Could you read my mind? Have you gotten all the posts I have thought of in my head? I wish I had a USB port from my brain so that every time I sit to nurse I could download all the thoughts I would love to share with you. Thank you for being patient as we all adjust to Lila Jane's schedule. So, if you don't mind, I am going to do quite a bit of "retro-blogging" because there are so many things I want to tell you.
Last weekend, our sweet girl (born into a family of all boys) starred in her first acting role...as a boy! Not just any boy though. If you are going to have to play a boy...at least she got the best one.
Lila Jane was Baby Jesus in the Christmas Festival at our church. The Christmas Festival is the Sanctuary choir and Orchestra's concert with some narration, drama, dancing and other media. I had to laugh when I told the boys that on Wednesday she was going to the church for practice. Mason said, "Why does she need to practice being a baby?" I think he had a point, but none the less, it all paid off because she was just perfect in her role.
Lila Jane was on stage for two songs. The first song was called Son of God. Kelly from our church's dance ministry did an interpretation of an angel in celebratory worship of God's Son. It was beautiful. As she danced around Mary and Baby Jesus, it made you think of the joy the angels had at Jesus' birth. Then she reached down and took Jesus from Mary's arms.
As she twirled around and lifted Jesus back up toward the heavens, you were drawn into the awe of worship that all of Heaven must have felt at the glory of His birth.
The next song was a continuation of "Hallelujahs" as the shepherds came to visit. Then a children's ensemble joined the adult choir as they first ran on to see and touch Baby Jesus.
It was a great visual of the Christ-child coming for the shepherds long ago but also coming for us today. A humble reminder of, "Do I receive Him with the same excitement that shone on the children's faces?" The final scene was Mary standing and raising Jesus up with a look of dedication and recognition that this baby was God's.
Watching Lila Jane on stage brought up so many emotions. You see, Brock also played Baby Jesus when he was about 4 weeks old in our choir's performance of The Easter Story.
For a brief moment the grief almost overwhelmed me as I thought...wait a minute! Yes, I was just here with him and we were just starting out and now....where is he?! And then, in the way it has gone since Lila Jane's birth, the joy over what God has done in giving her to us flooded right in with the grief...
existing at the same time...
one not stealing anything from the other.
The emotions are hard to describe. I wish you could have been there. I tried to take pictures, but my tears were making everything blurry. I was caught wanting to capture it through a lens and soaking the moment all in. Drew and I sang for years in this choir. We were out for what was supposed to be a short break. Then Brock died.
They are still family to us. So many of the people on stage have cried and faithfully prayed with us in our journey. Many commented they so vividly remembered Brock playing the role. Many told me, "Thank you for sharing Lila Jane with us." However, to "share" her seemed so fitting after all the love and support they have given us.
There was a holy hush, though there were voices singing, when Lila Jane was first on stage. Seeing her there, we were all completely overwhelmed by God's grace and goodness. I am of course, in no way, comparing her to Jesus, but I think it was one of those glimpses from Heaven that God gives us so that we can better understand in a tiny way the emotions described in His word. For a moment...
to see how the angels danced and rejoiced,
how the hosts sang,
how the shepherds saw,
and how Mary held all that she had been told.
That night, Lila Jane was with us - all of us who had cried tears from heartache over Brock's death. All of us who had prayed for healing. All of us who had prayed over my pregnancy and the safe arrival of this baby. All these things were woven together as we saw her there. It strengthened us in our faith.
Finally, each time she was lifted up I whispered to myself, "Oh God, she is yours."
*The program will be broadcast on Atlanta television on WATL Channel 36, December 25th at noon.*