Each of my children hold a special place in my heart. Equally. They have their own personalities and quirks and love that they share with me as their mom in their own special way. And, just as equally, they know how to heal my heart in a way that only God can lead them to. It happens each and every time I need it most.
Last night, was one of those moments.
Madison joins me on photo sessions every now and then and because of her special relationship with Bekah, she tagged along for her Senior photos in downtown Fort Myers last night. It was a complete last-minute decision and Madison was on the fence about going - vacation hang-over, if you will.
It stormed yesterday and in typical Florida summer fashion, we crossed every finger and toe that the weather would hold out for us. We walked and talked and grabbed some of the best shots around town. Had the greatest time with Bekah and her sweet Mom and Dad. By the end of our session, we were all really happy with how everything worked out. But, then ... it hit me like a brick wall. The parking garage! Every ounce of me was so excited to hit the rooftop before we headed home, even though we grabbed everything we wanted to capture already.
Overcast or not, I wanted Madison to get a good look at the water from such a cool view, but, I could not have predicted what we were about to see.
I kid you not. The sky opened up and right through the typical Florida summer clouds, a peak of sunset shone brightly as we walked up to the wall overlooking the city. As if I could've prayed for a more perfect view, the clouds completely dissipated and God showed off one of His magnificent masterpieces. It was as if the sunset was made just for us ... and, I can whole-heartedly tell you, it was.
You see, my family was sad yesterday. Really, really sad. We have so many family members who love and care for us, but sometimes, your heart aches for those who can't be close-by. And, if you've gone through the loss of a close family member, the birth of a new baby and family get togethers can be so fulfilling and happy and so incredibly sad at the same time. This time, we celebrated our vacation, but we also mourned the loss of two people who would've done anything to meet and hold our sweet new little Liv. No matter how much time passes, we still miss my Dad and Chris' mom every minute of every day.
And, my girl? I haven't seen her cry as hard as she did when she told Chris and Shell and Olivia good-bye ... in a long time. Crocodile tears while laying on her bed and doing everything she could to catch her breath. It was heartbreaking. Feeling the emotions of all of us while trying to deal with her own can be so overwhelming for such a young heart. So, when my friend, Dawn, asked if Mads could tag along for Bekah's shoot, so they could get a few sweet pics together, her request could not have come at a more perfect time.
Because, this showcase?
This is what heals hearts in the hurting. It's the reminder that there is something so great and beautiful when you can't help but be overcome with sadness.
It's what happens when you open your eyes to see all the beauty God created in the midst of so much hurt.
Madison and I are incredibly in-sync when it comes to our spirituality and understanding each other's hearts without having to say or explain much. Sometimes, she knows mine better than I know my own. And, I'm always in awe at just how big the God we serve is. He knows right where to lead us, together, when healing is calling.
Maybe it's because she's gone to the depths of grief with all of us. Maybe it's because she's an old soul with an understanding of life more profound than I could ever teach her. And, maybe, just maybe, it's because she went through hell and back this last year and does her best to find solace in the heartache and peace in the anxiety. Adding tools to her healing tool belt. Something that took me losing my dad at 27 to find, she's learning at the tender age of 8.
I walked away satisfied with the healing God provided me through that sunset, and without saying much on the walk back to the car, she squeezed my hand and said, "God made that for our hearts, didn't He?"
And, it took all I had to answer her through the tears.
"Yes, my bug. He did."