July 30, 2009

A person's a person, no matter how small


This may seem like an interesting title given the post about to follow. However in reflecting over these past 3 weeks and the things that God is attempting to illustrate through our family, this quote fits perfectly with the mission -albeit ever-so-short mission – of our son.

Yes, you heard right, our son. 3 weeks ago we lost our baby due to a miscarriage – a baby that was just 3 weeks old.

During a time that most women don’t even know they are pregnant, we were celebrating the fact that God had chosen to bless us with another child. Yet, despite the joy and nervousness of bringing another child into our family, I had a strong sense of acceptance that whatever happened to him during the early and fragile weeks of growth would be God’s Will for us. For many months I have had the peace that comes with knowing God is the author of life – especially the lives that Michael and I hope to bring into this world.

We had only known him for less than a week before we lost him. Throughout my time in the hospital we of course grieved, yet I was strangely at peace. At peace knowing that God’s glory would soon be revealed in this trial, at peace experiencing the closeness to God that comes with suffering, and above all at peace knowing we have a child in Heaven.

Our job as parents is to get our children to Heaven. We raise them, nurture them, and expose them to the truths of God – hoping that we have done enough for the grace of God to touch their souls so that they will spend all of eternity with their Creator. In this instance, our job was completed. Having a child in Heaven is the greatest gift a parent could receive. (I bet he’s even looking down on us, thanking God for allowing him to skip this crazy world!)

This brings me to another point left branded on my heart – what it means to be “open to life.” Being open to life doesn’t always mean preparing for a large family, for this is not God’s Will for all couples, even if it may be their desire. Being open to life means accepting, with humility and cooperation, the plan God desires for a couple’s family. There are many couples I know that have struggled with infertility, multiple miscarriages, stillbirth, and even having more children than they once expected. The main thing is that we allow God to use our marriages as places to witness that life is sacred and that His plan for children should be the one carried out, for it is His plan that is “good, pleasing, and perfect…” In this circumstance, God’s desire was that we open ourselves to the suffering of losing a child so that this child could make it to Heaven. It is a redemptive suffering, a holy suffering, a suffering that is ultimately filled with joy. I am grateful to be chosen as a vessel and will remain open in the years to come.

We decided to name our child Gabriel Joseph. I had a strong feeling from the beginning that it was a boy and on the way home from the hospital I found myself talking to him by this name. Oddly enough, I know a handful of people who, after losing a child through miscarriage or stillbirth, have named their child Gabriel. Maybe it has to do with the Archangel Gabriel being the messenger of life to Mary…

Speaking of Gabriel, Mary and Jesus…I have had this weird feeling that I shouldn’t be so focused on the meaning and value of this pregnancy, because he was “only” 3 weeks old. But then I am reminded of St. John’s greeting of the Christ child, when Jesus was only 3 days old. I will not allow the thinking of this world to undermine the value of our child. For a person is a person, no matter how small. Gabriel will always be a testament to life and we will hold him dear to our hearts.

It is not my desire to invite sympathy as a result of sharing our journey, but rather to use our story to point to the glory of God. Our suffering is not any greater than others.’ It is my prayer that Gabriel will not only pray for us, but that we all will pray for his little brothers and sisters in the wombs of so many other women. Thank you, Gabriel, for the joy and peace you have brought to our family. And thank you, Lord, for your most gracious gift of Gabriel.

a copy of the picture Aunt Shelley and Uncle Jonathan gave to Gabriel

6 comments:

shelley said...

Gabriel,

I will keep an eye on Avila. I can't wait to meet you someday.

I love you.

Love,
Thomas

Liz said...

You are blessed that your faith is so strong. I wish I could have been that strong. I was so angry with God when my first child Cassandra died after being on this earth for 8 days.... I did not step into a church for months..... not the smartest thing to avoid the place that would have brought me peace.

People would tell me, "you can have another" or "she was only 8 days old" as if that was going to help ease the pain.

You son's value will never be minimized because he was "only" 3 weeks old. Kristine, you and Mike created Gabriel out of love for each other, out of love for your family, and for the love of God our father. He was loved and wanted way before he was in your womb.

Maybe Cassandra and Gabriel are up there together and she is showing him the ropes. :)

Prayers for you all from me.

Jessica said...

You are both in my prayers right now. There is a new beautiful soul in Heaven that is looking out for you now - God's will is not always understandable, but it always manifests His glory. Thanks for your beautiful reflection.

noreen said...

God bless you all. Thanks for your inspiring post and true spirit of real faith. Our family has some angels in heaven and I know they will look lovingly after Gabriel. No one loves the babies more than my mom, so I know she is giving an endless amount of love, too. His plan is "good, pleasing and perfect." And so often it is mystery. I admire your appreciation of the mystery. May you continue to have His Peace. You are in our prayers.

Erin said...

My heart, thoughts and prayers goes out to you and the family. I just loved your reflections and what a beautiful tribute to your "son". Your faith is inspiring and I am sure your baby is resting in the palm of God's hand.

Sara said...

Kristine,
You don't know me but I randomly stumbled on to your blog a while ago and have found so much beauty and inspiration from reading your posts. I just wanted to let you know that. Thank you for posting and being such a light of Christ.
I will say a prayer for you and your family. God's peace be with you!