Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Walking through the Flames

As I sit here tonight, I am overcome with love, with joy, and with gratitude for the life of my special little girl. Even as I continue to long for her in my arms, and close my eyes to imagine the sound of her sweet newborn cries, I can still just praise God from the deepest part of my heart, for the gift He has given me in allowing her to come into my life for the short time she was here.

There have been brief moments when I have wondered, why did God give me the deepest desire of my heart, a baby girl, only to take her to heaven so quickly, before I even laid eyes on her? Wouldn’t it have been easier if we had just had difficulty conceiving, or in some other way had been spared the heartache of having her only to let her go? I know I am not alone in these thoughts, but I continue to move past them to embrace the truth.

The truth is, I would never trade one moment of the time I carried Eliana, and if I did I would completely miss God's awesome plan for her life and my life. It only took her 6 months in the womb to fulfill God’s pre-determined purpose for her precious life, and that purpose is still being lived out in us, who love her and have been deeply touched by her spirit. The Bible says in Psalm 139:13-16 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Before we conceived, God knew what would take place. He was fully in control, and allowed it to happen for a reason. We don’t understand all the reasons, but what we do know is, that He promises All thing work together for good to those who love the Lord, to those who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28. He is using all of this for Eliana’s good, and wants to use it for our good. She will never know heartache, pain, rejection, or fear, only love and joy.

In the hospital, soon after hearing the news that Eliana’s life had ended, I had this amazing comfort in knowing that she was already in God’s presence, even as her body remained in my womb. It was strange to think about, but at the same time wonderful, that my own little daughter was already with her Savior and mine, seeing His face, enjoying His presence, learning amazing things, experiencing pure fullness of joy and endless light.

I was in anguish over how much I love her, and want to be with her, and God continually spoke to my heart “I love her even more than you do, and I love you both infinitely more than you can imagine.” It is hard to imagine a love deeper than our own love for our babies, but in our imperfection we can never match the depth of His love. Paul writes in Ephesians 3:17-19: And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. That is what happened in that hospital room, and that is what continues to happen in our lives as we swim through the sea of grief, we are amazed and perplexed by the love God speaks into our hearts.

I finally understand what it really means to turn my life over to Jesus. It goes far beyond turning away from sin. It is the daily surrendering of every single thing I could call my own, and making it His. He created us to love our children with all of our heart, and yet if we love Him we realize that they don’t belong to us, they are His.

To carry Eliana for 6 beautiful months was an incredible gift. To know her and love her has changed my life forever. It has changed our family forever. I pray that it has and will change many more lives forever, and all to glorify God and point people to Him.

I long for heaven more than ever before. Along with the awesome presence of God, it is amazing that I now have another tremendously precious treasure waiting for me when I get there. And yet, while waiting for heaven, I feel a greater sense of purpose on this earth than I have ever felt. I want to allow God to do anything and everything through me that He desires, to work His purpose and will for Eliana’s life and for my own life.

There are so many things that my girl has taught me. For someone so tiny, who never even took a breath of our air, it is amazing what she has already accomplished in this world. All of this is by the hand of God. There is nothing that we can experience that hasn’t passed through His hand first, including our deepest heartaches.

Losing a child was once my greatest fear, and worst nightmare. That was what I hoped never to experience, and I wondered if it could be the only thing from which I would never recover. Now, I am swimming right in the middle of this sea of grief, sometimes rising above the surface, sometimes barely treading water, afraid of drowning. In no way is the trial over, but I am profoundly aware of Jesus as my life preserver, never allowing me to sink. I love Isaiah 43: 1-3 Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the Lord your God…your Savior.

Dear Father,

Thank you so much for giving me a precious gift, for answering my prayer with the blessing of a baby girl. I love how you are using her to draw me ever closer to You, and to impact the lives of others around me. She is a miracle baby, and you are the Miracle Maker. Whenever my soul aches to be with her, I know you are right here with me, and feeling my pain as only You can. You who gave Your only Son, holy and blameless, so that I could live, and so Eliana and me, and all those who believe in your name can be together one day with You for all eternity. Lord, help me to continue to trust You with my life, and Eliana’s life. Strengthen my faith in You as You continue working in our lives through this time of deep waters and burning flames. Because You carry us, I know we will emerge on the other side not drowned or scorched, but transformed further into Your image, carrying scars that tell a story of Your love and Your grace.

2 Corinthians 4:7-9 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.


  1. Jess, this is beautiful and so amazingly true! When you said, "It is the daily surrendering of every single thing I could call my own, and making it His" that really hit close to my heart. It is so hard, but definitely worth it. Thank you for this post. It brings me back to the spot where I was more surrendered than I feel I am now. You have also reminded me just how much God loves us, and you are right that we cannot attain to His love because of our imperfection! I get so wrapped up in this self-pity and feeling like I have been let down by God... I guess I am so very pessimistic these days, I try not to be. But THANK YOU! This post was what I needed.


  2. Thank you for your comment on my last post and I'm feeling much better today!

    I have to tell you that I feel very blessed to have read this post~ Sometimes we need to read something written by another Believer to soften our hearts because sometimes it is so easy to forget that she is happy living with the Lord through all the tears and pain down here. I've often said to my hubby that I imagine that as Lily was falling to sleep that she saw the angels coming for her and as she woke up she was in the presence of our Lord. Those thoughts have comforted me in my most dark times~ I also can't wait to get to heaven to see my beautiful daughter...

    I am so sorry for your loss~ I saw the photo of your daughter on the sidebar and she is beautiful!