As I sat down today, I was planning on writing a post on recipe organization. However, I couldn’t get in the frame of mind. A friend of ours just lost a good friend in a car wreck this Sunday and it’s gotten me thinking about other things.
I’d like to share a snippet of an email I received after mentioning my miscarriage in my Low-Maintenance Memory Keeping series.
“I’ve had miscarriages and stillbirths on my mind a lot for a while now, and I’m trying to prepare myself for if I should ever experience something like that. Child death is one of my greatest fears.”
Ah, yes. Mine too. Isn’t it yours? As a mother, nothing strikes terror into the heart more than imagining something happening to our little ones. Or perhaps to our husband. Or to ourselves. Okay, so the idea of anyone we love dying hurts enough that we like to push it from our minds as soon as possible. But let’s face it. We live in a mortal world and nobody here is going to live for ever. The chances of you or your loved ones dying someday are pretty near 100%.
Oh, Kelsey. I hear you saying. Stop it. I’m getting depressed already. I come here for home organization tips and practical-how-to’s, not for a look at our inevitable end.
Ah, but here is where I gently remind you that I have ‘Mom Encouragement’ written on the banner beneath my blog’s title. And believe it or not, for a post on death, I’m hoping this will actually be one of my more liberating and encouraging posts.
I’m going to use my miscarriage as a reference point, since that’s been my closest interaction with a loss. The principles are the same, however, whether you’re afraid of dying yourself or losing one of your fully-grown children. We as Christians should not be overcome by the fear of death, for death itself has already been overcome.
I’ll state up front that my miscarriage was a first-trimester loss. I only knew I was pregnant for a total of 2 months. I never knew this child’s gender or whether I had an Aaron or an Erin growing inside me. I know that there are many other mothers out there who have lost babies later on than I, babies with decided-on names and pink or blue painted nurseries. I know that the longer you know someone, the harder it’s going to hurt to lose them. So perhaps the loss of my child didn’t ‘hit me as hard’, but as a Christian who believes in life at conception, I know we both lost children. I just didn’t know mine as well.
Okay, so how in the world is this supposed to be encouraging?
Let’s take a look at death for a bit, shall we… I’m going to ask a somewhat of an out-of-the-box question. Just why is death so bad?
Well, according to what mainstream thought tells us nowadays, that answer’s easy.
- Because you’re parted from your loved ones indefinitely. Who knows if you’ll ever see them again?
- Because what was once life is now just dirt.
Yes, those seem like legitimate reasons for being depressed to me.
But for the Christian, our answers change.
- We are parted only for a time.
- What was mortal, fallen, and incapable is transformed, beautified, and glorified. (1 Corinthians 15)
Now that’s not so bad, is it?
So as I look forward to getting pregnant again, and that familiar fear of miscarrying again grips me… Or when I start fretting about that nightmare car-wreck scenario that plays itself through in my mind from start to finish, leaving me a widow or childless or just gone myself, depending on the variation… Then it’s helpful to reflect that death has been conquered.
And you know what? I know the guy who conquered it.
And you know what’s even better? He likes me.
Yeah, it’s true. The most powerful being in the universe has told me that I’m his beloved child and friend. He’s got the whole world, every sparrow, and me in his hand to boot.
So again, I ask… Why am I afraid?
If I know anything about Him, it’s that he is faithful, compassionate, and gracious to his children (Exodus 34:6), He works all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28), and He longs to give good gifts to his children (Matthew 7:11). God is GOOD and his love endures FOREVER (Psalm 100:5). To which of his children will he give a snake when they ask for fish, or a stone when they ask for bread (Matthew 7:9, Luke 11:11)?
Now, I get that the unknown scares us. We know this world. We have a place here. Heaven sounds nice and all, but there’s so much we don’t know about it that we’d like to postphone our trip there as long as possible.
But that brings me to my second point, a simple word we often forget about. Or we say it in passing, without fully thinking of its connotations. That word is ETERNITY.
As Christians, if we believe we are going to spend ETERNITY in heaven with Christ, what exactly are these measly 70-90 years we might have on this earth but a blink of an eye, a mini introduction to the real living that’s yet to come? Let’s not get so caught up in the preface that we forget about the never ending, much more exciting novel that’s ahead! How’s that for perspective?
We like to put God in a box and say… “If you want to be good to me Lord, it’s gotta be now. Right here. In this life.” But the life we were created for is so much more. These are just the years of our infancy.
Sure, I’d rather ‘live-out’ this introduction to its full length. I hope to be blessed enough to see my children’s children and die peacefully at a ripe old age BEFORE my children do. But ultimately, I don’t get to decide those things. I’ve got my job description and it involves doing the best with what I’ve been given while I’m here. It also involves doing my best by my children while they are here. And if that’s only 9 weeks in the womb, then those are going to be the most love-filled, grateful-to-be-pregnant-weeks (morning sick as I may be) that I can muster. That’s my job. Trying to control who leaves this world when is above my pay grade.
So to summarize, I think that if my miscarriage reminded me anything it was that death is not as scary as we think it is. We Christians shouldn’t fear what the rest of the world fears since we have a hope the rest of the world does not. I have great plans of spending countless hours getting to know King David, Martin Luther, and C. S. Lewis in person (I’m sure the lines will be long, but I’ll have time on my side). Yes, heaven really is a history-buff’s dream come true! What’s more, I’ll get to meet my child and find out if he really is an Aaron like his father says he is or an Erin like I secretly hope she is.
And that doesn’t sound so bad to me.