An Ebenezer stone is a reference to 1 Samuel 7, where the prophet Samuel raises up a stone as a sign to Israel of God’s ever present help, healing and hope. An Ebenezer stone is a concrete reminder of God’s help.
Allyson Saul lives in Dallas Texas and is married to Andrew. Allyson and Andrew are dear friends to Michael and Emily. They went to college together at Florida State University. Andrew discipled Michael during his college years. Allyson has known Emily since childhood. This letter is written to Blakely.
There is not a day that goes by that God doesn’t somehow weave you into my thoughts. Some days it’s thoughts of your name or of bumblebees. Some days it’s thoughts of your face, your bright blue eyes or your incredible head of hair. But more recently it has been thoughts about all the ways God used YOU to bind my wandering heart to Him. Specifically, in the way you said yes to Him. Blakely, you have reconciled me to Jesus more times than I can remember and for that I am so grateful.
It started the first moment I held you in the hospital just a day after you made your debut. I remember getting to the hospital and your Uncle Drew and I literally running through the halls to find you. We did not want to waste a moment. I did not know it then but in that moment, you taught me something. You see, before you, I did not respect the idea that moments are extremely precious and God gives us big AND small moments to use for His glory. When it came down to it, I thought there would always be someone more equipped or a better time, but that person wasn’t me and that moment wasn’t now. You, sweet girl, have been my Ebenezer stone to remember all that God can accomplish in a moment if we are only willing to say yes.
Fast forward a couple months and we flew out to see you in St. Louis. We were so excited to hold and snuggle you. We did so many fun things together that weekend. We went out to dinner, ate hot wings on the back deck (your Mommy and I’s favorite, haha). Uncle Drew and I even got to have you all to ourselves while Mommy and Daddy took a nap. We got to give you a bath, rock you to sleep, and we even got the privilege of changing a couple of your famous blow outs! We cherish that weekend so much because that was life with you. This was also the weekend the doctors started having you take Ativan. Your seizures were pretty consistent and I remember holding you and talking you through them. Your Mommy and Daddy were so brave and my heart ached both for you and for them. But each time you would come out and either fall peacefully back to sleep or let out your sweet little cry and show those seizures who was boss. Each time, a confirmation that you were being faithful to your calling and saying yes even when it got really hard for you. You did a lot if hard things. Things I don’t know I would have the strength to do. I am braver because of you.
In the months leading up to February 18th I remember feeling scared. Scared of thinking about the world without you in in it, scared of how much I would miss holding you and seeing your face, scared of just how I was going to be there for your Mommy and Daddy. The day you passed I drove as fast as I could to get to you. I got to kiss your face and tell you I loved you. I remember feeling so proud of you. You fought such a good fight. Such a hard fight. And with help from your Mom and Dad I was taught yet another thing about saying yes. Saying yes doesn’t mean you get what you want. It didn’t mean you got to stay with us. In fact, sometimes saying yes seemed like it was harder for you than if you were to say no. But you showed me that we can confidently say yes to God not knowing the outcome because of our assurance of our future. Your future as well as mine is secured because we know Jesus. Saying yes isn’t always comfortable or easy but it’s possible to do with joy. You showed me that.
I don’t like life without you, it doesn’t seem right and probably never will. I miss you and I wish you were here with me and here to meet your cousin Madeline. I promise to tell her all about you. She will know you and all that you did to show the world, especially me, what living life faithfully to your purpose looks like. I love you sweet girl!
Love, Aunt Allyson