The Christmas season is a very sentimental and emotional time for many...and more this year for me than every before. As I grow closer to Jesus, and behold just what God has done for us in sending himself in the flesh...as a little baby, I am just overwhelmed with gratitude and filled with awe. Losing my baby has brought me into a deeper heart knowledge of God and His love in allowing his only son to be sacrificed for all that would believe in him. Celebrating Jesus as a "baby" at Christmas makes it all the more emotional, naturally. Many times I felt that Evelyn was sacrificed for my life. Symbolically, I see her as a little Jesus to me. The reality is I led a very sinful life prior to Evie's entry into my life...which began long before I gave birth to her. See, God knows us before we are ever born, and in a sense, I believe our children are known to us in a deep place before they are ever conceived. Maybe it's the love that grows between a man and a woman prior to having children, or for instance, the discussion of baby names before a child is on the way. Evie was named a few short months before her life essentially began here on earth.
As I have read stories in the Bible about child loss, and in some instances as a result of sin, I have naturally concluded at times that this is why she died...because of my sin. Only yesterday I had this discussion with a group of friends after church. One man in the conversation assured me that her death was not result of anything I did wrong. I have been told this many times, but how can I not think that when I read the exact opposite in the Bible? I do know that God disciplines those he considers sons and daughters, and it is out of his love for us, to make us more like his son, Jesus. There are also very real consequences to sin here on earth. Sometimes I think that Evie was taken home to be with her heavenly father to spare me of a tough life as a single mother, but mostly I think it was for her to be spared of the complicated and possibly dysfunctional life that she would have had, given the dynamics between her father and I. Maybe she was not sacrificed at all, but was spared and blessed...with my life being the sacrifice...of having to carry the weight of her absence for the rest of my life.
I prayed a lot about this that afternoon, because bringing this up again stirs up a lot of emotion and anxiety for me. I was kinda dozing in and out of sleep as I do often during prayer, and many of you are probably thinking oh yeah, that happens to me too! And having narcolepsy makes this a very often occurrence for me. Sometimes I hear songs or words during this dozing time, in an very real, audible way. Auditory hallucinations are a symptom of narcolepsy...upon sleeping or waking..."half-asleep" states as I call them. No, I don't just "hear things" walking around in broad day light! I feel God has only used this disorder in a way that allows me to hear him and grow closer to him through it. God can speak to all of us, to our hearts, our minds, in dreams, through scripture, through people, and even audibly sometimes. What I hear from God during these times of waking or dozing are not random. Moreover, there are only a handful of times I have heard from God in this way and I can back it up with what cannot be considered coincidence.
Yesterday as I was dozing off in my prayer time, I heard "kings," which caused me to wake up fully. I immediately thought to read in Kings. When I got to the chapter, I just started reading where I landed...and began reading the story of Jeroboam and his son, Abijah. Basically Abijah gets sick, so Jeroboam sends his wife and the child to the prophet, Ahijah, to find out what will become of the child. This is the same prophet that told Jeroboam he would be king. When she arrived, Ahijah(prophet) told her that because Jeroboam had not been like God's servant David who kept all the commandments, and who followed God with all his heart, but instead did more evil than all who came before him, he would bring disaster on his house. Abijah then said to her, "When your feet enter the city, the child shall die. And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he is the only one of Jeroboam who shall come to the grave, because in him there is found something good toward the Lord God of Israel in the house of Jeroboam." 1 Kings 14:12,13. The way it is stated makes it seem as if this child is the ONLY one who gets the honor of death, because of his favor with the Lord. The footnotes in my Bible say, "Sometimes God takes the life of the righteous to spare them from evil." It references Isaiah 57:1: "The righteous perishes, And no man takes it to heart; Merciful men are taken away, While no one considers that the righteous is taken away from evil. He shall enter into peace..." The footnotes here say: "We will never know until heaven how many godly men and women have died early in life as a result of God's grace. He takes some home so that evil things might not touch them."
I know that by God's grace he led me to this scripture, and I now feel I have the answer for my daughter's death...one that is good enough for me, as I will most likely never fully understand her early death, because God's ways and his thoughts are so much higher than ours. I feel after this I will no longer focus on her death as a punishment for my sins, but as a sign of her goodness, that by God's grace he would spare her from the evil that could have hurt her in this world. And for that, all I can say is "Hallelujah!"