Thursday, December 25, 2014

Plans change... or do they?

Plans change. Or at least ours do.

If you're like me, you like to make a plan, and see it fulfilled.
I don't have to make the plan, but I like to know what it is. 
Sometimes plans are made, and then they change. Most of the time - it's not a big deal. You just go with it. Sometimes though, it seems as though there is just no way that this change of plan can work out.

We asked God for a child and he gave us one. When we became pregnant with Brody it was very apparent that God planned to make us a family.  When that plan changed drastically, I was confused... but God this was your perfect, beautiful plan! Why would you change it?! What I had to remember though was that for Him it was not a change. That was His plan. Some say, oh you were so strong... but really, we didn't have a choice. It was His plan.

I bet Mary didn't see Jesus in her plan. I wonder what all went through her head when she first heard the news. Do I have a choice? What about Joseph... will I lose my fiancé for this? Will my friends and family forsake me? Wasn't your plan for us something different? But this was God's plan.

We can see God's plans as difficult, unexpected, and confusing at times... but we have to remember who He is. He created us, He laid out the very foundations of the earth. He knew us before He knit us together in our Mother's womb. He was, He is, and He will be the one true sovereign God. He sees the whole picture!
"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." I Corinthians 13:12

While at first this plan for a savior to be born to her, a young unmarried virgin, must have been scary, overwhelming, and maybe even disappointing... It proved to be the most perfect plan of all. Was not the author of this plan also the author of mine? Did not the same God who breathed life into mankind, who sent His son to die for OUR sins, also give life, though brief, to our Brody? Does he not know the ultimate purpose for Brody's story as He knew the purpose of Mary's?

Our plans may change, but His do not.
Oh God, help me this Christmas to TRUST in your sovereign plans. To not only know in my head but also in my heart that your plans for our lives are indeed perfect.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A moment to remember from May 5th, 2014

Another old Facebook post:

God never ceases to amaze me. You all have seen me post cute little things about the Walton's youngest son Caeson that I get to watch a few days a week. For today's #BrodyBits #Memory Monday I have to tell you how God has ministered to my heart through a three year old. 

I've had the opportunity to watch him since he was 7 or 8 weeks old. After we received Brody's diagnosis, and that again after Brody was born, I feared that it would be difficult to watch Caeson while I grieved. His parents did too and were very gracious in giving us time. God took my fears though and redeemed them to actually comfort and heal my broken heart. While other situations with kids such as Awana and sometimes my piano lessons have been difficult to face, rarely has this been difficult.

It's been interesting to watch the innocence of a three year old through this whole journey. I've been able to talk to him about God, heaven, and the value of life. We talked to Brody in the womb, about knowing and trusting God, about how Jesus died on the cross for us and rose again, about how in doing so He made a way for us to go to heaven... where Brody is now waiting for us. We've talked about how we have to trust Jesus and give Him our heart... so many great things that I pray have planted seeds in Caeson's little heart and mind. 

Today while playing with toys Caeson was singing "Jesus love me". I stopped what I was doing and just smiled and listened. Then Caeson said to himself, "I'm singing for Brody, he will like that. I miss him." Aww! How sweet! Earlier this morning I had to clarify that Brody was a person - not a puppy. To help him understand who Brody is we talked about how Brody grew in my belly just like he did in him mommy's, and just like cousin Lincoln with Aunt Haley, and cousin Owen with Aunt Holly. I could tell it clicked. Perhaps Brody's short life will be remembered someday when Caeson is older and he considers whether to give his life to Christ or not. Perhaps that little seed will sprout and grow and Brody will inspire him, and YOU, to give your life to Jesus, trust Him, follow Him, serve Him, and most of all - love Him.

thoughts from April 8th

from a Facebook post back in April:

So I was doing great the past few days... then Sunday night our families were talking about Easter plans and I just went downhill. It occurred to me how hard that day will be as we watch our nieces and nephews hunt for eggs, take pics in their cute outfits, etc and then I'll really miss Brody and wish he was there to pass around to the family. Anyway, so Monday was rough, and of course gray and rainy too! But then John and LouAnn Mohler saved the day! :) They had my parents and Jeremiah over for dinner and "slime licker". Great food, conversation, and laughs which pulled me out of my funk. I know its ok to have seasons of grief, unexpected ups and downs. Thankful that our God is always the same faithful God in spite of my ever changing feelings!

