The Deep Ocean of the “Now…..”

People say to just focus on the moment now. “Grace for the moment. Breathe….breathe.”

They are right.

Kind of….

Well  …..its super freakin’ hard .

Flashbacks can hurt deeply but At least she still lives in the flashbacks….flash-forwards hurt more because we have to imagine her not in the future. The pain is so heavy either way you look

But the “NOW”…

The reality of the NOW slays the worst of all!

The NOW is an ocean of tears.

An ocean of hurt, an ocean of confusion, an Ocean of ache. It is impossible to swim backwards against the waves, yet we resist going forward…its too sad.

We just want to be rescued

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A deep ocean.

We flail and we look for rescue from the NOW.

She is not by my side or in my arms, which is where she was almost every waking “NOW-moment.”

Everywhere we look screams LOSS.

Everywhere we look, we feel like we could drown in this storm.

So what does the “now” look like?

It is complete loss.

Almost everything we do and did was together.

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It is our rhythm and we thrive on “togetherness”….

 

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we are such a close family, so Gianna’s void just screams at us in every NOW moment.

For instance, I go upstairs to have my “rest time” from a busy day and I don’t hear tiny Gia-footsteps following  me so faithfully and so joyfully down the hall towards my bedroom door anymore.

While everyone did their “down-time thing” during our homeschool days, Gia and I  would cuddle together on my bed and read books, or binge on baby goats in PJ’s Kids-tube videos till I would fall asleep on her shoulder. She never took naps.

We used to joke that she puts mama down for a nap ;).

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Oh how I miss her!

There is less noise coming from the toy room now, less negotiations, less “teaching/patience stretching moments” from Tolly and Hudson.

Less compromise. Less Nurturing.

They would always set her up with them in their play-time scenarios. They were very giving! They are Such amazing siblings!

They would always accommodate and get so excited when they could make her happy or teach her new things like how to set up the best lego farm or little people castle ever. It was their goal to help her be happy. …Yeah, Gianna had princess-status ;). But her cuteness, no one could resist!

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Her little Lego house is still standing without her hands playing with it anymore….. Tolly and Hudson have been taking care of her lego bunny and building additions to her lego-farm. They were her Lego heroes….always helping her make new creations and castles and villages.

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Family movie nights are just less. Less chaotic, less noise, and require “less pausing “of the movie. We don’t like the “less”. We hate the “less”.

We sit at the school table and see her small pink school box with her markers and stickers and the next unit’s lesson all ready to go……But she is not here anymore to be taught. The table is emptier.

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Oh how she LOVES SCHOOL!  She was just learning to read words like MOM, CAT, DAD, and DOG. She was so proud! She could identify her numbers and count to twenty! She loves puzzles and was a whiz with them!

She loves listening to Little House audio books with Tolly and Hudson and drawing in her notebook. They miss their school buddy so much. I miss teaching her. She was graduating Kindergarten.

We are so proud of her.

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Her nature journal is not being drawn in anymore. We loved documenting nature. Finding ladybugs. Every lady bug she would find would be her “new-pet.” She even took them swimming with her and realized they were not the best swimmers. LOL

Her new playdough cans are not being opened by her. One of Gia’s favorite things is brand new FRESH PLAYDOUGH!! She loves the smell and feel and perfection of a new lump of squishy playdough. She loved when Helaina would sit down to make play-dough cakes with her.

I had to do a homeschool portfolio review for all my kids and Gianna was not showing off her own school projects to my friend like she would be if she were here, beaming with all her pride.

How can she be just so gone?? 😦

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I can’t believe I won’t get to sign her up for Classical Conversations Foundations again this coming Fall. She had such a fun year and was so excited every Monday morning and would be absolutely ready to share at “presentation time” all about her favorite lovies! All the kids nurtured Gia there, as she was the youngest.  And they loved her so well and really looked out for her.

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Gianna loved memorizing the George Washington memory song and made sure her tutor knew that! She learned to play the tin-whistle and would get so excited when the teacher brought out paint.  Sigh.   I am so glad we all have those memories. I hate that we will not have any more with her.

