Sunday, April 22, 2012

Where We Are

Oh My! I can't believe how long it has been since I have written. I was thinking it had just been a few months, but turns out that it has been over 8 months since I last wrote. Where has the time gone? So, let me fill you in on what has been happening these last months.

I have to say that we are in a good place right now. Don't get me wrong.....I still hurt...still sad about losing Lei. I would give anything to have her here with me. But, I know that she is in a much better place and I also know that I will one day be reunited with her forever.....once we are reunited, nothing can take her from me again. How awesome is that!! The Bible tells us that we will go through periods of weeping, sadness, and grief. We have been there. There are days when we struggle and question why Leightyn couldn't receive treatment or why God didn't perform a miracle. There are days when every place we go or person we meet, remind us of Leightyn. But the Bible also tells us that God never intends for us to remain in grief and sadness, He tells us that He can turn ashes into beauty. He gives us joy from sufferings. God gives us the peace that allows us to get out of bed every morning and to make it through the day. I can't imagine living the past 20 months without the hope of Jesus Christ.

So....we are in a good place and much has changed in our lives.

We finally put our house on the market last fall and decided to build a house. Although it was sad leaving our old house and all the wonderful memories we had there. Memories of bringing the girls home from the hospital. The laughter that filled the halls when the neighbors came over to play. The many dress up fashion shows that happened in our living room. The cook-outs and friends hanging out. Our first home we ever was time to move on. Sadness overtook many of the wonderful memories. Nights of going to check on the sleeping girls reminded me that one bed would forever be empty. Clothes hanging in the closet for the first day at kindergarten. Two bikes in the garage. And then the driveway that was used for chalk, bubbles, plasma cars....was the same driveway where Leightyn was put in an ambulance.

December 12th we moved in to our new house. Our new home. I say home because it feels like we are home. Landen and I have prayed that this house would be filled with laughter, love, memories, and reminders of Lei. We feel that all our prayers have been answered. We have so much fun together in this house. We have room for family (lots of family) to come over and stay on weekends. We have hung Lei's sun in the living room to remind us of how "she always wanted it to be sunny" inside. Pictures of all my girls fill the walls and shelves. Laughter fills the rooms. Fashion shows still continue. Scooter rides and skates leave dirt marks on the floor. We are home.

Not only did God answer our prayers of wanting a new place to live, He also answered my daily prayers for a little one. Landry Lei (named after daddy and Leightyn) was born on January 11. As I write this, Landry is snuggled up against me snoozing away. What a blessing she is! A loved blessing. Many at church have prayed for us to have a healthy baby. Many at church are Mylea and Landry's adopted grandparents. Landry has been a blessing to all at church. A sign of God's faithfulness. She is often referred to as "the churches baby".

Mylea is getting so big. I can't believe that in September she will be 5. When did my baby have time to grow up? It's hard to think that she is going to be 5. That soon, she will have out lived her older sister.
Jill, a wise friend who has helped us on our journey, went through this same experience a few months back. I loved how she said that instead of living in sadness because your child out lived the other or living in sadness because your children are growing up......celebrate the milestone. Celebrate that your child is here and able to reach the milestone. That's what will will do when My turns 5. We will celebrate the big day and thank God for the 5 years He gave us with Leightyn and the 5 years we have had with Mylea. We will also pray for more years with Mylea and Landry.

We have met some amazing families with some amazing kids. Kids with stories that bring tears to my eyes just thinking about it. These families have used their storms the their child's death to reach out to others and to bring glory to God. I wish it didn't take losing Lei to meet these people but I am so thankful for their friendships. If you are any one you know have lost a child, I encourage you to check out the While We're Waiting group. Landen and I have attended the couples retreat along with the mom and dad days. What a wonderful group Brad and Jill began. It has made a huge difference in many lives.

Mylea is my girl. My sunshine on the cloudy days. I really don't think I could have made it to this point with her. I love seeing Leightyn in her. She is becoming a caring, loving, and compassionate little girl. She loves to sing to Jesus. Landry is my little doll. My hear melts when she smiles. She looks so much like Lei as a baby that they could pass for twins.

Where are we going from here? I don't know. This blog began a few days after we buried Leightyn. It began as a way to tell our story and to share our grief. It began as a way for us to write our feelings and to share our experience.  We feel led to go in a different direction, jut not sure which direction. We are about to begin to process of forming a non-profit organization that would reach out to parents that have lost a child. We would love to help with funeral expenses, a short vacation to get away, help siblings remember the good times, to help parents know that it is ok to keep living in and after your storm. Like I said, we aren't sure what direction we want to head in. Still waiting on God to show us His plans. We don't want to waste our storm. Instead we want to use it to reach out to others.

We still have opportunities to share our story. We love getting the chance to talk about Leightyn and God's faithfulness to us. We continually pray for more opportunities to share.

This coming Saturday, April 28th, we will be hosting Lei Lei's 2nd Annual 5K Run and Memory Walk. We are amazed with the sponsorships and sign-ups so far. Currently, we are expecting 85 in the 5K and 130 in the Memory Walk. How awesome is that? The money we raise will go to The Hannah House here is Ft Smith.

Like I said, we are in a good place. We are happy. Loving life. Living it to the fullest. Cherishing each day. Thanking God for His blessings. Holding on to the promise of Heaven. A promise of one day seeing my Leightyn again. A promise of an eternity with her. A promise of an eternity with my Savior.

I can't imagine losing Leightyn and not knowing Christ. Not having Him to cry to. Not having Him carry me when I couldn't take another step. If you don't have a relationship with Jesus Christ, I hope and pray you will take the time to find out more about the Savior. A life in Christ gives me hope and joy. It doesn't mean a perfect life. It means that when you are in a storm, He is there with you, holding your hand, guiding you when you can't see. He is giving you the peace to survive.

If you are interested in a relationship with Christ, take a moment to look at the following verses.

Romans 3:10-12 and 23
Romans 6:23
Romans 5:8
Romans 10:9-10 and 13
Romans 5:1
Romans 8:1
Romans 8:38-39

1 comment:

  1. Tears have been shed for your sweet family. I pray that you enjoy your new baby abs sweet, My. I will hug my daughter tighter, play harder, and love stringer because of Lei Lei. Thank you for sharing her with me through your writing.