The Tree

We have loved and lost, but know God fills with abundance where we are emptiest.

Last week we lost our little baby inside my womb, at 8 weeks old. We just found out we were pregnant only a few weeks ago and hadn’t even officially announced the news. We already had lots of plans…imagining a 4th car seat in the van, how to situate the kids rooms, would it be another boy to add to the boy band or our first long awaited baby girl? And then day dreaming on how the next 9 months would play out began; Ray and I had this big idea that we’d take a picture by the same tree at the same spot every Sunday for the entire 9 months. I could see the vision with each shot of the tree slowly growing back its leaves, blossoming, then changing colors all while my belly grew horizontally underneath it inch by inch :). Until after 9 months, October would arrive and I’d be standing under that tree with bright and vibrant autumn colored leaves holding my sweet baby in my arms….

But then the vision changed. God had different plans, and a different vision than my own. One hard to understand, but one more infinite and whole. My baby is in Heaven where we all long to be, and the greatest achievement of any parent is to bring their child(en) to Heaven. What peace that brings me. Resting in that thought reminds me why I’m even alive, it pulls me out of my selfishness and narrow view into something bigger and greater than myself. My life is not my own, and my own kids’ lives are not even my own. As much as we think we are in charge of and have the right to control how many kids we will or will not have, the truth is nothing is mine, but all is freely given to me out of love. What graces God bestows on us, and yet we seem to think we are all entitled to them, that we somehow even deserve them. While the reality is –everything is a gift – even our sufferings. And I can only trust and know our all loving God, who is kind and wise, simply has a better plan.

A good friend priest sent me a song he wrote which beautifully captured these sentiments:

“God called you home — even before
You heard one lullaby or saw
The gentle love in mother’s eyes
But God is kind as He is wise
How radiantly his love must shine
Around you, dimly paling mine
..And knowing, dear, that’s where you are
Heaven seems not quite so far…”

This tree picture now represents a moment in time, of the gift. Of the grace, and of God’s abundant love. That He would allow me to mother another life, even for that short time, is a miracle!! How often we take it for granted! How frivolous we have become with the sanctity of life! We are blessed with so much more than we realize. He wants us to taste and see Heaven! He wants us to see and experience a vision greater than our own.

the tree

And that vision holds a tree far more majestic and grand and life giving than any other tree I could imagine. One that “dimly pales” mine. One under which my baby is being embraced and enveloped with an all consuming love.

And I can’t wait to see that sight…one day. Oh, how I long to see that sight.
I love you, baby Joey Maria. Pray for Mama and Dada.

Mary Grace Pingoy

Mary Grace Pingoy is a wife and mother of 3 boys currently living in Indiana nearby Chicago. She is a Catholic speaker focusing on chastity and Theology of the Body and owner/photographer at www.jmotivephotography.com. You can follow some of her personal reflections at www.9monthsofgrace.com.

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