A Word to the Broken

I went in to get our daughter up for the morning.   My life changed forever.  SIDS is a silent killer. 

 Fear seized my heart. 

I had to will myself to breathe.  And get dressed.  And sign papers. And walk out of an emergency room with empty arms.

I went to bed that night with the realization that I was not going to be happy for a very long time. 

My world came crashing into a thousand pieces beside a crib.  Perhaps yours did too.  Or maybe yours shattered when you found out about the cancer, or the affair, or the bank account, or the suicide, or the accident, or the crime. 

Worlds shatter when life doesn’t turn out the way we thought it would. 

Shattered worlds bring a pause to happiness.   

While I can go into my faith and my God and all the ways He has brought me to where I am today – that is not the purpose of this post.  

Since that day,  I’ve given birth to another baby, and heard the sound of a judge’s gavel finalize two adoptions. I have homeschooled, watched soccer games, taught piano lessons, and taken vacations.  I have documented firsts - teeth, steps and school.  I’ve held babies during immunizations, and Christmas plays, and kissed them goodnight. I’ve taken pictures of school recitations, violin recitals, and impromptu Saturday morning coffee dates.    I’ve looked through college catalogs, and kissed teenagers goodbye as they boarded planes and went on adventures.   I’ve played card games, and hide and seek, and texted questions like: “What time do you think you’ll be home? Or “Can you grab a gallon of milk while you’re there?”

Oh, and I’ve laughed.  From the very depths of my heart – I have laughed until I cried.

This post is for those of you who are surrounded by the shattered pieces of life wondering how – or even “if” - your life will go on.   While you may doubt it now, I can assure you that happiness will come again. 

Pain is part of the journey - so is happiness.  The two don’t usually coexist in the same situation - but they do in the same lifetime. 

Happiness and Pain.  It means we are living – and loving. 

In just a couple days, our son will say his vows and begin his own family.  God is adding to our family another daughter on the same weekend we said goodbye to our baby.  I’ll watch the bride and groom declare their love for each other and, most likely, will shed a tear (or two) during the ceremony.  I’ll celebrate with cupcakes and punch and wave goodbye as they drive away into the sunset.     

 If it were possible to go back in time, I’d go back to this weekend twenty-one years ago. To that first long night without her.   I would sit quietly beside my bed and gently rub my back as the gut wrenching sobs shook my body.  Then, I would lean in close and tell my younger self:  “Life is going to go on. You’re going to make it through this. You’re going to make wonderful memories with your children.  You’re going to be madly in love, and have a marriage some can only dream of.”   Then, I would whisper into my ear the answer to the question nagging my heart the most that night:  “Yes, you will be happy again.  Extremely happy.”   

Going Home

I am writing this blog post as a declaration   

Someday, my life here will end.  It may be tomorrow – it may be fifty years from now; but one of these days will be my last. 

It will be the most wonderful day I’ve ever experienced.    

Don’t get me wrong – I love my life.  I love my family and the joy they bring to me each and every day.  I am surrounded by God’s creation and evidence of His handiwork.   I love to laugh and make memories.  I love music, writing, eating and reading.  Everyday I’ve been alive I’ve had the opportunity to live a full, happy and purposeful life.   

It has been beautiful.  I am so blessed.

Yet, the longer I’m here the more I see just how fallen this world is.   This world is not what it was meant to be.  I’m surrounded by evidences of the fall each and every day.

In nature.
In mankind.
Most of all: In myself.

I am on a journey.  As an eight year old child I called on Christ to save me.   He redeemed to Himself and for the past forty years I have been surrounded by His everlasting love, been sustained by His limitless power.  I have found security in His continual faithfulness, been pursued by His loving discipline, and experienced His unending mercy to me – each and every morning.   He has loved me deeper than I could ever love Him, and every day I find I love Him more.    The longer I live my life away from Him - the more I long to be with Him. 

I think about what that day will be like when I get to see Him face to face for the very first time.  It’s going to be wonderful!   The older I get, I find myself thinking about it more often.   You see, I’m closer now than I have ever been to getting to experience this meeting. 

