Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stones of Remembrance

A year ago tonight, I walked onto our side porch - with visibly shaking hands - and asked Tonto, who was sitting in a chair watching the dogs play in the yard he has just mowed, if he saw two lines or if I was dreaming...

Turns out, I wasn't dreaming and subsequent pregnancy tests the next two days reinforced the message that our lives were changing forever. And they did, friends. Just not in exactly the manner we anticipated.

So many things have changed since that day and the other dates etched into my brain from a year ago - and probably will be for many years to come - but there is one thing that remains the same: He knew the outcome before we ever knew about that second line. And he has remained faithful.

There's another significant date that has already passed and, either ironically or fittingly, Tonto called and asked me to do he and his co-workers a favor (this never happens, y'all) and the end result was that I found myself standing in the middle of the NICU. As people rushed around taking care of brand new little ones, the world began closing in on me.

And when I turned to leave, I found myself locking eyes with a cherub-faced babe. Before I could make it to the elevator, the tears were flowing. By the time I made it back to my car, I was full on sobbing.

And the next day I was fine...

This is how I suspect the next weeks and months will progress because we can't help but remember. In fact, there are numerous places in the Bible where God instructs His people to erect stones of remembrance so future generations will ask about them and know He did not fail the people. He came through for them and, even in the darkest hours, they would know their God was good. All the time.

For instance...

In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”
Joshua 4:6-7

It's no secret that I have beaten myself up about telling Taylor about her sibling. Though I certainly couldn't have hidden it forever and she obviously would have known something was very wrong, it's something that has haunted me.

The truth is, though, that she's walked this road with us and I pray this time will be filled with remembrance stones for her - and the rest of us - so we will never forget He saw us through every step of the way.

So today I'm not sad. Is it bittersweet? Yes. Do I wish with everything in me that things had turned out differently? Absolutely. 

But I can't change any of it and I trust His plan is sovereign. The past year is full of so many stones of remembrance, y'all, and some of the days were so dark I didn't think they would ever end. But they did. And I made it through them only because of Him.

Engrave the names of the sons of Israel on the two stones the way a gem cutter engraves a seal. Then mount the stones in gold filigree settings and fasten them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel. Aaron is to bear the names on his shoulders as a memorial before the LORD.
Exodus 28:12

The story won't be complete until we see that sweet baby one day and hold him/her in our arms. Until then, this is one of the only tangible pieces of evidence I have that it wasn't just a dream...

And, today, that's enough. Tomorrow may be a different story but, in the end, we have been given treasures to rely upon for a lifetime. And, for them,  I'm incredibly thankful.