Today is your 11th birthday. It’s hard to imagine you 11 years old here on earth because my memories of you are as a beautiful one-day-old baby. I think you and Bethany would have looked very similar!
Susannah, we loved you before we even knew you existed. We’d prayed for your daddy and mommy to be given a child for several years, and oh, the joy we felt when they told us about you! The days and weeks passed, a little too slow it seemed, as we were anxious for you to arrive.
One night, while we were away on a ministry trip, we got a midnight call from your daddy, saying they were on their way to the hospital. Mommy was having contractions. How far away Florida felt from Kansas at that moment! During that next month, Mommy was pretty much on bedrest. That didn’t keep you from being as active as ever, and you had well-earned the nickname Thumper.
The day came about a month later. Your birthday. You were so gorgeous: a headful of dark curls, chubby cheeks (even for a preemie!), and tiny, blush-pink lips.
Your time here lasted three short days. Days filled with hope, prayer, tears, and then releasing you to Jesus.
I want to tell you something, Susannah. Your parents are brave. It took courage to face losing their longed-for little girl, to go through grieving, and to hope again. Yet, they did. It was hard, really hard, but they walked courageously, not allowing their grief to overcome them. Eleven years later, God has given them a happy, full home with five more children. But you’re not forgotten. You’re still missed.
You’ve given me a new compassion for those who lose babies. You’ve taught me that weeping may endure for a night, and one’s heart feels like it’s been crushed, but joy comes in the morning. You were created in God’s image, a beautiful, amazing treasure on loan to us for three days.
We love you Susannah, and we can’t wait to see you in Heaven!
“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal,
proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb… And they
shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And
there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light
of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign
for ever and ever.”