When we got home after our sons died, we walked through the front door with empty arms and shattered hearts. All we had left was a blue box. We were told it included memories of our sons that the nurses had prepared. It was supposed to help us with the grief that would overwhelm us in the coming days, but we never opened the box.
Not that day, or the day after that. I thought we never would.
As we sat in the living room, I looked at my husband and realized neither of us knew what to do next, so we just sat in silence. In the weeks and months that followed, I kept trying to understand what had changed. Between the time I entered the hospital with a miraculous pregnancy, and the time I left after giving birth to our three sons who died in my arms—what happened?
Was I still a mother? Was God still God? If so, was He still the God I thought I knew as Healer, Deliverer, and Savior? Was He still the One who had performed the miracle that I had carried in my womb for twenty-two weeks?
Finding Light in the Darkness — and God in the Middle
As I settled into grief, I became intimately aware of the One who isn’t just the Alpha and Omega, but the God of the middle. The One, whose name is Emmanuel, God with us, sat with me in the midst of my pain. When I couldn’t see the light, He carried me and navigated through the darkness.
I don’t know that I got answers to the questions I had during those dark days. I never felt assured that I would become a mother one day or that I would see His miraculous hand again. But I became confident that regardless of my circumstances, He is a God that would always stay.
God revealed Himself as the light because not only did He strengthen me, but somehow as I sat with Him, He held the pieces of my empty, broken heart, and He restored my joy. Even when my arms remained empty, He healed and filled my heart. I realized that not only is God still good, He is still good to me not just after the manifestation of the promise but in the dark, at my lowest moment.
He revealed to me that in the same way that becoming a mother didn’t define me, the miracle I was seeking did not define Him. It was at my lowest point I saw that God was bigger than the miracle because He was bigger than my pain. I didn’t think I would ever survive the death of my children. But when I could not find any answers to resolve my pain, He showed me His sufficient grace and His perfect power during my weakest moments.
Standing Firm in the Light of God’s Promises
On what would have been our sons’ fifth birthday, we opened the blue box for the first time. Among the things inside, there was a note from my nurse that day. It said, “You both became parents today. Even though that may not be recognized through the remainder of your lives, it will always be true.”
I think back to that day we walked through the front door, with only a blue box and a mind filled with questions. Was I still a mother? Of course! Our sons were a precious gift that even death could not take away. Their lives, while short, have left a lasting legacy. Before they were born, I was consumed with becoming their mother here on earth, and after they died, I became consumed with living a life for Him and one day becoming their mother in Heaven.
Was God still God? Was He still good? Of course! There is no way I could have survived in my own strength without Him. I realized that even as I tried to claw my way out of the darkness to find answers, He was the answer — and I didn’t have to look far to find Him. He was right there. He was always there!
Was God still a God of miracles? Most definitely! The biggest miracle was the restoration of joy in the midst of despair when He took hold of my fragile heart and filled the holes with Himself.
So, what changed for me was everything. The way I lived my entire life changed. And what changed for God was nothing. He was and is and has remained the same.
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