Friday, August 31, 2012

Update, part 2

After Holden was born, life seemed to be turning around for us.  I still struggled with my faith and my fears, but slowly it seemed the waves were calming around us.  I still think of Harper everyday.  I carry her in my heart with me always, she is just such a part of me.  I'm still never sure how to answer the questions when asked how many kids I have.  I don't visit the cemetery as often, or look at her scrapbook as much, but she is never far from my thoughts.  I'm healing, but I'll never be the same.  I'll never look at life the same.  I will always hold a glance too long when I see a newborn baby girl, or a curly headed 2 year old. 

Sometimes my fears can take hold of my thoughts, and block out what I know to be truth.  I know these thoughts and fears are not from the Lord, and this is a major struggle of mine.  I feel like I just wait for the next bad thing to happen.  It can't stay good for too long.  But I was in no way prepared for our next big storm.

Six weeks ago, on the day after her fifth birthday, Emmerson Ruth was diagnosed with Leukemia.  Sometimes I still can't believe it.  It has been an emotional whirlwind these last six weeks.  Losing Harper was the most difficult thing I have ever been through, and I'm not sure I can compare these two situations.  I am thankful I never had to see Harper struggle and fight for her life.  It kills me to see my little girl in pain.  To watch her fight everyday.  To see what the chemo is doing to her body.  She's five.  She should be carefree and happy, going to kindergarten and making new friends.  Instead she has had to grow up so much.  She lost her baby sister and now she is fighting cancer.  It is so unfair. 

At first the diagnosis felt like a death sentence.  Cancer=death, right?  I told my dad that night that I could not bury another one of my babies.  I just can't.  And as hard as it was to bury Harper, losing Emmerson would be so much harder.  I know her, I have memories with her.  She is a part of our home, our daily lives...and to not have her here would be more than I could bear. 

In the last six weeks I have learned a lot.  Medical terminology I could have never made any sense of two months ago seems like plain English today.  Emmerson's prognosis is good.  She has the most treatable type of childhood cancer, and while the success rate is around 95%, her survival is not a guarantee.  But I know God is giving me the peace and strength I need to make it through each day, one day at a time.  When I think about the unknowns in the future I feel myself spinning out of control.  I have to stay focused on today, what is happening right here, right now. 

I hate that this is a part of our lives.  I hated being a part of the "stillbirth club" and now I hate being a part of the "cancer club."  I don't know what God is doing in our lives, but I know it is my job to use what he has given us for his glory.  Sometimes I struggle with being so angry with him for allowing so much pain in such a short amount of time, but then I turn around a beg him to hold me, because I know he is the only one who can heal my little girl.  He is the only one who can give me true peace and hope. 

If you are interested in following Emmerson's journey I have started a Caring Bridge website.  Please keep our family in your prayers as we travel this new journey.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Update, part 1

Its been nearly a year and a half since my last post.  I'm not sure if anyone even follows any more, but quite a lot has happened since then.

Shortly after I shared my story at MOPs I found out I was pregnant again.  This was pregnancy #7, baby #8.  I was scared to death the moment the test came back postive.  I had weekly u/s for the first trimester and we heard the heartbeat early on.  Everything always looked good, and every week that passed I was able to let out a small breath, but at the same time I found it harder and harder to get attatched to this new little person. 

Joel became very sick when I was around 9 weeks pregnant.  He ended up being hospitalized for a few weeks with diverticulitis.  It was a very difficult time for our family.  I was in the nauseaus, tired phase of pregnancy with two energetic kids to take care of.  Then dealing with the stress of Joel being in the hospital, and trying to be there for him, while still being there for my kids and the things needing to be done at home, I was mentally, phyiscally, and spiritually exhausted.  I was once again dealing with the "why" questions.  Why was this happening to our family?  When were we ever going to catch a break?  I dealt with a lot of anger at that time. Thankfully, Joel is doing well now with very little evidence of having been so very ill.

Things continued to progress smoothly with my pregnancy.  I was never able to fully let my guard down.  I dreamed about the new baby, and begged and pleaded God would bless us with another healthy, baby girl.  At 20 weeks we found out the baby was perfectly healthy, but not a girl as I so desperatly wanted.  I couldn't hold back my emotions.  I sobbed through most of the ultrasound.  And then I felt guilty.  I should have been overjoyed that things were going so well with the pregnancy, but instead all I could think of was the baby's gender.  Looking back now, I realize how badly I wanted to replace Harper, even though I said that was not the case.  I think I was grieving that last little hope I had that somehow I would get her back, that somehow a new baby girl would make that hurt go away. 

