08 April 2010

Yesterday was a hard day for us. It marked 2 years since our Evie went to heaven from inside my womb.

It's a difficult day for me because I still remember clearly those last movements up high in my tummy. I remember thinking to myself that they were significant - that I would be wise to take notice and appreciate them. I am so glad that I did. I'm grateful to have these memories - so grateful to the Lord for every memory I have of our Evie girl. And yet, having such clear memories of that day is also difficult. I know what time it was and where I was, and how my afternoon and evening proceeded from there.

As the clock counts the hours and minutes of the day I can't help but recall what I was doing at this time two years ago... planting flowers, cleaning the porch fan, playing with Oliver in the yard, sitting at the computer while Oliver rested...

And then she said goodbye.

And all the moments after that... worrying and waiting for another movement, making phone calls, telling Ryan what I thought had happened, and heading to Nashville to confirm our fear.

April 7th is a hard day to relive. Harder in many ways than the 9th -the day we finally said hello and goodbye to Evie. It's complicated that it's a three-day anniversary, but they are all a part of the story God wrote for her and we grieve and are comforted each day differently as we remember what the Lord has done. His timing is perfect and his ways are perfect.

Yesterday was no exception to this.

As I was missing my Evie girl yesterday afternoon, the UPS man arrived at our door with a package. And it was filled with something amazingly beautiful...

And I was reminded of His great goodness.

It's been two long years since our Evie left this earth. Two years of breathing in and out and putting one foot in front of the other. Two years of God's faithfulness to our family. And two years of His comfort in our pain.

And on the day we grieve the Earthly loss of our baby girl, we received an announcement at our door, reminding us of God's faithfulness, great love for us, and continued blessing on our family.

(Well, really two announcements, because I'm terrible at making decisions
when there are so many lovely choices...)

Holding these cards in my hands, yesterday of all days, announcing the birth and life of a healthy daughter was a tangible reminder that our God is a good and loving God. And, He is the same good and loving God this week as we was two years ago at this same time. He has not changed.

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
James 1:17

In the early weeks and months of my pregnancy with Hazel I battled a great deal with fear and worry. A dear friend encouraged me to surround myself with God's promises and I took that exhortation quite literally. I claimed scriptures, printing them and posting them in prominent places in my home. I had Psalms on the refrigerator, hymns by my sink in the bathroom, and this passage from Psalm 27 on my dresser:

"I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.

Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD."
Psalm 27:13,14

And now, two years after we said goodbye to our precious Evie Grace, and in the meantime consecrated two more precious tiny babes to our Father, we are reminded of His great love for us. Not to replace Evie Grace or to fulfill our desire for her (for that desire will never be fully satisfied on Earth), but to fulfill our desire for more children - and for a daughter to care for on this Earth. Our desire for our Hazel - she is here!

Isn't it amazing the way the Lord works? Sometimes in very subtle, almost indiscernible ways, and sometimes, by sending a man in brown to your doorstep with an in-our-face reminder of what God has done and is doing in our lives.

And today, as our family reflects on God's constant presence and work in our lives, I am reminded of the verse He gave me that first time I visited Evie's grave site, and I claim it once again:

"The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands."
Psalm 138:8

He was not finished with us in Evie's death, and He is not finished with us in Hazel's life. He will continue to fulfill His purpose for me.

Lord, do not forsake the work of your hands!


On a much lighter note, I'd like to express a huge and sincere thanks to Tiny Prints for printing those absolutely fabulous birth announcements that were such an encouragement to me yesterday. We are so pleased. So many gorgeous choices, it took me forever to decide (hence only being able to narrow it down to 2 styles...)

Not only do they have great designs and gorgeous finished products, they also have a neat option for busy families. Get this: You can upload your address book to their website, place your order, and they will address AND ship your cards directly to everyone in your address book for you! Seriously.

Thank you for doing beautiful work.


Jess :) said...

Beautiful post, Raechel. Evie will forever be in your hearts and what a day it will be when you get to hold her in your arms again. :)

Kameron said...

I can't even imagine what it must be like to leave the hospital without your baby, but my heart goes out to you. God works in mysterious ways to heal and brace our hearts when we're hurting. :o)

Cecilia said...

Your love for Evie is evident! I very much admire the way you approach her entrance into heaven.

We are approaching the first anniversary of our son's stillbirth, and the verse from Psalms 138 was just what I needed to read today. Thank you for sharing!

