This is going to be a very personal blog for me as I’m going to share something that very few people know about Beth and I. However, I hope that sharing this becomes encouraging to those who read this. I would like to start with a disclaimer that some of the thoughts that I am going to share are simply things that I hope to be true as I don’t think any of us have a full grasp of what happens to us at death since Christ has yet to return to this planet. For example, Paul writes that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. He also writes that at the trumpet’s sound, the dead in Christ will rise first. See why I don’t think that any of us can claim to fully understand the death process in its entirety.
Last night, Beth and I were invited to attend the Lowcountry Pregnancy Center’s annual banquet. During the banquet, the keynote speaker shared the story of he and his wife enduring the pain of losing a child through miscarriage. This hit me hard as that little known fact about Beth and I is that Hannah had a twin that we lost to Vanishing Twin Syndrome. While I recognize that this is different from miscarrying and delivering a still born child, there is still pain involved. The biggest difference is that in many cases (including ours), the twin disappeared before we ever knew it was there. We decided to name the twin anyway. Beth and I had originally planned on 3 children and had all 3 names picked out before Carrie was even born. This twin became our Judah.
Back to last night. The speaker described going home and just railing against God through his grief. After he had thrown his temper tantrum (his words not mine), he opened up the Bible, began to read, and started sobbing. As he sobbed, he described this feeling he had of 2 arms wrapping around him and holding him in his grief.
Now, this speaker was also a doctor, and at the same time he had a teenage boy with terminal cancer that he was taking care of. This boy had slipped into a coma before any of this happened with the doctor’s wife miscarrying. Here’s where this story gets very interesting. The doctor made it a point to visit this patient in home hospice care a couple of times a week and praying with him. About a week after his wife’s miscarriage, he was praying for this teenager and suddenly this teenager was praying with him. The prayer ended and the boy opened his eyes. He then told the doctor that he was going home. The doctor told him that he was home and the boy said, ‘No. I’m going home to be with Jesus.’ The doctor asks him how he knows that. The boy tells him that his guardian angel told him. (I am not here to discuss the theology of angels and how they are involved with humanity, so please just hear the story out.) The boy continues to tell the doctor that his angel told him that just a few days ago he had taken the doctor’s baby to be with Jesus and had returned and held the doctor as he grieved. Keep in mind, the boy had been in a coma through all of this and didn’t know what had happened.
Now I return to my own life, and our precious Judah. I am now 35 years old and as of January of this year I have one living grandparent remaining. I have often lamented that my Mamaw never got to meet Beth or her great granddaughters. (Carrie is named after her.) Don’t get me wrong at all. I am thrilled that my other grandparents all met Beth and the girls. My Nana passed away before Hannah’s birth.
Here’s the thought that I have. Again, I can’t theologically back it up with scripture, but this has helped me deal with the fact that we never got to meet our Judah. Maybe, just maybe, God saw fit to give Mamaw a chance to meet one of my children now. I don’t know why I think this, but I know that thinking this at least makes me smile as I think of the joy that she would have in getting the chance to hold one of our babies.
Here’s what I do know. Even though Judah became our disappearing twin, he (we choose to think that the disappearing twin was our boy) was created by Almighty God just as his two sisters that are here with us were. I also believe that despite never experiencing life outside the womb, his life serves a purpose. Maybe that purpose is simply to remind me just how sacred ALL life is. Maybe another purpose is to give me a way to still feel connected to my Mamaw that went to be with Jesus almost 18 years ago. I may never know. I do know that Jesus holds all 3 of my children in the palm of His hand, and there’s no place I would rather any of them be.