There’s something about March 1st that makes me long for spring. There’s something about closing the door on February and opening the door to March that gives me hope – hope for warmer days, budding trees, and colorful flowers. Just outside my window, God’s creation seems to be coming back to life.
Spring is one of my favorite times of year. My birthday is in the spring. Easter (my favorite holiday) is in the spring. I can get back to gardening in the spring. In the spring, I can officially dream about all the vegetables I’m going to grow (and forget about the fact that the deer always eat my corn.) To me, spring is about life.
And yet today, March 1st, is the day that 7 years ago we lost our son, Joshua. Just as I begin to dream about the spring, I’m reminded of my loss. It never really hits me until that day. February is short and March seems to always sneak up on me. And then the memories come flooding back…
I found out that I was pregnant on Christmas Eve, 2009. The bleeding started that night. I knew that it wasn’t good news. And yet at our 1st doctor’s appointment, the baby was doing well. But… I had a blood clot in my uterus. There were 3 options – the blood clot could be absorbed, the baby could eventually push the blood clot out, or the blood clot could cause the placenta to pull away from the baby.
The next 9 weeks would be some of the longest of my life and yes, the best of my life. By God’s grace, I meditated on His Word incessantly. God reminded me that even though this chaos was going on in my body, He was in control. God was growing my faith in Him. I don’t think that I’ve ever prayed so much in my entire life. I desperately needed God to carry me through my physical weakness, my emotional weakness, and my spiritual weakness. I saw His power truly shine in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
The church, the Body of Christ, was a huge blessing to our family. They were praying, making us meals, watching our older children, cleaning our house and so much more. I just read through some of the old e-mails that I kept from those few months. They are an amazing testament to how the Body of Christ loves.
On the eve of March 1st, I can vividly remember being curled up in pain on the floor of our hall bathroom. I was rocking and praying. I conceded to the Lord out loud through gritted teeth, “God, I want what you want, even if it’s hard.”
Here is the email that my sweet husband sent the next day:
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2010 5:55 PM
Subject: Home with the Lord
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and fell to the ground and worshipped. He said,
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb
And naked I shall return there.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Please worship God with us today as we mourn and worship Him.
Our little one is in heaven with God.
I will write more tomorrow. Please pray for Tiffany’s surgery tomorrow.
Still in God’s loving hands,
Jimmy, Tiffany, Emma, Luke, Nate, Seth and our baby
How can my most favorite time of year be overshadowed by this loss?
Every year, how can this wonderful season of spring begin for me with a reminder of death?
That’s the gospel – the perfect juxtaposition of death and life.
Imagine the hope that entered the world with the birth of Jesus. Imagine the hope that blossomed as Jesus walked the earth healing disease and reaching out to the outcasts of society. Imagine the hope that was fully realized when Jesus revealed that He was the chosen Messiah that would save the people from their sins.
Imagine the despair that entered the world when the followers of Jesus watched their sinless Savior get nailed to a cross. Imagine the despair that blossomed when Jesus uttered, “It is finished,” and drew his last breath. Imagine the despair that was fully realized when He was laid in the tomb and stone was rolled in front.
Finally, imagine how hope was resurrected when the tomb was empty. Once and for all, the death of the only sinless man brings life to those who will believe in Him.
Death to Life.
Over dark chocolate peanut butter-filled cupcakes tonight, we were able to talk to our children about Joshua’s short life here on earth and his death. We wondered together what Joshua would have looked like. We were able to talk about God’s purposes for suffering and how God used Joshua’s death to draw myself and my husband to Himself. We were able to dream about heaven and what it will be like. I asked if there will be flowers in heaven. The kids wanted to know if there will be food in heaven even if we don’t need it to live.
Over the last few years, I’ve actually begun to thank the Lord for choosing March 1st. Each year as I look forward to Spring, I’m reminded of Joshua’s death. But more importantly, I am reminded of the fact that there will be a day when I will see my son again. There will be a day when Revelation 21: 4 will be my reality: “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
I do hope, though, that there will be flowers and dark chocolate peanut butter-filled cupcakes in Heaven.