"Sadness is just love wasted.....
with no little heart to place it inside"
When I received Owen's pictures from the photographer with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, she also put all the pictures she took and put together a slideshow. The quote above is from the song, Smallest and Wingless, that she used on that slideshow. The words to that song are heartbreaking because it reflects what we are going through, and yet at the same time, I love to listen to it. I think maybe because it reminds me that we aren't the only ones to have lost a baby and so we aren't alone
Just this past week we passed the 2 month mark since we lost Owen. It's been difficult, but I am thankful everyday for Braden and Addison. I don't know what I would do without them. I was so thankful when we were at the hospital having Owen that I had them to come home to. What a blessing it was to have two little arms to hug and hold. It doesn't make me miss Owen any less, but it made it a little easier to come home....
There are some days, when quite honestly, I just want to be sad. I feel a cloud hanging over me, I can't seem to stop thinking about Owen or about the ultrasound where I found out he was gone. Some days I'll just go online and read other women's blogs about their losses and just cry. Other days, I'm not quite as dramatic but I still struggle. I feel, at those moments, like I could be starting to come out of the fog a little bit. Life moves on.... we have passed some of those events over the past couple of months where I was expecting to have a baby with me while we did such and such or went here or there and we have survived....I have survived. I know the holidays are coming here shortly and will be hard, but some of those early milestones were harder because his loss was so close at hand and I was planning those things around his birth.
I am trying to find my "new normal" each day.... a couple of days a week I go out to the barn to see my horse and "play" for a bit while the kids are in school. It's been nice, but every time I think how nice it is to go out there in the mornings, my very next thought is, "but I'd rather have Owen...". That is a reoccurring theme anytime I do anything while the kids are in school.... life would have been different with Owen here. So this is my "new normal" and I'm still just trying to figure it out. But, I would rather have Owen here.
Tuesday, on my way out to the barn I heard a song that I very distinctly remember hearing on the way to my ultrasound. I remember it, because I love to belt it out in the car and I know I was singing it at the top of my lungs that day wondering if Owen was enjoying my serenade. It seems that with each of my kids there is a particular song or cd that reminds me of when I was pregnant with each of them, so that was really hard to hear again. There are instances like that which come up out of the blue and catch me off guard, but thankfully it is happening less and less....or I'm just handling it better. I'm not actually sure which it is, quite frankly.
Anyways, that's the latest update here.... so in many ways, I'm asking myself "Now what?" What is next for us.... I know that we will be grieving Owen's loss for months and years to come, and I have no idea what that will look like as time passes but I do know that God is faithful in all these things. He has brought this trial to our door for a purpose. Maybe He will use Owen's death to bring someone to a saving faith in Christ. Maybe He is using it to remind me that I need to cling to Him. Maybe we will never understand what the purpose is this side of heaven, though I hope we do....
In light of those thoughts, I would like to share a sermon from Charles Spurgeon that has given me immense comfort over the past couple of months. It is on the question of infant salvation. I'll break it up over several posts for the sake of space, so here is the first installment:
"Is it well with the child? And she answered, It is well"—2 Kings 4:26.
THE SUBJECT of this morning's discourse will be "Infant Salvation." It may not possibly be interesting to all present, but I do not remember to have preached upon this subject to this congregation, and I am anxious moreover that the printed series should contain sermons upon the whole range of theology. I think there is no one point which ought to be left out in our ministry, even though it may only yield comfort to a class. Perhaps the larger proportion of this audience have at some time or other had to shed the briny tear over the child's little coffin;—it may be that through this subject consolation may be afforded to them. This good Shunammite was asked by Gehazi, whether it was well with herself. She was mourning over a lost child, and yet she said, "It is well;" she felt that the trial would surely be blessed. "Is it well with thy husband?" He was old and stricken in years, and was ripening for death, yet she said, "Yes, it is well." Then came the question about her child, who was dead at home, and the inquiry would renew her griefs, "Is it well with the child?" Yet she said, "It is well," perhaps so answering because she had a faith that soon the child should be restored to her, and that his temporary absence was well; or I think rather because she was persuaded that whatever might have become of his spirit, it was safe in the keeping of God, happy beneath the shadow of His wings. Therefore, not fearing that the child was lost, having no suspicion whatever that he was cast away from the place of bliss—for that suspicion would have quite prevented her giving such answer—she said "Yes, the child is dead, but 'it is well.'"
