Apr 18, 2011

the puzzle pieces...

Hi friends! I pray this finds you well and enjoying something cozy today...coffee, hugs, cozy pj's, you pick! I am thinking cozy thoughts today because I am freezing here today. Everyone here kept telling me that it was going to get cold but I really didn't believe them until today. It's not sub-zero by any means only 53 degrees-ish but it's amazing how chilly you stay all day when no one has central heating! All of my babies wore snugglies all day long and I wore my blue gloves from my friend Lauri all day! Time to bust out the hot water bottles, hoodies and sweaters!

It is funny how memories work, how some remain stubbornly stuck to your mind like ugly flower wallpaper and others disappear without a trace and how you can recall something that you haven’t thought about for years in an instant. A few days ago the Lord brought to my mind a memory that I hadn’t recalled in years. When I was in High School a girl named Jenny Lin who was a Middle School student in our town was murdered afterschool in her home while her parents were still at work. It rocked our suburban town and remains an unsolved mystery to this day. Jenny was a fantastic violin player and her parents created a foundation that had the dual purpose of seeking leads into Jenny’s murder and promoting the arts in honor of her memory. My mom began volunteering with the Jenny Lin Foundation, and because of her and with us being in our school’s choirs, my siblings and I began to perform at certain Jenny Lin Foundation events. A year or two after Jenny died, the cities in our area decided to create a memorial grove of trees in memory of children, like Jenny, whose lives had been tragically cut short. Trees were planted, families and friends gathered, my sister and I sung “Amazing Grace” and we mourned lives unlived, potentials snuffed out in an instant. Hung amongst the new saplings were burgundy, hand painted flags each bearing the name of each of the children our community had lost. As the press packed up and people headed down the hill to their cars one by one the families took their children’s flags until just one remained. It was a flag remembering the brief life of a baby that had been abandoned, left to die and found too late to be saved. If my memory serves me correctly it just had the simple words “Unknown Baby” where it’s name should have gone. I had always loved babies, newborns in particular, imagining and planning even as a kindergartner that marvelous day when I would get to hold a baby of my very own. I couldn’t even begin to grasp that concept of leaving a precious baby to die and I couldn’t leave that flag hanging all alone in that park. Somehow it was like we were going to abandon that baby’s memory just like it’s mother had and I couldn’t bear it. So I took it home with me and it hung on my wall for years until I moved out of my parents house and it got lost in a box somewhere.

I’m not even sure what brought that to my mind last week but it was another layer of confirmation for me that this is part of what God designed my life for: to be a mother to babies who have been abandoned by the mothers who birthed them. I firmly believe that God has pieced each of our experiences, trials, joys, lessons and pains to create a beautifully intricate gift that we call “today”. Until we reach the other side of eternity many of the puzzle pieces will remain blurry like a Monet painting but some times we get to see a glimpse of the masterpiece God calls our lives on this side of forever. That’s what happened for me when I remembered that burgundy flag that I saw everyday for years. It’s no accident that I am here in Johannesburg spending my days loving on these precious babies. My Father had this in mind for me long, long before I heard of Door of Hope, before I ever held my first newborn or saw that burgundy flag hanging all alone in a grove of memorial trees. Thank you Jesus for allowing me to see a part of the seed that you planted in my heart on that afternoon almost 15 years ago. Thank you for the hundreds of paint strokes in my life that have brought me to this particular place of service and surrender. I am convinced that all of this is to bring the Savior glory in my life and I can’t wait to stand by His side and observe the completed canvas of my life and to marvel at the finished works of art called the lives of these babies I’m loving on today.

Here are a few quick pictures from my Baby House:

Jackson and I getting some cuddles in. I have to fight for them, he's a house favorite for sure!

Me and Jackson, side profile view...

Jackson and I posing with him in the moby wrap... check out that amazing hair!!!

This is Auntie Angela with one of our small babies...he's the youngest in the house right now but a big boy who has a healthy set of lungs. Angela has been such a blessing to me at BH2, such a kind heart who encourages me in the Lord. She's a Pastor's wife and it shows!

Hugs and Kisses... Nicolie


  1. Such a sweet story! So glad to hear the God is confirming His plan upon your heart. :) And I was going to say I love your hair in that pic, then I realized you were talking about that precious baby's hair. But yours is cute too!! Love you Nicolie!

  2. and I love YOU, megan! congrats on your little bun in the oven! so excited for you! thank you for your encouraging words, friend!

  3. Hi Nicole
    I'm Leanne (Lisa's sister). She just sent me the link to your blog. I've so enjoyed reading a few of your posts! Lisa has told me how great you are and reading this has very much confirmed everything that she has shared with me about you. I immediately thanked the Lord for placing you in her life at this time. Praise Him for His perfect plan! I look forward to reading more about your journey in this calling!

  4. Praise God for you Nicole! You are so right, He has prepared good works for us in advance, and your humble attitude is such a blessing.


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