This is the most excruciatingly difficult thing I have ever written.
If you are reading this, you probably know that my family loves sports. I think there are several reasons for this. One of my own is how sports can prepare you for life. Through playing, coaching, and even watching games, I have learned to win (and win graciously) and also how to lose (and to lose with class and dignity). In real life, it is inevitable that there will be loss. I’ve lost many things in the past—jobs, friends, family members, my keys. Sometimes I feel like I’ve lost my direction in life.
But in the last week, I have known a loss that I still can’t fathom.
For those of you who don’t know, my 19 year old daughter, Brynna (she lives in Texas) was pregnant with twins. Late Tuesday night, at only 19 weeks, she went into labor. What followed would be the most difficult thing that any of us have ever had to go through.
Around 2 pm on Wednesday, I received the news that neither baby had a heartbeat. Late that same evening, I was able to fly to Dallas to be with her. As I was making the 6 hour drive from the airport to the town that she lives in, I debated whether I should stop and get some sleep or keep going. I pushed through and arrived at the hospital at 9 am.
She delivered Katherine Gene at 11:09 am and Victoria Rose at 2:04 pm.
The babies both had the same birth defect. The doctors are still trying to determine the cause of the defect to see if it is something that could affect future pregnancies.
As difficult as this has been, I give all thanks to God that I was able to make it here in time to support my baby and hold my grand-daughters. It was a day that I never dreamed would happen and a day I will never forget. We are all relying on the grace and peace that we can only receive from God, and we know that even in these most difficult of times, his grace and mercy endures forever.
Physically, Brynna is doing well. She is so so strong and brave, and I am so incredibly proud of her. But I would give anything for her not to have to be this strong and brave.
Not right now.
Not for this reason.
They say that no parent should ever have to bury their child. You certainly shouldn’t have to see your child bury their child.
That’s what I will do tomorrow.
When Brynna was younger, she loved listening to the song “More” by Matthew West. But it’s another one of his songs that comes to mind now. The words go something like this, “When you see broken beyond repair, I see healing beyond belief.”
We are broken.
We are hurting.
But thank God we know the Great Healer. In Him we find our faith, our hope, our comfort, our shelter, and in time, our healing.
Holding on to Christ…
Doug McKinney is one of the pastors of The Restoration Project.