Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Today marks the 3 month anniversary of the birth (earthly and heavenly) of our sweet Anastasha. It many ways it feels like a very long time ago that we held her in our arms.
So what does life look like for us three months later? On the outside, it looks pretty normal. We've resumed most of our "normal" activities - schooling the kids, homeschool co-op, Community Bible Study, piano. But on the inside we're still grieving. The tears come less often, but they still come. The almost unbearable sadness is more bearable. But we've been changed...all of us. And I hope that the changes in our heart are of the type that will last until we meet our Savior (and our precious daughter) face to face. Brokeness. Humility. Heavenly-mindedness. These are characteristics that have been birthed through our pain. And they are good.
Many of you have wondered about the children? They still have spontaneous tears about losing their sister. Sometimes there is uncontrollable sobbing, especially with Ariana and Niyah. It comes randomly, when something triggers their love and longing for Anastasha. For the other kids, there aren't as many tears, but they still talk about Anastasha like she is a member of our family. Even little Cale (3) talks about "going to Haavin to see Ana-tasha" quite often. Caelan (4) has become very concerned about Heaven/Hell (and which one he is going to!). Corban (6) tells us that he wants "to go to Heaven when I'm still a kid because I want to play with God and grown ups don't play with God." Charis wrote on a prayer request card at our church under the "praises" section that he was thankful that his sister Anastasha was in Heaven. Tonya and I have been blessed by the children's simple faith these last few months. Even though they are grieving in their own ways, it is tempered by the fact that they know their sister is in Heaven with Jesus.
We still feel her absence daily. Every time we sit down at the table to eat as a family and know that either Tonya or I would normally be doing our typical "juggling act" of holding a newborn while trying to get the other children fed. Every time we get in the car to go somewhere, and it is a little bit too easy. Every night when the kids all sleep through the night and we aren't being awoken every 3 hours to feed. Every little newborn (especially girls) that I see in clinic remind me of how big she would be and what she would be doing. All these "absences" point our hearts to the void of her presence.
This week was Adoniyah's birthday. Anastasha was her "buddy", a privilege that we have been giving to the older children to help them pair up with a younger sibling. Niyah's favorite number is 89 (don't ask why, but it has been for years). We didn't realize it, but her birthday was exactly 89 days since Anastasha died. Only the Lord could orchestrate that.
We know that Anastasha is with her heavenly Daddy right now, Who loves her more than her earthly Daddy ever could. And she is perfect. There is so much peace and thankfulness in our hearts because of that. And we know that the joy of Heaven for believers will be the presence of our Lord. But we also are thankful that we will see her sweet face one day.
Blessings to you all.
Craig and Tonya