As we journey through life, there is something that Dan and I have learned to do, and that is to keep account of the large and small ways that we clearly see God working in our lives. Just like Dan’s story that he shared about the paint store interaction, there are times that you just know that something happened, and it was clearly not by chance, but it was definitely ordained and written long before for a reason. We decided long ago to write these moments down, and they have been instrumental in our marriage and life together. When we are confident in a decision, and all of a sudden doubt begins to creep in, then we can look back to our list and know that we are doing the right thing. Or when something seems to happen that was not the way that we planned, then we can look back and see all the ways that God was working, even when it seemed like he was sleeping or not quite with it at the moment.
I left UAB on Tuesday, and I was wondering through a store that I love in the area, and I noticed a girl across the store with a stroller looking towards us. She recognized someone that I was with, and she began to talk to her. They motioned me over, and this girl began to tell me her story. She was raised in the same town as me, and she and her husband lived in Birmingham, and a little over a year ago they lost their first born, a baby boy. He lived only minutes, and she was holding a baby girl that day. They were blessed with another healthy baby, and she looked me in the eyes and told me that it was okay to be scared, and that she didn’t believe that her next baby would be healthy until the moment that she held her in her arms. We both agreed that it’s a long scary journey from losing one precious gift to welcoming another, but after her hope and story, I was relived to keep walking.
The thing is that I could just say, well that was ironic and neat and all that good stuff and move on, but I have learned that each encounter is not just ironic, but it is a gift. It’s like long before Mary Anna was born, the Lord knew that I would need to run into this girl that I did not really even know to give me hope in what is to come. She not only gave me hope, but she gave me the grace to be a little scared too. It’s hard to understand why and how I or anyone else would continue to fear with no reason to fear, but watching your baby die in your arms is not something that leaves you overnight. I thank the Lord for this encounter, and that he put her in my pathway to give me hope in this sweet baby and the freedom to still miss my baby girl at the same time.