This post will be lengthy, but well worth it. June 12th, I found out that Dan and I were expecting our 3rd child. July 20th, the same day as the deadly shooting in Colorado, we went to our first ultrasound, looking forward to seeing our baby for the first time. Unfortunately, the baby did not have a heart beat. We learned that our baby had gone to heaven a couple of weeks earlier. Dan wrote our congregation the following email, because we had shared the news of our pregnancy a few weeks ago. I am soo thankful for the husband that God has given me, but also thankful for the wonderful pastor he is for me and our church.
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Luke 1:39-45-- At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.
These words have been of great comfort to Angela and me over the past couple of days. A couple of days ago, Angela and I received the sad news that Angela had a miscarriage. First off, let me say that, while we are both sad, we are also both full of comfort because of these words from Luke chapter 1. While, on this side of eternity, we will never know if this baby was a boy or girl, while we will never know if the baby had brown or blue eyes, we do know one thing. We know that just as John the Baptist lept in the womb of his mother Elizabeth, when he was in the presence of Christ, so also our baby for seven or eight weeks, lept in Angela's womb, every time he or she was in the presence of Christ.
Even though this baby was only seven or eight weeks old, this baby was a sinner, conceived in sin, as all people are. Therefore this baby deserved to die. But out of love for this baby, Christ died. Out of love for this baby, Christ rose. Out of love for this baby, Christ won forgiveness for this baby and conquered death for this baby. In a miracle that cannot be comprehend by our logic, the Holy Spirit even caused this baby to believe and leap for joy, when this baby was in the presence of Christ, so that this baby can receive those marvelous blessings, won by the death and resurrection of Christ. Therefore this baby didn't really die, even though Angela had a miscarriage, but is alive right now, living with Jesus in the joy and peace of heaven.
That is why Angela and I are comforted, even during this tough time in our life. We know the love of God. We trust in the love of God. Even though we may not completely understand why God would allow this hardship to come into our lives, we know the blessings that God has given our baby through this hardship. He spared this baby from evil, from tragedy, from disaster and took this baby immediately to heaven to live with him forever.
One day, Angela and I will join our baby there. One day we will get to meet our baby, though probably a little later than we first anticipated. Christ has died for us. Christ has rose for us. Christ has won forgiveness for us and conquered death for us. He has even granted us faith in him, allowing us to receive those marvelous blessings. We know that God will keep us in the faith, even through this hardship, and any other hardship that we face. When we finally leave this world, we will get to go to heaven and live with our baby, live with Jesus, and live with all of God's saints for all eternity.
So Angela and I will continue to leap in the presence of Christ week after week after week. We will continue to make sure that we are fed with Christ, the Bread of Life, through the Word and the Sacraments. Not only do we, most importantly, want to live with our Savior for all eternity, experiencing joy and peace that is beyond our imagination, but we also want to meet our baby, who is currently enjoying that blessed place.
I pray that you have that same motivation as well. I know that all of you know someone, who is currently enjoying the blessed peace of heaven. Maybe it was a baby that was miscarried and only lept in the presence of Christ for a few weeks. Maybe it was a parent or grandparent, husband or wife, sister or brother, son or daughter or just a good friend, who got to leap in the presence of Christ for many years. Whatever it was, I know that you all know someone currently living in heaven.
So I encourage you to continue to leap for joy in the presence of Christ. Make sure that you hear God's Word. Make sure that you receive his Sacrament. This is how the Holy Spirit keeps you in the faith. By remaining in the faith, you can have the confidence that one day, whether it is a year from now, or a hundred years from now, you will get to enter heaven and enjoy eternity with your God and with your loved ones for all eternity.