#1: Beautiful. Truly, when I think back to this whole experience and all of the things that have come from it; even all the details of how it took place, that is the word that comes to mind. I hope that's not taken in the wrong way. It's not to say that any of it is something I would have wished for, but my God... my wonderful God... You have crushed us as a stone. You have come down on us with a mighty force to break us open and we thought the breaking would ruin us, but You're such a skilled craftsman. We would never have guessed that we would find treasures inside the heavy, broken rocks.
#2: Mercy. Thinking back to the moments of breaking, I can see His mercy on us. Ruby had been sick, but only for a couple of days and, just the day before she passed, she was still up, perky and playing. It really was only the morning of her death that she became very sick and then everything happened so quickly. So, the mercy here is that she got to spend her last hours at home in peace instead of in a hospital being poked and prodded and all of us being much more traumatized. We all got to experience peace with each other nearly until the moment of her passing and, by then, she was in such a state that I do not believe she really experienced any pain. She simply fell asleep with her mommy and daddy and woke up with Yeshua (Jesus). I cannot overstate what a blessing that is. Her short life on earth was a very happy one and she only went from joy to joy. Glory to glory... She will not remember any pain she may have experienced here, but for those of us who remain, that knowledge that she went in peace is such a comfort. Thank you, Lord, for Your mercy.
#3: Mending. My husband and I have only known each other for 3 years and have already experienced SO many stressful things together... moving to a new town (twice) starting a new job, quitting a job to be a stay at home mom, having a baby way too early, spending over 4 months with her in the NICU, learning to be first-time parents, losing our child and now having our second child in the next few weeks and buying a house (yay!) at the same time. It's A LOT and it has all taken a toll on both of us. Being unified in marriage is a difficult thing to navigate all on its own, so it's no wonder that we haven't had an easy time of it. Not to mention some "interesting" pasts and particularly rough baggage that we're both still learning to leave behind. Our first year and a half as a married couple has not been easy in any sense, though we have been sure that the Lord brought us together.
The blessing through tragedy has been that we are now much more knitted together appropriately. We've leaned on each other and shown compassion in new ways that have done so much to heal what seemed so broken. Our relationship has been much more aligned in godly ways and we are being greatly blessed by that adjustment, even as we mourn.
In fact, this mending has extended out to other family members as well and we all are more connected than we had been. I'm so thankful. I ache for my little girl, but this is all momentary and there are eternal things happening here that cause me to take my view to the joy beyond pain. I am in a fortress of joy.
If you've read this far, please continue reading as I share the passage that brought me to grateful tears this week.
I Peter 1 CJB