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Oh how she loves her babies!!! Her baby has not been washed by her in her baby bathtub that Aunt Amy got her for Christmas.

She loves bathing her baby and putting a fresh diaper on her and getting her ready for bed. She is so nurturing. Her baby just sits there untouched, as if she’s waiting for her just like we’re waiting for her.

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Her special Gia-bath lotion has not been used in weeks on her cute little belly. She LOVES baths and LOVES to get her special lotion lavender massage after every bubble bath! I miss her brave scars….I miss kissing those scars and telling her how brave and strong she is.  I miss laying my hands on her heart and praying for her.

 

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And BOY does she LOVE bubbles!!!

But she knew she could NOT have bubbles when she bathed with Tahlia because she knew Tolly does not like bubbles.

Still she chose Tolly over bubbles each time because she LOVED bathing with her sissy. If Tolly was deciding to take a bath, even if Gianna had already had one, Gianna would immediately strip down and jump in with her!

Tolly misses her bathing-buddy so much. Baths are super sad right now.

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Her room that she shared with Tolly and Helaina is too quiet and a little messier because the three of them enjoyed team-cleaning and made a fun activity out of it at night! Helaina would put on fun music and they would get all excited together! Gianna loved when when her siblings made her bed all special with fresh sheets and organized all her lovies.

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We make lunch plates and have one less plate to prepare. I can never get used to that, ever.

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Ethan, her big brother, always made her the best breakfast eggs and they were “made-to-order!  She LOVES HIS farm-fresh EGGS…especially sunny side up, all runny and yolky!

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She is such a “Foodie” and would eat such a variety of fun foods. Any vegetable or fruit, even raw…spinach with no dip!!

She loved to try new things and she loved growing her own food in the garden! I miss having her tiny hands in the dirt with all of ours.

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Her car seat is empty. Oh how she loves bus rides! She loved all our family trips and family dates and would keep the bus loud and interesting.

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She was always right behind mama….always making silly faces in the rear-view mirror at me.

She would hand pick who got to sit next to her, and would delight herself in fun car conversations and steal her siblings’ iphones for fun selfies! I am so thankful we have all those selfies.

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Isabella had so many summer date plans for her sissy!

She was so excited to go out on more dates with her since she just got her license.

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Gianna loves dates and loved sharing milkshakes and ice cream with her siblings …and would dream about a hundred cherries on top!

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She liked the music loud and the windows down! She would rock it out!

Sometimes I would hold hands with her when she was sad and I would reach behind me to calm her and make her giggle. If Gia was at all mad or sad, all you had to do was say “Don’t you smile” and (like a reflex) she would smile BIG and giggle, every single time! So much joy!

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Sometimes she brought her dolly car seat just for her baby. Gianna loves babies. She wanted a baby. At times, she would reserve the seat next to her just for her lovies….its a good thing we had a large bus! 😉

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There is one less little kids teasing everyone. Gianna loves to tease. She teased mommy, daddy, siblings and grandparents. She would make up funny names for you and crack herself up when she said them!

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Gia LOVES items with her name on them! Living in a big family makes it more exciting to have things of “YOUR OWN!”

Her mug has not been used by her sweet lips in weeks. She loved her “life-verse mug” that we got all the kids for Christmas. It had a bunny on it and her life verse: “Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. (Jer. 17:14).

She is now fully healed.

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We made super-juice for her every morning to help combat the flu during the winter. She loved her tiny splash of Apple Cider Vinegar and her special Nicaragua Guava juice!

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She loves Nicaragua so much…and anything that reminded her of that special country.

I am so thankful we got to go there and celebrate her birthday with our Nica family.

A glimpse of heaven.

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Her toothbrush has not been picked up or turned on in weeks.

She was my bathroom buddy.

Every night we would brush our teeth together and wash our faces. She took over daddy’s sink. LOL. She even took her own drawer in our bathroom just for “her” things. She was so organized and intentional with every object.

Her shoes sit untouched by the back door, as if ready for new adventures.

She loves her light up Shimmer and Shine shoes!

She also loves her creek boots that let her splash in the puddles and stream.

Hudson was always her creek helper buddy and would hold her hands to cross the bridge and climb a hill.  He is so protective.

