Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Carrying the Nail With Me

Well, that's a record - 2 months since I last posted....

In the last two months, I have packed up our old house, moved, and unpacked in our new home. (maybe half the boxes!)  It was no easy job and I don't want to do that again any time soon!

I always assumed leaving the house Rachel lived in with me would be hard.  It was - but not as I expected - mostly because for one, I was way too busy to have time to think and for two, if there was ever a time that she feels near me, it is now.

If you've been reading along my journey, you know what I'm talking about when I reference Rachel's nail.  It was a nail that was in my living room wall that, for a very long time, had her little purple dress hanging on it.  I didn't take it down because I felt like it would be as if I had lost hope in the possibility of her healing.

I finally took the dress down, but left the nail.  Here and there, I would hang other Rachel things on it, but the nail never came down.  It was the last thing left - that and the bouquet of daisies I left for the new owners on the counter - when we went to leave that Friday morning.

I turned around, pulled it out, and stuck it in my pocket.
If that nail represented hope in her healing - then why does it need to be left in that house?  I believe with all I am that she has been made whole in heaven with the Lord.  Her healing was in fact granted to her, and to me....  She is safe, happy, complete.

So, shortly after we moved into our new home (that has "Rachel" written all over it in so many ways!) I took the nail out from my pocket and hammered it into the basement door... ironically, in the center of what the details in the door outline as a cross.... and I hung the Hope star I hung the night before the day she was born.
It looks Christmas-y, and that's fine by me.  Christmas has brought us Jesus, Rachel, Eden...and HOPE!! 

I carry the hope of her healing with me every day - it's how I survive being without her.  I didn't leave her - or that hope - there.  I took it with me and will think about it and remember it every single day of my life until we meet again.

Ezra's 3rd birthday party - our last family photo in that home!
The last thing we did before we drove away... Rachel bear is on my lap, but you can't see it.
Seems fitting - she is with us, but you can't see her - I also like that Eden is playing with her ♥
Rachel's nail was safe in my pocket - and we are surrounded by the bulb fundraiser flowers I bought when we were raising money for her playground.
It won't be long and these photos will feel like forever ago.  We have loved and lost and grown so much in this house.  The day we moved in, we would have never seen any of that coming.  What a long, hard road.  But I know so intimately how desperate we are for Jesus, in all our weaknesses and failures - and how generous and merciful He is.  I hope I always remember how I felt sitting on that porch that morning, the humid air, the nervousness of selling this place we loved so much or the excitement over the new house we were about to buy - the laughter we had as Matt pushed the button and ran to get in the photo... being surrounded by my children, 3 of which I probably would not have if we were able to keep Rachel.  It's amazing how God unfolds our lives, a little at a time... and all we can do is take it one moment at a time and try to make the most of each of them.

So, here we go - on our next adventure.... thanking God for every day we get together and for the nail, the cross, and the hope that gets us through the days we have to spend without each other.

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