Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Life on earth is transitory and true life awaits the faithful in heaven."

 "Now life will be a little less sweet, death a little less bitter."

 "Life is bigger than loss because God is bigger than loss. Pain and death do not have the final word; God does. That final word involves more than life on earth; it involves life in heaven as well, the final destination of this great cloud of witnesses. I find myself thinking often about heaven... There is another and greater reality that envelops this earthly one. Earth is not outside heaven, it is heaven's workshop, heaven's womb. My loved ones have entered that heaven and have joined those who died before them. They are in heaven now because they believed in Jesus, who suffered, died, and was raised for their sake. They live in the presence of God and a reality I long to enter in God's good time."

 God called me to something incredible when He allowed me to carry Abigail! Not only did her life here on earth have so much purpose, but her life in heaven has even more purpose! She has arrived to the greater reality, our true life and final destination with Christ!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Combat comes before victory.  If God has chosen special trials for you to endure, be assured He has kept a very special place in His heart just for you.  A badly bruised soul is one who is chosen."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's been 3 months since we said goodbye, Abigail.  It seems like an eternity since we held you in our arms, but in some ways it seems like we began this difficult journey just yesterday.  Thankful that I'm one month closer to you! We love you!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

3 Months Old

Abigail, today you would've been three months old! Oh how I wish I could watch you grow! My heart aches so much to see you and hold you! I love you!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Abigail, we went to a memorial service held in honor of you at Children's Hospital this past weekend.  It was in memory of you and the 47 other children who passed away between February 1st and April 30th.  One of the babies who was being remembered is buried right next to you.  We got to meet other families that are grieving over the loss of their children. They called your name and rang a bell in your honor at the service.  It was so hard being back in Little Rock where you and I stayed for so long.  It was so strange seeing the buildings and scenery that I viewed out of our hospital window every day.  We are still missing you as much as the day we said goodbye, Abigail! We are going to run a race to remember you in Little Rock in a couple of weeks, and then another one in Bentonville in July.  They are going to release pink balloons just for you.  We love you so much and think about you constantly!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Abigail, I thought I had learned what I needed to know.  Then you burst into this world with your brilliant spirit and I realized I was just at the beginning! You taught me through your amazing way of being YOU, showed me beauty I had never seen, a depth to life I had never known, a JOY I had not yet felt, and the LOVE my precious DAUGHTER can bring!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"I cannot live with the memories, and I cannot live without them. Hope for the future functions similarly.  It is impossible not to imagine the future, and it is equally impossible to imagine the future without using the present as material for our imagination.  After doing woodworking as a hobby, for instance, you can imagine a career in carpentry.  After viewing slides of New Zealand, you can imagine what it would be like to travel there.  After winning your first college debate, you can dream about becoming a great trial lawyer.  The problem with those who have suffered loss is that they are deprived of familiar material from the present in order to envision the future...Whenever I thought about the future, I still found them there.  But they were never going to be there, which only made me more aware of how devastating my loss was.  Thus, like my view of past memories, my view of the future reflected ambivalence. I remembered a past that included people I did not want to give up, and I imagined a future that excluded people I desperately wanted to keep.  For a time I was deprived, therefore, of the comfort that good memories provide and of the hope that a good imagination creates.  That is why the present was so barren to me and is so hopeless for many who face tragic loss.  This barrenness can be overwhelming. 'Will this emptiness continue forever?' we ask ourselves.  'Will I feel this way for the rest of my life?'  'Am I doomed to sail forever on a vast sea of nothingness?' These questions expose the depths of sorrow to which people who suffer such loss often descend.

...Andy and Mary will never 'recover' from their loss.  Nor can they.  Can anyone really expect to recover from such tragedy, considering the value of what was lost and the consequences of that loss?  Recovery is a misleading and empty expectation.  We recover from broken limbs, not amputations.  Catastrophic loss by definition precludes recovery.  It will transform us or destroy us, but it will never leave us the same.  There is no going back to the past, which is gone forever, only going ahead to the future, which has yet to be discovered.  Whatever the future is, it will, and must, include the pain of the past with it.  Sorrow never entirely leaves the soul of those who have suffered a severe loss.  If anything, it may keep going deeper.  But this depth of sorrow is the sign of a healthy soul, not a sick soul.  It does not have to be morbid and fatalistic.  It is not something to escape but something to embrace.  Jesus said, 'Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.' Sorrow indicates that people who have suffered loss are living authentically in a world of misery, and it expresses the emotional anguish of people who feel pain for themselves or for others.  Sorrow is noble and gracious.  It enlarges the soul until the soul is capable of mourning and rejoicing simultaneously, of feeling the world's pain and hoping for the world's healing at the same time.  However painful, sorrow is good for the soul.  Deep sorrow often has the effect of stripping life of pretense, vanity, and waste.  It forces us to ask basic questions about what is most important in life.  Suffering can lead to a simpler life, less cluttered with nonessentials.  It is wonderfully clarifying.  That is why many people who suffer sudden and severe loss often become different people."

Jerry Sittser, A Grace Disguised

Monday, June 4, 2012

"Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape. As I've already noted, not every bend does. Sometimes the surprise is the opposite one; you are presented with exactly the same sort of country you thought you had left behind miles ago. That is when you wonder whether the valley isn't a circular trench. But it isn't. There are partial recurrences, but the sequence doesn't repeat." - C.S. Lewis

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.
Job 1:21

Abigail, you are such a perfect gift from above and we are so thankful to know you. We are so thankful for the time we had with you. You have changed our lives forever, and we love you more than words can say! We cannot wait to be with you again!

Friday, June 1, 2012

"God's ways are always infinitely perfect; that we are to love Him for what He is, and therefore equally as much when He afflicts us as when He prospers us; that there is no real happiness but in doing and suffering His will and that this life is but a scene of testing through which we pass to the real life above."
 -Elizabeth Prentiss Stepping Heavenward

Thank you, Lee!

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers