Know what today is??
It's a big deal... It's a big DAY.
It's the first anniversary of the most important day of your life.
One year ago today God surprised us with the best gift we've ever received: YOU. You came ten weeks early, 2 pounds, 5 ounces and 15 inches long and today......
...is your FIRST BIRTHDAY!!!
Today we are celebrating YOU... all 17 pounds, 1 ounce and 29 inches of YOU!
We're gonna celebrate, we're gonna pin the fin on the mermaid, we're gonna eat cupcakes, spend time with family, open some gifts, smother you with hugs and kisses, reminisce about last January, look at pictures, and then you know what else we're gonna do? We're gonna celebrate some more!
...because it's your birthday, and in this house we celebrate birthdays, weeks and months!
...because YOU, Mercy Marie Ellzey, are a gift worth celebrating.
...and because one year ago today you changed our lives permanently.
How can we not celebrate you today?
Did you know that when you came into our world last January 18 YOU became the clearest picture of the mercy of Jesus that we had ever personally experienced?
Did you know that every day that has passed since then, Jesus has shown us His mercy more and more abundantly?
Did you know that seeing Jesus give YOU the strength and mercy you needed to fight in the NICU gave us a completely new understanding of what His mercy looks like in our own lives?
In the first days and weeks of your life we knew we may not get to keep you, we knew the very real possibility that you may not get to stay here on earth with us. That realization gave way to many hard and scary conversations between your daddy and me. One thing we knew, the one thing that gave us hope and stared right at us each time we walked towards your isolette... a small piece of paper with your tiny foot prints and one big word written right under your left heel:
Your name was chosen for you years ago before we knew anything about your birth story.
It could not be a more perfect fit, your name means 'withholding the judgement that one deserves.'
Mercy, you have painted a beautiful picture of mercy, you have been used in incomprehensible ways in our lives. Your birth, your fight, your growth have displayed in such clarity the death that we've been spared from experiencing and the absolutely magnificent and completely undeserved gift of life that we've been given in Jesus.
Sweet one, we got to keep you, we got to bring you home and watch you grow, and today we get to sing 'happy birthday' to you for the very first time!
You, daughter of the King, daughter of... mine??
How did we get such a gift?
When Jesus gifted us with you, He blessed us so tremendously more than we could ever have requested or deserved.
Know what's crazy, sweet girl?
The gift of YOU is but a light shining towards the gift of Jesus, the SON OF GOD hanging on a cross for my sin and yours, risen to life and sittin' with His Daddy right now.
Know who His Daddy is? YOUR Daddy!
Precious girl, may every day of your life be a celebration of how much your Daddy loves you. May you grow each day in your understanding of the mercy He has shown you. May you fall so in love with the Creator and Sustainer of your beautiful life and one day, may we celebrate an even more important day, the first day of your new life in Him.
So... We'll celebrate you today, and we'll celebrate you tomorrow...
Because YOU, little lady, are a daily reminder, a daily portrait of the face of the mercy of Jesus Christ, and we love you with every bit of our existence.
All my love,
*I've mentioned before that our lives were transformed during Mercy's seven week stay in the NICU. This is the first post in a seven week series of 'letters' to people, events and things that were part of that transformation, that pointed us toward Jesus, the Gospel, and Biblical truths. Consistency is my goal here, and consistency is a struggle for me, so we'll see how this series thing goes!! :)