Last Christmas was really difficult for Josh and I as it was our first Christmas without Leyton. My father usually leads our family in a short devotional before we eat dinner but last year Josh and I felt the Lord prompting our hearts to write a little something to our family. If I would have been blogging last year I'm sure I would have posted this (maybe I did and I don't remember), but I wanted to share it with you. Re-reading it brings back so many emotions of where we were a year ago and I can't read it without crying and aching for my sweet Leyton.
Last Sunday at church, Josh and I both felt the Lord’s leading to write something for Christmas day. This is just something from our heart that we have felt led to share with our family.
Over these past six months since we’ve lost Leyton, we’ve been asking the Lord, “What are you teaching us through this loss?” We were only thinking about what the Lord would teach us, and last Sunday we realized that the Lord wants to use us through this loss for His glory. We changed our prayers, submitted to God’s sovereignty and asked Him, “How can you use us for your glory this Christmas?” In all that we do and especially through Leyton’s life and death, we want to bring glory to God.
What we want most to come from Leyton’s death is for our family and friends to come to know Jesus and have a personal relationship with Him. Resulting in someday having the honor of meeting Leyton in Heaven. We must stress Leyton did not die for our sins, Christ died for our sins. But we believe for our family, Leyton has prepared the way for the Lord to come into our lives to know Christ in a deeper way. It is our hope that through Leyton, others who have not known Christ may know Him. Leyton should not be the reason for us wanting to attain salvation, yet Christ should be, with Leyton acting as a stepping-stone to Christ.
Leyton has the honor of spending his first Christmas with the Lord. And as much as we wish he were here with us, he is not wishing to be here.
It was exactly a year ago when we announced our pregnancy to the whole family. Even a year ago, God knew where we would be today. He knew He would be taking Leyton home with Him. As sad and devastating as this has been for us, we know God is in control. Even six months later, we cannot understand and will never understand why God chose to bring Leyton home even before we could hear his cry or see his eyes open. But we trust that God cares deeply for us. He was in control a year ago, and today He still remains sovereign and in control.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
God’s care and love for us is still great – even unfathomable at times. God is good and there is nothing that can separate us from His love. And we want everyone here to be able to experience the depth of His love for us. Romans 8 has always been one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, these are a few verses that have always given me strength.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8: 37-39
….in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We also just want to say thank you to our family for the immense care we have received from everyone. We appreciate you all and we praise and give thanks to the Lord for blessing our lives because of you.
This Christmas was certainly bittersweet for me. It has been more than amazing to have Jonah and celebrate his first Christmas with all of our family, but I have not forgotten Leyton and I miss him. But I am encouraged when I look back and reflect and see what the Lord has been doing in my life. He has been so faithful and I am so thankful for my most favorite Christmas gift.