Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Are Children Replaceable?

Today I am delighted to share with you a guest post from Lori, mom to Matthew, born onto earth on November 28, 2009 (after a 10-year-infertility battle) and born into Heaven the very next day. Lori has been amazingly transparent on her blog through this grief journey and now adds to the delicate balance of learning to live after loss, the joyful/nervous anticipation of baby Luke due next January. Her recent reflections on the book of Job blessed me this week and I pray they will minister to you as well:


So, I'm just going to put it out there. I've been very, very aggravated with the story of Job since Matthew died.

And if I'm really honest, a little aggravated with God's mentality (or what I believed it to be) in the whole resolution and ending of Job's story.

Because while there are many lessons learned, pieces of wisdom and insight to be gleaned and comfort found (although I admit, still some questions!)...one thing has just really, really bothered me.

At the end...when Job's faithfulness is 'rewarded' and he is 'doubly blessed', I've been aggravated with the notion that everything he lost doubled and some new children could make it all better. More specifically, he lost seven sons and three daughters...and getting seven new sons and three new daughters was supposed to be a reward? Like those children were just replaceable with seven new sons and three new daughters?

I've often thought, "No wonder Job's wife felt like cursing God. Her babies were gone and she thought God did it." I don't believe that's the way to go about it, but I have to admit I could sure see her perspective.

So anyway...I've not been happy with the resolution of seven new sons and three new daughters. They don't replace those first children, nor could the space in Job's heart or his wife's heart be filled with 'new children'.

I had a CASA meeting tonight and was driving home. I had the radio on and it was XM station 170, Family Talk. It was some preacher, and I didn't necessarily recognize his voice. I listened mindlessly for a few minutes (long day!) and then decided I'd put some music on. So right as I was about to turn the channel, I heard the guy say something about death and the book of Job. I stopped for a second and he went on to further say that for anyone who's ever lost a loved one, and more specifically, a child, the book of Job should present problems at first. Well...I was hooked. And listened. He said that if we paid attention, all the stuff Job had in chapter one was replaced and in double the quantity by the end of Job. All but the children. I'd never actually paid attention to the number of children Job was again given, if I think about it. I just knew he'd been given more children and somehow life was good again. So, the guy goes on and says, "If you have ever lost a child, this should bother you. Children are not replaceable."

I teared up.

He then noted that we had to dig a bit deeper, though and note the significance. Job received seven more sons and 3 more daughters--NOT 14 more sons and 6 more daughters, as would fit the double blessing recipe.

Why not? Everything else was returned and he was doubly blessed. Why not the children too?

Because, just as this guy said...children are NOT replaceable. Job WAS doubly blessed with children...it's just that the first seven sons and three daughters were waiting for him in Heaven and his 'double blessing portion' of children, if you will, was there on earth with him now.

He *was* doubly blessed with children...but half were just waiting in Heaven for him.

As my Matthew waits for me.

And oh, my sweet Matthew....mommy waits for you.

I too have been doubly blessed...with one in Heaven waiting for me and one inside me kicking around for more ice cream.

There are no coincidences, friends. That random man's words were meant just for me.

Maybe for you too?

3 comments:

Sas said...

hi jenni. thanks so much for sharing!

Sas said...

got your comment. thank you! yes i do rem that chapter. just want to let you know, your book has been a massive blessing. i have bought like four copies- i gave away two, and i have two to lend out. yes, i've been a little promoter here in new zealand haha! (i hope to use it more to support other women like me.)

it provided me with much support and biblical perspective that i have needed these past years- esp as there isn't a whole lot avail in terms of local resources from a christian perspective. it was actually a great 'friend' for me because initially i knew NO one on the same journey. thanks for writing that book jenni. appreciate it so much.

Jenni / Jennifer Saake a.k.a. InfertilityMom said...

Sas, thank you so much for being a "promoter" and for your heart to comfort and encourage others through this journey! {{{hugs}}} If you haven't checked out the Hannah's Prayer Community Forums (message boards) I know we have several ladies from Australia and have had a few from NZ over the years as well. (Honestly trying to remember if we currently have any active NZ members at the moment or not, but you would be welcome to come and introduce yourself to find out!) www.hannahsprayer.org