ANNIE GRACE SABIN - March 30, 2010 - August 1, 2010

ANNIE GRACE SABIN - March 30, 2010 - August 1, 2010


Friday, March 28, 2014

Tender Mercies

This little cutie-pie turned 5 in December.  I love this girl and often say to others that she has been SO good for my heart these last few years.  When I found out that I was pregnant with Annie, I cried, in part because Hadley was only 6 months old at the time, and I couldn't fathom how I was going to add another baby to the mix and keep my sanity.

I knew my tears were selfish, but I couldn't deny my feelings (or stop the tears for that matter).  At that time, I had no idea about Annie's complicated heart defects and the toll that they would take on her life and mine.  And still, consumed in self-pity, I questioned Heavenly Father's timing in sending another little one to our family.

I just could not see the wisdom in it.
Fast forward a few months and we found out that not only were we welcoming a daughter, but this baby was going to have a tough time.  Her life was not going to be easy.  We knew then that even if things went well, she and we would be spending a significant amount of time at the hospital.  By this time, I knew that Annie was meant for our family.  I no longer questioned Heavenly Father in sending her to us.

But, I still wondered about the timing.  Hadley was too young to understand any of it, and I wished that she was older; that the gap between these two was wider.
Annie was born and things didn't go as well as we had hoped they would.  For the next several months, I spent every single day (except one, when I was sick) in Annie's hospital room.  She had to be my number one priority, and while I knew that I was making the right choice, I felt guilty about the impact this might be having on my children at home, especially Hadley who was surely wondering why Mom was leaving her every day.

Again, I wished that she was older, and assumed that this would all be a bit easier if she were.

Four months later, Annie died.
I was home again. 
Just like that, it was over. 

I had my old life back.

But I was not my old self.

The new me had a hole in my heart that just would not quit.   
I still have a hole in my heart.

But I can now see that Heavenly Father's ways are (and always were) so much higher and better than my ways.  What I thought was terrible timing on His part, was, in reality, one of the greatest tender mercies He has ever shown me. 
He knew that Annie wasn't staying for long.  He knew that she wasn't coming home to us.  He knew that her life and her death would introduce me to a soul-crushing grief that my previous self didn't even know was possible.  He knew that when she was gone, when she was really gone, my heart and my arms would literally ache to hold and rock and cuddle that precious, priceless, youngest daughter.

He couldn't let me keep her.  He couldn't give me that.  But, he could give me another daughter that loved to be held and rocked and cuddled and snuggled tight.  And, He could send these two girls close enough together that the big sister hadn't outgrown all of these things when He called the little sister home. 
He could give me that.
All of my kids have been snuggly-bugs, but Hadley is by far the snuggliest.  Even now, at the age of five, she is happy to curl up on my lap or in my bed and just be held.  She is not a replacement for Annie.  No one ever could be.  Hadley is her own beautiful person that lights up our family in so many ways.  She is adored and loved by every single one of us.  But, I have no doubt that her place in our family was divinely appointed.  She was meant to be a barely bigger sister to our precious little Annie.  The Lord was in all of it.  Every detail.  I didn't understand it.  But He did.  And in His infinite wisdom and love, He granted this blessing to me that I did not ask for or deserve.
A beautiful tender mercy.
Almost four years ago, while waiting for Annie to come out of one of her many surgeries, I passed the time hand-stitching this quote by Elder David A. Bednar onto a piece of fabric:
"The tender mercies of the Lord are real and they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence.  Faithfulness, obedience and humility invite tender mercies into our lives, and it is often the Lord's timing that enables us to recognize and treasure these important blessings.  We should not underestimate or overlook the power of the Lord's tender mercies.  The simpleness, the sweetness, and the constancy of the tender mercies of the Lord will do much to fortify and protect us in the troubled times in which we do now and will yet live."
I loved this the first time I heard it (years before Annie was born).  I love it even more today. 
His tender mercies are real.
I know that, for sure.


  1. Beautiful. I love your writings and your faith.

  2. I am so happy that I "just happened" to read your blog today. You put difficult and trying times And emotions into such a beautiful perspective. We just took annoes's tree down March 1st. A little late I. The year, but we sure do love your little girl who we never got to meet, but I feel like we know her through reading about her.

  3. Amy, you have such a gift for expressing your feelings and touching our hearts! Thank you for blogging, for what you have learned, and for what you continue to teach us.

  4. Thank you Amy! As hard as this Heart Journey is, I am thankful it brought us together

  5. Amy, I keep your blog on my account for updates. And I hardly ever get on my blog anymore, but I saw you had posted. And I want to thank you. You have a beautiful gift and a beautiful testimony. Thank you for sharing that with me through the internet. What an amazing family you have. Sweet Annie must be so proud to be part of it.

  6. Thank you Amy. Very well written and true. Hugs Angel Momma!

  7. Thank you Amy for sharing. You are an amazing women.