You know I wouldn't have actually celebrated it? I don't really mourn her loss. I still am awed by the way God delivered me through such a trial without so much as an emotional scar let alone a physical one. But I don't really mourn the loss, and I really think about the whole experience more in the context of those who are going through something similar and experiencing so much intense and lasting pain, and how miraculous it is that I'm completely healed.
I woke up this morning to a text from a friend. More accurately--my friend's text woke me up. He sent me these pictures.
It was 7am. Who does that? Harrison, who did you send to the store at 6am to pick up a pink helium filled balloon for you--for me? I was touched beyond words.
This came later in the day from my cousin and sister in Christ, Lauren:
A cursive 'L' charm for my bracelet. Who. Does. This???? Y'all, I can barely remember my birthday, let alone my husband's birthday, forget the day of a friend's unborn child passing! What? I'm not sure what spiritual gift this falls under but come on! Heck, I was floored when I got a card in the mail yesterday from Z!
I'm not a ceremonial person. I don't really commemorate days with big celebrations and I'm not one to put on a big party unless I feel compelled in some way. I would have just let this day go by. I never really thought about it, but that's completely contrary to how God works.
God makes a big deal. God IS a big deal. But He also makes a big deal. God calls us to remember. Everything that He did throughout scripture He called His people to remember. He called them to celebrate the Passover feast among other feasts every year. He commands them to build the ebenezers (or monuments) to remind them of where they have been and how He has helped them in miraculous ways, He called them to ceremonies at the temple, communion--"Do this in remembrance of me," baptism, all kinds of memorials and ceremonies throughout scripture He set up to help us remember we belong to Him and all of them are pointing to Christ.
I would have let this day pass. But God wouldn't let me let this day pass. God commanded me to build an ebenezer. Here I am writing my monument for you all to see. God helped me. One year ago I delivered a stillborn child into this world and He glorified Himself. He showed me and many others that when we Trust Him completely, and when we fix our eyes on Him, He does not let us sink and we will not and cannot be overcome by any storm, any river, any trial. It was painful. The whole trial was painful but full of beauty and adoration and astounding good and perfect gifts. I would do it all again because of the faith that was proven to me which is indeed more precious than any amount of gold. I put my trust in Him, and He delivered me.
One week ago, Jeff and I were out on a date. I had been thinking earlier that day about ebenezers and how important they are for us and for our children and the generations that follow. I was thinking how important it is to have things in places where you pass by often to remember the things God has done in your life. As Jeff and I were walking in the dark along the National Mall, I shared these thoughts with him and shared that I wished we had something in the house as a monument for us and for our children to symbolize the storm He brought us through. Most people plant trees, but we move every couple of years so this wouldn't work for us. We agreed we would put our ceremonial daughter, Hannah on the task. She's good at that. But when we arrived home that very night (the very same night, people!) I found a package in the mail from my sister-in-law. (I would love to tell you the depths of the meaning of this package based on the complexities of this relationship, but it's too sacred to share. Just know that you will only be able to grasp 1/100th of the significance of this precious gift and it's timing) I had no idea what she could possibly have sent, but my jaw dropped as I opened this:
This is a painting titled: discovering grace. And it's signed, "To Erin- in loving memory of Lydia Grace." Does my God show up for me, people? I mean, I'm sorry I know some of you will chalk this up to chance, but this was undeniably the Lord making His love for and knowledge of me known to me.
Today, the new non-profit I love so dearly just received their second request to help a family and it is for a mother who is pregnant and just found out that they don't expect the baby to survive due to multiple anomalies. A reminder of the hard day that began this amazing journey.
Just now, as I'm writing, my friend who has never texted me before just sent me a random text that said only, "Eucharisteo." This means give thanks and is from a book that blessed me beyond words and in many ways prepared me to walk the long road of carrying Lydia, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. She had no idea it was Lydia's anniversary.
Also, Hannah insisted on cake for Lydia's birthday. So we had cake and released balloons for Lydia Grace and for Faith--Lydia's sweet friend in Heaven whose anniversary is also today.
Today we remembered, as a family, and gave thanks because our God is good.