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A new year, 2010. Each year since Emma's earthly body left us I feel a sense of growth and disbelief.

Growth in my faith, relationship with the Lord and amazement how far the Lord has carried me through this journey. He is forever faithful and I know fully well pain is a blessing. Yet, I still feel a sense of unbelief at how quickly the years pass. In May, this year will mark the fifth year since Emma's death. Five years?? That is the length of time it takes to have a child, nurse them, potty train them, read thousands of books, sing thousands of lullabyes, kiss good nights and boo boos, promises there are no monsters under the bed, multiple visits to the doctor, prayers over feverish children, pictures of first days of preschool, visits to the pumpkin patch, planning birthday parties to celebrate life...and the K word...kindergarten. Five years.

Emma has been gone that long.

And I am at peace with it. God is Good. All the time. His grace covers all. The joy of the Lord is our strength. I rejoice knowing Emma is whole, complete and dancing in the light of the Lord. He is forever faithful, prooving even pain lights His glory.

I have posted my Emma tribute before and will probably post it again but with the coming of this new year I want to post it again.

For Emma...

You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb...Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my days were shaped, before one came to be.
(Ps. 139:13,16)

A bursting summers sun began to light a new day as our daughter Emma was born into the world against a backdrop of mountains and a sky radiant with deep pink and indigo hues. The beauty of the outside world was lost to us as we met and beheld our newly born daughter. We were introduced to her fiery spirit and catapulted into life with a most amazing child, and on that sultry summers day we became trapped in time, caught in rapture we inhaled joy and absorbed her radiance.

And nearly four years later, during the month of May - with butterflies flourishing the landscape and petals in full bloom, our tiny, exquisite Emma so filled with light, exhaled her last breath and took flight of this world forever. Her scent, laugh and delicate imprint on our soul will forever stay. Our Emma. Her name meant “one who heals” - a tantalizing notion because during her days on earth she seemed so in need of repair, her tiny body refusing to adhere to the rules for a healthy childhood. In the wake of her earthly death, the truth comes and shines its grace all around. She was not to be healed; it was Emma’s presence in our lives that was meant to heal us.

In life and death, she continues to be…a teacher. Our journey with Emma led us through denial, darkness, unquenchable desire to make her healthy, acceptance of her disease, letting go of her and ultimately, a quest for healing and realization of truth. The family we were before Emma no longer exists. Torn apart are the definitions that perpetuated our minds of what was a fulfilled life. Left now is an ever ripening wisdom that living life is not to be defined by others expectations, earthly desires or boundaries. A fulfilled life is not measured by accomplishments, wealth, or the amount of time we spend on earth. The brief flickering of time that was Emma’s life held more truth, meaning and fullness than most ever experience.

Lessons learned are all we can take from her flight in and out of our life. She left us as quietly and quickly a single flame is blown out. The glowing aura of her physical presence remained as her last breath was exhaled. She was three. “She is gone, she is gone” my voice repeated and echoed through our home. The ebb and flow of life and death was fulfilled and glorified. Tiny glimmers of reality peeking through the dark cocoon of our shock. She is gone.

After she left it became quiet in our home. At times the rift between our reality and the world’s ticking of time became filled with such intensity it threatened to rip us apart from humanity.

And yet, we have survived.

We absorb the thrilling laughter of our other children; and we notice the warm rays of sunshine that play upon furniture in Emma’s room, still filled with HER things. We are gingerly stepping through a doorway that must be the threshold to…the rest of the journey. The future is filled with uncertainty but as the years pass I can see we are kicking at the darkness, and the future begins to bleed light.

The light comes. The light is a subtle, gentle caress of awareness that Emma’s spirit was shaped and filled with God’s grace. The feeling of contentment, fulfillment, and indescribable emotion when holding her was simply, the Lord's love infused through her.

Basked in the Lord's truth while searching for relief from the searing pain we reflect on her life, and her amazing journey. Emma was beautifully and wonderfully made. Her genetic fabric was carefully chosen well before she began her life on earth. She was placed into our family and lovingly cared for. The syndrome embedded in her DNA did not debilitate our family but instead we were empowered to fight for Emma, and the Lord drew us close into His embrace. We continue to be amazed by her and by her work here on earth. Her life brought glory to God. Our family now travels on the journey without her physical presence but we feel her spirit, and her melodic laughter resounds around us. We keep her memory alive and woven securely into our family’s fabric. My husband and I have not “lost” a child – we will always have three. We will talk about her, leave her pictures and favorite things in our home. Her blanket and pillow will forever grace our bedroom. We will remind Peyton and Paige that Emma is always their sister.

Throughout the rest of my life I know our family will eternally be shaped around her short presence in our lives.

Thank you Emma for the love, the lessons, and patience you had for each person blessed to have met and beheld you. It was never a sacrifice to give all to you, and wholly absorb all you gave back. We know well you were a tiny messenger from God sent to teach and we are humbled to have been a part of your life.

Mommy to Emma Catherine – “Little Bit”

For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.(2 Corinthians 5)

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