Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Life and Times of Wallace Sukovich



It really has been too long since I have written.  A lot has happened in my life since my last post, so I will reenter the world of blogging with a personal update of sorts.   Basically, since last December, my wife and I sold our condo, lived with her parents for about 5-6 months, and finally purchased a new home.  God has blessed us with a great place that not only meets our needs, but answers our prayer in that we have plenty of room to host parties for our family, church family, friends, and even all of them all at once!  God took us through a very difficult time in seeking a home, but in the end, He had the perfect house at a bargain price in mind for us.   Not only that, but we closed just before interest rates left their bottom and began increasing again.  Robin and I also love our new church family, and we are excited to be part of whatever works God is going to do through that church.  I still have my crazy commute and that is a huge prayer right now because I have one other big announcement to make.  Robin and I are expecting a child this coming January.  I do not want to be a dad who is too tired or busy to be a dad to his son.  Yes, that child God is blessing us with is a boy.  We are very excited to meet him, so please keep that in prayer as well. 

That is the grand summary of this personal update, now I want to take us back in time a little bit.  You see, it was just early last June that my wife and I were at dinner celebrating 3 years of marriage, 2 babies, and 1 new house.  Yes, I did say 2 babies.  You see, our son was not always alone.  There was once also a twin.  Sadly, on July 29, the day after my birthday, little Wallace Sukovich was born, just not into this world.  The story I want to share today is not my story, but the very short story of the life and times of Wallace Sukovich. 

This story begins the Saturday before Mother’s Day.  If you read this blog with any bit of regularity, you know Robin and I were praying for a child for quite some time.  In fact, it was only a few weeks before that Saturday when Robin was before the church in tears about our prayers to be blessed with a child and our new church family all laid hands on her and prayed.  This Saturday, though, it looked like we were heading for another disappointment.  I remember going outside that Saturday night and just taking some time to plead with God.  Not that this was not disappointing to me, but I could not bear to see my wife go through another round of disappointment.  I remember pleading that this was not what it looked like and that even if it was, what is it to God to change it.  Surely the One who created the heavens and earth and everyone and everything in it could do this one small thing. 

Surely, He did.  The next day was Mother’s Day and Robin and I went to church early to help set up some chairs before heading up to spend the day with my family.  We finished up at church and swung back by her parent’s house to get dressed and leave.  I went out to the car and she said she would be right there.  That “right there” was taking some time and I was honestly beginning to get a bit impatient.  Finally, she came out, quickly making her want to the car and into the car and, without a word, threw a white plastic stick into my lap.  I picked it up and realized it was a pregnancy test.  I asked what it meant and she showed me the box.  It was positive, Robin was pregnant. 

Over the next couple of weeks, we had several blood tests to check on how our precious newly created child was developing.  After about 2 weeks of this, it was time for an ultrasound.  I was at work while she went to the doctor and I received a phone call I would never forget.  The ultrasound did not show one gestational sac, it showed two.  There were two babies.  I remember just staring at my computer after the phone call not believing what I just heard.  The good news, though, was tempered with a little concern.  It seemed as through one of our little babies might have a problem as its sac was smaller than it should have been. 

Fast forward again to the following week, it was time for another ultrasound and this time it was not only to check if they were there, but to listen for a heartbeat.  I left work early to be there with her and I remember praying in the parking lot while waiting for her that I wanted to hear two heartbeats that day.  Praise God, we did!  We got to hear the tiny little hearts of our two babies beating for the first time.  It was such a beautiful sound.  We followed up the next week and, once again, both heartbeats were there and strong.  It was also around now that we began calling them Walter and Wallace.   We did not know if they were boys or girls and we did not want to call them Sac A and Sac B.  These were never meant to be permanent names, just what we called them during this time.  It was also at this time when we had our celebration of 3 years of marriage, 2 babies, and 1 new house. 

That was then, but just about a month later, in late June, things began to change.  One night, without warning, Robin has some very troubling symptoms.  We prayed and decided not to go to the hospital and eventually they subsided.  A couple of days later, we went for a doctor’s appointment.  We were then sent for a rush ultrasound and we saw a happy and healthy Walter and Wallace.  They even put on a little show for us as we got to see them swimming around in their sacs.  Then for two weeks everything was kind of quiet until the symptoms began again, though much more mild.  Again, we thought it was just a passing thing and we were not that concerned.  Then, one scary Monday night, some very scary symptoms began and subsided seemingly as quickly as they had begun.  We had an appointment the next day with the high risk doctor, so we decided not to go to the hospital.  We were hoping at that ultrasound to once again see a happy and healthy Walter and Wallace.  Walter looked great.  Wallace did not.  His sack had collapsed around him and it was diagnosed as an “imminent miscarriage.”  He still had a heartbeat, but the doctor said that he would not live for much longer.   We turned to prayer knowing that God could heal even this.  That was our prayer and our hope and we held onto that hope. 

