It’s been 3 weeks since Sophie’s birth and grand entrance into heaven and I miss her everyday… well, perhaps a better description is my heart aches for her everyday. Sometimes tears just pour out and other times there is joy in thinking of the life we got to experience with Sophie. Lately, I’ve been thinking of what it’s like for her now… a friend of mine, Maddie sent me a video of her 3 year old, Ruth who loves Sophie and wanted to share a song for her. When Maddie asked her what she thought Sophie was doing in heaven her immediate response (no thought needed) was “dancing with Jesus and God in high heels and a tiara”. Of course she is! It makes me smile everytime I watch that. I wish my faith were more simple, more full of joy than mixed with sorrow, the perspective of a child is what I need. My 2 year old nephew, Jordan innocently asks every time we talk “where’s Sophie?”. It is good for my heart to say with a smile (though sometimes it’s a smile through tears) “She’s in Heaven, with Jesus”. Both my nephews, Isaac and Jordan talk about Sophie often. Isaac (age 4), got to see Sophie with the whole family after she had passed away and said profoundly the next day to his mom (my sister)… “Sophie didn’t look like Sophie, she looked like a doll.” How a 4 year old can see the reality of life and death is amazing to me. He knew she wasn’t there and that small statement reminds me often of where she is… the most glorious place ever, with the love of our lives, Jesus.
I’m constantly reminded of how God has met us and shown us His love in such profound ways through this whole journey. One of those is how He has surrounded us with community, to walk with us through this season. About 2 months ago, I learned that there was a secret (well, secret to us) facebook group that had been created to celebrate Sophie and to help us celebrate. As our community learned of Sophie’s diagnosis, they created this group (and yes, I know who you are that created it!) to say “Kevin and Lindsey are not going to walk this journey alone”. This resulted in weekly celebrations that others helped create, countless people falling in love with Sophie, and a community that surrounded us with prayer and support every step of the way and especially when it came to Sophie’s delivery and in the weeks that have followed.
The day we went into the hospital, my family came soon after, circled around us and my dad led us in a time of prayer… committing to the Lord whatever would happen over the course of the next few days. We finished by singing the chorus of “10,000 reasons” by Matt Redman.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name”
What a way to start Sophie’s entrance into the world and set the tone for the next 4 days!
Our Pastor’s came to visit soon after, prayed over us and told us that our church community had set up 24 hour prayer around the hospital that began a little before we had checked in. I think between 25-35 people from our church showed up and were there the majority of the time to cover us and that hospital in prayer. We were blown away and reminded over and over of God’s presence with us! And oh how we needed that constant reminder! I was nervous about the medications starting and just the anticipation of meeting Sophie and how she would come and fought discouragement along the way. Yet the Lord was using our family and friends to come alongside of us… and was also using our nurses! My mom especially had been praying that the Lord would orchestrate even our nursing staff and we were amazed at how He answered those prayers!!
In the first few hours, when nervousness was still overwhelming to me and my heart was just sad at what may come we ran into a nurse while taking a short and slow walk down the hall to get some tea. She proceeded to say “Congratula…” but stopped herself short and asked what room we were in. Immediately she knew who we were and began to speak words of encouragement to us, as she shared the impact that our lives had already had on others with our birth plan that all the nursing staff had already read and how she knew we were born-again believers and was so glad we were here. They were timely words that lifted my heart from the sadness I was falling into and reminded me that the Lord was still using Sophie’s little life to bring great glory to Himself. Several hours later, another nurse walked into our room and told us that she had been following our story on our blog through a friend, has been so encouraged and hoped we would be delivering there! Each nurse that we encountered whether for a few moments or 12 hours were a blessing to us! Susie, Crystal, Marie, Jackie, Doreen, Allyson, Mary Helen, Andrea, Linda, Sheeba, Ellen, Daisy, Robin, Cleo and Bridget… I’m so glad you all were a part of Sophie’s story! (and I’m so sorry if I’ve forgotten anyone!)
After Sophie’s arrival and her entrance into Heaven, I think all of the nurses we had had came to visit us and with tears in their eyes thanked us for letting them be a part of our story. One nurse said to us “In all of my years nursing I have never seen such love in a family. Usually you are the ones ministering to patients, rarely do patients minister to you!” All I could think of in that moment was “that was Jesus that you saw! Oh how He erupted in that place!” Another nurse said “Lindsey, after I went home last night I read your blog and I just want to say ‘thank you’ and I’m so amazed by your story”. We found out that before our C-section the surgery team gathered to pray for us and during the C-section many of the nurses were gathered to pray for us as we were in surgery. Even our Doctor, who I could rave about for a while, came in with tears in her eyes, thanking us for letting her be the one to be a part of Sophie’s story. One of the nurses shared with us her own loss and gave us her “comfort bear” (a teddy bear with weight in it, given to mom’s who lose their child to hold as they leave the hospital and to bring comfort in those times you’re just longing to hold your child). She gave us the comfort bear that was given to her when she lost a child and wanted us to have it! I will treasure that little bear forever! Soon after Kevin and I had spent time praying over Sophie’s little body another nurse came in to sing to us (who knew that even happened at a hospital!) The song she chose was one that has been significant to us on this journey, “Not for a moment” by Vertical Church Band. As Kevin, myself, this nurse and 2 others sang together it was truly a sweet and holy moment. I could share so many more ways our best friends, parents, family stood by our side especially throughout the labor process that could be a book in and of itself! These moments remind us over and over, that God is in the details and that when people make themselves available to step into the lives of others His Spirit shows up in ways that one can only cry “Jesus is in this place”.