Thursday, September 20, 2012

"I Knew I Could Trust You"

Our friend, Pastor Dave Ness, blessed us with a visit over dinner last week. He then came to our home and sang the song he wrote for our family titled, "I Knew I Could Trust You." While sitting on our couch, he played his guitar and we all cried through the summary of Anna's story placed sweetly to prose and chords. 

His involvement in our lives through this entire journey has been a blessing. He and his wife, Joy, invited us to stay in their home while we waited for Anna to be born. We ended up staying elsewhere, but saw them several times whether over dinner or at their church, or when Pastor Dave would come check on us at the hospital. Always, with prayer and words of encouragement. 

Pastor Dave & Joy know the pain of losing a baby. They lost triplets. And Dave shared that God gave him the last portion of this song just recently, on their 18th birthday. 

I Knew I Could Trust You 
For Anna Joy’s Family 
Dave Ness 
August 23, 2012 

Unexpected miracle, then unexpected trials, 
Advice to just “start over” and avoid most certain pain.
Instead of starting over, you decided just to love her; 
Instead of giving up, you gave our Anna Joy a name. 
And you asked for prayer 
And the game was on. 

I knew I could trust you. 
I knew I could trust you. 

Faith in me runs deep with you; you knew that I could do it... 
I don’t do odds, just miracles; precisely what you need! 
No matter what the outcome, you knew I’d help you through it, 
Your call for prayer went worldwide and sent thousands to their knees 
For an unborn child 
they’ve never seen. 

I knew I could trust you. 
I knew I could trust you. 

The only chance this baby has takes everything you’ve got, 
And even then the odds are ten percent; 
She doesn’t need one miracle, but several in a row— 
The world is watching carefully 
To see where your prayers go.... 

Your faith has been rewarded! Your little girl is born. 
She’s beautiful! She made it through the night. 
A week has passed; you stare into amazing little eyes 
So this is what your answered prayer looks like! 

The only chance this baby has takes everything you’ve got 
And even now the odds are ten percent; 
She doesn’t need one miracle, but several in a row— 
The world is watching carefully 
To see where your prayers go.... 

Silent teardrops falling on a perfect little face, 
Anointing fading hope from aching eyes. 
The miracles have run out and it’s time to say goodbye; 
A million faith-filled prayers have now become a million "why’s"?

Will you love a baby you will only hold for minutes? 
In only precious hours will she know a lifetime’s love? 
Will you carry hope for her when there’s no more hope in it, 
Then sing her to the angels up above? 

I knew I could trust you. 
I knew I could trust you. 

Will you keep your faith in me when dreams are crushed and shattered, 
When there’s no understanding, only pain and pain and pain? 
Will you keep on holding on to faith and one another?.... 

I knew I could trust you. 
I knew I could trust you. 

“Why, God, why?” (I get that a lot) 
But you’re in the world which now is caught 
Between the perfect worlds that I have made: 
The Garden, where there was no pain, 
And heaven, where my Son will reign; 
You’re still in the world that’s drowning in its sin. 

So take my hand; I’ll lead you through, 
When you can’t walk, I’ll carry you 
Until the day when you’re with her again. 

I know you feel you’ve loved and lost, 
You took the risk and now the cost... 

The sword in your soul, 
The grief you bear, 
You wonder if I even care, 
And if I do, Then, why? 
Then, why? Then, why? 

It takes faith to believe that I can do it; 
It takes more faith to trust me when I don’t. 
Your faith will be rewarded, child, and so will all the others, 
Who kept that faith and keep their joy in hope.

Someday when you’re here with me 
And pain’s a forgotten memory, 
You’ll understand the things you can’t know now– 
Like how it is a God who cares 
Could leave His children standing there 
With empty arms, and not be weak or cruel. 

The answers will come in heaven; 
Healing will come in time; 
But the peace I give is for you, right now. 
Receive it, and know you are mine. 

The answers will come in heaven; 
Wounds become scars, in time 
But the comfort I give is for you, right now. 
Receive it, and know you are mine. 

I want you to know how this story ends. 
I want you to know how this all turns out: 
There’s a place beside my throne– 
You call it “heaven;” I call it “home”– 
When all your earthly chores are done, 
You’ll join me here, to stay. 
And, waiting here, 
Is your child of prayer. 

She’ll launch herself into your arms and never let you go! 
Your road of grief will end at last in joy around my throne, 
You’ll hold your precious Anna Joy forever and a day! 

In the tunnel of grief... 

I’m here. 
I’m right here. 

And I love you. 
I’m proud of you. 
I’m holding you... both. 
And I’ll never let go. 
Never let go, 
I’ll never let go. 

One more thing I want you to know, 
Even though it may not seem it’s true: 
When you’re able again, 
You can trust me, too. 

I knew I could trust you; 
You can trust me, too. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Every Day Surrender

Hi, friends... close, far, and unknown...

