A few weeks ago I wrote about my daughter Anna. But few know I actually have another daughter, at least I have always thought of her as a girl. She is not someone I talk about very much, but I think about her and it’s around this time of year that I think about her more often.
I have never seen her, but I can only imagine what she looks like now. She probably has long thick brown hair and dark blue eyes and she is most likely tall with a strong German frame, with a slight nod to my Norwegian heritage. I like to imagine she is reservedly confident, resourceful, works hard to accomplish whatever is placed before her, has a dry wit and a tender heart that feels things deeply. Knowing only remotely the family in which she was placed, I know she was surrounded with immense love and joy and she no doubt was given every advantage. I know God has and is going to use her in a mighty way.
Although she is infinitely better off where she is now, I deeply regret not having taken the opportunity to love her better, actually to love her at all…to have cherished her for even a little while by holding her in my arms. I never hugged or kissed her, never looked into her eyes or brushed the tip of my nose over her baby soft cheek. I never coupled her head in my hand, let her wrap her fingers over one of mine, or gently run my thumb along the bottom of her tiny little foot only to be awed by the tininess of her toes. I’m sure as a baby she was absolutely beautiful and those that surrounded her were completely taken up with her. And as she grew I think of her having had a shy giggle and having a hugely colorful imagination. I take a lot of peace imagining her crawling into her Father’s lap, with strong arms being wrapped around her, and tucking her head into His chest and feeling completely safe, loved and cared for. I like to think of Him having told her how much He loved her, how beautiful she was and telling her of her great worth. (Oh… how I wish now I could have told her those things.) I pray she was able to spend as much time in His arms as she wanted.
You see, unlike my daughter Anna, who I love so very much and showed my love to by giving birth to her, my other daughter did not receive that same love from me. Instead, I ‘chose’ to end her life. Instead of loving her in all the ways a mother would love a baby (born or unborn), I disposed of her. Instead of thinking about all the ways she could impact this world, I tossed her aside as if she were worthless. Only God knows at this point how things would be different; who she would be, whose lives she would have influenced…how God would have used her on Earth. Each year on this date I think about how old she would be…and this year she would have been 23.
Why am I telling this story now? Well I guess it’s only because my daughter Anna in a sense gave my other daughter a voice. And while Anna was thanking me for ‘loving her enough’, I also heard my other daughter’s voice saying, “how come you didn’t love me enough?” As I’ve been growing closer to God and getting a better understanding of His love for me, I am beginning to value everyone else more. And as I’ve asked God to help me understand my worth to Him (because I believed I didn’t have much if any), He has also shown me the worth of other people. And how can I possibly love others in this world well, if I have not acknowledged ALL my own children’s worth, which would certainly include my first child.
I’m sorry Baby Girl for not loving you like God wanted me to. You ARE full of worth. You are God’s precious creation, made with care and given a purpose even before the world began. For the short time you were there, you were knit together in my womb by God’s hands. You are beautifully and wonderfully made! And although you were never alone having lived these 23 years in the presence of your heavenly Father and his angels and our family members that were already ‘home’, you also have a very large family here on earth with loving parents, siblings, grandmas and grandpas, LOTS of aunts, uncles and cousins. My beautiful baby… you are wanted, you are precious, you are loved!