Our Beautiful Angel, Sephora Angeline, has changed our lives as well as the lives of many others through her very short life’s story. At the middle of her story, when we received the Trisomy 13 diagnosis, our world was turned upside down. We cried. We screamed. I was a complete wreck and didn’t leave the house that entire weekend except to go to church. Sephora has helped to stretch me. I feel like I have more compassion for other people around me. My patience could still use some work, however.
When we went to see “The Centurion The Musical,” a bagpiper played Amazing Grace in Act 2. I remember sitting in my seat listening to the music and singing the words in my head. It was there, that the comprehension and understanding of “Amazing Grace” hit me. Up until that day, I’d never tried to figure out its meaning. Finally, I understand. Amazing Grace, in it’s very simple form, is about more than just grace.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found. Was blind but now I see. –Who am I, that this verse brings me back to God’s eternal upper story versus our human lower story we have been examining at our church recently. How does my husband, Chris, my angel baby, Sephora, and my life fit into God’s unchanging upper story? Maybe, part of the answer is found in that old Hymn I heard last week at that powerful biblical musical my husband and I saw.
Through many dangers toils and snares I have already come. Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home! –Our journey with Sephora has taken us through many emotions. Those who hear her story and have graciously contacted us through visits, emails, blog responses, etc.–some have shared that they have been inspired by our courage and strength to overcome the loss of our precious baby. “Grace” has kept us safe. Grace has certainly kept us sane. Through grace, we have been able to understand Sephora’s purpose. Grace let us love our precious baby unconditionally. Grace has shaped our life’s story by putting Sephora in it. My husband and my faith assures us that God’s grace will lead us home to Heaven to finally be with our Sephora. As the bagpiper played, and this verse sang in my head, I remember crying, however, a feeling of relief came over me. Through meeting my husband 7 years ago, finishing college, getting married last year, finding out we were expecting, learning our first baby had a severe chromosomal abnormality, carrying her to the end of pregnancy, getting extremely sick because of high blood pressure, preeclampsia, and HELLP Syndrome, having an emergency c-section to save my life, giving birth to our beautiful little Sephora, and having her transition home to be with Jesus and all of the Saints who have preceded her in Heaven while she was in my arms, we certainly have been through a lot. However, through His grace, we came through it all in one piece. This, I believe is the best answer I can offer those friends and family members who have asked…”How have you and your husband been able to make it through?”
Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (NIV 1984)