Been too long...

Silence speaks.

Sometimes its hard to speak, write, reflect. My silence on here lately could make you think a variety of things - and many may be true. It's true that sometimes I'm so upset, mad even, that I can't share. Sometimes life is simply too busy. Sometimes I worry people will tire of my talking about Brody. Sometimes I'm fine and full of hope for the future - but worry it will seem as though I've "moved on".

I have made some posts on Facebook some of which I called #BrodyBits and #MemoryMonday.

Here's one from just 6 weeks postpartum:

6 weeks ago I met my son and kissed him goodbye. Sometimes it doesn't feel real. He was only here for 40 weeks and 2 days. People ask how I'm doing and I say "ok", but part of me is gone. I miss you so much Brody! Having a hard time going to bed tonight. I am "ok" though... and ultimately grateful for Brody, my perfect son, a beautiful gift. I just wish I could hold him tonight... and share pics of his first this or that... and complain about sleepless nights or endless poopy diapers. :) At least I know my boy is safe and happy in Jesus' arms and that he has impacted me and countless others for good. 
Ok, to bed I go. Mommy loves you Brody Micah! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day

Remembering Brody today on this National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

Although I certainly don't need a special day - I think of him EVERY day! Every time I see his pics around the house, feel the stretch marks on my skin, touch my necklace with his name, walk past the baby department at the store, see other peoples babies and wonder - how old are they? would Brody have been that size by now?
Every time I see that look in Jeremiah's eyes, hear the name Brody called by another parent to their son, teach a child to play piano or see children grow and learn, hear certain songs on the radio... on and on.

I say all this with some pain yes, but moreover with gratitude. I wouldn't trade all the heart ache for the simple fact that I got to hold another life in mine. That God chose us to be his parents. Chose us to carry a burden perhaps, but a blessing in the end.

Thank you God for giving us Brody! It has been an exhausting, heart wrenching journey, but it changed our lives in so many ways - for the better. We will now try to wait patiently until we get to see you again - knowing you are safe in our Heavenly Father's arms, and perhaps playing with so many other sweet babies who didn't stay here long.

And while we wait... we also pray... that God might grant us a brother or sister (or both!) whether biological, adopted, fostered.... we pray!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Day of Hope... Not fear

Today, August 19th, is International Day of Hope - breaking the silence about pregnancy/infant/child loss. One of the goals is to raise awareness of the many Neural Tube Defects that can be fatal (like Brody's). Another is to make those who have experienced a loss or are anticipating one, and perhaps been afraid to share, aware of the many resources out there. I would say - be courageous and share your experience! It is healing and you don't know how it might help someone else. 
My own goal in all this is to encourage all who have walked this road of loss, to not live in fear. When you lose a child your world suddenly gets opened to all the devastating possibilities that COULD happen if you try again. You meet people who've had various diagnoses that lead to loss and it CAN consume you with fear. Fear that you'll lose another, or fear that you'll never conceive again. I have to battle this every day.
I must re-read various verses like:
1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." 
Isaiah 41:10, 13 "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand... For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you."
2 Timothy 1:7 "for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."
And so many others. 
Share, be vulnerable, relate with one another, and move forward in love, not mastered by fear. 

Monday, July 28, 2014


I've had a million things cross my mind that I've wanted to share. We've been busy. Life has been somewhat challenging lately. Distractions abound. Possible frustrations and pitfalls speckle our paths. But one word floats to the top today:
I have a post I've been working on for MONTHS. Its a thank you post - to countless family, friends, and even strangers who have blessed us along the way. I keep getting held up though because I feel like my words are far too feeble to do justice to the thanks you all deserve! I know its a bad excuse for being so far behind in thank you notes as well... but my heart can't contain the gratitude and my words can't wrap around the thanks we want to express.
Today I choose gratitude, joy, thankfulness. Brody continues to teach us lots about all of these and more. How curious that God would choose to use what to us is a brief life, but to Him is eternal, to teach so many so much. <3
Thank you

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Focusing on the good. 2 months later.

