Four years ago today, our son Zachary was born prematurely. He died one hour and forty-eight minutes later. I think back to that day, to that unimaginable pain, and I remember wondering how I would survive. I have survived.
There are days I still miss him terribly. I dream of what life would be like with him here. There are days I wonder why Zachary's death was necessary, and I hunt to see ways his brief moments on Earth have changed things. Without a doubt, I can say because of Zachary's death, doors have been opened for me to share both my heartache and healing through e-mails, forum discussions, personal connections and a support group I co-lead at our church. Additionally, the physical modifications I underwent following his passing and my openness about them have allowed me to share with other hopeful mothers, and I know of at least a handful of babies who have survived pregnancy and are living because of my willingness to share. Brystol survived pregnancy. Our fifth child -- our FIFTH CHILD -- has a real chance at life because Zachary died.
Undoubtedly, the biggest and most obvious change has been within my own heart. I have learned our time on this Earth is fleeting, and I treasure moments I might have overlooked before. I have learned to trust the Lord in a much much deeper way, and that affords me unexplainable comfort when new hardships arise. In all the pain, in all the questioning, these are the questions that return to me the most: "Why in the world when I ask a question does God have to answer it with Christ? (Because He is the answer.) Why when I ask for direction does God point to Christ? (Because He is the Way.) When I really get down to it, my sole purpose here on this Earth is Christ: to know Him, to love Him, to become more like Him, to tell others about Him." Though my heart's desire was to be a mother to many, through grieving the loss of our son it became clear my purpose on this Earth is to point others to the cross. To my great pleasure, as my focus shifted away from being the mother to many to pointing others toward the cross, I'm suddenly the mother to many with more on the way. Indeed, I have been richly blessed.
"He settles the childless woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.
Praise the LORD."