It’s 6:05am on 7/7/16 and I can’t help but reminisce about what I was doing exactly a year ago today. At 6:05am on 7/7/15, I was lying in the hospital wondering if I was dreaming. Only about four hours prior, at 1:46am, my very first child, my baby girl Niya Alise Hogan, was born. I remember the moment like this:
They passed her to me first. Due to exhaustion and disorientation from prior pain medication, this moment is foggy but I remember. I remember her face, her slow breaths, and mostly how she snuggled close to me. A few moments later, I reached to give her to her daddy who stood with the same amazement. As he held her, she snuggled close to him but my fondest memory is her grabbing his finger. He smiled in a way I’d never seen him smile before. His smile was like he was saying “ I love you so much and am so glad you’re here” and “I’m so afraid that you’re here so early; please be ok” all at the same time. I know my husband’s love but at that momentNiya stepped into a special place in his heart different from what I’d ever experienced. He was a daddy and he was in love in way that is indescribable.
But, unfortunately at 1:52, once she was back in my arms I heard the worse words I’d ever heard, “I’m not getting a heartbeat.” I knew what that meant but for whatever reason it didn’t hit me. Possibly due to the medication side effects but the disorientation felt different this time. The feeling was peaceful. I heard her but I felt covered. It was as if God was shielding me from the affects of what that statement meant. All I could do was look at her and tell her I loved her. So, that’s what I did until they took her from my arms. I said, “I love you baby.”
So today, 7/7/16 I continue to say, “I love you” . You see, I’ve spent the past 365 days finding ways to say this. Whether it was by wearing a necklace with her baby ring on it or sharing an infant loss ribbon on social media, I’ve endeavored to move forward with my love for her in mind and the meaning of her name in my heart. You see, Niya was not just a cute name we found on a baby website. It was selected uniquely for her. In Swahili, Niya means “purpose” and before we ever knew her gender God told us she’d be a girl. So, with this level of intent given to us by our Father, we knew we always wanted her to reflect what she was created for, a unique “purpose”.
So today we say “ I love you” but in a different way. As we move into this new year, we choose to press forward with this in mind. Our journey from this time last year, has taught us so much. There is no way for me to share it with you at a reasonable length in this blog. It has been so much! I will share more of my thoughts later but today I will simply say “I love you” by sharing with you the tenacity that has been renewed in usfor our purpose since her birth. The day after she was born, her dad and I spent our last moments at the hospital making a list of what she taught us. As I reflect on this list today, I’d like to share with you the last statement we wrote. It says,
”Purpose has nothing to do with time, but everything to do with the value you give to your life.”
So since that day, we have pressed forward placing more emphasis on the value of the lives God has given us. We have made more intentional decisions regarding our purposes and have chosen to press forward. Not just move forward, but “press” forward. It has and will continue to be a journey that will require great trust in God and we choose to allow His glory to be shown as we intentionally press forward towards the high callings He has given us.
If you are reading this, first I’d like to say thank you for taking the time to share this moment with us. We solicit your continued prayers and agreement for peace and strength. I hope this will encourage you as well to be intentional with your purpose. Whatever God is calling you to do, do it. But please don’t do it because you want to be a good Christian, an example for others, or fulfilled in this life. Do it because the Creator of us all desires a closer walk with you. He wants intimacy and the only way He can get that is through your communion with the Holy Spirit. As you follow His leadings, He will develop you into the person He created you to be from the beginning. But again, He is doing this for His glory. Let His glory be shown simply for His glory to be shown.
“Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he has planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:9-10
Live Intentionally for Him!
A Letter to Niya Alise
So today, Niya Alise, I say “I love you” again by telling you thank you! Your life was and continues to be a blessing to us and so many others. We can’t wait to share it with your siblings, one of which will be arriving very soon on 12/12/16! We embrace this stage of transition with you in mind everyday! We are so excited to tell him or her about you! Today we will celebrate you like we know you are celebrating in Heaven! God is still good and we are trusting Him!
Your legacy will never be forgotten but illuminated for all to see!
I love you! #TheLegacyofNiyaAlise