These three numbers are significant today in our house.

68 years ago today Tim’s dad joined life on this earth and began a journey into ministry that has led him and his wife to Dallas, Texas, where he oversees the finances of Pioneer Bible Institute. 

Happy birthday, Papaw Nischan!  We love you!  (And happy birthday 6 days late to Mamaw Nischan!!)

45 years ago today Tim joined life on this earth and began a journey into ministry that has led him and me to Grayson, KY, where he is a professor at Kentucky Christian University as well as a part-time minister of discipleship at First Church of Christ.

Happy birthday, Tim!

18 years ago today our sweet little Adrienne ended her journey here on this earth after only 6 1/2 short little weeks of being our precious daughter.  That morning will forever be etched in my mind as one of the most horrible days of my life. 

For many years after losing Adrienne, we couldn’t even celebrate Tim’s birthday.  It was almost as if we just had to get through the day somehow. Thankfully, God has a way of softening pain over time; and while holding such a profound memory of horror, I can now replay it through God’s eyes and see the beauty in God’s gift of Adrienne and the reality that He still uses her today in very amazing ways.  Our Adrienne’s Angel Memory Boxes have been delivered all over the United States to over 25 families in the past year and one was even sent to Canada just a few weeks ago.  These memory boxes contain seven books on grief that have helped both me and Tim as well as a wind chime and several other small gifts.  Without the gift of Adrienne, I know that I would not be who I am today.  She changed parts of me in just 6 1/2 weeks and still today I know that there are parts of me that are “under construction” and Adrienne’s little life continues to nudge me in my journey to become totally pleasing in God’s eyes.  I know Tim would say the same for him and Tim’s dad too.

Last spring, Tim gave me a gift not long after Nick passed away that began a series of blog posts that led to a story about Adrienne’s name and then to an encounter with Beth Moore.  By clicking on phrases in the next few sentences you can go back into my blog and see how the timing of the sharing of the story of Nick’s necklace began this little journey.  One night not long after receiving my necklace I had a blogging experience that led me to the writing of last year’s memories of Adrienne.  And then just a few weeks after that I wrote about my moment with Beth Moore.

Looking back on these three memories that I shared on my blog last year, I can see the hand of God working and bringing me even to this very day where I can hear Beth’s words again, “You will be whole..I prophesy that you will be whole,” and realize that over time the wholeness is coming somehow……slowly, painfully……..

I know that in this life I will never have the same wholeness as I would have had if I had never been forced to let go of Adrienne and Nick, but I do believe today on April 30, 2010, that I can have a wholeness that God longs to give to mom’s who have lost children.

That is the wholeness I pray for daily.  A broken wholeness.

So, today, I will smile because it is Tim’s birthday, and  I will think of Tim’s mom and dad in Texas and pray that they are smiling too.

.And I will think of Adrienne and Nick and I will smile with tears and remember the words of Barbara Johnson who use to say of her two sons who had passed away before her, “I have two deposits in Heaven.”

Happy 18th Birthday, Adrienne!  Have the best birthday ever!!!  I am sure that Nick is right there with you celebrating every minute!!!

Love you both so much, Momadrienne's tombstone adrienne

The words at the bottom of Adrienne’s stone say,

“Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal.”

Thankful for that promise,