I met your dad first. My husband, Shane, had recently taken a job at the church, and your dad was one of the first people he connected with. They got along right away – they have so much in common. First, their similar, goofy personalities that seem to come out the most when they are with the people they love. Then, their devotion to their families. Oh, sweet girl, your daddy is SO devoted to you. And when a daddy loves his babies the way your daddy does, the separation of Heaven and Earth can’t even get in the way of that.
I met your mommy soon after. In fact, you were there, too. It was at the Return, and you were there with your brother and your sister. Your mommy was beaming as she watched you hop from group to group. The pride was evident as she watched her little girl be so loved on. Her love and adoration for you is tangible. Mommies share a special connection with their girls, and you and your mommy are no exception. She loves you in the deepest ways.
Calla, you and I didn’t get the chance to spend time together on this earth. Not until those last two days before you jumped into the arms of Jesus. You have so many people who love you, and now I know why. You worship your King without abandon, and you have taught me so much about that.
The doctors and nurses who were in and out of your room knew something was different in room 21. When I arrived and told the desk who I was there to see, I saw the excitement and heartache run across the faces of those who knew exactly what I was there for. They knew I was there to see you – I was proudly “with Calla” – and that brought them happiness because YOU brought them happiness. Your love for Jesus changed them in that short time they knew you. However, they also knew that you were ready to go home. And that broke their hearts. I don’t think it’s often that the hospital staff grieves the way they were grieving.
When the time came for everyone to say goodbye, it was the hardest but most beautiful thing to witness. Your family was so filled with joy, sweet Calla. They knew that you were about to leave this world, and while it was impossible not to cry, they were all so excited to know you were Heaven-bound. There was mourning, but there was wonder and comfort in knowing what was next for you.
You were snuggled in your mommy and daddy’s arms, being held by the two people who love you the most on this earth (and that is saying something because, girl, you are LOVED!). They prayed and worshiped and walked you right up to the throne. It was sacred… it was nothing short of holy.
Calla, I didn’t know how to leave that day… I didn’t want to leave. God was there and He was doing something incredible. I’ve never felt Him present like I did that day. But I slipped out and barely made it to my car, then sat in the parking garage, crying and celebrating your homecoming.
Sweet, sweet Calla. Your life changed my life that day. I have a clearer view of eternity because of the way you boldly proclaimed Jesus.
This isn’t the story any of us would write. But goodness, your mommy and daddy, your friends and family… they are making sure it is a beautiful one.