5 years ago today, my Emma died.
5 years ago today, I felt Emma’s last movements and heard my little one’s final heartbeats.
5 years ago today, I was told that my daughter had just died. And, the realization began to set in that my daughter would not, in this world, ever see my face or feel my arms around her. However, though she does not know what I look like, she has looked into the face of Jesus. While she has not known my arms holding her, she knows the embrace of the King. And for that, I rejoice.
Tomorrow is Emma’s birthday. 5 years ago, I labored. I delivered. And there was a silent room. I did not hear her cries. And for my lifetime, I will not hear her sweet voice calling me “Mommy” or saying that she loves me. But for all eternity, she will sing to her heavenly Father and praise Him perfectly in love. While I do not sing her lullabies at bedtime, she is able to rejoice with the angelic choirs praising our amazing, eternal, sovereign Savior. And for that, I rejoice.
Monday will mark 5 years since the day I rode away from the hospital with an empty car, no baby to take home. But the truth is, she was already home. She was already in her true home…already in my true home too. And for that, I rejoice.
So, 5 years later, I will rejoice. I will make her birthday dessert, and I will cry. And as I do, I will rejoice in my good, faithful God, Who has carried Josh and me as we have walked through the valley of the shadow of death (See Ps. 23:4; 28:9). It would have been easy to fall into depression and despair, yet I will say with David: “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13) Our God is so very good. In the midst of our lives whether in a trial or not, He is unchanging, unwavering, loving, faithful, gracious, strong, peace-giving, trustworthy, and a million other adjectives that would still be inadequate to describe Him. Our God is awesome. He alone is able to work all of the circumstances of our lives for our best and His glory (See Rom. 8:28).
I do not know the matters of your heart, but join me. Rest in Him today. Rejoice in Him today. Yes, grieve what needs to be grieved over, but in it, rejoice in Him, just Him. Because He really is beautiful.
Take heart. Lay down your burden. Rejoice.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” Phil. 4:4