A Mosaic of Grace - My reflection on 2013...
by Maribeth Johnson on December 31st, 2013

There's a small part of me that wants to push 2013 under the rug and never be reminded of this year again. But even through the hardest time in our lives with losing our baby girl, there have been so many blessings and opportunities that God has brought into our lives this year that 2013 will definitely go down in history as one of our biggest years yet.
When Abbie Ann was born on January 22nd of this year, never in a million years did I ever think that I would be one of those parents who has to do the unthinkable and say goodbye to our child for the very last time. People ask me all the time "How did you make it through that time?" My answer is simple.  "God's grace...grace only He can give". God's grace was evident through every part of our journey and I am so thankful for my relationship with Him to know and trust that He had a reason for everything we went through.
The first part of the year was spent picking up what seemed to be all of the fallen pieces of our world that was shattered. Waiting for answers as to what to do next.  We knew we wanted another child but in no way wanted to ever feel as if we were "replacing" Abbie Ann. She will always be a part of our lives and will be remembered for the beautiful 19 hours that we got to hold her and spend with her. Keyes will know of his sister and we will never be afraid to talk about her or reminisce about the time we had with her. Those were precious moments we had, even though hard, we know that God gave her to us for a reason and that reason is becoming more and more evident.
God gave us a story.  A very unique story and we didn't know why He chose us at first to have this story.  I guess He knew that we would be strong enough to share it. I think every one has a story to tell... but not everyone is given the platform they need or the desire to be bold and express their feelings to the world. I knew in my heart that by sharing my story with others it was a part of the healing process that I needed to do just that. And ever since I can remember I've known that God was going to do something special with my musical gifts. For the last 18 years ever since I moved to Nashville to pursue music I knew that God had a calling on my life to use my music to help others but I had NO idea what or how He would do that.  After years of waiting patiently for Him to show me...this year... He revealed His plan.
I finally had the opportunity to record a music project that truly meant something to me and put all the pieces together to record the record "Frame".  All of the songs on the project were songs that my husband Jeremy had written way before our journey with Abbie, but God knew what was to come and had them already written and prepared. He orchestrated all of the right people who would work on this project with us and I have no doubt in my mind that His timing was absolutely perfect for this. 
And in the middle of working on this record, God showed up again and blessed us with another baby girl. A healthy and beautiful reminder of His promise to us that will be arriving in April 2014. For those of you that don't know, the term "Rainbow Baby" is used to represent a baby who is born after a baby who is lost to stillbirth or infant loss. Just as God promised Noah that He would never flood the world again, He provided the rainbow as a symbol of that promise. He didn't say there wouldn't be any more storms, but He provided the rainbow as a symbol of hope and peace. So God has given us our rainbow baby named Kelsey. Kelsey Ann... after her sister. We are beyond thrilled that He would bless us with another child and a sibling for Keyes.
I am grateful for the journey. I have learned so much and have grown as a person and in my faith. One of the moments I will never forget from this year was on mile 11 of 13.1 in July as I raced in the Chicago half marathon with my precious cousin Keri. We were participating in honor of my daughter Abbie Ann and her sister Erin. I was listening to my race playlist I had made and really struggling to try and finish but I knew I was so close with less than 2 miles to go. I was on an uphill incline when the song "Never Once" came on. This was a fairly new song to me and I wasn't really familiar with the words but I decided to throw it on my playlist...one of 4 worship songs among other "booty shaker" songs to keep me joggin.  When I heard the lyric "Standing on this mountaintop looking just how far we've come, knowing that for every step You were with us" tears streamed down my face and I just KNEW I had to finish.  God had brought us through the biggest journey we've ever faced and was with us through every step, and He would continue to be with us.  Then the chorus hit "Never once did we ever walk alone...never once did you leave us on our own.... you are faithful, God, you are faithful. As I made it to mile 12 I knew He was gonna get me through... then I hear "Every step we are breathing in Your grace...evermore we'll be breathing out Your praise".  I made it... I finished the race. I didn't care about time, I just wanted to finish.  And praise God...I did.
Throughout the year, my theme has been God's amazing grace.  He has such a way of letting us know that His presence is near.  We have to trust that He is working all things for good. From Jeremy having amazing writing opportunities this year to a basement studio remodel that has been a dream come true along with a full length record project, God goes above and beyond to be faithful to those who are faithful to Him.  And He truly does pick up the pieces when we think they are so shattered that we can never place anything back together.  I want to leave you with words from my good friend Shelly Johnson. Shelly wrote this song a few years ago but it has always been a favorite of mine and this year especially it seems to some up everything that God has shown me.  So as I wrap up my year in review I will leave you with these lyrics. Blessings to you all on where you have been in 2013, and prayers of abundant new life for 2014.  God is good... and He truly makes us a mosaic of grace.
Blessings and Love,
Shelly E. Johnson
Just a pile of broken glass
Pieces of a painful past
Shattered by the storms of life
This is all that's left inside
He can take the fallen pieces
And lay them in the perfect place
When His work is finally finished
You will be a mosaic of grace
In your pain you may not see
The beauty of the masterpiece
But there’s a greater work of art
Than what each piece alone imparts
He can take the fallen pieces
And lay them in the perfect place
When His work is finally finished
You will be a mosaic of grace
Hallelujah, Hallelu
To the God who makes all things new
Hallelujah, Hallelu
He will take the fallen pieces
And lay them in the perfect place
When His work is finally finished
You are a mosaic of grace
© 2009 Shelly E. Johnson Music (BMI) (Admin. by Music Services). All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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Becky - December 31st, 2013 at 11:43 PM
Maribeth%u2026 Beautifully said%u2026 Mosaic of grace is my life song and I too am still in awe of all the ways God put so many pieces in place this year for us as well.. He has restored so many locust years in my life above and beyond what I ever dreamed or imagined%u2026 Thanks again for being a part of our wedding day!! He truly is our redeemer and healer of ALL the broken places and makes each of us a Mosaic of His grace!! Love you all so much and am grateful for our paths crossing over 9 years ago!! Can't wait to hold YOUR Kelsey!!
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