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She LOVES new shoes! Oh how excited she was to go shopping for new spring flip-flops in a couple weeks. She was so excited for spring shoe weather! NO SOCKS!

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Her Doc McStuffin toys sit untouched in weeks. She loved to play doctor on all the siblings and pretend she was fixing their heart-boo-boos…..she always said that she wanted to be a doctor when she grew up.

She would pretend Ashton was sick and make him all better! She was an amazing doctor!

Her baby doll stroller sits un-pushed. Gianna LOVES her babies and was a very good mommy. She wanted her own real baby and would ask if we were going to have more babies.

I think she is helping Jesus hold all the babies in heaven.

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Her Barbie skates have not been used in too long. She was just learning to skate.

Ethan, her biggest brother, was teaching her to skate and she was so proud! He would hold her hand and walk slowly with her. Such a great big bro!

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Her special lovies are now squeezed and hugged and spread out among all the family members for extra comfort. They are being well loved.

But, they never left her arms when she walked this earth except to wash them, which she would stalk the drier till they were done. And oh, how She LOVED when they came out all warm and clean!

They are huge reminders of her and they smell like her. I am so glad we had not washed any of them recently before she went to heaven.

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Her “Morning Glory Plant seed” that she had just planted is not being watered by her tiny hands anymore.

We now water it while missing her and aching for her.

She decorated the pot with the cutest heart stickers in honor of heart babies in China that our new “Morning Glory Farm ministry” was recently erected to help.

I HOPE her flower will grow HUGE!

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 She loves to plant gardens and tend to the flowers and watch the little colorful miracles happen before her eyes.

She delighted in NEW blooms!

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Her baby silkie-chicks have two less hands holding them and there is one less warm tiny body cuddling together on our outdoor quilt where all our “playing with and holding- baby animals” moments take place.

Bobo, her goat, has one less fan who is oooohing and awwwwing over ALL his cuteness.

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There is one less tiny adorable body on our nature walks. One less walking stick needed for the journey. One less hand to hold. One less squeal on the tree swing.

 

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Her step-stools in the bathroom are not needed. Everyone else can reach the water.  She loved climbing her stools while talking about how BIG she was getting and that she would not need these stools too much longer.

We will not be measuring her on our wall anymore. She was always so excited to see how tall she had grown!

She loved when her family  sat with her and read her “China book” with her as they reminisced about Gotcha day memories.

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Her China tea set has not been played with in months by her.

She loves sharing tea parties with her siblings and her dolls and lovies. She got that special tea set one year ago for her Gotcha day and WOW, does she love it SO MUCH!  She loves China. She wanted to go back someday as a family.

I believe and  hope we will get to do that one day in her honor.

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Tomorrow is her Family Gotcha Day Anniversary…..We won’t get to hug her and kiss her cheeks as we remember the miracles that God did to crash her world so wonderfully into our world.

The JOY is so deep, so is the pain.

This “NOW reality” hurts deepest of all…

I am so thankful ….so crushed.

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Her clothes have not been circulating in the laundry piles, so folding laundry hurts me.

She loves changing clothes about three times a day.

It was always exciting to see what new combination she would choose in the mornings. She was always mama’s laundry helper.

She folded her clothes so perfectly and then would attempt to lift up the huge pile of perfectly folded clothes only to have them all tumble over onto her tiny head!

We would belly-giggle together!

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The small kitchen trash cans now have to be changed by someone else.

Her favorite chore was putting fresh trash bags into the trashcans. She would hear us starting to pull them out and she would run over screaming, “That’s my job, I will do it!!”

Her medicine syringes have not needed to be washed. We would go through a dozen a day as she was on many meds. We have not needed to refill any prescriptions for her. We are on a first name basis with our pharmacist because we were there so often. We have not seen them in weeks. We don’t have any cardiology appointments scheduled and that makes me so sad.

I miss fighting for her brave-heart.

She was the best and most bravest heart warrior ever.

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Gianna was so responsible about taking her meds and would never complain!

Her INR equipment has not needed to be used.