Now, let every mother and father here present know assuredly that it is well with the child, if God hath taken it away from you in its infant days. You never heard its declaration of faith—it was not capable of such a thing—it was not baptized into the Lord Jesus Christ, not buried with him in baptism; it was not capable of giving that "answer of a good conscience towards God;" nevertheless, you may rest assured that it is well with the child, well in a higher and a better sense than it is well with yourselves; well without limitation, well without exception, well infinitely, "well" eternally. Perhaps you will say, "What reasons have we for believing that it is well with the child?" Before I enter upon that I would make one observation. It has been wickedly, lyingly, and slanderously said of Calvinists, that we believe that some little children perish. Those who make the accusation know that their charge is false. I cannot even dare to hope, though I would wish to do so, that they ignorantly misrepresent us. They wickedly repeat what has been denied a thousand times, what they know is not true. In Calvin's advice to Omit, he interprets the second commandment "shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me," as referring to generations, and hence he seems to teach that infants who have had pious ancestors, no matter how remotely, dying as infants are saved. This would certainly take in the whole race. As for modern Calvinists, I know of no exception, but we all hope and believe that all persons dying in infancy are elect. Dr. Gill, who has been looked upon in late times as being a very standard of Calvinism, not to say of ultra-Calvinism, himself never hints for a moment the supposition that any infant has perished, but affirms of it that it is a dark and mysterious subject, but that it is his belief, and he thinks he has Scripture to warrant it, that they who have fallen asleep in infancy have not perished, but have been numbered with the chosen of God, and so have entered into eternal rest. We have never taught the contrary, and when the charge is brought, I repudiate it and say, "You may have said so, we never did, and you know we never did. If you dare to repeat the slander again, let the lie stand in scarlet on your very cheek if you be capable of a blush." We have never dreamed of such a thing. With very few and rare exceptions, so rare that I never heard of them except from the lips of slanderers, we have never imagined that infants dying as infants have perished, but we have believed that they enter into the paradise of God.
First, then, this morning, I shall endeavor to explain the way in which we believed infants are saved; secondly, give reasons for so believing; and then, thirdly, seek to bring out a practical use of the subject.
I. First of all, THE WAY IN WHICH WE BELIEVE INFANTS TO BE SAVED.
Some ground the idea of the eternal blessedness of the infant upon its innocence. We do no such thing; we believe that the infant fell in the first Adam, "for in Adam all died." All Adam's posterity, whether infant or adult, were represented by him—he stood for them all, and when he fell, he fell for them all. There was no exception made at all in the covenant of works made with Adam as to infants dying; and inasmuch as they were included in Adam, though they have not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, they have original guilt. They are "born in sin and steepen in iniquity; in sin do their mothers conceive them;" so saith David of himself, and (by inference) of the whole human race. If they be saved, we believe it is not because of any natural innocence. They enter heaven by the very same way that we do; they are receivers in the name of Christ. "Other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid," and I do not think nor dream that there is a different foundation for the infant than that which is laid for the adult. And equally is it far from our minds to believe that infants go to heaven through baptism—not to say, in the first place, that we believe infant sprinkling to be a human and carnal invention, an addition to the Word of God, and therefore wicked and injurious. When we reflect that it is rendered into some thing worse than superstition by being accompanied with falsehood, when children are taught that in their baptism they are made the children of God, and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven, which is as base a lie as ever was forged in hell, or uttered beneath the copes of heaven, our spirit sinks at the fearful errors which have crept into the Church, through the one little door of infant sprinkling. No; children are not saved because they are baptized, for if so, the Puseyite is quite right in refusing to bury our little children if they die unbaptized. Yes, the barbarian is quite right in driving the parent, as he does to this day, from the church yard of his own national Church, and telling him that his child may rot above-ground, and that it shall not be buried except it be at the dead of night, because the superstitious drops have never fallen on its brow. He is right enough if that baptism made the child a Christian, and if that child could not be saved without it. But a thing so revolting to feeling, is at once to be eschewed by Christian men. The child is saved, if snatched away by death as we are, on another ground than that of rites and ceremonies, and the will of man.
On what ground, then, do we believe the child to be saved? We believe it to be as lost on the rest of mankind, and as truly condemned by the sentence which said, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." It is saved because it is elect. In the compass of election, in the Lamb's Book of Life, we believe there shall be found written millions of souls who are only shown on earth, and then stretch their wings for heaven. They are saved, too, because they were redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. He who shed his blood for all his people, bought them with the same price with which he redeemed their parents, and therefore are they saved because Christ was sponsor for them, and suffered in their room and stead. They are saved, again not without regeneration, for, "except a man"—the text does not mean an adult man but a person, a being of the human race—"except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." No doubt, in some mysterious manner the Spirit of God regenerates the infant soul, and it enters into glory made meet to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light. That this is possible is proved from Scripture instances. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb. We read of Jeremiah also, that the same had occurred to him; and of Samuel we find that while yet a babe the Lord called him. We believe, therefore, that even before the intellect can work, God, who worketh not by the will of man, nor by blood, but by the mysterious agency of his Holy Spirit, creates the infant soul a new creature in Christ Jesus, and then it enters into the "rest which remaineth for the people of God." By election, by redemption, by regeneration, the child enters into glory, by the selfsame door by which every believer in Christ Jesus hopes to enter, and in no other way. If we could not suppose that children could be saved in the same way as adults, if it would be necessary to suppose that God's justice must be infringe, or that his plan of salvation must be altered to suit their cases, then we should be in doubt; but we can see that with the same appliances, by the same plan, on precisely the same grounds, and through the same agencies, the infant soul can behold the Savior a face in glory everlasting, and therefore we are at ease upon the matter.
TO BE CONTINUED IN NEXT POST.......