I've been seeing all over facebook what this day means to others...completely happy birthdays, a baby shower, multiple weddings...among so many other things. I mean seriously, it seems like today is the day a lot of kids were born...mostly children, rather than adults. And about three people I've seen are celebrating their family member's 3rd birthday today. Each time I see these posts, it's like salt on an open wound.
My mind tells me that March 16th shouldn't be just another day for anyone. And it most certainly shouldn't be an only-happy day. It's happy-sad. Bittersweet. Shouldn't everyone be pausing and reflecting on what March 16th was to me, is to me, and will always be to me? Shouldn't the whole world just stop...And think about Lily? It's a sacred, set-apart day. Yet, life goes on for everyone around me.
It's bizarre realizing that today she would be 3. I would have a 3-year-old?! A part of my heart sees her as the 3-year-old she would be, while another part of my heart sees her as yet a babe...my forever babe.
It feels almost wrong to celebrate without her, yet I will celebrate her life. I will rejoice that she was. I will trust that God has a plan and that He will restore the most broken places of my heart. To love is to celebrate. I love her with every piece of me and could never not remember, honor, celebrate, rejoice on this day. Her day.
Though I celebrate the life of someone who isn't even here to celebrate with me, I realize what a precious thing it is for Lily to even have a birthday. How many babies never live to see their birthdays? But, Lily had one. Luke didn't. I got so many things with her that I'll never have with him.
Jesus gave me a gift in March 16th...yes, it's a difficult gift to receive, but one I am so, so thankful for. He gave me the gift of Lily's legacy. He gave me the gift of holding and meeting her. He gave me the gift of knowing her and being her mother.
Some may think it's strange for me to say I was given a gift on the day I lost my daughter...but you see, I didn't really lose her because I and many others have and will gain so much through her life. And I truly believe the world will gain more through her life without her here than they would have had she lived. Though that is hard for me to say, I truly believe it to be true. Without ever speaking a single word or even taking a breath, look at all God is speaking...that is so, so powerful. The Lord is good always...when babies live and when they die. And He always has a beautiful plan, beyond what we can see and comprehend.
"March 16th, I don't think there are any words that could follow this date. It's become a meaning of its own. It's this day that changed our lives forever because of dear Lily Katherine. While you were a life giver to her, she was and is a bringer of spiritual life through the redemptive story of King Jesus. What a beautiful soul sent for a beautiful purpose." ~my best friend, Kala
Ah yes, so beautiful and so, so true.
Here is Lily's video tribute. Please watch and share, in honor of her special day.
I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And I will praise the One who's chosen me
To carry you
The years are coming, sweet Lily. And I have not forgotten. I could never forget. I will carry you until the day I take my last breath and I will share you with the world. I will praise the One who gave me the sweet gift of you.
I have many more thoughts on Lily's birthday to share and I look forward to sharing soon how we made her day special...for now, I will spend some time with my Jesus and think on His goodness, mercy, and grace. I am so overwhelmed with the beauty of the story He has written, which is quite the contrast to how I felt upon waking this morning. He is sovereign over us.
Favorite song as of late...letting the words sink into the depths. Just amazing.
It would mean so much to me if you would honor and remember Lily Katherine with me on her special day...wear pink in her honor, eat hashbrowns or red-velvet cake/cupcake, light a candle, release a balloon, or write her name somewhere and send it to me. Speak her name and the name of Jesus...share her story with someone of how He used and continues to use her life. Just thinking about her is enough to make this mama heart of mine smile knowing she is not being forgotten.
*Read about March 16th, 2010 (the day Lily was born) by clicking here.
*Don't forget to enter the triple giveaway in honor of Lily's 3rd birthday (ends tomorrow) by clicking here.