A few days later we celebrated Harper's first birthday.  The actual day was not a difficult as the anticiaption leading up to it.  We lit flying lanterns and it was really beautiful.  I was coming to terms with the fact that my little girl was really gone, and embracing the new life I was carrying inside of me.  In that week I started preparing his nursery, which was something I said I wouldn't do until after the baby was born alive.  I started going through Alton's old clothes, and I sold all of my baby girl clothes, even the stuff that I had brand new for Harper.  That was a big step for me.  I was purging myself of all the "stuff" I held on to, admitting she would never really be here to use it. 

Things continued to go smoothly with the pregnancy.  I was still scared most days.  I tried to give my trust to God, sometimes hourly.  It was never easy, and most days I failed miserably.  The Tuesday before Thanksgiving I went in for an u/s.  I was 36 weeks.  I was going to start having weekly u/s to check the cord and such, mostly for my peace of mind.  The baby's bladder was very full and he did not pee during the entire u/s.  My doctor scheduled me to come back in on Friday to have it rechecked.  That Friday no changes were noted and my doctor said it was time to get this pregnancy over with.  He knew I was emotionally at my limit, and we had grounds enough to schedule an induction.

The induction process was not as easy as I had hoped, but after 18 hours Holden Everett came out crying.  It was such a beautiful experience.  We all cried as a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.  He was here, healthy and alive.  He did have some minor issues with breathing and jaundice, due to being slighltly premature.  That first week was so overwhelming trying to get him healthy enough to stay home, but he is a happy, busy 9 month old today.  I love him so much and can't imagine him not being a part of our family.  I had some low points in the hospital after his birth..reliving Harper's birth, worrying over his health.  I was overwhelmed with joy to have him, but at the same time grief was still heavy on my heart for my little girl.  It was such a strange mix of emotions I was not prepared to deal with.

There are so many times I will look at Holden and wonder "what if."  What if she had lived?  He wouldn't be here.  But she would.  Its almost tormenting at times.  I sometimes feel like I have to choose between them.  Would I rather have her here, and have missed out on Holden?  Or by loving Holden so much am I saying I'm glad things turned out the way they did?  Its just so unfair.  What I really want is for all of them to be here.  I wouldn't trade Holden for the world....I just wish his big sister was here, living life with us.

Friday, March 25, 2011

My story from MOPS

Yesterday I was very blessed to have the opportunity to share my story with a wonderful group of moms at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers).  I was very nervous in the weeks leading up to yesterday, but when I woke up yesterday morning I felt a lot of peace about sharing.  I could feel all the prayers that people were saying for me and felt surrounded in God's peace.  This is my story as I shared it yesterday:

I found out I was pregnant for the first time in November 2000.  I was 19 and unmarried.  I had accepted Christ as a young girl, but in my teenage years I became rebellious towards the faith my parents had raised me with.  I was excited to be pregnant; my whole life I had wanted nothing more than to be a mommy.  I was oblivious to the fact that something could go wrong…I just assumed that when you got pregnant you had a baby.  My biggest fear was just telling my parents.  My pregnancy was very uneventful until the weekend before I was supposed to have my first OB visit.  I was thirteen weeks along when I started spotting.  I went to the ER where I had my first ultrasound.  The baby was only measuring 6 weeks and there was no heartbeat.  I had a D&C that weekend.

I was devastated to say the least.  I didn’t know how I was supposed to carry on life as a “normal teenager” after going through such an experience.  Someone very close to me told me that the miscarriage was a blessing in disguise and that I was so young and had so much going for me, a baby would have gotten in the way.  I tried to seek out God, but in the end I gave into the thoughts that plagued my mind that losing the baby was my punishment for disobeying him.  And so I ran away from God.

The next five years my life spiraled out of control as I tried to fill the broken hole I felt in my heart.  Nothing ever seemed to fill that hole and my life fell further and further out of control until I hit my rock bottom.  During those dark years of my life I always knew God was near.  I could always hear him calling me back and when I knew I had nowhere else to go, I surrendered to Him.  I found a great group of college aged Christians, got involved in small group, got back in the Bible, and recommitted my life to Christ.

