This week has really been a struggle, with physical and emotional symptoms blending together until I no longer know which came first. Though none of these trials have been resolved, the love and support of my friends Betsy and Amanda and others, have brought me back to the peace that passes all understanding. Over and over during the last month I have been replaying this same little conversation with Oscar that I wanted to share, both to record it for him to read in the future, and to help anyone else who is going through a hard time, whether similar or not.
I want you to know right off the bat that you will not be born to the same parents who had Efrim and Julian. Losing your sister has transformed your Daddy and I to the heart. None of the experiences of your pregnancy and birth will come with the same unmingled joy we experienced with our first two babies. We found out we were expecting you only two weeks before Lucy's first birthday. We didn't know how we could share happy news with our loved ones in the middle of such painful memories. Last month we found out your gender within days of Lucy's headstone being delivered to the cemetery. And every step along the way, as we prepare to meet you, these joyful milestones serve also as painful reminders of all we are missing, of the hole in our family where Lucy should be, of the sister you three boys will never know.
What you also need to know, however, is that this does not diminish our love for you in any way. In fact, I think in many ways you will be born to stronger, wiser, and more deeply joyful parents than your big brothers first knew. Our love for and experience of you is more rich and deep because we know more fully of it's fragility, of how truly precious you are, and the blessing that each child is to a home, each day we share with you, however few. You will receive the love that Mommy's arms have saved up for 30 months, longing for a baby to hold.
Your name is Oscar Pax. Oscar means the Lord's warrior, and Pax means peace. I want you to know that our Lord gives peace that passes all understanding. Truly he has blessed us with greater peace in the midst of our deepest sorrow than I ever could have imagined before. He came into the world and leaves his Spirit with the church to establish a kingdom of such peace that lions will lay down with lambs and our swords will be beaten into plow shares, but little one, this is a hard fought peace. A peace that passes understanding is one that comes in circumstances that are anything but peaceful. It is a peace in the midst of confusion, brokenness, and anguish. This world is not an easy place, but we serve an impossible God, who gives us peace in the midst of our hardest battles.
I know that at times I will have unreasonable expectations for you to fill my heart with joy. I promise to turn to God for that satisfaction, and allow you to be a silly little boy, who doesn't do everything right, and sometimes gets on my nerves. I know that sometimes I will be tempted never to let go of you, for fear of losing you, but I promise to ask our Father for the courage to let you be free. After all, I have learned nothing if not that you are really his to begin with, and he is really the one who protects you after all. I know that sometimes I will feel sadness for missing your sister when I want only to feel joy for knowing you, but I promise to be honest, to honor you both with the truth, so that my hurt does not build up inside to hurt others in turn.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for
your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your
comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same
sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7