You know, our grief has been heavy, but it has not been lonely.  And for that I am so thankful.  Last week marked four years since we last held Annie in our arms and the anticipation of that anniversary date weighs on us all.  Each year we wonder how much we should say and how much we should share.  This year we were more silent.  I’m not exactly sure why– it just seemed more exhausting somehow.  So those who anticipated the date with us were a blessing to us.
Our great friends, Kirby and Christa, came to spend the weekend and it was so special.  Their family is one that has carried us in so many sweet ways, and we were blown away that they would come and spend time with our crazy family.  William was so pumped to have them at his first soccer game of the season.  They encouraged us, laughed with us and played many, many rounds of Apples to Apples.
On Sunday night, several of our friends came to our house and we released balloons.  It was sweet in the way that grief is with children– moments of sad drawings, followed by shrieks of laughter and running outside to play.  
 And then, the next day, I cut my Sweet Annie.  This gift from God amazes me and humbles me every year.  
In some ways, four years ago seems like so long, in other ways it seems like a blink of an eye.  I simply cannot believe what God has brought us through.  I feel like I’m in a different place in my grief than I’ve been before.  It’s more thoughtful, more internal.  Now that grief no longer overwhelms me, I find myself just processing more, trying to articulate my thoughts and feelings.  
Last week, Peter closed our service with Peacemaker, a song that we played at Annie’s funeral.  As I cried my way through it, I realized that four years ago, I was begging Jesus to be all the things that the song declared Him to be.  This year, I found myself replaying all the ways that He has revealed Himself to me.  It humbles me beyond words.