Loss of the Little: Thoughts on the 31st birthday of the brother I haven't met yet.

March 1. It comes every year, and every year I see my parents struggle through it. But the past three years have been different for me; they have allowed me to understand in a way a never did before pregnancy and motherhood. On March 1, 1982, my older brother, Joshua Isaac was born without life. 

When I spoke with my dad today, he talked about not knowing his son. That’s what I kept thinking today too. I have a brother that I do not know. God gave me this one simple encouragement: I will know Joshua one day, and our relationship will never be tainted by sin as my relationships are with my other brothers. Great times of fellowship and love will be shared, and no sin will be a part of it. That is a beautiful thing. Praise God.

I found myself thinking about my brother all day. He was supposed to be my mom’s second child, my mom’s second son. And he was, but he wasn’t. My parents never got to know him; they only got to release him to the Lord. Now I am pregnant with my second child, my second son, and I can only pray pray pray that God will grant this little boy the grace to live. With this second boy thing: I just can’t help but think of Joshua Isaac. I named my first son after him, with a holy fear that he would not be the sacrifice I had to give. Now I am praying that God will not repeat my family’s history. I am not living in fear every day, but there is always that nagging reminder that sometimes pregnancy doesn’t end like we planned it.

This year has been a tough one in this regard. After months of waiting to get pregnant, I find myself pregnant while my best friend suffers her second miscarriage. Her second baby boy gone. She was due two days after me, yet I will remain pregnant and she feels empty. Why? These pregnancies were God’s double blessing to us. We both needed them, but hers was taken away while mine remains. It’s the kind of mercy I can only tremble at.

These thoughts don’t get wrapped up in a pretty bow. I wish they could. But through the pain of baby deaths around me, God reminds me of this: HE holds life in his hand. Only He can give life. Only He can take it away. Nothing that I have done deserves this precious life inside of me. God’s blessings don’t come to those who deserve them, and those who don’t receive them don’t deserve them any less than those who do. Deserving anything other than death is a lie. I am a sinner: I deserve death. God gave me life, and He gave me life inside of me. I don’t know why, but that’s what He chose to do.

So let’s strive to take away the shame of infertility and child loss. Ok? There is nothing wrong with those women. There is nothing they can do to trick God into blessing them with babies. God holds life in his hands. He will give and take away. In our video session for Bible study this week, Beth Moore challenged us that maybe the women we know who haven’t had things come naturally to them (like marriage, babies, perfect Christian children, etc) don’t have anything wrong with them. Maybe they don’t have a hidden sin to deal with before God will bless them. Maybe there isn’t a lesson they need to learn. Maybe it’s just that God chose those women to make something natural into supernatural so that when they are blessed people can’t help but see the glory of God in it.

Glory to God, I am praying that for every woman I know who is waiting for something supernatural right now, and I can assure you, I know a lot.