Wednesday, May 28, 2014


A few days after my appointment with Dr. Ward, I got a phone call from her with some news.  But, let me back up a bit.

We had elected to have an autopsy done on Jaxon.  I remember the decision being an easy one, something that we didn't even hesitate over.  His passing was so unexpected.  We wanted to know if there was something wrong, if there was something we had missed.  We wanted to give our next baby the best possible chance to live.

When I last spoke to Dr, Ward, it had been 6 months and we still hadn't gotten a final autopsy report.  As far as we knew from the preliminary results, everything was fine.  Jaxon was healthy, all of his organs, fingers, and toes were in tact.  For the last 6 months, Jaxon's death was a big questions without an answer.  But Dr. Ward contacted the guy that did Jaxon's autopsy and talked with him about what he found.

I feel like I have to mention here, that some people think if you find out what caused something like this, then you get "closure."  It really takes away how significant this type of loss is.  Getting closure on something suggests that it is time to move on now, because you have an explanation.  There is no explanation that will bring this journey to an end.  I will find joy again, yes.  I won't let the passing of my son define my every moment here on earth.  But I will always miss him, I will always wish he were here with me instead, I will always think about what he would have looked like or how his voice would have sounded.  One day I will know, and only on that day, will I get "closure."  But closure won't be the right word for it then.  That day will be the beginning of eternity- something that I really just can't imagine at this moment.  

So here it is…
The final report...

My umbilical cord had an extensive amount of hypo-coiling.  That means that more than half of my umbilical cord had no coils in it.  The coils in the umbilical cord are what makes it so durable.  Not only that, but there were areas in my cord that were very narrow, making it harder for blood to reach Jaxon.  Usually when this happens, you  have a baby that is pretty small because the nourishment wasn't able to reach the baby like it should.  Jaxon was 6 lbs 12 oz and 22 inches long.  He wasn't a small baby, he was a decent size!  But that made his cord even more vulnerable to an accident.  Dr. Ward said, more than likely, his cord was kinked and he passed away.  He literally fell asleep and passed.

So many thoughts went through my mind when I found out.  The feeling that my body betrayed me came back full force.  I struggled with it for a day, and reminded myself that this was supposed to happen.  It wasn't a mistake.  God had the power to stop it and He didn't.  This was supposed to happen and my body made the cord that was supposed to be Jaxon's.  I choose to believe this.  My feelings are much different, but my choice is to believe what God says in the bible.  He knit my son together.  He numbered my son's days.  There was nothing I could have done differently.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

back to the dr

A couple weeks ago, on the 8th (sorry, I know- my posts are terribly out of order), I went to go see Dr. Ward.  I needed to talk to her about so many things that had been on my mind.  My cycles were doing some funky things, we still hadn't heard from her about Jaxon's final autopsy report, and I really, really want to get pregnant- you can't do that when your cycles won't behave!

Anyway, first thing's first… I needed to locate her!!  Apparently she left the office where I had last seen her at and started her own practice!  In Rockwall!  That's about 45 mins to an hour away from where I live, so I thought to myself... crap.  This won't work will it…

I made an appointment to see her anyway.  After-all, she has a connection to me that I wouldn't get with any other doctor.  I did a little research on her- she was voted as one of DFWChild Magazine's "mom recommended ob/gyns," she specializes in high-risk pregnancies (not that I am high risk, but it's good to know), and right there on the page was a review done by a mom who had also lost a baby.  It felt right.

It RAINED!!!  I mean monsoon rain all the way there… it took me over an hour to get there!  I guess pulling off the highway because you think you have a flat tire doesn't help either!  (Haha, yea I think the devil was plotting hard against me this day.)  Sopping wet, I open the door to her new office and see the sweetest girl at the front desk.  She talked to me about the rain and said, "no worries!  We knew you were driving all the way from Irving, so we thought you might be a little late."

Wow.  They knew where I was coming from?  That is awesome.  They know me.  The girl at the front desk even knew who I was.  Remember ya'll, the first time I ever met this doctor was on November 13th when she delivered Jaxon.

I finished up the paperwork… it was like I was a new patient, but I wasn't.  They just didn't have any of this type of paperwork on file for me yet.  I had to fill in the pregnancy history part.  You know, the part where it asks you how many pregnancies and how many living children you have?  ugh.

