Every year I write a short letter to my children on their birthday. Today I took time to look at the notes I had written to Jane, there are only two.
On Jane’s first birthday I wrote, “Jane, today you are one and I feel completely conflicted about this. You are the baby, my baby. I am so thankful God saw fit to place you in our family, specifically as the fourth Martin kid. You are laid back and go with the flow. You also know how to hold your own with your big sisters and brother. You have a voice and you let it be heard. I am confident that God has big plans for your life and I can’t wait to see them unfold. May you grow in wisdom and stature and be a woman who fears the Lord. You are loved by many and you bless our family tremendously. “
I am confident that God has big plans for your life and I can’t wait to see them unfold.
On Jane’s second birthday I wrote, “Jane, today you are 2! Time really does fly. You are so smart, funny and feisty. Considering you are the baby of the family, you hold your own very well. I am confident that God has big plans for your life. He has already used you in many ways. I’ve had the privilege of watching you comfort people who have experienced great loss, snuggle and encourage the elderly and bring smiles to a hurting world. We are so thankful that God saw fit to let us be your parents. You are a joy sweet girl!“
He has already used you in many ways.
Jane, today you are not here. Our reality is painful and we miss you terribly. We are still thankful for your life and if it’s possible we are even more thankful that God saw fit to place you in our family. Your days were ordained, and what a gift it was to have those days spent with us. God did have big plans for your life. Admittedly, they weren’t the plans I wanted. My dreams and hopes were different, but we know that God’s ways are higher and his plans are perfect. You taught us so much about love and living in light of eternity in your short time here on this earth. We are better for it. You unabashedly gave comfort to so many. Even in the midst of our current heartache and pain, you still offer your family comfort. Your life points us to Jesus. Jane, you were a joy and you are still a joy to us.
I’ve had several people check in with us today. I appreciate that. We have received many kind messages, flowers, gifts and cards. Most importantly, I know that people all over the world have been praying for us. Thank you. Earlier in the week, I told several people that as we approached Jane’s birthday, I just wanted time. I didn’t want to feel rushed. I wanted our family to have the time to grieve and hold joy. I didn’t want to be bound by expectations. Tonight, I can honestly say that Jesus has been as near to us today as he was in the evening hours of February 24h. We have had time together as a family and not one second of today has felt rushed. What a beautiful answer to prayer.
But today didn’t go to plan. At least not my original plan. My plan was to celebrate my daughter’s third birthday, with my daughter. God’s plans were different, and I’m learning to be content. God is good and His ways are higher. I believe today went exactly to God’s plan and I can rest in that. Today I didn’t get to spend time with Jane on what would have been her third birthday, but Jane got to be at the feet of Jesus. That’s worth celebrating. I shed tears today, but Jane isn’t experiencing sorrow and I’m grateful.
I believe today went exactly to God’s plan and I can rest in that.
Jane, today you are exactly where God intended. My sorrow and joy is great, because my love for you is immense.