Friday, December 9, 2016

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

This is a powerful short documentary that explores pregnancy and infant loss. A young man created it whose mother had a stillborn son (his brother), and 6 miscarriages. He interviews his mother, as well as several others for the film. It's really well done. The cinematography is beautiful and moving. I related to many of the things expressed.

The main important point I felt was portrayed was how deeply this type of loss forever impacts a mother especially, and how important it is for the mother to have support and empathy. It really changes things when people have others to talk to, and others who care to listen and engage.

I loved this quote:

"It's about actively listening, sincerely listening, and being somebody they can share their baby with, because that's what they long to do." I know that's what I long to do!

And this one:

"I think it's so important to remember that even though that loss occurred a month ago, a year ago, 5 years ago, 30 years ago, that that baby is still very much a part of that woman's life, and will be until she herself passes on."

The part of the film I found most deeply moving was when he interviewed his mother. I saw much of myself and my own pain and feelings in her. It absolutely breaks my heart for her when she talks about her sweet baby Jacob.

She said this:

"The loss of him and his siblings formed who I am today. I will never be the same woman. David said I had the greatest laugh in the world. He could be across the room and he could hear my laugh... He only recently has heard me laugh like that again because the laughter died with the babies. I guess I'll never really be over losing them. You don't ever get over losing your babies. You die before your babies."

That is right... you never get over losing your babies. It is the most unnatural loss. I too feel that who I am today has been shaped by Lily and Luke and my experiences. I am a different person now than I would have been. But I will be honest in saying I am afraid of becoming someone whose laughter died with my babies. I don't want to be that person. I don't want their lives/deaths to bring more sorrow than joy. As I watched her speak, and this dread swept over my heart, wondering if that's who I'll be in decades from now, I felt the Lord reminding me that this is not how it has to be. Yes, my babies have changed me forever and for always, but the change doesn't have to be a negative/only painful one. If I turn my eyes upon Jesus, day by day, moment by moment, I don't have to turn into a bitter, grief-stricken woman (I'm not saying this mother is that, I'm just saying I could become that without Jesus). Even if I never have a child to bring home and raise.

As the hymn says,
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace."

With Jesus, I have JOY, I have Life, I have HOPE... hope of eternal life for both me and my babies. I think there is a balance of recognizing that I have been changed, in some hard/sad ways, but mostly in good/beautiful/redemptive ways. And I can laugh while missing my babies, as well as cry while still clinging to hope. The loss of a child is devastating, but it doesn't have to devastate our lives/future/hope/laughter/joy. It doesn't have to steal the beautiful things in life.

It reminds me of a Jim Elliot quote that says, "Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living." I don't want my longing, both for my babies or for my future, to slay the appetite of my living today, and all the beauty to be found and the laughter to be had now.

Lord Jesus, please give me the grace to continue turning my eyes upon YOU, and never losing sight of my HOPE in YOU ALONE.

It reminds me of a part in Lily's song that says, "Through laughter and tears, I will not forget sweet Lily, my beautiful girl." I wrote a blog post about this called "Through Laughter and Tears." There will be laughter, there will be tears. Through it all, I will not forget my beautiful girl and I will not take my eyes off Christ.


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