The wait to say goodbye

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 11.48.48 AM.png

Oh, Abraham.

Our stories are so very different. But this past week I saw a tiny bit of something in your story that was like mine. It caused me to shake my head in disbelief. How had I never ever seen or known this before?

The time gap. The waiting.

Three days of walking between where you and Isaac were in Beersheba, to Moriah, where you were called to go.


Fifty-five miles.

The dusty-sandaled miles you walked between your Creator asking you to give up your son and the moment you raised your knife, willing to give Him back the promised son He gave you.

What were those hours like? Did Isaac catch you looking on him, fighting to memorize his every feature?

Did quiet, hot tears flow as you camped at night and watched your son’s chest rise and fall as he slept?

Did you look at the blanket of stars in the sky (Genesis 15:5) that were promised you and wonder what their faces would have looked like–a future family reunion you thought was never to be?

I wonder what conversations you had in your heart with God as you walked each morning, packing up from the night before and heading out for the day.

Oh, your waiting, Abraham. I hurt with you. With a sentence from God, back in Beersheba, your life changed.

Three days later, you laid Isaac down in Moriah. Laying down dreams.

And, oh!, that Moriah was very likely where the future city of Jerusalem would rest! That’s almost too much to handle the weight of the glory of what was to happen as God, Jehovah-Jireh, would show Himself as the Provider of the sacrifice that’d be needed.

In the land that would become Jerusalem.

But amidst the pain and breath that seemed locked in your chest, you didn’t know what was to come. Not yet anyway. You didn’t know your knife would stay clean. The ram wasn’t yet in the bush.

My little Gabriel wasn’t a promised one like Isaac, but I ache with you for the waiting we have in common.

With one sentence, on a Wednesday, my life changed.

“I’m so sorry, there’s no heartbeat.”

And then I journeyed for 6 days of, as a friend so perfectly said, “not being pregnant anymore, but not not being pregnant” as I still carried the tiny body of a tiny baby I ached to see and hold.

I had options. Who knew there were options?! A choice to be made at almost the very moment the arrow struck the bullseye of my heart.

I’m so thankful we chose to give my body some time to realize life was gone. It was so hard, but I’m so thankful.

And I can’t speak for you, Abraham, but those 6 days were important days. Holy days of a different kind of Advent.

Days when tears flowed and ache was real because life was precious and real. My body and heart needed those days of waiting.

Then, in a turn of events we didn’t see coming, Scott and I went into the hospital for me to be induced last Tuesday.

Just a week ago.

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 12.50.20 PM.pngAnd, after a storm-free week of sun, it rained, just like it did when Abby and I drove home from the hospital 6 days before.

God was weeping with us. Again. The wait was almost over.

(Disclaimer: a bit more of my actual journey starts here, including a few of our favorite pictures of our beloved Gabriel’s feet and fingers.)

The doctor started me on my induction medicine at 2:30pm. Contractions started coming hard at 5:30pm, causing me to wonder if eating that beef stew had been wise. Suddenly, sitting down sounded horrible and I found myself rocking in place.

For an hour I labored through contractions in a way that I still can’t believe was needed to birth a 13-week-gestational baby.

But every contraction was a gift; a tangible, painful reminder that I’d been growing a baby and this tiny life was so very real and valuable.

I’m incredibly thankful for Scott who jumped in with what he’d learned at our birth class before Lizzy, massaging me, reminding me to breathe and groan low and productive. I’m thankful for anti-nausea medicine that hit my bloodstream quickly when, sweaty and exhausted, I asked for help. I’m thankful for the birth ball and the nurses who cared for me in such tender ways.

Then, at 6:41pm, Gabriel was born.

Perfectly formed but not fully developed.

(Please don’t copy, save or use these photos without permission. Thank you. Thanks to Tim Evans, the Aussie brother I never had, for watermarking these for us.)

Screen Shot 2016-12-14 at 8.24.25 AM.png

Screen Shot 2016-12-14 at 8.22.48 AM.png

Screen Shot 2016-12-14 at 8.23.22 AM.png

My wait was over.

And like David, the writer of Psalm 139 I can’t help but profess:

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

I worship the One who made Gabriel, and then asked for him back.

9 thoughts on “The wait to say goodbye

  1. Susan Noakes December 13, 2016 / 1:32 pm

    Angie, that is so beautifully written. You have made an amazing correlation. Your words could comfort many and I hope they brought comfort to you.

  2. Christina Marquis December 13, 2016 / 1:43 pm

    Thank you for the disclaimer, but thank you for being bold to share the pictures, your journey and your heart. This tiny life, this little boy, matters not only to you, but to God who created and formed him so completely and perfectly. And you and Scott, and what you are going through are important to God. Praying for you in this process.

    *Christina Marquis*

    On Tue, Dec 13, 2016 at 1:15 PM, wrote:

    > angiebentley posted: ” Oh, Abraham. Our stories are so very different. But > this past week I saw a tiny bit of something in your story that was like > mine. It caused me to shake my head in disbelief. How had I never ever seen > or known this before? The time gap. The waiting. ” >

  3. Melba Bentley December 13, 2016 / 6:17 pm

    Angie, I am totally speechless and saying, “WOW!! WOW!! and WOW!!” So beautifully written!! Sharing feelings from the very depths of your heart and soul. The analogy of your’s and Scott’s journey with precious Gabriel, and Abraham’s journey are so poignant. Angie, thank you for sharing this painful but beautiful part of your life!! 🙏🙏 What special people you and Scott are!!❤️❤️❤️❤️ We are blessed!!

    Love Melba & Dean❤️❤️

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. Smitha December 13, 2016 / 7:09 pm

    Oh Angie, couldnt hold back the tears as i read this testimony. Micah and Gabriel are so blessed they had you and Scott as parents. They will be remembered and they have touched so many lives by your testimony. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Delia December 14, 2016 / 2:58 pm

    Dear Angie, I love your poet’s heart; the closeness of your walk with Jesus exudes from your words… I share in your loss, your tears, your heart, and the walking of a similar road…
    Love you! Gabriel is beautiful, and so are you!!

  6. Ellen Cox December 14, 2016 / 10:07 pm

    Overwhelming photos………………………Gabriel will be waiting for you when you get to heaven. In the meantime we know he wants you to be all HE created you to be on earth.

    Love in Christ, Terry and Ellen

  7. Jim Naramore December 14, 2016 / 10:42 pm

    Poignant observations bring home the reality of a soul conceived and a life with potential to change the world. Appreciate your love and bonding with Gabriel–we’ll miss him. Jim

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s