I have thought of and prayed for Amanda daily, often hourly, for the last eleven months. At the end of June last year, their family received the devastating news that their spunky, happy, vibrant, creative girl, Avery, had an inoperable brain tumor. Like hundreds and thousands of others, I read updates and prayed for healing and a miracle for Avery, for love and covering for the other precious three children, and for wisdom and comfort for Brandon and Amanda.
Throughout this journey, Amanda has given every ounce of her strength, heart and life to her daughter and her whole family. She has clung to her faith and truth, even when completely heartbroken. She has loved fiercely, beautifully, overwhelmingly.
Avery received her healing in the arms of Jesus, when she went to heaven in February, after fighting DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma) bravely. We have heard the message of her life, loud and clear, and we will never be the same. Her family who so very deeply loved their girl, so very keenly are grieving her loss. Yet they share their hope in Jesus, who is their Anchor.
We had the opportunity to take some family portraits last fall which you can see HERE. Knowing that their grief was so deep and hearts so very tender as we approached Mother's Day, I shared with Amanda that when she was ready I would love to do some special portraits of her with Alex, Cade and Addison and some special ones to always honor Avery, who will be forever her girl and forever be loved.
One of my favorite memories when we did family pictures with Avery in the fall was when she and Amanda were cuddled up on the bench, and she beamed at me and said, "Everyone always tells me I look like my mom." All four of the kids deeply resemble Amanda. When we did these mother's day portraits and were chatting and laughing through questions I was asking them, Alex told me her mom is "caring, creative, and loving." It was such a clear statement that all her kids resemble her in their hearts and characters too. Her mother's imprint is deep.
So this Mother's Day, I want to honor this loving, compassionate, generous, faith filled woman. Amanda, as you have cared for your children as a mother, may you receive that care from the Lord. Isaiah 66:13 promises As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.
My hope is that in these portraits you would see the blessing of the Lord in your relationships with each of the three children that you can wrap your arms around here and the precious girl who will be forever in your heart until you can wrap her in your arms in heaven. Alex, Cade, Avery and Addison will forever be your legacy.
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