At church this morning, our speaker read the epitaphs of twin children, both of whom died at two years old, one day apart. Their headstones read, "Only God Understands."
I couldn't help but think of Eden. I know I'll probably never understand why she didn't survive, why God didn't keep her alive or at least allow us the opportunity to know if she was a boy or girl. I wish I could have known that. I should be almost 20 weeks now (which is the time when parents are able to find out the gender of their babies). I had originally planned to tell everyone at Christmas if we were having a boy or a girl. Now I'll never know. At least not on this side of eternity.
I've heard people say that the holidays are always hard after a loss. Now I understand what they mean. I wanted to be thankful this weekend. I know I have plenty to be thankful for. But something inside of me just felt empty. I should be showing now, right in the middle of the "honeymoon" portion of pregnancy. I should be buying decorations for the baby's room, maybe even looking at Baby Name books. Instead, I'm trying to explain to my toddler why there's not a baby in mommy's belly anymore.
I see now why the mother of twins chose those words for her baby's tombstones. Death is confusing, and we will never understand why. But God does. Maybe someday, he'll explain it to us.
The sermon this morning got me thinking about epitaphs. Eden didn't have a funeral, so she doesn't have a tombstone. But if she did, I think I would want it to read: "Whole in the Arms of Jesus." Eden's not hurting anymore. Whatever it was that made her heart stop beating on this earth is gone now. She's whole. Complete. Without pain. And someday, I'll be whole again too. My heart won't hurt anymore. I won't feel empty. I won't cry every time I hear a certain song or see a newborn baby. Like Eden, I'll be whole in the arms of Jesus.