Since I was spending time with my precious friends, I didn't really have an opportunity to sit down and write a post for today.
Although, while I was with my sweet girls, it made me realize just how much they miss Maddie Grace too. I'm so blessed that they took out time of their busy lives, and time away from their precious families, to travel across the U.S. to spend time with me.
Throughout the week I realized just how much they felt like they lost Maddie too. They were so very touched by her sweet little life.
So, I decided to ask each of them to type something up to share here with you.
I want you to see into their hearts as well, so you can understand me and my story even better. Everything they said was so sweet, and their words encouraged and blessed me in a great way. I hope they bless you today too!
I'll never forget a few days after precious Maddie Grace passed away Nat sent me a text that said this of her sweet daughter, "she's such a little blessing".
This brought tears to my eyes as I thought of my sweet friend who most obviously was heartbroken and aching for her daughter, but coupled with that was the strength and faith to realize that Maddie's short life had accomplished GREAT things.
I am sure that throughout Nat's life she will continue to hear stories lives that Maddie's story touched. She personally made me truly realize the importance and the power of prayer.
This week I had the honor of seeing the power of prayer at work in her mommy's life. You see this tiny baby girl also brought four old friend together for a "reunion". I watched her sweet mommy cry about losing her and laugh about the cute things she did. I saw the twinkle in Nat's eyes as she spoke of her and the precious memeories she has of her Maddie Grace.
Is Nat still hurting? Of course she is, but she's also stronger than I ever imagined possible. So even though we won't understand fully why this sweet "birdie girl" had to fly away until we see her again. This I know for sure, "she's such a little blessing".
Witness of His Grace
This past week I had the joy & privilege of seeing my dear sweet friend, Natalie, for a few days. When she asked us if we'd write a few words from our heart, I sat & thought..."Lord, what did I witness here this weekend?"
Besides a room of my dearest friends full of laughs, tears, and sharing memories & burdens...a thought resonated loudly in my heart. I witnessed it as Nat & I drove from Cinci to Knoxville and she shared with me the painfull details of the day Maddie was safely carried to Heaven, in the arms of Jesus. Through her tears I could sense His presence, as she described His sustaining grace in those moments and days to come. Not only was I a witness of this amazing grace in my own life the day I was born again as a 14 year old girl, but esspecially seeing & speaking to Natalie in person...I witnessed it again. Over and over...His love, His power, O' His sweet grace sweeping over her heavy heart, her weary eyes, but her strong loving smile.
Natalie, you have been & will forever be one of my dearest most precious friends. Although my mind may not be able to imagine just how painful this is, my heart is hurting for you. My heart has cried out to the Lord to shower your famlily with His Grace...to use this trial to be a blessing...and is some way bring about something very beautiful from the ashes.
I stand as a witness, and I think He has already in the short time done these things. What a beautiful sound is her sweet name. What amazing glory to the King of Kings we've seen as souls have been saved, your family drawn closer together, & closer to the Lord. Thank you for sharing sweet Maddie with so many of us. I will never forget seeing her video of the day she was born, I will never forget her sweet little face, I will never forget her name...and I'm so thankful to be a witness of His Grace.
Love you sweet friend,
If you have been following Natalie's blog from the beginning, then you've had a chance by now to get a glimpse into the heart of a grieving mother.
Everything she has shared, has been personal and real. I can tell you from experience, that her journey will be long, and her pain will run deep for many years to come. But, I can also tell you, that if she continues to lean on the Lord and find strength in Him, then she's going to be ok. He's healing her heart one prayer at a time. There are times when she might feel as though she's taking one step forward and two steps back, but over the coming weeks and months, that will happen less often. And slowly, she'll gain ground in this healing process. Thank you for allowing her to share her heart here with you. Thank you to each of you who have posted such sweet and encouraging comments. Please keep it up, as this is someone I cherish dearly. The light in her eyes has been momentarily dimmed by pain and sadness, but with God's grace and help, and your prayers, it will return.
I'd like to talk to Maddie for a little bit. My heart is so full of things to say to her. So, if you don't mind, I'll just do that here...
Dear Maddie Grace,
What's it like up there? What does an angel look like? What does my little Belle look like now? My heart can only imagine the beauty that surrounds you at this very moment! I'd give anything for just a tiny glimpse into Heaven. I'd stand outside the pearly gates, and peek through for just a moment if I could see you and Belle and our sweet Saviour.
Unfortunately, I'm not able to do that. It's probably a good thing too, because if I did, I know I wouldn't want to come back down here. I also know I'd never again wish for you or Belle to come back here either.
Oh Maddie, your mommy misses you so much! Her arms still ache for your precious little body to be wrapped inside them. She longs to feel your soft dark hair snuggled on her cheek just once more. She misses your soft little breath on her skin, and feeling your hand wrap around her finger. Her heart is broken. She is reminded every day of her little girl, and how you're not here. Do you know how much you were wanted? You were prayed for and loved so very much! I prayed for you, even before you were created. I knew how much your parents wanted a little girl. I never knew what a special little girl they would get! Do you know how special you are? Your little life has accomplished more than most people accomplish in a full lifetime on this earth. You have touched thousands of hearts and lives. All because of Jesus. He created you. He gave you to your parents. and then, He took you Home. His plan is perfect. I know in my heart, that He didn't make a mistake. You came into our lives for 2 days, but you'll stay in our hearts forever.
You must be so proud of your parents right now. Their heartache, has brought honor and glory to the Lord. In their weakest moments, His strength has been made perfect.
I wish I could tell you right now, that your mommy is perfectly fine and happy without a care in the world. But, that would be a lie. She is hurting. I want you to know, that I'm going to do my best to keep an eye on her for you. I'll make sure she makes it through this. Because of you, she is, and always will be, a mother of a little girl. So many times people have said (myself included) that we have "lost" our daughters. But you know what Maddie? I don't think I like that sentence very much. Because when something is "lost", that means we can't find it, or we don't know where it is. But we know exactly where our little girls are! You girls are in Heaven! Probably sitting at the feet of Jesus, or running through your mansions and giving the angels a hard time. :)
I wish so much that I would've had the chance to meet you before you went to Heaven. I wanted to see your beautiful blue eyes in person. The eyes of your mama that I have been jealous of since I first met her! I never knew eyes could be that color! Like a bright turquoise ocean! I guess now I'll just have to wait a little bit. But that's ok. I know a lifetime of waiting will be all worth it in a moment. I know for some reason, it was best for you to be in His hands. I'm not sorry for you, for not getting to experience anything on this earth. I'm just sorry for your mommy, because she won't get to experience you doing those things on this earth. We all miss you Madeline Grace. You are one beautiful and special little girl. I can't wait to meet you! But, for now, I'll just say, "See you later."
Because of you sweet baby girl...
We were all brought together again!