Happy Birthday, Alli Grace!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

5 years.  F-I-V-E.  

Alli Grace, my littlest nugget, you.are.5.  

There has been a whole lot of reflection going on with me these last few days.  They say the first and the 5th Birthdays are the hardest.  

And they were right.  But not for all the same reasons.  

There has been 5 years of healing and grace poured out.  

So now when I think about your journey, I only see two pictures.  I see the day you were born.  And I see your smiling, laughing, left hook throwing, strong-willed 5 year old self today.  

I see nothing in between.  

I no longer see your disabilities.  I don't see all the trauma we've been through.  I don't see the pain in your eyes.  I don't hear all statistics, the bad reports, the can'ts and never will dos.  I don't see the missed or delayed milestones.  I don't even see the mini peds ICU in our home. 

I just.see.you.   

Alli, I don't know of another soul who greets each day or has to jump through as many hurdles and break down as many walls that you do, both physically and mentally.  And guess what kiddo??!  You do it with the biggest smile, the best of hugs, and that left hook you're quickly becoming famous for.   

Oh, and the occasional kiss.  Because you've learned to kiss now and it's one of your favorites (except when you Daddy's face is super scruffy).   

You do still have white coat syndrome and hate any doctors office, but in your old age you have decided if you are breathing, you are fine.  

These are all gifts, Alli girl.  They are what have made you up, what have caused and helped you to fight, and helped you be oh so brave.  Circumstances that would have crushed the average adult, but you motor on through.

Each breath, each smile, each laugh, each fist bump (another favorite), each bite of food, each time you grab my hand as we're walking is such a gift.  

Because it comes from you. 

You know you are the bravest.person.I.have ever encountered, don't you!?

The greatest lessons in my very own life and the life of so many others have come from you.   

You've brought more people to Jesus, you've brought more people to their knees, and you've taught more people how to pray...

Without ever saying a single word.

Alli, I have never wanted to glorify your journey.  I have only wanted to share your story, share the miracles God has performed, and lead the charge in walking in faith and hope. 

Because there is a whole world full of people walking without faith and hope.

Havilah Cunnington said, "It's one thing to believe God for a day, but it's another to believe Him for a lifetime."

I am believing God for a lifetime.

I am believing God for a lifetime for not only your healing, but that your story, that your hope is only beginning to be used for His glory.  

You have and are changing this world, my littlest girl!  

I love you and am so, so proud of all you have done these last 5 years.  The magnitude of love and prayers to get you to this day, are not lost on me.  Thank you to those who so fervently prayed through the pregnancy, those NICU days, and the last 5 years.  Thank you to the incredible medical team who has battled this journey right along with us. You are all part of this story too.  

There are moments in life when you just can't find the words....when you know that simply no amount of time, no painting, no song, not even the most eloquent of authors could describe…..nothing could possibly, even remotely, come close to doing justice to what you feel in your soul. Today is one of those moments. 

Today we remember the Goodness of God and look forward with great expectation for all to come. Today represents a day of so much pain and fear.  But it also represents a day of triumph.  A day to celebrate God's goodness.  His faithfulness.  And your will to fight.  Your will to pick up the pieces and keep going.  Through it all.    

“Of one thing I am perfectly sure: God's story never ends with 'ashes.” 

-Elisabeth Elliot

This is your story, baby girl. 

Happy 5th Birthday, Allison Grace!

4th Birthday Video

(Sadly, some videos aren't workingPlease check back soon OR watch Alli's 5th Birthday video on Facebook)

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