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Letters to Taylor: On Miracles
Tonight my arms are aching to hold you. The longing to feel you breathing is taking my breath captive and my mama’s heart can hardly beat. The pains that I thought were beginning to ease up have returned with a vengeance and I imagine they are like the phantom pains of an amputee, rattling nerves due to something missing. You feel missing.
Yesterday as I ran ten miles in race preparation, a single thought related to you caused an unexpected open sob. I couldn’t contain it and one followed another. I feared someone would see me and think I was some crazy, hallucinating woman running down the street. When Daddy shared with me that he started crying upon hearing the laughter of a beautiful little girl with Down’s Syndrome, it made me feel not so crazy. Gosh, I love that man.
All I could do was pray while I ran. So, God and I had a long conversation. It was mostly me thanking him and praising him for all he had done through the weekend. Friday through Sunday were days he showed up and made himself known in miraculous ways. I can’t even explain it all in words, but mercy, God is so very good.
I felt filled with joy and wonder at how he could use you, me, our family’s story, to reach men and women with his love. I’ve begged him to let me lose myself in his message and to be able to share freely. For many weeks in advance, I asked and prayed for his Spirit to work in hearts on Friday night and he did. To have the privilege of speaking his Word over a group of people is more than I can ever ask. And to think of the power of unity in prayer! I know the conference directors and volunteers were all praying for the same thing. Such a powerful night.
On Saturday, Altar’d State hosted an author book signing for the collaborative Dayspring project I worked on, One Minute Devotional for Mothers. I really love that little book because it is such bite-sized chunks of inspiration that can be quickly enjoyed and refreshed by busy mamas like me. Your lil’ sis, Tristina, went with me to both events over the weekend and I was so glad to have her. Just listen to this next little story though…
While I was talking to some ladies at the book table, Tristina helped a woman with her bags. The woman had been to our table and wanted a book after completing her shopping. Tristina agreed to watch her bags while she went back to the register to pay for her book. When she returned, Tristina bent down to pick up her bags and hand them to her. The woman was very gracious and kind; our conversations and interactions with her with just plain sweet. She left the storefront and moved down the mall. Within just a minute, Tristina realized her ring was missing.
Now this ring wasn’t just any ring. The missing ring was one of the beautiful treasures given to our family just after you graduated to heaven. The woman who purchased the rings and the girl who made the rings are precious to our family and their gift of the handcrafted rings with Taylor’s name engraved on them is one of our prized possessions. Tristina has worn hers every day for almost four months and the heartbreak of losing it was evident on her face as soon as she realized it was gone.
The two of us looked on the floor around the book table and all around the area where Tristina helped the woman with her bags. Nothing. She took off walking down the mall in the direction of the woman, hoping that her ring slipped off into one of the bags. That was the only place it could be! All the while I began praying. “Lord, please let Tristina find that woman. Don’t allow that ring to have vanished!”
I continued to pray between book table visitors and within a few minutes, Tristina returned. I knew by the defeated look on her face that she did not locate the woman. Both of us felt discouraged.
Another half hour or so passed and suddenly, I couldn’t believe it! I spotted the woman walking on the opposite side of the mall and I could hardly contain myself. Trying to keep my composure and not frighten her, I approached her and asked if she remembered seeing me earlier. “My daughter is missing a ring and she thinks it may have dropped in your bag.” The woman was so kind and said, “Let’s go over here where we can set the bags down and look.” While I started looking in her smaller bags, she said, “She picked up the big bag for me…. Oh and look! Here is the ring!”
Oh Girl! I could hardly believe it! I thanked her and quickly told her the reason the ring was so special is because Tristina lost her sister in January and this ring was a gift with her sister’s name on it. It’s a special keepsake. I don’t know if I’m doing a good job sharing this story or not, but WOW! GOD IS SO GOOD! He returned the ring to Tristina and get this: The woman asked me Tristina’s name and said she wanted to pray for her.
All of this happened in a few moments of time and I turned around with the ring on my finger, smiling and holding it up as I walked back to Tristina at the book table. Her eyes almost popped out of her head and joy washed over her face! “Where…?” she was trying to ask and I said, “I saw the woman you helped and ran over to her. She’s still there.” Immediately she ran over to the woman who was gathering her bags in her hand once more and thanked her profusely.
As I’m reliving this story and sharing it with you, I wonder at God’s work. Was this what Paul described in Hebrews 13:5? “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Or was God giving Tristina (and this mama) a prayer warrior to keep her covered in prayer because he knows the sorrows of her heart and her determination to keep going and be strong? Either way, I witnessed a miracle.
Miracles are like that. We can’t wrap our heads around all the details. We are incapable of fully connecting the dots. But we capture enough of the details to know: God did the work and gave us the opportunity to have our eyes wide open enough to participate.
For so many years, the miracle I wanted most was your physical healing. I suppose some would say that I didn’t get the miracle I longed for. But I couldn’t disagree more. God doesn’t work in simple addition and subtraction figures. He works in exponential equations that exceed our comprehension. Oh, he is still in the healing business for sure. But he performs miracles in ways that we can’t add up. While an earthly healing for you would have been glorious, your heavenly healing goes above and beyond understanding.
And you know what? The bigger earthly miracle is not always physical healing, as we are prone to think. The biggest miracles happen in hearts.
When I made Tessa’s oatmeal today, she said, “Eating oatmeal always reminds me of Taylor. Because I used to feed it to her.” She’s only 8. Think of the astronomical things God wants to do in and through the lives of your brothers and sisters!
I’m still aching. I love how for so many years after you became quite ridden with disease, you still reached out to hold my hand for comfort. What you didn’t know was that you were the one doing the comforting.
When I close my eyes, I can almost feel it fitting so perfectly in mine. Therein lies the ache.
I can’t wait to hold your hand again soon.
In the meantime, I’m keeping my eye out for miracles.
I love you so much.