Monday, November 1, 2010

Equal in my eyes, Equal in His

We have decided to bury Rachel in a different cemetery...the one in Milton Mills is just too far from home.  Dover is about 10 mins closer, they bury in the winter (which also means that we'll have access to her grave every year at her birthday and the anniversary of her death) and a lot of my family is buried there or will be eventually.  My grandparents own a family lot there and have given us the 2 plots so that Matt & I will be able to be buried with Rachel down the road.  We have called Milton Mills to find out about getting a refund on the plots we bought there.  If so, we will be able to use that money towards the headstone, which will be a huge help. 

I have never thought about a cemetery being "pretty" but you tend to look at most things with a different set of eyes when you are planning your baby's birth and funeral at the same time, and this is one of those things.  I have been to every cemetery in Rochester, Dover and Somersworth and this is by far the prettiest.  I guess I've always taken that for granted when I've gone to visit my Nana's grave.  Having Rachel has shown me that I have taken a lot of things for granted in my life, this being one of the less meaningful, but still another thing she's taught me.

We had the burial service for my Uncle Dale today.  His urn is buried on top of my Nana's casket.  Pastor Dave from our church came and did a really nice service. The sun was warm, the air was cool and the leaves that were so beautiful on the trees when I went a couple of weeks ago to pick Rachel's spot were now on the ground...a perfect distraction for the kids.

From where I was standing at the top of the hill during the service,  I could see where Rachel will be not so long from now.  I wish it didn't have to be winter...I suppose there's always a chance she could live as long as Baby Faith Hope did (she lived for 3 months!) and maybe it could at least not be freezing, only God knows.  But winter or not, it's going to be a hard day.  As I listened to the amazing truths about death and eternal life in Christ that Pastor Dave was sharing, my heart was so grateful at the mercy of our God. 

Dale was very rough around the edges...he had a quick tongue and struggled his whole life with alcoholism.  (I guess I come by both honestly :o) )  He told me a year or so ago that when he was young, he had accepted Jesus and that he just drifted away.  This was the first time I had heard this and it came as a HUGE shock.  My Uncle Dale...couldn't be - you see, I guess I thought I knew what a believer looked like - and he was not it.  Now, I'm not claiming that he was saved then.  I understand that when people are really saved, there is a change in them and there is the fruit of the Spirit.  What I do know is that God was very patient with him and in the last year that he was alive, the Lord kept putting people in his life that would share God's love with him.  He talked with a girl on the phone regularly that he liked talking to because she prayed with him...he called an old co-worker who came once a week to do a bible study...and here and there, he would meet with Pastor Dave.  As death got closer, he called Pastor Dave more often and a couple weeks before he died, he told him that he believed in Jesus and believed that He died for his sins.  I will also say that during this time Pastor Dave was a huge blessing to me, walking me through many long phone calls and lots of tears while I struggled not knowing how to show Dale how much I love him and how much God loves him.

I had woken up one morning 2 days before he died and God had put him on my heart in a very heavy way.  I immediately knew I had to talk to him.  He was still struggling with the fact that he didn't think he was good enough to go to heaven.  I knew I had to tell him that none of us are.  It's by faith in Christ alone that we get that gift.  I got a babysitter that afternoon and headed over (I was so nervous to have this conversation) on the way I called, only to find out that they were throwing a big party for his son's birthday. 

With a room full of people and him going in and out of consciousness, I didn't know how I'd be able to talk to him, but God gave us 5 minutes uninterrupted when I was able to share that with him. We cried together as he told me that he knows he's going to heaven, he just has a "little bit of rockin' and rollin' left to do here". I asked him if he'd tell my baby hi when she gets there and he said he would. This was a bitter-sweet conversation that will be forever etched in my heart.  That was the last day that he was able to hold a conversation.  He spoke a little the day after, but not much and the next day, he was gone.  Gone to heaven.

Why am I telling you all of this...because I stood there today, knowing Dale's whole story...knowing that God welcomed him into Heaven after living a life that was not God-honoring, simply because he came to believe that Jesus was his savior.  God didn't say well you know, you should have decided that sooner.  He welcomed him home.  It wasn't about him being "good enough" for heaven.  You don't get to heaven by being good.  He got there by grace alone, through faith alone.

I also stood there knowing that Rachel is going to be born and then die without a chance to decide she believes in how does that work??  How does she get to go straight to God without deciding to follow him?  Some people say she'll go if she's baptized.  That would be a simple way to feel sure, but the bible says that we are not saved by works but by grace alone...baptism is a work of man that cannot save him from hell.  Besides, what if she was born still and we didn't get to baptize her before she passed?  Hell??  I don't think so, but I do not want to decide based mere sentimentality that Rachel will go to "a better place" (as we hear so many unbelievers say when they lose a loved one)  I want to know for sure - and I want to know why I believe it. 

There are a lot of things that I still don't understand about the bible and I will never fully comprehend God, because I am human.  My mind isn't capable.  But what I do know to be true about God is that He is a God of mercy and grace.  I know that there is nothing in scripture that says that there will be judgement against those who never have a knowledge of right and wrong, or who never have the opportunity to choose whether they will love God.  I know how Jesus responded and felt towards infants and children.  There might not be a specific verse that says "your baby, although a sinner, will go to heaven" (which is what I would like to be honest)  But I know that the verses that talk about people being damned to hell all say that the people made a deliberate, willful rebellion against God.  I know that Rachel isn't capable of that.  She is being saved by His grace alone.  I am certain that His grace is enough. 

As I stood there, with Uncle Dale's ashes in front of me and Rachel's grave in the near distance, I pondered the truth of God's grace.  I thought about what a great example He is as a Father... A Father Who knows how to love each one of His children individually and perfectly.  I thought about how Rachel and Dale were at such different places as far as earth and life here goes, but yet, in God's eyes, they are the same and He loves them equally.

I have been coming to a great peace with the idea that my role as Rachel's mother is meant to be different than my role with my other children.  With them, I have to do all the daily tasks of raising children who will be ready and able to walk through a world of sin, without becoming friends with it.  I need to guide them to the One to Whom they ultimately belong and pray that they will choose to have faith in Him.  With Rachel, I just need be with her and to let God show His amazing grace through her as He carries her home.  On this earth and as far as life here goes, they will be in much different places, but in my eyes they are equal. 

Once again, God reminds me of His sufficiency.  He truly has been though anything we will go through, He understands perfectly, and He gently guides and teaches me as I walk the path He has set before me.


  1. You words are so anointed with the Lord's wisdom...Saved by grace.... Soo thankful that I am...It is humbling to know that Jesus in his perfect love would have gone to the cross, knowing the suffering HE would endure, just for one life to save....

  2. Thank you for sharing this. Your expressions reflect God's gentleness and stability. It really blessed me, and I appreciate how you explained your different role as a mother to Rachel, as well as the part about babies and God's judgment on sin. I've always wondered how this works, but what you said sure sounds like Truth to me. Thank you.

  3. Stacy, you don't know me... I read your story in the paper and came here to read more. Your journey has touched my heart and then some and I will be praying often for you and your family. I found a few verses that may help you. One is repeated 3 times so you know it's important :o). God Bless You!!!

    Matthew 18:3
    And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

    Matthew 19:14
    But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

    and again here:
    Mark 10:14
    But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

    and again here:
    Luke 18:16
    But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

    Hebrews 5:13 and 14
    13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

    I know your baby will be in Heaven.



We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes