Dear Sierra and Bodie,
Can we just talk about how amazing you two are for a second?
I know, I know, every parent thinks their children are the most amazing thing since sliced bread.
But seriously, you two are.
You just are.
People often look at our life and tell me we've "made lemonade from lemons."
But that's not entirely true.
Choosing joy amidst the ridiculous amount of bad things that have been sent our way is more like making lemonade from hand grenades.
(I know it doesn't make sense to you now. But it will some day. Trust me.)
You two have had to endure so much. Too much.
Far too much for sweet souls at the tender age of 5 and 7 to have to go through.
- You have spent way too much time in hospitals.
- You have been picked up from school by someone you weren't expecting, because "your brother is back in the hospital," or "your daddy's not out of the hospital yet."
- You have watched your mom and dad cry over lost pregnancies, brothers and sisters you won't know until you get to Heaven someday.
- You have stood on the street and watched your home burn.
- You have lived in unfamiliar places, forced to realize that "home" is just where we are. Together. Home is us.
- You have had your innocence stolen as you were told in hushed tones that "Daddy had a heart problem" and "He had to be rushed to the hospital" and "we don't know when mommy and daddy will be back."
- You don't get the luxury of youth, of believing you're invincible and that you'll live forever. Because you know too much. You've seen too much. More than most people can even begin to imagine.
Just too much.
You have every right to ask God "Why?" (I was just lamenting today about why He didn't pick our mission field to be the rich and famous, instead of bringing hope to the hopeless!). You have every right to stomp your feet and cry. Many adults in your shoes would. Many would throw a full out temper tantrum.
And yet you don't.
(Well at least not about your lot in life, anyway - about cleaning up your toys and doing homework, you throw the best of them. But I've never heard you ask WHY. Never.)
Instead, time and again...
- YOU CHOOSE JOY.
- YOU CHOOSE HAPPINESS.
- YOU CHOOSE TO WAIT FOR THE RAINBOW.
- YOU CHOOSE TO TRUST GOD.
And we could not be more grateful for that.
I know Daddy and I are sometimes hard on you.
Sometimes we don't give you the grace you deserve. Probably because we're not very good about giving ourselves that same grace.
But we do it because we want you to know that, despite life's trials and tribulations, we must choose joy. We must choose to rise above. We must choose not to let the struggles define us.
These trials; they are a part of our lives, but they are not us.
You two are learning that.
More importantly, you are teaching us that.
You are teaching SO MANY people that.
You two bring abundant joy and meaning to our lives.
You are our reason WHY.
We are privileged to be your parents. And we want to make sure you always know that.
Mommy & Daddy