Sunday, July 10, 2011

In his name

This post is long and includes some details that may be hard to read, but I promise the ending is worth it...I just feel like I need to get all this out of my head and I'm all over the place, so forgive me...

In the middle of the Casey Anthony trial, I was talking to my sister who was giving me the run down of the details of the trial since we don't have cable.  She got to the part where she said something along the lines of the little girl's body being in the woods for 7 months and that by the time they found it, it was skeletonized.  She continued talking, but my mind was no longer on that poor baby, but mine....

We were having this conversation right around Rachel's 7 months birthday.  7 months is all it takes??  I wondered, as her words faded to the background of my thoughts.

When she got to the end of what she was saying, I asked "can a body really skeletonized in just 7 months?"
"Yes" She replied with assurance, clueless of where I was going with this.
"Even in a casket?" I asked.
"Oh...I don't want to answer this question" she said as she realized that we weren't talking about the same thing.

I've mentioned before that I worry about what happens under the ground.  But this has been my biggest struggle lately...  what is her body doing down there?  Does it get hot?  Stay cold?  Does she still have skin?  Is it disintegrating...sunken in?  Is her blanket down there as empty as the one I sleep with up here?  Has any of the water gotten to her?  Are there bugs on her?  Does it smell?  What was that noise I heard under her clothes, saran wrap?  (I had tried to have her embalmed, but her veins were too small and so they cut her open for nothing and then suggested I not help dress her at the funeral home, so I didn't - I also didn't dare to ask what the noise I heard was when I touched her, so I didn't - but I wonder about it regularly)

The pictures in my mind are scary and heart wrenching.  And they have been on my mind constantly.  I want to just shake them off and stop thinking about it, but it's not that easy, she's my baby.  My thoughts go from that to stuff like:

When our bodies are resurrected, will hers have the top of her head?  Does God consider her "whole" the way she is or are we considered "whole" the way we are?  Will she look like a baby, a little girl, an adult?  Will she recognize me?  Will she care that I'm there?  Will I care that she's there?  If we're only going to care about worshipping Jesus, won't we all just be focused on Him?  People try to "help me move forward" by telling me that Rachel wants me to be happy and then implying that "happy" means that I won't be sad about her.... I just don't buy that she really cares about what's going on down here.  She's in heaven.  She doesn't think like we do.  We try to put our human thoughts into heavenly ones and it's not possible.  I really don't believe that she is worried about anything, let alone what's going on on earth or if her mama is sad.  I'm glad about that, as her mother I want nothing more than a pain free, worry free life for her and I know that is what she has... but being unneeded by my baby is hard for me.  To know that she is not longing for the day we'll see each other again like I am brings me both comfort and sadness.

These thoughts about her body now and her body then have plagued my mind and heart and I believe that satan is using them to make me doubt God.  If he can get me distracted with details to discourage me, then he wins... a little at a time.  I want to just focus on the future... on the hope that I have in Jesus and in heaven.  I want to let the earthly stuff just fall to the back of my mind and heart, but it's just not that simple.  This is not a relative that was older than me - or a friend that was close in age - or even a child of a friend -  it's my baby.  Everything in me KNOWS that I am SUPPOSED to be taking care of her.  I'm supposed to be keeping her at the right temperature, feeding her, changing her... I'm supposed to be wiping her tears and comforting her... I'm supposed to be checking on her and making sure she is okay throughout the night....I'm supposed to keep bugs off of her.

And I can't.  I don't need to... I can't fulfill my role in her life, but she is still on my mind every minute just as she would be if I had her here with me.  The distance physically just doesn't occur emotionally with your baby - and time doesn't seem to be changing that.

The problem with this is that this road feels so long and daunting, that I'm getting discouraged.  If I'm honest, I'm starting to not even care about the hope I have in heaven because it feels too far away for it to matter.  I want to experience some relief NOW... in this life.... I want a break from this pain and heart ache now.  how am I going to do this the rest of my life without completely falling apart?  If I'm honest, I'm doubting life after death and focusing on the grave instead of the fact that Jesus has overcome it.  If I allow myself to think that this is all there is... pain, sadness and a tiny disintegrating body, possibly covered in bugs... of course I'm going to be discouraged!  I read yesterday in one of my devotionals that discouragement is one of satan's most useful "tools" and I can see why.

Today in church, we were on the last line of the Apostle's Creed....  "The resurrection of the body and life everlasting"  My ears perked up because I'm well aware of where my mind's been lately on this topic and I have so many questions - not about me or my destiny, but about Rachel and where she is and what she's like.

There was a new baby sitting behind me, maybe a few weeks old, that started crying really bad.  The young mother was trying to feed him and bounce him, but he was still screaming.  I wondered how in the world Pastor Bernie was focusing with how long this was going on for.  And then I realized that it was bothering him when he slipped, and instead of saying "when a person dies", he said "when a baby dies".  He stopped and admitted his distraction and we all giggled at the fact that it was no secret that the baby was distracting. 

Now, if my mind was somewhere else, those words may have been difficult for me... but I really think God was answering my questions and doubts through this circumstance in a very "loud" way.  Because the next thing he said was that "their bodies are restored."  He talked for minutes about healing and restoration  (which, as a side note, are the 2 meanings of the name we have picked for our new son... I'll get back to that, don't worry)  and how in heaven, both healing and restoration will be perfected in our bodies.  He mentioned the verse in 1 Corinthians that says "O death, where is your victory?, O death, where is your sting?"  A bit later, he quoted the verse from revelation 21:5 that says "I make all things new."  Des & I had colored a picture for Rachel last September and she wrote that verse on it and we buried it with her.  Death has no victory over her... He makes all things new.

