God is doing something that I haven't quite figured out and won't try to explain. It's pretty intense and I think is the beginning of a journey I never thought I'd take, let alone want to take.
But, I do want to take a minute a brag on my amazing friends and how God is loving me through them right now....
In the last week and a half or so, I have been lavished upon with gifts. There are so many things, I hope I can remember them all.
First, I received a beautiful cross with a daisy on it from my friend Chloe in New Zealand (She did the drawings of us with Rachel in memory of her daughter Hope). I don't often go to Rachel's PO BOX these days, but I decided to pop in and found a package from her. My favorite part: she signed it from her AND Hope. I love that.
Then I got a package with a Lia Sophia daisy ring and necklace from Elisha. She sent them as a gift to me during the fundraiser she was doing for Rachel's non profit. They are beautiful and I love having different jewelry I can wear that shouts "Rachel".
My friend Sue sent me an album by Steven Curtis Chapman called Beauty Will Rise - He wrote it after losing his daughter and if you have lost a child, you NEED this album. Every word in every song could be written by my own heart. The words and feelings all sound so familiar. I've been listening to it a lot and finding comfort and encouragement in it and the reminder of God's beauty in the midst of deep pain. It's somewhat of a relief to hear someone other than myself admit that this journey leaves you with questions and unable to breathe at times.... yet still praising God... even when words fail and reality strikes.
I got a beautiful metal daisy pinwheel from my friend Nancy in NJ - I kid you not, the very day before it arrived, I had come across another pinwheel that was left for Rachel in the first spring after she died and thought to myself... I wish I had two so I could put one in her garden here and one at her grave... and although they aren't the same, it was an answered prayer... and I cannot wait to set this up in her garden. It's going to look perfect next to her bench.
I had put in a request for an embroidered hankie from Little Angels Hankies MONTHS ago. They embroider them for free with the name of your baby on it. I was wondering about if I should check in with them, knowing that the last time I did, I was up in the hundreds on the waiting list - and then I came home and there it was! I had planned on bringing it around with me to wipe all my tears... but I am not sure if I want to get it all stained up... and then I wonder, what's the point of having it if I don't catch my tears with it? We'll see if I dare stain the beautiful white cloth....
And then Friday, my awesome husband brought me home some daisies with a rose tucked in the middle (he still keeps our counter decorated with fresh flowers for Rachel for me - haven't been without them yet since Dec 2010!) and since I hadn't gone to Rachel's grave that day, the timing was perfect. But to make it even more beautiful, while I was out with friends that night, Des cut them all and arranged them in a vase for me and left me a note.
On top of that, I've had a few more people write and tell me they have recently found - or come back to - my blog and how Rachel is still leaving an impact, through my writing.... something I have struggled to believe was still possible.
And a local midwife, Jessica, offered to do a free belly cast for me.... I'm thinking I might do it - but my heart hurts as I think of it cause someone offered me one while I was pregnant with Rachel and I didn't do it. It's always hard for me to do anything I regret not doing with her....But I'm trying to come up with a creative way to include her.
In the middle of all of these tangible gifts, God has been pouring out His love and making Himself and His care for me known in so many ways. And while these types of intangible gifts from God that will never decay or fade will always be the best kind, I am so thankful for all the ways you all have been loving me and for the timing of God's prompting of that love in your hearts. Thank you.
I'm guessing it's also not a coincidence that I have all these reminders of how many hearts she has touched as I approach April 17... the day 3 years ago we found out she was growing inside me.... I knew she would change my life - I just had no idea how much so.