The unthinkable happened a few nights ago. I got a message that said, “Adeline is not doing well. Pray for her.” I was sitting in a friend’s house, and both of my kids were asleep, and when I saw the message I sank into this old yellow chair in the corner with a low light on, and I began to weep. I called Dan and told him what was going on, and we both admitted that when a parent admits those words that it is not looking good. We know that feeling, and it’s not a place you would admit to be at unless it was the inevitable.
Rewind over a decade ago, I met this girl, Katie Waitt, from a dairy farm in Indiana at Auburn as a new college student. We were from different backgrounds and honestly we did not have much in common besides some friends and our faith. We grew in our friendship, and I was quite preppy and girly, and slowly some friends and I convinced Katie that she needed some dresses in her closet, and my love for her grew.
We kept up off and on after college, and we would get together as time allowed. She met her husband and got married in Memphis, and over a year ago they found out they were expecting their first baby. I got a call a few weeks later about a scary ultrasound. I began to walk a road with her that I never knew that I would have to walk again so soon.
Adeline was born very early, but she was a fighter. She had fighters around her, and she faced her short life with strength and dignity, and her big brown eyes would melt any heart of stone. I was able to meet her very soon after she was born, but this past week things got really bleak. Baby Addie Bear faced a lot of procedures and the King of Kings called her home on September 28, 2017 early in the morning. Her life was short yet full.
My friend and I jumped in our cars as soon as we heard to go walk beside our dear dairy farm friend from Indiana. We shopped for an outfit for her daughters funeral, we helped think through logistics for a service, we planned meals, and we wept at plan that is bigger and greater than us, but sometimes does not bring the outcome that we want.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, no pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
I don’t get why Adeline went to be with Jesus. I don’t get why Mary Anna went to be with Jesus, but I do know one thing to be true right now. I feel grief creeping it’s messy self back in, and I feel like I am watching myself loose my baby all over again through my dear friend, but as I got ready to leave last Thursday, I grabbed William and looked into his big blue eyes and with tears said this:
Buddy no matter what, ALWAYS remember that God is bigger and He is stronger and He loves you. And He will protect you.
W: Like he protected Daniel in the lion’s den mommy?
Yes buddy, just like that.
I love you and I will be home soon.
W: And I love you mommy
And that is what carried me. It was that image that although this earth is the lion’s den, and sometimes it feels like there are roaring lions waiting to devour us, God ALWAYS shuts their mouths. I sat there in the lion’s den with my sweet friend, but God was there. We hurt and cried and might have even said a cuss word or two, but God was there. Shutting mouths. Slaying the enemy.
He will redeem.
He did redeem Adeline’s life for Himself.
And he did the same with my Mary Anna too.
Keep Walking. Even when the lions are closing in around you. Remember like my innocent 3-year-old reminded me, God will protect you.
In loving memory of Adeline Grace.
June 21, 2017- September 28- 2017