I sat here looking at the package that had taken almost 2 weeks to travel from her to us and I wondered how I can call someone a friend that I have never met. And then I realized it's because she knows so much about me and loves me anyway. I'm not silly enough to think I'm easy to love. I know I'm a complicated girl with heavy feelings and strong opinions - and so when I know that someone can read all of my feelings and thoughts and still love me, I feel like it's God's love coming to me through them... I can see Jesus in it. He has brought me love through this in the most unexpected places. For every person who has let me down in the last 3 years, Jesus has given me a dozen who have shown up in big ways.
I opened the package and we all sat around, having so much fun with how the labels were in a different language. The kids were so excited for all the little toys and I was thrilled with the Lindt chocolates :) And yes, I hid them and ate them all myself... well, I shared a couple. But when I saw the main gift, I was amazed. It was a huge and beautiful banner with Rachel's name and dandelions sewn on it. The kids held it up so I could see the whole thing.
|I had to bend it so it would fit in the photo - it's big! The other side is all pretty girly fabrics.|
you can see one of them folded up in the middle
My friend in Switzerland started 2 years ago working on a banner for my sweet girl. She said she originally thought it would be hung at Rachel's Race - yet when I announced that I wasn't doing Rachel's Race, she continued making it. She has worked a little at a time on it, in the busyness of her own life, for 2 years! I started to cry. I can't believe someone would spend 2 YEARS writing out my girl's name for me.
But as I read - and re-read - her card, her words about Rachel and how she came to know of us were such a blessing to me. I had no idea when I started writing here a week after Rachel's diagnosis that my words would even be read across the world, let alone the idea that I'd get packages from new friends there! But, I read words that will forever remain the biggest blessing throughout this journey... the words that keep me going when I wonder what the point is or when I'm being criticized by people who think that good Christians don't cry... the words that were my first and only hope with this blog and will be my last and only hope with anything I ever do for Rachel and through her story...
I literally cry every. single. time. I read this. And I read it often. I am unbelievably humbled that in this heartache - with as imperfectly as I have walked through it - that Jesus has still been seen here. When I first signed onto Blogger in 2010, I wrote the words at the top of this blog.... "Our hope is that she will leave behind more than a few short memories, but that she will leave a legacy of what it means to hope in Jesus."
This is the best gift I could ever be given. For me to see Jesus in others and for others to see Jesus through me. I'm so thankful for friends taking time to let me know. It doesn't stop the pain, but it does give my pain purpose.
The beauty of this, though, is that the words that followed "I saw Jesus" were "speaking through your honest words and your life." She 'saw Jesus' in the depths of my pain. In my transparency. In my doubt and struggles. In my honest words and in my life through the loss of my daughter How I have leaned on Him and how He has held me up. He has always brought me through every valley along this journey and I'm so grateful... honored... humbled... that it has been seen. That He has been seen.
Thank you my friend(s) for letting me know and for loving me through it all. I am so blessed.