My dear Brody Micah, you left us for heaven two months ago now. Time does heal, but the pain will always be there. We will always miss you. But the days do grow brighter and we strive now to focus on all the good things God has done through your precious life.  Don’t get me wrong, there are moments when I cry and I still say, “It’s just not fair!”  Like when your daddy was excited to tell me of his plans for the tree we want to plant in your memory. He’s worked out the details and said maybe someday we could put a bench under it with your name on it. I said I loved that idea! Then his face changed in an instant and he cried, “I don’t want a tree, I want my baby!” And we just held each other and cried together. We miss you so much! I had a moment today where I saw a lady stopped on the sidewalk in front of our house. She was pushing a stroller. My heart sank as I thought about how much I wish I was pushing you in a stroller on a sunny afternoon like this.

But as I said, it is getting a little easier. I’m trying to see God’s little reminders of the hope we have in Him. I was washing dishes earlier and looking out the window. I saw the littlest baby bird hopping around! He was so tiny and cute… but all alone. I wondered if he was ok. It made me think of you, our only son, and your little frail body. Just then, another little bird, perhaps a brother or sister, hopped around the corner over to him and then the two hopped around together and then flew away. I felt like maybe it was a little wink from God. That maybe someday He would grant us a little brother or sister for you.

For now, we just cling to our memories of you. We wonder who might get your heart valves that we were able to donate. We think of the many premature or sick babies that will benefit from the milk I’m donating. We thank God for you and the many lessons you’ve taught us. Like loving our family and friends and cherishing every moment we get with them. I could go on… but for now, your daddy and I just want to say, we love you! Happy two months in heaven!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Why it’s ok to say “congratulations” and “I’m sorry” in the same breath.

As we reflect on these 4 weeks since Brody’s arrival and departure, I feel like I’m starting to grapple with it all. Perhaps I was in shock and survival mode. I’m asking myself, and God, some hard questions. It’s good… part of the process.

I thought I would share a few thoughts that might make it “easier” for everyone. It’s hard for me to imagine the roles reversed, and what I would say to someone like myself, not knowing what it’s like… and we've definitely experienced some awkwardness, some avoidance, and some ignorance. Which I will say first and foremost is fine! I don’t expect anyone to “get it”. I don’t expect anyone to have all the right words at every right time. I won’t be offended if you mumble an awkward phrase, or even if you can’t bear to “go there”.

A few ideas that might give insight into what I’m thinking and feeling, and then hopefully make it easier for you to be around me – or anyone going through such grief:

1.       It’s ok to not know what to say.
There are many occasions in life that leave us dumbfounded and speechless. Certainly I’m not surprised that this one is in such company. Guess what – I don’t always know what to say about it either! So it’s ok. If you want to say something, just say, “I don’t know what to say!” and that will mean more to me than you could know. It’s so much better than avoiding the subject all together.

2.       Talk to me.
Avoidance is painful. I don’t want to just be ignored. Yes, we may have asked for our space, but that doesn't mean you can’t talk to me when we see each other. We simply didn't want to be bombarded with visitors at home. Now though, we need people to acknowledge our presence as we step back into life. Say hello. Don’t make us feel like we are making everyone uncomfortable (though I understand that may be the case). And if you are uncomfortable, I refer you to number 1.

3.       It’s not all sad.
While this is an unbearable grief much of the time, there is still joy. We are still thankful for this little life God granted us. We want to acknowledge Brody and remember him and talk about how happy we are to be his parents. We’re parents! I admit it doesn't feel real most of the time, but you can remind me. It’s ok to say congratulations. It may be mixed with pain and sorrow, but we are happy too to call Brody our son. Allow the grief to dance with joy.

4.       Say, “I’m sorry”.
Along with “I don’t know what to say,” the best and simplest thing to say is, “I’m sorry.” We don’t need to hear, “you’ll have more kids”. Brody can’t be replaced. I've heard it compared to this – if you lose your mom, do you get to just have a new one? Perhaps God will grant us more children, but that is neither here nor there in the midst of the loss of Brody. We also don’t need to hear things like “Heaven needed another angel.” First of all, that’s some messed up theology. Second, it’s an attempt to put a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound. Trite, commonplace phrases make it seem like you are trying to give a simple answer to something very far from simple. Saying, “I’m sorry,” really is soothing. It lets us know you care. You acknowledge Brody, the pain, the fact that it’s not easy, and lets us know you’re with us – you haven’t forgotten.

