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There is HOPE

Psalm 27:13

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

Birthdays are full of smiles, laughter, joy, hugs, presents, togetherness, and love. However this year, I smiled through my tears, covered my grief with laughter, opening my gifts instead of giving gifts to my daughter, loving the togetherness of friends and family yet seeing an obvious hole, and loving a sweet girl who physically isn't here.

Birthdays are suppose to be happy and celebratory; they are not suppose to be filled with tears, graveside visits, and heartache, but because I share a birthday with Sadie, it makes my day bearable.

Although her sweet body left, I still get to have a day that only she and I share. I get to keep that day between the two of us. No one, not even God, can take that away. In fact, I believe He did the exact opposite-- He blessed me with a day that I will forever have to hold on to. He chose that day to give her to me knowing that he would take her and I would be celebrating memories of her two birthdays for the rest of mine.

Just like any holiday, I create a plan. What do I want that day to look like? What will we do? How will we celebrate her. What do we need as a family, what do our hearts need?I needed to honor her life, but give back. Of course, we chose Hope Family Care to help other families walking through pain like ours.

I met a wonderful lady who helps with HFC, and she was willing to donate $10 per shirt! WOW!

We sold over $5600 in shirts. Yes, $5600!!!

On our day, over 200 people were sporting their #4Sadie shirts around country! There are so many things I want to say about it, but I want to share what's been on my heart the last few weeks...

As we were creating these shirts I started to think about "#4Sadie"... If someone asked me what it meant, what would I say?

For those that don't know, it was originally sent to us by Trent's football team the night of The Accident. They had already dedicated the upcoming season to Sadie. The 2017 season would be #4Sadie.

Yet, I think that #4Sadie has grown in its meaning too, and today, it was evident.

On the 18th, not only was #4Sadie physically on a shirt that was able to give back to broken families, but it meant that...

"I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living."

It was a physical reminder that YOU are God's hands and feet.

Michael's teachers supporting him and our family. This picture is just one of the countless ways their teachers love and support our boys!

I remember getting up on stage at Sadie's celebration reciting this verse. I remember thanking everyone there for being the physicality of the kindness that Jesus asks us to be. This verse was quickly brought back to my heart as the messages, pictures, texts, emails, and posts came through.

This birthday was hard, but God is good. He will rescue us from the pit every time, but we have to reach our hand up to Him. We have to seek Him in all areas of our brokenness, and HE WILL make beauty from ashes.

When I listen to Lauren Daigle's song, "Rescue," when the lyrics say:

I will send out an army to find you In the middle of the darkest night It's true, I will rescue you I will never stop marching to reach you In the middle of the hardest fight It's true, I will rescue you

I hear the whisper underneath your breath I hear you whisper, you have nothing left