When I breathe my last breath, I want everyone to know I enjoyed living.   But I LOVED dying because dying will take me Him.   No sadness, no broken relationships, no death, no sin, no struggle. All evidence of the fall will be gone.   He will be there.   I will be with Him. 

So, when that day happens, remember how eagerly I anticipated it.  As you realize I am gone, take a moment to imagine the instant I saw Him face to face.  Imagine our embrace – me and my Savior.  Imagine my first words to Him, (the words I've whispered to Him so many times) :  “Thank you, thank you, thank you!”  

And imagine the joy that filled my heart when I heard Him say, “Welcome Home!” 


 My last day on earth will be my first day at Home.        

The Choice

We were eating dinner when my ten year old daughter asked the question: “What’s abortion?”

It hung in the air – over the dinner table – waiting for an answer. How do you explain something so horrific?  “It’s when they take a baby out of a Mommy’s tummy before it can live on its own…and let it die.”

She couldn’t understand, why people would make a Mommy take a baby out of her tummy before it was ready to be born.

I tried to sound gracious; but there isn’t a gracious way to truthfully explain abortion.  Both my children were unable to understand what they were hearing. I quietly, stated it in a term they could understand:   “It’s murder.” 

My husband explained that some people don’t believe a baby is a baby until it can live outside of the mommy’s tummy on its own.  That some people say that it is just a mass of cells until it is born. That some people feel that if a mom doesn’t want it in her tummy – it’s in her body and she has the right to take it out. He explained that some moms choose to have an abortion because they find out that something is wrong with their baby. 

Anna’s response was short but profound, “But that’s selfish.”

It’s true, if you tell a lie long enough and loud enough, people will believe it.  But history has proven that one of deception’s greatest enemies is time.  Time has a way of revealing truth.  Truth exposes liars for who they are.  Time revealed Hitler’s wicked heart -- the blood of thousands cries from the grave begging for justice.  God Himself will avenge their deaths – justice will be served.  History will repeat itself, abortion will have its day of reckoning.

My son’s emotions rose within him and his words spilled out, “That’s stupid – no, that’s way beyond stupid!  How many babies does this happens to?”    I told him a lot, but his autistic mind wanted a number.  So, Rob pulled out his phone and googled the question.

The awful statistics came up:  in America alone, three thousand babies’ hearts are made to stop beating – every single day! Let that number sink in – 3,000. 

Zak’s mind was starting to connect the dots, “Like with me – and autism?   So, some people would find out that their baby has autism and would just kill it?”

I explained that things like autism can’t be seen in the tests they do before birth; but genetic issues like Down syndrome or birth defects would show up before a baby was born.

“Do I have that…Down syndrome?”  His fork has stopped midair.

“No,” I thought, but didn’t say, “you have Autism, Tourette’s syndrome, Cognitive and Developmental delays, Chronic hypertension – caused, most likely, from Fetal alcohol syndrome which has also caused the hearing loss that necessitates your two hearing aids.”  

I looked into his eyes, and answered truthfully, “No, you don’t have Down syndrome.”

“I have lots of issues…why wasn’t I aborted?” I marveled at his deductive reasoning. 

My words came out with conviction, “Because your biological mom made the choice - to let you be born!”

For a moment, I thought of all the children that will never be.  All the laughter that will never be heard.  All the beauty that will never be enjoyed.  This ‘way beyond stupid’ thing called abortion has changed life more than we realize.   

Each year, around the world, over fifty million babies’ hearts are made to stop beating – and while their lives are tragically gone, we rarely contemplate that our lives suffer because of it.  So many wonderful things that could be added to life, and family, and community are just - gone.  Life goes on without realizing how much - or how many - are missing. 

The four of us began clearing off the table - adoption has made us a family.  Both of them were “unplanned” and had mothers who had to make a choice.  They chose life.  

Every single day their choice makes my world more colorful, more beautiful, and more wonderful! I will forever be grateful they chose life – and in turn added richly to mine.