Easter week is hard for me.
It was this day a year ago, that we were dealt the devastating news about our baby’s health issues. Not the exact date, but it was the day before Good Friday. Our routine scan had picked up a few abnormalities, so we had been sent to see a specialist. I remember so vividly how I felt as we sat in that waiting room, then were called in to the scanning room. I was desperately crying out to God that He would have answered our prayers and that we would be told everything was ok.
But He hadn’t, and we weren’t.
Instead we were told that the health issues they could see could be fatal. We were told our baby definitely wouldn't make it to full term, and that we needed to be prepared that she could die any time. And to my horror, they suggested a good solution would be to just have an abortion. I remember my very short and sharp reply that that wasn’t an option, and Jeremy’s confirmation. And I remember staring at Jeremy in shock, wondering how this could really be happening to us and to our baby.
Somehow I managed to stay composed for the hour or so that we were at our appointment, but as soon as we left the hospital I broke down. It literally felt like our world had just come crashing down around us. It was so hard to then live each day, from 19 weeks onwards, wondering if our baby would last the next day. Hannah is our miracle - the doctors struggle to explain how she proved them wrong and made it to full term. Although my midwife did try to tell them it was because God answered our prayers!
My mind has been full of those memories today... it was definitely one of the worst days of my life, other than the day Hannah actually died. I will never forget the emotions that overcame me that weekend after we received the news. In the natural, things looked hopeless. We knew God was our only hope, and we desperately cried out to Him and tried to cling on to His promises. We prayed and held on in faith that God would heal our baby, and we would get to bring her home.
This Easter I have a whole new understanding of what God must have felt when He watched His son, Jesus, die on the cross. The pain He must of felt as He had to turn His head as Jesus took upon Himself all the sin of the world. And the agony Jesus’ earthly Mother, Mary, must have gone through as she watched her oldest son suffer and die. There is nothing more painful a Mother could ever have to do. The fact that God was willing to send His son to die for us, to forgive each and every one of us if we will only accept His sacrifice, amazes me.
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
And that is exactly what Christ did – He sacrificed His own life; so that we might be forgiven and cleansed, and able to have a relationship with God Himself. This is what Good Friday is all about.
As Romans 5:8 says, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
What an amazing gift.
However as with any gift, the recipient must choose to accept it. We each must choose whether or not we want to accept what Christ has done for us on the cross. God is perfect, so our sin separates us from Him. But the offer is there that if we confess our sins to Him, and submit our life to Him, He will willingly take our sin upon Himself. Then we can be reconciled to God.
So as hard as tomorrow is, with the talk of Jesus’ death reminding me so vividly of my daughter’s death, I will still be taking the time to remember with thankfulness the price that Jesus paid so that I could have a relationship with Him.
Yes this weekend is hard, as it brings back so many memories of Easter last year. How different things are now - yesterday marked 7 months since Hannah Grace died. But I am more thankful now for my relationship with God than I have ever been. I can not imagine how much harder this journey of grief would be without Him.
On a different note... today I also want to honour another little baby, that I’m sure Hannah is friends with in heaven. She was due to be born today, but last year she left this earth for her heavenly home. Thinking of her Mum today as she misses her sweet daughter xx