Monday, October 13, 2014


     Today has been a day of reflection for me. About this time last year, it seemed our prayers was beginning to be answered. My niece, Justice, was finally going home after a long stay in the NICU. We would soon find out, we were expecting our third baby. A baby we had prayed, hoped, and tried for for over three years.

     Then we lost our baby girl, Liana, and our world was turned upside down. Losing her has been the single most horrific thing I have gone through in my life. I have lost plenty of loved ones, close family and friends, but this loss has far surpassed them all. My heart still aches. Even in joyful moments.

     God has taught some important lessons. Lessons I may not have learned or understood to this depth had I not gone through this terrible loss.

    Jesus is enough. I had thought I understood this. But it was never more tested than it has been in the months since we lost Liana. When the tears won't stop, and the pain and grief is overwhelming, He is enough. Jesus is my comfort. He keeps me not just functioning, but living. With Jesus, I have walked through the most difficult months of my life, and I know I'm going to be okay. He is enough for me and every need.

    In the darkest of nights. In the most overwhelming of sorrow and grief. In any circumstance, there is always something to be thankful for. Even when you don't think there is. Even when you would rather wallow in self-pity, there is always a reason to be thankful. I've learned the more you look for reasons to be thankful for, the more reasons you find. I am thankful for my baby girl. I am thankful for the lessons I've learned from her loss. I am thankful for the friends who have comforted, supported, encouraged, and loved me through this difficult time. And I have so, so many more reasons to be thankful.

     God does work to bring good from all situations when we are striving to live for Him. So many women have reached out to me to share their stories with me. And so many women have reached out to share with me how my journey, how Liana has changed their life. How the Lord has used Liana to help them heal. How my faith has encouraged them. Really it isn't about me or Liana. It's really about Him. His will. His purpose. I'm learning to accept the fact that my definition of good and His definition of good are often two very different things. His good is far beyond what I can imagine. Always.

     There is joy even in sorrow. Sometimes it doesn't feel like it when you're in grief dark as the blackest of nights, but it's there. Joy is little arms around your neck and whispered I love yous. Joy is a Sonic vanilla coke after an especially hard day. Joy is shared laughter with a friend. Joy is cards, pictures, and notes from sweet students. Joy can be found in many small moments throughout the day. Just like thankfulness, sometimes you have to be purposeful about looking for it.

"Rejoice always, pray continually. 
Give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God for you 
in Christ Jesus."
I Thessalonians 5:16-18

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