Two years is weird...
It feels so very different from the first year. I feel that I have moved on but then I feel that I'm still standing in the same place I was a year ago. I feel so happy that she's not here but then so sad that we aren't walking hand in hand at the park. I feel like I know who I am again but then I look at myself sometimes wondering who on earth it is that's staring back at me in the mirror. I feel intense love here but sometimes the intense emptiness floods in. I feel fulfilled. I feel peace. I feel joy; honest and pure joy.
The biggest emotion that I have at this 2 year birthday/anniversary is intense gratitude over the beauty that has been found here. There is beauty here...lots and lots of beauty. The death of a child is devastating, heart-wrenching and just plain awful. These descriptions come to mind for people who just hear of another's loss; those words barely delve into the mess that it causes in the lives of those that are directly affected.
Today, not only are we remembering the day that she came but we are remembering all the days directly following. We are remembering the emptiness; the huge hole that she left in our home and our hearts. We are remembering the groaning and the ache of dreams that were now lost, never to be returned. In the midst of that I have this gratitude and this huge smile on my face. She brought beauty, lots and lots of beauty.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord's favor has come, and with it, the day of God's anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
I don't know about you but I think it's pretty incredible that this verse comes out of the book of Isaiah. :) What a great name! :) Two years later and we are seeing the beauty that Jesus promised.
We have watched as Jesus took this blog and used it and our Ellersley to bring more glory to himself than we ever could have done without her story.
We have seen Him bring more compassion toward others because of Elle.
We have seen friendships grow with people we never would have ever known before our daughter.
We have been a part of loving a group of teenagers; learning how to love like Jesus loved-with a lot of grace and loads of patience.
We have endured the breaking down of our pride and control.
We stood by and watched as God took the reigns of our adoption journey and he made it exactly what he wanted it to be.
We stood by as he intricately timed each event and brought us to Isaiah's NICU room on the most perfect day and at the most perfect time.
We stand by each day and smile and laugh at our sweet son and the awesomeness that is our life.
There is beauty here.
I hear this song often but I didn't really take in the words until recently. It gives me goosebumps and makes me cry every time I hear it now.
We have a serious story to tell and we have a serious wound that, on some days, still needs some serious healing. I remember wanting to believe that there would be beauty here. I remember the nights crying and telling God that I knew there would be meaning here but it was so difficult for us to see. I remember this ache.
Today, I want you all to know that there is beauty here and there is beauty in whatever the situation is for you. Jesus is watching and He is hoping that soon you will see the beauty and the meaning behind the ache that you have. I will be praying for you all today...there is beauty there and I will pray that today you will see it.
Our Ellersley Grace,
If you were here you would be two years old today. We would be making gluten-free pancakes and singing Happy Birthday to you over and over again today. We would be having a party tonight with our family and you would be the center of all the attention. You would be in a sparkly hot pink tutu and big bows in your pretty strawberry blonde hair. You would be beautiful. Today, we miss you so very much Elle. We love you and we are so very grateful for your big life. We cannot even begin to count all the good that you brought with you and two years later we are so very full of joy over that. We will celebrate you today with your baby brother. We will take him to your stone and we will leave a balloon for you and tonight we will send you two balloons and your princess lantern. We will read the story of you to him and tell him all about how stinkin' gorgeous and special you are, just like him. We wish you were here to celebrate with us but we know that this plan is the best plan. We are so overjoyed at the beauty that you brought and the beauty that Jesus has given in place of the ashes. We love you our sweet girl and Daddy and I are so happy that we are 2 years closer to seeing your beautiful face again... We love you to the moon and back always and forever...
Mama and Daddy