Friday, January 27, 2012



I'm not sure where to begin. Thank you all. Thank you so. Much. So Much! For your prayers, for your sweet and encouraging comments, for the calls and emails and letters and texts. We have been loved and cared for deeply by the Body of Christ and it has been an amazing experience. Y'all have been a huge part of that and I am so thankful for each and every one of you. Thank you. Thank you for crying with us and praying for us - y'all are precious and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I said it in the last post - I am so thankful y'all get to move with us this May. You're such an encouragement to me. Thank you, sweet friends. I love y'all!

We are trying to get back to normal...whatever that is. The last few weeks have been so hard and so rich and so good. Scripture speaks of the peace of God guarding our hearts and minds and I can testify to that truth. His peace has been and continues to guard us. 

The weekend after my surgery my milk came in. I think that has been my lowest point. To have such a painful physical reminder of our loss felt almost unbearable. It was very much a "one foot in front of the other" kind of weekend. It was the kind of weekend where I hid in the kids' treehouse for an hour and cried and cried. 

Everyday seems to get a little better. I'm still pretty teary and have a good cry at some point every day.

We've resumed our normal activities which was hard. The first time I took Little Bit to Mother's Day Out I walked in the door and fell apart. I don't know why. I just couldn't get it together. Our first day back at Bible Study was just as bad. I cried when I dropped the children off with their teachers...I cried the entire time we sang...I've been doing a lot of lip gnawing...just trying to hold it together. 

I've caressed a new baby's cheek and was able to genuinely smile in happiness for the mama...though I wondered if she felt strange that I walked over, under the circumstances, and made a beeline for her baby. After I stroked the baby's cheeks I stepped away, almost embarrassed at my forthright approach. (When I was a little girl my mama told me a story about a couple at their church whose newborn baby died. Mama said the lady saw mama holding me. I was a newborn at the time...and this was right after their baby had passed away...and the lady came over and held me and wept. I always thought it strange. And now I don't.)

I haven't been to Sunday School or Church yet...the girls have been sick and I've offered to stay home. It's going to be hard. There are a lot of mamas expecting. I'm praying that God will enable me to genuinely rejoice with them. Heck, I'm praying that I can walk in the room and sit beside them and not fall apart. Oh these things are so hard. 

I remember after our miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy and over a year of trying to get pregnant in the same Sunday morning I learned three of my friends were expecting. I felt like I'd been stabbed. It was all I could do not to run out of the room and fall apart. And yet, I want to rejoice over God's blessings upon my friends. It's complicated. The heart is so complicated.

Physically I feel almost totally normal. Emotionally, I feel my heart has had a chunk ripped off. And yet, God has been and is so faithful. We are weak and He is strong. He has filled us with His peace. I have no doubt that this is part of His good and perfect will for our family. It hurts and we are raw, but we are not consumed. His mercies are new every morning. There is great encouragement knowing that He is accomplishing His purposes and that He is good and He is sovereign. It is quite the paradox...grieving so heavily on the one hand, while rejoicing in my heart over His goodness and sovereignty on the other.

Last Thursday night was our first full day just our little fam. The Engineer and I, thanks to the encouragement of a dear friend, decided we would have a memorial of sorts. We told the children several days ahead of time. Actually, we asked them if they wanted to have a time, just our family, to read God's word and pray and to write letters to the baby...with the idea that we'd put those letters, as well as all the cards friends sent, the ultrasound pictures, etc. in a special box. We'd refer to the box as our very own ebenezer. I was surprised by their enthusiastic reaction. (No fears - we explained and they understood the baby wasn't going to actually get their letters - that this was a way of putting pen to paper regarding our hearts.)

And so we gathered in the living room and The Engineer built a beautiful fire and we sat as a family and we each wrote a letter to the baby. We wrote about how happy we were when we found out God was knitting him or her together. We wrote about our hopes and dreams for the baby and our family of six...and we wrote about how sad we were...and for some, how angry they felt. And then we read the letters aloud. I wept. It was precious. It was a time of extreme vulnerability - of exposed hearts - and it was precious. The children put everything in the box and we placed it low on a bookshelf in the library with the understanding that it was to be to us an ebenezer...a reminder that God is with us. That He is good and faithful, even when times are hard. Even when the pain overwhelms us. He is there and He is sovereign. We also told the children they could sift through the contents of the box any time they so desired. And they have. And it makes me smile. We are hurting...grieving as a family. It's hard, and it's good.

