Dear Loved Ones,
We love our Beatrix Clementine. She was so special. And we will never, ever forget her. Her life has already had so much meaning and purpose. While we only got to enjoy her for a little while, we got to enjoy her nonetheless. She was a gift. She was never ours to keep, even if she had lived to be 100, she would have only been a gift that our generous Father allowed us to cherish and enjoy. We are not bitter. We are not disillusioned. We are grateful. We are thankful.
We are thankful for every moment of Maggie's pregnancy, and the joy and anticipation we felt, and the way that drew us closer together. We are thankful for Maggie's labor, and how easy it went, and how much fun we had during the birthing process. But at the same time, we have been hurt. It hasn't all been good. In fact, losing Beatrix has been the most terrible thing to have ever happened to us. Yet we have already seen so many wonderful things come from this sad time.
We are blessed that this has drawn Maggie and I closer together. And we are blessed that the words of Christ have come true that, "by this all will know you are my disciples, if you love one another." So we thank you for loving us, serving us, and praying for us. We are glad that God has been honored because of our response to this tragedy, and we pray that people can see that it is the risen Christ in us that allows us to see with such clarity. We also pray that we will always find ourselves in Him as we continue to grieve.
-- Austin and Maggie Baxter
the service was as comforting as it could have been. julia pickerell was amazing, truly ordained to speak the truth that we all needed to be reminded of. that beatrix was the fulfillment of God's purpose for her, that through her God is being glorified, and that she is safe in Jesus's arms now. all of God's creation speaks of Him, glorifies Him, is made by and for His Glory and that is as much as we can hope to be comforted by. this road will be long. this road will be dark. this road will be hard. i continually pray that encouragement will come into maggie & austin's life in indescribable ways and illuminate that darkness even if momentarily. part of doing life together is grieving together and i feel we have all been in no short supply of that. neither i nor anyone else can pick up this cross from their heavy shoulders and that pains me.
we sang two songs at the memorial that i thought my break me. it is well with my soul and then blessed be the name of the Lord. i keep listening to the latter on repeat. over and over. over and over. i need it to drill into the depths of my heart. when i walk through the wilderness. blessed be your name. when the darkness closes in, still i will say blessed be the name of the Lord... you give and take away. you give and take away. what struck me about that song, and i had never heard this before, surely it was God revealing a tiny bit more of Himself to me, is the phrase within that song that "my heart will choose to say, blessed be your name". not "my heart will want to say..." or "my heart feels like saying..."
to steal a phrase from an excellent book of the same title, i feel i am walking in the dark night of the soul. my arms are made of lead right now, i am struggling to praise His name because i do not feel like rejoicing. i am joyless, sucked dry, and hearsick beyond words. and yet... and yet i still have to say it. the Lord is good! bless His name forever! He does give and take away. sometimes love is a choice, there are some seasons in our life and walk where the foundation of our faith must take over our emotions. our hands still need to grasp His, in fact now more than ever! maggie said that she couldnt face the future without Jesus. (amen on my part as well) one day all will be revealed and our tattered hearts will be renewed.