I had to make a quick trip to Publix tonight after dinner to grab extra Easter eggs and candy. As I was checking out, I heard a young man say something about a rainbow. Naturally, I had to ask.
"Excuse me," I said. "Did you say there's a rainbow outside?"
"Yes, ma'am," he answered. "Just go outside and look towards the front of the store. It's amazing!"
I walked out, expecting to see a small rainbow but what I saw took my breath away.
It was a double rainbow, arching from one end of the store to the other. I was overwhelmed. I snapped a picture with my phone, then jumped in the car to head home. I couldn't wait to tell the girls, and I prayed that God would allow it to stay in the sky until I got home.
Those of you who know us know how we feel about rainbows. We call Lily Baker our rainbow, the beautiful rainbow that God sent to us after Melissa's death. After that horrible storm, he sent us his promise that he would never leave us or abandon us. He did "exceedingly more than we could ask or imagine" when he sent us Lily Baker to heal our broken hearts.
So each time I see a rainbow, I feel like Melissa is sending me a message from Heaven. I can't put into words how it makes me feel.
As I drove home, I cried when I realized how God had gotten my attention this time.
It's Holy Week, but I have been so overwhelmed with other things - things that truly just don't matter - that I haven't focused on what this week truly means.
Easter took on a whole new meaning for us when Melissa died. I believe in the resurrection of Christ. I believe it gives me a hope that I could never have had otherwise. I have the promise that He will never leave me in this lifetime. And better than that, I have the promise that this life isn't it.
Let me tell you something: when you have lost someone you love, that promise means everything.
Because of the resurrection of Christ, I will see Melissa again one day. I will love her. I will hold her. I will be complete. While I celebrate that promise every day, it takes on a whole new meaning each Easter.
As I pulled into the driveway, Chris and the girls were taking it all in. My sweet friend, Ashley, had called to tell them about the rainbow. She knows what it means to our family.
"Mommy, look at the rainbow!!" Lily Baker cried, pointing at the sky. Ann Catherine ran into the rain and said, "It just makes me want to dance in the rain, Momma!"
And she did.
I watched her with tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. Thank you, God, for Easter.
I am so grateful for a loving God that sends me gentle reminders. Tonight's double rainbow had a double message for me from my sweet daughter. I could hear her saying during this holiest of weeks,
Mommy, I'm okay.
Mommy, I will see you again.
And the rainbow is my proof.