Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Update 4/27/10 Day 169

Fifteen years ago, in just a few hours from now, I had the familiar sensation known to most women approaching their 4oth week of pregnancy. I went into labor at 4:15 am on April 28, 1995, and at 6:56 am (much more quickly than her older brother!) Hannah Mary Rejoice graced the world with her presence. She frightened her father something awful, looking gray and needing oxygen at first because of her overly swift trip from inside to out. She broke her tiny collarbone in the process, and as you all know this was far from the worst scare she would give us, though her father, perhaps thankfully, slept through the recent one.

It is impossible to express the profound commitment we have to our children, isn’t it? We watch over them like sentries, long for their best, pray for their safety, fret over their fevers, rejoice in what makes them happy, sorrow over their tears. They live in our heads every hour of every day. It is dangerous business to have children, because with great love comes great risk. No one knows this as well as the Great One, whose huge, boundless love must set us free to live in a world bristling with terrors, traps and even amusements that can injure us. He would not hold us, like puppets on a string, to keep us from all possible harm, because without freedom there is no love. And without love, life is not worth a spoonful of dirt.

So here I am, pondering life with a beautiful, brilliant, sensitive, daughter, whose value is limitless, and of all the things in the world I wish, I wish I could have protected her from the six thousand pound truck that barreled into her at 70 miles an hour. I wish that on that November evening she would have returned, safe to her home instead of on life support at the hospital. I wish I could carry what is hers to cope with, and that I could say for sure that nothing will ever hurt her again. She is, and always will be my precious baby girl. And there is a world out there in which there are great dangers. Being a parent is perilous indeed.

But I wouldn’t trade a minute of life with her, despite the agony of this experience. And this I do know, she loves her God, and will learn more of His greatness as He takes her down this pilgrim road of her own. This is my consolation:

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39

Hannah has placed her life in the hands of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. There is no ultimate harm that can touch her. The troubles of this present age can’t compare with the treasures she has stored up in heaven. Not to mention the good things in store for her here, on the unpredictable pilgrim road.

Happy Birthday to the darling girl of my heart. I may not be able to protect you from every danger, but as long as I have breath I will never leave you alone in it. And the Great One, who can never die, will always be with you, as He has been with me, even when the trek gets dark and lonely.

So if you see my baby, wish her a Happy Birthday. Thank God for His mercy, she’s with us to turn 15.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,



Anonymous said...

Give that beautiful baby girl of yours a big hug and kiss from all of the Barker's today, wishing her the brightest of days from us. In the midst of this difficult time of her life, she is in love with Jesus - something I wish I could say about either of my kids. You are blessed, my friend. Of all of the things we obsess about with our kids, the one thing you DONT have to worry about is the state of her heart before the King. When all else crowds your mind with worry, hold that one up to the face of our enemy and say, "Na na na na na!" Well, something like that, anyway. I love you!

Stephen said...

Beautiful post today, Loriann - it made me cry. You're right, I wish I could protect her from every danger but I can't. (How I wish I had had some reason to tell her that she couldn't come with me to pick up her brother on November 8th), What we can do, though, is love her and support her even when our hearts are broken or sadness has its grip on us. As you say, thank our God that she's here today for her birthday. His healing is continuing in all of our lives.
- Stephen

Susan said...

To Hannah,

In the words of a great Boynton birthday card I once got:

Hippo Birdie to Ewe!

15 was a happy year for me (my first pleasant one as a teen!), and I hope it will be for "ewe" too!

(Hope you don't hate puns!)



Susan said...


What an absolutely beautiful post! I both can and can't imagine your and Steve's feelings right now.

Still praying--


Mel said...

Happy Birthday, Hannah!!!!!!
We are so blessed to have her in our lives!!!
Much love,
PG, Mel, the boys and the ponytail

Anonymous said...

happy birthday miss rejoice and i continue to pray for your healing as well as your fathers!! enjoy your day and praise god you are here to enjoy your 15th birthday!!!

Mrs. Tiffany Radley and the Radley family

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday Hannah!!! I hope that 15 is your best year yet!


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to you, Hannah!!!You are indeed precious.-With my love (in His love),Joan P.

becky said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO HANNAH! I <3 her so much!! I hope that her birthday is going absolutely AMAZING and i can't wait to see her tonight at Gen Church!!!

Anonymous said...

Stephen and Loriann,

What joy you have in your hearts to be the proud parents of Hannah Mary Rejoice. May you always remember that the events of November 8th were all part of the Master Plan. I pray that Hannah feels the love so many people have for her and that this will be a very special birthday for her.

Happy Birthday Hannah!

Steve and Hannah said...

Thank you all for the beautiful, heartfelt comments. What a blessing for Hannah. What a blessing for me.


Sandy said...

I was late reading this post as I just returned from Chicago today. Happy, happy birthday to Hannah from all of the Syracuse Smith's - we were all so happy to see her last week and so glad that she is recovering so well. She remains in our prayers.