Today I dropped the two older kids off at summer camp and me & Sam went to visit Rachel. It's so easy taking care of just one kid. I left him in the van when I got there and there was nobody to let him out without my permission! (which happens just about every time I've gone to the cemetery). I looked down at her little grave and started crying... I hardly ever get that release and today it was a deep one. I couldn't stop.
I starred at the unevenness of the grass and thought about going to buy some seed to cover up the patches of dirt... until I noticed that the grass has grown in... are you ready for this?... in the shape of a heart! The dirt spots around the edge in her little rectangle actually make the grass heart shaped! I want to say I couldn't believe my eyes, but with how things have been going, I could believe my eyes. It actually didn't surprise me! Of course, this is one of the few times I didn't have my camera. I'll see if it still looks that way when I go again.
I thought back to our Florida trip in April when I felt like God had first used hearts to encourage me. I had felt the hearts showing up everywhere was Him reminding me that she is with Him and therefore, with me in my heart wherever I go, not just in the ground in Dover.
The reality of the fact that I stand above my daughter's body in the ground every week made me sob... I cried because she's there...I cried because I can't take her out and home with me....I cried because I could feel our new son kicking and remembered standing in that same exact spot months ago and felt her dancing around in my womb as I decided that is where we would soon bury her.
I thought I might just die from a broken heart myself right there. I begged out loud that somebody would tell me it isn't real. "please tell me this didn't really happen" And then I felt the Lord whisper to my heart...
"She's not there, Stacy"
I know, I know. In my head. But my heart has a long way to go. My heart wants to dig up that dirt and cradle her in my arms... My heart aches to hold her body, which IS there. But our bodies only live for so long. The part of her that will live forever, is with Jesus and in my heart wherever I go. Should be enough, but today it doesn't feel like it.
As I near the day that we got Rachel's diagnosis, my emotions have been heavy. This has been the longest year of my life. On one hand, I wish it never happened and that I was putting bows in my girl's hair instead of blogging about her grave. And on the other hand, I'm thankful it has happened. Not because I wouldn't have rather had her, but because my life has never been so rich. Knowing that little girl, exactly how she was, and carrying her straight to the arms of my Lord was an experience that has forever changed me and made me a better person. Knowing her made God even more real to me. Knowing her and the pain of losing her gave me blessings that can come no other way.
I'm so glad I knew her and that I know Jesus so I'll see her again.
I'm so glad she isn't 'there' and that she knows Jesus in a way I can only dream of.
I'm so glad that I can be full of joy, even when I'm afraid and sad. I'm thankful that God will continue to gently reassure me through all my valleys and that He never gets tired of comforting me.
Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again