I woke up this morning to my normal routine. My day starts off at six in the morning with your baby sister crying. As I walk into her room, I’m pleasantly welcomed as she sang, “Jesus wuves me for Bible tells me so”. What a great reminder. I reply with, “yes, Jesus does love us, sweet girl… how great is that news?!” We ate our breakfast. We played in the playroom with Daddy before he got off to work. We pack up and head out to start our ordinary day. As I’m almost out of the garage, I receive a random text from a dear friend. It reads, “Just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you and Danny today. Hugs!! Love you!!” What a sweet text, but why did someone want me to know they were thinking of me? What was so special about today? It then hits me. I knew this day was coming for weeks, but for some reason the actual day snuck up on me this year. Memories of you and your death came rushing in. I remembered the life you lived inside of me for nine months. I remembered the anticipation of your arrival. I remembered the happiness we felt knowing you would be a part of our family. I remembered the last time I felt you kick. I remembered the dreadful words from the doctor “her heart’s not beating” and watching the tears fall down her face as she delivers the heartbreaking news. I remembered the agonizing pain of your birth wanting it to be over, but at the same time not wanting to say goodbye. I remembered your amazingly supportive Daddy not leaving my side. God uses your daddy to love me so much here on earth. I remembered our family and friends support. I remembered when you were born and how physically and emotionally empty I felt afterwards. I remembered holding your lifeless and delicate body in my arms praying that God would heal you in the way he healed the little girl who was sick in the Bible. Or, the way He raised Lazarus from the dead. That He would change His plan. That He would open your eyes and make it all better. I remembered Jesus’ agony in the garden of Gethsemane wanting God to “take this cup” from Him. I remembered your beautiful curly hair with a mixture of different shades of brown. I remembered your sweet little hands and feet. I remembered not wanting to leave you behind to go home without you. I didn’t want to face the nursery that we would never use and all the other things that were ready for your homecoming. I remembered the day we went looking for your gravesite. What a surreal day. I remembered “Amazing Grace” by Chris Tomlin playing over and over and over again on the radio. Even in my pain, it brought so much comfort every time it came on. I remembered the deciding factor of the cemetery we chose. It was whether or not the geese were friendly (even through the painful tears, we managed to laugh at the hissing goose that almost ran me into the water). I remembered your funeral and how small your casket was. I remembered feeling very uneasy that a casket could be that small. I remembered the pretty pink roses that brought a little beauty to the situation. I remembered watching your daddy breakdown at your gravesite. He couldn’t take it anymore. He had been way too strong for me and just needed to let go. I’m glad that he did. I didn’t feel alone when he would feel with me, but I respected his grieving process by letting him grieve the way he needed to. I was amazed with how much closer we became through the process of grief. I remembered the months that followed your death. The pain in my stomach. The ache in my heart. There were some days where I felt really peaceful and others I wanted to crawl back into bed. I remembered asking God to bring you back. I desperately wanted to witness a miracle. You know the kind of miracles that people experienced with Jesus two thousand years ago. My ideal miracle obviously didn’t play out, but little did we recognize at the time there was a miracle in motion.
Today, the sun was particularly bright. The forecast called for another rainy day, but God managed to keep the sun shining. I’m convinced that God uses the sun to remind me of His presence. It’s one of His magnificent creations…. a work of art that He shares with all of us. I took a picture of it to capture its beauty. His beauty. I was reminded of my redemption. I reflected on all the ways He’s saved me. I reflected on the huge price He had to pay for me on the cross. I reflected on Him becoming human so I could relate to Him. I reflected on the hope of eternal life with Him one day. I reflected on His grace…. His Amazing Grace. It washes over me every single day even when I don’t love Him the way that I should. Since the day I accepted Him into my life, He’s been there holding my hand, guiding me and loving me with His unconditional love. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 8:38-39. Death did not separate me from His love and I’m convinced nothing will. As I’m meditating on all of this, “Praise you in the Storm” by Casting Crowns plays on the radio. The song we played at your funeral. I loved hearing this while thinking of you. I don’t believe it was a coincidence. God wanted to remind me through this song of how we trusted Him, walked with Him through the storm of losing you and came out on the other side with our arms stretched out praising Him. And, it was because of Him we made it through: “Every tear I’ve cried you hold in your hand you never left my side And though my heart is torn I will praise you in this storm.” I was so grateful for this time with Him this morning. This reflection brought on a renewing of my mind. My soul was reenergized. My focus was shifted and my spirit was replenished. I’ve been distracted and I’ve fallen off-course the last couple of months so this time with Him was necessary. I’m so thankful I was in a position to listen and to receive. I praise Him for this experience. I praise Him for being so active in my life and how He gets me back on track. I praise Him for His miracles in my life.
As I cried and wiped joyful tears streaming down my face, I heard your sister’s amazing little voice in the backseat saying, “Mommy’s crying, want a goldfish?” She has a special way of making me feel better. I just laughed through the tears and told her how much I loved her. She asked for my hand and we held hands the rest of the way. I also felt your new baby brother moving around in my belly. All I could think in this moment was how God has been so amazingly good in so many ways and in ALL my circumstances.
I love you,