Sunday, September 28, 2008

My surety with God

Well, I wasn't really going to journal about Emily-- because the emotions are still so personal and even if I wanted to share them, I really don't have the words. But I've been looking at her slideshow over and over, reminiscing about the days surrounding her birth and I thought it may be therapeutic to write down just a couple of the sweet experiences I was given during such a hard time.

I found out that Emily had passed away just a couple of weeks after finding out we were having a girl. I had been on blood thinner (after Jacob's birth/death we found out I had a blood clotting disorder) and so the doctors wanted me to wait 48 hours before delivering her so I could get the blood thinner out of my system. So for two days, I knew she wasn't alive-- but was sent home without delivering her. Those two days were, in a word, a nightmare. I was completely dysfunctional and my house completely fell apart. I had just gotten a large box of maternity clothes from my sister and that first night I threw the clothes, one by one, around the room in a mad rage. I didn't pick up one toy or one diaper or one dish or do ANYTHING besides try to make arrangements for her casket, dress, etc. Needless to say, my house (which wasn't clean to begin with) looked like it had been hit with a tornado.

When I was in the hospital, a dear friend came and borrowed a key from Jeremy. I guess a phone call from one church friend to another quickly spread, and when she arrived at our home with the key, mini-vans were lined up around the block to my home. It was lovingly dubbed "The Mormon Minivan Brigade." My house was not only cleaned and organized top to bottom, but all my laundry (we're talking LOADS) was done and the kitchen stocked. I was at first hugely embarrassed, but soon realized what an AMAZING blessing had been given to me. A friend kept the kids the first night we came home from the hospital, and instead of spending time trying to get my house in some kind of order after just giving birth, I was able to sit down with Jeremy in my beautiful home and BREATHE. We spent the night eating a wonderful dinner, looking through scrapbooks, listening to uplifting music-- and before the night was over I felt so much peace. So THAT was a beautiful, tender mercy of the Lord. Thank-you, my dear Tennessee friends.

The morning I went to deliver Emily I went into a total panic because I couldn't find our camera. I knew from Jacob how precious pictures would become and became nearly hysterical when it was time to leave and I still couldn't find it. Jeremy ended up going next door and borrowing the neighbor's. We took at least 50 pictures of her at the hospital, and more later at the funeral home when we let Taylor and Parker hold her. I needed to develop the pictures quickly so I could return the camera, so I went to Walmart's one hour photo. As I pulled into the parking lot to pick them up, I starting having a panic attack. I seriously felt like I couldn't breathe. Up to this point I hadn't really talked to anyone-- I was staying holed up in my room-- and was just a mess around people. I was so worried that I would go up to the counter and some young teenager would pull my photos out of the envelope for all to see and I would have to actually have to have a conversation about the pics and try to explain it and I was just PANICKED. Those pictures were, and still are, so precious and sacred to me and I didn't want just anyone to see them. I seriously felt like I would die if I had to look at them with other people around. Well, I tried to control my hysteria and finally made my way to the back of the store. There was a HUGE line. They were totally busy. PANIC!!! How was I not going to have a complete meltdown in the store? I said a little prayer in my heart and just cringed as I watched the person behind the counter pull out and flip through the pictures of everyone in front of me (making sure they were the right pics and they were happy with them). I finally reached the counter and gave her my slip.

She pulled out a big fat envelope with a sticker on it that said $0.00 and handed it over to me without opening it. She said, "It looks like there's no charge on these. Please have a good day."

I was able to walk out of the store without saying a word.

Whoever had decided not to charge me for the pictures, also printed doubles and THREE digital CDs.

A tender mercy.

I felt loved.

I knew then, beyond a doubt, that my Father in Heaven was aware of my every need. That He knew me and was holding me and was hurting for me. It was the simplest gesture-- worth just a few dollars, but it has never left me. It has made me wonder how often we are the hands of the Lord. How often does He work through us to accomplish His great purposes. I have often thought about that compassionate person in the store who didn't charge me for my pictures. So grateful he or she did what the Savior would do if He were here.

Am I still enough to hear His promptings? Am I in tune enough to help Him answer the prayers of others?

A lot to think about. I am so so thankful for my darling Emily Anne and the lessons that I have learned through her short little life. These are just two of the sweet experiences I have had because of her. She has impacted my life in a profound way. I will absolutely never be the same because of her, and I am so humbled to have her in my life. Thank-you Emily, for all you have given me. You and Jacob have done a tremendous work here on this earth. Thank-you for leading us to China, and for lighting the way home to heaven. You are my surety with God-- there is nothing I wouldn't do to be worthy to live with you again. I love you.

P.S. Graci is doing FABULOUS! (:

Happy Birthday, Emily Anne

Born, still in the arms of God.
Born, still in the knowledge
Of His grace, and of His love.
Born, still to us
But alive to God!