5.       Let me laugh.
Life does go on as they say. It doesn't always feel that way. Life will never be the same. We have a new normal. But in life, there is joy and laughter. I don’t want anyone to think that if they see me being silly and making jokes that it means I've “moved on” or that I’m “all better now”. I can’t be grieving all the time! I’d implode! We have to have moments of brevity and escape. I need to dance at Zumba and make jokes with my girls. It doesn't mean I won’t get in the car and think of Brody and cry, but it is necessary and part of the healing to feel the full range of emotions. God gave them to us! I don’t’ think he ever intended for us to pack one up in a box, never to be used again. There is a time and place for everything… we will mourn and we will celebrate, but we will never forget our sweet Brody man.

On this, Brody’s one month in heaven, I sometimes wonder about the ache in my heart. I feel I will carry it forever. I wrote this to a fellow anencephaly mom in our FB group:
“I think we will grow thankful for that ache. That way our little ones are always with us. I'd rather have the sorrow than forget completely. I'd rather carry the pain than to have never known the love.”

Love you so much sweet Brody man!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

To my sweet Brody... a summary of our story.

My dear baby boy, I don’t know how to begin except to say I love you.  These past nine months have been life changing. I count every single day as a blessing from God, and would do them all over again.
June 13th, 2013 was a rather exciting day! We were gathering our things to leave for the airport. Nine of us from FBC Waynesville were headed to serve in the church I worked with when I lived in France! Before I hopped in the shower that morning I had my suspicions so I took a test – positive! Then another – positive! And yes I took a third – positive! I was floored! Miah came in moments later and just couldn’t believe it. We were told we had less than 1% chance of getting pregnant, but our God is far bigger than medical statistics! The whole trip I was distracted as I contemplated your tiny life forming inside me.  I had wanted to take Jeremiah to France since we started dating and share that part of my life with him and I was so grateful we were finally able to be there together, but again, I was a bit preoccupied! J
Coming home we confirmed the tests at the Dr.’s, and began the exciting process of telling family and friends. The joy we felt… the pride we had in you our child… the genuine love and happiness we felt from everyone as they celebrated God’s gift with us… it was truly a blessing from God!

October 2nd will remain engraved in our hearts and minds forever. Our 20 week ultrasound. I couldn’t wait for that day to go find out if you were a boy or girl. Still, I was uneasy that morning. I couldn’t decide why other than wanting to be sure you were healthy above all else. Seconds into the ultrasound we found out you were a boy! Another joyous layer of reality to this unfolding story. The ultrasound was taking a long time, but we didn’t know that was unusual. The tech kept saying she couldn’t get a good angle and that you were moving too much. I felt nervous, but was more just wanting to see your little profile and face. That however was the one thing we couldn’t see as she pressed harder and harder into my abdomen.  She left the room and came back in with our OB. Then the unreal blur began. She placed her hand on my leg and her face looked extremely concerned. She explained that if she was right about what they were seeing that you were a baby that would not survive. I was convinced that they just weren’t seeing things right! But still… I felt like I was dangling over the edge of a cliff from a thin thread. We were sent to Miami Valley Hospital to confirm the diagnosis with a specialist who again took a long time… but then the Dr said one word, “unfortunately…” and our tears began to stream. Was this really happening? Is this our story? Am I awake?

The days and weeks that followed were flooded with moments of despair, anger, confusion, and yet other moments of peace, hope, and trust in our God. The prayers of so many people were probably the only thing keeping me from letting go of that thin thread. My dear husband, your daddy, was and still is amazing. He constantly reminded me of God’s promises and the fact that he had not only us, but you, our dear son’s life in His hands. We quickly decided on your name – Brody Micah Whitsel. Miah had thought of Brody before we were even pregnant, and Micah randomly popped into my head during the ultrasound before the devastating news. We learned that Micah means, “Who is like our God”, and Brody comes from a Gaelic name that means, “ditch”. Oh no! I thought… can we still use it? But Miah was quick to point out that when we are in life’s ditch… who is like our God?! J

Brody, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed carrying you to term! Some days it felt like you would never come as I couldn’t wait to see and hold you, and others felt like each moment of each day was slipping away too fast as I cried in anticipation of having to let you go. We were determined to be obedient to God and not end your life earlier than He intended. In our last month with you I would cry most nights as we went to bed, but your daddy just kept saying, “We get to hold him! We get to see him soon!” We clung to this hope and also the fact that you would soon get to be in Jesus’s arms.