Tracy said...

what a neat thing to get in the mail on such a hard day. We rejoice in Hazel's birth with you, just as we think about Evie.

Liz said...

You are very brave Raechel, and Evie will never be forgotten.

I like the announcement cards, we dont really do those in my country, i like brown/pink one best.

melanie said...

gorgeous announcements!

I LOVE the family Easter photo! (You look AMAZING!) I can't wait for those moments in my future. :)

And I believe I needed to hear that Psalm as well. Thank you.

Melissa said...

Isn't it just awesome when God sends us messages like that throughout our days, just when we need them...and we can really feel Him smiling down on us. She is adorable and I see those pictures and think...she has no idea how her birth was such a big part of the story of your family. Someday she will!

Anonymous said...

I really admire your faith, Raechel. I'm sure these anniversary days (and all other days) are difficult without the child you so dearly miss, but what you do have is HOPE and that's something many are missing. I love that you surrounded yourself with scripture - I may try that myself. It's easy to go about our days and forget the words of the Lord. Yet they are so rich. I come back to your blog b/c I am encouraged and uplifted.

Our Family said...

Beautiful post. Hazel is a beautiful baby. Love the announcements.

nault's nook said...

what a beautiful post. The Lord is so faithful to finish the work He has started in us! Remembering sweet Evie and praising the Lord for His abundant gifts.
Hugs dear friend!

Chantelle said...

the announcements are amazing!

Jodi said...

I have no words right now, just tears. You have touched my heart. Thank you.

Amy's Blah, Blah, Blogging said...

Wow, what a day filled with such strong emotions. I'm glad you can remember with joy, the lovely things about little Evie. I'm also glad that you now have sweet Hazel to bring you new joy. Every good and perfect gift truly is from above!

Anonymous said...

Oh hon, holding the memory of your sweet girl in your heart and rejoicing at the birth of your daughter. Sending you lots of love xxx

Brittanie said...

May 1st, the day we found out Cora had died, is always harder for me than May 2nd, the day she was actually born, as well. There was peace about her birth and holding her and seeing her, but the memory of the doctor's confirmation are traumatic.

But God does give wonderful reminders that He's there, always, and I'm so glad He gave one to you. The cards are beautiful, and so is Hazel. While the grief never leaves, a new baby brings her own joy. (hugs)

Andrea said...

Hi Raechel-
After reading your post, there were a couple thoughts that struck me that I wanted to share...
-maybe it's because we just celebrated Easter but the 3-day anniversary reference you made made me think of Jesus being in the tomb for three days and I thought how beautiful the connection was between Him keeping Evie in your womb three days just as He kept His Son in a tomb for three days before raising Him to life.
-the second thing that struck me was see the pictures from your postings shortly after Evie went to be with Jesus and seeing her beautiful hand. What struck me most was seeing the picture of her finger holding onto yours. And it made me think that God formed her finger that way exactly so you could feel her grasping onto you.

Anyway..thank you for sharing the stories God is writing for you and your family.

Love in Christ,

Nicole said...

A beautiful post indeed. No one can fully understand your bitter sweet sorrow/joy. I know this first hand , we just passsed the one year mark that our sweet baby boy left us to be w/ his Heavenly Father and have only 13 weeks left untill we meet our new baby boy. Evie will be waiting for you one day. For now I'm sure you are enjoying her gorgeous brother and sister.
BTW... thanks for the Tiny Prints link. I bookmarked it for when our new little man arrives:)

Anonymous said...

after a hard day struggling with fear and worry, as much as i tried to "flush it down the drain" , it just hung around....i am almost at the 5 month mark in my pregnancy now which is how far i was in my previous pregnancy when i gave birth to our little son in september of '09. God directed me to check your blog tonight (which i love) to see if u had updated n let me just say tears were running down my face as i read...i copied the verses u wrote from Psalms and they will be a daily reminder to me that ,yes, God is good and faithful!!!!!!! Thanx for the encouragement!
I have followed your blog for a short time now and i am delighted to see God's goodness in your life-Hazel is beautiful!!!! Thank u again--Lena

Audrey said...

We received a beautiful birth announcement today! Welcome welcome Hazel Wren!

Erin said...

oh my goodness I love those announcements! How darling!! not sure if I told you but I have another giveaway going on my blog!

Lindsayb-mo said...

Your faith and strength is a blessing to me. Thank you! =)

Anonymous said...

she is darling! I LOVE garage sale season! My Lilli and I have been going every saturday!