7 years have passed. 7 years, each with their own story of pain and joy, sadness and hope.
Every year on this morning, my eyes open, and I remember him, my firstborn, the son I longed for, the son I dreamed of and cherished for years before his heart ever took up residence in my womb. I think of the short sixteen weeks we spent together, he and I, in this relationship that only he and I know. He was the first child lulled to sleep by my heartbeat. He was the first child to hear my voice from within. He was the first child to draw life from my body.
The first six years of waking found me in places of sorrow, some so deep that I thought I would never rise up from them, others on the edge of a haunting memory that left me tender and on the verge of tears.
This morning – this seventh morning – I sing a new song.
This morning, there is no twinge of pain or sorrow.
This morning, I dance and laugh and rejoice at the thought of my Nathan dancing and laughing and rejoicing in Heaven.
All of the ache of wanting him is now tied up in this bundle of contentment that only the hands of a healing God could ever craft in a heart that was as broken and rent as mine. Yes, I wish I could hold him. I wish I could see his beautiful face. I wish I could hear his voice and dance with him and tickle him and kiss his nose.
But I would rather he stay in the arms of Jesus. See His beautiful face. Hear His voice and dance with Him and kiss His nose.
A few weeks ago, we were at that parenting conference, and I met a boy named Nate who is seven years old. My heart did indeed skip a beat as he held out his hand to me, introducing himself in his gentle, kind voice. I choked back tears as I looked at this handsome boy, and I wondered if my Nate would be as tall and as polite and as well-spoken as this boy. When I left the room a few minutes later, I cried for my Nate, the Nate I held as safely as I could for sixteen weeks before he went Home.
He is growing up There instead of here, and I am well pleased.
No bittersweet tears today. No imagining the way life could have been.
Only joy. Only contentment. Only the radical acceptance that Abba knit together our family just as He knew best. Only complete trust in Him who stirs up laughter and delight from the deep places where the healing takes the longest.
The Lord has done great things for us;
we are glad.
Psalm 126:3, esv