1 Year

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Here it is. The time to stop counting by months and start counting by years. The time to begin a new year of celebrating holidays and living daily life without our princess. It doesn’t seem possible, and yet we have come so far.

Love those eyes, those cheeks, those lips, that chin,...

Love those eyes, those cheeks, those lips, that chin,…

I usually don’t re-read my blogs. Quite honestly, I’m as close to being an anti-blog-reader than a blogger can be. I just don’t read blogs, especially my own. But I thought I’d go against my norm and re-read some of my March/April/May posts. My hope was that I’d be able to get a good assessment of how much healing has happened this past year, and I’d have even more confidence in my God.

Well, the truth is that I’m jealous of that time, at least in some ways. I grieve that heavy presence of the Holy Spirit. I miss my boldness and confidence to speak the Truth. I’m sorry that my heart isn’t as tender as it was in those months immediately following Hannah’s death. Mostly, I hate how much I’ve moved on with life.

The boys enjoying snow day pancakes. (By snow day, I mean a day the teachers declare a day off school...There was no snow.)

The boys enjoying snow day pancakes. (By snow day, I mean a day the teachers declare a day off school…There was no snow.)

But that is the proof of healing. Most days are happy and full of joy. Yes, I’m still struggling with boredom. Yes, I’m still missing her sweet presence in my house and her girly role in our family. But I am learning how to live without her. In fact, I’ve done it. I can manage the boys, the house, school, my ministries, etc. with joy and thanksgiving. I can find blessings in the midst of everyday life. I can sing praises to God (at least in my head…no one wants to hear my singing voice!) all the day long. I can be bold in my faith, but it’s just a little more censored now. My heart is still tender, just not so deeply wounded. I still hear the Holy Spirit speak directly to me.

In fact, I heard a sweet word from the Holy Spirit this morning. I have to share the story…

The story begins yesterday as I was talking on the phone with a friend. I told her, “I want her birthday to be the celebration day. March 14 is not a day to celebrate. I want to be sad and to miss her.” In line with that reasoning, we requested to be left alone today. Aaron and I just wanted to stay inside and look at her pictures, watch home movies, and remember her…without people watching or worrying or giving speeches or hovering. (Can you tell we’re introverts??)

But this morning, as my running partner was praying over me and my family, she asked God many things. She asked that His presence be felt in a special way today, that He would comfort us like only He can, that we would cast all our cares upon Him, etc. All that seemed normal. The thing that got me was when she praised God for the way Hannah is celebrating in heaven. Wow! That is when the Holy Spirit spoke, “You may be sad today, because this marks the end of your time with her. She, however, is celebrating because today is the anniversary of the beginning of her new life.” Wow! That’s true! While I’m wanting to celebrate her life on her birthday, January 22, and mourn on her death anniversary, March 14, Hannah may not even remember January 22 and may only celebrate her new and eternal life beginning on March 14, 2013.

I’m not sure why this seems so revolutionary to me. I’ve been looking forward to my new, eternal life in heaven for a long time. I can’t wait for that day when I am face-to-face with my Creator. I can’t wait to be whole and perfect and complete. I will surely rejoice that day! I just never looked at heaven from Hannah’s perspective. I was too busy grieving to actually realize how much she must be enjoying heaven. I’ve considered that she’s healed and happy, but it’s been more like a passing thought than a serious consideration. I’ve asked lots of questions about her in heaven, but those were selfish as I wanted to peak into her life. So, this morning, the Holy Spirit prompted me to really envision her there. I need to go past that vision He gave me a year ago, for she is passed the pearly gates. She is fully engaged in life in heaven. She has met countless family members, both biological and spiritual. She surely has danced with Jesus on numerous occasions. She probably has met lots of new friends. Her smile doesn’t fade. Her eyes always twinkle. She is forever happy.

And because of this new reality, and for so many other reasons, I can praise God today!

2 Peter:2-8, 10 (NLT)

May God bless you with his special favor and wonderful peace as you come to know Jesus, our God and Lord, better and better. 3 As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! 4 And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature. 5 So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. 6 Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. 7 Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Doing this, you will never stumble or fall away. 11 And God will open wide the gates of heaven for you to enter into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Another part of my friend’s prayer was that God would allow Hannah’s presence to be felt today. While I never expect to see Hannah in a vision or to physically feel her again, I was intrigued by this portion of her prayer. I wondered if God would answer it…And He did, right away! As soon as I got home from my run, the boys bounded out of their room. I explained what today was and what we were planning to do. The morning moved along at a nice, slow pace. Then, Noah disappeared into the school room only to return with a drawing of Hannah saying, “Hi, Mom and Dad!” So precious! I love how God used Noah to allow Hannah to speak to us. I love Noah’s sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. I love his love for his sister. I love how God answers prayer is such unique ways.

Noah's drawing of Hannah

Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Praises and Prayer Requests:

1. Praise God because He is the Healer and Comforter!

2. Praise God because He is the Keeper of promises, He is close to the broken hearted, He is the Holder of every tear.

3. Please pray with me for anyone reading our blogs that does not yet know the redeeming love of Christ. May more and more people come to a saving knowledge of salvation! Please pray that we would be transparent for the purpose of people seeing Christ through us.

4. Please pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on those who desperately need to hear God speak.

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7 responses »

  1. What an amazing testimony to see how God has worked in your family to heal your hearts and keeping you all strong even at times of great sadness over the past year. Thank you for always sharing in your family’s journey. May God continue to heal your hearts and ease your pain especially today. Love and Blessings to you all. Love, Lisa Brey

  2. This is so powerful, Steph. It shows us how we kick out the lies that keep us in darkness and bring God’s truth and light into every day – every situation. I am so proud of all of you for pointing to KING JESUS through such deep profound loss. I am remembering with all of you today and saying many prayers for all of your family.

  3. God Bless all of you.  You have given so many people hope and courage but letting us know what you have been through in the past year.  You are such an inspiration and God loves all of you and so do I.  Love to all.

  4. Beautiful, Stephanie. I have never had visions but I have heard my Guardian Angel speak to me directly in times of real danger and those times saved my life!! I have had signs and felt the presence of “beings”. Hannah is definitely making her presence known to you…sometimes we need to look and be open to it and sometimes it just knocks us between the eyes…like the picture!!

    So glad to hear you are feeling as you are!!! Those 3 little men are so wonderful!
    Peace and Blessings,
    Marianne

  5. Thinking of you so much this week, Stephanie, and praying the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit in your hearts. We have been praying in a special way for your family and one of the littles said again how much fun Hadassah and Hannah must be having. 🙂 Painful but yet so beautiful.

    Hugs! Darla

  6. What an amazing testimony Steph and comfort to everyone who has had to say “goodbye for now” to a loved one, especially a child, like myself. Keep holding on to the hope of our reunion with them one day soon.

    For His Glory,

    Trish Martin

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