Wow!!!!! Thank you SO much for your help with The Joyful Life Library project. I really don’t even know how to express my gratitude…so I won’t even try right now. I will write an update in the next few days as well as announce the giveaway winners! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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I think Cora’s birthday is a day when the pain of missing her becomes most intense. I miss her everyday, of course, but as each birthday passes I long to know her at the age we would be celebrating on that day. Cora as a five year old…I can hardly even imagine. I wonder what girly colors and things would be filling our house amidst the tractors and legos. I wonder what girly birthday outfit we would have picked out and what it would be like to fix her hair. I wonder what decorations we would be hanging up for her party and what friends she would be inviting over. I wonder if she would have been excited or cautious as she reached this five year old milestone with kindergarten around the corner. Most of all I just long to know her and hold her and have her here for her birthday celebration. Don’t get me wrong, we celebrate over and over and over again that Cora is in heaven and one day we will have the joy of being there with her too. But selfishly, it just hurts to celebrate her birthday without her.
This year while we were celebrating big with The Joyful Life Library project, we celebrated pretty simply here at home. Donuts and releasing balloons at the cemetary is sometimes about all our heavy hearts can handle on Cora’s birthday. It is such an intense mixture of joy and sorrow as we remember that incredible day that changed our lives, the day Cora was born, and yet are reminded of the hole she has left behind as we celebrate without her. I suppose that is why the day seems so hard. It makes us long for the day when we all get to heaven…what a day of rejoicing that will be.
The boys are always excited to send balloons to their sissy on her birthday. Levi told me that since we couldn’t get to heaven in an airplane, we would just have to go to Cora’s stone to send her the birthday balloons.
And that is what we did.
We all got out of the car and tied the balloons on Levi’s wrist so we could get a few pictures before releasing them. And after taking a few steps, just like that, the balloons were gone before I was ready. It wasn’t a big deal. I just didn’t have time to take a few more pictures to remember the day. But the tears came anyway. I couldn’t help but watch those balloons drift out of sight and be reminded of letting go of our Cora in a similar way…much before I was ready.
Last week Levi sang these words over and over:
Oh no, you never let go
Through the calm, through the storms
I haven’t ever heard him sing this song before but Joel and I were both struck by how those were the words we needed to stand firm on last week. And just in case we needed the reminder again and again (which we so often do, right?), he kept singing that song throughout the rest of the week. Over and over I would hear those words as he played or as we rode in the car. So crazy.
The Lord never lets go of us. He never let go through the initial days of raw grief and He still hasn’t let go of us today. I need Him holding me today just as much as I did back then. His hold doesn’t depend on us or our circumstances (thank goodness!). His faithful hold rests in the consistency of who He is.
He never lets go.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19