Our halls are decked, tree trimmed, stockings hung by the chimney with care, lights lit, sprays of garland outline our walls, it’s Christmas!!!! The most wonderful time of the year and yet we miss her, Sophie. This is our 6th Christmas without her. It feels like an eternity and just yesterday. It’s rough when your heart celebrates and aches in the same breath.
But I’m always seeking….. always expecting…. the thin veil that separates Heaven and Earth would become more thinner. I’m always wanting to feel one with the Cloud of Witnesses that continuously surrounds us. That somehow I would hear and feel that Sophie is participating in all our festivities; in some miraculous kind of way and this past week I did!
This past fall, Abby auditioned for a local production company and she was cast in the ensemble of Mary Poppins The Musical. Tirelessly, the cast rehearsed for 9 weeks. Finally, Show Week arrived, 3 days of full dress rehearsals 4 shows. God was especially present during Show Week. Abby’s not yet completed her Lyme treatment and she still has good and bad days. The physical requirements of this size show were enormous for her and yet with joy she was able to wake each morning, get her schoolwork done and rehearse nearly 5 to 6 hours a night and continued on to perform 4 2.5 hour shows!!!! She was being supernaturally strengthened each day! Her body never ran out of the energy she needed! I knew it was Jesus! Immanuel, God with us! Along with the Grace that was poured out over her, Abby shined on stage! It was glorious to watch.
Russ and I could not have been prouder of Abby in this moment. There was a time we thought Abby would never sing or dance again, due to the loss of her sister but, what the enemy meant for evil God has redeemed. As the audience clapped and cheered, I could hear Sophie clapping and yelling, “YAYYYYY Abbyyyyyyyy,” this is what she did anytime she saw Abby perform. Sophie was her biggest cheerleader at times. Suddenly, another moment of celebration and ache crept in. Together they sang and danced their days away on the Earth but, I knew in this moment the veil was thinning and Sophie was near, all I needed was confirmation.
After the final performance there was a cast party, the announcement of the Spring Production was coming. Abby sat quietly waiting expectantly, then the Director, Asst Director, Choir Director and Stage Manager came skipping out on the stage, arms linked, “Lions and Tiger and Bears, OH MY!” they said. Abby’s faced lit up from ear to ear. They’re traveling to The Land of OZ!
After Abby told me about their announcement, I thought the red shoes!!!
Sophie’s Beloved Red Shoes!
Our confirmation from Heaven!!! Sophie clomped around our house in the red shoes days before her surgery. She wouldn’t take them off! After I mediated on their significance for years. She was prophetically proclaiming, Somewhere over the rainbow. There is no place like Home. Heaven is our Forever Home! Sophie was there! She sees her sister shinning and not giving up! I felt a great peace as more tears fell. I felt her say, “Earth is not your forever home, Heaven is and it’s amazing, Mommy! I’m here and one day you will be too. Don’t give up! Don’t grow weary! Don’t stop believing in the promises! Jesus is with you and I’m with Him!”
I hung my red shoes this year invigorated in our confirmation and looking forward to the promises and hope we have in Heaven because of Jesus’s life and death! The celebrating, hoping in wait, and ache can still be rough, this is how this Mommy’s heart has grieved, a bit unwantedly manic at times but One Day will come! Until then…. keep seeking and knocking! Merry Christmas!