I am a Christian. I love Christ, and truly, without Him, I am nothing. I couldn't face the day, nothing would have purpose or meaning. Being a Christian doesn't mean bad things don't happen, but it absolutely means we don't have to face hard times alone. I have met a guy and his wife thru another friend of mine. I knew they were great people, nice, talented, and I knew they were Christians. I saw them about three weeks ago, she was getting closer and closer to her due date, and was very excited for the baby to be here. Two weeks later, at 37 weeks, the doctor was unable to find a heartbeat. She had to deliver a stillborn child, and they buried the baby two days later. It brings tears to my eyes as I write this. I went to the father's facebook page, and started reading. His tone was amazing, saying they were sad and struggling, but glorifing God in every post. I messaged him, told him how sorry I was and asked if there was anything specific I could pray for, his response "If you would pray that God would continue to use the death of our son to bring Glory to His name and further edify His kingdom, that would be best". Today I read his latest post titled "Two Weeks Later". I don't think he would mind it being reposted here, as his true passion is that others come to Christ so that they can be comforted during their hard times...
"It has been two weeks since October 20, 2011, the day that Halley and I found out we lost our child. I have been reliving the events of that day and my emotions have swelled and burst the wounds I thought were beginning to heal. I remember the medical workers not being able to find a heartbeat, and then driving Halley to Dr. Ghearing’s office. I remember what songs played on the radio on the car ride over. Most vividly, I remember the moment when the doctor told us he couldn’t find a heartbeat during the ultrasound. I was holding Halley’s hand tightly when I felt a dread like flames explode inside my body. I felt everything, but in a way I was numb. I suppose I was in shock. I remember calling my mother and mother-in-law and telling them the sad news we had just received.
From that point, the next three days were a blur of sadness and important events. Halley and I hugged and cried a lot and laughed a little. For the 30 hours we spent in the hospital, we were blessed with excellent care from our nurses and our doctor. I thank God we were also surrounded by the love and support of our family and friends. At last, Halley delivered our little boy. What a bittersweet experience! I was so happy to hold him and dote on him, but I was sad to know that he wasn’t alive for me to teach or play with. In a way, this made the short time I was graced to spend at his side all the sweeter.
Since then, God has used the death of our son to manifest the glory of His name. How I hope God will use his death to touch the lives of more people!
Halley and I have been enveloped by the love and prayers of the people in our area. What a comfort it is to know there are people who care for us! Most of all, Halley and I are comforted by knowing that God is using the loss of our son to bring people closer to Himself.
Many people have asked how Halley and I are doing and at this time in our grief, the heights of joy are higher, the valleys of despair are lower, but overall the grief is becoming more manageable. As I reflect on the events of October 20th, I realize I had no idea how significant the occurrences of that day would be to the rest of my life. I am still laid low by thoughts of the person my son would have grown up to be. I would love to be able to sing with him and play toys with him! I miss him so. How is it possible to miss a person as much as I miss my son, though we never met?
The greatest challenge Halley and I face now is knowing we must begin again the process of becoming parents. We were so close. Halley was due to deliver this Sunday. Though I am forever little Josh’s father, I long to care for and parent a child in a conventional way.
But amidst all of the pain and sorrowful thought, I humbly submit to the Sovereign plan of a Good and Almighty God. The Lord has given to us graciously, and at this time He has chosen to take our son away from us. I am not mad at Him; He knows best. I only bow and say, “Blessed Be Your Name.” As the wounds of my grief fester I am renewed by the power of Christ and the hope of the resurrection. I have a peace in Him who is the fountain of salvation, Jesus Christ.
I would encourage all who let their eye fall on this letter to cling closely to Christ in the midst of suffering. Though you may not be suffering now, make no mistake that those who walk upon the earth for even a small amount of time will find themselves in pain. My wife and I would be without hope or peace if we didn’t have Christ from which to gain strength. I wouldn’t desire any of you to meet a manner of trials without the power of Christ to sustain you. In fact, I don’t know how anyone could endure without the power of Christ! I encourage you to repent and believe the Gospel; If God has not already saved you by His grace. Through Christ you can have this peace—the peace that surpasses all understanding.
Though Halley and I are still in a great deal of anguish over the loss of our child; the source of our strength is Christ. We see more clearly as days go by that God is using our affliction for His glory. God has also bestowed a good gift on little Josh and his parents! Little Josh has bypassed the sorrows of this world and is in in the arms of the Savior. God has brought this trial into our lives to teach us, make us steadfast, and make us more complete for Christian ministry. In this, we rejoice! (James 1:2-4)
Thank you once again for your prayers, and please message me if you have any questions about the Gospel."
Wow, that's the kind of Christian I want to be. That's the kind of relationship I want to have with Christ. That's how I want to deal with tragedy and disappointment in my life. I thank God for letting me read this, for challenging me, for using this precious child's life to make me reflect on my own. My prayer tonight is for those Christians who are suffering, that they remember where to turn, who is the true Rock in their life... and for those who aren't Christians, that they find this amazing gift we have been given, a relationship with One who loves us to the core, and who can use painful, terrible situations to bring about hope and promise.