Congratulations to the Class of 2016!

This year was a biggie! It seemed like every day at least one high school graduation invitation found its way into our mailbox. At one point, I wondered if I was going to have to take in ironing to cover all of the checks that I wrote and mailed to these graduates.

I’m so proud of these fine young men and women. It is a big deal to graduate from high school, and Rusty and I congratulate each of them. It has been a blessing to watch these students transition through life and accomplish another monumental goal.

I’m not really sure how this reality hit me; but, at some point during the graduation season, I was reminded of the could-have-been status of our family. Yes, it hit me a few days after our local high school graduation ceremony. If our first child “could have been”, he or she would have been graduating from high school this year. That is just crazy to me! First, it doesn’t seem like Rusty and I are old enough to have an eighteen-year-old child. And secondly, it doesn’t seem like our first miscarriage occurred almost two decades ago. Wow!

[It’s just a speculation … but I’m almost 100% sure that I would have floundered as a mom when it came time for our babies to flutter off to college and to life on their own.]

Our family’s could-have-been. What does it really look like? What if each of our pregnancies had gone to term? What if Rusty and I could have parented the four children we lost through miscarriage? What would this look like for us?

Picture us. Here we are …

RUSTY – Dad, now for 18 years (bet he’d be getting the hang of it by now); ME – Momma of the brood; JESS – 18 years old: WILL – going on 15; RUSS – 13; and our grand finale, “Baby” Farmer – 6 years old and counting.

You’ve never seen our children bailing out of a mini-van in the church parking lot. No one has ever seen them out in our front yard playing kickball on a Saturday afternoon. And nobody spotted our three youngest children in the mob at Patriot Stadium, cheering for their sibling graduate as the diplomas were issued. You see, our earthly family unit consists of Rusty and me, but we still acknowledge the lives of our children. We don’t mournfully dwell on their fragile existence throughout each day, but with milestone events, like a high school graduation, we are often reminded of our four could-have-beens.

Dear friend, have you ever experienced miscarriage? If so, I extend to you my heart-felt sympathy and empathy. I know your pain, and I also know that only the grace and mercy of God can mend your broken heart. I pray His Divine healing for you.

Pregnancy loss is a regret that is never forgotten. I met a dear lady in 2013, who in her eighties, was able to tell me the due date for her daughter whom she had miscarried over sixty years ago. I have had retirement-aged women approach me at various ministry events and share from tender hearts about a baby – or babies – they lost through miscarriage almost a half-century ago. Why is that? Why is the tiny existence of intrauterine life not easily forgotten by his/her mother? Why is it that a woman cannot magically forget forever the loss of a baby that was being formed within her womb?

I think I may have the answer, dear friend. (At least it is the answer for me.) It is quite simple. Human life begins within the womb. In Psalms 139:13 and 15, David states, “For You (God) formed my inward parts; You woven me in my mother’s womb. …My frame was not hidden from you, When I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.” In Galatians 1:15, Isaiah 49:1, and Luke 1:15, we find God calling, naming, and blessing children all while they were still in the womb. In Jeremiah 1:5, the Lord tells His prophet Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I sanctified you.” There are countless Scriptural references and scientific findings that are conclusive: Life begins at conception! And I am convinced it is the guarantee of genuine, complete human life within the womb that causes these teeny babies to live forever in our hearts.

Dear lady, if you have encountered pregnancy loss, I humbly remind you that God has a plan of contentment and an abundant life for His people. Even if we are living our lives without our unborn children, I know God’s grace gives us joy for each day. Although we have His joy, the subtle reminders of our could-have-been families reveal themselves to us from time to time. These sweet moments of reflection are ours to cherish as beloved souvenirs, given to us by God Almighty. My sister, let us anticipate a Heavenly reunion, knowing there is a Savior and knowing that a life began within our wombs.

His love for you,