One year. Typing those words is strange. Because it doesn't feel like a year. It feels like an eternity. It feels like yesterday.
I was scared of today. Scared of what would await me. Scared of what I would feel. Anxiety and worry have been my companion leading up to today, filling my thoughts and words. But when I woke up, I was surprised they were gone. Missing. And replaced with peace and comfort.
Don't get me wrong. I've cried countless tears today, but I do that regularly. I missed Olivia deeply today, but that is nothing new. I hurt so strongly I can't put it into words, but that is my new normal. But instead of feeling what I expected to feel- hopelessness, anxiety, worry, fear- I feel love, peace, and longing.
Time and time again He continues to be present. In my darkest days and in my saddest thoughts He is there bringing hope and comfort. And time and time again I am surprised. I know He says He will be there, but I can never imagine how that will make it any better. But it does. Every time. Every stinking time.
God's peace and comfort are so good, I just wish I didn't know it so well.
His presence doesn't change my situation. We still don't have Olivia in our arms. But I don't grieve without hope. This isn't the end; this world is not our home. Olivia went ahead without me. I just wish she wouldn't have.
And now I want to say thank you, to you. You know who you are; there are so many of you. You continue to take time to remember and you let us know how much you love us and our sweet girl. Texts, calls, messages, cards, gifts, prayers, words- I can't express how much each one means to me. You are encouraging during times of sorrow. You show me God's love when I question everything. You remind me of the goodness and hope that exist. You wrap your arms around my sad little family and tell me you hurt with us. I will never be able to repay what your actions have given us. When we get to heaven, I can't wait to introduce Olivia to all the people who continue to walk with us through this journey. Because you guys, heaven is so very real; I've never been more sure of it. And I can't wait to see you there.