It just felt like all these pieces were coming together all at once.  And then at the end of the service, before communion, we sang "I Will Rise" by Chris Tomlin.  I've got it playing on the blog, but here are a few of the lyrics:

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles' wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
"Worthy is the Lamb"
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
"Worthy is the Lamb"

I'm sure you can figure out why I shared the first verse and the chorus with you... but the last one, I want to explain... when I sang "I hear the voice of many angels sing"  I could almost hear Rachel singing to me to reassure me "Worthy is the Lamb"  and as I imagined her up there worshipping Him - no pain, no tears, her body whole... my longing heart cried out "Worthy is the Lamb."

By the end of communion, my tears were flowing heavily.  My emotions are hard to put into words, but I felt the sadness and grief yet, comforted, thankfulness, relief, hope.   I can't honestly say that I won't still wonder about her body in the ground.  I'm sure I will.  I will say that my faith and hope was revived today and that my God, once again, gently restored my soul.  He is ever so patient and loving towards me.

We got in the car and talked about baby boy's name.  I'm sorry, I told you this post was going to be long!  I would make this part a different post, but it really has to go with this -  Here is the story on his name...

Matt came home one day 2 months ago and randomly said... "If we have a boy, I want to name him ____."
I said "'ve got to be kidding me" (you should know that it really isn't like him to be planning ahead - or thinking about baby names, especially since we hadn't even had the ultrasound yet that showed he was ok, never mind a boy!)  He insisted he liked it, so I said "it depends on what it means" and went to get the baby name book.  I looked it up and it said it means "healer" with a spiritual connotation of "God Restores". 

I'm big on the meaning of names... don't really see the purpose in just picking a name that sounds good but doesn't have a special meaning, and so I couldn't deny it was perfect.  We made the mistake of telling a couple people and after having some heads turn sideways trying to figure out why we would pick such a name, I decided to look around for something else that had the same meaning.  I've found nothing... and every time I try to convince myself something else will be better, this name just keeps coming back to my heart.  Over the past 6-7 weeks since we found out he was a boy, I have repeatedly been comforted by songs and verses that talk of God restoring my soul... like in Psalm 23...

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil...
He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul.

Every time I hear the word "restore" I think of the new baby and can't get this name out of my mind. I was certain that God was saying his name should mean "God restores", but I was hesitant to name him this because I didn't like the way the meanings seemed to suggest that this baby will do these things for me - because I know he won't.  This baby cannot take away any of my pain or bring any healing where losing Rachel is concerned.  He is not a replacement.  He can't restore her and having him won't restore me.

Today I felt like God showed me what the real application of these meanings is to be and why this name keeps coming back to me.... because HE is the healer and restorer.  Rachel has been healed and restored.  Some day I will be healed and restored.  Baby boy can't do that for me, but God can... he has... he will.

And so here it is... our third son's name that will forever remind me of the hope, healing and restoration found only in the name of Jesus, yet represented in his name as well...

Asa Francisco Aube
(Francisco is my grandfather's name and apparently means "free man") :o)


  1. Love this post, Stacy! I knew a little boy named Asa and had to look up his name to discover the meaning. I think it's perfect for your little boy.
    Sending hugs your way...

  2. Love the name. We have an Asa in our church family. Love that God gave your husband the name.

  3. I love the name Asa! What a perfect name for your little man. I am so excited for all of our boys to get here! Love you!

  4. It is good that you recognize WHO is giving you those thoughts. He preys on our deepest fears and regrets and questions. He does it to me too. I have many regrets surrounding my son and he does love to bring them up when I'm having good days to try to drag me back down.
    I do believe we will know our loved ones and they will know us. And we will care for each other and spend time with each other. But that's just my view on Heaven.
    Beautiful name for your son!

  5. My friend's little boy is named Asa! He's a sweetie & I'm sure yours will be too! I did not know the meaning .... I love it! =) It is so perfect!

    The beginning part of this post -- it makes my heart hurt to read what you're going through. But you have it figured out - God will restore you one day! Emotions & all!

    Love, Lelia

  6. Perfect name - I can't wait to meet him!!!

  7. I was teary eyed through the first part of this post and by the end, I was smiling. (: What a great name with a wonderful meaning for a special baby boy. Good choice Matt!

  8. Absolutely beautiful post and beautiful name, Stacey.

  9. I think it's perfect! Are you going to pronounce it "Ay-sah" or "Ah-sah"? Love it!! :) xoxo B

  10. Very nice name. I have actually heard that name more and more lately.

  11. Hi Stacy,
    It's amazing that God has allowed me to "meet" you recently. I have been struggling with discouragement too as you know, and I believe it is God's mercy that has allowed us to enter each other's lives. I know it is healing and uplifting for me to know that I am not alone. I am thrilled to know that you have chosen a name for your baby boy that means "God restores." It is perfect! Our baby boys will may not restore us in the way that we long to be restored, but we should not be looking to them alone as the healing we need. People (even our own children) can never heal us, as much as I know I wish that could be the case sometimes.
    Friends have been encouraging me to read the book Heaven is For Real. Maybe you should read it too! I do not believe that Rachel does not care about her mom's sadness here on earth or is not looking forward to being reunited with you. Heaven is as much about being reunited with our family (both immediate and spiritual) as being united with Our Father. I have wrestled with whether or not Stella will meet me when I enter heaven, and I usually come to the conclusion that she will.

  12. LOVE, LOVE, LOOOVE!!!! :) God is awesome! So glad that He comforted you and brought some answers your way! I love the name too! How precious! Praying for you all!
    Carrie <3


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