This morning I spent time going back through the year in my head, thinking about Avery, reading verses given to us by our pastor and one of my mentors, and reading a couple of my favorite devotionals. My sweet friend Jeannie gave me the book "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young last year, and it is such a wonderful daily read. And today the words touched my soul deeply. The words were (as if Jesus were speaking to me), "My abundance and your emptiness are a perfect match."
Emptiness...oh how I have felt that this year. Empty of understanding, empty of peace, empty of trust, empty of energy, empty of joy, empty of hope, empty of faith, and most of all, empty arms that so desperately want to hold my precious baby Avery.
But, this emptiness is of no surprise to my God. He is there to fill the holes. He loves me even when I feel like I've failed to have faith like a "good Christian." He loves me even when I question what He is doing. He loves me even when I feel hopeless.
He has shown me His abundance this year. He changed my heart as I carried little Avery. I thought somehow I had brought Trisomy 18 upon her as some type of punishment. Rather, He showed me what an enormous privilege I had been given to be the mother of such a beautiful, precious, special little girl.
He gave us six incredible days, six more than we thought we would ever have, with our sweet Avery. He gave us memories in our home. He gave us time for pictures, videos, visitors, and moments alone with her. He gave us loved ones who held her at times when we needed rest, so she was held nearly all of her little life.
He gave us you. He gave us your prayers, your meals, your gifts, your hugs, your cards, your emails, your thoughts, your presence...the list is endless. We have been so blessed that I am still working on Thank Yous. And we sincerely to want to thank each and every one of you.
So, His abundance has been endless, exceeding my emptiness. 2012 was difficult and painful, but also filled with more love and joy than I new was possible. I would do it all over again.
I have no idea what 2013 holds for our little family, but I do know that others are entering 2013 with a lot of uncertainty. Health, relationships, jobs...we know many people experiencing difficulty in these areas, and we want you to know we count it a privilege to pray for you. We don't just say that, we mean it. We want to be there for others the way so many were there for us.
Many blessings to you in 2013.
PS-If I ever figure out how to post the beautiful slideshow of Avery my friend Melissa did for her service, I will. =)