My, my, my. Thinking about who I was before seven months ago creates a shock inside of me. I was a completely different person seven months ago. If you’ve lost a child, you may agree that life has two parts: life before your loss and life after your loss. If you’ve lost a child who was also a twin then it becomes slightly more complicated because not only is life before and after your heavenly child, life is also comprised of before and after your earthly child. The parallel is bittersweet and each milestone of your earthly child is a reminder of the loss of your sweet child in heaven.
Seven months ago I birthed two beautiful daughters. One was born into heaven in Jesus’ arms and one was born into our arms. However, I didn’t even get to hold Emery until hours after her birth and just for a few short seconds before they had to hook her back up to the monitors that were keeping her alive and well. She showed us from the start that although she had the sweetest, most gentle spirit, she was also tenacious and had the will to daily prove that she was a strong, determined little girl. I remember thinking that I would always celebrate each milestone no matter how small anyone else considered it to be because each day was a gift and I wanted to praise God for each moment He gave us through Emery.
Each month that she is alive, goodness– each DAY she is alive, is a celebration. There were moments before her delivery that we literally were unsure if she would survive, and here she is. And seven months later I can’t stop praising God for my precious miracle girl. I get Jesus-bumps when I think about what He has given us through Emery’s life.
I’ve learned a lot in the past seven months, but one thing that sticks out in my mind is that life is not promised to us for even one second more. The Lord gives and takes away (Job 1:21), and because it is His will that we are living out, I have realized that I must tell those who mean the most to me how I feel now. For Emery’s first birthday, I’ve wanted to write her a letter, but because we don’t know what the future holds, I have written her a letter here and now.
A little over a year ago I found out I was pregnant with twins again. As the Lord was knitting you together deep inside me, I became sick often because of the amazing work He was completing inside my body. You can ask anyone who was close to me, and they would tell you that I cherished each moment of morning sickness and each bout of nausea because it meant that you were thriving. I celebrated your life in those early days. The doctors told me that identical twin pregnancies were challenging and there were many unknowns, but I confided daily in the Lord, and told Him that I knew and believed with all my heart that I was supposed to bring glory to His name because of your and your sister’s life. I praised Him in secret, I praised Him aloud, and I always told others that I wasn’t sure how I would handle twins twice, but that He would provide. It wasn’t just something I said, but I truly believed He would provide for your daddy and me because His word tells us that He will always provide for us (Phillipians 4:19).
Oh sweet girl, if I could have known then what I know now, I would have daily taken pictures of Heath and Nash kissing and hugging my belly. I would have taken videos of your daddy kissing my belly as we taught your brothers to say “Elle” and “Em”. The Lord provided sweet moments together that I will never forget, and even though your and Elle’s time was cut short when you were growing inside of me, please know that I cherished every moment. I even praised Him for the aches and pains, the stretching and the exhaustion. You and your sister were an unexpected gift and I never wanted to take your lives for granted.
From the day your daddy and I found out that you and your sister were GIRLS (eek!!!) we prayed for you both even more. We prayed for each of your husbands, for the influences that would enter your lives someday in school, for His joy and contentment be ever present in your hearts, and that the Lord would guide and protect you both and give you long, long lives filled with abundant joy.
When we found out that Elle was present with the Lord, we prayed for your little life more than we ever had before. We prayed that He would allow your heart to strengthen and continually beat despite the fact that the heart rate monitors showed otherwise. We prayed that He would not take you also. When I heard your beautiful, tiny cries, I’ve never felt so much relief, and I remember saying out loud “Praise God” over and over because He had allowed you to be born to us!
Sweet Bunny, your life was a testament to the Lord when you were growing inside of me and when you were working so hard to stay alive during the moments we weren’t sure what the future held. Your life is still a testament to the Lord seven months after you were born. And I believe with all my heart that your life will continue to be a testament to the Lord in seven years and even seventy-seven years and beyond. You are set apart because you are HIS. You are beautiful because you are HIS. And you are always treasured and cherished because you are HIS. I want you to know that you have an amazing purpose. God gave you life so that you could change the world. Not only are you a world changer, but you are a life changer. You’ve already changed my life by just being in it. Our Lord has used you in mighty ways and it takes my breath away.
Even if I don’t live to see tomorrow, I want you to know how adored and cherished you are.
Love you big, baby girl,