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Five Years in Heaven.

Bridget, happy 5th birthday in Heaven, my strong and sweet baby girl.

It's so hard to believe that five years ago today that you were born and I held you in my arms. I will never forget that day for as long as I live. The day I met you, held you, and kissed you, was one of the best days of my life. My heart filled with a love that I had never known until that day. An unconditional, all-encompassing love that death could not touch.

That love has changed me and my life forever. Other than Jesus, no other person on this earth has made more of an impact on my life than you.

I am so honored that I get to be your mommy and live out the calling God has for your life. I thank Jesus everyday that I am promised eternity in Heaven with you and I get the privilege to share the hope of Heaven with others in your memory.

Mommy and Daddy miss you so much. We talk about you all the time. Your two-and-half year-old brother, Branton, knows all about you and misses you too. We take him to your grave and to Bridget's Cradles headquarters often. As he's getting older and learning more about God and Heaven, he is understanding more and more of your story.

Though to the world he may look like our firstborn, our only child, we are teaching him (and sharing with others) that he's our second child. We've explained to him that Mommy and Daddy had a baby before him, and that his Sissy is in Heaven with Jesus.

This past weekend we celebrated your 5th birthday with our families. We shared memories we had of your day of birth, and talked about how we're grieving and healing five years later. We needed the time to pause and reflect, to cry and mourn, to hope and look forward.

We trust God's plan for your life, and have peace resting in His goodness and sovereignty. We believe you lived all the days you were ordained to live and that God knew before you were born, from the beginning of time, the reason He would send you to earth for those brief months in my womb.

He is a good God and even though we miss you so much on earth, we have hope that we will see you again in Heaven and spend eternity together. As your Papa said, you never had to experience the trials and pain of living on this broken earth. You went straight into the arms of Jesus. Could there be a better life? We are the ones who have to suffer here on earth. You will never know suffering, pain, or sadness. You will never have your heart broken, never be rejected or betrayed, never experience any loss or grief.

You live outside of time and space and this waiting period to be with your family again is probably but a blink of an eye to you. You are exploring the glory and majesty of Paradise with your Creator. I truly can't wait to be reunited with you and enjoy Heaven with you.

Your life and death has given me peace about my own mortality. I'm not scared of death. My eternity is certain and I know that the moment I enter into Heaven I will get to see your beautiful face. With my last dying breath on this earth, you and Jesus will be on my heart and mind.

You have given me an eternal perspective, you keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. Though I was following Jesus before becoming your mommy, meeting you five years ago today was my moment of surrender. The moment my faith became really real and I wanted to live fully devoted, surrendering all for His glory.

Bridget, there are no words to describe my love for you. No words to describe the impact you've had on my life and so many others. I pray that my life honors you in all I do, every single day, and I can't wait to see you again. I love you my precious daughter.

Love always, Mommy

Written by Ashley Opliger

Bridget's Mom & Executive Director of Bridget's Cradles

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