After losing Sephora 5 weeks ago to Trisomy 13, a night out was just the thing that Chris and I needed! Last night, an old friend of my husband’s from his days at Juilliard, Donald Braswell (finalist in “America’s Got Talent” 2008), was in town performing at a theater in our town. When we arrived, the writer of the musical, Debbie Orloff, walked us to our complementary center stage seats in the orchestra part of the auditorium. “The Centurion The Musical,” is a tale of Cornelius, one of the first converts to Christianity set in 64 A.D. As the spiritual head of his household, Cornelius leads his family and community to walk hand in hand with God, while also dealing with the grief given to these Christians by the opposition of the Roman Empire. Cornelius also sets free one of the senator’s female slaves, Carpasia, whose character really touched my heart. Despite the senator’s disbelief and hatred for the Christians, Carpasia’s faith stands firm in God, and she uses her gift of song to share her faith. At the end of Act 1, she sang a very powerful and humble piece with the ensemble that I hadn’t heard in quite some time. “Redeemer.” It was an absolutely incredible rendition of this song that brought me to tears, as the accompaniment eventually dropped out and the ensemble sang A Capella. The Christians eventually were accused of burning down Rome, and were held in a prison where they all were expected to die. Most of the Christians who stood firm in their faith were either executed or left to starve to death, including small children and newborn babies, but the final scene shows all of them being reunited in Heaven. Of course the writer had to tug at our hearts once more by having a little girl run and jump into her mother’s arms after being reunited again in Heaven! Don had told us about this before we arrived at the theater, since he and his wife had been praying for us and following our blog. Even though we were prepared for it and knew it was coming, neither Chris or I could hold back our tears.
God continues to walk with us as we choose to walk hand in hand with him. The bravery, courage, and strength it took to keep going after our baby girl’s Trisomy 13 diagnosis came from nowhere but God. He wrapped his arms around me as I cried into his chest when Sephora very peacefully passed away in my arms. When the bad days come, He surrounds us with people who love us. On great days, the sun shines brighter than ever. As much as we miss our Beautiful Angel, our Sephora Angeline, we are at peace knowing that she is wrapped in the arms of all of our loved ones and friends who have left this Earth. It’s also comforting to think about her playing in Heaven with all of the other Angel Babies in Heaven.
“The very same God who spins things in orbit runs to the weary, the worn, and the weak. The same gentle hands that hold me when I’m broken, they conquer death to bring me victory! I know my Redeemer lives! I know my Redeemer lives! Let all creation testify! Let this life within me cry! I know my Redeemer lives. Because He lives I can face tomorrow!” -“Redeemer”
Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.