Blessed be childhood, which brings down something of heaven into the midst of our rough earthliness.
-- Henri Frederic Amiel
Nine years ago, I had just begun labor. I was excited...electrically excited. Having lost Emily's twin early in the pregnancy, I just knew that she was going to be wildly wonderful and a survivor. What I did not bargain for was the way she would radically change absolutely everything. Emily entered this world on May 16th. A bundle of sheer joy with a cap of red hair and a smile she tried out at about five weeks old, Emily stole our hearts readily. She has been God's biggest miracle in our life.
It is no small thing that Emily is here. After the miscarriage of her twin, I was scheduled for a procedure to remove any scar tissue and make my uterus a kinder, happier place. We had no reason to believe there was any life remaining. However, the doctor requested an ultrasound to ensure the procedure was necessary. Part way through the ultrasound, the technician left the room and returned with a radiologist. The wand moved far enough for us to see the strong beating heart...we had lost one child, but God had spared the other. Thank you God!
Emily bound into this world with great joy. I don't think she has stopped smiling since then! Emily is obedient, almost to a fault. She believes in justice and desperately desires for justice to prevail. She is not at all afraid to share the love of Christ with others and she believes the best in people. Loyal and loving is how I would describe her. She adores her friends, and still has trouble naviagting some of the finer nuances of relationships. She gets completely intimidated if she feels something she has done may hurt a friend.
My very favorite Emily story happened when she was five. For Christmas, Emily asked to get her daddy a cross. I honored her request and got him a rather rustic cross. As a contractor, I knew he needed something that could withstand the dust, dirt and roughness he subjects his belongings to. He opened the gift and raved about it, but never wore it. About three months later, she asked him innocently why he never wore his beautiful cross.
"I am certainly not worthy to wear a cross."
"That is exactly the point, dad! None of us are worthy..."
Not only was her daddy saved during this conversation, but his own spiritual journey began and it continues today.
Emily is a huge cheerleader. She lives out God's command to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who mourn. She loves the stage and gets a tremendous amount of joy from singing and dancing. Her favorite Bible story is Noah's Ark and she has many favorite scriptures, which she can recite easily. She and her dear, dear friend, Gabrielle have disciplined themselves to read and study the Bible. This past April we looked on as both girls achieved an Award in Excellence for completing their Awana books and also achieving a perfect completion on their Gold assignments. Of all of Emily's accomplishments, this, by far resonates loudly as the one I pray remains with her always...God's truths are eternal.
Em's funny bone is bigger than she is. She loves a good joke. We call her cute way of saying things her "emmyisms"...she has a ton of them! Before bed, every night Emily loves to snuggle, play a game and do her devotions. She does her homework without us asking and asks hard questions that we can't always answer. There are places in her life where she struggles, but she has always been willing to work hard to get where she needs to go. I remember when she could not figure out riding a bike...now, we can't catch her.
Soon, we will cut those long red locks and donate them to Locks*of*Love. Part of me can't wait...part of me wishes I could bottle her just as she is.
Em has made me see things in myself that I don't want to see. She keeps me humbled and accountable. I love that. With Chrohn's, the doctor advised me my pregnancy with Emily would either kill me or cure me...personally, I think Emily saved me. She is a gift that I desired my whole life and God was gracious enough to grant me the desires of my heart.
Today, her ninth birthday, I give thanks to a great big God who gave me a precious red haired little girl to love....Em, you are my sunshine, now and always.
Happy Birthday Emily Grace!! We love you!!