Saturday, March 30, 2013

Napkin Gift

I went out for dinner with my friend Vanessa last night.  We were sitting there talking when this young girl came up, placed a napkin on our table, said "Happy Easter" in a sweet little voice and turned and walked away.

I read it and started crying as I opened to find a $20 bill inside.  I looked to see where she went, but she was gone.  I wanted to get up and chase her down and see who it was - to tell her how perfect her timing was and to say "Thank You".... but I just sat in tears. 

I'll never know why God chose me to be Rachel's Mama.... or why her story reached so far in such a short time and continues to leave me feeling loved by perfect strangers in public places regularly....

All I know is that she has been such a blessing and I am so thankful for all the people who have supported and followed my long, and sometimes very difficult to watch, journey through this thing we call grief - as if giving it a name makes it any less ugly or more predictable.  I'm grateful for everyone who has loved me just as I am, showing me again and again that God is in this and has not forgotten me.

Thank you for letting me know - in all the big and small ways - that Rachel's life was not for nothing and that my sharing her (even when I don't do it perfectly) has been used by God.  Thank you for reminding me I'm not alone. 

This morning I was showing Des this napkin just as Matt was talking about needing to get sand for the sandbox.  The boys have been digging in our supposed-to-be-yard that is all mud.  So, that is what we used it for.... to buy sandbox sand... we still need more, but they played in it for hours!  And every time the kids play in it, my mind will go back to the Good Friday night at Applebees where a sweet little voice wished me a "Happy Easter" and I, yet again, was blessed by someone who was blessed by Rachel's life.

Whoever you are, Thank you.... from one baby loss mama to another.  I only wish I could have hugged you!!  Every time I think that everyone is moving on, something like this happens and I am reminded that it just isn't so.  Even if I didn't do anything else for Rachel, she can't be forgotten.  She won't be.

And so tomorrow, as we celebrate that Jesus did not stay dead - I rejoice that because of that fact, Rachel didn't either - and with every heartfelt gift (whether in time, treasure or a simple hug) slipped to me as a result of what He has done in another's life through her, I thank Him for how only He can return beauty for ashes and make life out of death.

Her story would never be any of this without Jesus.  It couldn't be.  And neither could mine.  Without Jesus, it would all just be a story of death - but with Him, and because of Him, it's a story of LIFE. 

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