Dear Husband

Dear Mason,

It’s occurred to me that I’ve used this blog to express my heart and soul about the loss of our precious daughter, but I rarely share with the world my heart for you and Finnegan.

And for those reading, I also feel that I’ve held back a quite large chunk out on how I’ve been able to cope with our loss. Yes, its been by the grace of God, but it’s also because God created this man I call my husband. He’s shown me and many others how an incredible and supportive husband, father, and friend he truly is… 

Tomorrow is one of the days that I’ve been dreading. It’s the date that the doctors gave us when we first learned we were pregnant for the second time – January 29, 2016. Gosh we were so excited. It was the 40 week mark that we mentally noted, but basically shrugged away, since we knew we would be scheduled for a c-section a few days/weeks prior, but it’s a date that you and I know lives in infamy. It’s so hard for me to think of today as anything, but painful. Yet there were such sweet memories I do have as we dreamt of this day.

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I remember reading about grief shortly after her birth (4 months ago now), especially around how husbands and wives grieve differently and it honestly scared me. You hear tragic stories of failed marriages after going through what we went through. I took that reality to heart and made a promise to myself that this wouldn’t be us. This wouldn’t break us. I was keenly aware of what was happening to me and between us. I was probably more verbal about my feelings, which you know is hard for me to do in general. But knew that if I could tell you why I was snippy or frustrated or any other range of emotions, that we didn’t live in this emotional battlefield, trying to figure out each others moods.

You cried when I cried. You listened when I just needed to talk something out. You never once shut me down or marginalized my woes. You carried me when I had nothing left to give and you still do. You pray over us and for us. You are truly my rock.

I have to admit that I feel like I fail you everyday as the wife you need me to be. You give me wide open space to grieve the way I need to grieve, yet I feel like I take so much more than I give back right now. Please forgive me.

We promised one another that our perspective on life would be different, that we would reprioritize and never look back. Yet I find myself falling back into old ruts and habits…the blood-sucking daily grind of life creeps back in and I feel like you end up with my scraps at the end of each day. Please forgive me.

An ‘a-ha’ for me lately is that I feel like the Lord is leading me to pray for you…not just in passing, but to purposefully set time aside to pray…just for you. Now let me back up, I used to do the big ‘eye roll’ when girls would talk about praying for their husbands…it just always came across to me as…pretentious…prideful…but for whatever reason just bugged that crap out of me…clearly my heart was not in the right place!

Prayer has been the only thing I know that’s gotten us through the ugly and I know that’s the least I can do, yet the most meaningful.

I love you, Mason John, more then ever before.

 

Your Loving Wife,

Michelle

 

 

 

 

 

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Fear Not

It’s been some time since my last post…All is well other than fighting seasonal colds (again) and ice/snow that seem to paralyze good ‘ole Charlotte for a couple days. At least we got some quality snow days, which included snowmen and sledding!

We are also approaching Elodie’s due date – January 29 – I find myself thinking about the day and quickly finding something else to distract me from dwelling on it. I’m also feeling as though the enemy is using the upcoming day to hurt me, which is why I feel like I’ve been apprehensive to even wanting to face the day. I’m even tempted to ignore it. I am actually taking the day off as I’m attending a retreat with some women from church. Lord has clearly been in the midst for that to work out the way it has…

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As we plan for surgery in April, I’ve been keeping up with several women who have had their TAC placed and are currently pregnant. Last Monday, one of the girls expressed she was dealing with contractions throughout her pregnancy and ended up delivering at 30 weeks even with a TAC…and I couldn’t help but think…that could still be me and completely lost it! I was a total mess. I felt defeated and I didn’t even take one step past the starting line. I also believe the enemy is using fear to creep into our frail lives. To manipulate my faith and to distract me from trusting the One who is truly in control.isaiah41-10I’m still trying to understand why I reacted the way that I had and failing at every turn. I do believe the enemy uses emotions to deceive and to manipulate God’s voice. Through my grasping of truth I came upon a book called Fear and Faith: Finding the Peace Your Heart Craves by Trillia Newbell. By definition, the fear I’m experiencing is an expectation of harm. When I’m tempted to fear, it is because my false sense of control has been altered by a circumstance. A child lost. Or the unknown. Ultimately because I’m seeking trust and security in anything other than the Lord.

Fear opposes faith when rooted in unbelief. Lord, please help my unbelief.

