I have been putting off writing this entry. I don’t know exactly why but even as I’m typing now my heart is beating faster than usual and I feel a bit anxious…

A fair warning up front: it’s no secret that humor is largely my focus on this blog but this entry is not going to be as much fun…I guess some “motherhood confessions” are of a more serious nature. But I said I would share the good, bad and ugly, and I suppose this is part of that.

SO…I started going to MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) in September and immediately met a TON of amazing and wonderful mothers. We share mom-tips, mom-stories, mom-laughs… We come out for a couple of hours twice a month and eat breakfast and talk about fun stuff like crafts and “finding our identities” as mothers. It’s all just “NORMAL” mom-stuff.

But after just one meeting, we learned that one of the fellow moms had a baby girl who had become sick and was in the hospital. Immediately, we all began to pray for her healing and recovery. We followed a blog to check in on her progress….and we prayed. We worried…and we prayed. HOWEVER, I think most of us counted on the idea that little girls just don’t die and that we’d quickly return to talking to this mom about how to make Christmas centerpieces for her home this holiday season. We were all just waiting for her little girl to get better.

But she never did. This mom lost her baby in the hospital just days after she became sick. And just days before her second birthday.

What’s even more alarming, is that this mother was 9 months pregnant and ended up delivering her new baby girl just down the hall…while her daughter lay dying in the other room.

Needless to say this rocked our little MOPS group and suddenly all of us were thrown into a reality that we don’t think about very often. HOW CAN STUFF LIKE THIS HAPPEN TO PEOPLE??? I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it. And as I talked to other moms, I realized I wasn’t alone. If you haven’t been through something like this personally…and perhaps even if you have…you just can’t comprehend it.


I just kept thinking about this mother and what she must be going through…and how UNFAIR it seemed…how unthinkable…how UNINVITED death was. And how unstoppable it still is. I just don’t get it. How can she take her little girl to the doctor for a cough and then just never bring her home?! Little girls come home. They get sick, then they get better, and then they come home. I just kept thinking about what I would feel in her position. The unbearable ache. How do you ever recover from something like that?

And to think of what could have and should have been…that’s the hardest part. She should have been able to bring her new baby home and take pictures of her little girl holding her and they should have gone to the pumpkin patch this fall and they should be making Christmas cookies…and she should be a mother of TWO. And instead she came home to an empty house…had to peer into an empty little girls room…and had to remove an empty car seat…

I know it’s something none of us easily wrap our minds around. We don’t like to think about it or talk about it…which is probably why I’ve put off writing this entry. It just doesn’t BELONG here…in the life of sippy cups and Elmo DVD’s. Life can be SO BEAUTIFUL and so amazing…how can that exist right next door to something like this? How can this world consist of some of the most AMAZING, beautiful and joyful moments RIGHT NEXT to some of the most unthinkable, sad and horrendous things?

A mother giving birth to a new life…and that same mother saying goodbye to her little girl right down the hall.

It’s so…hard to understand.

We see this paradox all the time in even the simplest of ways. I remember being in Cape Cod this past summer. It was a gorgeous day. We decided to take a walk to get some ice cream down the road. Mackenna was running along in her pink flowered dress, excited and full of joy. The smile on her face was SO contagious and so beautiful. There is something so amazingly precious and innocent about children.

And then she fell. She got tripped up on her flipflop and tumbled right onto the pavement. Suddenly her smile turned to tears, and I was consoling a hurt little girl instead of holding the hand of a happy one.

I kept seeing her fall. I kept replaying it in slow motion in my mind (all of us moms do this to ourselves don’t we?) It was SO HEARTBREAKING to watch how her flipflop betrayed her like that. She was having so much fun…and to see her smile just wiped out…it just broke my heart.

Or I’ve seen other kids out in public who run to their parents with a big smile on their face only to be met with a sneer and a mean comment or to be sworn at or yelled at. And the smile vanishes. Innocence disappears. And you know all too well that, over time, it will be gone for good.

And that’s just the little stuff! What about starvation, murder, kids killing each other, rape…I don’t have to go into detail here. We all know the heinous evils that exist in our world. I have a really hard time living in a world that has the potential to offer SO MUCH beauty…sunsets, the ocean, the stars…my daughter’s smile. And at any moment, evil can steal it all away. Death can knock on the door. A smile can turn into tears. Running can turn to falling.

A mom can buy her little girl an Elmo DVD for her birthday…and never get a chance to give it to her.

It’s so unfair…

So I’ve really struggled this past month. I’ver never had to experience a tragedy like this mother has…and it’s hard for me to understand. It just hit really close to home this time. And that was JARRING. Things like this remind us of the inconvenient fact that this world never makes any promises. We know this, but we always forget it when things are going well. Then when the intruders come in, we are shocked, appalled, confused and lost.

Or at least I know I am.

I KNOW that this life isn’t supposed to be easy. God warns us all the time that He never promised a life without pain and suffering. But yet I get so confused and perplexed when bad things happen…and I think part of it is because this life can also be SO AMAZING. God’s creation as He intended it to be…we still get glimpses of it. My daughter’s smile reminds me of a world as He wanted it to be.

But her tears remind me of how it really is.

It’s a hard thing to deal with. The biggest thing to bring me comfort this past month is my Heavenly Father. I’m sorry I don’t have anything more “modern” than that! But it’s the truth. Although this world can offer so much goodness and amazing glimpses of joy, we’re not home yet. The reality is that while we see glimpses of goodness, we still have to live with death and destruction that blur our view. Our only hope is that one day God is going to wipe all the tears away and we will never more cry…or fall…or see empty car seats.

God said there’d be days like this.

“In this world you will have trials and tribulations, but DO NOT FEAR, for I have overcome this world”.

I find great comfort in that. The fact that Jesus has been through all of this..the suffering, the pain, the heartache, the betrayal…He knows what that feels like.

But there was GREAT PURPOSE in it in His life and I know there is a purpose in it for ours. And He OVERCAME it. He won. He conquered the grave. He’s sitting at the right hand of God and everything is OK. He sees our tears and I know he cries with us because He loves us. But He is not anxious, and He knows it’s going to be all right.

It’s like when my little baby boy is crying to be fed. All he knows in his world at that moment is confusion and fear. But I am his mother and I know I’m coming to him…and that he will be taken care of. I hate to see him cry, but I know he’s going to be OK.

Somehow I just have to trust that my Daddy knows what’s going on. And that it IS going to be OK. We live in a brutal world….and joy is fleeting.

But God is near.

The mom who lost her little girl was in MOPS this past week…with her new baby. Life is going to go on for her. She will NEVER be the same and she will NEVER stop missing her daughter…but God is holding her up…and she’s going to make it. I think of all of us moms needed to see that. Thank GOD for His loving mercy.

In Loving Memory of Brooke Lerner.


4 Responses to “GOD said there'd be days like THIS…”

  • Thank you for sharing this Nic. I read about your friend and what she is going through on facebook and I cried for her and her husband and their new baby. I can't imagine the hurt that they all feel, but I do know that the Lord will bring them comfort. He is the Great Comforter and I praise Him and thank Him for that truth. I will continue to lift them up in prayer.

  • Liz:

    Thank you for sharing this story. I had tears in my eyes reading about this mother’s tragedy. I will be praying for the Lord to continue to give her comfort and strength to be the best mother to her newborn daughter. I will be hugging Lydia a little tighter tonight. You couldn’t be more right….we aren’t home yet. I feel so blessed to know Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. He is watching over us!

  • Super post – and great domain by the way:-)

  • I like your post. Your blog is fantastic.

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