At our last OB appointment it was suggested we induce soon as I was having some hypertension. Driving home that Wednesday before you were born I sobbed. It was as though the eminence of your arrival took me by surprise. Friday we went in for a ripening treatment. Emotionally I was doing well, but physically it was rough! I didn’t care though. I wanted to do whatever was necessary to bring you safely to our arms. We spent the night at home and then went back in on Saturday afternoon. It was a beautifully sunny, blue sky day. I felt a peace as we drove. The sun was like a reminder of springtime coming. There are times of dark and cold, but warmth and new life are around the bend.

More treatments came to help get my body ready and the Pitocin kept being delayed. I was growing anxious, but thankful as well for each extra moment I had feeling you kick inside me! Sunday morning, after they broke my water, the pain really kicked in. Your daddy held me as I tried to walk the hallway and the contractions began coupling. We were finally able to get an epidural, though it took a while and had to be re-dosed when it didn’t work on one side. Then God blessed me with some deep sleep! Good thing too as we didn’t realize yet what was to come.

We were so thankful to have so much family and some close friends there to encourage us and pray for us before you came. As I started pushing I was having some pain but we decided not to re-dose again so that I could feel when I should push. I remember thinking during the first hour – this is kinda fun! Thank you epidural! Your daddy was making jokes and keeping everyone entertained. I was just so excited to see and hold you! It’s all I could think about! I didn’t think about what would come after. The joy of meeting you and sharing you with the world surpassed all else.

Then the pain began. We discovered you were turned face up and face first. Your little mouth was the first thing we saw and you were sticking your tongue out at us! Definitely daddy’s boy. J The pushing and the pain seemed like it would never end! Your broad shoulders gave us issues, but everyone was so encouraging – especially your daddy. For a soccer player he made a good cheerleader! Plus there was quite a crowd in the waiting room praying for you and me for hours. As were people all across the world! Brody, who knew you would make such an impact! More people have reached out to us and told us how much you have meant than we ever could’ve dreamt!

When you finally came I knew immediately that your delivery had put too much stress on you, and that you were already safe in Jesus’s arms. I didn’t mind. I just wanted to hold you and take in every inch of your perfect body. The flurry of nurses and everyone around us disappeared as I took you in my arms. Voices sounded distant, my pain seemed irrelevant. Your daddy and I stared at you and took your tiny hands in ours. I can’t explain the love and joy I felt. You were here! And you are ours. How could God be so gracious and loving to grant us this gift?! The hours that followed, so very early Monday morning, were precious. Your daddy and I were surprised by how quickly we wanted our family to come in and meet you! I was so sad that you were so bruised, but Miah kept saying – he’s perfect! And I couldn’t have agreed more.

At one point we had everyone who was still at the hospital join us as Pastor John and Louann led us in a few songs, read some scripture, and prayed. We thanked God for you. We praised Him as the giver and initiator of life. And we, with tear filled eyes and deep sorrow in our hearts, gave you back to our Savior. Your daddy and I so enjoyed spending some time alone with you. Then, we were thrilled to learn that we would still be able to donate your heart valves! Later that morning as the time came for the nurses to take you to surgery, we wept together and prayed that your little heart would give someone else a chance to live.
My dear Brody, I could go on and on about our sweet moments with you, and just how very happy I, your mommy, and Miah, your daddy, are to call you our son. As I’ve contemplated this journey and all the details surrounding your birth, I’ve certainly had my questions. I asked God… why, after all we’ve been through did it have to be so physically painful? Why did your precious little body have to be so bruised? Why couldn’t He have given you to us alive – even if just for a few minutes? God, in His loving graciousness gave me some answers. It was your daddy who first said; perhaps it was God’s grace to us that you were stillborn. Maybe it would’ve been too hard to see you breath and move, and then have to watch you pass. When you were handed to us you were already in perfect peace – free from pain, and in the presence of our Lord!  Later when I thought of the pain… I was grateful. Most moms look forward to a lifetime of giving everything they can for their children. This was my only chance. I would’ve suffered a million times more for you, well, because I love you. As for the bruising and trauma to your body, I’m not sure why, but I know this - it reminds me of how fragile and temporary this life is. We were made for so much more than this! God created us to spend a glorious eternity with Him! But our sin has separated us from Him and caused us all great suffering. We have all experienced different pain and loss that brings us to a common ground – our need of a savior to bridge the gap of our sin, back to our sinless creator. Jesus is that bridge! I praise God for sending His Son to die on the cross for us, and for raising Him from the dead thereby conquering sin and death!
““Death has been swallowed up in victory.”  “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” I Corinthians 15:54-58
We don’t have to work towards or deserve this salvation that God offers – we’d never make it! Thankfully it is a free gift that we simply have to accept! Romans 10:9-10 tells us, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

My precious Brody Micah I thank you for pointing us to God. For allowing us to marvel at His works, and for reminding us of the hope we have in Christ and His gift of eternity with Him (and you!) in heaven. Your daddy and I love you so very very much, and can’t wait to see you again.  Love and kisses, with all our hearts, Amy and Jeremiah, who will always be your mom and dad.