The Struggle Is Real

What. A. Week. This was the first full week at work since going out on leave. It was a doozy. I think the combination of everyone getting back from the holidays and catching up on things that fell on the waste side and just being plain rusty at my job.

View More: http://laurendobbinsphotography.pass.us/the-john-family

good thing he’s cute…

I’m sure glad it’s the weekend, though. Finn decided to sleep-in till 11am yesterday! Praise Jesus. He is totally a three-nager…’tude and all! Three has been tough. The most challenging of phases yet. The week started with notes from school saying he’s been “pushing his friends”. To screaming when he doesn’t get his way.  Saying ‘no’ constantly and demanding that he picks his clothes out (I think I know who he takes after there…). Where has my sweet, compliant child gone?! But something changed on Thursday. My sweet boy showed up and he’s stayed that way through yesterday too. Praying the ‘three-nager’ stage is short-lived and it’s simply navigating his new found independence. This momma is exhausted!

 

In other news…I was confirmed a surgery date…

April 11th by Dr. Haney in Chicago. I’m still waiting on finalization of insurance (so prayers there). But the plan will be that Mason and I will travel up the Saturday before. Surgery is 7:30am (check-in at 6am) on that Monday at the University of Chicago and then we’ll travel back on Wednesday. It’s technically an outpatient surgery, but it will be done at the hospital. I will stay one night and discharge the following morning. I’ve found recovery varies case by case. Since the procedure is similar to a c-section and having one in the past, I know I’ll be home for a couple weeks quite sore, but hope to not have to take much time off work and just work remotely. Mainly for my mental state. When I was recovering from my last c-section, my motivation was to get up and see Finn everyday and I truly think that helped me heal faster.

This opportunity is still a surreal feeling. In my heart of hearts, I believe the Lord has led us to this doctor. But I’m cautiously optimistic (which is to be expected). Faithfully I want to trust Him with this, but it’s hard to not doubt. I even at times find myself second guessing…am I pursuing this out of my own feelings to find an answer? My prayer is to continue to seek His guidance. I’m also motivated to want to do this for Elodie and for Finn. We have not had one pregnancy that has turned out well. Dr. Haney said it well, “My goal is to change that for you both.”

Also, our desire to have more children hasn’t gone away either. Over the course of several weeks, engaging with women over at AbbyLoopers (the TAC community chat board), I discovered that Dr. Haney doesn’t take just anyone. He has a personal success rate that he takes very seriously and right now 98% of his patients have a living, healthy child post TAC. That’s a stat we can get behind. Are there still risks? Of course…like any other pregnancy, but if we can take my weak cervix off the table, which is the linch-pin to my difficult pregnancies, then this is the best scenario we’ve got.

With all that said, with any future pregnancies, I would continue to be closely monitored by my team of local doctors…p17 shots for contractions…cervical checks via ultrasound. And followed more closely by a MFM (maternal fetal medicine doctor). I’ve communicated with them both and they are supportive of this procedure. My MFM even went on to say, “We wish all our patients were as well informed and proactive as you!” I could gripe about why didn’t they recommend this to begin with…suffice it to say…I think we live in a sad reality that insurance companies influence even how our doctors practice medicine. And many are beholden to policy and are risk averse. As to why more doctors don’t perform this procedure when the success rates speak for themselves. Dr. Haney said its a matter of time that this will be the procedure of choice. My only advice to anyone dealing with medical challenges…never give up looking for an answer. Never. Even if there is just one doctor out there that can help. Follow it.

Please continue to pray for us…pray that insurance covers the procedure and for our hearts as we approach April 11th with anticipation and nerves. xo

Catching Up and Looking Forward

I gather you all had a wonderful holiday. Christmas through the eyes of a three year old is magical. Despite having croup, which turned to full blown cold for the little man; he surprisingly was in good spirits. By the way, overload of candy canes and peppermint patties cure all ailments!

For those that sent us notes in memory of Elodie, thank you. We had over 30 letters to read Christmas morning. Every single one of them blessed us. Some brought on the ugly cry and many tears of joy. We were so moved by your honesty and reflection on how Elodie’s life has impacted yours and we’re forever grateful. It was more than I could have imagined and it honored her memory profoundly during the first Christmas without her here. Thank you.