The nurse that took me back remembered me right away, and after talking with her for a few minutes, her face started to look familiar.  You see, that day that I first met this nurse (at my 2-week post-partum check-up), I was trying so hard not to cry the whole time I was there- I couldn't tell you who was there other than Dr. Ward.  She tells me with a sincere smile on her face, "Dr. Ward told me yesterday that you were coming today."  That was nice to hear.

To make a long story short, Dr. Ward talked to me for an hour and a half.  We got down to business and discussed my cycles (all is just fine by the way), had an exam, did some bloodwork, and talked about our plan for the next pregnancy.  I was reassured that she would watch the baby like a hawk and do many, many sonograms.  Piece of mind is high on the priority list not only for me, but for her as well.  She asked me how I was doing.  The real how are you doing.  I told her about Hope Mommies and how it has helped me.  She shared with me that there was someone she knew that could use Hope Mommies and so I gave her the information to pass along.  She said she was always looking for resources she can share with moms who lose their babies, and this sounded like a good one to her.

And she still delivers at Baylor.  I indeed could still have the same team for my second baby.  :)  Not that I needed her to say that at this point (my decision to stay with her was already made), but this detail put the icing on the cake.  I'm not sure why the devil was trying so hard to sabotage the day, but I'm glad I rolled with the punches.  I feel like some wonderful things will happen with Dr. Ward.

Mother's day and 6 months

This one is going to be rough.  At 6 months out, I'd like to tell you that Mother's day was awesome and the 6 month anniversary of giving Jaxon back is a little easier because of the amount of practice we've had.  But it wasn't.  It was far from that.

Sunday, May 11th, was Mother's Day.  I had been gearing up for it, I guess you could say.  I had read an article that gave some survival pointers to moms who have lost children and it made me feel like I could handle the day pretty well- whatever that means.  Something in that article leapt off the page at me.  It said "Take comfort in the origins of Mother's Day."  Apparently, Mother's Day was begun by a woman, Anna Jarvis, who didn't have any children of her own.  She wanted to honor her mother- who happened to be a bereaved mother.  Her mother lost 8 of her 12 children.  Mother's day was started in honor of a bereaved mother.  That is awesome.  Because I can't think of anyone better to honor than a mother like that.  There is so. much. pain. in the heart of a mother who can't hold her child in her arms.

So Mother's day came.  I had gotten a pedicure the day before, courtesy of my lovely boss, for mother's day.  I picked a bright pink/purple- perfect for spring I thought.  I was ready for a day spent just with my hubby.  I wanted to skip church because Mother's day is such a big deal there.  I was guarding my heart from the unnecessary pain of receiving a flower, but not having a baby to hold.  I didn't want to be reminded of all of the women around me that got to bring their children home from the hospital, while I had to leave mine.

I have to say, I was completely disappointed with Mother's day.  I don't know if I was putting unfair expectations on my husband, but I wanted to feel special, in spite of how cruddy I was feeling about the day.  After I voiced how cruddy the day was going, my hubby went out and got flowers, and I hate to sound like an ungrateful brat, but it just put salt in the wound.  To be honest, I don't think anything would have made that day any better.  It was literally just a day I wish never existed.

Then fast forward a couple days to the 13th.  6 months.  It was just a disaster.  I was a mess.  Nothing was going right.  John-Michael couldn't do anything right.  I think I had put an even greater expectation on this day because it was after a sucky Mother's Day and I just feel like 6 months is a milestone.  Half a year has already passed by.  Half a year!!  It was a big deal.  John-Michael and I got into a huge fight.  I was upset that he didn't put much thought into Mother's Day, and it was looking like our 6 month milestone was going to turn out the same.

Looking back on it, I think I definitely put some expectations on him to somehow make up for a crappy Mother's Day.  This figuring out my feelings and communicating them is hard stuff.  How do you tell your spouse what you want when you don't even know what you want?  Part of me wanted to celebrate Mother's day and 6 months while the other part of me wanted to treat them like any other day.  We did end up getting another candle.  We burn candles a lot in the evening, like it's our "Jaxon light" that symbolizes the little boy that we wish could be in the room with us.  


