That song has become one of my favorite praise and worship songs. Each time I hear it or sing it, I'm overcome thinking of how truly great our God is.
I have been blessed beyond comprehension.
I have a marriage that not only survived the death of a child, but grew stronger through that tragedy. Chris and I know what the minister meant when he said "for better or for worse." I am so grateful I married my best friend.
I have a husband who loves his daughters with all his heart. A man who had to sign his daughter's death certificate and make her funeral arrangements on his 5th wedding anniversary because his wife hurt too badly to go to the funeral home. A man who walks through the door at night, and regardless of his day, makes his girls feel as if they are the most special people in the world.
I have a daughter, Ann Catherine, who defied the odds. Not only did she survive such a perilous entry into the world, but she has no lasting effects from it. As she lay in the NICU, weighing less than two pounds and hooked up to tubes and a ventilator, she taught me more about the sheer will to live and what it means to fight. I promised her if she would fight to live, I would spend the rest of my life fighting for her. She did and I will.
I have another daughter, Lily Baker, who came into our lives at a time where we needed her so badly. We weren't trying to get pregnant. In fact, my pregnancy with Ann Catherine and Melissa was so scary that I never wanted to be pregnant again. But, God had other plans and he brought this wonderful rainbow into our lives to show us that all was not lost.
Yes, I lost my daughter. Yes, that is the most painful thing in the world for a parent to endure.
But do you want to know how great our God is?
He has used my precious baby's life to touch so many people. He has allowed us to take that tragedy and try to turn it into something good. He has allowed her memory and legacy to live on in the lives of countless babies in our NICU.
I take no credit for that. It's all God. Without him, I would have quit a long time ago.
And you want to know the greatest part of all? This is not the end for our family. All of us - Chris, Ann Catherine, Lily Baker and I - will be with Melissa again one day. I truly can't even comprehend how joyous and amazing that will be.
My prayer for you on this Thanksgiving is to remember all the blessings God has given you. We have all been through tragedies. We've all had bad things happen to us. It's so easy to get caught up in what we don't have. Instead, remember what you do have.
Remember how great our God is.