Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Babyland

As we pulled into the cemetery following Sabrina's service I noticed a small plaque along the side of the road. It read Babyland. Once again pain washed over my heart. I hate that we live in a world where there is a section of a cemetery dedicated to tiny lives lost. I hate that the plots in that area stretch as far as my eye could see. I hate the broken hearts those little stones represent. Most of all, I hate being a part of the group of those who live a life touched by places like that.


Sabrina's service was beautiful. Every second of it was exactly what we all hoped for. From her sleeping face down to her tiny satin shoes, she looked more beautiful that I could have ever imagined. It was perfect, and it was horrible... I loved every second of it, and I hated it.


I prepared the things I wanted to say but standing up there, next to her and before everyone I lost them all. I had the words I wanted to share but I couldn't get them out. There were so many things I wish I could have remember at that very second. So many moments that are clear as day to me now, but for some reason I couldn't voice that day. There are hours of Sabrina's life and legacy that I just want to shout from the rooftops. The incredible impact a small baby made. Since I couldn't share them that day, I will share them all with you.


As you read here, Sabrina came into my life in a single second that I will look back on as a moment that changed me forever. A baby, sick...dying even, and I was chosen to hold her. Why, I don't know if I will ever understand. But I will forever be thankful! What an incredibly humbling call.


When I found out Sabrina had passed away I was shocked! I think a lot of us were... We were told we probably had years with her, but that was not to be. The pain in that day was overpowering. I cried, I prayed, I talked nonsense words to anyone who would listen and I cried again. But as the hours passed and the tears slowed, a new, almost foreign feeling came over me. A feeling of joy that to some may seem inappropriate. A joy that our sweet girl was now 100% whole and new. A feeling of HOPE in knowing that she was finally HOME. Not the home any of us thought would be, but the HOME that she was created for. On August 20th Sabrina was to move into the house of the Ingle family. She was to join her brothers and sisters. They waited, prayed and HOPED for her. But that was not to be. We know that as much as she was wanted and loved, Sabrina's true home was not in that house but in the arms of her everlasting Father. And now we know she is there.


Until the day before her service I did not know that the Ingles planned to give Sabrina a new name. When I heard I was brought to tears again. She was to be called HOPE. How perfect, how fitting, how GOD! Because we know that Sabrina lives in HOPE. The bible tells us not to grieve as those who have no HOPE. Because we know that the life we live here is not the life we are called and created for. Sabrina was not made to struggle through days of pain and hurt. She was not created to live here for years and years. Sabrina was created to teach us HOPE. She was called to show us that though the life we witnessed may not be what we thought it should, it was perfectly orchestrated by the Father.


As I prepared for Sabrina's memorial I came across a book specifically written for those facing the loss of a child. In it I found a song that touched my heart in a way that happens so very rarely. It is called With HOPE by Steven Curtis Chapman. I sat in stunned silence as I read the words. I knew this song was given to me for this time. The words were written to reach so many, but in my mind, was penned just for us. These are the words...

Steven Curtis Chapman
Speechless (1999)
With HOPE
This is not at all how
we thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you
we had so many dreams
and now you've gone away
and left us with the memories of your smile
and nothing we can say
and nothing we can do
can take away the pain
the pain of losing you
But we can cry with HOPE
we can say goodbye with HOPE
'cause we know our goodbye is not the end
oh no
and we can grieve with HOPE
'cause we believe with HOPE
there's a place by God's grace
there's a place where we'll see your face again
we'll see your face again
And never have I known
anything so hard to understand
and never have I questioned more
the wisdom of God's plan
but through the cloud of tears
I see the Father's smile and say well done
and I imagine you
where you wanted most to be
seeing all your dreams come true
'cause now you're home
and now you're free
and we have this HOPE as an anchor
'cause we believe that everything
God promised us is true
so we wait with HOPE
and we ache with HOPE
we hold on with HOPE
we let go with HOPE
We live in a world where a place like "Babyland" is a reality. A painful, heartbreaking, real place that I would rather never know. But it is a place that is a part of my life now. Sabrina is not the first child I have loved who has passed away. One year ago this week Berlancia was swept up in her Daddy's arms. Over the last 12 months I have seen more babies die. I have watched the sin of this world and the destruction it brings in the most painful way. Is there anything more difficult to understand than the death of a baby? Of all the children I have see lost during my time in Haiti, I have attended one service. Sabrina was the only one given a funeral. Children die so often in Haiti that even a basic funeral is not given. I have questioned countless times why God would call me to a mission where these are the things I see. I have cried out to Him in the days where I didn't think I could do it anymore, in the moments where I didn't want to! I still don't understand. Today I know that maybe, just maybe I don't need to. Today I see that God is teaching me new lessons every moment. In the painful times, when I am broken and raw, He touches me. He gives me HOPE. Sabrina taught me so much. And not just me. Sabrina touched the lives of people who God needed to reach. Each of us for a specific purpose. No two of us were learning the same thing from her, but each and every one of us was involved for a purpose. I praise the Lord for the lessons learned!
Our HOPE...Sabrina HOPE...is with the Lord

1 comment:

stephanie said...

That song is so perfect! I am still in a funk I just cant shake (stupid satan). I need to get to Haiti to get some passion back. I go Oct 13th for a week. When does anna get there? I want her blog address to keep up with her. Hope your move went well.
Steph