I cried this morning.
I read a post from a friend about her son who is a 2020 graduate. And she referenced the fact that most of these students were born in the aftermath of 9/11. Born into adversity and now facing adversity at a time when they should be able to focus on the adventure life holds for them.
It made me sad. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks.
I lost my first baby at the same time that those planes crashed into the World Trade Center, changing our society forever. At a time when our world was reeling with the ramifications of our own soil being attacked and the eeriness of the skies with no planes flying overhead and the uncertainties that we were walking into, my husband and I were facing our own personal tragedy. The life that we had been anticipating with great joy was suddenly gone before he or she ever had a chance at this life.
My baby would have been a 2020 graduate.
I don’t often think about those things these days. At the time, we were shaken, but we also knew that we could hold tightly to God’s faithfulness. He had always been faithful. We knew this to our bones. We never lost trust in this even though other doubts crept in.
We named our baby “Hope”.
And hope we did! We longed for children, but we had to go through a year long process of testing and heartache before I was given the go ahead to try again. God has given us more than we could have ever thought possible in our dark days. Our four children fill our home and our lives with love and laughter (and endless challenges, let’s be honest!).
And so I don’t think of our loss very often.
But it hit me hard today. Our country is once again in a time of adversity, facing a foe that we are uncertain how to fight. Trying our best to join together in love and compassion and not allow panic and anxiety to have any foothold. And once again, I am going through a personal crisis that feels just as devastating. I have no control over a situation that I so desperately want to make right.
But if I have learned anything through the struggles I have faced in life, it is this: when we are most out of control, God does the work that only He can do to change our hearts, to bend our wills to His and to make us more like Him. And as hard as this is, it is always good!
And so we don’t have to fear the suffering or the difficulty or the unknowns. Because He goes before us. And He will make a way where there seems to be no way.
This is hope!
As my youngest and I worked through her reading curriculum later this morning, she read the word “hope” for the first time. And I was struck by the joyousness of that moment! In our darkest moments, we must never lose hope. Hope spoken from the lips of my surprise blessing!
I lost my first baby. Had I not, I would be hurting right now for my oldest who would be missing out on all of the great parts of senior year. It doesn’t change my compassion for those who are facing this; rather it makes it more real to me.
However this crisis is affecting your life and your loved ones right now, I pray that you would hold tightly to hope in the midst of it. God is not surprised by this and he can see the other side. We may suffer for a little while, but there is hope for what He has for us on the other side. Hold onto that hope!
“We who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:18,19