Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." TNIV This verse has been very close to my heart over the last few days. I had a conversation with my mother-in-law last weekend that really solidified this verse for me. First, some previous information thay may be helpful. Three years ago today our daugther, Ava Nicole, left this world to live with her heavenly Father. The past three years have been a major uphill battle but the Lord has been near to us through it all. After we lost Ava, the mental pictures of that day were nearly controlling my mind. I began to ask for prayer, specifically that the Lord would take these pictures from my mind and replace them with memories and peace. Fast forward three years and to my conversation last weekend. We were talking about Ava and how we have come so far since her death. We talked about how three years ago, before Ava's death, we were different people than we are now. Yes, it has been hard, but the growth that takes place is immeasurable. We went on to talk about how we remember her. The only word I could think of to describe that point in my life and the memory of Ava is "bittersweet." My memories are no longer of that horrible day and the pictures that went along with that. God granted many peoples prayers. Today, I remember her sweet little face. I remember taking her to the zoo and how contented she was all day in her car seat. I remember the day she was born and I was so drugged that I kept falling asleep right after she was born. The doctors thought it would be a few hours and it turned out to be only a few minutes. :-) I remember how we felt our family was complete. The day we brought Ava home I was sad that our birthing days were over. My memories also include the time after her death. We spent about a week at the lake a few days after she died, just to get away. I remember thinking that if my heart could crush my body, it would. I thought I would never take a bite of food with enjoyment ever again. Swallowing past the lump in my throat was difficult for months. I remember standing at Zoe's and Noah's cribs every evening and thanking God for getting us through another day. But the funny thing is, the pictures of that day and that hour of wondering if she would survive or not no longer have control over my mind. God granted the prayers of many and relieved me of carrying that burden. I don't think I would be the person I am today if I had to carry those pictures around in my head. Through this all, my God has given my many things. He gave me a closer relationship with those around me, he gave me another wonderful son, he saved my husband when he should have died, but most of all, he have me Himself.