Two years I have waited.
For two years, Luke and I have longed to bring home our little girl, with bassinets staying empty and dainty clothes stored away. When your body is carrying life for the majority of two years— 17 out of 24 months, to be exact—you feel an everyday ache as your arms stay empty and silence haunts the late night hours.
We conceived our little Luca Gold “Goldie” Gifford in July of 2013, and she died tragically and unexpectedly from a condition called anencephaly on March 5, 2014. And here we are exactly two years later on July 26, 2015, finally bringing a home the little girl we waited for.
For two years I longed for that day.
For two years I prepared for restoration.
For two years, my shattered heart has been healing at the hand of a master surgeon—my good, good Father–the God of redemption. And that is why, as I finally bring my Birdie James home, my God will get an overflow of glory, kisses, tears, and thank-you's that gush from a grateful heart that He has been weaving back together.
Our new little Birdie James was born two months before my due date on June 21, making her debut into the world wrapped in miracles. Many would see her early arrival and 5 week stay in the NICU as a setback, but we saw it is as a cake walk compared to burying our daughter the previous year.
When you give birth to a child and there are no screams, you worship when your next 3 lb 10 oz baby comes out wailing. When you hold a child whose heart stops beating in your arms, you smile with gratitude when her heart monitors go off on in alarm. When you watch your daughters lungs stop breathing after 40 minutes, you find supernatural patience when your next preemie daughter has to stay in the hospital a week longer than you first expected—because her monitors show that her lungs sometimes forget to breathe.
Instead of feeling scared in the NICU, I felt safer than I'd ever felt before. Instead of being anxious, I felt insurmountable peace. Instead of feeling nervous for my daughter, I felt crazy amounts of joy.
And that's all because….. I went into that NICU with a healed heart, having already dealt with the brokenness of Goldie's death.
I talk about this in my next book set to release next year……but pain is not your enemy. Pain is inevitable in this bumper-car life where you will continue to collide with an unexpected world that you CANNOT control. But unhealed pain, however, will become your greatest enemy if your broken heart is not made whole after every collision.
And dearest friend, there is only ONE who can take the shattered pieces of your heart and patch it back together where it thrives inside of the worst situations.
You see, as I ran into the arms of the Comforter and Healer after Goldie's death, I learned a gold mine of principles that have changed my life.
I learned how to take every emotion I was having—anger, rage, fear, sadness, anxiety, confusion, even sometimes insanity—and include them in my relationship with the God who lives inside. And as I did this every day, no matter how strong or horrible my emotions were….this God who can handle anything handled me with care. In these moments, I learned to commune with someone inside of my pain, instead of dealing with it on my own. And as the Healer was included inside every emotion I was having, the emotions started to change.
Anger couldn't define my heart when I handed that anger to the Helper, and He helped me back to joy.
Confusion couldn't define my heart when I would run my confusion to the Counselor, and He actually counseled me on what He sees, and what is to come.
You see, by the time I got pregnant with Birdie, I had so many promises about my next daughter that there was no room to fear when I gave birth to her early and she ended up in the NICU. My heart had been anchored to the truth–because my heart was anchored in relationship to the God of miracles….
And in that NICU, the God that I adore performed miracle after miracle until we got to fly our Birdie home on Sunday.
As my baby girl sleeps safely on my chest, I stare at her in awe. She is all the promises of my Father wrapped up in adorable pink flesh—the little girl He promised would restore our song after a season of silent grieving.
This is why we named her Birdie. And since she came, we have not stopped singing our praises.
I've said it every day since my water broke on June 21….but friends, expect miracles in every circumstance. And the only way to expect them is to intimately KNOW the one who loves to give them. You have a God who is WAITING to pour His supernatural power into your everyday life. Your Father is LONGING to manifest Himself as the victor in every circumstance—pulling you in close to show you His heart, then releasing His goodness into your world.
If your heart has been broken like mine was when the miracle didn't happen and we buried our Goldie, don't push Him away from your pain. Let Him into it. The greatest miracle God can perform is to take the pieces of a heart shattered by hurts and put it back together–better and stronger than before.
Right now, I'm holding tightly to my miracle.
And my miracle's name is Birdie James Gifford.