I talk a lot around here, about how it's been in the darkest moments of my life, when the Father has invited me deeper into His heart. The darkness, the hard places, the nights that feel they will never turn to morning, have all been invitations for me to come near, to reach for His hand, even when I can't see. And every time I have pressed into Him, reached out to Him, I've found more of Him. Yet, there is still even more to be found.
The first time I met my friend Megan, I saw it in her. A hunger, a passion to recklessly pursue the Father. She sat across from me at Starbucks and told me her story, and as we both cried, I saw a tenderness in her for the Father. She was hurting, she is still hurting, but it's been in this pain, that she has truly been moved to deeper places in the Lord.
I want to steward this space in such a way, that it gives a voice to stories like hers. Stories that look broken and full of pain on the outside, but once you peek inside, you really see a story full of beauty and life. A story of a mother grieving her baby, but of the Father intricately rewriting what the enemy meant for evil, turning it for good. He does that. He makes beauty rise up from the ashes. It's clearly seen in Megan's story. We're watching and believing as Monroe's life makes ripples throughout eternity, calling others to move deeper into the Father's heart. Calling us to move deeper.
Today is your Heaven Party day. This very day last year, we sent you to straight to Heaven and we covered your perfect 8 pounds and 10 ounce body with too many kisses and tears to count. You were beautiful. Like, take my breath away beautiful. Every inch of you. I remember the exact moment I saw your face, and I looked at your Daddy and told him through my quivering lips how perfect you were.
You never had to make a noise or a motion to move your mommy's soul.
Almost instantly, your life made me move. I like to call it my "Monroe Movement", because you changed your mommy's heart and life. You catapulted me forward like an arrow leaving its' quiver for the first time.
My love for your Daddy multiplied almost instantly. As if I didn't already love him enough. Seeing him care for you in the hospital, all while being so steady for your mommy. Explaining to your big sisters who had long awaited to hold you and smother you with sister love, that you were already in Heaven. Asking the nurse if he could carry you out when it came time to part with your squishy cheeks, dark brownish-black curly hair, and almond-shaped eyes that were mere images of your sister Mattie's.
I'll never forget what happened in the hospital room when He came back to me with empty arms. We held each other and wept together. He told me the nurse's name that walked with you two was "Joy" and in her 10+ years of being a nurse, she never had a father ask if he could carry his child when it came to that point. Your daddy looked at me and said, "That's what Daddies do." What a picture of the Father's love for His children; when the weight of this world paralyzes us to a point we feel as though even making one more step is impossible. He carries us.
My love for life. The gift of life. And the honor of being called "Mommy" by your big sisters wrecked me. I remember getting away shortly after you went to Heaven, and I was on the beach holding your sister Mollie while she was sleeping. I gazed past the horizon, where the sun would be setting soon, listened to the waves crash, and heard the Father tell me His grace was covering me. Grace was crashing over me, and sweeping me away to His arms. And not only was I safe with Him, but my girls were safe with Him too.
As the seasons changed last year, spring to summer, summer to fall, and fall to winter, we saw your life changing us. Moving us to something we never imagined we would be seeking before. Growing our family again, but this time through adoption. We knew the Father was at work, contending for us and with us. Replacing all our bitterness with His best, drowning out any of signs despair with deliverance, and making our dry bones come alive again. Looking back, I don’t think we could have stopped it if we tried.
You made my soul fall in love with the Father all over again.
Through this journey, you taught me I don't have to TRY and figure yesterday, today, or tomorrow out on my own. All I have to do is TRUST. Trust in God's truths and let His voice be the loudest in my life. It's a daily decision I have to make on my own, that settles my soul and gives God complete authority over my entire life. The trust replaces the try. In these moments, I become silent and still. I begin to surrender my life, uncontrollable circumstances, and all my heartache to the only One who does have authority. Only when I do this does a stirring start to ignite in my heart that brings joy, hope, and healing.
You've taught me that even though it may seem like the Father took you from me or planned this for my life and yours, He didn't. The Father is the giver of life, love, and laughter. Sin, darkness, and evil came to fruition in the Garden of Eden, and His plans for perfection and peace were interrupted. He gives light to the darkness and comes to take back what the enemy has destroyed.
As He has been carrying you in His arms, He has been fighting for me this last year, Monroe. Over and over again, He renews my hope out of the hurt I endure and the pain the enemy has caused. Just recently I was reading in 2 Corinthians 4 and It was if the Father was sitting beside me, kneeling down with His arms wrapped so snug around my shoulders, and so tenderly telling me, "Megan, don't lose heart." That what seems like affliction, persecution, and even at times like He has forsaken me... His life in me is more! Telling me to hold fast to Him and not to lose heart because He is renewing me, and what I'm feeling now is nothing compared to the glory coming. All the things that weigh me down are temporary and will last mere seconds, but the unseen through faith will last forever.
Your soul brought me to the cross, brought me to my knees, and there is where I fell in love with my Father all over again.
You filled my soul with Joy.
"For you have been my help and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for JOY!" His promises carry and cover me. My Hurt continues to transform to Healing. Pain is overshadowed by His promises. Grief is consumed by His glory.
You made my soul move in a way I never knew existed. You made Heaven fall fresh on me. A desire to need and know His presence is with me always. Loving Him and making His love known. Counting it All Joy on this side of Heaven until I see you again.
I'm not sure what time looks like in Heaven, but I know it's different. So, I like to think we'll pick right up where we left off. It will be like we never skipped a beat. The Father will kiss those cheeks of yours, and then will so tenderly pass your 8 pound 10 ounce body back to me. I'll have the honor of raising you in a perfect place, because I picture you in your Father's arms right now, so peaceful and perfect, no need for anything. It sounds pretty identical to the plan He had for us in the garden all along. Living in glory with Him forever. That's the beauty of it all. It's going to be a full circle moment when I see Him holding you, because in the end our Father wins. The glory is His forever.
Happy Birthday, beautiful! I love you, long to see you so soon, and as much as my heart will forever feel like a piece of me is missing, I’ll never stop thanking you for the gift you have given me through this first year. Making your Mommy move.
It would mean so much to Megan if you could visit their adoption page and share it with your friends.
And this song speaks perfectly to the redemption story God is writing in Megan's life.
And yours too.