What do you do when God tells you to do something, you obey, and you get hurt deeply because of it? For you see, Cora’s story started long before 5 months ago. About 18 months ago, during a Bible study of Genesis, I felt God’s prompting to trust Him with our family size. This was a big step for me. I could name a dozen reasons why four was enough. But, God left me with an incomplete feeling and a call to do His will. After all, when doing the will of God, we can expect the provision of God, I learned.
So, last summer, we became pregnant. And a few weeks later, we learned that baby didn’t survive. That was hard. But shortly after that, our Bible study of Matthew began and right away, I learned that we need to give our expectations to God. I did not expect a miscarriage. And, Mary welcomed God’s plan, despite her personal pain. God healed my heart and slowly I began to feel excited again about the prospect of another baby.
Have faith in God when your pathway is lonely,
He sees and knows all the way you have trod;
Never alone are the least of His children,
Have faith in God, have faith in God.
Cora’s pregnancy was much different from the last. I was so sick. Such a good sign of the baby’s health! And her heartbeat always remained strong and high. At my 16 week appointment, her heart rate was 155! The loss of Cora is a much deeper pain. I didn’t know the last baby. I know Cora. I’ve held her. I’ve seen her face. I watched Joey hold and pace with her. We counted her fingers and toes. We took pictures.
At first, I wasn’t angry with God. I just felt hurt. Why would God hurt me like this, after I’ve obeyed? And I felt so sad. So sad all the time. But, I felt angry when we found a baby bunny in our backyard. Why should this baby live when mine didn’t? But my mind argued with my heart. Of course my baby lives! Jesus saved her and she’s with Him. I was really angry that God didn’t spare me pain.
Have faith in God in your pain and your sorrow,
His heart is touched with your grief and despair;
Cast all your cares and your burdens upon Him,
And leave them there, oh, leave them there.
But I didn’t stay angry. I can’t be angry. There are too many Bible stories of the faithful who’ve suffered. And I’ve felt God with me. I’ve felt the power of prayer. How else could I have made it through yesterday?
I was carried through the funeral. God’s spirit calmed me. It was all surreal. Hard to comprehend.
I took a picture of all my children.
And I almost broke down. I wish the girls could have held her, whole and perfect as she is now! Why?! my heart kept crying.
I focused on the flowers. We chose a heart because of her name’s meaning.
And what girl doesn’t love roses and ribbons?
God spoke to me through the service. Our music minister sang Have Faith in God, at my request. More than comfort or peace, I need faith. I know because of God’s grace to me, He prompted Jerry to write a fifth verse. God really knows and cares what I’m feeling!
Have faith in God when you don’t understand Him.
His heart is kind and He has a master plan;
Always be sure that He’s watching His children,
And He’s holding Cora’s tiny hand.
If there’s purpose to pain, it helps us cope. I felt my early pregnancy sickness was a good sign. I made it through those months, knowing the purpose of all day nausea was a healthy baby. But this, this pain, seems senseless. Cruel, even. But I loved what our pastor Jonathan said during the funeral. He said that 1 day is like a 1,000 days to the Lord (1 Peter 3:8.) So Cora’s life was 120 days, which gave the Lord about 120,000 years to do his work. Cora’s days may be complete, but God is still using her life! My suffering won’t be in vain, although it seems so now. I need more faith!
The hardest part of the morning was at the burial site. I had each child place a rose on her casket.
And when the first shovelful of dirt was put on top, I thought I would break. I wanted to lay down and wrap my arms around her coffin and rock her one last time. I’m not ready to let her go! I miss her so much! I realized while standing there, that the incomplete feeling planted in my heart long ago, will never be fulfilled. No matter what the future holds, my family will never be complete on this earth.
We left our heart with her.
As I sat down to write this morning, I was looking through my Bible study notes from the last two years. God knew what would happen and He did warn me. “Yielding your rights to God will result in loss and gain,” I read. I have lost much! As I told a nurse at the hospital, we know what we’re missing. I long to breathe in that sweet baby scent and kiss those soft feet. But, as I wait on the gain, I need to
Have faith in God when your prayers are unanswered,
Your earnest plea He will never forget;
Wait on the Lord, trust His Word and be patient,
Have faith in God, He’ll answer yet.
Have faith in God, He’s on His throne;
Have faith in God, He watches o’er His own;
He cannot fail, He must prevail;
Have faith in God, have faith in God.