This Post is a repost from my “Mommy Blog.”( http://5andcountingmusings.blogspot.com/) It is the last of the Christmas-time reflection posts before we conclude our 3 part series “What Goes In…”
I have posted this in Memory of my tiny son, Francis Talbot, who went Home to Our Father before I could hold him.
Of Babies and Blessings
This had been a Christmas Season of Blessings and Lessons. Heartache and Peace. Nothing went as planned, but why should that surprise us? I doubt that had Mary and Joseph been able to plan they would have elected to travel by donkey to a small town while Mary was 9 months pregnant just to appease some ego-centric Roman demi-god.
“‘For your thoughts are not My thoughts, neither are your ways, My ways,” says the Lord”(Isaiah 55″8).
“For I know well the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “Plans to give you a future full of hope. When you call Me, When you go to pray to me, I will listen to you. When you look for me, you will find me. When you seek me with all your heart, you will find me,” says the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:11-14).
These words revealed to the prophets ages ago are still so relevant to us today. God is so hard to understand sometimes, and yet, He blesses us. He takes care of us. He comforts us. He gives us Joy. Sometimes that Joy comes wrapped up in a bundle of blankets with a button nose and tiny little mouth and eyes. Sometimes that Joy comes from surrendering to God and giving Him a new soul for Heaven.
This Christmas has given me so much to ponder. The Advent Season began with my husband and I worried that Santa wouldn’t be able to afford Christmas. Yet, we had Faith and prayed that God would provide us what we would need to let our children have a happy Christmas. We got so much more than that. God continues to outdo Himself in generosity and this year He used so many people in our lives to touch us with His love and His Goodness. So many people have blessed us with their generosity this Christmas – from a dear friend and “anonymous benefactor” who sent us Christmas gifts, beautifully wrapped for Christmas Day – all without us knowing about it! – to family members who unexpectedly sent Christmas money – to neighbors who gave away toys that looked like new – we had more than we ever dreamed of for the kids on Christmas Day.
We felt so incredibly humbled. So undeserving. What had we done? Yet, isn’t that the crux of Christmas? We didn’t DO anything to make God send us our Savior. In fact the only thing we had done is sin. Turn away from Him, and yet He sent His only Son – His Gift to us – so that we might share Eternal Life with Him. What a gift! What Love!
This Christmas message was brought home to me in such a real way this year. Just before Christmas my husband and I found ourselves overjoyed at the reality of a new little life. I was pregnant! We knew the kids would be so excited and waited until Christmas to tell them. Seeing the pure Joy on their faces taught me more than anything what is truly important. The things we so often value – the presents and “stuff” we accrue for ourselves on Christmas pale in comparison to the truly miraculous gift of a new life – a new soul destined to live for Eternity. I pondered this for some time on Christmas and the days after. I felt so blessed to have this new paradigm in which to see my pregnancy. For the first time I wasn’t afraid of what others might think of the fact that I was pregnant again. I wasn’t looking forward to the morning sickness or labor, but I could not shake the conviction that despite what society, or even well-intentioned but confused passersby might think about my largish family, I was blessed. Babies are pure blessing. They aren’t a spread sheet – measuring the pros and cons, costs and benefits. They are a gift, pure and simple.
Imagine the sadness that came to our family on New Years Day when I, after a long day at the Emergency Room, learned that we were never to hold this little life. Never to meet him. He had gone Home to be with the One who created him. The sadness came crashing in on me as I went to the Grave of our stillborn daughter, Claire, who has been buried there since the end of August. I sat there in the cold and cried. I cried for her and I cried for my son who was with us for such a short time. I cried for my children at home, who I felt were deprived of another sibling to love. I cried for myself, my arms longing to hold a little squirmy bundle of Joy. Then my heart quieted. Peace entered. I dried my tears and asked my Heavenly Saints – my children – to pray for me. I told them I loved them. I asked God to help me understand. Then I heard it. Not a voice, but a whisper, spoken to my heart. “Thank you.”
As I drove home I pondered over this “thank you.” For what? I kept asking myself. When I got home I pushed it aside as my husband and I had to break the news to our children. I hardly heard myself as I told them that “Baby Bubbles” went to be with Claire. I told them that we named him Francis Talbot, because of a dream I had. Their sad faces nearly broke my heart again. My daughter, who is my oldest child at home, cried and told me how sad she was. Then she stopped crying and said, “Well, now Claire has somebody to play with. That is special.” She proceeded to talk to Baby Francis and tell him that she loved him. How silly I felt thinking that they were deprived of siblings to love. They love their heavenly sister and brother! Then my daughter looked at me and said, “Well, now I know what I am asking for on my birthday! A new baby!” I smiled at her innocence, at her beautiful understanding of life and death.
It wasn’t until I received an email from a dear friend that I really thought about what my daughter had said. My friend said to me that I had given Claire a sibling to be with her. They would be together glorifying God, watching over our family, and waiting for us to meet them in Heaven. Then it hit me. The “thank you” whispered to my heart, what I had told my children, what my daughter said to me, echoed in the email from my friend.
God had indeed given me a very special gift this Christmas. He truly taught me to Love as He Loves, He gave me the gift of a life, and asked for that gift back. This Christmas God allowed me to give a gift to Heaven. What a blessed peace this realization gave me. What a gift.
I still miss my little Francis, just as I miss my baby Claire. Yet I have such a sense of peace, that I know I am blessed. Many people would look at my little family this Christmas and shake their heads in pity – in the span of 2 weeks our only car broke down and died, the flu went through our family, all our Christmas plans were thwarted, we nearly hit the red in the bank account, still are without a car, and then we lost baby Francis. Yet all I feel is blessed. All I feel is Peace.
Little Francis Talbot came to us, and brought with him Peace. In his short time with us, and through his death he taught us a lesson about Christmas, about God’s love, and about Life that is more important than the little worries and inconveniences that we face. It may sound absurd to those without Faith, but despite the trials and sadness that have confronted us this Christmas, I am thankful. I am thankful for the unexpected, and thankful for the beautiful gift of Francis Talbot’s life. I am thankful, and I am blessed.
I hope you all have a Blessed New Year! I look forward to the conclusion of our discussion “What Goes In…” as we resume a more regular posting schedule now that the Holidays are over.
May Our Heavenly Father and King Bless you abundantly!