Today could have been the day. The day I snuggled at home with a newborn curled upon my chest. I’m addicted to that smell — the fragrance that only a mom can know. If you’ve smelled it, you know what I’m talking about. I live for it — that revelation that God has made everything new all in one little dependent face fused between the likeness of yourself and the one that you love.
But today wasn’t that day.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think of Beau. I’ve constantly stifled the urge that builds within me to ask the question — the common cry of the suffering — the question I’m almost too afraid to ask at the risk of becoming that cliche — the question of “why?”. I have spent six weeks navigating this wild wilderness of loss — this broken merry-go-round of replaying every last waking moment I can remember from the last ten months. Most nights I am awake watching the dawn rise. Honestly, I’m a bit overwhelmed from the ride.
It’s been six weeks since I held my third baby in my arms — but he wasn’t there. Beau’s heart had stopped beating at 39 weeks, a few days before we welcomed him Home. For six weeks I have stumbled blindly between shock and a futile attempt at praying to wake up from this nightmare. So far, it hasn’t worked. Each day I attempt to find a way out — a road map — anything, to help me navigate out of this place, this feeling of emptiness. Some days I manage to trick myself into functioning. Some days.
But today something happened. Today I made a choice. It was a hard, gut wrenching realization. A decision to jump head first into the pit of brokenness after losing Beau. When the enemy steals your everything, you have two choices. You can choose to be hard and guarded or you can choose to be broken. There’s not much room left in the in between. Today, I choose the latter.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
During my pregnancy with Beau, I would often dream of what he would look like. To me the name Beau denoted a southern and handsome man who was full of honor but also adventure. I would envision his wedding day often. I’m still not sure why, but that’s the day I dreamed of. After we found out we were having a boy — on a date on the gulf coast one night — I saw the name, Beau, on a sign. I fell in love with it instantly. It took some persuading of the Mr., but he eventually grew to love that name as much as I do.
Beau was born on a rainy Sunday morning in our home. He looked just like his daddy — 7 pounds, 10 ounces of a dream realized but quickly fading. Beau never took a breath. His little heart had stopped beating a few days before. The reason, like many stillbirths, was unknown.
This morning as I rushed through our morning routine, a picture of my two toddlers caught my eye. It was a glimpse of my little girl looking down at her brother when he was born. It’s only been two years since that day but I swear I blinked and here I am. Looking up from the picture I saw her running through the house pretending to be a cowgirl, and he following close behind mimicking her moves. And it hit me. I was missing out on the ones in front of me because I couldn’t see past my hurt from losing Beau. I had fallen asleep to the reality of my dreams being answered right in front of my face.
Don’t get me wrong, I ache for my baby each day. No one and nothing will ever replace that hole in my heart. When Beau died, I know a piece of myself died with him. But in these ashes that I find myself, God is resurrecting something else in me.
Beau has been my tribe’s greatest teacher. He taught us to love more deeply than we have ever before been capable of. This gift of being able to love so fiercely that it hurts — that’s what Beau gave me. Today I look up from my computer screen and I look around at a life I once dreamed of. My earliest memory of holding a diaper bag and pretending to be “Mommy” has come true — three times thus far — and my heart found the one it loves in a husband that has taught me to trust and hope again in his arms. I’m living my dream. But I had fallen asleep.
The world needs these sleepers like myself. Heaven is awakening us to love like we have never loved before. This never-giving-up, always-chasing love that isn’t afraid of finding His face in the suffering. This love that spills out of people brave enough to stay long enough in the dark places to see Light come through. That is the love He is gracing us with — Love Himself.
Today on my dresser laid a small plain sheet of paper. Nothing but two small footprints graced its cover. Those feet that kicked me for nearly a year. The feet that reminded me with each twirl inside my womb that Heaven was allowing me the privilege of having a front row seat to watching a miracle unfold in expectancy. Those feet mean the world to me. Those feet are blessed. And they carried with them Good News. The news that God’s heart aches in the same way for us — that same ache I feel for mine — its the father and mother heart of God that roars in a war desperate for Heaven to invade.
Today I made a choice. Love until it hurts. Then love some more.
And Beau’s life is leading that charge — for Love’s sake.