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Sweet 16

Dearest Makiah,

It’s hard to know what to write you on your 16th birthday. I’ve been writing these birthday letters for 12 years now. Sunday was Mother’s Day, and I sat in church singing with my arm around my mom.  Her mom went to be with you just a short while ago at the age of 99.  And I felt here we are- two generations, arms entwined, bookended by a mom and a daughter both in heaven… and I imagined a glimpse of us all in a row not separated by time or space…

Now I’m sitting, thinking, beside a pond only a few feet from a mother duck who is trailed by her little ducklings. They watch her every move and do exactly what she does. Not wandering more than a few inches from her as they swim.  Close beside her.  Safe.  

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Psalm 91:4

It surges up in my mind.  And the hot tears rush down my cheeks.  You know, I have a love-hate relationship with this chapter of the Bible. I don’t know if that’s allowed or not, but it’s true. We prayed these words shortly before the accident.  They’ve come back to me recently. As if I must wrestle with them… and not let go… even if I walk with a limp that reminds us all of the wrestling here on earth…

I wish it was a miraculous happy ending in the natural. But I did not get to write the story. I didn’t get to keep my baby close and watch you grow.

But I know He covers you with His feathers and under His wings you find refuge.

I know you are safe and kept and happy and close.  To Jesus.

And I do get to decide if I will play my part in the story.   Sitting here now all these years later, I see that there is a miraculous, happy ending in the supernatural.  

His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

That part’s for me.  My shield.  My rampart- aka a protective barrier. It’s His faithfulness that kept me in the dark days.  It’s His protective barrier that surrounded my shattered heart and prevented the enemy from destroying my faith. He is the shield even now who keeps the fiery darts of unforgiveness from lodging in my heart.  It’s His faithfulness that has breathed life back into me- bringing a resurrection I could never, would never have imagined was possible.

And so I believe.  I believe what He says.  I believe His word.  Even when I don’t understand.  Death is not evidence that God is not real. Death is the very evidence that the story is real… That we need Him and His redemption and His plan so desperately to save us from the one thing we humans cannot fix by ourselves.  

Your death and the resurrection I am graced to walk in are the proof to my heart of the physical resurrection that one day will come. 

One. Day. 

Today it’s your 16th birthday.  

But one day it will be the resurrection day.  

So until one day is today, I will trust and find refuge and choose to believe.  

Happy sweet 16th my precious girl!

Love all ways always,


You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him…

Psalm 91:13-15


  1. Thank you for sharing your heart. I can’t imagine the hurt you and your family have suffered. Praying for you friend.

  2. Thank you again. For the millionth time-thank you. You always state so clearly what I am feeling and validate my struggles. Rest assured that God uses your story for good. Thanks for being my inspiration to continue the story.

  3. It is in brokenness that We find him waiting with his arms open wide, and as we continue to cling to the hem of his garment, as his ways are higher than ours…We can trust him in the “Even if’s”… Thank you for the reminder that we may not understand, But God. He is our everything.

  4. I have followed your heartbreaking story since the day it happened. My heart ached every day for you. I never imagined how hard it could be for a mother to lose her child. Until… I lost My only child in a car accident just 2 1/2 years ago.I feel all your pain; I feel all your words. Prayers for you sweet mama!


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