Today is Father’s Day…and it was filled with copious amounts of joy-filled moments staring at our son, playing with him, kissing him, snuggling him, laughing with him, smiling at him…all while I told Brian over and over again how grateful I am that he is my son’s father, and the greatest dad Elliott could ever ask for…
But with as much joy as today brought, I could not escape the grief that still lines the edges of my heart for my dear friends who lost their baby boy just 15 days ago. Can you imagine celebrating your first Father’s Day ever, but not having your baby in your wife’s womb to eagerly anticipate, let alone in your arms to hold? My heart has been especially heavy today for my dear friends, and for sweet baby Moses whose short life has had a profound impact on mine.
When we first realized there might be a problem, we began to fight hard in prayer. The next 10 hours or so were filled with some of the most faith-filled prayers I’ve ever prayed, along with one of the hardest battles I’ve ever fought for. I’ve never understood the friends of the paralytic who raised him down through the roof to get to Jesus like I did that night as I cried out to the Lord to save my best friend’s child. I would have done anything to save him. I’ve never cared less about what people thought of me as I screamed out for LIFE in that delivery room. I would have gladly accepted a scarlet letter for being a lunatic if only… And I’ve never felt greater grief in my life as I did in that moment that the NICU doctor so gently relayed the news that I had refused to believe was an option all night long, “There is just nothing I can do to save him.”
The grief was unbearable.
And this sweet little baby boy, who was supposed to wait another 4 1/2 months to come out and meet us, sovereignly passed quickly from his mama’s womb, to his parents’ arms, and onto the Heavenly Father’s lap.
The ensuing few days were some of the hardest I have ever known in my 29 years of life of so far. Everything was suddenly different. I couldn’t look at my own vibrant, healthy, alive son without being reminded of Moses’ death. I couldn’t nurse my baby without being reminded that my dear friend would not get to nurse hers. In just the 2 short weeks that we knew Moses was Moses, he had secured such a permanent place in all of our hearts. Every morning as I watch the sun rise, I see the face of the One who painted it into being that morning. The sunrise…a new day, a new start, new mercies. But even the sunrise was different. We got home from the hospital just as the sun was rising, and I’ll never forget looking out our window and wondering how joy could ever “come in the morning” ever again. You just don’t know if life will ever go on without such intense grief spilling over onto every aspect of it. There were few moments that our eyes were dry those following few days.
After several minutes of pouring out my heart through a flood of tears and questions, a friend of mine said to me, “Susanne, he was born for Heaven.” And these words brought such peace and the beginning glimpses of perspective. We, as believers, are not citizens of this earth. We anticipate and look forward to and LIVE for eternity. When we keep our eyes on the eternal, we realize how temporary the here-and-now of our day-to-day lives just really is… What are we living for anyway? We are living for eternity. And this precious boy, whose life was just created 5 months earlier, beat us all there. The little stinker :).
Yet still, we grieve. Every day. But we grieve with the faith that our most loving Father–who sent his very own son to die so that we may be free of the bondage of sin–has purpose beyond what we can fathom in this moment. I hurt for my friends…oh, I hurt so deeply for my friends…there is not a day that has gone by that I haven’t shed tears for them. I wonder if there will be, until we see the redemption that we are believing God for bundled up in their arms one day. Scripture says, “His ways are far above our ways”… I have never wrestled over God’s “ways” as much as I have in the past year. Moses’ death takes the cake for my wrestling career. If we’re only allotted a certain amount of Why, Lord?s, the last 2 weeks have certainly thrown me into debt. But one thing the Lord showed me over Easter was that if I had been writing “The Salvation Story,” I would have never chosen to have the main character–the man who was PERFECT and the full essence of LOVE–suffer a grueling death. For my behalf. A sinner. Who deserves nothing. But God showed me that the resurrection would hold no power had Jesus not died. He had to conquer death and the grave…by dying. If I had authored the story, not only would it not be a best seller, but most importantly–we would not be ALIVE through Christ. Through His death, I live. Through His sacrifice, I am redeemed. And so as difficult as it is to thank God for death, I do so continually…for that death has brought me life.
And so…so. To the Author of my friends’ story and to the Author of my own life…I thank you that your ways are far above mine. I trust you for the plan that you are unfolding. And though tears are streaming down my face even now as I pray, I thank you that you are in control, and that Moses’ life slipped through your hands…hands with holes in them, marking your own death…Hands whose fingerprints run deep with love that I cannot understand, and hands whose fingers are grasped tightly around Moses’ right now. You are LOVE. You are MERCY. You are SOVEREIGN. Thank you for letting us share in Moses’ life for a short while…it is an honor to love him.
Moses Myles…I love you so much. It’s difficult to believe that I can love someone who I’ve known for such a short amount of time so incredibly much. But I love you. And I love your parents deeply. I know you are with your Creator now, and I know there is no better place for you to be. But we sure do miss you down here. Elliott can’t wait to meet you. Although you’re running around and talking up there, he’ll catch up to you one day. I am so grateful that you get to look straight into the eyes of Jesus every single day of your life. What a privilege…
You–sweet, precious, baby Moses–were born for Heaven. Hallelujah.