Welcome to Mommies with Hope

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, May 11, 2011

Birthday Party in Heaven...

I see it so clearly; an innocent laugh, flowing brown locks and eyes as deep dark as the sea, her round face lit up by the light of the candles as angels sing nearby. Many people are there, young and old alike. Her baby siblings are with her too, held by Grandma, as they watch their big sister smile and blow out the candles. It's her special day; a celebration of the day Chloe was born and went to be with Jesus. He is with her. She seems so happy. Today, there was a birthday party in heaven.

I can't assert to know exactly what heaven is like or claim to know how people look or whether or not they celebrate birthdays. However, it brings me comfort to think about what it might be like. I think back to the time of Chloe's birth. That was the best day and the worst day all at once. It seems like yesterday that I felt her tiny fingers clench around my thumb. She opened her tiny mouth and took the tiniest little breaths as I nuzzled close to her and kissed her cheeks. I remember the warmth of her body's skin against my own. She was fragile, but so strong. Strong enough to be born. Strong enough to hang on for 45 minutes, all the while being cuddled and hugged and kissed and loved. She fit perfectly across my chest and her head rested against my cheek as Justin lay by my side embracing us both. I remember it all so vividly and I would not trade a moment of that time for the world.

The breathing became sporadic. Movement began to cease. I knew she was fading fast and nothing could be done. All I wanted was more time. When our nurse checked her heartbeat upon my request, she despairingly gazed at me and said, "She's gone." I knew it was coming, my mind was prepared for those words, but my heart ached with a piercing blow as they spewed forth from her mouth. It was real. She was really gone. This fact was solidified when just moments later the nurse announced, "Time of death: 3:55 p.m." Still I knew that though she was absent from her physical body, a precious vessel, the special part of Chloe was with her Jesus. In that, I found great comfort. Yet, the pain was real and remains a reality to this day...five years later.

As I think about the significance of the day, I am flooded with emotion. I look back and could never have imagined the impact she'd have. I could never have known how much she'd teach me. It would have been preposterous to think that her tiny little life would have made such a big impact. Our God is a big God. He does things we don't expect. He takes something terribly ugly, like the death of a baby, and turns it into a thing of beauty.

God did some amazing things in my life during that time. He continues to amaze me over and over again! I could go on and on about the many ways in which His handiwork unfolded, but today, I want to leave you with one precious story that I cherish...

Just months before we received the news of Chloe's diagnosis and impending death, God formed a very special friendship between me and an unlikely friend. Jen, over a decade older than me (yup, I said it!), and I were placed together in an office during our graduate studies at Iowa State. During that time we spent together in the office, God used her in a miraculous way to minister to my hopeless soul. Grief-stricken and desperate for comfort, He placed her in my path for a purpose. I didn't know at the time that it would be to point me back to my first love, Jesus, from whom I had strayed. I couldn't have predicted it would be to invite me to a church where I would hear and respond to the Truth of the Gospel. I would never have guessed that just a few short months later she would stand in a school hallway hand in hand with me and my husband, Justin, as he surrendered his life to Christ as tears streamed down each of our faces. It was unfathomable to think that she would pick up the pieces when I went through two subsequent miscarriages. There with me to pray and cry and stay up all night talking, on her birthday no less, when I miscarried Jesse at 6 weeks along. Then just a few months later to clear her schedule, cancel her classes and take my kids for a few days when Riyah Mae went to be with Jesus. She herself has a baby in heaven, gone too soon, yet loved and remembered. Friend. Mentor. Fellow Mommy. Sister in Christ. This is what she is to me...such a blessing.

Now, today and forevermore May 11 is a cherished day to us both. Today, May 11, 2011 her dad ~ the man who pointed her to Christ ~ went home to be with Jesus. This calls to mind a treasured memory I have of Chuck, a man of God with a boldness for Christ. Shortly after I met him, within a few months of when Chloe died, he shared these verses with me to provide comfort...

"The righteous man perishes, and no one takes it to heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death."
Isaiah 57:1-2

What an amazing thing to be able to share this story and these verses with Jen as she stood by her dad's side last night after a fight with cancer, waiting for him to depart and be with His Savior. Today, I received word from Jen of his earthly death, followed up by a praise that He was with Jesus and with Chloe on her special day. I think about this heavenly birthday party... and amidst the glow of the candles, surrounded by children and angels and our blessed Savior, there's Chuck ~ heaven's newest resident, holding a grandbaby in his arms, telling Chloe about the legacy she has left on earth. All the while, his legacy continues on earth, in life and in death, all for the glory of God.


Anonymous said...


Diers said...

Tears of joy streaming as I picture my dad there, sharing with Chloe, her legacy!!! Wow! What a picture! And to imagine Abraham and Isaac and Ruth and Moses...all there too...there are no tears in heaven.
Love you my dear dear friend,

Rachel Beran said...

Beautiful! Brought tears to my eyes.