It was the best and worst of times…
On Monday, November 9, my wife and I unexpectedly discovered that our unborn fourth child had transitioned to heaven. It was just weeks ago I posted the ultrasound video of a very healthy baby boy. I wrote about our journey to accept the reality that our #4 was not going to be the little girl we had hoped and prayed for. I had no idea what we were about to walk through.
I can’t begin to cover all the ensuing details surrounding an unexpected obstetrician appointment, a hospital visit and delivery, a graveside service and then all the “firsts” we would encounter as we grieved and began to heal. But, I can tell you this:
God has been so faithful to us.
In the midst of the most devastating experience of our lives, we have experienced an outpouring of God’s goodness that rivals the brightest highlights of our life. The calls, texts, emails, facebook posts, twitter posts, prayers, our pastors, family, friends, hugs, gifts, flowers, visits, food… they all ministered to us in profound ways that I am not yet even able to articulate. Truly, it has been “the best and worst of times”.
This picture encapsulates what I mean when I say “best and worst of times”. After the graveside service concluded, Ali and I and our three boys remained for a moment to care for each other. I had picked this particular grave plot because of the little hillside leading up to it. After we’d had our family moment (the boys each placed a rose on the casket), they asked, “can we run down hill now?” It was just the thing to break the tension. Ali said she envisioned our little one running and playing in heaven. If I were to title this picture, I would name it: ‘and life goes on’.
Hours after we learned the painful news of our baby’s passing, my wife Alison suggested we name our baby, Jude Elliot Kent. Jude means “praise”. Elliot means “God on High”. I believe we were able to recognize God’s goodness amidst the storm because “praising God on High” protected our hearts from becoming hardened to God and to the situation at hand.
I am able to report that we are doing well; grieving in the protection of God’s grace and celebrating a little boy who went straight from the warmth and protection of the womb to the indescribable reality of God’s unbridled presence. We will see Jude again in heaven, and I hope you are there too. Today is the day to allow Jesus to live in your heart and become the focus of your life. He is the only One who can carry us through situations like these.
Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)