I would like to tell you that the transformation in me happened over night…and in some ways it did.  But I still struggled with the demons of my past.  Shortly after I recommitted my life I met my husband.  After a whirlwind three months we were engaged and three months later I found out I was pregnant again.  This time I was ashamed…I felt like such a hypocrite.  Not to mention the timing was incredibly inconvenient.  We were three months away from our wedding and I still had a semester of school to finish.  Despite all this, I was still in love with the tiny life growing inside of me.

Six weeks into the pregnancy I began spotting.  I had an u/s that day, and to our surprise we saw not one, but two babies!  But we also saw a large blood clot in my uterus.  Unfortunately the babies were attached to the clot and unless they were able to attach to a healthy part of my uterus they would not make it.  After a few more u/s the doctor confirmed to us that the pregnancy was no longer viable and I had another D&C.  With all of the craziness of planning a wedding and finishing school, I didn’t have a lot of time to grieve, although my heart was still broken.

We got married that September as planned and five weeks later I found out I was pregnant a third time.  Once again I started spotting around 6 weeks.  I was completely beside myself.  I couldn’t bear the thought of losing yet another baby, but when we went in for an u/s I saw something I had never seen before…a beating heart.  I continued to spot the entire first trimester, but the baby was always doing great and on July 16, 2007 I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful red-headed little girl.  I cannot even describe to you the joy that surrounded me that day.  God had finally blessed me with the baby I had so desperately longed for.

Six months later we were very surprised to find out we were expecting yet again!  The pregnancy was perfect…no spotting, no scares and on October 3, 2008 I gave birth to the most handsome little boy.  As I looked at my two precious babies, who were only 14 months apart, I felt so blessed.  I felt like I was finally doing things God’s way and he was blessing me in return.  But I still had a lot to learn about God’s ways.

When my son was 13 months old my husband and I were ready for another baby.  Three weeks later we found out we were pregnant for the fifth time.  The pregnancy was normal and at 20 weeks we found out we were having another little girl.  The u/s did show one of her kidneys was slightly dilated, which basically means she was not eliminated enough from that kidney.  We followed up with u/s for the remainder of the pregnancy…mostly just to monitor the amniotic fluid levels.  The doctors were not sure what was going on with her kidney, and they wouldn’t know until she was born.  I was told that it could just work itself out after she was born or that the worst case scenario was that she would need surgery to remove the kidney…which wasn’t even that big of a deal because we only need one functioning kidney anyway.  I was not thrilled with this news, but in the grand scheme of things that could be wrong with a baby, this did seem fairly minor.  I just trusted God to take care of my little girl.

August 9, 2010 was my due date.  I went in for my last OB appointment and felt her kick at the Doppler as the doctor listened for her heartbeat.  I had no idea this would be the last time I would feel her move or hear her heart beating away.  I went home that day and tried to keep myself busy so I wouldn’t dwell on my anxiety over wanting labor to start.  I was ready to meet my little girl.  After the kids were in bed that night I was able to put my feet up and relax for the first time all day.  This was usually the time of day I would feel her move the most, but that night I didn’t feel anything.  I drank some orange juice and ate some fruit hoping the sugar would get her moving.  But I still didn’t feel anything.  I began to push forcefully on my stomach and she still didn’t respond.  My husband asked me if we should go to the hospital and I said no.  I was tired and wanted to get some sleep in case I went into labor.  Really, I was in denial.  And of course I couldn’t sleep at all.  I started having regular contractions around midnight and around 3 am we left for the hospital.  There was none of the excitement, or anticipation I had felt driving to the hospital with the other two.  I just felt really sad, but I didn’t quite know why.

When we got to the hospital the nurses hooked me up to the monitors.  They couldn’t pick up the baby’s heartbeat.  In that moment I knew she was gone.  We had to wait a half an hour for the on-call doctor to come in with the u/s machine.  It felt like an eternity and as he did the scan he asked a ton of questions about the pregnancy.  The screen was turned away from me so I couldn’t see, but he finally said, “I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat.”  I covered my eyes and sobbed.  A million questions ran through my mind…I had just heard her heartbeat; everything was just fine…do babies really die on their due dates?  Then I had another contraction, and the first thing I said out loud was, “So I still have to deliver the baby?”  It sounded so stupid coming out of my mouth, but I could not fathom going through labor and delivery.  I was scared about what she would look like, or if I would want to hold her.  It was all too much to comprehend.

