My sweet Macie,
It’s your first birthday today and I can’t help but fight back the tears. I can’t believe you are already one; it just doesn’t feel real. It feels like just a moment ago that I held you in my arms for the very first time. Today, I can hardly contain you in my arms. From the moment you wake up, you are on the move. You are such a happy little lady, an incredibly fast learner, so curious, and fiercely stubborn and independent. Here’s a little glimpse of some of the things you are doing these days:
Before I get you out of your crib in the morning, you are talking and singing to yourself- you are truly such a delightful little lady. Just in this last week, I introduced a spoon and fork to you, and now you won’t eat unless you are feeding yourself with one of these utensils. You also learned where your belly, nose, eyes and mouth are. When we go to the grocery store, the first thing you point at are the balloons and you say “boon”- I feel like a kid again when I see your expression when our wonderful Kroger friends hand you a balloon. Everything these days is a bird- lights, fans, dogs, and yes, actual birds. Your famous last words are “uh-oh”– “Uh-oh” when you drop something, “Uh-oh” when you’re into something you shouldn’t be, “Uh-oh” all the time! I never got around to baby-proofing my cupboards, and I’m so thankful I didn’t, because you’ve learned quickly that you are not allowed to get into the cupboards. We occasionally have to reinforce that learned behavior (I think you know what I mean).
So much growth has occurred in the last year, and little by little, I can start to envision the young lady you will grow up to be. I imagine that you will still be independent and stubborn, which means we will be alike in many ways (that scares me a little). I hope this means that you will practice integrity, that you won’t waver in your beliefs, and that you will whole-heartedly pursue good passions. You will be curious and intrigued by almost everything around you, much like your Daddy. You will want to learn as much as you can, as quickly as you can, about whatever you can, which will make you unbelievably well-rounded in your pursuits. Most of all, you are joyful, and I hope you continue to approach each day with new found excitement! After all, every day is a day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Looking back on this day, I can’t help but relive the moments leading up to and following your birth. While I relive the joys and excitement from that day, I also relive the fears of the unknown. I relive the emotions I felt as I watched you go through numerous seizures, as I watched your labored breathing on a respirator, as I saw your body contort as a result of the spinal meningitis inflicting it. I relive the helplessness of knowing that I could do nothing to protect you. But most of all, I relive the moments where I saw God’s grace and His sovereignty in the both the largest and smallest details. In the midst of our greatest trial I saw God at work as he placed a shield of protection on your life. He restored your health, and He alone delivered you from all current and future ailments related to your infection.
Every day I get to hold you, tickle you until you giggle, chase you until you finally tire (or I tire), and I am reminded that God is good and He has blessed me with your life. Yes, I celebrate your birthday because we rejoice in your life. But I celebrate the day after your birth even more, because while you will never remember the trial you faced, I will. It will always remind me that the Lord gives and He also takes away, but through it all He remains faithful! He is so great and He is worthy of all our praise. I am reminded that the love I feel for you—which is so deep and so raw it’s hard to even describe—is only a glimpse of how much our Savior loves us! Tomorrow we dedicate you to Jesus, which is so fitting because on the 31st last year, we almost lost you. We were reminded then, and we are reminded now, that your life ultimately belong to the Lord. Your name means “gift from God” and you truly are our most precious gift from God to love, raise, challenge and care for in our lifetime. What a blessing you are to us Macie- I can hardly contain the joy I have being your mom! I love you completely- every part of who you are and who you will become!