This world is not it!


Grief has a way of coloring everything. Even a Palm Sunday processional and Easter egg hunt now remind me of my little one who won’t be doing those things. Months ago, I was “past” all those baby stages, all the “firsts,” and I was fine with that. In fact, I remember responding (on more than one occasion) to the question, "Wouldn't you like to have more children?" with a resounding, "No!"  Our two girls were just two years apart and way past diapers, potty-training, and teething. They didn't need me to bathe them any more. They could feed and dress themselves and even pick up after themselves (sometimes!).  We had even moved past needing booster seats in the van.  Life was good.

Then I found out I was pregnant. (I thought I was starting early menopause, so imagine the shocked look on my face when I got the news.)

It did take me a little time to recover from that sudden departure (talk about a 180 degree turn!). After it had sunk in, I was excited about going through all those things again, about seeing things through the eyes of a little one. Even more exciting was hearing the joy in Emily and Grace's voices as they talked about the things they would teach their baby sister when she was old enough. Emily had already volunteered to teach Kristen how to read, and I'm certain no one has ever been more excited about being the middle child than my dear Grace.

Then my world suddenly shifts a second time. My life has taken another 180 degree turn, and I’m back to being past those stages again. But this time, I’m longing for them. It just seems cruel and wrong. And it is.

Written across the top of the first page in my Bible are the words, "This world is not it!" (That was done at the urging of Pastor Kevin during one of his classes.) Yes, there are rotten things that happen in this life. And sometimes they happen to us. Losing Kristen after such a worrisome pregnancy, yet safe delivery, is rotten. It stinks. And it makes no sense to my human mind. But we live in a fallen world. Once Adam and Eve disobeyed God, the world was no longer perfect. Sin entered the picture, and things have never been the same. But this world is not it! I know exactly where Kristen is, and I know that I will see her again. The assurance of my salvation has never been more real to me than it has become through this experience. As much as I still wish things were different, as much as I wish that Kristen was still here with me, I know that she is in no better hands. She will never be sick, she will never be in pain, she will never have her feelings hurt, she will never have her heart broken, she will never make a bad decision and have to live with the consequences. As much as I ache for those "firsts" with her, I am grateful for a God that offers the gift of salvation to those who accept. I urge you to look at your relationship with Him. Make it right, and do it today.

Their story, but a peek into my own heart...

I found an interview with Todd & Angie Smith recently, one they had done after the birth and death of their daughter, Audrey Caroline.  Their circumstances were not exactly the same as ours, but the emotions are strikingly similar.  As I watched the video, I found myself agreeing involuntarily with both tears and the nodding of my head.  Nothing I have seen, read or heard since Kristen died matches my own thoughts so closely.  It is their story - a story of hope - but it is also a peek into my own heart.

Smith Family Story from Cross Point Church on Vimeo.

If you're not familiar with the Smiths, Todd is part of Selah, a Dove award-winning Christian recording group.  (I saw them in Omaha in October 2009.  They are amazing!)  Angie continues to write her blog, Bring the Rain, which she started when she was pregnant with Audrey. She also has a book, I Will Carry You, coming out in May 2010.