Claire's Christmas Present

“But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Amongst one of the most joyous seasons of the year, Jordan and I have experienced one of the toughest ones of our lives. I can say the only thing more difficult that grieving the loss of my daughter, has been watching my husband mourn his little girl. As a wife and a mother, I have natural tendencies to not only listen, love and care for, but I have strong desires to fix and mend…but I can’t. Time is flying by. Days are a blur. Life does not make sense yet, and I can’t seem to catch up. Sometimes I wonder how I am surviving each day when I feel so inadequately prepared in every way. Colossians 1:16-17 ”For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” God was before Claire’s Leukemia, before Claire, before me, before time. Nothing is out of his sight, nothing is out of his control, nothing is out of his hands. Coming across this scripture filled me with peace. We were all created to receive God’s love, and He is showing it now by literally holding me together when the only thing I feel I can do is unravel. Christ has our hearts, our future, and our unborn son in His hands. There is no safer place to be.

Isaiah 9:6 “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” The only thing I could want in this world is at home in heaven. This allowed me to focus more on the spiritual side of Christmas rather the cultural like never before. Losing excitement in tangible presents increased my gratitude for the many spiritual blessings. Allowing me to more fully embrace and accept that which comes only from the Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace. Faith in his will, purpose in his work, hope in our future, joy in my soul, and peace for mind.

God blessed us with two years to share the Christmas holiday with Claire, even though one of the two years was at Duke. As this year approached we realize she is celebrating the birth of our Savior while in his presence. There is nothing we can do that could compete with the ability to praise his holy name in the company of angels, while fully experiencing God’s salvation, love, grace, and mercy. Jordan and I realize how blessed we are, and desire to give back. Therefore, our present to our daughter this year is to continue telling her story, touching people with her testimony, and showing love to others as it was shown to us. After a few months of working with a lawyer we were blessed with the ability to start a non-profit organization called “The Claire Parker Foundation”. We desire to support and care for families affected by pediatric cancer as Christ cared for us through others. My husband and I are currently in the process of getting this project off the ground and running. Our family is eternally grateful for all the support we received during Claire’s battle, your prayers and support are invaluable as we approach this new endeavor all “for the love of Claire.”

God Bless, Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year