July 27, 2012
"On the seventh day God had finished His work of creation, so He rested from all His work." Genesis 2:2
Today marks the seventh anniversary of the birth of our identical-twin daughters. Seven years ago today we received the unexpected news that our first and second child were gravely ill inside my womb. Seven years ago today doctors delivered our two babies and whisked them off to neonatal intensive care before we ever had the chance to hug them, kiss them or hold them. Seven years ago today
doctors diagnosed one of our twins with a Grade IV brain hemorrhage, and
told us that our daughter stood little chance for survival. Today marks the beginning of a string of events that would eventually lead to one of the most difficult experiences of my life.
While we REJOICE over the life of our surviving twin daughter our twins' birthday normally proves a difficult day for me to process. One child to celebrate; one child to mourn. It seems unfair. I despise death. I ache to hold two babies in my arms at once. The desires of my flesh quench the Spirit within.
But this year I noticed something different.
Seven represents the number of perfection and completion. God created the world in six days, and on the seventh He rested (Genesis 2:2). David was Jesse's seventh son (1 Chronicles 2:15). Jesus fed 5,000 men plus women and children with seven loaves of bread. When the crowed finished eating the disciples collected seven baskets of leftover food (Matthew 15:34-37). In the book of Revelation John writes a letter to the seven churches in the province of Asia (Revelation 1:4). Many claim seven as God's favorite number.
Seven years ago God used the death of our child to redirect the course of my life. While I sometimes failed to see the beauty of the path on which I traveled, seven years later I realize that He truly works all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). In the seven years since the death of our child God has allowed me the privilege of sharing the hope of Christ with others--when I often feel unworthy of even mentioning His name. Seven years later I find myself having just returned from serving the Lord in two different countries. Seven years after the premature birth of our twin daughters my life feels more full and rich than I ever dreamed possible. Though I once felt incomplete without my child, seven years later I realize that my completeness comes from Christ and in living the life He intended for us to live.
The mama in me misses our daughter. But the child of God in me rejoices daily in His presence. What normally proves to be a difficult month faded to a few difficult moments yesterday afternoon. Because
I miss our daughter less? No. Because the hurt fades? Not necessarily.
Because time heals wounds? Not ever. Because the grace of God rescued
I realize the depth to which a parent can plummet following the loss of a child--indeed I've experienced the hopelessness, and would feel blinded by despair now except that I asked God to show me the way out of my pain. And once I asked, "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." (Psalm 40:2)
Happy 7th Birthday my darlings.