It was a Monday morning. I hate Mondays.
The call came in at 6:30 a.m. He wasn’t breathing and we didn’t know why. I jumped out of bed, ran to my car and drove to my sister’s house. She had pulled in right before me, tears running down her face. We ran in the house, and there he was in the middle of the floor.
My nephew. 3 ½ months old.
The next minutes seemed like a blur. I went into survival mode. He needed CPR. I knew CPR. How did that go again? I never thought I’d ever have to use it.
Breathe. Chest compressions. Breathe. Chest compressions. And on and on it went.
It seemed that it took the ambulance 30 minutes to get there. I really don’t know because I was kneeling over the lifeless body of my nephew.
I was praying.
I was praying that God would take my life and give it to Dylan. I’d lived a good 21 years. I was happy and had been successful at just about everything I’d tried. My sister needed her little boy. I was ready to go.
What I wasn’t ready for was the years of heartache that followed. For a long time I blamed myself. I blamed God.
I offered up my life for his willingly, just like You did, Lord, and You didn’t take it. If You would have just done what I asked, my sister wouldn’t have had to feel this way.
I wouldn’t have to deal with this pain.
Maybe there was something more I could have done. What if I did the CPR wrong?
What if I was the reason for the heartache?
SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is the unexpected, sudden death of a child under age 1 in which an autopsy does not show an explainable cause of death.
Unexplainable death. You might as well have shoved a dagger through my heart, Lord. I’m never going to recover from this one. All this…not knowing.
I haven’t recovered yet. I carry scars from that day that still hurt. Sometimes they sneak up on me. I hear the sound of an ambulance and I’m right back there on that cold November morning.
It’s taken me years to get here, but I do have good days more than bad now. On a good day, those scars are a constant reminder of what God is bringing up in me. Almost ten years later and I think I am beginning to see why God allows the scars to still hurt. They are there to remind me of my foundation in Him. They are they to remind me of the depths He’s brought me from. He is my past, my present, and my future.
As the days and years go on, I can talk about Dylan. I can speak peace into lives affected by loss and tragedy. I can love on people, and I can finally write about my experiences in the years after.
Redemption is a process. The scars that no one sees are God’s reminders of His redemption in me.
His death impacts my life with daily grace and love. Every day, little by little, those regrets, the bitterness, the scars, in the words of Sara Groves, are becoming “less like scars and more like character.”
What are ways that God is redeeming you?