Less than five hours later my sweet Harper Elizabeth was born silently into this world. I remember crying from some unknown place deep inside as my doctor unwrapped the umbilical cord from her neck five times. When my doctor asked if I wanted to hold her I immediately responded YES!  My fears about her were gone and I was surprised to see how “normal” she looked.  Her lips and fingernails were blue but she was beautiful…a perfect blend of how my other two children had looked as newborns.  It was not until her birth that the doctor was able to determine what had caused her death.  I will never forget how long and stretched out her cord was.  Apparently she had been such an active baby she had gotten her cord all tangled and tied in a knot, but it wasn’t until she dropped before labor that the knot tightened and cut off her blood and oxygen supply.  Even with all of the ultrasounds I had during my pregnancy there was no way the doctors were able to see a knot in her cord.  This type of stillbirth is called a “cord accident” because there is no way to detect it.  There was also no link between the cord and the issue with her kidney.  It was very hard for me to accept that there was no one to blame and nothing that could have been done to save her.  I hated the thought that she could have been a perfectly healthy baby…if only.

We spent the day holding Harper; we bathed her and dressed her.  Our children and parents and my sister were able to hold her.  And then we had to let her go.  I knew I would never again hold my baby on this earth.  That was the most painful moment of the entire day…leaving her at the hospital with an empty belly and empty arms and going to a home that was ready to welcome a beautiful baby girl. 

There was a brief moment in the hospital that day that I looked at Harper and vowed I would never allow myself to feel that pain again.  But the very next day I felt a consuming desire to have another baby.  I’m not sure if it was the hormones, or the confusion my body must have felt going through 9 months of pregnancy and 9 hours of labor and not having a baby in my arms as the end result.  Maybe it was just a way to have some hope that better days were ahead.  Either way, I knew I wanted another baby as soon as possible.

My doctor said because I went full-term I needed to give my body time to heal, but we could try in 3-6 months.  Those three months felt like an eternity, but I am glad we waited that long because I was able to do a lot of grieving.  I had no idea how much work grieving is, and how long of a process it can be.  Even now, seven months later I am still in the midst of it.  I was able to realize that a new baby is not going make things all better, and that there will always be a place in my family that only Harper could hold.  Nonetheless, I still desired to have another baby.  When we finally hit the three month mark, I started to have some fears if I was really ready and even asked a few of the mentor moms to be praying for us.  When I didn’t get pregnant that first month and I was devastated.  I had never not gotten pregnant!  I had this whole plan that I would get pregnant right away and have a baby by Harper’s first birthday, so when I didn’t get pregnant it was like starting the grieving process all over again.  I was so excited when I did get pregnant the following month…I was due exactly one year and one month after Harper’s birthday.  So I wouldn’t have a baby by her first birthday, but waiting one extra month didn’t seem too bad.  I announced the pregnancy right away and asked everyone I knew to be praying for our new baby.  I thought for sure nothing bad would happen this time…we had already been through so much; God would never let anything else go wrong. 

But on January 17th I miscarried the baby at home at just over 6 weeks along.  I was devastated.  Not as much for the loss of the baby, although painful…I was more devastated that God would have allowed this to happen again.  I thought I “deserved” a healthy baby and I just couldn’t understand why I had to suffer again, on top of the pain I was still dealing with from losing Harper.

I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t mad at God.  I felt abandoned; I questioned what he was thinking.  Although being angry with God was a place I didn’t like to be, and a place I didn’t want to stay…I couldn’t avoid that fact that I was hurt that he allowed this type of pain in my life over and over again. 

When I look back at my life over the past 10 years, the past 7 months, even the past 2 months I can see how much God has carried me through and how far he has brought me.  Through each one of my losses I have learned more about him as he reveals more and more of himself to me.  But I realize I was only able to grow in my faith because I made a conscious choice to seek him.  Even today, as I struggle with why life isn’t turning out the way I dreamed it would, I still have to make the choice to believe his promises and seek him, when I feel like running away.