As we look forward to 2016, part of me can’t wait to put this year behind me…for obvious reasons. But by looking to a new year, it has also allowed me to reflect on this past year to recognize that in one fell swoop, September 24, 2015, changed everything. Life as I know it had been reset, in so many ways like a new year. A gift.

My prayer for 2016 is that I continue to see all things with these fresh set of eyes…that everything is filtered through the lens of purpose. Not the ‘do things that make me happy’ purpose. Or the ‘what have you done for me lately’ purpose. But with a heart that knows God started something through the taking of Elodie’s life and that out of obedience to His will and plan for my life, I look at 2016 with genuine hope. The kind of hope that moves me out of my ruts and old habits and moves me into a place that is good. Which may even feel inconvenient and actually difficult. Whether it be in my marriage to Mason. How we parent. Prioritizing family. Cultivating lasting friendships. My career. I pray that this gift I received this year carries us through the next and the next.

In the not far distant future, our initial prayer for 2016 is our decision to move towards having the transabdominal cerclage (TAC) placed. If you recall my post, Hope in the Fog, Mason and I had a phone consultation with a specialist in Chicago. The call went very well. So well that he was able to address all our practical questions/concerns before we could even ask them. Our next step is processing pre-certification with our insurance and then scheduling surgery. So far, we’ve felt the Lord led us down this path. From researching and finding connections online, to finding this doctor, and even the timing of the call. The timing bit even allowed us to change insurance carriers to one that typically covers this procedure…no questions asked. Don’t ever underestimate the “life event”.

I would be remiss to mention, we are approaching this decision independent of whether or not we actually try for another child. Whether or not we decide to give it a whirl, is still something we are prayerfully considering, but haven’t made a definitive decision. We ask that you join us in that, as we enter into a fresh new year with such promise and anticipation.

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Merry Christmas My Sweet Girl

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My Precious Elodie –

It is the day before Christmas Eve and I finally found some time to sit and write. Last night as I was falling asleep I “wrote” this all out to you in my mind…now I’m hoping I can remember all that was on my heart at the time…

Your big brother, Finn, is so excited for Christmas this year. This is the first Christmas that he seems to “get it”. If you ask him what he wants from Santa, you’ll get the same response he’s given to everyone else…a motorcycle. His excitement allows me to be excited for Christmas, even though my heart drifts to you…

I wonder what you would have asked for at three years old?  Then I start to imagine your first Christmas in Heaven and I’m overwhelmed…the birth of Jesus…celebrating His birthday in Heaven!  You also get to celebrate with those that we miss so dearly…Papa Lee, especially! What an extraordinary thought, a thought that’s really beyond comprehension.

Advent was something I tried to focus on this year, not because I wanted to be “in the spirit”, but because the longing and anticipation of Christmas is the same longing and anticipation I’ve had on my heart since the day you left us. How much you’ve taught me my sweet girl.

I also started to think of you as your Daddy and I watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” last night. The premise is that an angel helps a compassionate but frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. Then it hits me…the Lord created you in this moment to alter the world as we know it. We may not know how, but I’m reminded once again that the Lord makes no mistakes and that He is using your life in such a way that is so much bigger than ourselves. And that…THAT gives me peace beyond understanding.

This Christmas is mixed with joy and pain. And I know for many, Christmas can be a very painful time. My prayer is that longing and anticipation return to all of us, not just at Christmas, but allows us all to focus on God’s ultimate Promise…that one day He will return and redeem all our pain and brokenness. Until then or until He calls us home…I pray that longing and anticipation of Christ never leave us.

We love and miss you so much. Merry Christmas!

Love,
Your Momma

Hope in the Fog

Fog is strange…every morning over the last few days there has been a dense fog as we woke. You can see, but not very far. There is light and at times extremely bright…it can almost blind you. And often times its grey and ominous. As you look ahead it looks so dense that it can be frighting…it causes you to pause…slow down…but as you approach that dense area it suddenly becomes clear. Life lately feels like that, especially now…

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Mason and I return to work this week…I wouldn’t say back to normal, because life will never be back to what it once was. But we’re looking forward to approaching our work lives with fresh eyes and new perspectives…we’re ready to get back to our new normal.

