How do I even put into words what this past year has been for us. Oliver made such an impact on our lives and we have grown so much from our knowing him.
Last year to celebrate Oliver’s life we planted an oak tree in our backyard. We chose an oak tree because of the words from Isaiah 61:3.
To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.
We wanted something to remind us that this is not over. That God does and will restore. That He can take something that is seemingly awful and use it for His glory. In a year I have made some amazing friends. Friends who pick me up when I’m down, hold me when I cry and pray for me when they don’t know what to say. In a year I have learned just how many others have gone through infertility, miscarriage and infant loss. I hate that we have such a painful commonality but we share something – something that can’t be explained – for that I am grateful. In a year God has taught me to seek Him in the waiting. As hard as that can be at times it’s the only way I can turn my sorrow into joy. My despair into hope. God has proven himself faithful in that He is bringing us through the hard times. I have felt His nearness. He has never left us. And although it’s been a hard year, He has brought about so many God-inspired moments that fill our lives with joy and remind us of His unending love.
I watched the seasons change, leaves fall from Oliver’s tree and yet God is still the same (Hebrews 13:8). Though I may not know why certain things happen. Though I can’t see the outcome. God knows. God sees. And He will make everything beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3)
Be still, my soul, the Lord is on thy side
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change He faithful will remain
Be still, my soul, thy best, thy heavenly friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Oliver, my sweet son. You have reached and filled places in my heart I never knew were there. I miss you, I do. But I know that Heaven is the safest, sweetest place for you to be. I’m counting down the days until we meet again and I’m going to try to live every one of them with unshakable faith knowing God’s in control.