Some of the biggest lessons I have learned about God is that he is a loving and caring god.  He was not punishing me when I lost my babies.  I believe he was crying right along with me and offering to carry me through that pain.  I will probably never understand in this lifetime why God did not save Harper, or any of my other babies, but I know in my heart that it was not his intention to have his people suffer.  It was only because of sin being introduced in the world that we have all became subject to pain and heartache.

I have also learned that God never wastes your hurts…he can and will use everything for his glory and his purposes.  He has created every life for a purpose and even in the midst of my pain I can see how he is using Harper in my life to reach out to others who are dealing with similar losses.  As a mother I have no greater joy than to know that my precious daughter, who even in death, is being used by God to fulfill his wonderful plan.  Our time together may have been way too short, but her life still has meaning and purpose.

One of the most recent things God has been working on in my heart is releasing the control I think I have over my life.  When Nikki and I first talked several months ago about me sharing my story at MOPS I had this vision of standing before you with my pregnant belly telling you all how good and faithful God is.  Obviously, that was my vision, and not His.  But I am still going to tell you that God is good and faithful, but not because I got my way, or things worked out the way I wanted them to.  He is good and faithful because he does love us and because in our weakest moments he is the only one who can offer us true hope and peace and grace to make it through.  I may never understand all the “whys” but I choose to put my trust in a God who cannot be put in a box…a God whose ways are higher than my ways.  If I could figure out his plan or predict what he was going to do next, he wouldn’t be a very big God…so I have to choose to trust a God much bigger than me, even if it doesn’t always make sense.

Everyday I have to make the choice to believe that his promises in the Bible are truth and cling to them with every ounce of my faith, even on days when that faith seems very small.  I hold tight to the promise that his plans for me are good, even if that plan seems very painful right now.  And I hold even tighter to his promise of eternity; a place with no more pain, no more suffering, no more tears…a place where I will be reunited with my five precious babies.

One year ago today...

One year ago today we had our first ultrasound and found out we were having another little girl.  These are the pictures from that day.  Before I even got pregnant with Harper I loved the name.  I asked Joel what he thought of the name Harper if we had a girl and he agreed to it.  We never even talked about any other names for a girl or boy, so on this same day last year we knew right away that this new little girl would be called Harper.  These pictures are very special to me because, even though we have so many beautiful pictures of the day she was born, these pictures are the only pictures of her as a healthy living baby.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Signing off for a bit...

Well, as of some point today, we are no longer going to have home Internet.  We just got smart phones and to cut some extra costs we have decided to cancel our Internet.  However, this will make it more difficult for me to blog (I'm not sure I can pour my heart out on the world's smallest keyboard using only my thumbs!).  But, obviously, I haven't been keeping up with the blog that much lately anyway.  I'm not sure why...I suppose I'm just at a different place in my grieving and haven't felt like writing as much.

This may sound incredibly insensitive, or strange to some, but as of late, my desire and struggle to have another baby have replaced my pain of losing Harper.  (Please note I did not say "replace Harper" just replacing the "pain of losing Harper").  I guess there was only so much I could do after Harper died.  I scrapbooked, blogged, shared her story with whomever would listen.  I believe with all my heart that I grieved was a lot of work.  And I know that hole in my heart will never go away.  I will love her until the day I go to meet her.  I will never forget her (how could I?).

But lately I am just soooo ready to move forward.  I don't want to live with the constant black cloud hanging over my head.  I want to see the sunshine, and feel joy when it's light shines on my face.  And for me a big part of moving forward is having another baby.  I don't know if or when this baby will be a part of our lives.  And that has been another grieving process I have had to go through lately.  I had this "master plan" after Harper died that I would get pregnant right away and have a baby by her first birthday.  Obviously, that's not going to happen.  Right now I don't even think I will have a baby in 2011.  As the weeks go by, that "plan" gets further and further from reach.  And I am grieving.

Of course by now I should have realized that God's plans are not my plans.  I've said it from the beginning, but it seems to not be sinking in.  As of right now, the plan is to have another baby...I'm not ready to give up on that dream yet.  But I have also realized that a new baby is not going to equal true joy in my life.  In this in between time I am working on finding a place where I realize that God is good, and faithful, and loves me, and has good plans for me...whether those plans include another baby or not.  And honestly, that "place" is almost impossible to find...but I will keep searching.