Letter to Hope Mommies

Last week, I was given the opportunity to write a letter telling about my experiences after Jaxon's death and how Hope Mommies has helped me grow and heal.  This letter will ultimately be used by Hope Mommies to seek funding, but shortly after sending it to her, Erin (founder of Hope Mommies) immediately wrote me back telling me how reading my story had her crying on her couch with a renewed heart.  I want to share this with ya'll so you get a taste of how powerful this journey has actually been for me because God used it to open up my eyes to Him.  Only God can make something so good out of the worst day of my life…

My letter-

My name is Michelle Garza, I'm 31, and live in Dallas, TX with my husband, John-Michael, and our retired seeing-eye dog and 2 cats.  We have one child, Jaxon Nicolas, who lives in heaven with Jesus.  I'd like to give you a peek into my journey of becoming a Hope Mom and the impact Hope Mommies has had on my life. 

We found out we were expecting our first baby on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013.  We had been trying to get pregnant for 8 months, so needless to say I was a little in shock and of course super excited when this pregnancy test said we were "pregnant!"  It was a wonderful pregnancy, and Jaxon was growing strong and healthy.  The baby showers were over, his nursery was almost ready, and we had almost finished packing our bags for the birthing center.  We were as ready as we were going to be!  When we approached 38 weeks, my midwife noticed my blood pressure was on the rise and my amniotic fluid level was falling.  So, at 38 1/2 weeks, she decided to induce my labor; this was noon on November 12, 2013.  I went home to get some rest and start the beginning stages of labor.  My labor pains began around 4:30 that day and I found myself at the birthing center at around midnight that night.  This is where my life changed forever.

Immediately, I got on the bed and we listened for Jaxon's heartbeat.  She had never had trouble finding it before, but she struggled for what seemed like an eternity.  The next thing I know, we are rushing down the road to Baylor.  As soon as I get there, they got me on the sonogram table to confirm our worst fear.  Our boy was gone. 

We had just felt him move at 9:45 that night, a little more than two hours before we arrived at the birthing center.  I delivered him November 13 at 4:27pm.  Jaxon looks just like his daddy and weighed 6lbs 12 oz and measured 22 in long.   

That day still holds our highest highs and our lowest lows.  We finally saw and held our firstborn; it was a beautiful moment.  But in the same day we had to give him back.  My faith in God and His promises had been shaken to its core.  How can a God that is good let my baby die?  He knew Jaxon was in trouble and He had the power to fix it, but he didn't.  The house I had built with God had fallen and I was desperate to rebuild, but just didn't know how. 

Thankfully, God led me to Hope Mommies before the anger of losing my firstborn became permanent.  The first time I heard about Hope Mommies was when a friend that I had met through my Lay Me Down To Sleep photographer sent me a Hope Box.  She had also lost her full term daughter just two months prior and had become involved with Hope Mommies and outreach after someone sent her a hope box. 

Shortly after receiving my box, I checked out hopemommies.org.  Then, I was added to the private Facebook group page, where moms like me can interact and support one another.  I remember that one of the hope moms had said that God can handle whatever anger, questions, or struggles we have.  We won't hurt His feelings and he doesn't disown us for doubting him.  She said the God He is now is the same God He was before our babies died.  This stuck with me and I began to search the bible for some perspective.  I started to seek the true character of God, I started to see and understand Who He is, even in the midst of tragedy and grief.  

I started reading the One Year Book of Hope that was in my hope box and discovered what it means to be a sufferer.  I discovered that tragedy and pain is no stranger to a believer and follower of Christ.  I discovered what it means to grieve with God and grieve well.  I found comfort.  I'm learning how to work through and carry this pain and use it for God's glory.

I decided to go to the Dallas Hope Group that began this March and met 7 other local moms face-to-face while attending.  We all shared our stories and met each other with compassion and understanding.  It felt so good to share with other moms who just "get it."  I learned that a lot of what I was feeling was normal.  I was given bible verses to cling to and to learn from.  I dug deep into God's word and answered some hard questions.  I learned more about grieving well and using my experience to help others.  The best part of it for me was I was doing this alongside other grieving moms.  I found a community of women who know exactly how this feels and we are all growing together and helping others together.   

For our last meeting, we released a balloon for each of our babies and the babies of moms we knew and couldn't be there.  We made hope boxes for new moms.  We had cake and a final bible study focusing on outreach and helping other moms on their grief journey.  Without these women, I wouldn't have grown as much as I have.  The curriculum in the group is something that I can continuously look back on and remind myself of things that I need reminding of.  I look forward to the next hope group in the Fall, because grieving is definitely an ongoing process, and fellowship with these women helps me to grieve well.  I also look forward to meeting more moms at the next Hope Mommies Retreat, because I've heard it is an amazing experience. 

I can truly say that I finally know my God, I'm not just talking about what I've heard about him.  I aimed all of my grief at Him, I asked the hard questions, and I sought after Who He is.  And He told me who he is, no doubt.  He is the God that sacrificed His Son, to die for me- a sinner.  God knows what it is like to lose a child, he knows the pain and the grief I am in, and He cries with us.  Can I say that I would give my son to an angry mob to be beaten and hung on a cross to die?  Would I ever choose for my son to die in the place of someone that doesn't deserve it?  No.  But I am not God, and thank goodness because I would be horrible at it!  His ways are higher than mine.  I may not understand because of my human nature, but I do have hope in His promise.  Because of His love which is beyond my understanding, I will see my son again.  Jaxon is not "lost."  I know where he is. 

The Hope Mommies community and organization was exactly the vessel God needed and used to bring healing and hope into my life.  The community, bible study, and outreach of Hope Mommies is amazing and I thank God for them every day! 

And here was her response-

Oh Michelle.

I am sitting on my couch, weeping while I read your story. It it just so unbelievable to me the way that God moves. He gifted you with precious Jaxon, but in such a way that … my human heart cannot understand. He designed our babies for eternity, and what a relief that is to us moms! We KNOW that they are safe. We KNOW that they are loved, forever. We never have to fear for Jaxon and Gwendolyn. That is such a balm to my heart. 


But it’s so wrong that babies die, and that we miss them. And being broken in this way is excruciating. I remember physically aching from grief. 

And yet, because of God’s great love for us — for me, for you — He gave us what we really needed, which was more of Himself. A greater understanding and faith. And the hope that life on this Earth really won’t be too long, and we’ll be with them. 

I’m preaching/typing at myself, because even 3.5 years later, I miss her and my humanity longs for that old “normal”. And reading your story of God’s redemption in your sorrow is tragically beautiful. 

I might not even be making any sense! So I’m sorry if I’m being ridiculous. But I did want you to know how much your story has renewed in my heart afresh that God is a good God who loves us so thoroughly that He does whatever it takes to make us wholly His. And that He did, ultimately, give us the best for Gwen and Jaxon, because we know they’re safe and we’ll see them soon. Thank you for sharing this with me, and allowing me to share it with others for funding. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014


I forgot pictures!!! Here they are…  :)

The balloon release, my "3rd time's a charm" balloon :)

Hope boxes...

Beautiful women walking our journey together…  <3

 Cake!!  yummmm… :)

Hope Group finale part 2

After we got back to the house, we dug into some scripture and shared some of our thoughts on the rest of the study and how we have grown.  At the beginning of the study, we were to make note of the woman we wanted to be.  The question was, "In light of my loss, what kind of woman do I want to be?"

At the time, my answer was actually all of the things I didn't want to be.  I didn't want to be a woman that people had to walk on eggshells around.  I didn't want to be a woman that sucks the joy out of a room. I didn't want to be a walking zombie.  I didn't want to be a woman that crawls into a hole and hides for years, even though that's what every fiber of my human flesh wanted to do.

As the time passed, I found more and more of who I wanted to be.  I want to be a woman that rises above the pain and sees the beauty that God made out of this crown of ashes.  I want to be a woman that stands firm in the face of fear because I know Who is in control.  I want to be a woman that has compassion for others that have to walk this journey and a woman that reaches out to them and tells them that they are not alone.   I want to be the woman to tell them that God can make good from their tragedy, because He is doing that for me.

Elyse shared with us a scripture that spoke volumes to me, I didn't realize there was a verse that fits so perfectly with the way I have been processing this whole thing.
John 9:3
"It was not because of his sins or his parents' sins," Jesus answered.  "This happened so the power of God could be seen in him."

A few months ago, this thought crossed my mind.  Why?  There has to be an answer and when I find that answer this will all make perfect sense.  Was it my prayer for a meaningful testimony?  Was it because I am a horrible friend and need to learn about compassion?  My husband thinks it is because he was such a horrible teenager, is it that?  Why God?  If this happened as a punishment, that is so cruel!

No, no, no, no.  I do not claim to know why.  I don't claim to have gotten an all-knowing answer from God that miraculously washes the questions from my mind.  But I believe Jesus when he says, "this happened so the power of God could be seen in him."
I choose to believe God when he says that He will make good from this.  Romans 8:28
I choose to believe him when he says He makes beauty out of ashes.  Isaiah 61:3
I choose to be a bright light in spite of the devil's scheme to fade me out into his darkness. 2 Cor 2:11

The devil hates me, no doubt.  He wants to turn me into someone that people walk on eggshells around, someone that sucks the joy out of a room, a walking zombie.  That is no good, that is darkness and that is death.  The power of God is the only thing keeping me from becoming those things.  My flesh is so weak, and believe me, I have days where I just want to scream at the world and go hide in my Jaxon's room and cry.

But the power of God gets me out of bed every day.  I know where Jaxon is and I have a glimpse inside of eternity because of my son.  I have a deeper relationship with my creator, I can feel His love surround me and comfort me when I am too weak to do anything but cry.

Wow!  Guess I had a lot to say there… back to the hope group :)  We had cake and made hope boxes together for our last meeting, and it was so wonderful.  To be sitting alongside other women who have experienced tragedy to the same degree as me, and to see smiles on their faces, and laughter.  This is beauty my friends.  This is the beauty that rises from the ashes when Christ is in control over your life.

Hope Group finale part 1

Last Wednesday, May 7th, our hope group gathered for week 8, the final week of our study together.  I ended up having a rough start… So I show up about 15 minutes late (no one's faulty but my own, I had agreed to stay at work late at the last minute- and of course traffic this day was just not going to let me be there on time, even though I should have had enough time… grrr!).

As I arrive with photo boxes and a bag of goodies in my hands, sweet Jodi comes out and offers to help me inside.  Everyone was busy blowing up their balloons and writing sweet notes to their babies on the outside of the balloons.  Awesome.  I am so glad I am here :)

I get my balloon blown up and start to write.  J… a… x... , BANG!!!  It pops and everyone jumps, ha!  Great.  So I get another one, and this time I manage to get everything written without killing this one.

Onto the next… I had thought about who else I would make a balloon for and two families, both cousins of mine, came to mind.  One family lost their precious girl to Trisomy 18 and the other family lost three babies all miscarriages.  I feel such a sting in my heart for these families because as they lost their babies, I had zero idea of the pain they were going through.  How could I?  Now that I know, I just feel so much sorrow and regret even, that I didn't say anything at the time.  Not a simple I'm sorry, not a question about the babies or a simple card in the mail.  I get it, all the people that don't reach out, I do get it because I was one of you.  You don't know what to say, and instead of making a fool of yourself, you choose to be silent.  And now, on the other side of that tragedy, I know how empty a grieving mother can feel after the world moves on.  And that sucks way more.  I get that too.

So we start walking down the street to the nearby park.  We see this couple walking their dogs- one of the dogs in a stroller because he has three legs… how precious!  They want ALL of their doge to be able to enjoy the walk so they bring him in a stroller to enjoy it.  I think I stop to appreciate little things like this even more now.  It's so sweet.

Then we see this lady walking her dog, on our side of the street, and immediately we start hoping that she doesn't ask us a question we will have to awkwardly answer like, "Oh are you ladies having a baby shower?!"  Or, "Oh what pretty balloons, what are they for?"  And much to our gratitude, she simply smiles and continues walking.  Thank you! :)  Not so much that it is a hard question for us to answer, more like it will be a complete shock for her as she tries to process our answer.  It's just uncomfortable having to smile through someone's look of horror as they immediately regret asking such an innocent question.  

So we are about half way to the park, and suddenly I hear, "oh no, Michelle your balloon!"  I look behind and off to the side I see my 2nd blue Jaxon balloon fly off to the sky.  Needless to say, a couple of the girls and I headed back to the house to make another balloon for Jaxon.  At first I was insistent that we didn't need to, but I'm glad they made me.  I needed it.  I mean, really?!?  First I'm late, then my first balloon pops, and now my second balloon decides to fly away on it's own… What is up with that?!?

Anyway, the third balloon was indeed the charm, and we had a beautiful balloon release just before sunset.  I cannot express the emotions that were running though my veins at that moment.  This is exactly what my Jaxon did the night of Nov 12.  As I was in labor, he was called home.  His soul went to live in eternity and I am still here.  The day he left gets further and further away as time moves forward.  But also, the day I will see him again is getting closer and closer as time moves forward.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

growth part 2

In the last 6 months, I have grown so much…

As soon as we learned that Jaxon would no longer be with us on earth, I was overcome by this supernatural peace.  I think it was peace combined with shock, for sure.  But never once did I think we wouldn't make it.  I was actually making jokes that next day, trying to lighten the mood in our hospital room.  Now that, my friends, was the work of God in my heart.  Not shock.  I knew that we would be okay.  I also knew that it would be an uphill climb that we could not do alone.

Immediately, we were being taken care of by the hands and feet of God.  I want to take a minute to share what the most helpful things were-

Showing up.  We had friends that just showed up for us.  They didn't ask when would be best for us, and they definitely didn't choose to stay away.  They were there and that's all that mattered.  God uses us, even when we don't have a clue he is using us! ;)

Love.  These friends just listened and loved.  If it was jokes that I needed to make and have someone laugh at, or a shoulder that I needed to cry on, or a hug that needed to be given, these friends just let me do what I needed to do.  They didn't try and force their logical/philosophical/theological understanding of the situation on me.  They just listened and loved.  No advice needed.  There are no words and there is no "right way" to handle the death of a child.  They didn't try to fit our grief into this little box of what they thought grief needed to look like.

Support.  About a month after Jaxon died, God put Hope Mommies into my life.  Since then, I have seen what grief looks like on so many different women.  I have heard their stories and I have shared mine.  I have asked God why?  I have fought with Him- believe me ya'll, He can handle it.  I sought the true character of Him, and He showed me exactly who he is- no doubt.  I have learned so much through the support of not only Hope Mommies, but through the support that surpasses all understanding- the support of God himself.  Amazing stuff!

There is no word to describe what Jaxon's death has taught me.  Something that comes close is Jaxon has given me a "gift."  I will never really understand Jaxon's whole purpose, or the impact he will have on this world in the future.  But I can see what his death has done for my life in the short 6 months since he left, and it isn't all bad.

I have sought God on a whole new level, and I've found him.  I don't just talk about him, I know him.

I am healing from wounds I've buried so so long ago, wounds that I wouldn't have discovered without Kate.

I am helping other women by sharing my story and grief journey with them.  Ya'll this is totally out of my comfort zone and uncharacteristic of the Michelle that I have known the past 30 years.  

My son's purpose on this earth was fulfilled before he was even born.  Only our God can do something like that…


Today I sit with so much on my heart.  We are so close to Mother's day again.  We are so close to the 6 month anniversary of giving Jaxon back to God.  Tomorrow is the last meeting of the 8-week long hope group study.  So much has happened since last mother's day, since we lost Jaxon, and since I started going to hope group.  Here is my best attempt at recapping, because that is just what I feel like doing right now…

Last mother's day, I received a card in the mail from my mom.  It said, you are a mother because of the baby growing in your tummy and I can't wait to meet him or her and celebrate that baby in your arms next year.  Sweet anticipation of having a sweet baby in my arms, midnight diaper changes, getting up in the morning after 2 hours of sleep fueling myself with coffee and snuggles.  Feeling the baby kick inside my belly for the first time, finding out that we were going to have a son, my husband discovering where his son's head was positioned so he could interact with him and make him jump with the loudest kisses ever on my belly.  We cherished watching and feeling him grow in my tummy, I can gladly say satisfaction that we spent as much quality time with him that we knew how to spend.  We knew our son, even when we couldn't see him yet.

I am a mom, even when there is not a baby in my arms to hold.  I am still worth celebrating- the mother in me is still in tact.  

I carried him.  He has part of my DNA.  His blood flowed with mine, and mine with his.

And I'm not sure how I feel about mother's day this year.  I am going to try and not be sad the whole day in spite of the aching in my arms.  It is a huge reminder of the evil God has conquered through His Son.  I am so glad that I have the privilege of returning to my Jaxon one day, and to meet my true Father, the one who really breathed life into my lungs.  I am a mother, and my son is living with his creator!!  That is awesome… if that is not a mother's love, then people what am I?!?  Sounds like a mother to me.

I feel so much more like a mother this mother's day than I ever did last year at this time.

Please don't be afraid of celebrating the mothers in your life that have lost children.  If you have lost a child, and don't feel worthy enough to be called a mother, think again friend… what else is the definition of a mother??  Each child, whether living on this earth or not, is still a child- and that mother will never forget that little soul that was once living inside her belly- you are a mother.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

oh so scandalous...

This morning I am just blown away by God's grace.  My heart is just full right now because I am realizing how accepted I am by God.  I am not an "orphan believer."  I don't second guess where I belong, I don't second guess what God's word says about me anymore.  I trust him!!  What God says is truth, no matter how I am feeling at the moment.  No matter how bad I just messed up.  I.  am.  his.  child.  period.  No matter what.  He won't give me back, he already bought me with his Son's life- how crazy, beautiful, and inconceivable is that?!? Scandalous!! ;)  I am an heir to the throne even when I do the bad things I do.

Emotions can be deceiving people… that is backwards thinking compared to what I used to believe!  If I'm feeling a certain way, it must be truth right?  No.  Lies.  Feelings can be confusing, God is not the author of confusion.  Should we feel guilty about what we did last night, last week, last month, and then dwell on it, beat ourselves up for it, feel like we are unworthy of what God has promised us?  What if I told you that this is the devil speaking to your mind… not God.  Woah!  Right?!?!?  :)  It is the devil!  God doesn't want to shame us, make us feel unworthy… we are the heirs to the throne!!!

Conviction happens by God, not guilt.  Conviction puts a realization in our conscience that says this is wrong.  We stop it, repent, and its done!  It's over!  God doesn't hold it against us, the devil does.

I'm just gonna leave this song right here…  :)

Grace, what have You done?
Murdered for me on that cross
Accused in absence of wrong
My sin washed away in Your blood

Too much to make sense of it all
I know that Your love breaks my fall
The scandal of grace, You died in my place
So my soul will live

Oh to be like You
Give all I have just to know You
Jesus, there's no one besides You
Forever the hope in my heart

Death, where is your sting?
Your power is as dead as my sin
The cross has taught me to live
And mercy, my heart now to sing

The day and its trouble shall come
I know that Your strength is enough
The scandal of grace, You died in my place
So my soul will live

Oh to be like You
Give all I have just to know You
Jesus, there's no one besides You
Forever the hope in my heart

And it's all, because of You, Jesus
It's all, because of You, Jesus
It's all, because of Your love
And my soul will live

Oh to be like You
Give all I have just to know You
Jesus, there's no one besides You
Forever the hope in my heart

Thursday, May 1, 2014

living in eternity

I find myself having "an off week."  Probably more like an off month.  Jealousy, fear, judgment, low self-worth.  Yikes, I said it- low self-worth, low-self-esteem.  And you say, "What?  You're an adult and you still struggle with that?"  At least for me, I feel like if you're an adult, you should have figured out by now that you can't rely on others to define you or to make you feel worthy.  But, yet still I struggle with this big time.  And it began way before I lost my son.  Actually, let's be completely honest here… I have had "an off 31 years!"

I think in some form or fashion, we all have pain and it begins in childhood.  Some have it so much worse than others, yes, but pain is pain.  If we compare and say, "well she hasn't been through what I've been through," then we are devaluing her pain.  Paul says in the book of Galatians, "For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Galatians 5:14

I think we get caught in this trap of feeling sorry for ourselves.  
This is what I've had to endure, it's not fair!  
How can anyone complain after knowing what I've been through?  
My friends, this isn't limited to losing a child.  This can be about child abuse, spousal abuse, being fired unfairly, getting a rumor spread around about you.

I think it is important to recognize who we are in God.  God tells me that I am worth dying for.  In all my ugliness, in all my judgmental thinking, in all my pain, in all my insecurities, in all my flaws, I AM STILL WORTH DYING FOR, even while I still sin.  We who have accepted Christ's gift and are willing to follow his perfect will for our lives, are called to "be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Whenever you are having an off night or an off day or an off week or month or year even, don't declare it.  When you declare it, it becomes true and you find yourself settling for something less than what God made you to be.  Now, please don't get me wrong.  We are grieving, and it sucks, and you WILL have off days, weeks, months, etc.  Especially when life hits you with bullets that have nothing to do with our losses- the pain gets heavier exponentially!  But don't let it define you.  Keep reminding yourself that you will one day know all the answers and you will one day SEE the one who thinks you are worth dying for.  You will live eternity with the God who created you to be joyful!!  Live in eternity.  Right.  Now.