As I was scrolling through Instagram today, I came across a story that rocked my world. And, as a mom, it made me dissolve into tears within minutes of reading. I had seen a few people share various posts but, when I tried to find out why this mother’s baby was hooked up to tubes, I couldn’t figure it out. Today, some people shared a post of hers again. So I made a concerted effort this time to find out what was wrong with her baby. I assumed an illness from birth or a health scare. But nothing prepared me for a photo of her perfectly healthy baby smiling in the photo next to her as she captioned the picture “I realised  that I caught Crew’s first smile on camera”. Confused, I scrolled upwards through Christmas pictures, family pictures and photos of this little baby under the Christmas tree. Then, her pictures changed from heart-warming to heart-breaking. The first was a picture of her hand holding the tiny hand of her son and then I found the story I had been looking for.

He was fine. She laid him down for a nap and he stopped breathing. She pleaded for prayer – the fall-on-the-floor-and-beg-God kind of prayer. A few posts later, she said that she was mad at God and that she couldn’t stand that everyone else’s lives carried on. She had said that they had some hard decisions to make in a previous post. She also said that she knew her baby boy was already dancing with Jesus. And then, the last post I saw was a sketch of their family alongside Jesus holding their son. Beneath she said the following,

“Crew will be going into the operating room tomorrow at noon to potentially save 3 to 4 babies’ lives. Tonight we are soaking up every moment with him by bathing him, holding him, and loving him. We ask that you keep our family in our prayers tomorrow, knowing that it will be the hardest day in our lives. “

 

My world stopped turning. My life stopped. And my heart broke. Because I looked at her baby and saw my baby. I looked at her and imagined if she were me. And the pain that ripped my heart must only echo the pain this mommy felt.

 

I cannot even conceive what this family is going through. I can’t begin to imagine losing a child. There are no words. The brokenness that has cut me up over a baby and a family I don’t know makes me feel sick at the thought of their pain and loss.

 

And it made me want to wake my sleeping children, hold them close, kiss them, cuddle them and sob into their warm necks. Because if I ever lost them…

 

It made everything about my ambitions, my goals, my aims for the new year seem hollow and fickle. The washing, the sorting out, my irritations and frustrations as a mom paled into insignificance. Suddenly, the shortness and frailty of life took centre stage. And a terror of the unknown held me by the throat with icy hands.

 

How would this family carry on, will themselves to get out of bed, sort through baby things, pack away clothes he wore only a week ago and just live? I just can’t…I can’t even fathom how.

 

She said she was mad at God. Really, really mad. I have been there. It feels so silly now. I feel like my reason to be mad was so simple. But I really was mad. And, if I were her, I am certain that I wouldn’t be able to so much as think about praying because I’d just yell. I wouldn’t be able to speak. That’s where I was. I chose not to pray about why I was angry because it just made it worse. It was fine to pray about other things. But not my issue.

 

And yet, looking at her, all I want to do is to tell her that Jesus cares. I want to tell her that her baby boy is in the arms of his Saviour and Creator. I want to tell her that he is with Someone who loves him even more than she does as impossible as it sounds. The fact that her baby boy is with Jesus, although it brings me to tears, is such a comfort. He is pain-free and alive and well.

 

But he’s not here. And that’s darn hard!

 

Ironically, I read something else today before seeing this story. Here’s what it said:

HE CRIED.

He knew that Lazarus was dead before He got the news.

BUT STILL, HE CRIED.

He knew Lazarus would be alive again in moments.

BUT STILL, HE CRIED.

He knew death here is not forever. He knew eternity and the Kingdom better than anyone else could.

YET HE WEPT.

Because this world is full of pain and regret and loss and depression and devastation.

HE WEPT.

Because knowing the end of the story doesn’t mean you can’t cry at the sad parts.

 

And I found such comfort in this. Because God cried over the pain in the world. He didn’t just sit on high and allow pain and suffering. He was here in its midst. His friend died. And when he saw the brokenness it caused, it grieved Him. He wept because of the pain, the loss, the heartache and the death that sin brought. It brought the Author of all things good to tears. He knew that it wasn’t the end of the story. But it didn’t make the pain go away. It didn’t remove the burden of grief. And, He was God. He could have chosen to have a life free of death and sorrow until His purpose was fulfilled on earth. Yet He went through the deep grief that the death of a loved one brings so that we knew that He understood the pain.

 

Motherhood is hard. Most of the time I’m frustrated because I can’t get to the housework. Most of the time I’m frustrated that housework stands in the way of me helping my girls learn through play and just loving them! Most of the time I am saddened knowing that one day I will regret not cherishing my girls more while we had precious few months at home together.

But today, I will hold them tighter, kiss them more, drink in the sweetness of motherhood with the knowledge that, today, I have a life this mommy wishes for. I have been blessed with a day longer of holding my children.

Today, she spends her last hours with her precious baby boy. And I pray that she finds such comfort knowing that Jesus knows, Jesus sees and Jesus wept. And that He won’t only hold her little one in His arms.

He will hold her too.

And, one day, He will look into her eyes, open her eyes and show her why the brokenness of the world ripped at His heart. Because He knew just how good it could really be. And, one day, she will see her son again; she will see Christ in glory and she will know the beauty of a world untainted by pain.

 

“But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” 

Isaiah 43:1

 

Photo Credit: Brittani Boren Leach – mother of baby Crew

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