This last 12 months has felt like swimming across a wide river. The current has been so strong, the struggle to keep our heads above water difficult at times and the whole of it has been exhausting. But the sun has still been shining. The warmth of God's love and the encouragement of family and friends has kept us going. Knowing Grace is waiting for us on the other side of the river gives us the courage to keep moving forward.
I have to share a story here. Around this time last year I was praying for my friend to have a baby. She had been such a gift to me through so many difficult times, and I so wanted that blessing for her. Yesterday I spent the the day and night at her home, helping to care for her newborn triplets! They came early, but their due date was December 7th. A miracle of perfect proportions on a day God knew I would need his encouragement. Last night I got to hold their sweet little bodies and marvel at the amazing creation each of them are. 30 tiny toes and 30 long slender fingers. 3 perfect noses and a smile in their sleep. There have been so many moments of "coincidence" like Grace being born to heaven and those babies due to be born on earth on the same date. But my spirit testifies to the truth that those "coincidences" are really evidence of God's active presence in our lives.
Tomorrow will be a day of remembrance at our house. Mae gets to stay home from school. We will be spending some time together looking at pictures and videos, going through Grace's treasure chest of special things, and will be bringing out ornaments to adorn a little Christmas tree at the cemetery. Next year those ornaments will go on our tree at home. Each year we will bring out new ornaments and our collection at home will grow over the years, keeping Grace as part of our Christmas decorating every year. I think she would love this idea! It should also be a tangible way for her sisters to remember her as they pick out an ornament each year that reminds them of her. This year Mae picked out a pastel rainbow and Joy got a pink and purple guitar. They are perfect!
I got an email from a friend of a friend's friend a couple of days ago. She encouraged me by telling me about how Grace's story had effected her family even though we had never met. It's amazing to think of how the life of one little girl of 9 years old has touched so many others in the world. I can't wait to one day fully know the true impact of Grace. Beyond planet earth, impacting lives for eternity.