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Come and find solace as you get to know us who share in this journey of grief. We have been praying for you and extend our deepest and sincere sympathy. We “hope” you experience comfort and peace in this safe haven of love and support.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Big Brown Eyes...

Do you ever have those moments when you just sit and wonder what your child might have been like had he or she lived? I know I do. Those of us who've had babies die grieve deeply over what might have been. It's the loss of a future that brings us pain. So many of our everyday situations and circumstances remind us of our child who left too soon. I have two beautiful nieces who are the same age as my Chloe and every time our family gathers, I can't help but notice that someone is missing. Chloe should be playing right alongside with them...if she were anything like me, she would be their ring leader. Perhaps you too have situations like that in your family or close circle of friends. It may even be a simple trip to the grocery store or park that floods your mind with the "if only" or "what if" scenarios. What would he/she be doing? What would his/her personality be like? What would he/she look like?

I always pictured Chloe having big, brown eyes.
After all, my son has them, which he inherited from me. I thought most certainly she would have them too and I dream of how beautiful they would have been. I can't help but imagine the endless possibilities of what those eyes would have seen and discovered in life's journey.

Not too long ago, I was sitting at my favorite cafe working away on various things and enjoying some time alone, remaining focused on my tasks despite the hustle and bustle of the coffee house on a weekend afternoon. Then, a man and his young daughter sat at the table next to me. I couldn't help but notice this precious little girl. She looked to be about 4 years old and had dark brown hair pulled back in a pony tail that looked as if her daddy had done all by himself. As I caught her gaze, I noticed her big brown eyes. Then and there my heart melted as I immediately thought about Chloe and how much I wish I could be sitting in that very coffee shop with my own little 4-year-old. My heart was tender, not bitter, as I thought about what might have been. She sat there with her juice box and cookie as her daddy enjoyed his caffeinated beverage of choice when suddenly I heard the most precious words uttered from her mouth. She looked up at her daddy with those big brown eyes and she said seemingly out of nowhere, "Daddy, I love you more than the whole world." She went on to say, "See that mirror over there?" as she pointed to a large framed mirror hanging on the wall opposite of our table. "I love you more than that mirror...and more than the lights." I had a smile on my face and tears in my eyes as I marveled at this daddy and his precious little girl with the tousled ponytail and the big brown eyes. He responded with such gentleness that only a father could offer to his beloved daughter. In that moment, oh how I wished that my husband could be that daddy with his little girl.

Reality hits us like a ton of bricks at the most unexpected times and places. We would never have our big, brown eyed girl whom we imagined on this side of heaven. In fact, the irony is that Chloe's developmental conditions impacted her facial features, namely her eyes. This was something that took me a long time to share and talk about because it's so hard when your child doesn't look as you or others would expect. But the amazing thing about all of that is God blesses us so tremendously with the gift of our children, that the love we have for them allows us to see past any physical flaw or "abnormality." I praise God that He showers us with grace upon grace to see past the ever-longed-for big brown eyes, right into the beauty of the very life that He created.

I can't help but consider the parallels in that and in how God sees each and every one of us. He loves us in ways unfathomable, despite our imperfection, our flaws, and our sin. He loves us. The Bible tells us over and over of His love for us. A love for the whole world that is so strong that God willingly sent His Son, Jesus, to die in our place. That's how much He loves us. We don't deserve it and there is not one aspect of our lives that warrant such grace. There is nothing we can do to earn it. He just loves us.

"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love."
Romans 8:38 (NLT)

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