Today is Audrey’s first birthday, a day full of sorrow and celebration. I decided to write an open letter to Audrey and I hope it can encourage others to know that light can be found in the darkness and out of our deepest darkest pains there can come joy.
Happy first birthday Audrey! I can’t believe it has already been a year. Honestly, it seems like so much longer. So many things have happened since you came into our lives — and then so quickly left. I can’t help but wonder how much you would have grown and changed over the last year. Would you still have your beautiful auburn hair? Or would it have turned brown by now? Would you still look exactly like me? Or would you start to show some of your Daddy’s features? Would you be starting to say things like “Mama” and “Dada”? Would you be starting to walk? It hurts every day to not have you here and to not be able to see you grow.
But even though I haven’t been able to see how much you have grown and changed in the last year, I do get to see how much we have changed. The second you came into the world we were changed forever. We became parents and then very quickly after that we became desperate parents of a sick child and then after that parents who had lost their child. But in that short amount of time we learned how to completely and totally rely on God. To fall on our knees in His presence and bring every hurt, pain, and worry to Him. We learned what it was like to have complete and total trust in Him and His goodness, to hold fast to the fact that no matter what happens God is good. I went from a having a relationship with God that was light and warm to a relationship that was completely on fire. I grew into a relationship where I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe if I didn’t spend time with Him.
I learned that we can have all the plans that we want, but it doesn’t matter, God can have a different plan. So instead of worrying about tomorrow or the next day, I know now to just focus on the now and be in the moment, whether it’s a moment of joy or pain. My heart grew to be more caring and to hurt for those who are hurting. I learned to not be afraid to be vulnerable and to be open, knowing that it can help others. I learned that the faith of a mustard seed can move a mountain but that sometimes God doesn’t want that mountain moved, instead He wants us to climb it so we can bring Him more glory.
Audrey, all of these things happened because God used you in such a beautiful way. He had a plan for you that was bigger than anything we could have imagined. And although I wish you were here and sometimes the pain of missing you is almost unbearable, I feel so blessed that God had that plan for all of us. I want you here more than anything but if I can’t have you, I am so happy that you are in the arms of our Heavenly Father. There are so many things I want to tell you. I want you to know that I love you with all my heart and I will never stop loving you. I pray every day that God tells you that. I don’t know what it is like there in heaven, and maybe it seems like you just got there because a year on earth is probably just a second in eternity. But I imagine you dancing in the glory of our God. I imagine your arms up in the air like you always had them up when you were in my belly and for the short time you were with us. I imagine you in total and complete awe of the beauty you are beholding, and I imagine that you are standing hand in hand with Jesus.
I love you so much my sweet Audrey. Happy first birthday!