In the light of what this incredible day means, I find myself reflecting.
8 years ago today, we spent the day with our extended family in Chicago-- my brother & sister –in-law hosted. It was a beautiful spring Easter day, just as today. I remember we took pictures out front & the Earth had given us all the promises of Spring I see today… the sun shining, green grass, the soft scents of new life were in the air, flowers blooming, birds singing. God’s blessings were abundant as we gathered with our Schoonveld clan. Three little Schoonveld’s had already blessed our family—Nolan, Erika & Charlie. Baby Sophie peacefully snug in Momma Sara’s tummy would bless us in a few months later that summer.
E and I had been prayerfully hoping we’d be blessed with a little Schoonveld ourselves to nurture, love & raise at this time of our union. Only a month prior, we had felt loss of a pregnancy that was not meant to be. It was very difficult to endure the loss that resulted in all the hope & dreams we had for the child/children we dreamed of at that time. I cannot help but think of what our Lord felt, as He gave us the gift of His only son through Jesus’ suffering & death. And, how the Lord saw our loss after the *fall* in the garden, before Jesus’ sacrifice to redeem us. Through Christ, our Lord gave us salvation. Through the challenges & loss, God’s promises reign.
This makes me consider the challenge & loss we feel in this world. How through the obstacles of this fallen world, we have the ability to see God’s promises & love if only we give our hearts to HIM. When E & I had experienced the loss of promise we felt in our babies’ pregnancy—it was so hard to know why & be faithful that God’s plan was truly with us. When we backed away from the loss a short time after, we felt hope again though not intentionally (I know now because God’s light was on us). We never ever expected to be given the gift of life the very next month in our Bella’s pregnancy. We were astounded and so joyful at such a beautiful surprise of new life, God had blessed us with. We learned of our gift that Easter day, eight years ago this Easter. Amazing! Bella’s due date was Christmas of 2003 and yet she saw fit to find her way to us the day before Thanksgiving. There are just so many messages that are so clear, as I think about all this consciously today. I am truly humbled & just so grateful, God believed in us to gift us with our princess.
Today, as I watch the 3 eldest kids all discover their Easter baskets with true awareness & intent, enjoying the whole process for the first time—I am astonished & grateful. They are 7/5/5 years old & it was worth the wait. I know in God’s time, our littlest will find the awareness we see peeking through each day, like sunlight’s beams penetrating the exterior of Autism that is part of this extraordinary little love bug. These 4 little angels (and yes, with some devilish moments) are so incredibly amazing, in all they have done, overcome, all because God’s love is within their innocent & pure hearts. As I fumble forward, they triumph with grace, just as it was planned. When we hit a roadblock & I am discouraged, resolve to complaint, anxiety & lose my grace—they persevere. Whether heart surgery, failure to thrive, preterm births, enormous medical challenges, loss in skills, body cast, seizures, hours of endless therapy, extended schooling & all the things that are their normal—they just accept & go beyond. I see God’s love & promises in my children, my 4 beautiful children, just as they are—just as He intended them to be here in this now.
Thank you Lord, for the blessings which are too abundant for my comprehension. For the gifts of your promises we feel, see & miss each day. For the infinite beauty you craft into this world amongst the chaos. For always providing, even when we are too broken to recognize it. For eternal hope & life you’ve given us first through our birth & the life everlasting, through Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16