God’s Faithful Rest


Hannah Sumpter // Tales From the Trenches

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June 2  

Seventeen weeks—almost halfway through the pregnancy. 

We were waiting to learn if God was blessing us with a boy or girl, but instead, we learned that God was trusting us with a loss.

He was trusting us to trust him—to trust in his goodness and his faithfulness, even in times of heartbreaking grief.

But that trust was hard. 

Our loss of Caleb hit deep. Delivering our son at seventeen weeks and holding his perfect little body in the palm of my hand felt like God’s cruel reminder of what we had lost and the child we would never know in this life.

My grief clouded my faith, and I struggled to understand why God would give a gift and then tear it away so traumatically. 

Sunday arrived, and I obediently went to Mass, fighting back tears and offering what I felt were empty praises. I asked God to remind me of his presence, that our son was happy, and that I was not alone in my suffering. 

And he did. 

As I walked to communion, offering my hands to receive our Lord, I paused for a moment and glanced down at the Eucharist. 

In that moment I was overcome with a connection to the Eucharist unlike anything I had experienced before. Looking at the host, I saw that it cradled perfectly in my hand, just like our Caleb on the day he was born. 

It was as if God was allowing me to hold our son once more and show me that Caleb was now being held by Jesus. I couldn’t help but weep, thanking God for that blessing and for such a beautiful and physical reminder of our son in Heaven. 

But then God offered me his greatest gift. As I thanked him for reminding me of Caleb through the Eucharist, I started to see Jesus so clearly in my hands that my heart was flooded with an immeasurable love—a love for God that I had spent my whole life praying for. 

In that moment, I finally understood what a gift it was to be cradling our Lord in my hands and receiving him into my soul. I finally understood the love God has for us—to give the life of his son for our soulsand the love of Christ as he humbles himself for his children and comes down into the Eucharist so that we may be unified with him now and forever.

All my prayers were answered at that moment. I knew, then, that I was not alone in my suffering, as God himself fully understood the pain of losing a beloved son. I was reminded of God’s unwavering presence through the Eucharist and the Body of Christ and assured of Caleb’s happiness through my glimpse of him in the host. 

This was God’s blessing to me through our loss of Caleb. This was God’s way of turning my heart fully toward himself, as he took my love for Caleb and allowed it to bring me closer to his own heart. God gave me a tangible reminder of my precious baby, who was now wrapped in God’s eternal love—the same love that we hold in the Eucharist. 

That Sunday brought peace to my soul and joy to my heart, as God increased my trust and faithfulness in an unimaginably powerful way. 

And so, we named our son Caleb Roch, meaning faithful rest. 

We faithfully laid our son to rest, trusting in the Lord’s goodness and his victory over death—praising God for his gift of our son and praying that we, too, may one day join in his eternal happiness. 

 

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