Each week we would prick her skin and test her blood levels for coagulation. She was SO brave and would await her gummy-bear reward while holding back tears. SO BRAVE.

Then she would close her eyes while daddy surprised her with a new fun band-aid.

I know her heart is perfectly healed now. She does not need anymore doctors, surgeries or medicines or ouchies.

She is healed in a way that earth could never heal her.

I  praise God for that truth. She is perfect.

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But, There is one less tiny squeaky voice at family worship when we praise God.

She LOVES to listen to daddy play guitar and she loves to play the Cajun drum with him, keeping beat while boldly singing to the Lord “off key!” 😉  She LOVES to worship with daddy.

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There is one less kiddie climbing his shoulders for story-time, one less “little” beating him up, one less “little” teasing him and stealing his Iphone to play Subway Surfers.

Our laps are empty in church because she was the one “little” who stayed with us.

She LOVES church! I miss her tiny big voice singing over mine. Her squishy cheek pressed up against mine as we raise our hands to Jesus.

We do not get to sign her up for VBS this summer…. she LOVED VBS last year. Daddy was her teacher and she memorized every song! It was the highlight of her summer!

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No one fights over the tiny rocking chair in the family room anymore.  Tolly misses having to bargain with little sissy for rights to their favorite chair. Hudson never even tried, he did not think the drama was worth it. Smart boy!

Hudson misses his jeep buddy.

Gianna loves to take Hudson and her chickens for rides in that jeep, while Tolly skates behind them helping them go faster!

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There is one less “little monkey” jumping in  Isabella’s bed in the morning to wake her up and tickle her and have special sissy time.

Gianna loves Isabella-bed moments….. Chatting, giggling and taking videos together.

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There is one less tiny hand playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on the piano over and over and over.

Oh how I miss her music. I miss seeing Bella teach her.

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There is one less “little” to swing around and dance in the kitchen when our favorite songs come on the Amazon Alexa.

Gianna LOVES praise music and loves to be danced with and act crazy!

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She loves special dance parties, especially with all her cousins!

She LOVES her cousins.

Birthday parties are her favorite! Birthdays are hard now.

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Her Nintendo DS, that nana and Pop-pop gave her for her birthday,  is waiting to be played by her.

The Littles always played DS together and Tolly and Hudson would patiently teach her how to win at Mario cart.

They would let her win most times! 😉

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Together, we listen to her little voice clips on the DS that she made and we cry and laugh at her giggly silly voice and chants.

She is so silly.

We look through the pictures that she took on that DS. Most are from the airplane window when we were flying to Nicaragua together. She LOVES TO FLY! She loves adventure.

SHE LOVES NICA!

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Her egg basket has not had her little hands carrying it. She would help Tolly, Ethan and Hudson collect eggs and then the “littles” had just started an “egg-selling business” that they were using to collect money for heart-babies at Morning-Star in China.

My little world-changers!

They were also saving money to go to the New Jersey Aquarium to see the Sting-rays and penguins!

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When we go to Nana and Pop-pop’s there is one less craft needed to prepare, one less hand in the cookie dough and she isn’t there having Pop-pop push her the wheel barrel.

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At bedtime, her bed is empty. The room is too quiet. I hate it.

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Her bed is laid in often by us, we cry in it, mess it up and re-make it just as she would love. Her things are touched a lot and talked about a lot.

We do all and Anything we can to keep her close to our hearts.

I love remembering how Tolly and Hudson would keep her happy at bedtime, and run to her bed and give her random gifts if she was upset!

She would collect the most random of treasures.

Tolly and Hudson know the story behind each memento she owns.

I love hearing about these treasures, their stories, those intimate shared sibling moments when they would give her something to console her and how she was be so WOW-ed by them and boy, did she ever know she was so loved and so adored!

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SHE IS SO LOVED.

Always remembered. Always talked about.

SO SO SO SO SO DEEPLY MISSED.

My heart is so crushed. We are crushed.

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SO MANY “NOW”-MOMENTS HURT.

Her absence SCREAMS AT US!

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The memories we all share together make us laugh, scream and weep and giggle.

An ocean storm of waves. Grief yet gratefulness.

We have cried an ocean of tears.

