On the year to date that we found out we lost Elle, we celebrated our girl in the most special way possible. The inspiration of this day came from a very humbling read, “The Broken Way” by Ann Voskamp. This book spoke to my soul as I sat in my brokenness and tried to make sense of my feelings of permanently losing a piece of myself. The way Ann illustrated her brokenness filled me because I could relate. I was no longer reading about her brokenness rather I was reading about my own.
“What matters most is not if our love makes other people change, but that in loving, we change. What matters is that in the sacrificing to love someone, we become more like Someone. Regardless of anything or anyone else changing, the success of loving is in how we change because we kept on loving.”
“The art of giving is believing there is enough love in you, that you are loved enough by Him, to be made enough love to give.”
“I hold the broken Last Supper in front of me, a Jesus with broken hands. What did Jesus do after He gave thanks? “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them.” He took it and gave thanks. Eucharisteo. Then He broke it and gave. How many times had I said it: “Eucharisteo precedes the miracle”? Thanksgiving precedes the miracle—the miracle of knowing all is enough. And how many times had I read it—how Jesus “took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people”? Eucharisteo—Jesus embracing and giving thanks for His not-enough—that preceded the miracle. But why hadn’t I been awakened at the detonation of the revelation before? What was the actual miracle? The miracle happens in the breaking. Not enough was given thanks for, and then the miracle happened: There was a breaking and a giving—into a kind of communion—into abundant filling within community. The miracle happens in the breaking.”
“The only way to rise to the beauty of love is to rise and serve.”
“Maybe grieving over plans changed is part of the plan to change us.”
So on this day to celebrate Elle, we wanted to focus on others, so that ultimately, we were not focused on our own brokenness, rather Christ. And by doing so, our day was absolutely blessed by the Father who filled our hearts with so much joy.
The day ended with a beautiful memory Brian and I will always hold near to our hearts. We sent lanterns off in the sunset and we told the children that we sent our lantern up to heaven for Elle. As I’ve said many times before, I hope the Lord allowed Elle a window to Earth to see us. The babies haven’t stopped talking about their sweet sister Elle since we sent up our lanterns over a week ago. I can’t possibly put into words how that makes my heart feel – to know that Heath, Nash, and Emery have a very real sense of who their sister is.
When someone like our beautiful daughter has left an eternal impact on our lives, we feel overwhelmingly compelled to honor her in the best ways possible. This day should have been marked with immense sadness and gloom, but our Lord provided a beautiful alternative: a day filled with sunshine and joy. Our girl lives on thanks to the One who gives us life.
//Photos by: The sweetest Kari from KariMe Photography//