My life is new.
My life is new in a completely different way than I had ever anticipated. Instead of experiencing a ‘new’ life together with Sam, Ted and I are living a ‘new’ life without him. We had prepared our hearts for all the joy first time parents experience with their babies. Instead, we trudge forward, moment by moment, not knowing what that’s like.
During Sam’s funeral we asked a dear friend to videotape the service for us. Last night we received the copy. We sat quietly in our office watching through tear-filled eyes, one of the hardest half hours of our life. I held Ted’s hand and we marveled at all of the love. Tony Alstott, the Pastor at Wesley Chapel, again moved us with his words. He closed Sam’s funeral with this thought:
“We are human each and every one of us. And we measure life differently than how God measures life. And we might think that what’s happened here this week is a horrible injustice and that God is a horrible God because we measure life by days, and months and years; and we measure life by accomplishments. But I want to tell you about how God measures life. God measures life by love. That’s how God measures life. God doesn’t measure life by the number of years. God measures life in the quantity of one. We are all given one life and there are no guarantees. Life is fragile and life is a gift. Folks, Sam was given life. And Sam’s measure of love was greater than we can ever imagine. And our love is greater than what we had before. And for that we will always be thankful for Sam Benjamin Newton.”
I’ve had people reach out to me and tell me they’re angry with God. Maybe I haven’t experienced that stage of grief yet but I’m praying I never get there. Each morning I try to focus on the one thing I know to be true; God has been faithful before and He will be faithful again.
Tony shared with us that Sam’s life was a gift. No one knows that better than Ted or me. I recently read, “When you come to the place where you recognize that everyone you love is a gift, it becomes possible to enjoy those gifts – not with an attitude of greed but with one of gratitude.” (Holding on to Hope)
In his sufferings, Job tells his wife, “…Should we accept only good things from God and never anything bad?” (Job 2:10) The truth is that Sam was a gift. Ted and I were stewards of our gift from God. That’s our job as parents. A steward is to manage or look after another’s property. Sam was God’s. I can’t be angry that Sam is with his Creator.
I can only respond with my humanly response. I miss my baby. I wanted to experience life with him on earth.
But how precious it is that we get to spend forever with our little boy.
My biggest anxiety moving forward is how each of you responds to me and to Ted. Mostly your response in public. I’m afraid to see someone who doesn’t know Sam was born to God. As a Mama, it’s simply hard to voice. Although my heart is shattered you probably won’t see me without my smile. Please don’t avoid us, not mention our baby or worry about making us cry. We do cry – and that’s okay. Tell us you’re sorry. Tell us you love of us. Most of all, tell us you’re thinking about Sam. Our love is greater than what we had before. And for that we will always be thankful for Sam Benjamin Newton.
4 thoughts on “God measures life by love.”
Oh this is so beautiful. I unfortunately too know what it is like to lose a baby unexpectedly. I lost my daughter Katherine 11months ago. I won’t go into all of my story but your words are so beautiful. I think at some point the anger stage comes…it isn’t necessarily an anger at God though…I didn’t hit an angry stage until about 4months after my daughter died. For me it has been anger at just that my daughter isn’t here, anger at the injustices that happen to other babies born healthy to caregivers that didn’t want them, anger that those that were supportive in the first few days months later were telling me to “get over” move on ect.
It has definitely been a struggling of inner faith and at times yes a questioning and a wrestling with God but that because I brought it to him I have been able to grow deeper and stronger in my relationship with him. I love the book of Job for many reasons but one of them is Job was declared a “righteous man” in God’s sight, and even Job had a time of questioning, he brought it all and laid it before the Lord, and when the Lord spoke, Job had nothing more to say….God showed Job his mighty power, strength, love , and comfort and the fact that he owes HIM no answers all at once. Job’s faith grew stronger and deeper because he was willing to come to God broken and human and maybe with even some anger.
I hope you don’t reach an angry stage either but if you do know that God will take you completely as you are and refine you in a deeply comforting way.
I pray and you and Ted never grow angry with the Lord. The Lord has given us all life, and sometimes he calls us back to him before we want him to. Ultimately he knows best, and if we believe his promises, we know he has a beautiful plan for our pain.
I cannot begin to express how much your graceful response has touched me. You and Ted are so full of faith, and you are showing people how to grieve and praise God at the same time! You have been given an amazing testimony. I pray that people see this and are affected it by it for the Lord!
I continue to pray for you both often, that you would continue to be a light while you are suffering, a light that others see in the darkness. I pray as your body heals, as you take down the nursery, as the plants in your yard grow, and as you try for another baby in the future, that you never lose the unwavering faith you have now. You are truly an inspiration to us all. Love you.
I love you and Ted and Sam and think of you and pray for you daily.
Abby, your words touch me deeply. I think of all of you and my heart is broken for you and your family but I know that GOD has wonderful plans for you and Ted.