So, I'm not sure how often I will be posting here.  If I'm ever around a PC I will try to update how things are going and what kind of progress I am making on my walk with God, and our attempts to add to our family.  And if I really need to get something off my chest I suppose I will just get a good thumb exercise in!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Six Months

Six months ago today I was oblivious to the fact that my life was about to change forever.  Or, I should say, the way it was going to change forever.  At some point on August 9th, Harper's spirit left this earth and went to Heaven.  And I didn't even know it happened.  I was still waiting for contractions to start, anxious to meet my little girl.

The past six months have been full of ups and downs...I feel I've made big strides on this journey called grief.  But I'm not where I hoped to be right now...Plan A:  Enjoying life with a six month old baby girl in our family.  Plan B:  Get pregnant as soon as possible and be entering my second trimester.  Plan C:  ? 

I guess its time to just let God do the planning, because my plans aren't working out. 

The pain of losing Harper does not consume me like it did in the beginning.  I still think about her constantly, but those thoughts aren't in the forefront of my mind.  I am able to function and carry on a "normal" life while still carrying her memory with me always.  I'm still sad when I think of her, or when I see a pregnant woman or a newborn baby.  I'm sad that life isn't turning out the way I thought it would.  But I am learning to be okay with it.  And that's a big step for me.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

First things first...

I haven't written in awhile.  I think about writing all the time, but I guess the old saying, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all," keeps coming to mind.  I always wanted this blog to be honoring to God and show what he has been doing in my life through losing Harper.  Lately, I just feel so stuck.  This last miscarriage has really shaken me up...mostly spiritually.

I want to trust God, I want to trust his plan for my life and trust his timing, but I'm finding that so incredibly hard right now.  I really put a lot of hope into a new times that was the only thing that got me through really tough days was the thought of having a new baby.  I thought I would get pregnant right away and have a baby by Harper's first birthday/anniversary.  Obviously, that's not going to be the case...and I get so much anxiety when I don't even know when or if we will even have another baby.  It's so hard for me to let go of that control, even though I know I don't have any control to begin with.

I just finished reading a book by Pete Wilson called "Plan B."  It really called out some major sin on my part.  Lately my desire for a baby has become so consuming that I know it is taking God's place in my life.  A baby has become an "idol" I have put before my relationship with Christ.  But this is where I feel so stuck.  I don't know how to make that desire go away and I don't know how to put my trust and hope back where it belongs.

I get so irritated when people tell me to "count my blessings" or to just be thankful for the two kids I have. And rightfully so, I am very blessed to have my kids, but they in no way take away the pain of losing Harper or the miscarriages.  But I do know there is some truth to that...I have to get to a place in my life where I am content and if I never have another baby I need to be okay with that.  That is so hard for me to say right now, because I still hang on to this hope that there will be another baby, but I also have to face the reality that it may not happen.  And I'm going to have to be okay with that.  I can't let this ruin my life.  And I cannot let it ruin my faith.

Another thing that I read in "Plan B" that really struck me is that during these tough times when we don't think God is around or that He doesn't's not Him that's me.  He is always here, always's me that's not drawing close to him.  I think as Christians (or maybe not all Christians, I'll just speak for myself) we have the preconceived notion that God's got our back and that nothing bad is going to happen to us...which is so not true.  Then when something does go wrong we think  God has totally forgotten about us.  But I know in my heart this is not true.  I've worked through this so many times already, but every time I get knocked down I have to start all over again.  Who is God?  What do I believe?  What do I know to be true?  I even went back and reread some of my earlier posts click here to read and I still believe that.  I'm just not sure why I have to start all over again every time things don't go my way.

So, I suppose the reality I'm faced with here is that I have a choice to make...keep going down the path I'm on, trying to make sense of life on my own...or surrender it all to Him, trusting that He knows what He's doing.

Deut. 4:28-31:  There, in a foreign land, you will worship idols made from wood and stone—gods that neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell.  But from there you will search again for the Lord your God. And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him. “In the distant future, when you are suffering all these things, you will finally return to the Lord your God and listen to what he tells you. For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors.

Matt. 6:33-34:  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Baby girl, it's such a crazy world without you.  I'm trying to do what God wants me to do...and sometimes I fail miserably.  I wish everyday that you were still here and I didn't have to live with this pain.  I hope that someday I will look back on this time in my life and see how God was using you to shape me into the woman he wants me to become.  I miss you and love you so much.