She came out in the kitchen and gave me the background of the story... There was a ship that was caught in a storm and just before it crashed into the rocks, the mother threw her little girl overboard, wrapped in a blanket, into a small boat to people who were trying to save them all. Another huge wave came and destroyed the boat in front of them and everyone died except the little girl, who was now with them and they decided to keep. She was a cute little 2 year old with "light brown hair, rosey cheeks and the bluest of blue eyes."
Des began reading me the story and was pausing to giggle as she read each line that the little girl spoke. She just kept saying how cute she was. Her excitement and smile alone had me smiling, but every time she giggled, I would too. She's always had a contagious laugh.
She skipped many of the words, mostly wanting to read me the words of the little girl. The book has her words written in 'little girl language' and she was reading in a little girl voice.
I want to share part with you..... It's from "Saved at Sea" by O.F. Walton
"Oh! How she ran and jumped and played in the garden. I never saw such a merry little thing, picking up stones, gathering daisies ("day-days" she called them), running down the path and calling me to catch her. She was never still for an instant!
But every now and then, as I was playing with her, I looked across the sea to Ainslie Crag. The seas had not gone down much, though the wind had ceased, and I saw the waves still clashing wildly upon the rocks. And I thought of what lay beneath them, of the shattered ship, and of the child's mother. "Oh! if she only knew, " I thought, as I listened to her merry laugh which made me more ready to cry than her tears had done."I asked, but honestly, I already knew the answer....I sensed it in every word....
"Des, what page is that on?"
She looked down and her eyes got HUGE and she burst out in laughter as she said "Page 43!!"
And when I went to look today so that I could share this with you, I saw that, not only is it on page 43, but it's ALL that is on that page. Every time I read it again, I cry. I'm not trying to change the meaning out of this awesome classic story, but when I read this I honestly feel like God is speaking to me. I feel His gentle reassurance that she is happy. She was welcomed into her new home. That her laugh is amazing. That she loves daisies and plays in gardens. That she is well taken care of.
I feel His reminder that I'm not forgotten - that the reality of my storm, although in the distance for them and leaving them untouched, is not completely out of their view, it just doesn't hurt them. And can't. She is safe. The wind ceasing, but the waves still crashing, and I still beneath the shattered ship seems to describe my place right now on this journey perfectly.
And then the last part... "Oh! if she only knew." I have often wished Rachel knew all I do for her and how I miss her. And this line just leaves me thanking God that she is oblivious to my pain.... that maybe she does know of me there and I think maybe even remember my love for her.... but the storm, the shipwreck, the aftermath, the loss..... She's unaware, happily jumping through a garden.... giggling.... "never sitting still for a minute, " just as I imagined her at the age of 2....
I flipped the book over to see what the back says... how did I buy this without ever noticing this plot?
"As the storm disappears on the horizon, the little mystery girl touches the hearts of some very lonely peeople. Another stranger arrives on the island and Alick finds out that there is a rock that you can depend on in life, whatever the storms throw at you. Jesus Christ will always be there - an anchor, a fortress, stronger than a lighthouse on the rocks, stronger even than death!"And again, this little girl, saved from death, reminds me of my sweet Rachel.... touching hearts, bringing light to dark days, and pointing so many to Hope in Jesus. And I am reminded that He is stronger than death!
Matt & I have been talking about the fact that there is a chance that Rachel could have only lived 42 minutes... or that if they had listened for her heart again at 44 minutes, instead of 43, they would have called it 44 minutes. We go by 43 because that is what the doctor told us - but are they accurate? Who knows.... but God was in every single detail.
I'm amazed daily at how He shows me this truth. Things will happen, I look at the clock at just the right time, I see a flower bloom on a special day, the grass at her grave grows in the shape of a heart...another 43 shows up... a rainbow appears at unbelievable times....there have been so many things.... I could never list them all. These little "Godwinks" as my friend Melissa calls them have been everywhere since He took my baby girl home, always bringing me both comfort and tears. And always reminding me He is here with me since her death....
But something like this, that had to be put together over 8 years before I was even pregnant with her leaves me with this unbelievable sense of security that God has it all planned out...every part of my life...every detail. Humbled that He cares that much for me to speak to me in this way. Amazed at how He brings details together that we could not make happen if we tried, no matter how we planned. I marvel at the thought of Him waiting to catch her as I sent her into His safe keeping during the most overwhelming storm I have ever experienced... the storm of death.... I am thankful for how He helped me to be so unselfish for her sake. .And once again, I am so full of Hope for that glorious day when I will see her again. I rejoice in my sure salvation through Jesus Christ that grants me that promise true.