Today I had the privilege of attending the graveside and memorial service for a very special baby boy - Silas David Taylor. He was a precious, perfect, and beautiful baby boy who brought joy to many during his short time here on earth - all spent inside his mommy's belly. I still remember that day in January when Melanie came by the house to tell us in person that she was finally expecting - something her heart has longed for for oh so long. As long as I have known Melanie, she has wanted to be a mom - just like I have wanted. Now was her chance, and I was so excited for her.
Fast forward 8 months, and I was at her shower. She was a beaming, expectant mother. So excited to meet and hold her little one. We went shopping for cloth diapers less than two weeks later - the first day she had an inkling that something might be wrong. Mere days later it was confirmed. Silas would not survive. I ached for her and prayed with faith - knowing that my God is all powerful and he could heal Silas if He chose to. My girls and I prayed each morning and I found myself constantly lifting Melanie's whole family before the Throne and asking that God would heal Silas.
August 27th, I got a phone call that Melanie was in labor (during a hurricane, no less). I prayed so much - for Melanie and Jerome, their families, and baby Silas. I prayed that God would perform a miracle. My prayer echoed the prayers of countless others who know and love the family and even those who had never met them. We prayed and believed and hoped. Sunday, August 28th, I got the text message that Silas was resting in Jesus' arms. I was crushed and I cried. I wondered why God hadn't chosen to heal Silas. Why had he allowed this family to be dealt this crushing blow? I knew that my God was the same and I never doubted His goodness, but I ached for their pain. I wondered why God had given Silas to them just to take him away so quickly.
Over the next two weeks, I did what I could to help - offering support, sending songs of encouragement, and most of all prayers. I was reminded of a plaque in my parents' house when I was growing up "Father, I may not understand you, but I trust you". I knew that to be true. It still hurt.
Today was the funeral. Melanie invited us to the graveside service and my heart broke again and again as I watched Melanie and Jerome and their family grieve this loss. It broke as I saw the tiny box with Silas' remains. It broke as I looked at my own three blessings and realized how much I take for granted.
The service afterwards was beautiful. There were photos and a music montage that brought everyone to tears. The pastor did a wonderful job of reminding us that Silas' life and death were not without meaning. God is using this little guy - even though we never officially got to meet him while he was alive. He reminded us that Silas has had more of an impact by his life than some have in 70 years of life. So true. He reminded us of how precious life is. And most of all, he reminded us that God is good. We can trust Him and rely on Him.
I am grieving this loss of such a precious little child. I am grieving for my friend. I am grieving for the pain they must walk through. I am inspired by their strength and faith in the midst of this storm. They know their Redeemer is the same yesterday, today, and forever and they are holding tight to Him. What a testimony of faith! By their testimony, I have been convicted of all that I take for granted, and for my complaining when things don't go the way I want them to.
There is nothing I can do to fix this. I hate that. It just is rotten and there is nothing that will make it hurt any less. But I know that my Redeemer lives. I trust that His purpose in Silas' life will be fulfilled. I know that there are those who probably think that she should have found out about Silas' condition earlier and terminated the pregnancy, but I disagree. Silas was a precious gift from the Lord. Even in the short time he had here, he has had an impact and is pointing others to the Lord which is our ultimate purpose here on this earth. His life is bringing glory to God and his parents are a testimony of God's faithfulness even in the storms of life.
So, I will continue to pray and grieve with my friend. I will also celebrate this little life with her and her husband. What a treasure they were given, though for a short time. To God be the glory. Thank you God for Silas and for the testimony of his life.
One of the worship songs at the service:
One of the songs during the slideshow (great testimony behind this song)