Thursday, June 30, 2011


Yesterday was a difficult day. A day of surprising grief. Nine years ago we lost Erika. Or, I should say they lost her. They being her family. Her friends. I had lost her a month before, when my relationship with her brother ended. Or should have ended. Started to end? When a relationship ends, so do the day dreams. I had to accept after the breakup that she would never be my sister after all. We would never plan weddings or raise babies or travel the world. And then she was gone and those things would not happen with anyone. It was an awkward time. My grief was real, but misplaced. I sat for hours on end trying to hide in corners the week before her funeral at her parents house. I tried to be helpful, but really I just wanted to be close. Looking back, I probably should have stayed away, but no one around me was grieving her so it was hard. It was a summer of grieving. For me and my husband who had only a few weeks before lost his niece and almost lost his sister in a horrible car accident. We, my husband and I, met moments before the grieving began in Italy on a summer tour with our choir. We met in the most romantic country on earth, but the grief was what began to knit us together. Our darkest days. My dark summer of fear and loss and betrayal and insanity. I started making choices. Desperate choices. Choices that nearly lost me many friends and choices that eventually led to a pregnancy. Isn't God just like that? He uses our darkest days to bring about His greatest light. Ayden. His name means fire. He was a spark of life, of joy, of light. Necessary to my survival. Nine years ago. Her nephew. I long to see her delight in him. For him to know her smile, hear her laugh. Loss. Yesterday was hard.   We got up and went to the library. The boys are gathering prizes each week for reading, or being read to. They love the silly prizes. I wanted to grab myself a couple of books, but the baby knows when I need him to be quiet and cries. Loudly. I had a plan. We would go to the kids area, Ayden would select his books and I would grab some for Balin. Then on the way to the checkout I would grab a couple books off the "New books" display for growups. It caught me off guard to see there in a very prominent position a book that several friends have been recommending. One Thousand Gifts. by Ann Voskamp. They said I should read it. People like Heather and Melissa, wife of the pastor of our favorite church ever. So I grabbed it, not expecting much. I usually can read faith based non fiction books for about 20 minutes max. They normally drive me nuts. Just sayin. You can be literate and love Jesus people. I'm learning how to find those books slowly. This my friends is a book true to the quotes on the back. " This book will mess with you.."  Two hours later as I begrudgingly put it down I realized I had been messed with... in the most Holy of ways. The entire first chapter deals with loss, and the resulting "soul holes" that remain. As redeemed as my relationship with Aydens father is. As beautifully as God has given both of us spouses who love their step child as their own. As lovely as it is that we are much more than civil to one another and have, if not a friendship, a peacefull co-parenting existence.. as much as all of that. There are still holes. I was 21. I never again had friendships like before. I never again was my own person. My music, my art was set aside so I could focus on this little person. Figure out how God would have me feed him. clothe him. As much as my husband was a true friend there are gaps. Spaces where I don't see myself anymore. To grieve Erika is to me, to grieve my twenty year old self as well. To grieve life before that summer. I am more than those losses. I am more than the failures that plague me. This amazing little book is already teaching me so much. Gods blessings abound. This is my story. The Story He has given me, and as the author of perfection. I wouldn't have it any other way. So bring it Mexico South Texas. God brought me here and he will see us through. One Gift at a time. I'm a a few days late, but I'm starting here...
 A multitude of gifts....
1. One Thousand gifts by Ann Voscamp
2. Grief that surprises
3. day dream sisters
4.Sons given as interventions


  1. Oh Emily...Thanks! At times the holes seem to be as numerous as the stas and ocean deep! Maybe I should pick up this book myself...maybe.

  2. Ann's words have wrecked my life in the most beautiful of ways. I have similar griefs in my past. We have been swept up into the greatest Epic of all times -- the God story -- every bit of our stories redeemed and weaved together to form the most beautiful masterpiece. I have this dream of being a scribe in heaven and getting to write all of it down for eternity. :)