Today is 14 years since you came into my life. Fourteen years of loving you and learning from you. Last week we marked 5 years since you went to Heaven. I hate how time keeps marching on like this. I feel like it makes the distance between us longer. But then I remember that it makes us that much closer to the day when we will be together again.
Daddy and I have been busy working on a new adventure. It is an adventure that is only possible because of the things we learned from you, from being your parents. It is called "Emma's Gift" because of the gift that you gave to us and the gift you left in us to give to others.
We want to help other families who are feeling as scared as we were when we found out that you were sick. We want to offer them some rest, hope, and healing. We hope we can show them the same comfort that God has given to us.
We want to help the kids like you too. We want to give them a place where they can experience the things that "normal" kids do. A place that is safe from the stares, pity, and questions of others. A place to be free and have fun. We want to show them the love of Christ by serving them.
Losing you has been the single most difficult thing I have experienced in my life. I honestly don't know how I make it through some days. I know I couldn't without your daddy, sisters, and Jesus. I want, more than anything else, to be there for other families who face this loss. I want to help them find the strength to keep going. To offer them the hope of eternity. It is my only comfort.
Your daddy and I also want to help churches to learn how to care for families like ours. We need people to help us through. It is a long road to walk alone.
It is a big dream. Some would say it is a crazy dream, I'm sure. Stepping out in faith and starting something new is scary and different. But I wouldn't say it is crazy. It would be crazy to let such a beautiful gift be wasted, to keep it to ourselves. This is a gift God wants us to share and He will be with us each step of the way. Thankfully, the Bible is full of "crazy" people who listened to God's voice and chose to be different. I'm hanging on to those stories right now.
Today is your birthday and I don't have anything to give you. What do you give to someone who has it all?
But I do give you this promise. I promise you that your life has and will continue to make a difference in this world. You are being carried today, and always, in the lives of those who loved you.
People will be changed because you lived. People will find Jesus because of your life. You are a gift and you will continue to give. That is my gift to you today, sweet girl. I love you so, so much.
Faith is to believe what we do not see;
the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.