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She delighted and dazzled us in every moment that we were with her on this earth.

We lived in every NOW-moment with her with great intention and every moment was so glorious!

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Each moment was an absolute gift.  We knew that. We all did.

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Though,  we know she is happier than ever in heaven….

…whole, healed, and completely filled with joy.

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The reality of the “NOW”, without her Big personality here, hurts like an ocean that just about swallows us up whole and has us desperately clinging to what feels like a small sliver of the wreckage  that is left behind from this awful storm …

the storm that completely slayed us.

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We are barely holding on.

It hurts like HELL.

Gianna’s favorite song, was her Adoption song:

“Oceans” By Hillsong.

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

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 we do not feel like we are walking on water.

It is more like clinging, thrashing, gasping.

We are in the deep Ocean with waves that screams to us, “YOU ARE DROWNING!”

They scream so loud and sometimes it’s hard to hear the whispers that tell us:

“KEEP TRUSTING”….. I HAVE YOU! I WON’T LET GO! I am your rescue!”

Yet her favorite song reminds us that His grace abounds in deepest waters…..

We cling to that dilapidated piece of wood  with white knuckles…..Kicking, and so tired.

Our life feels unrecognizable when we look around.  Just a huge abyss of space and storm,  with no recognizable land in sight.

 

So we hold on. We are held. We scream at the ocean.

That  wood plank actually holds on to us.

The longer we hold on, and allow ourselves to be “held”, the more we are learning that this very piece of wreckage that is saving us is something other than just “left-overs” from a storm.

It is more than just a plank of random wood.

This is our rescue.

It is what is saving us from drowning.

It is our life-line.

It pulls us out of the rip currents that threaten to take us under.

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It is called MERCY.

It’s called GRACE

IT saves us.

It’s called “HOPE.”

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It is a special piece of wood that holds us.

It is Not just a “left over”…or a random saving “mantra”….you know, the “CHRISTIAN THING TO SAY WHEN YOU are HURT……”

No.

this truth is actually saving our crushed hearts.

HE is the answer. The only saving grace.

The more I thought about this analagy, the more I realized something. When we open our eyes a little wider, through the tears, we see that we are hanging onto a special piece of wood.

Maybe its the wood that was used to PURCHASE “HOPE” FOR US.

Maybe It’s the cross.

So, if I go with this…..I can feel some truth and light.

The cross whispers, “I have you. I love you”  And I am not letting go of you. That piece of wood says, “I am enough.” I will hold you while the storms rage on. Maybe this is what will take us to the lighthouse. Maybe it is our lighthouse.

 

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Honestly, some moments HE does not feel like “enough.”

Is this what it means to trust without borders, like the song tells us?

Because It feels horrible.

The truth:   HE keeps us floating and keeps us from drowning. In His word He promises NEW. He promises HOPE.

HE is enough.

The feelings:    we are floundering in a deep ocean, waves pummeling, no strength at all, battered, bruised and desolate.

COMPLETELY LOST, devastated. Having a hard time seeing through it all, missing the “old” …..but still knowing. Still holding. Still being held

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But, I want to scream “NO NO!!!!”

“This is not ok, please stop stop stop turning the world, GOD!!!!!

STOP WORLD!!! Stop everything!!!!!”

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“Just  pause life PLEASE!!!

Wait, world …WAIT GOD!!!….because we don’t have our GIA!!!!

GO BACK! I want to go back to the hospital. I need to get her back!!!!”

SHE WAS JUST HERE, right here IN THE NOW!!!!!!!!!

I literally try and swim backwards….but it’s not working.

The waves are going forward. They thrust us forward

I can’t stop the onward force. I am just so tired.

We are being called to surrender.

Fall forward. Float forward.

FAITH.

It is such a hard moment to moment surrender. It is exhausting.

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Yet, He says that with HIM there is rest if we let HIM hold us.

I am praying that, with each brave movement forward that we have to do without our baby, we see God showing us some tangible beauty that can grow around our great loss…..around our gaping hole.

Please Lord help us see!

Just small glimpses.

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The nights are sad and empty and dark. Oh how we miss her!!!!!!!!

