Tuesday, August 18, 2015

He Knows My Name

Picture with me, if you will, that it is September 2, 2012. You've just returned from a weekend away in an attempt to distract yourself from the fact that, just one week before, you buried your baby boy in a tiny white casket in the red Alabama dirt of a country cemetery. 

You arrive home in time to attend the night services at your church. You debate on it; you haven't shown your face anywhere in your small town since your baby died. The thought of seeing anyone face to face and seeing the reality of the sympathy on their faces has paralyzed you in fear. At the last minute, you decide to go.

You walk in and sink into the front pew so that you don't have to pass anyone on your way to sit down. You stare down at your lap and notice the empty womb beneath your black Under Armour shirt. You hide your face as you cringe. 

You are filled with conflicted feelings; it's nice to feel support from those who stop to speak, but at the same time you desperately want to sink into the pew and disappear. You are grateful when the service begins and you can just exist there alone on the front pew.

A few hymns are sung, and you contribute every once in awhile when you weren't completely distracted with flashbacks of the last week and a half. When the lights turn off to sing along with a few praise and worship DVD's you rejoice in the darkness where you can just be.

The first song starts to play and you immediately recognize the tune; it is one of your favorite songs and normally, you would be excited for it to be playing. The song is "He Knows My Name". You try to sing along, but the images behind the lyrics are of a tiny newborn baby resting peacefully in a pair of hands. The tears begin to well in your eyes and you know that the dam is about to crack.

In an effort to remain invisible, you place your face in your lap and within seconds find yourself overcome with powerful sobs that can only come forth from a grieving parent. In a moment, you feel a hand on your shoulder, and then an arm around you. Someone sets a box of tissues in your lap and your sobs become mixed with tears of gratitude. 

This was me, almost three years ago. To this day, that song always makes me think of Barrett. This past Sunday night, we sang that song again, and with Barrett's birthday coming up Sunday, I found myself overcome with emotions as I lay on my husband's shoulders and just listened to the lyrics.

He knows my name
He knows my every thought
He sees each tear that falls
He hears me when I call'

The first line gives me comfort as I reflect on Barrett's brief life. The Lord knew him before he was even formed in my womb. The same God that has walked with me for almost 11 years now is walking the streets of gold with my sweet boy. 

Last night as I was beginning the wall that we are using to display Barrett's things, I looked at the blown up canvas we have of one of the pictures from our pregnancy announcement photo shoot. It is his first ultrasound lying on my then new red Bible with Psalm 139; a few verses of which are now forever engraved on his grave marker. 

That red Bible is now tattered and the pages are falling out, but I will carry it always because it was the Bible I was using while he was here with me. As I looked at that photo, I reflected back on the song from the night before. I still find that song overwhelming, but for different reasons. That September day in 2012, I was overwhelmed by the images of the baby on the screen. Now it overwhelms me because of the hope contained in the lyrics. 

He knows my son's name. He loves him even more than I do. 

He knows how much his absence hurts me. He hears me when I am alone and the grief overwhelms me to the point that I don't even know what to pray. He knows every tear I have shed over his death. He sees the ones that continue to fall.

He knows your name. 

He knows my name.

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