Aaron’s Blog

Life goes on.  That is a sad reality as well as a harsh cruelty.  It’s like an avalanche racing down the side of an endless mountain, gaining much velocity and mass with each passing moment.  An individual effort to bring this avalanche to an abrupt halt would not only be futile, but would also yield devastating results.  I vividly recall when I first witnessed that very avalanche of life plunging toward me.

As we slowly walked toward the hospital exit on April 19th, 2012, my mind was engaging in repeated failed attempts to grasp the events of the day.  With my head already spinning, we stepped out of the facility and back into the world.  What I witnessed next was not only a pernicious sight, but it persists as one of the most disgusting things to ever appear in my field of vision.  The sun was shining.  Wow, as soon as we stepped outside that avalanche blasted me in the form of a sunny day.   As we drove out of the parking lot I recall being unusually perceptive of details.  I witnessed a couple of friends exchanging laughs as they discussed the issues of their own day.  I remember a man in a vehicle next to us at a traffic light on his cell phone, seemingly going about business as usual.  Yet another young man was blasting the music in his vehicle. Why is the sun still shining on such a dark day?  Why does everyone around me seem so unaffected?   Doesn’t the world realize the amazing little girl that it just lost?  These are the questions that weighed so heavy on my mind.  The toughest realization was that for most, this day was simply another ordinary day in which they would engage in the normalcies of their daily routines.

In all honesty, I could have stayed at home on my couch, withdrawing myself from society and making a desperate attempt to stop the avalanche of life.  Exactly six months later, there are still times when I wish this were an option.  The only problem is as I previously stated, an individual effort to halt the avalanche would yield devastating results.  Devastating results within my marriage, the development of my children, relationships, yet most importantly the development of me as a man in Christ.

One of my favorite memories created for me in this life happened around February of 2012.  As I reclined in a chair in our living room, I was holding Cali, Kerrington, and Maddison.   Maddison was asleep and the other two girls were getting close as I engaged in a conversation over the phone with my parents.  I recall telling them that as I held all three of my girls, I could not see myself ever being more fulfilled or happy than I was in that moment.  If you have spent any amount of time talking to me, I likely have shared this memory with you.  I also am quick to point to this moment as the “summit” of my life.  While I understand life is a mountain range full of many peaks and valleys, it is difficult in my human mind not to see that as having been the absolute high point.  Through my recent studies God is opening my eyes to the possibilities…let me explain:

 

The Hebrew name for God, Yahweh, has a meaning that is somewhat lost in translation.   In the Exodus account of the Burning Bush, Moses is introduced to this powerful new name for God.

Yahweh is based in the Hebrew Infinitive hayah, ‘to be, or to cause to happen.’

When Ya is added, it becomes third person singular in the masculine, future tense.

So this powerful new name for God ‘Yahweh’, is literally translated to mean:

‘He who will make things happen.’  I believe wholeheartedly that I serve a God that ‘makes things happen!’

In the gospel of John, Jesus declares, “I am” seven times, proclaiming the full extent of His ability to make things happen.  This New Testament Greek, ‘ego eimi’, harks back to Moses’ burning bush account with God.

What were the ‘I am’ claims?  Oh, nothing much just that:

 

1.THE BREAD OF LIFE

John 6:35     “I am the bread of Life, he who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

 

2.THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

John 8:12     “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

 

3.I AM THE GATE

John 10:9     “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  He will come in and go out, and find pasture.”

 

4.I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD

John 10:11     “I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.”

 

5.I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE

John 11:25-26     “I am the resurrection and the life.   He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”

 

6.I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE

John 14:6     “I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

 

7.I AM THE VINE

John 15:5     “I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

 

Jesus not only made claims, he yielded results!  In fact, 22 times in the gospel of John alone, He assumes divine authority over sin, sickness, and sadness!

 

What does this tell us?  It tells me that Jesus is mans answer to hunger, hurt, disease, sickness, sadness, loneliness, emptiness and sin.  Basically, if there is a question, He is the answer!

As I gaze upon the mountain range of my life, I can visualize the summit, the foothills, and all the peaks and valleys between.  I can clearly see the vast number of people that are stranded in the foothills of life.  As I allow Christ to take me by the hand and lead me through the avalanche, I will reach out to as many as possible, so we all may once more enjoy the view from the summit.

 

-

Share on Facebook

Angela’s Blog

written September 25, 2012

Have you ever experienced a calling in life and then taken it and ran with it in the opposite direction?…only to find out later that you are miles and miles away from your true destination?  That’s where I stand today. Miles and miles away from what God has planned for my life.

After Maddie’s death, I felt like someone had taken my life and stripped it of everything that I had accomplished.  I lost all confidence in myself as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend.  And if I were completely honest, I lost all confidence in God.  I remember wondering if life after death was really relevant, and if God were really real, and if I would truly have the opportunity to see Maddie again.  The anger I felt was so strong, that it was allowing my thoughts to become bitter.

I remember walking away from the college shortly after her death and screaming at God with my thoughts.  He had shattered my dreams, and life was no longer what I thought it was going to be.  I hated that my plans had been shattered, and I couldn’t believe how any good was going to come from this. I felt suddenly alone.  Would I ever be able to have dreams again?  Could I ever fully trust Him again?

These thoughts have taken over my life the last couple of months, and I have struggled a lot emotionally.  I feel like I have lost total control of my life.  There are really good days, and then suddenly a tidal wave hits, and I’m lost in its waves for days.  Her death haunts me daily, and I struggle to gain concentration on many occasions.  Keeping busy is the only thing that keeps me going, but I want more than just that.  I want to have those dreams again. I want to fulfill God’s plan for my life.