But, I do know that some days the sun does not sting us when it touches our face in the morning.

Some days we feel Gianna wake us up through the sunshine…..We feel her warmth. She feels so close. Heaven feels so close.

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Some days, when we open our eyes, we see that there are tiny hints of beauty out here in this “deep of deeps.”

There is mercy if we try to SEE.

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These glimpses of beauty, these love notes from our daddy who holds us …..

They encourage our hearts and allows us to take a breath. They crash on us like a drink in a desert. I am so thankful for them.

They actually give us HOPE.

They make us smile.

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A rainbow. A pink sunset.

A powerful bible verse. A song. A shared memory that makes us smile instead of wail.

A giggle together.

A dandelion in an unexpected place.

A baby goose that comes close.

A shared dream. A new vision.

A photo that brings happiness.

A drawing.

A groan.  A prayer. A new passion.

A new spark.

A flower that is blooming.

A baby bunny.

A family dinner with laughs instead of tears.  A special shared treat. A special gift. A card.

A listening ear. A shared tear. An understanding heart.

A shared HOPE. A shared ache.

A testimony.

A truth.

A forgiveness.

A reunion.

A FUN Moment.

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A shared weeping session that ends with a hug and a head-nod to each other that promises, “HOPE.” WE WILL HOPE TOGETHER!”

“Lord, help us SEE more of these  glimpses!!!!

Help us surrender to this forward movement and  help us grow together!”

 

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“Jesus, Help us believe and walk  brave together, while clinging to you as we grieve so deeply for our Gia.”

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It is such a battle between head and heart.

We know that with Each sunrise we are One day closer to our Gianna….

Yet, every day it feels like we are waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.

Further from her.

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Waiting for the rescue ship that will make everything return to normal and bring us back to the world we knew and adored. ….Where HOME feels like HOME NOW.

oh If only.

But that will not happen.

Accepting that truth is another surrender.

Believing the promise that HE IS GOOD and brings GOOD out of everything is another surrender. But there is freedom here in this truth.

Freedom in Surrender.

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Sometimes I cry so loud that I lose my voice.

That world with Gianna in our home, in her bed, in our arms, giggling at the dinner table with us, riding in the car and  jamming to her favorite worship song in the bus is gone. That truth crushes us,

She is Gone….but not gone forever.

That truth saves me from the pit.

.The HOPE of heaven.

I wish heaven was not so far away though.

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IT’S a terrible reality knowing my family and I can never ever be taken back to the familiar beautiful life on this earth we knew before the ugly Spring came.

or That we can’t swim backwards to the “old ground.”

or go back to the time Before the Ocean storms pummeled us and Thrusted us out to the deep.

…. forward on.

A surrender forward. Yet, Closer to Gianna with each new day.

I am slowly understanding that surrender brings “possibility.”

….it brings “expectation…..it brings HOPE”

Our HOPE is that a new Spring “WILL” come again. TRUST.

Trust for New soil. New ground.

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Hope That the flooding waters will recede and will reveal more beauty and growth in our life than ever before.

More Newness that we could ever even imagine.

We crave the “old”

the “new” frightens us.

it is a surrender to glance forward towards this “new” Spring.

We are asked to trust HIM. To trust our Daddy in Heaven who loves us enough to die for us so we could be able to HOPE.

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We are believing that Beauty “will” rise, even when we close our eyes and kick and scream and flail.

Our piece of wood….

that one precious piece that is saving us, will float us to new LIFE, new beauty and NEW redemptions and new growth.

The cross.

New Mercies.

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I hate this loss.

 

Our loss of our sweet Gia will always be with us, a part of us, a hole that will never be filled on this earth.

….but HOPE bosses our hearts and tells us that  her legacy and her beauty and her memory will grow forever around our hole.

We HAVE to believe this.

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We believe this because we are changed.

God has given us a grace to SEE, even through the storms that knock us down.

We still cling to HIM

We are changed people after standing before our Jesus, so close to HIS face….We were right there at HIS THRONE ROOM.

