A Different Letter, One Year Earlier

View More: http://sherahgphotography.pass.us/anysia-bateman

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A couple of days ago, I wrote a letter to Anysia on her first birthday. It is the first I’ve ever written, but hopefully not the last.

Today, I wanted to post a different letter… one that was written for her one year ago, and read to her on her original birth day, while she was living and breathing and in my arms, in the presence of all who came to meet her that day in the hospital.

It was written by the woman who had walked so closely with us during my pregnancy, counseling me, helping me, praying for us, providing for us, and just being an all-around supporter and mentor. I leaned on her often during the most difficult days, and in the days that followed. Sheri, this woman I speak of, is one of the most Godly and spiritual people I know. That is not to be confused with saying she is a really good person… better than anyone else. I simply mean that she has devoted her life to serving God and serving others. When she prayed for us, I knew it was a prayer that “availeth much.”

Anyway, given that she strongly desires to walk closely with God, and walked so closely with us, often giving me really sound perspective about our daughter and our struggle, I wanted her to write something for Anysia for the day she was born… a sort of prayer and blessing.

She did… and I think she had been planning on it even before I asked her, although I can’t remember exactly how it all came about. But the point that matters is that she did it. This prayer and blessing were gifts to us. Today, I’m sharing the blessing, which was written in the form of a letter to Anysia. While written by my friend, the words in it were really from all of us.

The photos I’ve included {taken by Sherah, whose gift of photography was as much a gift to us that day as Sheri’s words were} actually captured the specific moment—among those six short hours—that the letter was read out loud to Anysia.
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View More: http://sherahgphotography.pass.us/anysia-bateman

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When Sheri read these words at the hospital that day, I cried… naturally. Every single word was perfectly placed, a flawless letter crafted for such a precious life. I’m so glad that the only letter she ever received in her short life was one such as this…
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Anysia

The primary meaning of your name is “complete.” When your mother chose it, she had one meaning in mind, but as with many prophecies, it is only in the fullness of time that the true interpretation unfolds. Now we can see that “complete” denotes the reality that you are whole and perfect in the eyes of your Creator, who purposed you to bring Him glory.

In the Gospels is given the account of a man who was born blind. The disciples didn’t understand why and asked Jesus if this was because his parents had sinned or if God was punishing the man for some moral fault of his own. But Jesus said neither of these was the reason. What people perceived as a defect, God had purposed to bring Himself glory—A temporary affliction which had eternal reward, for this man born blind saw what the learned religious leaders could not see—that Jesus was from God, the promised Messiah—and he called Him, “Lord.”

Anysia, you were purposed for the honor and glory of God. Your parents chose to look beyond what is seen with only human eyes. They have chosen to revere Him by cherishing the life He gave you. They did not take your life into their own hands, but offered you to Him with open hands, to complete in you the glory that is His through their trust, their surrender, their faith in His great goodness.

Many times the apostle John uses the word “complete” in tandem with the words “joy” and “love.” He says, “If we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.” Anysia, this is one way your name has been fulfilled. Because of the love your parents have for the Lord and for you, God’s love is being made complete in them. You have been loved from the moment they knew about you. And even as events unfolded that showed them the grief they would suffer at losing you so soon, their love persisted. You have been loved with a tenacious love, a complete love, a divine love.

Another meaning of your name is “satisfy.” In this life satisfaction is so fleeting. We are satisfied by a delicious meal, only to be hungry again a short time later. But the satisfaction God offers us does not fade away. The scriptures say, “Satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love, that we will sing for joy and be glad all of our days;” “I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint;” “And I—in righteousness I will see Your face, when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness;” and “After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied.” All of these speak of a satisfaction that is found in God alone and will last forever. That, Anysia, is the state to which we release you, knowing that you, much sooner than we, will enter a place of full and joyous satisfaction. That you will go from the loving arms of your parents, directly to the Everlasting Love found in the arms of your Father and Savior, never to know the pain or shame of willfully choosing to sin against Him, or the anguish of loss or disappointment.

All you will know of this world is that you were loved, and that you are complete and satisfied in glory.
. . . And you will dwell in the house of the Lord, forever.
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View More: http://sherahgphotography.pass.us/anysia-bateman

{This is Sheri, giving Anysia a kiss on the forehead after reading her letter out loud.}
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Perhaps tomorrow I will post the prayer. Can’t believe it’s taken me a year to post either one… I’ve wanted to share them here since I first heard them.

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