2 years. Where has the time gone? Oh my sweet firstborn daughter, held in my arms for such a short amount of time, yet the joy and pain of those moments feel so real today. My heart aches for Sophie, Lord. Does she know? Do you tell her how much I love her, how much I miss her? What would she say to me today, on this her earthly birthday and heavenly entrance to glory. I imagine our conversation might go something like this;
“Hi Mommy, do you know what today is!? To which I would reply “It’s your birthday! The day I met you face to face!” She smiles in agreement but spreads her arms wide and throws back her head declaring with exuberance “But mommy, it was so much better than that… It was the day I met JESUS face to face! I mean, the party you threw me was awesome, but the party in heaven… you wouldn’t believe it if I told you!!!” And tears fill my eyes because I want to believe it, I want to hold on to the hope that heaven holds, being in the presence of Jesus. But still it seems heaven is so far away, seeing Jesus face to face such a mystery, and such an ache and longing in my heart to know the fullness that Heaven brings. For the fullness I know is grief. Yet even in that I’m sure I don’t know grief’s fullness because I have yet to see the fullness of when even grief is redeemed.
Somehow, Sophie knows I am conflicted as she shares her joy with me, watches my eyes well up with tears, a longing smile on my face to know what she knows. So Sophie runs back to Jesus, wondering what to do. And He gently tells her “Remind her sweet girl. Remind your mommy of the things she knows, the things I’ve told her. There is much she cannot understand or even begin to comprehend of the wonders of heaven, of being with me, but there is much I have taught her. Remind your mommy, Sophia Kyla… that I’m coming, that I’m making ALL things new.”
She runs back, a tender joy in her face and grabs my hand and says with a sense of earnest in her voice “Mommy, Jesus has some things to say to you. And guess what!!?? He brought me here to tell you! Did you know He’s coming back, do you know He’s making ALL things new!? Listen, Mommy. I know you’re sad, though I don’t really know what that means, but Jesus says its part of what people on earth experience. I know you miss me and wish you could be with me and Dasah. But Mommy, I need you to know that we’re doing awesome! That we get to walk and talk with Jesus, we even sit on his lap sometimes and get the best hugs and kisses from him. We meet the coolest people here, people that you read about in God’s book, we hear their stories from their mouths mom! You know, Jesus told me that I was sick on earth and didn’t have much of a brain and that’s why I couldn’t stay very long, and I know you got to see a little of my personality on earth, but Jesus jokes about how I have lots of thoughts and smartness and personality now! I’m not sick anymore mom, I’m totally whole and one day, Jesus said I’m going to get a whole new body with nothing missing!!! I can’t imagine it getting better than heaven but all of us up here are waiting too. You’re waiting to be redeemed from all that sadness of life on earth and we’re all waiting for that too. We’re waiting for Jesus to come down and be king of everyone and everything and for everyone to know that He is king. Mom, we’re going to get to see Him do that together!! We hear the stories of all the broken things on earth and we know Jesus is going to fix them and is fixing them even now. Dasah and I talk a lot of about how proud we are that our mommy and daddy love Jesus so much and are letting him fix their broken hearts while on earth. Mom, you can be sad but please don’t forget there is so much more coming! Remember that song that was playing when I was being born? The best IS yet to come!
Keep looking up Mommy, keep looking up to Jesus. He’ll help you, he’ll help you look up. I promise. I wish I could tell you so much more about everything Dasah and I are experiencing in Heaven but Jesus said you wouldn’t understand it all and lots of it is part of the surprise. Like one big SURPRISE PARTY! Surprise, there’s no more pain! Surprise, this is how your story was painting something beautiful. Surprise…this is how much Jesus REALLY loves you! So many things we only taste on earth and you KNOW will be so much better in Heaven with Jesus… but then SURPRISE, it’s even better then that!
I love you mommy. Thanks for being the best earthly mommy and pointing me and my little sister to Jesus. Everyone thinks its so cool that people on earth were singing to Jesus like the choir in heaven when we both went to be with Jesus. It’s like you were all singing together! And ALL will see how Great is OUR God. Mom, people are seeing how great He is through your life, daddy’s life, my life and Dasah’s life. That’s the BEST birthday gift you could’ve ever given me! I know you sang with tears but just remember… one day.. He wipes them all away! Okay, I gotta go! See you soon. I know it feels like forever mom till you’ll see me again, but He’s coming soon! We’re all getting ready up here, you better get ready down there!”
How is it that our children point us to the wonders of Jesus in such profound ways? Imagining Sophie’s joy is like getting a glimpse of childlike faith from the perspective of heaven. I don’t know how she would really speak, what she would really say, what kind of glimpse she gets on earth. But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt today, on this her 2nd earthly birthday, her life is filled with joy and childlike wonder. So as I celebrate her life today and miss her with an ache in my heart too deep for words, I can also reflect on the joy that became hers because of her death. That moment surely was not joy for us, and death was not how it was supposed to be, but oh it was the moment that brought life and wholeness to our precious firstborn daughter. Happy birthday sweet Sophie, thank you for continuing to point your mom and dad to things eternal in ways that we can’t wait to tell you! Today we celebrate the joy of meeting you and welcoming you into our arms and the joy of Jesus welcoming you into his arms.
“A good name is better than a good ointment, and the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth. It is better to go to a house of mourning, than to go to a house of feasting, because that is the end of every man, and the living takes it to heart.”
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 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 nor 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.’ And he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty, I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.'” Revelation 21:1-6
HAPPY 2nd BIRTHDAY SOPHIE!!! Your 10 sweet hours of life were full of joy and celebration!