Surviving the Death of a Daughter (pt. 7): Blessed Be Your Name

(by Emily Foster) This morning I woke up and noticed the sunshine coming through the window. I heard the birds chirping. I looked over and saw my sweet husband asleep. Suddenly there was a loud THUD! Followed by what sounded like an elephant stampede. The bedroom door flung open and in a flash two little smiling faces were at my side of the bed. Hudson and Athan climbed up to snuggle with Michael & I, as they usually did about 7:20a.

As they settled down under the covers, I remember feeling genuinely happy for the first time in two full months. And I continued to feel that way all day. While homeschooling, riding bikes, making dinner, all the way until bed, I was happy. For weeks, I have basically been trying to remember how to feel happy. I can recall many times where I would think, “Ok, this is a time I should be delighting in.” But I just felt sad.

Today marks the two month anniversary of Nicaea’s birth and death (10/2/12). Up until today, I felt like, “What’s the point? Why bother clean? Why care about my appearance? Or homeschooling? Or anything?” I had to actively decide each day to do those things because I knew they mattered even though I didn’t feel like they did. Today I felt they mattered and I was joyful for the work at hand. I have an acute awareness of the overabundant blessings in my life. They all are gifts from God. I deserve none. I am entitled to nothing…

Today I feel God has brought me closure. We’ve seen all the doctors, done all the tests and seen all the results. From here on out, what we know is probably all we will ever know this side of eternity. I have peace.

I am hopeful at the idea of getting pregnant and, Lord-willing, having another baby. I feel as ready as I am going to be. Delaying several months before beginning to try to conceive would just be because I am avoiding what I fear–another death. But come six months, twelve months, eighteen… I know I will still have the same battle to combat in my mind. I already am, honestly. I am praying for our next child, for the pregnancy, for my health, our child’s health, for Michael not to be fearful, the boys not to be fearful, and for me–that I would not live in terror but enjoy being pregnant.

Hudson asked me the other night (we were talking about the possibility of future children), “What if our next baby dies?” I told him that we don’t know that will happen and we cannot live being afraid. But we can know that God is good, we can trust Him, and that He will give us the strength to get through it… He will comfort our hearts… He will provide EVERYTHING we need, just as He has with Nicaea. We hugs and prayed together, thanking the Lord for His goodness during this time.

I keep examining my heart: Why do I want to have another baby already? No other baby will ever replace Nicaea. I am not trying to replace her or forget her. And while I love my children, I am not trying to find my satisfaction in them. I can’t. They will never satisfy my heart. Only Christ will satisfy. I miss my daughter but I need to long for Christ, not her. Nicaea and all my children would ultimately fail me. But God will not. Never. I will go to her but she will not return to me. I look forward to worshiping our King together on that glorious day!

I’ve been teaching the boys a hymn or praise song each month for homeschool. This month we are learning, “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.” I  was a little nervous that I would cry each time that we got to the bridge. Surprisingly, I have only teared up a few times. I recall telling the nurses and Gay when I was at the hospital awaiting to be induced that even in the midst of this, I will praise Him. This has continued to be my prayer for our family. God has been so kind to answer it over and over again with hearts that sincerely praise Him. When I hear the boys’ sweet little voices sing this hymn, it fills me with thankfulness, joy and hope.

Blessed Be Your Name
by Matt Redmond

Blessed be Your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

2 thoughts on “Surviving the Death of a Daughter (pt. 7): Blessed Be Your Name

  1. Hello. You don’t know me, but I heard about your daughter from a friend that asked me to pray for your family. Since then, I’ve been following and reading your posts. Michael, please tell Emily that her words have stirred introspection & renewal within my heart, and that the Lord is using little Nicaea to proclaim His goodness. Your testimony through your grief is a true example of what it means to follow Christ. I wish I was more eloquent , or had more adequate words, but please know that there is good coming from your story. As a Christian, I often hear fellow believers proclaiming the goodness of God when things go their way/ during blessing (and of course He deserves the praise), but it is rare to hear during pain, suffering, death…Continued prayers for your sweet family!

  2. Dear Robin,

    Thank you for your kind words and your prayers. It is encouraging to hear that God is using our daughter’s death to glorify Himself & to work in the hearts of others. Please continue to pray for us.

    With love,
    Emily

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