August 2012
We are doing pretty well. There are some positive things happening in our life, and although it isn't without challenges, we feel blessed and excited. 

My last post told about our loss of another pregnancy just 6 months after we said goodbye to Anna Joy. It took me to a darker and emptier place in my grief. I am doing much better now. I still have many questions, but am learning that I don't have to find the answers. That is hard to let go of, but I have realized that it's best to focus my energy on getting through the day instead of trying to figure things out. 

A new season is coming. And I don't mean Fall, although I love this time of year. I sense a changing of seasons in our new life without Anna is just up ahead. We are still very sad, still cry many tears, still study her photos, still imagine what it might have been like to have her here with us... always. But God is stirring up some blessings, and I'm starting to taste them. We can feel His presence, and He continues to carry us through this new territory. 

I can get through more days with less stress. I have been able to take care of our home with more motivation instead of being overwhelmed. I look forward to meeting with people and accomplishing tasks. This is such a blessing! After a year of complete sadness and helplessness, it is so refreshing to be able to function like a (more) normal person. Please don't think this means we don't need your prayers and your help. We need both desperately. We are still very tired and never know when our emotions will erupt. 

It's a new life. We've never done this before. And a lot of you haven't been friends to someone in this life before. Please don't be afraid of us. Please talk to us, ask how we're doing, and talk about Anna. The more time that passes, the farther we get from her. Hearing others talk about her or ask how we're doing makes it real and grounds us again.  Life goes on, but we're often stuck and end up watching the rest of  you continue, wondering if we'll ever feel the way we used to. I've heard and read it gets easier, and we're just barely starting to see that happen. But I'm also a little afraid of finding "normal" again, because it means I've let her go. And I'm not quite ready to do that. 

Here is a blog post by a friend of mine who lost her baby girl just a month and a half before we did. She describes it so well. This is where I'm at...

This Juxtaposed Life....

By Laura Finnegan, August 29, 2012 (

Ours is a juxtaposed life. And it's hard to live.

So sad about so very much loss. But on the other hand, blessed with so much.

Three boys, that in my estimation, hang the moon, a husband I've had the privilege

to grow up alongside, and a love for all of them deeper than any ocean. Such blessing.

But right there, right there next to all of that "goodness," is indescribable sadness and

sorrow. The grief of losing our baby girl, our only girl, our sweet daughter Brynna.
What undefinable heartbreak.

How do I live this juxtaposed life? Fitting two unlikely halves together in a feeble attempt 

to make my heart whole. It doesn't really make sense. This situation is nonsensical.

On any given day, it may be the sadness that has the wheel. Taking us for a ride on the 

bumpy, dark, unforgiving, unrelenting road called grief. The next day, we may have a respite
and be able to focus our attention on our living children, our sweet boys, Colton, Aidan and

And we have no choice, no say in the matter. The days, the hours, the minutes, they are what 

they are. We cannot dictate or dissuade the sadness, it just comes. We also cannot stop our 
hearts from yearning for happiness and growing with love. So mixed up is our life.

So we just keep on, continuing to rise each morning attempting to make our way through each

uncertain day. Some nights we fall into bed and lay our weary heads down in prayer that
"tomorrow will be kinder". Other nights we go to sleep with just a sliver of reassurance because 
that day has proven "more doable" than the one before.

At times it's enough to make a person crazy, this juxtaposed life.

I hate not having her.  I love having them.  I am heartbroken.  My heart is healing. 

I am sad.  I have moments of happiness.  I feel weak.  I am becoming stronger.  
I cannot stand.  I am standing.  I can't do this.  I am doing this.

This is a crazy life.

So, here we are. On we go. 

I get nervous about the long winter coming (lots of dark skies, clouds, and rain here in western Washington), but I know now that I'm not alone. God is always with me, and I have many friends around that I need to let into my life. I'm taking another step into another day (and a new season), not knowing anything except God is faithful and He'll carry me through. 

We keep learning to trust. It's not a one-time lesson. Trust is an every day surrender. Trusting God with the unknowns, and trusting our broken hearts with friends... It's scary. I don't want to hurt anymore. Yet, like I've written about before, there is no blessing without risk first. There must be a question asked, a heart offered, a love given, a life surrendered. 

I have to cling to Christ. I must make intentional effort to connect with His Spirit through the Word, worship music, devotional readings, or journaling. I have nothing without Him. If I trust Him to carry me, there is hope. 

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
Hebrews 6:19a

You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope.
Psalm 119:114
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
    he heard my cry for mercy.
 Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.
 The cords of death entangled me,
    the anguish of the grave came over me;
    I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    Lord, save me!”
 The Lord is gracious and righteous;
    our God is full of compassion.
 The Lord protects the unwary;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.
 Return to your rest, my soul,
    for the Lord has been good to you.
 For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling,
 that I may walk before the Lord
    in the land of the living.

Psalm 116:1-9