Saturday, October 15, 2011

Beyond Measure

God has blessed me beyond measure through a totally unexpected letter I received via email.  I never expected to receive this letter.  I never expected to “meet” the author.  The circumstances that led up to my receiving this letter seem so very ordinary, yet so very extraordinary at the same time.  Definitely God-orchestrated.

If we weren’t adopting Vlad and Dima, I wouldn’t have received this letter.

If I hadn’t put a Chip-In on our blog for donations, I wouldn’t have received this letter.

If I hadn’t noticed the comment in the Paypal buyer instructions (sent to me after a donation was made), I wouldn’t have received this letter.

Paypal Instructions to merchant (Note:  I'm the "merchant", the recipient of this donation, and here's the comment left for me):
In memory of my little girl, she would have been 12 this year. Bring Vlad & Dima home...

If I hadn’t emailed the sender of this donation to inquire about her daughter’s story, I wouldn’t have received this letter.

If my God didn’t love me as much as He does, I wouldn’t have received this letter.

For all those who have lost a child, I have no doubt that this letter will deeply touch your hearts.  For those who haven’t lost a child, I pray God will use this letter to change, circumcise, affect, pierce, grip… BLESS your hearts the way it did mine.

This letter is written by a mom here on earth to her daughter in heaven.  Samantha Faith was ushered into Jesus’ arms as a beautiful, beloved baby in 1999.  This letter was written to Samantha by her mom 11 years later.  Samantha’s mom shared this letter with me in response to my email inquiry regarding the story behind the donation she made to our adoption fund, in memory of her daughter’s 12th birthday this year.

I consider it a great honor and privilege to share this letter with you today:

Samantha Faith
2 Samuel 12:23 I will go to her, but she will not return to me.

Precious baby girl...

At first, it seemed impossible to imagine life without you growing up alongside of us...

It was impossible to comprehend that we'd miss all your firsts... Your first smile, your first step, your first birthday, your first bike ride, your first day of school...

My heart would see an extra pair of shoes missing by the front door, and I'd ask myself... "Would you have been a girly girl, or a tomboy? Would your shoes have been neatly placed by the front door, would they have been thrown aside...would you be like Josh and forget to take them off altogether, or leave them strewn about outside? Maybe you would have been a mommy's girl and gone barefoot...". In many ways, that's how my heart sees you even now; mommy's girl, barefoot, with your footprints deeply imprinted upon my heart.

Our table has an empty chair next to me at each meal, and I would wonder if you would have been as picky as Joshua, as hungry as Brandon, or eat as painstakingly slow as Jillian. Either way, I'm thinking the odds are that you would have had more table manners than your siblings, and sometimes, I wonder if I would have failed in teaching you these things too?

My heart would remember that you're not here when I'd see friends knock on the door for Jillian, Joshua and Brandon, but no one coming for you...

I would watch the boys growing up as best friends, while Jillian found it difficult to be the odd one out. It wasn't lost on her that Terry and I had each other, the boys had each other, and she was by herself. It wasn't lost on me either, and yet I didn't know how to tell her that I understood more than she realized.

Although the family photos look complete, they never felt complete to me, you're not where we pictured you to be...
you were not home.

There were things I wished I could ask you... do you get older in heaven, or are you still the same way I remember you? Has Daddy told you about us? Do you know that I heard your message to me last fall? What's it like to be held in the hands of the One who created life?

There are things I wanted you to know... Remember the spot where I held you against my heart? It still aches, and there are days when it's all I feel. I reach out to touch that spot to soothe it, but it's like I can't quite touch the emptiness. I imagine it's much like phantom pain of a limb being removed -- part of me went missing when we lost you, and I will always feel that empty space where you once were. And yet, if holding you has left me with a permanent ache, holding you was worth it... You were worth it. Someday soon, I'll hold you this way again, but by then, I will be whole and no longer aware the ache ever existed.

At first, it seemed impossible to imagine life without you growing up alongside of us... and now, it seems impossible to believe that there was ever a different possibility to begin with...

It isn't that you have missed the life we feel you should have had, you are living the life you were meant to have. It is not you that is missing from where we are, it is us that are missing from where you are. You've achieved the dream I pray for all my children; for their lives to lead them Home. This was the way it was meant to be all along, but somehow, along the way, we made up our minds that parents need to get there first... even though Jesus clearly said "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
" (Matthew 19:14) Oh how foolish I have been in not letting you go.

Maybe it's not what we wanted at first, but in the end, if we had wanted what He wanted all along, we would have found peace much sooner than we did.

Now, instead of my heart seeing your shoes missing at the front door, I see my shoes missing beside yours. I see us running barefoot together.

Rather than my heart noticing the empty chair alongside mine at the table, I see the seat you've saved for me at His table, and you showing me which fork to use. I'm sure there's about ten! I might even like mushrooms when I'm sitting with you at His table.

There are no photos of you missing in God's family photos -- you're where He pictured you to be all along.

We're missing... we're not home.

God has shown me something about you... It was never my place to teach you here on earth; I'm not sure I could ever have taught you as much as you're teaching me.

I no longer see us growing up without you, I see you growing up without us... waiting for our hearts to understand what you've understood all along, waiting for the day until you can teach us about where you've been for the last 11 years.

Not too much longer...

Love you, beyond measure...
Grateful, beyond measure...
Blessed, beyond measure...
Miss you, beyond measure...


No comments:

blog comments powered by Disqus