Lord, I know that Emerson is a gift you've given me for only a short time on this earth. She is yours, and I give her back to you. You know my fears and I give those to you as well. Help me to sleep in peace. Amen.
Eventually, as Emmy got older, I had less and less fear about something happening to her in the night and I stopped praying that prayer. But yesterday, I was reminded in an instant that Emerson's life is in God's hands, and she is but a fleeting gift to Aaron and I on this earth. I hope fleeting is a long healthy 90 years, but yesterday it almost wasn't.
Yesterday afternoon we joined some friends at the beach. The girls love to swim and dig in the sand for shells. The beach was mildly crowded and the kids were playing as usual when Emmy decided that she wanted to go with the big kids out a little deeper. We'd been calling to the big kids all afternoon to come back closer to shore because the smaller ones always wanted to follow. But this time, in an instant, Emmy was gone. Suddenly, the question came- where's Emerson. I started counting all the kids, checking each one off the mental list. Seconds seemed like hours. Suddenly, I realized- there she is. Her little face barely bobbing above the water, struggling to get air, blonde hair disappearing, arms raised up straight, reaching. We all just started yelling, heading into the water. My friend Holly flew into the water instantly and snatched her up. For the rest of my life I will never forget what my baby girl looked like when Holly got her up out of that water. She was awake, and breathing, but given a few more seconds, that would not have been the case. Praise the Lord she is okay.
Yesterday, parts of me broke that I didn't even know existed. There are ugly memories I will carry forever. There is a hurt inside me I can't even identify. Guilt. Regret. Fear. And an ever increasing reminder of the fact that life can be over in a blink.
But there is also assurance in knowing that no matter what happens, God is still in control. Thankfulness for my daughters life, her health. Gratefulness for friends who jumped into action immediately when I seemed to not even be able to form a thought.
As I laid in bed with Emmy last night, not willing to be away from her quite yet, her hair smelled of sunblock and sand. Those two smells mixed together may forever remind me of yesterday. The good and the bad. As I lay there, I found myself praying my prayer again, mostly as a prayer of thankfulness. Because Emerson belongs to God, not me. And he carries her in His hands even when I can't. And for that, I am forever grateful.
Hug those you love today. Remember that we are not given a promise of having a tomorrow. And then live in an attitude of gratefulness that God is in control and he carries us every minute of every day.