Five Years

Five Years

It’s been five years. Five years of holding on and five years of letting go…

Dear Jacob,

Today has been five years since we saw your face for a moment and gave you right to Jesus. It feels quite strange to me that so much time has passed and yet it seems I’ve lived a thousand lives since you left us. Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who remembers you. Like maybe you existed only in my mind. I feel the ache of missing you, the wrestling of moving forward, and the peace in your purpose.

Sometimes we lose people, and we mourn all that was. Here, I mourn all that will never be. In the five years that have gone by, I have been a student of letting go. I have learned to let go of the plan I had for you. God’s plans were not my plans. I have learned to release my pain and let it drive me to purpose. And I continue to wrestle to allow God’s purpose for your life to be evident in mine.

God’s promise to me was that you would be the baby that would change the chapters of my story.

And slowly but surely, inch by inch, year by year, I have started to see the story unfold.

You see, sometimes, I think shattering a heart is the only way to make it whole. The raw, wounded, openness of my soul in your loss allowed me to see things differently than I ever did before. And somehow, it’s allowing me to see myself differently than I ever have before. I was supposed to raise you, but Jacob Seth you have been an instrument that God is using every day to raise me out of brokenness, to raise me out of pain, to raise me out of the knots that have long entangled my soul— and to place my feet firmly on the purpose God has had for me all along.

That is a priceless gift I never could have imagined in your leaving. You have truly set in motion the tide that is changing the chapters of my story. And five years later, we’ve only just begun.

Here is the meek gift I offer you in return. I’m holding on. I remember. Every kick of your tiny feet. Every curve of your small, innocent face. The curl of your lip that looked just like your brother. The way your hat was placed carefully on your precious little head. Your daddy carrying you to your gravesite. Your strong name carved upon your tomb. Your absence in the huddle at the grocery store. The missing pickup in the elementary car line. Five years or fifty, I will always remember.

I’ve heard the silence of your absence screaming through the chaos, and I feel the magnitude of your purpose pressing down upon me now. I will never mistake your vacancy in this life for a lack of your purpose in mine. It’s time to move. It’s time to step out.

I used to think that at the core of God’s purpose for our lives was the good in our story. And then He just somehow managed to maybe use the hard and painful parts. But now I’m realizing I might have had it all wrong. Maybe the shattering is at the center of it all. Perhaps it’s in the shattering that the light can finally shine in and out and through.

Jake, you are my gift. You are my song. And it is because of you, I can sing of the goodness of God. After all— in ALL things, He is GOOD.

Happy birthday, Bud. I will always, always remember. ?

2 thoughts on “Five Years

  1. Erin, wow. Thank you for sharing this. I love the insight of the shattering allowing the light through. I share a similar story of a tiny daughter, held for a moment after her delivery at seventeen weeks. Shattered but the light has always been breaking through. For me, it’s been 20 years.?

  2. Erin, thank you so much for sharing this. My son and his wife were expecting a baby boy, but he was still born at 29 weeks. That was the end of September, and his due date would have been this Friday. I will share what you’ve written with them, in the hope (and prayer) that it will speak to their hearts. It seems that only those who have been through this terrible thing can truly comfort the ones with this loss. I pray that God will continue to bless you and all your boys with His very best.

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