Shortly after we learned the baby had passed away a letter arrived in the mail addressed to Sister and Little Man. It was from their Mema. And it is precious.

Dear Sister and Little Man,  
Your Grandaddy has told me what a good attitude you have concerning your bother/sister's death. You are taking comfort in the faith that we have in Jesus. He knows best and as He tells us this sadness will eventually turn out ok. The little one is now safely in heaven with our Lord so even though we are sad and disappointed we know and trust Jesus as you are doing and feel our sadness will turn to gladness one day. Grandaddy and I also grieve too so we know how you feel. We must be brave in this world. There are so many things that are sad but also things that are happy. Keep trusting in Jesus.
With Love,
Your Mema

I LOVE that she tells our children to be brave. Yes my precious little ones, be brave! Our Father knows best. My heart aches as I think what a weight this loss has been on our children's hearts. And yet, God promises to use everything for the good of those who love Him who have been called according to His purpose. It makes me wonder...with a slight ache in my heart...just what He is preparing our children for.

We continue to pray that God will be glorified in and through this. That He will be made much of. And that He will change us - that He will use this to make us more like Jesus. That He will burn away the impurities that He might see His reflection better in us. 

At some point in the last two weeks I remembered Jesus praying in the garden that the cup (His death on the cross) would pass from Him, but not His will, but His Father's will be done. And it hit me...this is the cup He has poured for us. It's so not what we wanted, but it's His good and perfect will. It tasted so bitter at first. Sour to my stomach. But as time is progressing and His truths are leaping out at me, I am realizing -  this cup He has poured for us is mixed perfectly. And though it tastes revoltingly bitter, there is a sweetness there as well, a sweetness that I taste after those first few bitter sips. A sweetness that speaks of a Father's intentional love for His children. And so I realize that I can hold my nose and gulp through this as fast as possible, tasting as little as possible, or I can taste every drop and I can drink deeply. I want to learn all I can in this. I want Him to work mightily. I want Him to change me. To change us. Not to leave us as we were. Use this. Burn away the impurities. Blow away the chaff. Make us more like Jesus.

I thought Little Bit was pretty oblivious. Since telling her there was a baby in my tummy, she's declared "Baby Dinah" lives in her tummy. She's not nearly as oblivious as I'd thought. She recently climbed in my lap and told me, "You baby gone to moon. My baby gone to moon. God took my baby in boat to moon. God took you baby in boat to moon. Baby not der anymore (and she pointed to my tummy). Baby gone to moon. We go der one day." And I wept. 

I'm signing off for a few weeks. All three children are sick with colds and Little Bit has a double ear infection and we are behind on getting the house on the market...hoping and praying we can get that together by mid February. Every minute counts and I've had paintbrush in hand late into the night many nights. Just yesterday I was on the top rung of a ladder in the pouring rain, nailing up plastic over a project The Engineer had finished, but I had yet to paint. Selling a house is crazy hard work!

We'd love your continued prayers for our family. Again, thank you ALL for being so precious to us. Y'all are treasures and I'm so thankful you choose to come here and share this little sliver of life with our family.

To God be the glory!


  1. Definitely continuing prayers for you and your entire family. Praying for your work on your home and all the details there. Praying for your hearts to heal. Praying that God will meet all of your needs, just as He has promised.

  2. Hi - I know that we don't actually know each other, but I am from Birmingham and feel that I know a lot of the same people you know, and I also think that I know your sister Katie somehow. We can't quite figure out how yet! Also, my twin sister Emily has commented several times and you and Katie have both been so sweet in corresponding with her after her comments. She is waiting and and we are all praying for her a husband!

    Anyways, I have been reading along on your blog and hers for several years now...they are two of my most favorite. I am so grateful that you each share your faith, your fun, your sadness, and your joy in such and open, honesty and vulnerable way. I am heartbroken for you over your loss and continue to pray for you all the time for peace and comfort.

