I have been too busy to write much but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t written whole blog posts in my head! Of course, now that I am sitting here at the computer they are all gone and so I will just let my fingers follow this random flow of thoughts over the keyboard. Hopefully this post will make some kind of sense by the time I am done. 🙂
Our camping trip was fun, but WET! It was nice to play in the water with our friends but when you get out you want to be able to dry off! Being back in my nice, dry, fragrant, un-sandy, tempur-pedic bed was bliss!
On our last day at the spring we saw a little girl who resembled Jenna uncannily. She wore the same color bathing suit, had the same chubby cheeks and curly hair, she even flicked her hair out of her face like Jenna used to. The only difference was her eyes, they were brown and not as striking as Jenna’s were. I could not help staring. I paddled out just far enough for the differences between her features and Jenna’s to fade, and tried to pretend it was really my muffin sitting there on the steps next to the water. Hubby stared too and we shared a few moments of sheer aching to have the muffinny with us again. It would have been so wonderful to see her and her bestest buddy Joseph running around at the campground together.
An acute sense of missing her has remained with me since. Oh she was such a precious little joy-and-laughter-maker in our house. I miss telling her how delicious she is and asking her if I could have just a little taste of her. She’d laugh and tell me: “I am not food!” I would beg her to have just a little taste anyway, and she would offer me her arm, giggling. I would nibble on it and proclaim that it was just as I thought: she was yummily delicious! Sometimes she would ‘taste’ me back and tell me I was yummy too. 🙂
Oh, I just miss all those cute toddler games and cuddles and snuggles today.
I do not know how I would have coped without the certainty that Jenna is still alive and well and living with Jesus. I look at her pictures sometimes and it does not feel like I am looking at someone who is no more. Her life continues, in another place that I cannot see right now but that is just as real as the world I am so familiar with. That gives me such hope! When I kissed her little cheeks and hands goodbye there in the hospital room it was not the end. I will see my muffinny again.
Which reminds me…I received a very valid question via email from a reader and instead of answering her privately, I thought I would blog about it. She wrote:
In the many blogs I’ve read of children that are born and then die, I find that there is often such a focus on the child in heaven, their healing, their joy etc. It seems that the fact the God is in heaven doesn’t really matter anymore. It seems as though they see God as just another care giver to their children, their children’s healer. Why is it that God is no longer the appealing part of heaven but their children? How is it that what is taught in scripture about heaven – where we will no longer know husband and wife, children or any earthly type of relationship -is forgotten? Why is it that the worship of God is no longer as important as being reunited with their child?
I think this is a good and honest question. I don’t believe it was meant judgmentally, and I think it was asked in an effort to understand something. I am assuming that if one reader asks this question, there are probably many more out there with the same thoughts, who are afraid to voice them.
I thought of a few points regarding this. Firstly, I want to remind my reader that many of the blogs about losing a child are attempts to work through that loss and the blogger will naturally write from that perspective. A blog post is usually just a mere snapshot of what the blogger is feeling at that precise point in time. There are so many thoughts, emotions, and words that do not make it onto the blog page. Just because the blogger writes about their longing to see their child again does not mean that they do not look forward to worshipping God in heaven.
I also think that this is an area where God has tender understanding towards these dear mommies. He knows our frames and that we are dust. He knows how bound we tend to be to the things that we can see, feel, and touch, and how hard it is for us to relate to a world that is unseen, often unfelt, and untouchable. We had our babies here with us, to kiss and smell and hug and now they are so profoundly gone. It is so natural for us to want back what we have lost. It makes us look forward to the restoration that will surely come in heaven.
Of course Jesus will be the focal point in heaven. He is so full of light and glory and majesty, we will find ourselves drawn to him like a moth to a flame. We will be unable to resist him! We will see our loved ones and it will be a huge joy but seeing Jesus face to face will overshadow that joy a million times. But as a mommy with a precious little one in heaven I have two things to look forward to – seeing Jenna, and looking into the glorious eyes of my heavenly bridegroom with an unveiled face for the rest of eternity.
I looked up what the bible had to say about us no longer having any earthly type of relationship. The bible does mention that we will no longer marry or be given into marriage in heaven, but is silent on the matter of children and other relationships. I believe that we will not marry in heaven because earthly marriage is a picture of something heavenly – the marriage between Jesus and his bride. Marriage is an exclusive thing, a contract made between two parties, and there is no room for another person in the mix. When we are married to Jesus in heaven there will no longer be room for the kind of exclusive intimacy that we shared with our earthly spouses. Jesus will be our all in all.
This does not mean however, that all kinds of earthly relationships will be abolished automatically. I believe we will still know our spouses, our friends, our children, and enjoy sweet fellowship with them with Jesus at the center of it all.
As I pondered my reader’s question, it occurred to me that God himself is the most relational being I know. Everything he does is through relationships. He exists in relationship. The three persons of the God-head are in perfect relationship with one another. All of God’s dealings towards man is done with one goal in mind and that is for God to have a relationship with man.
God, the big, and mighty, awesome God, walked with puny Adam in the garden. He called Abraham his friend. He talked to Moses face to face. He uses words like child, sister, spouse, to talk of his chosen people and he calls himself their husband. He calls David a man after his own heart. Why? Despite all his frailties and failures David understood one thing. He knew how to be real with God. David had a single-minded, unwavering desire to be in relationship with God, and God loved that about him.
In Isaiah God says he would make his home with those who have a humble and a contrite heart. In the new testament he calls himself Emmanuel, God with us. In the book of Revelation he is knocking at the door of our hearts, longing for us to admit him into the inner sanctum of our lives so that we could sup together.
The bible does not only tell us how much God wants us to be in relationship with him, it also tells us what a blessing it is to be in right relationship with one another. (Psalm 133) God talks about his church as a body, who needs to work together as a team to get the job done. 1 Cor 13 talks about love being the greatest thing, and love needs relationships to express itself in. The work of the ministry is carried out in relationship. I could go on and on but this blog is getting long!!
All of this points me to one thing: my precious, relational God who values relationships so highly and made me in his image to value them too, will surely honor the relationship I have with my little girly girl. It might not be the same as it was here on earth, in fact I have no idea how old Jenna will be in heaven or what our relationship will look like. But I know that she will always be my little girl and I am certain that we will still know one another and have precious times together in the ages to come. You can bank on it!