Friday, February 21, 2014

A good article my brother sent me about ministering to grieving moms (and dads!).
Which so many already have! We can't thank you enough!!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

One month left

January 15th. Brody’s due date is exactly one month away! Feb 15th seemed so far away when we first learned he was coming into our lives. I like to think back to that morning as we prepared to head to the airport to go to France. I took three tests but still could hardly believe it. The whole time we were there doing work projects and preparing for the music festival I felt so distracted! But for a good reason. God gave us such joy as we went to the Dr. the morning after returning home and they confirmed my three tests. We enjoyed every step of the way as we told family and friends. I was blown away by the response at our church and when I posted the news on Facebook. The whole time I wanted to remind people that we were given extremely low odds – less than 1% mind you! I wanted everyone to join us in praising our God who placed this little life in ours.
October 2nd will probably remain the most exhausting day of my life. I remember feeling strange as we headed to our ultrasound appointment. We were excited to find out blue or pink, but I had a certain uneasiness. I just wanted to know that everything was fine – and at that point I had no idea of all the possible diagnoses you can discover at this 20 week anatomy check.
One point I want to make clear as we enter this last month with our Brody. We are still just as excited that God granted us this little life to grow inside me, to be ours. We are perhaps even more excited to meet him and hold him. God is still just as powerful in initiating life when the odds were against us. He is still just as good!
Christmas and New Years were not as hard as I anticipated. All the celebration and fun times with family and friends helped distract from the pain. I did break down a few times, but overall they were joyous days. As I’ve been in a flurry of planning and preparing these last few weeks there have been lots of tears. Granted the hormones probably aren’t helping! As I pack the cute little clothes we’ve picked out for him I cry thinking that I’ll only put them on him once. I fold the blanket my mom made and think of how we’ll bring it home without him. I call a contact about organ donation who was very sweet and commended me for being the mother I am to him… which just leads to more tears. I understand the thought and appreciate the compliment, but then I think of how I don’t really get to be his mom as I first anticipated. I also talked to a lady about milk donation. I know I want to pursue this option, but then I wonder how I’ll feel getting up in the night to pump and not having my boy to hold as I do. Can I really handle it? I can barely handle talking about it now. We went to the funeral home which has graciously offered us almost everything for free. We walked through a show room looking at urns, all while I felt Brody kicking strong. I just nodded and said thank you through our meeting, and then as we left I barely made it out the door before losing it. I felt like I had been holding my breath the whole time we were in there.

I sometimes hate writing all this down, cause my intention is certainly not to be depressing or cause anyone pain. There is a curious thing about pain and suffering though. We all have our different experiences in life that cause suffering and I think there are two things we all have in common. We want to know we are not alone in our pain, and yet we want everyone to know our pain is unique and can’t fully be understood by others. Those can be contradictory thoughts though. How can we share our pain with others and yet tell them they can’t possibly understand it? Thankfully we have someone who can understand and who never leaves us alone. Christ took the weight of the world on him when he died on the cross. As I was reminded by one of the wisest, strongest, woman I know, even He, the Son of God, questioned the Father. He knew the purpose He was born for, and yet He asked if there could be another way. 
In my emotional day that was the 15th, I had moments of, “It’s just not fair!” I couldn’t even go to Awana and face all the precious children. Then of course I felt guilty for thinking and feeling that. But as I was reminded, it’s ok. Christ knows our pain and God did not scorn him for questioning the plan. The important part of Christ’s example that we need to be careful not to leave out though is that He still submitted to God’s will. He struggled, suffered, and questioned, but ultimately trusted and submitted. As I cried last night with Miah right on up to the last moments of the day, I thought about all these things. And I felt peace. I felt a moment of His love and assurance surround me like the warm comforter I snuggled up in. It makes me think now of these verses – “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed… Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” II Corinthians 4:8-9 and 16-18