Only in Heaven

Watching a 19 Kids and Counting episode with my children gave me an opportunity I wasn’t expecting.

I had DVR’d a special program about all the Duggar births in the last decade. Jackson absolutely loves babies, so he was enthralled by the newborns. Baby after baby made his or her entrance into the world, and both my kids paid special attention to the details, asking me questions about how they were born and what they were like when they were that small. It was fun to share their beginning stories with them again.

One of the last stories on the recording showed the heartbreak the family went through during Michelle’s last pregnancy. During their ultrasound to determine the sex of the baby, they discovered there was no heartbeat and the baby had died.

Through my tears, I looked over to make sure Jackson was okay. He has such a sensitive heart, and he had buried his body in the couch cushions while watching with a look of shock and sadness across his face. Lauren turned to me, and asked me why I was crying. So, I paused the show and tried to explain what had happened, and that sometimes babies go to heaven before they are born.

This orchid plant was given to me by a dear friend after one of my miscarriages. It almost always blooms around the time of year that one of the babies we lost went to Heaven. God continues to encourage and bring peace year after year through this beautiful plant.

This orchid plant was given to me by a dear friend after one of my miscarriages. It almost always blooms around the time of year that one of the babies we lost went to Heaven. God continues to encourage and bring peace year after year through this beautiful plant.

After answering a few more of their questions, instead of starting the show again, I made the decision to share with them about the babies I had lost. I told them that after having Jackson, we had two babies who died in the womb before we had Lauren.

I didn’t know how they’d react, and it took them a few moments to respond. At first they didn’t believe it. Surely, that couldn’t have happened to our family. I’ve gone through that denial before, too. We talked about the two babies who were now in heaven, and they wanted so badly to know if the babies were girls or boys. They just wondered if they should look for a sister or a brother, or both, when they got to Heaven. I told them God would help them to know, and we would all be together some day with Jesus.

The thought that they would meet new siblings in Heaven delighted Lauren. She smiled as she thought about it. But, Jackson was overwhelmed. He was feeling grief that those babies had died. I held him as we cried together for awhile.

It’s been seven years since our family grew in Heaven, and it always surprises me how the losses sneak up on me. But sharing their lives with the children God has given me to raise here has brought a new healing to my heart. We are all looking forward to reuniting our entire family in Heaven, and enjoying eternity with Jesus together.

Good Doctor

When it became apparent Monday that Lauren wasn’t just suffering from allergies, my plans for our family Passion Week focus had to shift. Instead of baking bread together and kneading on the concept of Jesus as the Bread of Life, we watched a lot of movies and cuddled on the couch.

Last night as I was trying to cool Lauren down from her fever in a lukewarm bath, the kids and I talked about our Great Physician. Because that was a phrase Jackson was unfamiliar with, we called Jesus the Good Doctor.

As Jackson covered his eyes and pretended that Jesus healed him and he could see, or plugged his ears and then could suddenly hear, it struck me that our Good Doctor, who embodies all healing power, intentionally chose not to heal Himself and allow Himself to die in order to heal my heart and relationship with God.

After Jackson finished feeling his heartbeat with his hand, we prayed for Lauren.

“Jesus, would you be the Great Doctor and make Lauren be good?” Jackson asked. “Would you please help her fever go away? Amen.”

After baths for both kids, I had planned to do an art project with bandaids to help them process what we had just discussed, but instead we all crawled into my bed, snuggled together and sang their favorite songs like “Jesus loves me” and “Jesus loves the little children.”

After all, that message of Jesus’ love was what we all needed most.