0

Kierra Raine-the Three Year Old Who Changed My Life

It’s been six years, six months, and nineteen days since I held her, a beautiful tiny miracle of feisty spirit and dark hair. My life began changing in a way I would never have imaged since that day. 
It’s been three years since I held that beautiful girl. Three years since I looked into her blueberry blue eyes and lost myself in their beauty. My life has forever changed. I’ll never be the same. 

While part of me goes back and feels the pain of that night all over again, it can’t find any beauty in her actual death. It was hard and not pretty and heatbreaking and helpless. And yet, there were metaphors of beauty surrounding us that awfully dark night and I choose to cling to them. Because that is where Hope lies and that is where in the deep, dark, ugly place, the seed began to push upward toward the sun. 

She laid in her Daddy’s strong arms, the only place she felt like she could truly relax that night, her little head snuggled against her Daddy’s strong heart, feeling safe and secure and so loved. (Just like our Jesus Daddy loves us and holds us close.)  I laid my hand over her heart, and I felt that steady beat, like the steady tiptoe of angel wings, brushing in rhythme and my body relaxed just the slightest, because there was a steadiness I was hanging onto in that dim room of grief, and though her breath slowed down, her rythme stayed the same. 

Until it stopped. No shuddering. No agonizing prolonged warning. It simply STOPPED. 

And I whispered, “Run! Run to Jesus!”

And you, my Darling Kierra, You Ran! 

There was nothing beautiful about your death, my dear. But there was so much beautiful about your life. The life you embraced HERE. And the life you embraced when you RAN.

And though  my core still  feels empty, washed out and lonely without you here to care for, talk to, and love up, and even the birds outside my window make me miss you, and I don’t know why, ….You RAN my darling! you ran and that is enough for me. Because you ran straight to Jesus! 

This three year old, she changed my life. And even as I type this, I know that GOD really changed it, but He used a fair skinned, snuggle cheeked, Princess Wildflower Warrior to do it. 


You taught me that true patience does not always count the minutes or the hours but it is a fragrance that blossoms in beauty in a world of time…knowing that nothing lasts forever. That holding on one more minute is all that we need. 

You taught me that true bravery sometimes suffers silently in lonely places instead of boldly standing on the front lines.

That true love is unconditional and expects no returns. One can  never repay the magnitude of it all. Love reaches past convenience and expectations. It loves fully and wholly and at exactly the place we are in life at this very moment. 

You taught me that solitude is golden. That beautiful music, seclusion , and rest, are sometimes exactly what the heart needs most. 

That every day is a special occasion when you have your family around you. That  life is meant to be lived NOW in exactly the time and place you find yourself in. 

You taught me about God, Kierra. New pathways of my heart opened to Him and His love. 

His acceptance of me became overwhelmingly beautiful. That my performance will never win me Heaven or favor. That we are divinely  loved and cherished and that there is so much more to life then living in fear of failure and not getting it right. That He brings freedom and life and hope. That He invites us to walk in that amazing place of beauty.

Being. Just being. That’s all I wanted from you, my little Kierra child. 

And I hear the words echo back into my heart.

Be. Just be. 

Be genuine. Be alive. Be the light. Be the one who runs to Runs to Jesus. Just Be! 

When you don’t know where to start or how to be, then you are at a wonderful place my friend. It’s a place to simply believe that God will show you how to BE. He is good like that. He created your heart and knows it intimately, even when you don’t know it yourself. 

I’m on a journey of the heart. A journey of Hope. A journey of understanding more of the person God created me to be. A journey of Running  to Jesus. 

Advertisements
6

My Hope – 2017

Last year, I had the word REST circling through my mind. I felt like I had so much to learn. I have lived  a rather driven life. Performance was huge. Fear of coming up short or missing a key point in life kept me second guessing myself and scrambling to stay on top and upright. 

Having my life turned upside down and inside out and shaken around like crazy had me in a whole new location in life. I needed to REST. It wasn’t that easy. In fact, some of the resting was more of a tug of war between my heart and God’s Will. He won 😊 He’s patient like that, loving me when I’ve worn myself out of options and logic. I’m still learning to rest, but I had an amazing thing happen last year….one of my biggest struggles and tug of wars was answered in an amazing way when I RESTED in God and let Him take control. It leads straight into 2017. 

