Happy 1st Birthday, Baby Layne!
I was telling Rob this morning that it’s hard to believe that we have a ONE year old. The day we met Layne’s little earthly body (after he spent 38 minutes battling in the NICU before meeting his Savior) feels both like it was just yesterday and a thousand years ago all at the same time. I have vivid flashbacks to that day often. And as much as I vividly remember every second, every emotion, every ounce of pain… I just as vividly remember how my God showed up for me that day and every day to follow.
If I’m being completely transparent, I’ve been dreading this day since March 28, 2019. Which sounds down right awful. However, it’s because I didn’t know what those 365 days in between would hold for us. We were walking by faith and not by sight into a time of suffering. A time of suffering that no-one but Jesus could help us through. And I’m honestly so freaking proud of myself (and Rob) — because there were some days this past year that I really didn’t know how I was going to make it through. But, God did. (Because let’s face it, He had to walk with me, carry me… and drag me through every day.)
READ ALSO: Life Lately | No. 07 – Layne Thomas’s Birth Story
READ ALSO: Life Lately | No. 08 – A Letter to Layne on His Due Date
March 28th, 2019 changed me as a person. The events of that day shook and changed me down to my core. I’m not the same person I was just one year ago. (And I’m proud of that!) God has stretched me past my limit (and then some), and I’ve grown and learned to lean on Jesus in a way that I never have before – and in a way that I never want to stop. While some days still trigger me and remind me just how broken this world is (and I am), I am reminded just how faithful God is, even in my darkest moments.
In the past year, so much has happened. Between navigating the raw grief of Layne’s death, getting pregnant again, having a miscarriage, and now being pregnant again with Baby #3 in the midst of a global pandemic — to say it’s been a roller coaster has been a bit of an understatement. If you had told me on this day last year that I would be pregnant with our third baby, I wouldn’t have been able to believe it. To be honest, I’d probably slap you. But, here we are. As we come up on Layne’s first birthday, we are not only celebrating his 38 minutes of life and how his brief life has impacted the souls of so many. We are also celebrating God’s continual goodness and faithfulness in that He has given us the gracious gift of Baby #3… a perfect and happy baby #3…
READ ALSO: Life Lately | No. 17 – BABY #3?!
Today may be Baby Layne’s birthday, but this isn’t the only day that we celebrate his life or talk about him. I often wonder what he’s like. He looked so much like his daddy when he was born. (Although I’m told he has my nose!) I also often wonder what his personality would have been like. While it may make me cry, I actually do love to talk about him. Maybe it’s because I’m afraid that people will forget about him. But even more so I think it’s just like any other momma talking about their baby. I love talking about how handsome he was, the things he might have loved, and what I wish I could’ve gotten to do with him.
I also love getting to have raw conversations with others about how his brief 38 minutes of life has inspired, changed, and is continuing to change the lives of so many people. We celebrate our little man daily, and we talk about him constantly. His birth and story is so ingrained into our lives and who God is shaping us to be, that it’s impossible to go a day without him being a part of it.
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” – Philippians 1:3
Today, Rob and I went to visit Layne’s grave (like we do regularly). We brought him balloons and a stuffed bear, and we sung him Happy Birthday. I lost a balloon on the way, and I ugly cried (thinking, total #momfail!) However, my sweet Rob said that Layne just wanted his balloon up in heaven. We then spent the day at home planting some flowers and enjoying the sunshine before having a nice birthday dinner and cake (made and delivered by my favorite person – Cake Envy – thanks to my mom and dad!) It was the sweetest day full of the kindest messages and phone calls from a few of our family and friends who wanted us to know that they still love and remember our baby.
Baby Layne… Happy Birthday, my little man. You would have been one today — and even though our hearts ache to have you with us doing all the things that little one year olds do, we praise God that you are in the place we all ultimately long to be. We love and miss you big…
I JUST STUMBLED ONTO YOUR site AND WOW! WHAT AN INCREDIBLE TESTIMONY. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR PAIN AND LETTING GOD BE GLORIFIED IN YOUR STORY. It’s incredible how he can hold us and help us through heartbreak and seeming hopelessness and give us His strength and hope.