    Blessings to you and your family!

  3. Jenn, I have thought about you so much in these past weeks. You are a great encouragement to me---your trust in a sovereign God that is good in ALL his ways. I am thankful that He's given you the grace and strength you need for such a time as this. You are precious, and I will continue to pray for you and your sweet family.

  4. I just have to say I love you and I am praying for you. What a wonderful post. Thank you for your honesty. You are already growing from this. You are trusting Him, the might one.

    I will miss you, but it is important for you to keep your head in the game.


  5. I just wanted to say I totally got it when you went straight to that baby and the story your mom told you about the women holding you and crying.

    My sister and i were pregnant at the same time and we were both due this past December. I lost my baby but thankfully she did not. On the day of her due date i found myself a little anxious on how i would handle everything. I did not want ANYTHING to take away from her joy / our joy of that day. Everything was going great, until i held that sweet little girl in my arms for the first time. I lost it! Many people where in the room and i did my best to hold it back. ( much like bitting my lip as you said ) However, the tears came anyways.

    It was a sweet and sad time. My sister was wonderful and let me cry while i held her precious baby. She understood with out any words needing to be said. I honestly think there was some healing for me in that hospital room. I think i will always have a different bond with that niece then i do my others ( though I LOVE them all as if they were my own ) .

    PLEASE know that i do not compare my situation with yours. I lost my baby at 11 weeks. I CAN NOT imagine loosing mine at 17. I just wanted to say that i related to your need to love on a sweet baby and the nameless women who held you and cried. ( again, i can not imagine loosing my newborn baby ) BUT thought i would share my understanding.

    I have been thinking and praying for you lots these past weeks.

    lindsay nicholls

  6. gosh. i'm so sorry for your incredible loss...uggg, just makes my stomach hurt.

    i remember the verse in psalms, the lord is near to the brokenhearted. and i cling to that sometimes because i feel like it's me and jesus sitting on the floor crying together. those are hard and good moments.

    anyway, praying for you guys.

  7. You are often in my thoughts and prayers. Praying for all 5 of you!

  8. Sweet dear. I've been away and I've just now read. My eyes fill with tears. My heart sobs.

    How is it then that we can still rejoice in who He is and His goodness? Amazing. What blessing to have the Holy Spirit to intercede for us with utterances and groans ... when we are all spent.

    And somehow ... we can still say "To God be the Glory!" Praise Jesus, my friend.

    My road is different than yours, naturally, but He has brought victory into my life, as well, through a season of deep trial. I don't relish the struggle yet I rejoice in who He is and what He is doing in my life.

    Lots of words, my friend, and so insufficient to express my love to you as a dear sister in Christ.

    Hugs to you.

  9. You amaze me. Praying for y'all.

  10. So crying over Mema's note and Little Bit's conversation with you. Praying!

    Love you,

  11. Sweet friend, I was so glad to see you posted. I think and pray for your heart often. I never really know the right thing to say in times like these. The only thing I can say is something my dad told me when we were going through infertility and he said, "this may never make sense. But, it will not always hurt like this." Your wounds are fresh and open. Be kind to yourself. There is no time limit on grieving. It may take a long, long time. But, I still believe God will bless you in some BIG way that we just don't see. I'm clinging to that hope for you!

  12. I just found your blog and had to say thank you. Thank you for pouring your heart out like this. I had a miscarriage in December (we have a 1 year old), and everything you wrote I totally agree with. It is SO complicated - being happy for pregnant swollen bellies and forlorn that it's not yours. But all the time God is good, and God is good all the time. Blessings to your sweet family.

  13. Thanks for sharing your heart. I'm sorry for your loss. You spoke of it with an appropriate tension. It's hard, but it's good. So true. My husband and I have been silently walking a difficult journey. Reading your sentiments made me realize that it's ok to grieve, to process, to hurt and that we need to ultimately "land" on God's truth and move forward in His grace. You were a sweet encouragement to my hurting soul tonight. Thank you! Keep shining brightly for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!