Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Rebecca

Once upon a time in our lives there were four of us.

My wife and two great children - Boo and Pumpkin Girl. Everything was great but somehow it just didn't feel complete.

Then God blessed us with another beautiful little girl - Rebecca Maria.

We were assigned to Korea when she was born and we thought how perfect. My wife's grand uncle had died in Korea during the Korean War and we thought here we have this beautiful life where another was lost.

Everything felt right. We were complete and even when things were not always good, Becca made it better.

Until one day, when Becca got sick. At first we thought it was just a virus. Then we realized it was something else. The doctor in the ER blew it all off as another parent over-reacting to a kid with a bug. No matter that this was a veteran Mom with two older kids at home.

Finally we were able to see another doctor and run some tests, but the doctor didn't believe the results.

And then my sweet baby died.

And we were shattered.

Someday, I will write more on this. There is so much more to say about what I learned through the pain and the suffering. How faith could have been destroyed but instead it grew stronger. How do you go on when your most desperate prayers are answered with - "No." ?

There is a hole in my heart that can never heal. An absence that is felt and will never be whole until I close my eyes and open them again to see my God and my child.

When I was growing up, I never understood the phrase, "It is better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all." It seemed stupid. If you are going to love and lose - why wouldn't you avoid the pain in the first place?

But I understand now.

None of us know the number of days that we have or that we have with others. To make the most of the days that we are given is the most important thing. To love and allow yourself to be loved means to make yourself vulnerable. And it is the closest that we will come to God.

And when we found ourselves adrift in our pain and grief. Lost in our sorrow and barely anchored by our faith, God sent us friends and neighbors that helped us through. And we made it through. Stumbling through the dark, wishing for death, but finding life instead.

The Lord blessed us with another child not to replace Becca but for us to love another child. And we discovered that Psalm 30:5 is true "weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."

And we have found that Becca is still a part of our lives. Her chinese name means "thousand rainbows" and she sends us rainbows and other signs to let us know that she is well and to encourage us as continue down our journey.

I do not think that a "thousand rainbows" was a coincidence. For Christians, a rainbow is a promise from God. The promise was to never destroy the earth with a flood again. And there is another promise - that God has defeated death for all of us and he will return. That we will see our departed brothers and sisters again on the last day and that there will be no more sorrow, pain, or death.

So, today my Becca turns 6. My personal saint is in heaven today and there is a celebration that is beyond my imagination. But I hope to be a part of it someday.

I hope that we will all be a part of it someday.

Happy Birthday my little girl - I love you and I am proud of you.


  1. Phill, That was beautifully written. Thank you for sharing. - Jayme

  2. Thank you for sharing Rebecca's life and story with us. I am touched and honored.
    God bless you and your family today.