Sunday, May 22, 2011

All my tears

I headed to church again today and was able to sit between two friends--a fortunate thing as unexpected tears would fall later.  I'm almost reluctant to be writing about church again because I do not want to give the impression that all of my experiences in life, all of my love and pain for Miles, and who I am as a person has to be seen through the lens of church.  But having faith in God is part of my life and that's more of the topic that I've been working with.

To be clear...I am a Christian.  I am a Christian who doesn't routinely go to church these days.  I believe that God is faithful and in my life.  I used to believe that prayer was the way to, more or less, ask God to do what you want and then he would do it.  I now know that no matter how deeply, routinely, desperately I prayed for Miles to get healthy, God did not control that.  For myself, I realized that God doesn't listen to my prayers (or anyone else's for that matter, but I'm trying not to step on anyone's toes) and then wave a wand to either do what is asked or not.  It's not a matter of God judging and then determining who he likes, doesn't like...who he'll save or who he won't...based on a prayer.  If that were the case, there would be a lot fewer terrible things happening in the world.  It doesn't take too much of a look around to see that God doesn't intervene in ways to stop all the terrible things of the world from happening (and, yes, even terrible things happening to "good" people).  In fact, that's one of the gifts that God gave us--to not intervene, to have free lives.  We have free lives to live the way that we choose (or feel compelled to live them); sometimes we do a great job with that, sometimes we don't, and sometimes terrible things happen.  And the process of a baby growing inside his mother is a miracle, a process that almost always works to make a healthy baby...and sometimes it doesn't and that's not because God didn't want it to happen. God is there, I believe, even when he doesn't "intervene" in the way I would want. I've learned, I believe, that God is listening, he's hearing our concerns, he knows my strongest prayer was to keep Miles. And it didn't happen.  But God is in my life, walking with me, I think.  It wasn't "his plan" for Miles to die. God didn't take Miles from me, but he was there to receive Miles once Miles had to go.

Whoa.  So that was me on my soap box of my own beliefs.  Suffice it to say once again that my faith has been pushed from losing Miles.

So the title of the sermon today was "Gospel Parenting." "Uh oh" was my immediate thought as I braced myself for the generalizations of how tough parenting is for typical church-going parents and how God should be part of the parents' decisions in the typical, daily, normal lives of their children--I could practically feel the kick in the face coming.  But the sermon didn't turn out to be the most upsetting turned out to be one of the praise songs that I could just barely handle.

All my tears
by Julie Miller

When I go don't cry for me
in my father's arms I'll be
the wounds this world left on my soul
will all be healed and I'll be whole
sun and moon will be replaced
with the light of Jesus' face
and I will not be ashamed
for my savior knows my name
It don't matter where you bury me
I'll be home and I'll be free
It don't matter where I lay
All my tears be washed away
Gold and silver blind the eye
temporary riches lie
Come and eat from heaven's store
Come and drink and thirst no more
So weep not for me my friend
When my time below does end
For my life belongs to him
Who will raise the dead again
It don't matter where you bury me
I'll be home and I'll be free
It don't matter where I lay
All my tears be washed away

So I cried during this song.  Luckily my friend (who just happens to be my OB...who just happens to be the woman who delivered Miles and first handed him to us...who just happens to be walking with me as I love Miles and this baby girl) tore off pieces of her tissue to share with me.  "I'm glad we got to hear that song together," she said at the end.

So just a few thoughts as I continue to think about this song today...
Though "When I go don't cry for me, in my father's arms I'll be" is an image that is comforting as I hope, hope, hope this is true and that Miles is in a wonderful place in heaven, there's no way I won't cry about it.
"When my time below does end" makes me think of a person who has lived a full-ish life yet life then comes to a close. I just can't accept that it was time for Miles' time to end; surely he deserved more.
"It don't matter where you bury me, I'll be home and I'll be free." This was probably the kicker for me. We buried Miles in a family cemetery in New Hampshire.  It is a special place for us and was the "right" place if there can possibly be one.  Because of the long winter weather and now the end of this pregnancy, I haven't been back.  We haven't been able to visit Miles' gravesite since his service almost a year ago.  It makes me cry.  A lot.  This one thought is the only thing that keeps me from breaking down permanently over it: that's where his body is, but that is not where he is.
His spirit left--I watched it go--and he is free, free, free.


  1. Thank you for posting this...I could have written almost word for word the beginning of this post! I also struggled after we lost Lily. My faith and most significantly how I pray and thought of prayer changed a lot after our loss. I too felt the same way about prayer and learned that sadly just because we do whats "right" and pray for something to happen doesn't mean it will. I couldn't go to church for a while afterwards it was too painful and I was struggling too much with God's plan for us. Recently in the past couple of months we've gradually started to go back. Initially I felt so much anger towards God and really more than anything hurt that he didn't intervene but now almost a year out I'm able to look more at His plan for our life and not that I'll ever understand losing Lily I can now see a plan. I know that without that loss we may not have been led to embryo donation and the donor family who chose us and ultimately to our son who I am now carrying and we will have the opportunity to parent. That to me is mind blowing, that I may never have known the child who would become my son if all of the things before hadn't been set into motion. Anyway what guess I'm saying with all of that is you're absolutely not alone in your feelings and I'm glad you know that through it all God is walking beside you ((hugs))

  2. I came to you by way of Happy sad moma. You are right Miles was one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen. Our son baby taz had a heart defect which pretty quickly clearly became the least of his problems. He had Trisomy 13 with problems from head to toe. Thanks for sharing your story and pictures. Taz has a big sister and a little sister and we all talk about him and love him. Our little almost 3 year old Lucia calls him the baby taz star-her big brother. His big sister Lily loves him fiercely and misses him and always honors his life with her love. Your children to come will know Miles because you loved him so well. Much Love, Lara

  3. Lara: It means a lot to hear how your children are remembering their brother and making him part of their lives. I am so sorry for your loss of baby Taz. hugs, Alicia