Isaiah 41:10 has been a verse I run to all year long:
fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
This past weekend we were able to celebrate our precious son Haddon’s first year with Jesus. As we were approaching the 31st of March I had no idea what the morning would feel like when I first woke up. Haddon would have had his first birthday, I would have loved to have rushed into his nursery and woken him up with a “happy birthday big boy!” and see him light up and giggle, not really understanding what a birthday means but just enjoying such a greeting from mommy.
But Saturday arrived and as I opened my eyes there was a peace from the Lord as I awoke in a quiet home that my heart longs to be filled with baby chatter; my son is with Jesus, where there is joy unending. It’s been a whole year of delight for him that is unimaginable to me here on earth. I wouldn’t exchange that for him to be present at a party, even when I miss him to a point that feels unbearable.
I opened God’s word to Psalm 33, a chapter that has been a light in the darkness of this year. When we first lost Haddon this is what God used to remind me that all His work is done in faithfulness and that He loves righteousness. That’s where I rested in many days of sorrow. I use the truths from Psalm 33 when I have to battle these sins: jealousy or envy of other parents with little precious newborns, when I’m so thankful a NICU baby makes it but my heart aches to compare how my son didn’t, when I struggle to think the woman in the checkout lane could be more thankful for her children she snaps at, when I stand over Haddon’s grave and when holidays come and I can’t pick out a special outfit (ah the little plaid shirts and ties). But the Holy Spirit does his work, I’m so thankful, and reminds me that God’s work for my child is done in faithfulness and he is not jeopardizing his righteousness to bring us through this deep sadness. Ever.
This weekend I reflected on how God brought me closer to himself because I was able to watch Haddon as he passed away. There is something about watching a life pass that came from your very own womb; it makes the fact that all things belong to the Lord permanently sealed in your mind.
Here are some photos from Haddon’s Birthday, March 31, 2012.