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Dear Uriah,

Happy fourth birthday, big guy! I was wondering, if you were still with me here on earth, what I would have given you for your birthday gift this year. Four year old little boys are pretty easy to buy for.  It would just depend on what your likes and dislikes were. Now when your older brother Abner was four he would have wanted anything with Bob the builder, or a gun.  I think when Abner turned four I gave him a Gator truck…he LOVED it.  In fact, he still talks about it. He would drive that thing all over the place.  He would drive over to Grandpa and Grandma Snyder’s house all by himself.  He thought he was pretty big stuff!  Your little brother, Asher, is completely different than Abner.  I think when he turns four this year he will want books, or puzzles, or maybe some cars.  So it makes me stop and think about what you would have liked.  I have a funny feeling you would have been more like Abner.  You never stopped moving while you were inside of me…just like Abner.  I think you probably would have liked a bow and arrow set, a bouncing horse, or your very first BB gun.  

I’ve been given some amazing gifts in my lifetime. As a little girl one of my favorite gifts was a music box.  I would sit and listen to it for hours. My favorite gift for Christmas this year was a memory book about you. I love it so much. It makes me cry, but it makes me very happy too. I only cry because I miss you.  I’m thrilled that you are in heaven with Jesus, though. Our heavenly Father is amazing, as you well know. He always does what is best for us. He gives and He takes away, but only for our good.  God has given me the most amazing gifts ever.  He gave me the gift of salvation.  I’m so glad He offered and I accepted.  He gives me unconditional love, grace, and favor. He has given me 5 beautiful babies. He gave me your amazing daddy! He gave me YOU!  I had you inside of me for 41 wonderful weeks, and then He let me enjoy you here on earth for 2 whole days. Many, many mommies don’t get to enjoy their babies for that long so I’m extremely thankful for that gift!

I want to tell you why you were such an amazing gift to me.  When I found out you were growing inside of me I was beyond thrilled.  The sad part was that at that time I didn’t love Jesus and I didn’t believe that He loved me.  I had loved Him for many years, but people here on earth had hurt me very badly.  People who had told me that they loved Jesus but sure didn’t act like it.  So I had made up my mind that I didn’t want anything to do with people that pretended to love Him, nor did I want Him.  The great thing about God is that He never leaves us…even when we feel like we don’t want or need Him.
For many years I had told myself that I was unlovable. I told myself that people and God didn’t and couldn’t love me.  When you tell yourself something long enough you believe it.  It can be the biggest lie on the planet but we believe it anyway. God gave me another gift during that time.  It was a person who REALLY loved God.  His name is Pastor Dan Mead.  Every single time Pastor Mead saw me he would smile.  He would hug me. He would tell me he loved me. Don’t tell him this but I didn’t believe him.  Probably because of that big ole lie I kept telling myself.  Anyway, he would also tell me how much God loved me. He even tried to prove it to me by reading me verses from the Bible that proclaimed God’s love to me.  I still didn’t believe. I told him that God loved EVERYBODY but for some reason He had chosen to stop loving me.  During this time I rarely took my eyes off of the floor.  My head was always down.  Probably because I didn’t have the strength to look up.  Also, I didn’t want to see all those hurtful people around me pretending to live a life of love.  Pastor Mead would put his hand under my chin and make me look at him.  I didn’t much like that, but it was needed.  Week after week and month after month Pastor Mead repeated those words and verses to me.  When I would leave his office I would feel a little bit better but I still wasn’t able to accept that gift.

Then I started feeling you move and grow inside of me and I knew I had to change my thoughts.  I didn’t want you to grow up feeling unloved.  I knew how that felt and I didn’t want you to ever feel that way, so I made a decision to try one more time.  I was going to try to accept that love again.  The funny thing was that love was always there…I had just refused to take it.  Then on November 15, 2009 my eyes were finally opened and I saw the truth.  Not only did I see it but I accepted it and felt it.  What an amazing thing God’s love is.  Ha, I’m telling you something you already know full well.

Six weeks later you were born, and two days later you died. You know what I think?  I think God knew I needed you in order to accept that love from Him and live the abundant life He had for me.  I don’t know why you had to die and be with Jesus, but I’m thrilled that you are there. You’ve never had to feel unloved.  You’ve never had to feel unwanted.  You’ve never had to feel betrayed by those who say they love you. You have lived in perfection from the moment you opened your eyes.  That is the most awesome gift ever.  I have a feeling you are very thankful for it.  

So even though it is your birthday and I didn’t get a gift for you, I want to thank you for being that little wonderful gift for me.  You were the perfect gift that made me realize how much Jesus loves me. Well, you and Pastor Mead. ;-)  Thank you Uriah…I love you so much and I can’t for a second imagine my life without you…even if it was only for a short time.

Your loving Mommy

This is your Christmas ornament this year.  :-)