….on HOLY GROUND where we had to hand her back to our Daddy in heaven. I cry every time I say these words. To be in the presence of our HOLY God is to be changed forever,

 

We will NEVER be the same after walking our Gianna Lilyfaith to Heaven and we don’ t want to be.  The world has become strangely dim,

What we thought was going to be our future has been rocked, in good ways and hard ways.

our Hearts are fully broken, but fully surrendered.

CRUSHED yet changed,

 

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We simply cannot go back to any version of normal without our Gianna in it.

We walk forward into an unknown clinging to JESUS.

That promise that we are clinging to is what SAVES us from the sting and finality and horrors of death. Death is NOT the end.

That is our lighthouse out in this ocean.

IT screams HEAVEN at us!

IT SCREAMS HOPE!

flower crown

This promise and this promise keeper does NOT let go, even when we close our eyes to all the glimpses before us.

He waits for us. He weeps and groans with us.

I know the truth when my heart does not feel it.

Truth wins. Not feelings.

TRUTH RESCUES US.  I do not feel rescued most days….

IT IS A GLORIOUS rescue even when we do not feel it or see, because we trust in HIM to help us see.

Give us your eyes, Lord!

 

Our deep ache will always be for what “was” and for what “used to be”

and for what we want it to “STILL BE”….

but we are holding on to HOPE for what “will be”…..

we know and wrestle with our daddy in heaven, because whatever God is doing, we are “expecting BIG” from HIM!!!

Believing for a big “GOOD!”

tolly flower

 

He gave us this word and so we are believing for goodness in the land of the living.

We claim this hope!

We wait for the promises of psalm 27:13-14:

I remain confident of this:

I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

Waiting and Groaning For the HOPE of redemption on this earth and aching for the promise of Heaven, where HE MAKES ALL THINGS NEW.

Gianna LOVES JESUS.

Gianna Lives. Death does not win.

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We are not captives to despair though our hearts are overwhelmed with sadness.

Our HOPE is that this overflowing ocean of tears will be used to sow the soil to bring new growth to a new land,  and water the seeds to enlarge our dreams and heart around our terrible and tragic loss of our sweet sweet baby girl…..

Growth around the immense hole in our hearts.

Beauty will rise.

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Her beauty grows forever around us. 

Her legacy, her love, her bravery, her miracles, the waves of the deep ocean…..they all command us to look forward with bravery and HOPE …

even when we are so weak and have to army crawl or carry each other and close our eyes because of the pain.

Some days I can not even stand on this truth I claim, I have to limp.   I am so thankful that HIS faithfulness is not dependent on my faithfulness.

Many days I am so weak. My faith is weak.  I have to write out all these promises so I WILL READ them and remember.

But truth is truth and truth is what lifts me out of the riptide that pulls me under.

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“Lord, help us see.

Death does not win.

Redemption wins.

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LOVE WINS!

The cross says we will not sink in this ocean.

He will carry us to the “NEW.”

I miss the old so much. I miss my old life.

There is More  ….

beyond the hurt and dispair of the “NOW.”

He is not done. He can NOT be done.

HOPE will bring us forward to new land, new soil, new growth, new beauty.  

For NOW, we wait ….in our tears…..and in our wailing, we wait.

In our wrestling, we wait.

He weeps with us in the waiting and….He rescues us. HE IS FAITHFUL even when I am not.

We surrender all.

HE DOES NOT LET GO.

Jesus, our  rescue in the Oceans deep.

We love and miss you so much our sweet Gia-Bia.   

Four years ago, you enlarged our life and our hearts with your brave beautiful heart when you were placed in our arms.

You are a forever gift.  

We know our hearts are not done growing from getting to be YOURS FOREVER.

WE ARE SENDING LOTS OF HEAVEN HUGS TO YOU, BABY!

Keep sending us all the pink sunsets and rainbows!    

YOU MAKE US BRAVE!

 

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One thought on “The Deep Ocean of the “Now…..”

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  1. Oh, Johanna. You and your family are so loved and prayed for. I can’t even imagine the ripple effect Gianna’s story has had when I think of how it has changed things in my own heart. It’s unimaginable. My Sarah tells me she was blessed by being one of the teen helpers in Gianna’s VBS group last summer. Always praying❤️

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