Over the weekend, our foggy path seemed to have shifted some after doing additional research on my pregnancy history. I posted our story on a uterine anomaly support website in hopes to find other women who may have had a similar experience to me. Several women responded and shared their stories. Many began recommending that I look into a special type of cervical cerclage called a transabdominal cerclage (TAC). There are only about 100 doctors in the country that will perform these and there are only three doctors that actually specialize in this procedure. With one of those three doctors in hand based in Chicago I pulled him up online, found his email address, and wrote him an email on Saturday morning sharing our story, my pregnancy history, and asked for his thoughts…within two hours he responded…

His email took my breath away and brought me to tears. His confidence in diagnosing my case within minutes was encouraging, yet heartbreaking at the same time. Could this all have been prevented? I don’t dare dwell on that reality, but focus on hope…

Dear Ms. John,

I am sorry to hear of your preterm delivery and subsequent loss and am sure these were very difficult for you and your entire family.

From your history, there is no doubt that you have an incompetent cervix (IC) as there is virtually no other way you could present with your cervix 4 cm dilated at 22 weeks in your second pregnancy without funneling from an IC.  I suspect IC was also the cause of your extreme preterm 1st delivery as well but your cervical support at that time allowed you to get further in pregnancy.  Once you have had a delivery of any kind, it is not uncommon to have the same pattern occur earlier in your next pregnancy.  While you have a bicornuate uterus (a common uterine anomaly), a bicornuate uterus does not result in second trimester losses so this is clearly IC.

Without treatment, you are likely to have a similar pattern of cervical change and loss in any subsequent pregnancies.  You have two basic treatment options, a transvaginal cerclage (TVC) as your doctor recommended or a transabdominal cerclage (TAC) and they are very different.  The TVC is placed around 12 weeks, generally requires bed rest, allows you to have a vaginal delivery, results in living children approximately 75% of the time but with a high rate of preterm delivery often with long and risky NICU stays as you previously experienced.

The TAC is easily placed prior to pregnancy as an outpatient, does not need bed rest, requires a C-section (you need one regardless) but virtually assures you a term delivery (> 36 weeks).  I have placed TACs in many women with anomalies of the uterus and they respond just like women with normal uterine configurations with IC. Additionally, you simply leave the TAC in place at the time of the C-section and it will work just as well in any subsequent pregnancies.  I am currently placing over 200 TACs per year in women with histories like yours.

I am happy to discuss your situation with you on the phone to answer all of your questions and make your options clear.  You can arrange that by contacting my assistant Gina Williams at 773-702-6127 and she can find a mutually convenient time.  I look forward to speaking with you.  Good luck.

A.F. Haney

We ask for your prayers.

Specifically as we meet with Dr. Haney. We have a scheduled phone consult with him on Thursday morning. We pray for wisdom for the doctor as he assesses my history and we pray for discernment for us. xo

Stockings Are Hung

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We are just a few days away until Christmas…then just a few short days until I return to work…this causes me to reflect on when Elodie was expected to arrive. Her official due date was January 29th, but given my history we were eying December which would be early, but in the realm of “safe”. She would be 35 weeks on December 25th which was her target date…my heart aches, as her due date approaches. Oh how much I wish to hold her…

Mason asked if we could get Elodie a stocking. At first I was not sure I wanted to do that…it felt strange to hang a stocking that will never be filled, but then…THEN I got this overwhelming sense that we could hang it in her memory and we could fill it too and this is where you come in…

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My prayer has been that despite our loss that the Lord would show us His goodness in abundant ways…and He’s overwhelmed us by the outpouring of love shown to us;  family, friends, co-workers..those I haven’t spoken to in years…people I’ve never even met – but all have been impacted in some way by Elodie’s life…

Would you help us soften the pain just a little this Christmas as we remember her? We are asking you to do something super simple…

1.) Send an email to michelleljohn@gmail.com before December 25th with the subject DON’T OPEN UNTIL CHRISTMAS (don’t forget my middle initial in the email address)

2.) In the email, tell us how Elodie’s life has impacted you…it can be a sentence or a novel…a poem…your favorite scripture…pictures or drawings…anything that speaks to your heart…

We plan to print them off (not peeking of course) and place each note in her stocking and on Christmas morning read them as a family.

Merry Christmas!

Thankfulness

“Can you thank Me for trusting you with this situation, even if I never tell you why?”

