Sunday, April 10, 2011

♥ Rachel ♥

You may have noticed that I've been less consistent with my posts this week...  we were actually away on vacation!  And that may pose the question, you were blogging on vacation?  and no, I wasn't....I scheduled all those posts ahead of time :o)  OCD at it's finest :o)

So, back in October we had to cancel our trip to Florida because I had a really quick build up of amniotic fluid and the Dr recommended I didn't fly.  I'm not usually good at listening to the doctor, but the amount of pain I was in scared me and so we reluctantly canceled last minute.  It was a hard decision because the night we found out Rachel had anencephaly, I listened to Todd & Angie Smith's story and they had gone to Disney World while Angie was carrying Audrey and it was a great memory for their children to have gone there with their sister while she was still alive.  At the end of the broadcast, through tears, I looked at Matt and said "We can bring her to Disney World".  This statement meant more than just going to Disney... it was the moment that I pulled up my big girl pants and decided to not waste a second with my girl.   I'm so thankful that came so quickly for me.  God was very gracious to me in that.

I have lots of things to share about our trip, but tonight I'm just going to share this one and I will have to post more later... apparently my pregnancy sickness has kicked in full force and I'm not only totally exhausted, but I'm also gagging and dry heaving constantly.  it's fun.

As we prepared to go to Florida, my heart hurt to know that I would be going without Rachel.  After lots of packing and hard work we finally loaded the plane with our 3 little ones who were all smiling ear to ear to be on a plane.  The plane began to pick up speed and Isaiah and Des both giggled as we watched out the window.  Isaiah started saying... "we're going fast... this is fun!..."  and as the plane took to the air he yelled as loud as can be "We're flying!!  This is AWESOME!!"  Me, being the sap I am, started crying happy tears watching their excitement.  And then as the ground started to look more like a map, he said "Look, Mama, I can see Rachel's grave!"  and my tears immediately turned to sadness.  Sadness because Rachel has a grave and sadness because my little boy thinks about it.   Everyone around us was laughing at his reaction to the take off....but their laughter stopped when he said that and they don't even know who Rachel is.

I looked at the seat in front of me and noticed it had a heart in the middle of the wings (obviously Southwest's logo, but I had never noticed) and I thought "a piece of my heart grew wings and flew away too"  I took a picture, because that's what I do :o)
A little while into the flight, I decided to start reading a book that a blog friend sent me a while ago called One Thousand Gifts.  I have looked through this book a BUNCH of times and never noticed that she wrote in the front of it.  But the timing of finding it couldn't have been more perfect....

OK, is it just me, or are those hearts amazingly similar to the ones on the seat?  Oh, and they just "happen" to be around Rachel's name... and I just "happened" to notice them months after receiving the book after I just thought about Rachel when I looked at the seat.  I love "coincidences" like that!  God is so good to me.  I started crying again because it was as if God was letting me know that she is with me on this trip.

But wait, it gets better... 

So, we stopped at a gas station and this girl next to us had a red heart, the same size, COLORED on her arm in red marker.  Yes, this is strange considering she was in her 20's, but hey, I used to draw faces on my stomach and make them talk.... I was tempted to take a picture, but I resisted - not sure she would've liked that one! 

Then we got to the condo we were staying at and I opened the fridge (what else would a pregnant girl check out at a gorgeous condo in Florida?)  and almost pooped my pants when I saw what they had left for us
That's right, a big red heart...

And then at the zoo.... there was a little girl running around with a pink hat on - with you guessed it, a red heart on was a "life is Good" hat.  I had to let the photo op go on this one too...her mom probably would have thought I was a nut case.  (I'll have more on this later cause I had quite a moment with God over the "life is good" topic while sitting in the zoo's playground - I'm trying hard to stay on topic here!) 

When we returned home last night a little before 2am.  I was severely sick by this point.  13 hours of travel with 3 kids and in the worst stage of pregnancy... I was putting all my effort into not throwing up my vitamins when I saw Matt glancing at the mail.  I had put a stop on it and didn't think we'd have any until Monday.  If you know me, you know I LOVE mail... and I saw a pink envelope.  The detective in me told me that was a card for me... I went out and asked him for it and looked to see who it was from...brace yourselves...

Check out the return "address"...  An anonymous letter from a girl (I think) who said she has wanted to donate towards Rachel's Playground for some time and is a college student with no money.  She said she got some money from her Grandmother and the first thing she thought of was Rachel and sent $10 with it.  I took one look at the heart and said "Do you see this?!!"  and Matt just smiled and said "take a picture". 

I got to church late this morning and walked in just as they were singing the song with these lyrics:

Your love is deeper than my view of grace
Higher than this wordly place
                                      Longer than this road I travel  <--(this one got me this am)
Wider than the gap you've filled.

Your love is deep, Your love is high
Your love is long, Your love is wide.

Who shall separate Us? Who shall separated us from your love?
Nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus.
Nothing can separate us from your love

And what was on the screen?  It was a photo of this written in the sand...just like we did with Rachel's name.  (I wrote it on paper to show you since I didn't have my camera with me :o) )
He was reminding me that in Rachel - in every daisy, tulip and heart... He is there.  They are His love notes to me to encourage me and bring me hope in this valley.  They remind me of His great love for me and for Rachel.  They remind me that He hasn't forgotten me and that He knows I still hurt.  
It also reminded me of the day I arrived at Rachel's grave to find this:
( I still don't know who wrote it...)

I almost don't like to try to put these things into words because it's hard to do it justice.  All I can say is that this was a trip Rachel was supposed to be on with me and she wasI was SO sad that I wasn't able to make it to her grave on Friday; the first one in 18 weeks I have not been there.  I packed her blanket in my carry-on just in case they lost my luggage.  I hold on to her in any way I can.  This week I realized nothing can separate us. As a believer in Christ, I KNOW I will be with her again. A piece of my heart went with her and she filled it's place. She is with me...and thanks to our amazing Lord, someday I'll see her again. As her mother, the only thing better than knowing that is to know that she is with Him... and loved by Him.  With a love that far exceeds my love.  It's deeper, higher, longer, wider...  nothing can separate her from His love.  What more could I want for her?  That makes my heart smile, even while my eyes shed tears.


  1. Happy to hear God is still speaking into your situation. He is good. Thinking of you...Jill

  2. I loved reading your post. It brought joy to my heart but also tears because I know the pain you are feeling with Rachel not being with you. I am praying for you and your family. I pray that you get to feeling better too. Try to drink some peach juice (the juice in the can of peaches). Never knew about it when I was pregnant but I had a virus a few months ago and my doctor told me to drink that juice and it would help and it did. Crazy I know, but I would have tried anything at that time :)

  3. Stacy,

    I'm so pleasantly surprised to have been a part of your post today!
    I love those "God-wink" moments, where everything seems to come together to remind us of the way that the Lord is leading us through whatever we're facing!! =)
    Thanks so much for sharing both your heart story & your heart with us! You're a gem! <3


  4. <3 It! :) That was a precious post. Happy/Sad. Bittersweet. So glad you enjoyed your vacation in spite of your sorrow. Glad too that God showed you He was with you in all of this. I remember the many ways He reminded me also after we lost Ethan. What a precious gift.


We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes