by Sara R. Ward “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Before my son passed away, I spent almost every night hunched over his medical bed, checking to make sure his feeding tube was working correctly, adjusting his body in the darkness, rolling him on his side so he wouldn’t choke on his saliva. This was my nightly medical drill as the parent of a child with a rare disease. My son was ... Read More about What happens when there is no miracle?
by Bekah Bowman "Those who plant in tears will harvest with great joy. They weep as they go plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest." (Psalm 126:5-6) My Broken Narrative I begin my broken-story narrative on February 10, 2014--the day my son, Titus, had a seizure. What followed was a massive and swift wave that rocked our lives hard between fear, anger, mystery and defeat. April 7, 2015, Titus was diagnosed with a ... Read More about How to Bloom with Joy in the Midst of Brokenness
Gilia. That’s the name I chose for the little one we lost, the baby who passed from my womb before we had announced her presence. It's Hebrew, pronounced Ghee-lee-yah, and means Eternal Joy. She was too small to know for sure her gender, but my husband said from the moment I showed him the second line on the test, “This one is another girl.” He had a perfect record on our other three, so following his lead, I decided ... Read More about You Brought Me So Much Joy, Little One (a story of miscarriage)
This will be our eighth Christmas without him. My grandfather was a man of few words. The adjective "quiet" fit him to a T. Still, he was there for everything. Impromptu dinners, horse-riding competitions, graduations, and especially Christmas. There's just something about sitting on the couch next to your grandpa while watching "Miracle on 34th Street" together. The first Christmas was definitely the hardest holiday ever. We did well, ... Read More about For When You Want to Cry on Christmas
by Anonymous Ever since we got married, I dreamed of Christmas with children. I love Christmas. Always have. Partly because my parents always labored to protect us from materialism by focusing less on the presents beneath the tree and more on stuffing the season with traditions like trimming the tree together, making a gingerbread house, and watching Christmas classics. I grew up the eldest of three, the only girl towered over by two tall ... Read More about When All You Want for Christmas is a Baby
“Why would you let this happen?” “Don’t you care about me?” “Why didn’t you save my baby?” In the wake of miscarriage we’re pummeled with questions—questions about the biology of reproduction, about our bodies, about medical procedures which may be required, as well as questions about how to process grief, how to share the news with friends and family, how to know if what we’re feeling is normal, and many more. But perhaps the most ... Read More about Why have you forsaken me?
It was somewhere around my third anniversary that reality hit hard enough to make me gasp for breath. I really couldn’t have babies. Not without a miracle. I had so many dreams that involved motherhood and they all crumbled around me. I found myself standing there with dying dreams and agony ripping my heart to shreds. I spent a whole season of my life shoveling dirt over dead dreams. And I learned something new in that season: God does ... Read More about The God Who Breathes Life into Dry Bones
She thought she'd get to keep her. Katie Davis, a missionary in Uganda and founder of Amazima Ministries, has adopted 13 daughters, but once she had 14. At 17 years old, Katie moved from a suburb in Nashville, Tennessee all the way to Uganda to teach kindergarten. Why move halfway across the world when her parents wanted her to attend college? Because she had fallen in love with Uganda during a high school mission trip and, with her ... Read More about I will show up to Heaven like this.
by Anika Ryan Ortiz The serrated knife in my shaking hand cuts through the heart of the pear while a ringing trumpet blasts downstairs, singing songs of Christmas. Hope. Joy. Peace. Love. I can't help but feel as if the knife is piercing deep into the recesses of my heart. My hero, Grandpa Ted, should be downstairs playing a duet with my dad on the piano’s ivory keys. Seven months have passed since Grandpa exhaled one last breath on earth and ... Read More about Diligent Faith Amidst Loss
I’d always viewed myself as a real, Americana, “Rosie the Riveter” kind of gal. Courageous, innovative, perseverant, optimistic, patriotic. Adaptable to whatever life threw my way. Comfortable in a wide variety of roles, adept at switching between them. I hike, I bake, I can eyeball weather better than most meteorologists (thanks to my mom’s upbringing on a Montana ranch) and I’ve co-managed a winning political campaign. I feel as comfortable ... Read More about When You’re Constantly Living in Fear of Loss
At noon on a hot July Friday, my husband, Devin, and I both had routine appointments scheduled with our dentist. After my appointment was concluded, I stood up from the dental chair with cleaned teeth and a clean bill of health. The dental assistant led me to the chair where Devin was still mid-appointment. Our dentist, who had just left me laughing about some joke he had told, was checking my husband's lymph nodes. He hadn't checked mine, so ... Read More about how to look at loss when fear strangles
by Pam Vredevelt Miscarriage. Stillbirth. Infant death. They all rock your world. I'll never forget hearing these words from my doctor: "I'm not picking up a heartbeat, Pam. There doesn't appear to be any fetal movement. I think the baby is dead." In disbelief, my emotions began to run wild and unchecked. Engulfed in a jumble of scrambled thoughts I wanted desperately to hear the doctor say, "Wait a minute – I'm wrong. I've made ... Read More about Understanding Miscarriage and Infant Loss