Today was the day the doctors told me my Charlotte was “suppose” to be born. But that didn’t happen. This day was meant to be different. Instead, today is the 23rd day after I delivered my sweet Charlotte, who had already been born into heaven, immediately into the presence of God. So, today, Pete worked from home, I rearranged a bookshelf, made lunch, ran errands, cleaned up the house, read sympathy cards, received a bouquet of flowers from kind co-workers, and cried…a lot. These co-workers from my previous job knew the situation but were unaware that the 15th was Charlotte’s due date. No detail is too insignificant for my God. He sent me flowers that day.
Sometimes I wrestle with the “what ifs” and “would have beens.” I don’t think it’s healthy to go there too much but I know it can be apart of the grieving process. Charlotte never got to nurse from me, she never got to hear me read her books, she never got that. But really, I am the one who misses out. She gets to be fed by glorious Jesus; He holds her, speaks life to her and somehow, I just have to believe that He raises her. I don’t know for sure what age or maturity my daughter will be when I get to hold her and part of me cares but part of me doesn’t. I just want to hold her. I just want to hold her. I just want to hold her. Jesus, hold her for me until I get there, okay? Please. I trust You already are.
Tonight, we also went to a Bible study potluck with a friend of ours. We only knew him. During the prayer requests, I struggled to know if I should speak up. Pete nudged me and told me if I wanted to say something, I could. So, I did. And it felt kind of awkward to be the “trump card” prayer request. I’m not used to that and I wasn’t sure what to make of all of it. But, I shared that we recently lost our child and that we needed prayer. They were all in shock and so kind.
One of the group members asked if we had any “immediate needs,” such as financial costs, food and so on. I explained that our freezer was full and that God fully met our financial needs. All I could think of was for prayer. Prayer is our immediate need. And I just keep thinking about that – immediate need. Prayer should always be my immediate need. Whether we are venturing through the crushing loss of our daughter or trudging through the ordinary and mundane days –prayer is my immediate need even if I don’t recognize that.
And really, what is prayer. Well, it’s praise, supplication, thanks, stillness, listening, confession, repenting…and all of that boils down to being WITH GOD. I can be really bad at prayer. Through losing my firstborn child, I have realized this more fully. But really, in my weakness, I have seen God be strong. My prayers are weeps, mutterings, fits of yelling, thanks, and I just have this deep sense that the Holy Spirit is making supplications on our behalf. I just know it. Romans 8:26-28 NLT has never ringed so true for me: “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” With that, I will rest.