I was fortunate enough to have the same midwife deliver both of my boys. Throughout each of my labors Miss Sharon remained close by, rubbing my legs and massaging my feet. She watched as my body transitioned through the various stages of labor that would lead to the birth of my Mr. Smith and my Char Char.
I remember with Charlie, my second labor, this time completely unmedicated, there came a point when I didn’t know if I could take the pain any longer. I asked for pain medication but she said “Let me check you first.” She knew that it was time for Charlie to arrive. Just by watching my body, from all the labor and deliveries she had observed she knew the time had come. In her career as a midwife Miss Sharon has now “caught” (as she says) close to 1000 babies. She knows when the moment has come for a life to enter this world.
But I’m sure she had no idea that just a few short days ago a life would leave this world. One of her own children, her son, died suddenly this week as the result of what many would call a “freak accident.”
Yet when we profess our faith in a Sovereign God we know there is no such thing as a “freak accident.”
I think back to one of my pregnancies, waiting to be seen by Miss Sharon, reading Psalm 139 framed on a table in her waiting area.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
There are no freak accidents. For each of us and for each of our children: “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
God has always known, since before the creation of the world, when Miss Sharon’s baby boy would arrive in this world and He has always known when he would depart. I know that Miss Sharon believes in the goodness, the holiness, the steadfast love and faithfulness of our God. I know her faith is strong. But I don’t know how any mama ever reconciles the love of God with the loss of her child.
In John 21 the risen Jesus shares a meal with the disciples after He has miraculously filled their nets with fish. Jesus has a conversation with Peter, the rock upon whom He would build His church and Jesus asks Peter: “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
Jesus asks each of us: “Do you love me more than these?”
I think about my own “more than these.” If Jesus were to ask me: “Tara, do you love me more than these boys I have given to you? Do you love me more than your son Smith? Do you love me more than your baby boy Charlie? If it were come to pass that the days ordained for one of your sons comes to an end while your days continue on will you still love me? Will you still serve me?”
Can I be honest with you?
I just don’t know. I want to say “Yes, Jesus, yes, of course I would still love you. Of course I would still serve you. I love you more than the children you have blessed me with.”
But do I?
One of the greatest fears of my heart is that like Abraham, God would test me through the life of one of my boys.
My Nana lost her son Tim to a “freak accident” before I was born. Over 40 years ago my uncle Tim left this world on the same day he had entered it 21 years earlier on his birth day. Today, all these years later when my Nana talks of leaving this earth and going to heaven where her child, husband, mother and father, and brothers and sisters have already arrived she says the first person she wants to see is Jesus.
If one of my boys were to be taken to heaven before me could I say that I would go to Him before him?
There are so many other Mamas on my heart who have lost children. My dear friend Carrie just celebrated her daughter CJ’s 24th birthday, eight years after CJ left to be with Jesus. Eight years of singing Happy Birthday to a girl who isn’t here to blow out the candles on her cake.
And then there are the Mamas I have known only second-hand or online, Mamas whose babies have “earned their wings” …
Kate’s mama who sat in the hospital nursing one child while helplessly watching another dying before her eyes,
Vinny’s mama who sees bird poop as messages from heaven from her prankster son,
my Uncle Tim’s mama, my Nana,
and now Tommy’s mama, Miss Sharon.
So many mamas with empty arms and broken hearts,
so much hurt,
so much pain.
When there are no words there is prayer.
For Miss Sharon ….
Oh dear Jesus,
I don’t even know what to say. I just don’t understand. Holy Spirit, please help me as I have no words. Dear Jesus, please make Miss Sharon aware of Your Presence as never before. I pray that you will be more real to her in the coming days and weeks than she has ever experienced in her life. I pray that you would fill her with Your peace, Your presence, Your love, and Your strength. I imagine when a heart is shattered, broken as her’s has been; I imagine it as hard as glass, broken into the tiniest of jagged slivers. Jesus, I pray that you would turn that brokenness soft again. I pray that you would fill all her brokenness with Your love and Your power and Your strength. Jesus, I pray that you will help her rest, help her sleep, help her eat. Please help Miss Sharon to receive Your love through her husband, her other son, all of her beautiful grandbabies, and her friends. Jesus, I pray she would know Your peace and Your provision as never before.
In Your holy and precious name I pray,
I share this with you to ask you to join with me in prayer for Miss Sharon, all the other Mamas mentioned, and so many more who have lost their babies. And aren’t they always our babies? Whether they leave this world before birth, at the age of 3, at 15, at 21, at 28, or at 57.
Many of these Mamas have established foundations, programs and services so that the legacy of their child will live on. If you would to learn more or to donate to any of these you will find links below ….