In His Hands

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    With tears streaming down my face, I watched a young father from our church carry In His Hands the casket of his baby daughter. I held tight my two sons that were with me with at the funeral, feeling the immense sorrow that they must be feeling as parents who would never get to raise or know their newest child like their other two daughters.
    The father led the processional as his baby girl lay in his arms inside the hand-made casket. Close behind him was his wife with their two daughters on both sides of her holding hands. Seeing them come together as a family like this; their love, strength, sorrow, joy and courage emanated throughout the entire church.
    I personally was overwhelmed with emotions, for the deep sadness of losing a child and for their deep faith for all of them to be able to stand before the church now without completely losing it.
    As they proceeded down the aisle in the opening song, the image of In His Hands came to me. Not only was the father carrying his daughter In His Hands, to let their baby girl go to now eternally be In His Hands. God would now be taking care of this soul forever.
    The priest presiding over the mass, said how it’s not about the amount of time we spend on this Earth, it’s about the amount of love our mission serves. Only God knows what this little’s baby’s mission is and it seems unfair to all of us that she didn’t get more than ½ hour on this Earth to live it out.
    From what I’ve heard about this couple of this experience, some of this little’s girl’s mission is already ripping at people’s heart and values. You see at some point during her pregnancy, they discovered that their little girl was severely disabled and not expected to live. This couple chose life, to give birth to this girl no matter what she looked like or how long she lived.
    Having given birth myself three times, I couldn’t imagine going through one of the most painful experiences of your life not to be overjoyed with your new living, breathing child that you could love for a lifetime. They were overjoyed as well, just not able to physically enjoy raising their daughter.
    The pictures at the funeral glowed with love. There is a gorgeous picture of the family all admiring the baby girl as she’s still inside her mother’s womb, with an angelic love surrounding them. Then there are those precious moments when they are holding her right after she is born, filled with warm embraces, loving kisses and hands folded and held together. Before I saw the father carrying the casket, I saw the pictures of him making the casket for her. It was created with such love, like the love I could imagine that Jesus put into the making of all he did as a carpenter. Again, tears.
    We are all blessed to have both Earthly fathers and a heavenly father. Both are loving fathers whose privilege it is to hold us children In His Hands. While our Earthly fathers may no longer be with us physically or the father’s children may not be with us physically, we can ALL the time be In His Hands, of our heavenly father.
    I think of how many times as a mother, I just need to put whatever it is that I’m dealing with In His Hands. When I don’t know what to do or how to handle something, I pray and ask for the loving and heavenly guidance of my Father. Then I think sadly of how too many times I don’t do this. I keep holding on to it tight In My Hands, thinking that I can handle it and know best.
    This was really hitting home to me as my youngest son, 2 ½ years old, was really struggling in mass. Even as we were in another room, I just couldn’t calm him and he kept wanting to yell and run away from me. I didn’t know what else to do so we went outside. I shared my frustration and then prayed and let it go. Soon I felt compelled to hold Garrett In My Hands. I gave him the biggest hug and just held him for minutes. He calmed down and so did I.
    Like my son and I, we’ll often struggle, try to fight or do anything to get away from being embraced by those who love us. Yet when we finally reach desperation and let go to let God pick us up with his peaceful embrace we are comforted like never before. Garrett was a HANDFUL, but I was reminded how truly blessed I am that I can still hold his hand.
    Whether our children are living with us, are living away from us or are in heaven, this family has inspired me and hopefully you that we will to always put our most precious gift, In His Hands. We can then trust that He’ll guide us in the best way to care for our children, as we’ve allowed God to be closest to them. We can trust that if their time is to go before us in heaven, we know that God is already holding them tight.
    I pray that you and I, like this family has done so incredibly, to give it all to Him and rest peacefully In His Hands.


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    Janae Bower is an inspirational speaker, award-winning author and training consultant. She founded Finding IT, a company that specializes in personal and professional development getting to the heart of what matters most. She started Project GratOtude, a movement to increase gratitude in people’s lives.