Thursday, November 4, 2010
Nine Days Later...
It has been nine days since our precious Anastasha was born and went to be with Jesus, and five days since we laid her sweet body in the ground. The days that have followed have been filled with tremendous grief, but also with joy and peace.
Anastasha's birth was an amazing experience. The Lord answered so many specific prayers regarding the labor and delivery itself - to be on Tonya's birthday, that Tonya could deliver naturally, that our OB would be in town, that she would be 6 cm dilated when we got there, that her labor would be her shortest (and it was only 2 hours), that her water would stay intact until the end. All of these were answered perfectly. And the Lord also saw it fit to answer my prayer that she would be born alive. Amazingly, even though she never took a breath, her heart beat for 50 minutes before her peaceful passing. Tonya, the kids, and I each got to hold her in our arms while she was on this side of heaven. That was a precious gift to us.
Her funeral was also an awesome time for our family. We were able to worship the Lord with family and friends from all over the country. The funeral message delivered by her godfather and our dear friend, Michael Gaertner, felt like it was spoken from the mouth of God to our very ears. We were overwhelmed with the love from our community here, as well as all of those who traveled to be with us.
Parting with Anastasha (both at the hospital and at the graveside) was the hardest thing I think Tonya and I have ever done. We obviously know that it was just her fragile body that we walked away from both times, but it was excrutiating to do so. We grieve, but we do so with hope because of Jesus. Because of Him, we hope in the resurrection, and we know that our princess is in the Presence of the King.
As a family we are doing well, but we are obviously hurting quite deeply. It is a terrible feeling not having a newborn to rock to sleep and to nurse, and to know that we will not get to raise her in our home. I don't think we'll ever fully recover from that. The children seem to be doing very well, even the older ones. Tonya, as you would expect, is hurting the most. Please continue to pray for her most of all.
Moving forward I will use this new website to enter new pictures as they come, as well as to record future thoughts as we continue our journey with the Lord. The hardest part is behind us now, but we are far from being out of the valley.
Thank each of you for your love and encouragement along the journey. We are grateful for each of your lives and contribution to ours.
May our Lord bless each of you.
Craig, Tonya, Ariana, Charis, Adoniyah, Amalyah, Corban, Caelan, Cale, Caius, and our precious Anastasha