We’ve been through holidays before where normal is no longer normal. After spending both Thanksgiving and Christmas at the hospital when Finn fought for his life in 2012. Holidays now have a new meaning…

As we now have had two Thanksgivings since bringing Finn home, we face yet another holiday season where the unthinkable weighs heavy on our hearts and we can either decide to keep our head down and just get through it or ask God to use this time to heal, speak truth to our hearts, and teach us how to be thankful…I’m choosing the later.

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We’ve been in Ohio for the past week and have been able to attend the church I grew-up in and hear “Uncle Ali” preach…the sermon was one of those heart pricking messages that I just can’t let go…Alistair referenced Psalm 57:9 and the biblical response around thankfulness

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
    I will sing praises to you among the nations.

He spoke about Helen Roseveare, a veteran missionary who spent 20 years in the then Belgian Congo practicing medicine and trained others in medical work. Alistair recently visited with her when he was in Ireland a few weeks ago. He referenced a bit of her testimony (there are so many stories during her life, but this one was very apropos)…

When she was captured by rebel soldiers in 1964…she speaks about how the Lord met her in that place…she recalls…
“He whispered to me ‘Can you thank Me for trusting you with the situation?’ That was amazing. I had always thought of me trusting Him but this was Him trusting me.”

“In saying that, He was really saying: ‘Yes, I could have prevented this. I could have stopped it happening, but I, the Almighty God, have a purpose bigger than you can see. I know where this is going to lead to, you don’t.

‘Can you thank Me for trusting you with this situation, even if I never tell you why?'”

She then explains how she was able to say ‘thank you’ to God even in that place of despair…

“In that moment of saying ‘thank you’, immediately I was filled with a tremendous sense and understanding of the peace of God.”

“Once you thank God, you can’t have any bitterness towards Him. You can’t reject Him.”

Please let me be clear…I’m not comparing my trial to be any where near to what Helen had gone through, not in the slightest.
BUT I can’t shake the absolute peace that my trial, yes, my life’s pain, is what the Lord has trusted me with. He hand selected me to be Elodie’s mother and then took her Home. He’s trusting me to acknowledge that He has a bigger purpose than I can see. And He does know where this will lead. Because of that, I can only further Elodie’s story…HIS story…by genuinely expressing thankfulness, even in my despair.
Should you want to watch the message shared on Sunday you can find it here: I Will Give Thanks – | Parkside Church

Softening

As time continues to tick by, the feeling of loss has…softened. The pain of losing Elodie will never go away, nor would I ever want it to go away. We will never just ‘get over it’. Heartache, sadness, and frustration still exist and it comes like ocean waves. Waves that once were debilitating that would take you out at the knees…are now smaller and more predictable. Although pain lingers and occasionally catches you by surprise, it does make joy, happiness, and even contentment be ever so precious and more brilliant through tear-stained eyes…

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Reflection on God’s provision through this has also been healing…I recognized the Lord was protecting my heart in small ways. The biggest thing that still stands out to me was that I didn’t buy one thing for Elodie. For those that know me; fashion and shopping is like sleeping and eating, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I would “pin” things and even found new curtains and bedding for the nursery, but never got around to buying anything. I’d gush over adorable head wraps, bows, and outfits…but deep down in my soul…there was something there that just kept me from jumping in with both feet. When we got home from the hospital, our home was the way we had left it. The Lord protected my fragile heart knowing that if there were stacks of baby girl clothes or a room ready just for her, it would break me even further. Even though insignificant, I thanked Him for shielding me…

Lately I’ve been having this feeling of urgency to talk about Elodie or see her name in writing. Almost like time is passing by and I don’t want to forget about her. I’ve spent more money on monogram jewelry than I care to admit. I want the world to know that I have a daughter and though she may not live here on earth, she’s alive in our hearts and forever treasured. I’ve been thinking about her name a lot too and know some have wondered where we even came up with it…Elodie was the one and only girl name Mason and I loved. When I was traveling a lot while working in audit several years ago, I had a couple trips to Paris. The last engagement I had there we had worked with local accountants. One of the guys invited the team to dinner at his favorite restaurant. It was his favorite because of a girl that worked there…her name was Elodie. He would say, “I’m in love with Elodie” {insert French accent}. I called Mason that night and told him that if we ever had a girl, we would have to name her this beautiful name and it stuck! When Mason and I decided to find out the sex of this baby, I was floored that we were going to have a girl. Never did I think that I would have my Elodie…

