There is a story being written by the hand of God.
He is the author of life and He chose to use me in a story that not only brings glory to Him but also touches the hearts of everyone who hears it.
It's difficult. It's not a story that I would have chosen to be a part of, if given that choice. But in my life I diligently sought after God and begged Him to use me.
I pleaded that He change my heart. I asked Him to mold me, radically change me and to help me bring Him honor.
My story was never meant to stay the same. I was never meant to live a simple, quiet life.
My story was meant to change. I was created for a purpose greater than I could have ever known.
I was told yesterday that maybe I should post more photos of my 'other children.'
Maybe they would grow up some day and feel sad to see that they were 'rarely mentioned' by me.
To that I want to say this:
It is their story too.
The redheads and Mabel are not separate.
They are all my children and they are all part of this intimate dance that we are doing as a entity.
Every single day I am living a very real and very authentic life before my children. I am participating in it with them so deeply that there will never be one thing about me that they feel like they don't truly know. The mom that I am for Nora and Braden was never meant to continue only writing about baking cookies, doing crafts and homeschooling them.
Their mom was created to tell the story of their sister who won't get the chance to grow up and feel sad or any other emotion for that matter. I was created for the purpose of sharing this story; no matter how gut wrenching and exhausting in order to draw even one person to the foot of the cross.
And that is all these kids need to know.
Do I think that they will look back and feel sad that there aren't photos of them on my blog every day or on facebook once a week?
Absolutely not. I think that is an absurd underestimated judgement of the character of my children, even for their future selves.
They are passionate about justice, they are merciful and kind and they know the Lord in far deeper ways than most Christian adults around them ever dreamed of knowing Him.
What I hope that they will see when they grow up and look back at the posts from this time in our lives is a mom who let God write their story wholly. A mom who asked God to include others to fill the gaps where she couldn't always get it right. I hope that they see a mom who was desperate to give them intimate details of a sister who will likely be in Heaven by that time. I hope that they see a community built up around them like a fortress, holding them together in a time where they would otherwise crumble.
I hope they learn empathy and compassion. I hope they see friendships that are rooted in such deeper qualities. I hope they listen to me when I say, "Don't you ever speak to a mother about the way she is raising her children, under any circumstance. It is neither your business or your right and it's unacceptable. We're all just doing the best we can do and that is always enough."
I understand that the story of this blog has changed. I have watched other families evolve over time too. The details of our days aren't the same as they once were. I have been honest through it all and shared here how those things were part of my reason for grieving so intensely for so long.
But I would never change that.
I would never want to risk changing it for the comfort of my family and the beauty of a story that isn't real or tortured or deep.
Keep in mind, I didn't choose this story.
It was written for my life long ago and I am just putting words to the experience.
I feel that it is not only a gift to do so but a privilege. I could choose to keep quiet. I could choose not to write. I could share happy photos of Nora and handsome photos of Braden with 'normal' captions to provide a sense of equality to my readers.
But I'm not concerned about that.
What I'm concerned about are the eternal things.
The things that matter are the lives we live truly.
The things that matter are how special I make my children feel in real life from day to day. Those are the memories that they are going to grow up and remember.
They actually get to have memories of me as their mom and they as my children. Their entire self worth as a child is not based upon whether or not their attendance on my blog is down a few notches than it was a year or two ago.
All of us walk through seasons of our lives. It's the normal flow of human nature.
For an entire year I wrote about nothing except for Nora's milestones.
For an entire year after that I wrote about nothing except for Braden's colic.
For an entire year after that I feel like I wrote nothing except for 2 toddlers smearing poop on the walls, floor, each other and me.
But time has evolved and our lives are different and radically changed. We've moved forward and God is doing something new and quite honestly something bigger.
I don't believe that my children will feel like I love them less by saying that because again, there is not a disconnect between them and Mabel. They are all in this together; one in the same.
She is theirs and they are hers. It's the beautiful gift that God gave us in siblings.
And I absolutely plan to tell them every single day of their lives that not every family gets chosen for this. Not every family gets the opportunity to love a child like their sister and share about Jesus because of her. It is an honor to do so and I NEVER want them to take it for granted. I believe they will look back and they will know the shaping that took place in their lives and hearts because of their sister. I believe that God is not only using Mabel to reach others, but more than anyone, the people in this home.
We all need transformed. Every one of us needs to examine ourselves every step in this journey of life. If this little girl can help her brother and sister to do that, then her purpose is far greater than anything I could help accomplish through her.
I will not be quiet. I am the only voice that she will ever have and I plan to use it in any way that I can. If you wish that I wouldn't post as many photos of her or that I wouldn't share so many facts about rare disease or Mabel or our family, please delete me and be done with it.
In doing so, please do not comment on the raising of my 'other kids.'
Until I have no breath in my lungs I will be sharing the story that God has given us.
This is the story of truth, purity, love, compassion, empathy, deepening, growth, maturing, faithfulness, trauma, confusion, agony, togetherness, community...
but most importantly of joy. And triumph.
Victory and Freedom.
There is an author of this life and I have been handed the gifted pen in writing a beautiful masterpiece for Him. Every day I feel humbled and grateful.
"For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him."