I started out my morning by reading the blog post below. I have never heard this experience described so eloquently. Bryant and I have struggled to explain this exact thing to people. In the midst of such tragic heartache, we definitely saw God's glory revealed to us in a new way on the morning that we lost Nate.
We are so thankful for the gift we have in Jesus. I pray that this will encourage you to know that He is our Hope in every situation.
Being still is hard for me. I'm pretty sure it's an instinct God has implanted in all women. It's just hard for a woman in general to not be able to get up and plan, serve, and take care of her family. Now, I am the one being being taken care of and its humbling. It reminds me that I need others and that most of all... I need Him. My dearest friend, Julia, who came from Nashville to comfort us, gently yet firmly in love reminded me..."You don't have to be strong Mae, not now."
December 4, 2011 is a day that we will never forget. The day we received the honor of seeing sweet Ellanie Beth Roper drift into this world and drift out at the same time. Life is so precious. The Lord truly opened my eyes to see the beauty in this gift through the birth of our amazing Emmalyn and He revealed it to us in a whole new way through the life of baby Ella. Holding all 7 inches and 1 pound of her was like holding God's glory in the palm of my hand. The intricate details of her tiny face, hands, and feet... the astonishing way that her nose resembled Emmalyn's and how she had her Daddy's long fingers and toes... the warmth I felt when holding her, even though her heart wasn't beating... and the way He allowed us to see right past the physical defect of her skull to see only beauty in its fullest form, confirmed that His glory is in everything if we'll only focus our eyes on the cross and allow ourselves to see it.
I was reminded of the old hymn... "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace." My amazing family sang this to me as we held baby Ella, and each other, and she drifted into the arms of our Savior into eternity. A moment that as parents, Jeremy and I will treasure for the rest of our lives. We are reminded that there is nothing we go through that He does not endure with us. His compassion for us through the cross is always proof of that. He sacrificed His only Son so that when we endure pain, sorrow, and grief we have a living hope to cling to in Christ. So, He knows loss and his compassion is everlasting.
Sarah Groves wrote a song a few years ago after enduring the loss of an infant called It Might Be Hope. I remembered these words this morning as my husband helped me out of bed, my feet hit the floor, I grabbed the small pillow from our memorial box that held Ella's head, and reality hit me. Unswervingly we hold fast to hope. Hope that is eternal and even moreso than ever, we yearn for heaven... we yearn for glory.
You do your work the best that you can
you put one foot in front of the other
life comes in waves and makes its demands
you hold on as well as you're able
You've been here for a long long time
Hope has a way of turning its face to you
just when you least expect it
you walk in a room
you look out a window
and something there leaves you breathless
you say to yourself
it's been a while since I felt this
but it feels like it might be hope
Several have asked about the Ellanie Beth Memorial Fund and how you may help in that way. Please know that this is a gesture of love that our family of believers at North Highlands Baptist Church has organized so that it is easy and efficient for any that felt led of the Spirit to give. We are ever so grateful and just want to share how you may access that. Just visit her giving page & follow the instructions from there. It will ask for the first 3-5 digits of the zip code of the organization you which to donate in and that is 35023. You can also just donate by sending a check or money order to:
Ellanie Beth Roper Memorial Fund North Highlands Baptish Church 4851 15th Street Rd. Hueytown, AL 35023
Again, thank you for your prayerful thoughts, actions, and words of encouragement during this time. Please do remember us in the journey ahead as we know that healing takes time and it starts at the cross, where His blood covers us.