12 Years Later

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12 years ago today I almost died and I would have welcomed it that day.

August 21st, 2006.

Digits seared into my soul–so many digits.

17 weeks, when my water broke on twin A. 18 weeks, when I was asked to abort them. 21 weeks,

August 9th, 2006, the day I left bedrest and gave birth to twin A, a girl, we named Ashley Faith.  Labor stopped.

15 minutes, the span of time I held her, watching her try to breath before she left us.

2, the number of times I gave birth during the month of August, and the number of daughters I had.

24 weeks, Bethany Grace is born alive, but septic, just like me.

0, the number of minutes I held her while she was alive because I begged them to try and help her as they were working to save me.

15 minutes, the length of her life.

12 years and my body still remembers, like clockwork.

I will never understand why.

2, the number of days in the year I let my grief roll, unapologetically unchecked.

September 11th, 2006, the day of their funeral, the day I felt the hope breathed into my soul that one day I would want to live again.

Standing before the smallest soft pink coffin, questioning how I could possibly go on, a song of praise began to stir inside me– defying all reason.

Worship, in every season, in all things?

God poured the words out, into my mind, out of my mouth, and a warmth filled into all of my brokenness. That is when I knew that if I served a God so big that I could sing at my daughters’ funeral, he would somehow carry me through the days ahead. There I stood, for the first time truly understanding how completely powerless I was without God, no more delusions that I could do any part of this journey on my own strength.

He is so much more than…and he is faithful, so very faithful. No matter what happens in the storms, whether he quiets them or guides you through, the point and the gift is that he is right there with you, carrying you, loving you, in all the seconds, forever.

Nothing can touch that, not even death.

So, today, we will remember the two girls that helped me surrender the last of my “self” to the one who is worthy of all of me. We will eat cupcakes. We will cry. And I will once again stand at their grave and remember…this is not the end of the story.