Rhonda and Jason

Rhonda and Jason
Our Wedding Day

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Happy Birthday Esther

Three years!  Three years?  Three years and what has changed?  God is reigning in heaven and on earth!  Three years ago normal was crying ourselves to sleep as we begged God to show us His will in Esther's life.  Normal was waking in a small room 3 floors above where our precious first born daughter fought night and day just to "be".  Days of "rounds" with the doctors and nursing team in the NICU of Seattle Children's Hospital, and the honor of being first because our sweet Esther was the most critical child there.  Mornings of starbucks coffee provided by the many friends who wanted to give in some way to support us in our support of our baby girl.  Coffee and deep prayer, worship, and study of God.
Life was much simpler then.  God was every breath.  Every breath through our God given healthy lungs while we watched strong Esther with machines producing her breaths; dancing hands, bright loving eyes, sweet peaceful suckling on her intubation tube.  No concerns about who would win american idol, when we would be able to afford a new iPad, if we would be vacationing in Hawaii or Mexico.  Just trust that God would provide all our needs.  And He did, as He always does and is doing right now.
Sadly I don't really remember her birthday last year.  It's like that with grieving and the ones we love in this life.  It's like that with our love of God.  Sometimes we burn with a blazing fire and excitement that is uncontainable.  Other times we are just going thru the motions.
This year is hard.  Josephine will be two next week and I see some of what might have been.  I'm not bitter.  I am completely at peace with our little girl living in God's glory, walking the streets of gold without a care or want or fear.  It is a deep aching; maybe like arthritis of the soul, and the weather was just right today making moving a little more painful.
I have had countless opportunities to share God's story of her life these last three years.  Almost never having the slightest twinge of pain or sadness.  There are no guarantees in these bodies, but God is on the throne.
In giving Esther back to Jesus, we have only the most minute understanding of what God the father felt when His Son gave His life on a cross and bore the guilt and weight of all our ugly sin.  We don't deserve His love.  We can't earn His love.  Yet He loves us!
I miss my daughter Esther.  I long to be with her and my Savior.  I'm glad He is making me new every day and that those meetings are assured to take place when He has planned them to.  I am so thankful God gives us "stretching" times like we've had to show us how much He truly loves us and how utterly close He always is.
Happy birthday Esther,
Papa loves you

Each year since Esther has passed the Lord has brought a new song in each season.  Take the time to listen and reflect on all the Lord has done and given to each of us.

Also an update on us through pictures.  We had a little boy and named him Nehemiah James Holtrop. Another name picked for God's redeeming love.  He is almost 8 months old!!!

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