04 September 2008

I've got Evie on my mind today.


I've been reviewing the few memories I have of her in my mind, rolling them over and over, hoping that they'll stick .

One memory I'm so glad I know I'll get to keep is her 20-week ultrasound. We have the video footage of it. I know, it's also a reminder of a very painful moment in our lives, but when I look at it now, all I can see is Evie. I wish so badly that I could post it to share with you. But, for the life of me, and my Mac, I am at a loss. I don't think it's going to happen. It's so sweet to watch that footage. It's my proof that she was alive. Our "life of grace", savoring life. I remember getting our first glimpse of her, wriggling around her little arms and legs, while we were still blissfully ignorant of her condition. What a thrill it was to see the baby that we'd made, that God had formed, fearfully and wonderfully.

A month later I remember laying on top of my bed, belly high in the air, one afternoon while Oliver napped. I was reading my book for Bible Study the next day. We were doing a section about suffering. As I lay there reading about where God is when we're suffering, the little girl in my tummy was trying to get my attention. I was resting the book on my belly and Evie was kicking it all over the place so it was too bouncy to read. I didn't need a book to tell me where God is when we're suffering - he's right here - reminding me to embrace the life I still have within me. I put my book down and just laid there with her - talking to her, poking her and her poking me back, praying to God to hold us close.

That afternoon was a gift. Less than two months later I found myself in the midwives office, curled up in Ryan's lap weeping with him after we'd been told that she had passed. We talked about the afternoon she kicked my book and were so grateful for that sweet memory.

I remember the morning we visited the funeral home to make arrangements for Evie's burial. We sat in the office looking at headstone brochures while Evie somersaulted inside of me. It felt so wrong to plan for death while there was still life inside of me. I remember sobbing as they showed us an example of the casket they would use to bury our baby in, and the only words I could get out were, "It's too small. It's too small." I couldn't imagine why there should ever be caskets that little.

The morning of Evie's burial, Ryan, Oliver and I visited a flower shop. We didn't know they closed early on Saturdays and it was wasn't open. Someone was there, though, and let us in the back door to get what we needed. We had no idea what to buy - what kind of flower? What color? How many? I remember spotting a bunch of white roses and asked if we could have three of them: one flower from her Mommy, one from her Daddy, and one from her big brother. It was simple, but it seemed appropriate, yet somehow incomplete. Of course it did, we were missing someone. I asked them for a pink rose for Evie. In the car on our way to bury her I remember staring at our little "family" on my lap. This was the last time we would be the four of us until we are reunited in heaven.

The beautiful thing about these memories, the thing that will never fade, is the One who remained the same through it all. The same God who was with us on our wedding day was with us on the day Oliver was born. He was the same God before Evie's ultrasound as he was after the ultrasound. The God who blessed us with sweet afternoons with our girl moving around inside of me is the same God who walked with us at the funeral home that morning. He was God when we laid our one pink and three white roses on the mound of earth covering our daughter, and He will be God when we are united once again, with perfected bodies in glory.

Life is full of change. We change. Circumstances change. The things we think are sure bets can change in the blink of an eye.

He remains.

"For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed." Malachi 3:6

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17


And, one of my personal favorites: Psalm 136. It talks about God being there at Creation, at the Red Sea, and in Israel's battles; about God being with us in "our low estate", and rescuing us from our foes. God gave breath to Adam, provided a ram for Abraham, and listened to me when I talked to him this evening. His steadfast love endures forever. Amen.
His Steadfast Love Endures Forever
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
3Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who alone does great wonders,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who by understanding made the heavens,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who made the great lights,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
the sun to rule over the day,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
and brought Israel out from among them,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who divided the Red Sea in two,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
and made Israel pass through the midst of it,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who led his people through the wilderness,
for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who struck down great kings,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
and killed mighty kings,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
Sihon, king of the Amorites,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
and Og, king of Bashan,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
and gave their land as a heritage,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
a heritage to Israel his servant,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
and rescued us from our foes,
for his steadfast love endures forever;
he who gives food to all flesh,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven,
for his steadfast love endures forever.

1 comments:

Christine Case said...

"God is the same" is such a simple concept, yet truly so hard to grasp when circumstances totally suck. Thanks for sharing the scripture. And I would love to see that video. Beg Ryan to make it work.