This year, I'm ready for spring more so than I have been in the past. I'm ready for the life that comes with spring. The rebirth of things that have "gone to sleep" for winter, and the hope and promise of new life that comes with the warmer weather and brighter days. This winter has been a hard one. We've gone through some tough financial times, seen God both give and take away jobs. We struggled through a difficult pregnancy, with countless setbacks, and ultimately an end that came altogether too early for our Bailey. We were faced with the prospect of losing everything with Bailey, including the time to be able to hold her, make our short memories with her, kiss her, smell her and see what she would've looked like. In a moment we had found out that our daughter had passed away, and in the next moment we found out that the thing we then needed so badly was most likely not going to happen. Days later we found out how dangerous our delivery with her really was going to be, and I went home for a few hours to say my goodbyes to Melodie, my parents and siblings. We left our house with so many unknowns, and headed to the hospital to make them known. We had people praying for us around the clock and around the world. I'm so thankful for those sleepless nights for so many that kept us in prayer, because it helped deliver our miracle. Bailey was born perfectly whole and before her placenta making it possible for us to hold her, kiss her, smell her, see her face, take beautiful pictures and say our goodbyes. We were given the gift of seeing how much she looked like her big sister, and that her hair probably would've been red like Ryan's. And most of all, I got the gift of seeing a countenance that was at peace. It was the best gift of all, because in that moment I didn't see a face that reflected pain, anguish and struggle. I now can know that in a moment she was with me, and in the next she was with her Heavenly Father, and there was no gap. Bailey ALWAYS has known love, peace and joy, and for that I'll be eternally grateful. But then, days later, we had to bury that miracle. Like a seed in the ground that must first die, and then spring to life. We buried the hopes, dreams and joys we had for our daughter and must wait for spring to come. There is an irreplaceable ache in our hearts for her, that will never be healed, and a hole in our family that can never be filled. But we are waiting for spring. We're waiting for the new hopes, the new life and the new weather of life. I was reminded of that even more so this morning, when upon going to pick up Melodie from the nursery, she wasn't there. She wasn't in the lobby, she wasn't with any of our friends, the door to the parking lot was open and so many things went through my mind. Mainly, that she's the only one we've got, and now we might lose her too. My thought was, "Lord, you're going to take away Melodie from us too? What else is there for us to lose? What more do we have? What more can we give?" I was in a moment reminded of Job crying out and defending his plea to his friends, saying basically that he had lost everything, that he had nothing left to give, but that "My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as a man pleads for his friend." (Job 16:20-21) Even though Job lost everything, he would not lose his faith. We won't either, but we wait oh so eagerly for Spring to come, for the winter months of our journey to come to a close. Intercess for us Jesus, plead with the Father on our behalf. Melodie was found a few minutes later running into the sanctuary. I was relieved and thankful to have her in my arms, and she patted my back and rubbed it saying, "oh, it's okay momma, it's okay". I'm thankful that it is, but I'll also be thankful for a weather change.
One of my favorite Easter sermons that I've heard was from Tony Campolo who years ago preached a message that "Friday's here, but Sunday's a comin'!!" We're ready for Sunday Lord. We're ready for the Spring.