We are still navigating this new normal…we had planned to move Finn to his new “big boy” room in October, but he has no interest in moving out and let’s be honest, there is no reason to push it either. So for now, he stays and converted his crib to a toddler bed. I’m finding I second guess myself all the time too…What if we end up with a baby at some point? How then do we move him out? Are we impacting Finn by doing or not doing something? What if, what if… Instead of being paralyzed, there were some things I did rip the band-aid off like boxing up all of Finn’s baby things to move to storage…toys, his cradle and bedding, his swaddle blankets and clothes…I told to myself that those things should have been stored away months ago even before being pregnant with Elodie…this doesn’t mean we’re giving up. I prayed over each and every item…Praying that one day we will use those receiving blankets and that he or she will kick and roll on that playard. This isn’t over…

You know when I said there are still days where loss catches you by surprise…music usually is the culprit and it speaks to my heart so much…I had turned on a local Christian radio station while on my way to pick Finn up from school and Steven Curtis Chapman’s song ‘Glorious Unfolding’ came on. I’m not normally a huge fan of his music or any pop-Christian music, but the words to this song just leveled me…This is where my heart is lately…trusting and knowing the Lord will redeem Elodie’s death…

Glorious Unfolding

Lay your head down tonight
Take a rest from the fight
Don’t try to figure it out
Just listen to what I’m whispering to your heart
‘Cause I know this is not
Anything like you thought
The story of your life was gonna be
And it feels like the end has started closing in on you
But it’s just not true
There’s so much of the story that’s still yet to unfold

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and SEE and you will be amazed
You’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

God’s plan from the start
For this world and your heart
Has been to show His glory and His grace
Forever revealing the depth and the beauty of
His unfailing Love
And the story has only begun

We were made to run through fields of forever
Singing songs to our Savior and King
So let us remember this life we’re living
Is just the beginning of the beginning

Of this glorious unfolding
We will watch and SEE and we will be amazed
If we just keep on believing the story is so far from over
And hold on to every promise God has made to us
We’ll SEE the glorious unfolding

Just watch and SEE (unfolding)
This is just the beginning of the beginning (unfolding)

True or False

itiswellGuys, the last four days have been rough! It’s been the kind of days that you feel completely under attack. Where the enemy is trying to take you out any way he knows how…he knows your soft spots and weaknesses and he’s digging into Every. Single. One. I can either believe the lie or deny it on its cold dead face…

1.) The first was that my sister shared an article with me…it was a great article (I didn’t think so at the time) and it spoke truth around how grief can lead to sin…there were three main struggles the author pointed out…

  • Minimizing the joy of others…
  • Giving into an internalized anger and bitterness that are unjust…
  • Despicable jealousy…

But then I found myself feeling defensive all of a sudden. Feeling like, why is she sending this to me? I began to critique the writer, pointing out the flaws in the article. But the point is that the article was speaking TRUTH and I started to feel prideful like I don’t have her problem. And then all of a sudden, BAM! Those exact thoughts started to creep into my life, including my pride. I was giving into every single one of those temptations. I started getting irritated at everything and this was just the beginning of a long 4 days…

2.) Next up…Finn has been sick since Friday…that’s 4 days and 3 nights of barf, fevers, and crying (Finn too)…topped off with endless days of rain and clouds. The enemy is wearing us both down through the relentless whining, clean-up, and lack of sleep and really no where to go because it’s freaking raining out…again! The enemy is just having a hay-day with this…he’s snickering at every turn of events, including the unnecessary bickering between parents…

3.) My beauty is under attack…I gained about 10lbs with Elodie and the day I came home from the hospital I immediately lost 5 (yay!)…but now find myself back up and still needing to lose the same 10lbs and now they won’t budge. And then there’s the new haircut…I hear the enemy whispering ugly, fat, nice try, but you’ll never be good enough…also, lets refer back to #1 where despicable jealousy revealed itself…

4.) If the other items above weren’t enough, let’s just top it off with sprinkled affects of just feeling plain knocked down…either by holding others to unrealistic expectations, feeling alone, things simply not working, or the nagging nudges of just wanting Elodie to still be kicking inside…

Every single thing I mentioned is an utter LIE and I’ve been believing them, until I couldn’t take it anymore and I find Mason praying over me and speaking truth. Now I find that I can read that same article with a fresh set of eyes…it’s amazing how the truth does set you free when you deny what the enemy wants to use to tear you apart…

Ephesians 2:4–7 is true: But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.