*One year later, can you believe I’m still writing thank you notes! We are still overwhelmed with gratitude for the love, support and prayers we received from all of you. If it were physically possible to hug and say thank you to each and every one of you we would! Thank you.*
How do I say thank you to 6 lbs 13 oz of Brave? How do I begin to celebrate the sweetest gift ever given?
This week we celebrated Leilah’s first birthday. I can’t believe one year ago we welcomed her into the world. The words of the David Crowder Band song filled the delivery room ‘Oh how He loves us..’ as she was placed in our arms. Peace like a heavy blanket engulfing us as we wept with sorrow and overwhelming love. 365 days later I find myself weeping once again with sorrow, love and a deep thankfulness that were given the gift of her beautiful life.
As I prepared for this week I felt stuck – How do I celebrate Leilah? How do I honor her life? Do I run a marathon, climb a mountain, jump out of a plane, release a thousand pink balloons, scream in the middle of the busy street. Nothing seemed good enough, none of my ideas seem sufficient. Everything pales in comparison to her and all that she was to us. How do I honor this short life that forever changed mine and hundreds of others?
Nick confronted me on my mission to celebrate her birthday. He said ‘Aubrey this is going to sound insensitive but I think you’re getting too wrapped up in a day – it’s just a day. Yes it’s special because it marks one year but we honor her and celebrate her everyday.’
His words were so relieving and so true. We honor her everyday, we celebrate all that she brought to our lives in a million different ways. What she did in our hearts and how she changed our lives dramatically affects the way we operate daily. The deep joy in the little things, the overwhelming gratitude for life, the perseverance that was engrained, the faith that burned, the contagious hope, the risks that are no longer scary, the fear that no longer holds, the dreams that we’re now allowed to dream because we saw a All Powerful God move on our behalf. This feeling of being alive like we have never before. This priceless intimate knowledge of the heart of our Heavenly Father and the ABSOLUTE conviction that He is GOOD and for us. These are the gifts we were given, these are the values that now shape our walk and altered the course of our life. As we walk in them, as we run to Jesus, as we splash on others -we honor her.
So instead of celebrating a day we choose to celebrate with a life led full of passion, with a heart that leans into the goodness of God and asks boldly for the impossible.
My prayer as we close this week, our week of Jubilee, is that hearts again would be drawn to the Lord, that dreams and hopes would begin to awaken, that we would run with reckless abandon to the heart of a Good Father. That we would Pray expectingly, Believe undoubtingly. Love sacrificially. Dream unreasonably, Hope for the ridiculous and SHOUT from the rooftops that we love an Amazing God.
Happy Birthday Leilah. You were the sweetest gift, we love you and miss you so much.
“Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God.
“The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked.”