Michael bought me a devotional book, "Grieving the Child I Never Knew." I have only worked through the first few days of it, but it has already been a good resource for me. It asks me tough questions, and it prompts me to journal, which is my way of processing just about everything.
Yesterday's section told the story from 1 Kings 3:16 where two women have come to King Solomon. One woman claims the other's baby has died, and has switched their babies in the night. Solomon, in his wisdom, asks for a sword. He then proclaims that they will simply cut the baby in half, to share. The real mother immediately cries, "no, let her have the baby. Just don't kill him!" The other mother says, "yes, if I can't have him neither of us can." And Solomon knew the first woman was the real mother.
The point of the devotional was to empathize with (but not condone) the woman who stole the baby. She wakes up in the middle of the night to find her baby is not breathing. She panics, and aches to hold a real, living baby again. Maybe she just wanted to hold the other baby for a minute, or maybe she was disillusioned somehow. Who knows? But the point is that she ached so badly for the loss of her child that she wanted to hold a real, alive baby. I believe this was her defense mechanism. She just didn't know what to do with her sudden, deep grief.
As I read this story I remembered that a few nights ago at work I served a couple who had their 10 1/2 month twin girls with them. They were beyond adorable-happy, sweet, and smiled at me every time I came to the table. I began talking with the couple, asking them about their experience with twins. I have always had an acute interest in twins since I had a twin who died before birth. Eventually, somehow, as they encouraged me to try to start having kids sooner than later (they were probably at least ten years older than me and felt that their age made the pregnancy more difficult), I ended up sharing with them about my recent miscarriage. And I found myself aching to hold their little precious ones.
As I read this account in 1 Kings, I related to the woman's desire to be comforted in her grief by holding a baby. And I look forward to the next baby I will get to hold and hug and be reminded of God's grace.