Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Huh? (01/21/10)
- TITLE: In His Bewildering Grasp
By Daun Jacobsen
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“Please God, no,” I silently cried in desperation as the doctor continued, “As you can see in this image, he has no brain beyond a stem and only two existing heart chambers. Since his kidneys are missing, his body has bloated, unable to process any waste. I am so sorry, but the baby is incompatible with life outside of your womb,” she gently explained.
“God, I don’t understand. Why are You allowing this to happen? We prayed so long for this child. You finally answered, and we have given You the glory for it. Yet, now, after giving us this gift, You’re going to take it back?” In utter amazement, I fixed my eyes on the drenched window and began a descent into the darkness of incomprehension called grief.
The doctor, sensing that my mental capacity was full, continued speaking directly to my husband. “The baby will likely not make it through labor; his body is already badly decomposed. If he dies in your wife’s womb, and she does not deliver quickly, it could cause her death as well. We can induce labor, or you will have to return for an ultrasound every other day to check the baby’s condition,” she said with compassion. Tears that matched those on the window streamed down my cheeks while my husband grilled the doctor for every possible outcome, finally deciding that we would schedule an induction. Then, we got into our car, and drove home listening only to the wipers swish-swash across the windshield. .
The next day at 23 weeks gestation, Gabriel Joseph came into our world, stillborn. Two days later, in sunlight filtered by the drizzling spring rain, we buried him in a tiny white coffin that reminded me of a Styrofoam cooler. Deep depression followed his death, and I could not seem to shake the bewilderment I had toward God, nor understand His reasons for taking my child. No matter how I tried, I could not answer the questions that screamed with an indignant “Why?” As I battled grief fiercely, and watched my marriage deteriorate, wondering what I had done wrong, God wrapped His fingers around mine and helped me to grasp onto the only thing truth remaining; that He was good, and that His plans were good. Though I knew He heard my every prayer and captured my every tear, I wandered about in indignation wondering what had happened, but never coming to any conclusions.
Then, in a cold snowy January, ten months after Gabriel’s death, some of my baffling questions disintegrated as we witnessed a miracle. A family friend approached us with the prospect of adopting a child from a woman they knew. Having suffered a head injury at age 18, the woman was emotionally unable to parent any of her four children, and other families in turn adopted all of them. She was now unexpectedly pregnant with her fifth child and due in nine days. “Would you be willing to meet with her,” they asked. Huh? Nine days? Baffled, we thought, this is impossible, these things do not just happen. Yet, nine days later, Jamison Cole was born and we walked out of the hospital with our first live son and a resounding answer to our questions.
It has been eight years since we lost Gabriel and gained Jamison. Is it necessary to lose one child to gain another? No. Do I still miss my first-born son? Yes. Is every death swallowed in such short victory? No. Yet, often in the aftermath of loss, or when circumstances and situations leave us scratching our heads in confusion, saying, “Huh?” God knows exactly what is going on, and He holds our fragile hearts, while gently carrying us through the dark of what we do not understand to a place where we can appreciate the Light even more.
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