Tuesday, May 24, 2016

the plane.

She's boarding a plane tomorrow; a flight that brings her home to us.
Thoughtful cards have started coming in the mail, and the most kind and beautiful gifts.
Sweet messages have been sent and, in turn, read.  Appreciated. 
The world around me is hushing, honing in, quieting in preparation; remembrance.

Our tiny girl met Jesus almost one year ago.  
This is the week.  
The week when all the things flood my memory but nothing really feels any different.  I'm not sure how I expected this to feel.  It's slightly more intense, my memories.  But otherwise the ache is just as strong, dull, present, thick, deep as always.  

I now have many friends who are bereaved mothers and many who are also exceptional writers.  They tell so eloquently about their love, their loss, this life.  
It's been quite opposite for me.  In fact, such numbing.  
Of my brain, my hands, my heart.  
I read recently of my friend Michaela's 'intentional grieving' on the first anniversary of her sweet Florence's death.  I thought about it long and hard and came to the conclusion that there's somehow a disconnect for me in the description of doing such.  
We will, of course, do that--intentionally grieve her in our own ways.  
Some together and some very much alone....  

We do that all the time.  Every day.  
And so does Michaela and all of the other mamas out there who's hearts are split far and wide between earth and Heaven.  I am no different.  And that is what I think I have felt the most over the course of this last year.  Unity in love and death.
We loved Mabel so very much, so very richly, so incredibly purely that it almost doesn't feel possible that any other beings could ever love another human the way we loved her.  And that just isn't so.
So many of you have.  And do.  And will forever love yours the same.  
Death doesn't stop love.  God is love, after all.  There is no stopping that which is eternal.  He who is forever.  In the Bible death is even referred to as precious. [psalm 116:15]
And oh my Lord was it ever!
The days leading up to it?  No, no.  
Gruesome and lonely and exhausting and sad and terrifying are only a handful of adjectives that  barely begin to describe the days leading up to her death a year ago.    
Those are the words of this earth and it's experience.  This empty place can only ever produce empty words for our hearts.  Nothing of real substance.  Nothing of true matter 

The words to describe her death?  Oh to describe her death...
Orchestrated, moving, powerful, beautiful, light, serene, amazing, surrounded, perfect, powerful...
Absolutely, totally, completely precious.  
Most probably cannot comprehend how a mother can write about her child's death in such a way.  I'm not even sure that I can understand how it's possible for me to still be standing here today without her in my arms.  What I do know is that I placed her into the Father's arms long before she was even born.  I entrusted her life to Him and I promised that I would love, follow and obey Him forever, unconditionally. 

I prayed for healing over Mabel's body many times when she was alive.
But then, somewhere in the middle of ordinary life, there was this one moment when I realized her healing wasn't going to be on this earth. Mabel's healing would come only through her death. It was then that true peace fell and I knew with clarity what it meant to surrender all. 
Without condition.
That kind of love is limitless. That is the God I know.
The details of Mabel's death are so sacred.  
I have been writing them periodically throughout the year...as I can.
I don't ever want to forget just how meticulous and good our God was in those moments when I felt like the entire world would shatter beneath me. 

Tonight I wait patiently on the plane that is bringing her from Washington to Illinois in the middle of summer heat and sadness to be with us.  
This year, the air isn't as heavy with burden or worry.  My eyes are rested and my body is healing. She has always made it just in time.  In fact, they all have.  I have never ever had to be alone, not even on my hardest days.  I have flesh-God surrounding me always.  
He promised never to leave me.  Not ever to forsake me.  
And when I look around at their faces, each with memories and perspectives of their own, I am reminded of just how intimately true He is.  
I hope tonight, in the midst of whatever it is that life has given you, you can see the true Maker.  
He is faithful in times of good and in sorrow.  He is faithful always, always.    
As we prepare to intentionally grieve Mabel by gathering together this weekend, we ask that you would wear yellow and do one random act of kindness to honor her life, and in her memory.  
Please use #mabelsable so that Nora and Braden can see how greatly their sister impacted our world!

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