Thursday, December 25, 2014
These days I often find myself walking outside at night, staring up at the few stars I can see and wondering if God lets those in Heaven take a glimpse at those they love still on Earth. Both literally and figuratively in the darkest of hours, I search and cling to the only hope we all have...the promise of Heaven for those who love the Lord. He says he is near to the brokenhearted and I can attest that His words are so true. He takes your pain and leads you to the cross. It is the beauty amongst the heartache.
When the walls of our home went up during the same week as the crazy Atlanta snow storm of 2014, perhaps we should have taken that premonition as to what 2014 was to look like for our family. That snowstorm was just the start of the torrential downpour that would happen over this year. Andrew slaved away after work each night working on our new home through the summer. The same week that we were moving and packing (and realizing our house was not ready for us to live in), my mother unexpectedly went into the hospital and passed away 4 days later. My dad called me that first night to tell me of my mothers condition as I was on my way home from our dress rehearsal for Ella’s ballet recital. The next day, I showed my mother (during her last lucid moment) a video of her beautiful granddaughter dancing on stage. I cried showing it to her because I knew in my heart that it would be the last dance she saw on Earth before she went to dance with Jesus. I have no doubt she will be dancing with Jesus when they celebrate His birthday this week: for she loved her Savior and He loved her.
In God’s perfect timing and tenderness, the children and I went to live with my dad for a month while Andrew continued to work until the wee hours of the night. In the midst of our heartache, we praised God for this truly precious month with my father. It proved to be just what we all needed during those early weeks of grieving and transitioning: a place of refuge and rest, a safe place to lay my burdens down. Our lives are forever changed, and we yearn for Heaven!
This season, I reflect on Christmases past and see the Lord has never forsaken us in our weakness. I think about those years we prayed for just one baby, about birthing twins at only 28 weeks, etc...and now I look at my mantel with five stockings and little fingerprints on everything. God has been so gracious and generous to our family. I can look back on these hard times and see that He went before us and never left us. The void of being motherless can never be filled except through Him. Just like He did not leave my womb barren, He has adopted me as His child and I am not alone...and He will always be enough.
We are soaking in these years with our “little” children. We know that they are only on loan to us and that they truly belong to Him. Ella, the baby we thought we’d never have, has grown to be the loveliest first grader and little ballerina. We truly feel touched watching God transform her heart as she seeks to know Him more. What more could we ever desire as her Earthly parents? We are so blessed. And those 28 week preemies? They are now energetic and lively four year olds. Audrey is enjoying taking her first year of ballet while Jacob had his first season of soccer.
Thank you, our friends and family, for loving us when we needed love, for being silent when I just needed to weep, and for stepping in when we just needed a hand. We can never repay you for your kindness, but we thank God for you every day. Merry Christmas!