It is a bit hard to articulate or even navigate the myriad of emotions rolling around on this day for us. Our firstborn is sixteen.
Sixteen years ago I touched my baby girl, under the lights of the NICU. In the same few hours I said goodbye to her sister. I held Marylou in my arms and then I’ve spent sixteen years living with my arms feeling a bit empty.
Don’t get me wrong, it is not that I mourn every day, or that the grief is raw like that first day, but my love for her comes with a bit of grief, especially around moments when I know we would celebrate who she was becoming.
Today we celebrated joy, sixteen years with our Providence Joy.
She has really become so much herself this year. She has leaned into her uniqueness, her joys, fears, her compassion, her intelligence, and her art in new ways. She has courageously shown up and allowed herself to be seen, and she makes her communities better for her presence.
So what does it mean to hold grief and joy together on the same day? I think of my twins, it is the grief of goodbye, the joy of hello all in one day. It is the journey of life, to try and hold them both well.
And today I’m holding joy, I’m holding grief and God is meeting me in the dichotomy.
Sixteen years. I’m so incredibly grateful for my spunky joyful girl and I’m so grieved we don’t see how Marylou’s presence would be impacting her communities, friends, and family in the present.
So I end this rambling post with a truth that has carried us through the years.
God’s strong grace within his providence has kept our souls’ safe within the fortress of divine purpose, while his strength sustains with the knowledge of his will being so very good; and our great reward – we’ve been blessed by one used of God to make Heaven so much dearer now, since a treasure marked by the image of God has been ushered there, to be met one day.
What reward, that our spiritual awareness and joys would be tenderly deepened by one used of God to make heaven so much dearer now, since a treasure marked by the image of God has been usherd there to be met one day.
So today I celebrate the reward we’ve been given in our sweet daughter, watching her become a beautiful young woman is a great joy, and I celebrate the joy of my firstborn, my Marylou and the reward her life has been in our lives, she has been used of God to set our heart and longings toward heaven.