We are having a baby. In three short months, we could be looking into the eyes of our littlest son. I’ve been using the word HOPE a lot these last 6 months. 


We HOPE for a healthy baby. 

We HOPE he doesn’t have NCS.

We HOPE he can enjoy Life. 

HOPE. It’s what I hang onto. 

It’s also one of those words that roll off people’s tongues like ‘Love’  or Have a good one’ or ‘See you later’. It’s simplified and the value of it doesn’t always pack the punch it has. 

Hope: 

:to cherish a desire with anticipation :

: trust : 

:to expect with confidence:

There is is much hanging on HOPE. So much emotion and sorrow and joy and anticipation and all around the edge is the dusky shade of unknown.

 It’s an anchor of a word. 

A ‘hang on’. A ‘don’t give up’.  A ‘do or die’.

While part of me hangs onto that glorious word, and other part of my heart still cringes just a bit. My mind still does these crazy little games when I hear myself saying, ‘we hope for a healthy baby,’ because if we HOPE for health and he isn’t healthy, is it worth hoping? Did that hope not mean anything? Would we have been better off to avoid the highs of hope, the dreams of hope, and simply turn off our hope monitor? Shut it down? Stifle it? Because if he isn’t healthy….then will he have heard us say ‘we hope he’s healthy?’ Will he somehow feel like he is a disappointment? Are we being unfair to Kierra’s memory to hope for a healthy child like Kobe instead of fighting all the challenges that she did? It makes you feel like a bad parent because you want to embrace both your children’s lives the same, but you can’t wish for the quality of life Kierra had over Kobe’s healthy life.

It’s hard to put into words. Really. I’m not getting this across properly, I don’t believe. And I’m nearly laughing out loud because it sounds so outrageous. I mean, of COURSE theres nothing wrong in hoping for health for your child. You see, I just loved Kierra so much and she was just so ‘Kierra’ and I miss her so much. She was perfect…in her own wildflower child way. Just like Kobe is perfect in his own unique way 😊

It’s complicated. While I loved Kierra wildly, I also Hope for a healthy baby. For their sake and ours. Totally natural, I know. 

BUT. I still feel like if this little guy has NCS, I need to quickly swallow all my ‘ hope for health’ words for fear he’ll feel like he’s a disappointment. For fear that others will look at me with pitying eyes and wonder if my hope has been totally misplaced and broken. 

I feel silly even admitting this. I also see I’ve used the word Fear. That word doesn’t even belong anywhere near the same sentence of Hope. Naming fear for what it is takes its power away though, I’ve found. So fear…..here I come! You better get ready to tremble in your shoes and sceedaddle out of here. There’s just no room for you. 


Hope and fear don’t go hand in hand. 

Hope is gorgeous. Hope is full of life and expectation. It spreads radiance everywhere. 

Fear is dark. It’s binding. It grips like a vise. It doesn’t let go and it hides in the smallest most innocent looking places. 

Fear holds you back. Hope embraces with  welcoming arms.

Fear paralyzes. Hope releases and sets free. 


I know without a shadow of a doubt that we will love our little baby…no matter what. I know we will live like there’s no tomorrow. 

I also know that nothing in life is a guarantee. That health and life are a gift from God. That every life has a purpose and that sometimes Gods glory shines the brightest in the hardest. So while I continue to HOPE I also pray. I pray that this baby would bring GLORY to God. That above all else….that God would be glorified. It’s scary. Because I feel like I’m opening our lives to pain. I also know that Gods Glory is revealed through joy and miracles and amazing health and gifts. 

I know that the only way I can face the future is by RESTING in HOPE. Diagnoses will not win. Hope will not be broken. It is born in Heaven and resides in Heaven and will be filled in Heaven. That’s eternity! 

These verses from Hebrews are a life line for me…

  ” So God had given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the HOPE that lies before us. 

That HOPE  we have as an anchor of the soul, an anchor that can neither break nor drag. It passes in behind the veil. Jesus has already gone in their before us.”

And you know, if Jesus has already gone in there before us, we have no reason to fear and Hope is all we have left. 

Pure, joyous, accepting HOPE. 

God’s Glory and Hope.