Today is Gracia's due date, four years ago March 31st fell on Easter. When Easter rolls around I think of Gracia often. I remember the anxiety I felt as we stopped for gas after brunch and the thought crossed my mind that we could just go home and avoid the cemetery. Maybe that would help me to hurt less. But what stands out to me more than anything, was that my womb was empty and so is the tomb. Because of Christ's death and resurrection, I am able to "get" through this. He has conquered the grave and I get to meet my sweet daughter one day in Heaven.
Last fall I noticed that Keilah was thinking of Gracia often and wondering what it would have been like to have a little sister. Grief comes in waves...even when there are years wedge between and even when grief isn't voiced, grief is still there. I started to pray. I asked God that if He saw it fit, then I would like a baby sister for Keilah. I had hoped he didn't hear my prayer because my son was only a year old at the time and having two babies seemed like a responsibility I couldn't handle. Soon after I whispered that prayer, I was pregnant.
My pregnancy was full of joyful wonder. My due date was March 17th. Almost four years to the date (14 days apart) from Gracia's due date. We chose not to find out the gender even though we "knew" it was a girl. When I lost Gracia I thought my baby bearing days were over. Never in a million years did I think that God would gift me with another child. I guess giving me two babies in four years was one way to prove that He is bigger than my imagination. And I am so glad that He is.
Neriah is a sweet sweet baby. She brings me so much peace. I thought having three kids would bring out my flaws and stress me out, but having her has changed me. I thought this baby girl was for Keilah, I had no idea how much I needed her. I wanted a baby girl as much as Keilah but I shoved that dream down and didn't allow myself to yearn for that.
Sometimes fear creeps in. Because of my ministry, Lullaby of Hope, I know all the horror stories of failed pregnancies and infant loss. Even though Neriah was born healthy and we made it through pregnancy, I fear she could die in infancy. One night as Steve held Neriah and we were adoring our precious baby girl I said to him "Well, do you think we can keep her Daddy?" And as soon as the words tumbled from my mouth I realized my question was to my Heavenly Father.
That is where faith reigns. And where the tug between the present and eternal
pulsate. This is where I want to be. In a vulnerable place where my need for God is unavoidable.