God, however, had different plans for Wallace.  It was Monday, July 29 in the later afternoon when Wallace’s short journey in this world came to an end.  It was oddly peaceful when it happened.  There was no pain and no bleeding and I was able to be with Robin as we shared in the birth of our deceased baby Wallace.  I will never forget that day.  I will never forget hearing Robin say “It’s the baby.” 

I suppose, technically this is what is known as a miscarriage.  I do not want to use that word, though.  Little Wallace Sukovich was born that day only he was born into the presence of Jesus Christ.  He may not live in this world, but he has already entered eternal life in the next.  Wallace Sukovich lives and will live eternally.  Of course, Robin and I will miss watching him grow up and mature and we will miss getting to know our child, but we also know that he is now fully grown, fully mature, and that we will have all of eternity to get to know our child. 

You see, while it is painful to us that we will not get to meet Wallace until we meet him in eternity, we know this is for his best.  In other words, the loss is all ours.  Wallace suffered no loss at all.  In fact, he will never experience loss.  Not only that, he will never experience heartbreak, pain, sickness, fear, stress, or any of the other things that plague our lives here on earth.  He will never know sin or temptation.  He will never watch his parents or loved ones die, but merely wait for those he left behind on earth to come to him in eternity.  True, he will never experience some of the good things  we have in this world.  He may never have the chance to meet his mom and dad in this life, but he was born into the arms of his Father.   He will never see the wonders God created on earth, but they are all nothing compared to the wonders he is experience right now in the presence of our Lord.  He may never fall in love or get married, but he is living as the betrothed bride of Christ looking forward to the marriage supper of the lamb. 

The fact is that right now the hope we look forward to is his reality and he will never have to suffer this life to make it to the next.  Every good parent wants what is best for their child and what better for my child than to be eternally secure in the presence of our Lord.  In that, I can rejoice even through this. 

There are some things a parent should never have to see.  One of those things is the dead body of one of their own children.  I will never forget the little glimpse I got of tiny Wallace when I said my goodbye.  He was so tiny and so innocent.   For a moment, I wondered how God can relate to a parent seeing the lifeless body of my innocent child.  Then I remembered Jesus and how God saw His only begotten Son, pure and innocent, dead on a cross.  God knows exactly how it feels and God knows how to comfort.  For me, it is about where little Wallace is now as he reaps the reward purchased by the blood of Jesus and His death on the cross.  It is by that same blood that I know I will meet Wallace someday. 

Some may wonder why this even had to have happened.  For any Christian parent, their greatest prayer is that their children get saved.   For Wallace, perhaps this was the only way.  Perhaps, God saw what choices Wallace would make and by His mercy, He took him early before those choices could be made.  Of course, that is just conjecture, and the “why” is a question that will probably not be answered until I am in eternity myself.  Then again, when I think about where he is right now, the "why" isn't all that important.  He won the greatest lottery of all.  God, for whatever reason, chose him for the next life without ever having to suffer this life.  God chose that for my child, and that is all that needs to matter. 

I hope that this story can be an encouragement to anyone else who may be going through the same thing.  For us, God is getting us through and we are still expecting a child in just a few short months.  This pregnancy has not been easy for me or my wife, but the end result will make everything worth it.  If you are a Christian and you lost a child, please know that your child now awaits you in eternity and someday you will meet him or her.  If you are not a Christian, then this message is especially important to you.  You see, perhaps my child had to die as the only way he could have been saved.  That may be true in your case as well, but even more importantly for you, it may be the only way that you can be saved.

That child you mourn is with his or her heavenly Father and the only way to reach him or her is through the blood of Jesus Christ.  The best thing you can do in this time is to seek after God.  If you want comfort, the only place to find it is in the God who also watched His own Son die a horrible death on the cross.  If you want to find understanding, God is the only One who can answer those hard questions.  If you want meaning or purpose from your tragedy, then let that meaning and purpose be your own salvation.   I can tell you with every bit confidence that if you seek after God, especially in these hard times, you will find peace and comfort of the likes you have never known.  

King David, a man after God's own heart once lost a child and I want to close with his reaction to that death.  The sad news is that if you lost a child, that child is not coming back.  It is a hard reality my wife and I and many others have had to face.  The good news, however, is that through the blood of Jesus you can go to him or her someday.  I know that there is a temptation to turn from God during times like this, but that is the worst mistake you can make.  It only adds anger on top of despair and keeps you from the only One who can comfort you during this time.  I urge you, even if you are angry, even if you are confused, even if you do not understand, turn to Jesus.  He wants to save you, not only into eternal life, but away from the sadness of your loss. 
And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” 2 Samuel 12:22-23 NKJV

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