Day 12: Lemons + Lemonade
October 12, 2016 ♥
Day 12. Lemons + Lemonade: 🍋 Have you made anything positive come from this unimaginable loss? Did you find any blessings among all the sadness and sorrow?
Somehow, by no ability of my own, the Lord has brought beauty from the ashes of losing Lily. I am a mere willing instrument to be used for His purposes and glory.
When I was facing an unplanned pregnancy in the Summer of 2009, God whispered to my heart that if I chose LIFE for my unborn baby, I couldn't imagine the beauty that He would bring. In that moment of crisis and decision, I had no idea that He would call my sweet babe to Heaven to be with Him before she ever took her first breath. Yet, I also had no idea all He had planned through my embracing her life. I had no idea that thousands of people would hear about her and come to love her.
She was a tiny baby who was but a seed growing away within me, hidden from all eyes, yet seen by the God of the entire Universe. He knew of the breathtakingly beautiful and enormous plan He had for her, even before I ever made my decision. He knew of all the people who would one day be moved by her story. He could see all that even when she was unseen by me.
Over the past few years, He has opened the doors for me to share mine and Lily's story across the country, at banquets, churches, a camp, a hospital, etc. It blows me away to see how He revealed to me that one day I'd be speaking and sharing my story and then how He's literally given me the opportunity to share it with thousands of people. I am so thankful for the adventures He's taken me on, the unique places I've visited, the incredible people I've gotten to meet, and how I know each year, more and more people know of Lily and her lasting legacy.
Since my first post on my blog that I published 7 years ago this month (while I was pregnant), I have written over 1,000 posts with thousands upon thousands of words about my love for Lily, how God has changed my life through hers, and how He's never ceased to be faithful. It has been amazing to connect with people all over the world through sharing on my blog, as well as on other websites and news sources. I had the blessing of being interviewed for WORLD Magazine in 2013.
Over the past couple years, I've gotten involved with the Perinatal Bereavement Committee at the local hospital where Lily was born. It has been so encouraging to see how much they are interested in hearing the experiences and feelings of those who've lost their babies there and how they want to make changes so the care received there will be the best possible. I put together some Lily's Legacy Comfort Boxes and have donated them on her 5th and 6th birthdays. Now the hospital has taken on financially providing for the boxes, so each and every patient who loses a precious baby has one to take home in their empty arms.
Around Lily's birthday last year, my grandmother said something profound that I've held close to my heart since then. She told me I need to know that the ripples are out there, the ripple effects of how Lily's life is impacting the world. The ripples go further than what I am seeing and hearing, beyond and above what I know, even if people don't say something to me directly. As I have said, "my little flower" Lily is an eternal flower, given as an eternal gift from an eternal God. And her legacy will never fade. The things I've shared here are just some of the ways He is using her.
Corrie ten Boom said, "The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration but its donation."
When I am looking more at my pain than at the beauty of Lily's life and legacy, it can be easy to lose sight of all this. But then God shows me He is sovereign and everything has always been in His control. He reminds me that more people know about Lily because of her death than they would have had she lived. And she is making more of an impact not here than she would have if she were here. As I've said before, she was never meant to be a little girl of this world. She was called to be my daughter of Heaven.
God was right... I never could have dreamed of the beauty that He would bring. As Steven Curtis Chapman sings in his song, "Beauty Will Rise," "It will take our breath away to see the beauty that He's made out of the ashes."
I'm still trying to catch my breath.