The Plot We Picked for Our Son Is Temporary

The spring of 2011 brought immense heartache to my husband, Ernie, and me as our firstborn child, Haddon Brooks, battled severe illness in the NICU for 40 hours after a six-week premature birth. We held him and sang to him as he passed from this life to his eternal life with Jesus. We had never before experienced anything where we had been so broken, so needy for God and his Word. The experience gave new longings for the new heavens and new earth, where we will forever be with Christ and our son.

Since then there have been days of great joy knowing our son is with Jesus, and days where sorrow is so great that we wage war against hopeless lies from the enemy. The resurrection has become infinitely more precious to our hearts. The plot we picked for our son is temporary, and that is what we remember as we visit it. The words “Jesus lives and so shall I, when he returns with him I’ll rise” are engraved on his headstone.

Psalm 62:5-8 held truths we needed to grasp with all of our might in order to trust God from that point forward:

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times O people; pour your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.

Another Child Was Not Our Fortress

The desire for more children remained after we lost Haddon Brooks. We were faced with the choice of grieving with discontentment or grieving and trusting God with our whole hearts. My suddenly empty womb was a real challenge as we battled for joy each day. We found that while we could see God taking care of us, part of our hearts still felt that maybe real contentment would lie in God changing our circumstances. That time in our life was weighty, and our hearts were so devastated. We were often looking for the time when God would finally bring contentment and not thinking about how he was showing us that we can rest in him and find contentment when life is hardest. We could find contentment as we joyfully thought of our son in heaven, and God was still sustaining that rest in him when we wept bitterly in the night. The Lord was also showing us that, no matter what work he would do in our lives, another child was not our fortress, rock, or salvation.

Then came the fall of 2011, and the Lord in his deep kindness gave us another child. Tears fill my eyes by just thinking of that time. There was a quiet struggle in my heart, though, as I placed my hand on my belly, wondering, Can I trust God through another pregnancy? And I remember hitting about seven months,  realizing that my body had basically been pregnant for a year and a half with my two children, and in my weariness and sadness there was still no child in my arms. And what if God were to take this next son of ours? Again, it was a battle to trust God in the midst of a trial, and I looked to the end so I could find rest. But God told me in Psalm 62 to trust in him at all times. Though my body was tired, and even my soul felt weary, I could still trust him. His plans were for my good as I waited through another pregnancy, and he was helping me trust him more.

Now as I hold my three-month old son, little Ernie, I must have faith in the Lord as the one who sustains him each day. Some days I wish it were easy, like God giving me a sign that this child will surely outlive me. But I’m not promised that outcome. I am promised, however, from Psalm 62 that God can be trusted at all times. When I am tempted to fear the unknown about little Ernie, I remember God is my rest and my fortress. He knows all the days of my child’s life from “life’s first cry to final breath.” That is why I can have rest. And because of that rest we are so in love with our son and delighted each day God has granted him to us.

  • Kurt Michaelson

    My wife and I have been trying to get pregnant for more than a year and a half now. This past Memorial Day, we suspected that our longing to be pregnant would become a reality, but sadly, my wife experienced an early miscarriage at 5-6 weeks. I was devastated and didn’t know what to think and I thank God for my pastor who prayed for us when I told him the sad news. For whatever reason, I’ll never understand why God allowed that to happen, but one day, we’ll be reunited with our baby and look forward to having him or her show us around heaven and maybe hear how he or she has been waiting with Jesus, for us to be with them.

    Until then we’ll continue to trust God at all times too.

  • Aimee Byrd

    What a great illustration of how faith looks forward. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jessalyn Hutto

    Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing both your struggles and your hope through very difficult circumstances. How we long for the resurrection and for the New Heavens and New Earth which will be forever rid of the effects of sin!

  • Collier Thomas

    Thank you so much for sharing this. My husband and I lost our little girl, Sophie Caroline, this past February. Because my water broke early, she was born at 18 weeks. She was so precious with her tiny little features. I sympathize with you in your pain and can relate with many of your emotions. I have been through so many ups and downs. We have been trying for several months to conceive again and are not pregnant yet, which brings even more hardship. It truly teaches us to be satisfied in Christ alone! We too have experienced increased longings for our eternal home and a deeper love for God and his Word. We have learned that God uses our sufferings to bring Him glory as we rest in His strength and love for His children. Thanks again. You have encouraged us both tremendously! Congratulations on your precious new little one. I pray you continue to rest in the comfort of our great Lord and Savior!

  • Hannah

    What a beautiful and heart-checking article. Thank you for sharing your struggle and what God is teaching you through it. I have two right now with another on the way but miscarried our third last December. Each night I pray that God would use my children’s lives for His glory and that, like my Biblical namesake, He would help me to give my children to Him for His service. It’s a daily discipline, for sure, and never an easy one especially regarding those I hold dearest in the world. God is always faithful, isn’t He?

  • Susan Gutting

    We need to realize that God orders our lives, don’t we? One truth that is very difficult to remember is that nothing will “be our fortress, rock or salvation” apart from God and His Word. This is beautifully written and will be a comfort to other hurting souls, facing what you and your husband faced. My heart goes out to Kurt and Collier…..may God sustain you.

  • Caitie

    I just wanted to thank you for this post. We recently lost a baby girl we were about to adopt. It’s not the exact same thing, but we feel she is ours even though we couldn’t get to the point to actually adopt her. God had other plans and took her home after 3 weeks. She’s our first baby, so it’s hard to keep looking to the future at times, hoping that we will have another baby; and keep trusting in Him that He will provide us with children someday. Your post is so encouraging and I’m glad my friend referred me to this so I can have more faith as my husband and I continue to wait on the Lord. God Bless!

  • Kathy

    Our 25 year old daughter went home to Heaven 7/1/07, after she was killed by her husband. Trusting God through the minutes, days and now years was the only way we could endure the hurt and pain. God gave us the strength to endure and even forgive our son-in-law. God’s mercy and grace has sustained us. I pray for every person reading this post who has lost a child that God is Filling up your empty arms with hope and grace!