On Tuesday, February 19, 2013 our family gathered at a gravesite to comfort one another and celebrate a precious life. In honor of that life, I wanted to share the words I read at that service....
To think back on the last week of our family's life is not easy. One week ago today our world was shattered by a doctor visit and phone call.
No heartbeat. When I heard the words, I am certain I was like the rest of you. Shocked. Outraged. Horrified.
How could something so final and so hopeless interrupt our family's peaceful world?
My first strategy was one of denial. This can't really be happening. Surely someone will wake us from this nightmare, and we will discover it is simply a cruel joke.
My second strategy was to fix it. To find some way to pull Adam and Kalyn from the pain as quickly as possible, much like a firefighter drags a victim from a burning house. To snuff out the reality of death or at least to soften its cruel blow.
My third was to question it. Why did this happen to us? What did we do wrong? Where is our God in this horrible time of loss?
But, I must say, those strategies only produced for me sleepless nights and desolate, dead end roads in my mind that led to nowhere helpful.
So today I am eager to lead us toward a fourth idea. To embrace together where we are in our journey as a family and to dig deeper to see the Lord's treasures within our family's pain. To celebrate the beauty of a little girl's 16 week life who lived briefly, but purposefully before her God.
Esther Kate Waller. Second born daughter of Adam and Kalyn Waller.
My precious 5th born grandchild.
From whose birth I have gained so much.
From her life I learned.....the depth and loyalty of sacrificial love. I watched a young mother wail for her precious child, willing to exchange her own life for Esther's if she but could ....willing to accept any deformity or defect without question...willing to suffer any pain it would take.
She asked protectively to the few attendants near her birthing bed, "Who's taking care of my baby?" even when her baby had no breath to protect. And suddenly I understood in a deeper way what God revealed about Himself when He said... "Can a mother forget her baby? And have no compassion on the child she has born? Though she may forget, I will never forget you. " (Isaiah 49:15)
From her life I learned....the unconditional acceptance and steadfastness of daddy love .....as I watched Adam gaze at his little six-inch long, immaturely formed daughter laying in his hand and say, "I want to rock her." Proudly he cradled her on his lap as he gently maneuvered the stiff hospital rocking chair. Why? Simply because she was his. Precious. Cherished. And wanted.
And I understood deeper an unconditional love flowing toward another daughter who also is immaturely formed. "For how great is the love the Father has lavished on me that I should be called a child of God!" (1 John 3:1) And that is what I am!
From her life I learned...the beauty of the mystery of life. Where others could have callously termed her little body a “product of conception” or even a demised fetus, I clearly saw a baby. Perfectly formed. Full of energy and life when we peeked in on her via ultrasound at 12 weeks. Properly equipped by her God for a destiny of service to Him. My resolve to honor and protect human life is strengthened from just those few hours in the presence of little Esther. She demonstrated concretely for me those words I sometimes abstractly quoted....."You created my inmost being, You knit me together in my mother's womb." (Psalm 139:13-16)
From her life I learned...the reality of eternity. For my Esther has entered into the place I long to be. I am comforted to know Ging-gi and Mom, my grandmas who held me, are holding Esther now. She broke through this earth into paradise before even having to suffer the struggles of this life...which is actually, not that bad of a deal! She won't need this Grammy to sing her Jesus Loves Me and read her the Bible stories. She already knows Him so completely she will be ready to show me around some day.
From her life I learned....the faithfulness of our God even when my human questions go unanswered. I will still trust Him even when umbilical cords get tangled around legs so tightly that little babies die. I will still trust Him when pain and sorrow are attempting to crush my soul. I know more clearly that right now I am "only able to see as through a glass rather dimly" (1 Corinthians 13:12) but someday, I will see in clarity as Esther, our sister in the Lord, sees now. Everything makes sense for her. And now she stands as a witness urging us on in our race to trust and serve the One she loves completely. (Hebrews 12:1)
From her life I learned....the sensitivity of human grief. Never have I known personally or seen in our children such raw human pain. I thought I knew....but Esther has caused me to grow the size of my heart exponentially. Often we sweep over what pain we don't understand. Truly broken hearts feel miserable. But a broken heart can also become a blessing in disguise. Soft and pliable, it is able to receive beauty for ashes. Joy for mourning. And soon I will be able to comfort others with the comfort I have received from our Lord. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Esther, through your life, I do believe many other lives will be healed.
Adam and Kalyn, thank you for bringing this child into our lives. Her birth has forever changed our family. She has brought to us exactly what the name you gave her means....secret purity.
The world may never know her, but her destiny, her assignment has been magnificently accomplished. She has brought us secret revelations of the purity of our God.
My treasured grandchild, I love you with an everlasting love.
I miss you terribly. I hurt to see your mama and daddy cry. I deeply wish we could have watched you grow, running hand in hand with your big sister, Kyla. But today, we celebrate who you are in our family and honor what your little life has deposited in us.
Together, we say thank you God, for the blessing of our baby Esther Kate.
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Gratefully linked to: Tell His Story Friday Favorite Things at Finding Joy Faith Filled Friday True Stories Gratituesday Thriving Thursday Winsome Wednesday Legacy Leaver The Better Mom Welcome Home Modest Mondays