Sunday, March 18, 2012

It is well with my soul.

Today marks what would be Teagan's 15th birthday if she were still here with us. It's a strange and wonderful thing to have this type of day in my life. One that, even now celebrating 11 birthdays without her, doesn't really come any easier and can't fully be put into words what my heart feels.
I do feel so honored and privileged and humbled and grateful and blessed that God chose me to be her mom- knowing full well that the number of her days would be less than 4 and a half years. Knowing full well that I had hardened my heart toward having any kids at all- yet He chose to send Teagan into my life and change me forever. She was my gift. My gift of being released from a life that was becoming more and more selfish and looking for fulfillment in things of this world- rather than finding it in the one true source in God. She was my gift of coming to understand that joy was in not in obtaining things, but in giving and receiving love. Teagan made me want to be better in all areas of my life. She made me slow down, reprioritize, simplify, notice the details, celebrate the ordinary, rejoice in the little things and she taught me that you can dance even when there's no music playing at all.
She loved life. It sounds cliche, I know, but in her short number of years she soaked so much in, gave so much to others and really lived her life to the fullest. She filled my heart and life in a way I never dreamed a child could do. Even as demanding as she was and the fact that she had more energy than I could keep up with sometimes, I know she was placed in my life to help refine parts of me that needed refining and to open my eyes to ways of seeing that I would have been closed to had it not been for her.
I spent my entire pregnancy with Teagan dreading the changes this baby would require of me once she arrived. Chip and I didn't know if we were having a baby boy or a baby girl. When we had the chance to find out I was still so upset to even be pregnant that I didn't care to find out. That's how hard my heart was toward having a baby.{I, of course, regret the way I felt back then. Especially so when she was literally in my life one moment, and gone the next.} But in His higher ways, and because God knows what is better for us than we know ourselves- out of His incredible mercy to not let me waste my life on things with little or no eternal meaning, God reached out to me and literally placed Teagan in my lap on the morning of March 18th, 1997.
"It's a girl!" my doctor said with a beaming grin on his face. It was as though she was the first baby girl he had helped bring into this world. Or maybe it just seemed that way to me because she was my baby girl. My first, my perfect, my tiny, the most beautiful creature I had ever seen...and she was mine. A big tear rolled down my cheek and my eyes blurred as I tried to grasp the reality that this tiny, perfect baby girl was mine. Forever. The love I felt as she was handed to me all swaddled and wet was something I can still feel, as clear as the moment it washed over me.
On this day, year after year after year, no matter that she's gone, I still feel it in my heart. It's like a piece of pure joy. Only now, my arms don't hug her. Her laughter doesn't ring in my ears. Her smile doesn't light up a room. Her tiny pinky doesn't wrap around mine the way we used to promise to love each other forever. Her birthday comes...and goes without her. But not without a certain peace that I know God continues to pour out into my heart even though she's gone. I miss her. I wish she were here. I cannot begin to comprehend the splendor that surrounds her in Heaven everyday. I ache from knowing I will never hug or see her on earth again. Yet I am filled with a deep comfort and peace for I know that our hearts are in the very same place.
That is a gift of grace that I thank God for whenever the sadness threatens to consume me. I rejoice knowing that I will see her again one day because God's promises are true. I wish her story- my story- our story had a different ending for her than the mere 4 birthdays we had with her. But I can tell you in all honesty and sincerity that I truly believe and accept the short time I had with her was a gift to change me. In more ways than I think I can ever fully know. Today I mark another birthday without Teagan. Sure there is sorrow; sure there is an emptiness that I can't express, but more importantly I have come to see how she was, is still, and always will be mine. It is well with my soul. And oh what peace floods my soul as I think back on who she was, who God is and what awaits us all in Heaven. Someday!
Happy Birthday in Heaven, to a special little girl. I can't imagine her at 15, and I am just as happy to think of her as 4. Forever.


cat said...

Thinking about you today. Happy bday Teagan in heaven.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday to your Teagan in Heaven! I was reminded of another The Banyon tree btw. You REALLY need to keep on with blogging dear Jody! It means so much to everyone who reads them. :-) (WSL)

Suzanne said...

I never comment, but today's entry really spoke to me. I'm in awe of your strength and grace, and this post has left me in both happy and sad tears. Happy Birthday to Teagan, and many blessings to you, Chip, and the kids.

My name is Amee said...

Happy 15th Birthday Teagan in Heaven!!
My thoughts are with you and your family on this incredibly special day but yet sorrowful too.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you my friend! big mwah!!!


Beth said...

Happy Birthday sweet Teagan!

what a beautiful post to and about her!


Jody, do you 'know' Anna?

She lost her son Jack in a tragic accident too, this past September. Yesterday was what would have been his 13th birthday.

Praying for you all!

Erika said...

Happy Birthday, Teagan!!!! Beautiful inspire me in my walk through grief. xoxo

darcie said...

I know I'm late - but happiest of birthdays dear Teagan...and her dear family celebrating her as well!

Nuts in a Tree said...

Happy 15th Heavenly Birthday Teagan! (((Hugs))) Jody.


Princess Kate said...

I'm stopping by from I am so sorry for your loss. Your words are a wonderful tribute to a special girl who is making a difference. Peace