Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Love Always Hopes

It was a girl. I knew it. I sat in my boss’s office and began to cry. She told me I needed to name her, that naming the baby would help the grieving process. Floods of emotions and names entered my head, but only one name I refused to part with. I wiped the tears and said, “It wasn’t Whitley. She is supposed to be with me.” Here on earth, not when we meet in heaven. Whitley was the promise that I would hold onto for three years and countless doctors visit later.

Whitley: White field

Jane: God’s grace

I shake my head and still can’t believe she is turning nine tomorrow. I kiss her head and tuck her into her “big girl” bed that used to swallow her. She tells me that soon she will be taller than me. And I say, ‘not yet’ pretending to be offended. I wink and she grins.

Her hot pink lamp is on, I see her squinting to read the tiny print in her Bible. I lie down next to her, take the Bible out of her tiny hands, and ask her if I can read to her as we snuggle.

“Can you read the one about love?”


“Yeah, that one.”

I begin to read 1 Corinthians 13. By verse four I soak her in my tears, yet continue reading.

“It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…”

It doesn’t fail, it cannot. For God is love, the kind that doesn’t empty out or run dry when life gets too hard. He is there with us, wrapping us up in Him. That protecting, perfect, limitless love that I’ve known since I was a little girl...countless tears and whispered prayers learning to love and trust a God I couldn’t see, but felt. And in her room, I feel it still…limitless love protecting, trusting, hoping, persevering, and unfailing. And I can’t help but cry grateful tears remembering the happiest and scariest day of my life, Groundhog Day 2003. Her dad joked during the long, hard labor that he hoped Whitley didn’t see her shadow and decide to stay in there longer…I still don’t think that was very funny. Seventeen hours of pure torture (sorry honey) and an emergency cesarean later only to hear silence, no sound of cries coming from her tiny, perfect body.

But, I knew she would cry. I knew she was meant for me and that she would be okay because love always perseveres. Always hopes. You were worth the wait, baby girl. Happy Birthday Whitley Jane.