Father's Day came this year for us while we were in Michigan.
Rick had been invited to come and preach a 4 day revival in Lapeer, Michigan. Some of our best friends from College, Nathan and Bethany(who I set up way back when :) wanted us to come and be a part of their revival at their Church. Rick agreed and we headed out the Saturday before Father's Day.
We got into the hotel and got settled. It was kind of nice to get away just the four of us. The boys thought we were vacation and couldn't wait to get down to the pool. They were so cute. =)
The next morning we got up and headed to the Church early. When we walked in, we were greeted immediately by some really sweet people. I made my way in and found a seat with the boys as Rick headed up to get set for the service.
We were having a sad morning but we knew we had a job to do and we tried to push aside the pain and sorrow and be excited about the days ahead. After I got settled in my pew, the sweetest lady came up to me and was fussing over the boys. She said how cute they were and then she said how I need a girl. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to A. embarrass her and B. I didn't want to start crying right before Church.
So, I just said "Yes, we would love to raise a little girl."
Then she started talking more about how wonderful little girls are and how every Mom should get to have a daughter.... She went on and on.
By this point, my eyes were welling up with tears and I just kept my head down. For the first time ever, I couldn't do it. I couldn't bring myself to say what happened to us. I was feeling so heartbroken.
I looked up to Rick and he could just tell by the look on my face, something wasn't right.
I slipped out to the bathroom to collect my thoughts and pull myself together.
When I walked back in and started to my pew, I saw that there was a pink car seat now directly behind where I was sitting. As I got closer, I could see the little newborn baby girl. She was beautiful.
I sat down and started to make small talk with the boys but I couldn't focus on anything except the baby behind me and how everyone in the Church was fussing over her.
I heard her Mom say that she was wearing a "Daddy loves me" shirt in honor of Father's Day. It was so sweet but so sad to me at the same time. I think after I found out Madeline was a girl I bought like 20 "Daddy loves me" shirts. Rick wanted to be a Daddy to a little girl so bad. I wanted to see him with our little girl so bad. It made me sad.
I just prayed and asked God to give me strength in that moment. Satan was really fighting me and trying to discourage me.
Rick did a wonderful job preaching Sunday School and I was starting to feel a lot better.
During the morning service, I was so proud. I was excited to be there at Faith Bible Baptist and to be a part of an exciting time and week in their Church. But, I knew these people didn't yet know us yet. We have a story. Everyone has a story.
That morning in his message, Rick shared ours.
There wasn't a dry eye that morning as Mother's and Father's listened to my Husband talk about Grace and Faith and the passing of our little girl.
Rick preached that morning on Making your house a home. He talked about how we prepared this perfect room for our little girl. We had the closet and drawers full of clothes. We had everything a little baby girl would need or possibly want, but we were lacking something.
Nightly Bible devotions were not a part of our lives. We didn't have family prayer time. Of course we were in Church faithfully 3 services a week. We run many of the ministry's at our Church. God is a part of our lives always. But, before Maddie passed we had so much to work on in making our house a home.
Maddie made our house a home.
We are more faithful than ever to the Lord. We have only gotten stronger.
I watched my sweet Husband up there and I couldn't help but be so proud of him. Here he is in on a day that I know is so very hard on him, and he is pouring his heart out to this Church of people that we don't even know. He is faithful to the Lord and He is faithful to the Ministry. I'm so lucky to have him.
After the service, everyone was coming up and giving us hugs and words of encouragement. It was nice to feel so loved, but Rick and I had heavy hearts. We were missing our Baby Girl on a day when children and Daddy's are celebrated. It hurt.
Yet, I was so thankful for faithfulness. I am thankful for God's faithfulness to me and I am thankful that we have continued to be faithful to Him even during the hard times.
Every day is a challenge for us. Everyday is hard. Yet, everyday God continues to provide grace and faith and hope to get us through our days.
I'm so thankful for faithfulness.
I Timothy 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry...
I have many more stories to share about our week of revival in Michigan... Stay tuned. =)