Today our sweet daughter Annabelle would be turning 8 years old. Her due date wasn’t for a few more months but she came early and went straight from the love she felt and knew in my womb to opening her eyes for the first time, in the presence of her Savior.
8 years later the tears are less, the moments that are hard are fewer but she is still missed along with our other 6 sweet ones we lost in the first trimester, with a depth that is not able to be explained.
We had sweet moments from her ultrasounds, even an hour before delivering her, of seeing her sweet little body moving around inside of me. I had the privilege of feeling her sweet little movements and the absolute honor of delivering her into this world. Those moments will never fade. That day changed our lives forever. At that time, we felt we were stuck, we were frozen in time and would never move again.
8 years later, I am thankful for the scars I have from it. It changed me yes, but what the enemy meant to destroy us…God redeemed! The person I was 8 years ago is not the person I am today and I praise God for that. My brokenness brought me to God during that time. In the hardest time of my life when I only breathed because my body automatically did it, He used it to draw me to Him, to show me His faithfulness and grow and prepare me for the plans He had for me.
He would go on to use her life & death for SO MUCH GOOD not just in our lives but in others. Moments like the mother/daughter tea lunch at my parents church bring some hard moments still as I imagined her sitting beside me in a sweet little dress, hair all done up, sipping her tea cup with her mamaw, mommy and aunt. However, I don’t grieve like those without hope. Oh praise Him…I WILL SEE HER AGAIN! The day when I see Him face to face….oh my heart I can’t even imagine…and then get to hug all 7 of my sweet ones, now THAT will be a day! The way He has shaped me through the past 8 years, I will forever praise Him for.
So today I honor Annabelle Cherrea Starkey. I remember her sweet little toe gap just like her daddy’s. I remember her sweet little button nose just like mine. I remember holding her sweet little body and singing to her. Today I am thankful for her and I am thankful for what God has done these past 8 years. HE IS SO GOOD! This song captures EXACTLY how I feel about our journey from loss to where we are now, living in joy. Please read the words & listen to the song and be encouraged that whatever you are or have gone through…oh the good He can redeem through it and bring through it.
Looking back from the other side
I can see now with open eyes
I wouldn’t trade it for anything
And these wounds are a story you’ll use
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know your heart
And I know they’ll always tell of who You are
So forever I am thankful for the scars
With the strength of Your faithfulness
And I’m not who I was before
No, I don’t have to fear anymore
I can see, I can see
In your hands, in your feet
I found my victory
Happy 8th Birthday in heaven baby girl! We love you so much!