Monday, January 3, 2011


"Sometimes, the whole picture is never meant to be seen."

That is a piece of wisdom that most times I don't want to hear. Especially when it comes to my little cousin Emma. I just don't understand.

Emma is one of the most precious baby girls I've ever met. Full of smiles, life and joy.

I think that's why it's so hard to understand.

Emma isn't like normal baby girls. All her life she's been in and out of hospitals, poked and prodded, in and out of surgeries. It hurts knowing all she has had to go through, a story that would make anyone cry.
But really, the hurt is only half of Emma's story. The other half is harder to see. It's the half that if you didn't know it was there would be completely looked over. This half of Emma's story comes from others. From family, uncles, aunts, grandparents and Jesus.

It took me a long time to learn of the love Jesus has for Emma. And even still I know I can't understand. But somehow, someway, I hope to. In the midst of this fallen world, Jesus loves deep enough to allow Emma to go through this pain.

It feels wrong to say.

But it's true.

On December 31, 2010, I spent the afternoon with Emma and my dear Aunt, her Nana. I couldn't think of a better way to spend the last day of 2010. For the first time, I got to hold and meet this little one. For the first time I saw the sparkle in her eye, heard her talk, saw the wheels constantly turning in her smart little head. In those moments I remembered: My Uncle Rick praying, every day at every meal, lifting her up before the throne of God. I remembered the other countless people who have spend days praying for her healing. I thought of the Savior who came just for her.

I realized Jesus isn't finished with her yet.

My baby cousin Emma understands a part of Jesus at two that I will probably never understand in a lifetime. She understands suffering and the joy that can come from it.

In many ways, I believe Emma wouldn't be as happy as she is if she weren't in pain. I don't think she would bring sunshine to the world if people weren't praying for her. I believe that this precious little one wouldn't know joy without her suffering.

And yet, all I want is for her to heal. It broke my heart to know she's back in the hospital.

So I still don't understand. I never will. How love can be so deep, so flawless, that beauty can come from pain? I believe it will come in Emma's life. I believe it already is. It just hurts to see.

If the day ever comes when I understand, I'll try to put it in words. And when Emma makes it to the other side--the side of living a healthy life, I'll write all of her story. But right now all I can do is pray. And trust.

Jesus loves Emma. So much more than any of my family could. So much more than we could ever imagine. Which is why I can't see the whole picture. Why none of us can.

"Sometimes, the whole picture is never meant to be seen."


  1. I have a baby cousin (11 months old) who was born with alobar holoprosencephaly and hydrocephalus...the doctors never expected her to live thru her birth, and her parents decided not to put her on life support. If God wanted to take her home, they would deal with that. 11 months later she's still here with us!! She can eat, cry, reach for things, hear people, see to an extent, and is just starting to roll over!! Her life is such a miracle, but it is hard to see a tiny, sweet, innocent little baby with so many challenges ahead, knowing that any day may well be her last. You should check out their blog ( They have an amazing attitude about what they've all gone thru with little Victoria!! I'll be praying for your sweet Emma!

  2. Our God has give you such a way with words, Alana, and it will never cease to amaze me. I remember praying for Emma. Its awesome putting a face to the name. She looks like a lot of fun :)