward. Heaven is still to come. Heaven is still waiting. The best is still yet to come. He turned my eyes to Hope. He turned my face to the heavens and promised joy in the morning. He promised to turn my weeping into laughter. He promised bright hope for tomorrow. He was the One who could hold my heart. He could take my sorrow, my questioning, my anger, my confusion, my pain, heartache, and grief…put it all on His shoulders…and then pick me up and carry me through. He carried me through. Even when I cried, rejected His love, fought His healing, questioned and doubted His love…he carried me. He loved me even more; He drew even closer to my broken heart during my darkest moments.
And so, to this grieving, hurting mother, I could truthfully say, “I understand. I know.”
But more than me being able to say I understand…I can point to a Father who understands more. And who loves deeper, and heals completely, and can perform miracles in taking it al and making it all work out for good when all we can see is bad.
This Father lost it all. He lost His only – His ONLY – Son.
I can hold her close and whisper words of encouragement and love only because I know. I know Who holds both of us in His mighty arms. I know Who has us wrapped in His grace. Who holds our lives in the palms of His hands. Who is carrying us through every moment of pain and grief – Who gently yet securely holds our hearts close to His. Who lets circumstances and events in our lives happen only after being sifted through fingers of complete and total love. I know Who will heal.
We find it all…everything we need…in the face of God. So I say to her, I say to me, and I say to you…seek and find the face of God.