Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Emma's (birthday) Gift

My sweet Emma,

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.

Happy Birthday,

Emma's Gift
Faith is to believe what we do not see;
the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.
-Saint Augustine

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Celebration and a Give Away!!

Five Years... We tend to celebrate the fifth anniversary of an occasion in a special way. Fifth birthdays, five years of marriage, five years on the job... five years of anything is a big deal!!

But what do you do with the fifth anniversary of a death? The death of someone so special, someone you loved more than yourself, someone who was a part of your very being, someone you miss every single day? Is there a way to make that day special and meaningful?

This is what I have been thinking about for many months leading up today. Today marks five years since I held my precious Emma in my arms. I usually dread these anniversaries. If I allow myself to go to a dark corner of heart and just feel the grief, the anger, the disappointment of losing her, these days can be miserable, hopeless days. Days that feel like night with the darkness all around me. Flooding every part of me with a sense of loss.

I didn't want that for today though. A fifth anniversary is special. Something to be celebrated! A day to remember the past with joy!

So, on this day I choose to not focus on my loss but to look forward to the future. Emma's life and death have inspired in us this dream of Emma's Gift Ministries that is giving us a new hope and a future. She is with us as we plan, dream, and create. She was a gift to us and now she continues to give.

Through Emma's life we have discovered a passion that we never would have dreamed of, a passion for helping families. We receive no greater fulfillment than when we talk with and counsel a family who is going through some of the things we have dealt with.

2 Corinthians 1: 4 talks about the comfort we receive from God and the responsibility we have to share that comfort with others. That is exactly what Emma's Gift is all about. I don't know how we could have ever gone through the past five years without God's comforting arms and if we can lead others into His embrace that is the greatest gift we or they could ever receive.

Five years! We have made it through five years of grief and loss. We are stronger and filled with a sense of purpose. And, Emma, she is free and happy! Living in a new body and dancing for joy! What mother could ever wish for more for her little girl!

Today, we celebrate a little girl who showed us the true meaning of a life well lived. We celebrate her life, her death, and the dream she has inspired in our lives.

Every celebration needs a gift, right? We are so grateful to BabyBeBlessed for donating a $56.00 gift certificate in Emma's honor! We gave one of their dolls to Anna Grace to celebrate her Adoption Day this year and it is beautiful! You can design your own doll or animal and then choose a scripture and message to put on the belly for your child to read and treasure for always!! I love their ministry!

There are several ways to enter:

1. Leave a comment on this blog post. (If you knew Emma, leave a special memory!)
2. Like our Emma's Gift Ministries page on facebook
3. Post a link to this post on your facebook wall.

Make sure to leave a separate comment for each way that you enter so they will be included. We will randomly choose one winner on Friday!

Thank you, again, to Baby Be Blessed!

Thank you, Emma, for the nine wonderful years you spent on this earth and for the gifts you gave and the gifts you continue to give. The world needs more Emmas!