Reese deliberately structured her and Matt's wedding around remembrance as a means of experiencing God's grace by remembering what He had done for them. I have lately been surrounded - either accidentally or by my own design - by reminders of God's grace to me and to others. Remember. His faithfulness is demonstrated again and again in both my past and in pasts of others. Remember.
Remember this? And this? To recap for those who won't click through, dear friends of mine discovered at 20 weeks that their son could not survive outside the womb. They chose to induce labor so that they had the future option of possibly having another child (seriously, read those first two links - my synopsis doesn't do it justice), though they were by no means sure they wanted another child after this heartache.
J and I have talked often since then, about grief, about how it can unexpectedly drag you back into the ocean you thought you had escaped. We talked about our uteruses and our fears that pregnancy would cause our respective griefs to erupt in ways difficult to manage. And then we talked through her fifth and final pregnancy about God's faithfulness and healing.
Meet Naomi Rose. Her name means "beautiful, pleasant, delightful," she was born November 8, and she weighed 9 pounds 9 ounces.
I got to hold her and laugh with J shortly after Naomi was born. "It makes me so sad when people assume J2 and I are upset that she's not a boy. When I think 'What could be better than three girls?' I always answer it with 'FOUR girls!' Your dad probably understands - it takes a special guy to be a father so many daughters, but daughters are SO MUCH FUN. Not only can you go to the ballet and play with dolls, but they might grow up to introduce their husbands to hunting, right?!"
They are all thrilled, though clothing the not-so-little Naomi is a trick. All the other baby clothes and blankets have been commandeered for use on innumerable dolls. One adorable tiny top ended up as a belly shirt, so J's hoping I have a little (well, smaller than 9 lbs 9 oz) girl for her to pass it on to me.
The family of six, with a hook in Heaven to anticipate meeting and enjoying. Samuel would have been about 13 months old, and while he is not replaced, J is rejoicing that God answered her heart verse in such a tender, loving way:
Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife [Hannah] and say, "May the Lord give you other children to take the place of this one [Samuel] she gave to the Lord." 1 Samuel 2:20