Baby Jonathon really hasn't been a baby for awhile, but that's how our family has referred to him since day one, and today, the one that marks his last here on earth, is a day that brought tears.
Some may wonder why...you see we never saw this little guy face to face and my children didn't know his family at all, but God created a connection and as a Mom I'm feeling many emotions.
I grieve for his dad, Kyle, a young man I watched grow up years ago when I taught school and he attended, for Jonathon's mom, Sara, a woman I've only met once, but who has ministered to me greatly with her Caringbridge posts and for baby Johnny's big brother James, a little one who undoubtedly loves life and chances are will struggle a bit with death. (Don't we all?)
I am sad because life is hard. In March of 2011, Jonathon was born with heart defects that have impacted him every day since. I would read Sara's posts as my little Jesse, just 4 months younger than her little "J", played and did things little boys do knowing it was only by the grace of God my situation wasn't the same as hers. Every single time I read her updates, God put my life in better perspective. Friend, if your children are healthy you and I have much to be thankful for! Today, rather than taking that for granted will you join me in giving thanks?
I hurt for his extended family...the ones who've personally been touched and blessed by the little guy who had a sweet smile. For them, life will never be the same. This loss brings pain, questions and a void, but I pray they will turn to God for healing, answers and rest.
I am thankful for baby Jonathon's life, a life that only lasted 2 1/2 years, but one that has left a mark. He's a little guy who did things Dr.'s said he never would and touched hearts even though his was broken. I am thankful for the light his parents have been...in nearly every update they shared, God was referenced. It was Him they trusted when they first heard Jonathon's diagnosis before he was even born and I'm confident it will be God they praise when they celebrate their little boy's life and say a "Good-bye" no parent wants to say.
I'm a bit surprised with the tears that are falling yet again as I write these words, but I know God has a reason for them and a lesson for me. I hear Him reminding me, "Jill, I'm still in control and always will be. I have a plan, though it can include hard stuff, it is good. I created baby Jonathon and knew the number of his days...he lived his life to the fullest and made the most of his days, now you do the same. His parents are hurting, but I am holding them. They've lost a son, I did too, I know how to comfort them. You can still trust me. Love your children and remember, really, they are mine. When times are tough and the pain hurts, keep seeking Me...I am strong and have the power to heal. My daughter, don't forget this life is not the end, because you know Me and have accepted my Son, one day you will be with Us for eternity."
Friend, I don't know what your day has held, but I know the One who is holding it. Today will you take a minute and pray for the Lockies, they've been grateful for prayers in the past and will continue to need them in the future. Thank you.