It's been 4 months and one day since we went in for our 20 week anatomical ultrasound (you can read about that here). It's been 4 months since I felt my daughter move. It's been almost 4 months since I delivered her, 19 weeks early (you can read about that here). It's 16 days until her due date. It's 16 days till Christmas. It's 16 days till we celebrate our Savior's birth.
We are in the season of advent, the time of preparation. Although I'm not preparing for Abbie's birth, I am still preparing for Jesus'. Although I'm not anticipating the birth of my daughter, I am anticipating the birth of my Savior.
The birth of my Savior has brought tidings of comfort and joy. The birth of my Savior brought hope. Peace. Strength. Faith.
The birth of my Savior meant that God's promises are true, meant that the word of the Lord stands forever.
The birth of my Savior brought empathy. My Savior knows how I'm feeling. My God has experienced the loss of a precious child.
Abbie was due on Christmas. The beauty of her due date being on the day of our Savior's birth is not lost on me, but it's something I can't quite put into words.
Jesus' birth brought comfort and joy. Jesus' life and death and resurrection brought grace and redemption.
Abigail Grace means "gives joy; grace."
We didn't look at what her name meant until months after she was gone.
The beauty of what her name means and what Jesus' life brought and made possible is not lost on me, but once again I can't quite put it into words.
It's a parallel I really believe was orchestrated by God.
My heart is broken. I'm still so sad. I miss my daughter dearly and I so desperately want to be preparing for her grand entrance into this world (lets be honest, my daughter would have a flair for drama and want to make an entrance).
But I'm thankful that right now I can also focus on Jesus' birth and what that means for me today.
It means I am not alone.
It means I have hope.
It means God Is faithful.
It means I have grace.
It means I have new life.
It means I can rejoice despite my suffering.
The Birth of Jesus Christ
 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.  This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria.  And all went to be registered, each to his own town.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,  to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.  And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels
 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.  And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
 “Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”  And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.  And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. (ESV)