Today, our Jace Richard would have been four years old. He would have been probably getting a bike with training wheels. He would have been having a party with his cousins and his friends. We would be getting lots of birthday hugs and probably putting out fights between brothers and sister. Today, instead of celebrating four years of life with my little man, I am reflecting on sweet memories and wishing we had gotten to make more. I am wondering what he would have looked like, what our family would look like, where we would be now. And as I do this, I realize, like I do so many times, that things are so very different. We had a family discussion last night at birthday celebration for my brother. And I told my dad that I just NEVER again want to be the person that feels like I've got Papa all figured out. That the last time I remember looking at myself and thinking, "wow, I'm really in a great place in my relationship with God." was the day my Jace quit breathing. And that when I think back on who we are now as a family, the before that day and the after that day are so dramatically different. I feel now that I know NOTHING about how Papa works. NOTHING about prayer, NOTHING about His will.... Nothing at all except that He loves me more deeply, more truly and more completely than I ever could imagine or dream. That he truly does hold my whole world in His hands and that He is so very patient with me and my grief and my journey. That He knows that the desire of my heart was to have my Jace here with me just like all the other mommas got to. That He knows that I wanted to watch him grow up and play with his sissy and bring me wilted flowers from the backyard. That I wanted to watch him ride a bike and plan his birthday parties. He knows that that was what we wanted. But that He also knows the plans He has for us. And that the promise is that He will give us a hope and a future. And because I'm not Papa, I cannot fully understand that. I just know that my HOPE and my FUTURE lie in ETERNITY in the arms of my Jesus. So today I am daydreaming of a little, red-haired, curly q's, blue eyed four year old boy. daydreaming of touching his soft curls, smelling his outside, dirty boy smell. Dreaming of getting ready to start pre-k and watching him learn. And all the while, the ache being somewhat soothed by the knowing that He is celebrating this day with My Healer who holds my world in His hands.