Anticipating Heaven

Today I am anticipating so many things. Finishing some things on our house. Moving day. Baby Nine’s arrival. Heaven.

Wait a second, did you read that right? Yes, indeed: you did. I said heaven.

I suppose heaven is something that most Christians would say they anticipate, but today I am anticipating it in a particular way. It’s October 15th again. That’s the day for national remembrance of pregnancy/infant loss. Last year, Gabriel and I did some special, tangible things to remember his brothers and sisters, including letting balloons float away up into the sky in their memory. If you remember, though, unfortunately the bunch of balloons was blown into our neighbor’s super tall pine tree in their backyard! Oops! So umm… while some of the balloons have slowly escaped the branches and fallen to the ground, there are still at least two left up there. So yeah… we decided not to do the same thing this year. Maybe next year the boys and I will let balloons go from the vast expanse of our own pasture. Away from trees. πŸ™‚

This year I am being low-key about things. I will light seven candles this evening to reflect a tiny spark of the glorious beauty our seven “heaven babies” are enjoying, and to remind us of the brightness & joy each of them have brought to our family. And besides that, I am simply anticipating. Anticipating with curiosity as well as great joy.

There are many things I anticipate about heaven. No more tears, no more sorrow, no more grief, no more pain (Revelation 21:4). Rejoicing and praising our Father forever alongside our Brother Jesus Christ (Psalm 11:4 and Psalm 103:19). Joining the ranks of all the saints who have gone before ~ including my seven children.

I don’t know a lot about heaven. Details, I mean. But I trust in the covenant promises of my heavenly Father (Hebrews 9:15), and believe that His faithfulness extends even to a thousand generations (Deuteronomy 7:9 and Psalm 105:8) ~ so one thing of which I am confident, is that I will meet my children again (1 Corinthians 13:12 and Philippians 3:20-21). My little host of redheads are not in my home and will not return to me; but someday I will join them in the mansion created by God the King (John 14:2-3) and I will go to them (2 Samuel 12:23).

So while I anticipate some ordinary things like my new house and some extraordinary things like holding a living baby of my own again soon… I am also anticipating some truly inconceivable things like the glories of heaven. Today I reflect on God’s goodness in sustaining us through long-repetitive grief, His mercy in allowing us to have a bigger covenantal family than we ever imagined, His grace in providing us with covenantal promises to claim, and His gift of hope for our reunion with our beautiful children once He calls to our eternal home with them.

So today I am honoring and remembering my adorable children,

Covenant Hope (July 29, 2007)
Glory Hesed (March 30, 2009)
Promise Anastasis (June 20, 2009)
Peace Nikonos (November 5, 2009)
Mercy Kyrie (January 26, 2010)
Victory Athanasius (May 18, 2010)
Hosanna Praise (November 8, 2010)

and while I continue to grieve the emptiness I feel over their absence in our earthly home, I joyfully anticipate being present with them for eternity in our heavenly home.

Anticipate the glories of heaven with me today!!

two years ~ Glory

Today is the second anniversary of losing our third child, Glory Hesed. He was my second miscarriage, but the first one in my bout of recurrent losses. The first of my back-to-back griefs. The first that got me rolling into the horrible realm of “secondary infertility.” When I lost Glory, I was still fairly oblivious. Everyone had told me that losing your first baby was so common; everyone implied that it wouldn’t happen again. So when my second pregnancy resulted in a live Gabriel in my arms, I finally believed everyone.

And then Glory filled my womb (making me desperately giddy) ~ and then the Lord called him home (plunging me into darkness).

Glory was the baby that made me really question, really wonder, really waver.
Glory was the one that first let me put a “Big Brother” onesie on my sweet Gabriel.
Glory was the one that inclined my midwife to encourage us to begin testing (although we didn’t yet).
Glory was the one that left my womb the earliest.

I can hardly believe it has been two years since we lost him. Two years since my naivete began oh-so-quickly melting away into the realities of the horribleness of life. Two years since my womb has been constantly groaning over death withΒ  no respites of life upon which to rest my weary self.

Oh Glory. Today I am trying to recall the depth of your middle name to the innermost part of my heart: God’s covenantal love and faithfulness. Hesed. It is deeper and truer than I can imagine. I simply have to believe that He is being loving and faithful, for it is His character (from which He can not depart).
So sweet baby, happy heavenly birthday. Happy second anniversary of your entrance into the heavenly glories for which you were named.
I love you. And oh, I miss you.

My Face

It’s October now.
Many people don’t know that this month is designated as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. (now you do.)
Furthermore, October 15th is the specific day set aside as a remembrance day for the loss of all these children.
Including six of my children.
So while I remember and love my children every day of the year, and miss them even more specifically on their loss dates and due dates… this is a special national time to openly remember my kids. While I am never afraid or ashamed to speak of Covenant, Glory, Promise, Peace, Mercy, and Victory ~ but, in fact, love to do it because I love them and also because I want to use their lives to impact the world ~ this remembrance day/month affords extra opportunities for me to share my story. Their stories. Our story.

In honor of that, I finally got the courage to post my story on a site called Faces Of Loss, Faces Of Hope. It’s sort of a sister site to the Grieve Out Loud site that I participate in.
I was glad to get my story up there. To talk about my children. To share my faith. To give the glory to God. To cry while I did it.

Take a look at my face. I am the face of recurrent miscarriage. I am the face of grief. I am the face of a bereaved mommy. I am the face of plowing in hope.

Tuesday March 30, 2010

We have returned from the land of no-internet. πŸ™‚ I will upload some pictures soon from our adventures in California (I know, I know – I could have visited so many of you, but trust me when I say we literally had no minutes to spare – maybe another time!) this last week. For now, I just wanted to say hello and get back into the net world. I am trying to catch up on everybody’s lives, and it’s hard. I guess a lot happens in a week. We did have a simply lovely time, and although my hubby was working (he presented at a techie conference in San Jose), we had lots of time to enjoy God’s creation, some relatives, and good old family time. I even managed to survive plane flights – if you don’t already know, I have a fear of flying, so it’s a big deal. πŸ™‚

Now I am catching up on life: bills, laundry, email & voicemail, restocking the ‘fridge, etc. Steven is getting caught up on work, and Gabriel is getting reacquainted with his toys. πŸ™‚ I also have a bunch of music rehearsals coming up, as we are preparing things for Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. I love Holy Week. I had hoped to try doing a Seder meal this year, but am not sure I’ll be able to pull it off. We have parish fellowship that night, and my husband is leading it – so perhaps I will put the Seder off until next year. I am excited to be working on harp and organ this week, and might even get to do some piano (the easy way out!), but we’ll see.

I will also be preparing for another round of infusions next week. It feels like that is coming up too quickly, but maybe that’s good.

Also, today we are remembering our sweet Glory baby. When I mentioned it to Steven earlier, we almost couldn’t believe it has been a year since he left us.
Glory Hesed, your mommy & daddy will never forget the brief time we were able to spend with you in our home, and we will forever be blessed by your part in our family. We love you and treasure you, and pray for strength to endure the days until we are united once again in bliss. We know the Lord is keeping you, and we know you are blessing Him. xoxo I love you, Glory baby.

Psalm 71:8
My mouth is filled with Your praise,
   and with Your glory all the day.