Thursday, March 5, 2015

Quinn's 3rd Birthday

Another year has gone by as we find ourselves in March, once again. So much has happened since last March. I feel like God has answered a lot of prayers. I cannot begin to tell you how much he has healed my broken-heart and how far we have come. I remember wanting to connect with someone in my situation right after the loss of Quinn so I would pour over blogs of people who had lost children and they were three to five years post losing a child and still sounded in as deep of place as I was. Now for many that might be a comfort as you near those years and find that you are not alone, but for me it was terrifying. I needed to grieve the loss of my daughter, but I also wanted hope. I wanted to know it got better, that the gaping open wound would heal. I knew I would forever have a scar, but I just wanted to know that there would be healing. Hindsight can sometimes be a beautiful thing, because I can look back over the last 2 1/2 years and see how God was day by day salving my wounds. Most days I felt he had taken me to the wilderness and left me there alone, but I now see he was taking me to a quiet place of steady healing.
So as the calendar turned over to March this year, I have found my reaction is not as heart- wrenching. I still have days where I miss Quinn more than normal, it still takes my breath away to see her picture up promoting kindness, it is still hard on me to hear people say her name more often. But I know that it is good. People don't talk about Quinn as much, we don't talk about Quinn as much. And I know that is part of healing. I don't want to forget her. I remember crying that first year when her face wasn't as vivid in my memory as it once was. I need to talk about Quinn, I need people to remember her. So as hard as this month is, I have come to a place where it is well. The wound is still there and it still hurts, but I know now that it is healing.
A week from today Quinn would have been three. THREE! I can't wrap my mind around that. She is still a precious 5 month old in my mind. In years past we have done random acts of kindness to honor her, to continue to let her light shine in this world. We will continue to do that this year. We will celebrate QUINNcidence. We will take this hope that is rising like a shoot out of a stump and share it with our world.  I have come to believe that nothing is coincidence, that every random thing is a blessing, a lesson. And I want to celebrate the beauty of MY precious blessing, Quinn, with the blessing of coincidence. We have been so honored and humbled by the thousands of people who have chosen to join us in this endeavor and would like to extend the invitation again. Please join us on Thursday March 12th in Celebrating QUINNcidence through random acts of kindness. This week, in preparing for Thursday, I encourage you to really listen to people and reflect on their needs.
The last two weeks I have been reflecting on Lent and what it means to give something up or fast from something. This verse really struck me:

Isaiah 58:6  "Is this not the fast which I choose: To loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free? Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; When you see the naked to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?"

Kendal Haug & Will Walker state in "Journey to the Cross. Readings and Devotions for Lent.":
"As long as I'm looking to get my needs met, I will never get my needs met. But when I begin to meet the needs of others- when I begin to live for them instead of for myself- I find that God graciously takes care of my needs in the process. The grace of God turns us into servants. Instead of demanding that we be served, we joyfully lay down our rights and seek to serve God and others."

I will be reflecting on these statements this week and I invite you to do the same. I want my daughter to change the world, but I pray the Lord will change your heart and mine to turn us in to a people who "joyfully lay down our rights and seek to serve God and others."