Last week, we got to go see Maddison’s grave marker for the very first time! I have been looking forward to it for months, and when it finally arrived and was installed, I had decided I didn’t want to go see it. I felt as if it were the only thing I had left to look forward to after her death. After this, her memory would fade, life would go on, and I would only be known as a mother of just two.

All of my life I have struggled with being me.  Anybody who has older siblings knows how it feels to be in the shadows of older brothers and sisters.  I am no different.  All my life I have tried and tried to be ‘Angela.’  Not Crystal’s sister, Marsha’s sister, Jean’s daughter, or even Aaron’s wife.  I wanted people to see me as me, and I wanted them to see me as someone who they could look up to.  More than that, I wanted God to look at me and see something beautiful. And that’s when it hit me.  All this time I have been so focused on what I wanted, what I had planned, who I wanted to be, but what about God? Who was I in HIM?  I had completely lost who I was in HIM?

As I processed these questions I realized that I had allowed the enemy to persuade me into thinking God had forsaken me and had left me to fend more myself.  That wasn’t true at all. Deuteronomy 31:6b says, “He will not leave you or forsake you.”  God is our only constant in life.  Everything in life is constantly changing, but God is always constant.

A couple of weeks ago God spoke to me through a song that I have come to use as worship on a daily basis.  It’s called Not for a Moment by Meredith Andrews, and as I heard it for the very first time, I heard God whispering to me, “I have not forsaken you Angela.”  That was hard to hear.

I heard Him again only three days ago.  A friend was giving a sermon from Matthew 26:6-13.  This passage of scripture talks about a woman who took her alabaster flask that was filled with expensive ointment and poured it on Jesus’ head.  The disciples became very angry, because they thought it was wasteful since the ointment could have been sold for a large sum that could be given to the poor, but Jesus said that what she had done was BEAUTIFUL.  Just to clarify how expensive this perfume was….it was worth one year’s wages! Jesus goes on to say that they would always have the poor, but they would not always have him.  He also says that whenever this story is told, it would be told in memory of this woman. WOW!

At some point during the sermon God spoke to me through this passage. He said, “Angela, are you portraying the image I want you to have?”  Just as much as I wanted God to see me as beautiful, he wanted the same.  Instead of concentrating on who I am, I am going to concentrate on who I am in Him.  I want to be as selfless and honoring as that woman was.

God, please help us remember that whenever we feel alone, whenever we feel as if our life is in shambles, that you are there.  Your are constant, good, and sovereign.  Please reach down and touch those spirits who are worn and exhausted.  Show us your steadfast love and patience.  Help us to stay focused on what you have in store for us whether good or bad. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Share on Facebook

Aaron’s Blog

written 8.22.12

The Adversary’s Journal Entry

The stranglehold I felt I was beginning to have upon my patient is being loosed.  My abilities to place thoughts within him are fewer and further between.  My tactics of restraining certain thoughts from his mind are becoming futile.  Those thoughts of winning souls for that enemy, which I will not speak of, are consuming much of his spirit.  There abides within him a raging flame of everlasting value, which leaves little room to maneuver.  He is a spiritual arsonist seeking to ignite the church with a perpetual blaze.   The patient exhibits what seems to be a heightened awareness of the differences between the finite and the infinite.  He is attaining a chilling discernment of the temporal and the eternal.  Who led him to this deeper knowledge of the spiritual warfare in which we are immersed?  Who revealed to him the true nature of our present fight?

As the patient draws nearer to the enemy, I find it necessary to expend more of myself just to break into his spirit.  Where I once could whisper into him with a consuming potency, I am now required to scream.  Where I once could ever so softly antagonize him, he now terrorizes me.  How did he come to an understanding of the power available to him through the enemy?  Daily he challenges me!  In poignant dialogue he demands I seize him with my entire army!  Does he not know who I am!  I strike fear into the hearts and minds of the entire enemy encampment, for I enjoy impregnable power!  In my wake, discouragement and dissention, tragedy and turmoil are bountiful!

Evidently, this patient is one of a select few truly comprehending the nature of my very existence.   He knows exactly who I am.  Somehow he acquired the insight that I only possess that impregnable power when it is placed upon my very lap.  The patient is becoming a fearsome and dangerous soldier as he begins to comprehend my inability to approach him, without the consent of his commander.  Why can’t he be as so many of my other picturesque works?  Why doesn’t he retain the thick viscosity of my good friend, the modern church?  The modern church that is so languid and complacent, unaware of the truth.  The prey, which I have in my crosshairs, has stood up in plain sight.  He is staring me down, daring me to shoot.  There is boldness upon him like I have never witnessed.  He knows I have no eternal ammunition.  Others are beginning to rise with unabashed confidence.  The temporal mindset I have so quietly instilled in them is unraveling.  Methodically he reminds me of a quickly approaching hour. A quickly approaching hour in time, when I will be required to bow before the King of Kings.  That moment when I will have no choice but to confess that He, is Lord.  Has this patient arrived at the conclusion that a reminder is necessary for me?  Or perhaps, he presumes I am oblivious to the Law.  I know the Law, and in it I am well versed!  A death row inmate needs not be repeatedly apprised of his imminent death!  There steadfastly remains a cumbersome weight within his very soul.  To regularly admonish the inmate of his expiration date would be heaping hot coals on his already vexed psyche.  I am as the inmate, with the hourglass bearing down upon me.  How can he torment me in such a manner?  This is not the natural order of the hunter and the hunted!  I will not soon forget the day I unknowingly awakened this warrior.

 

 

Share on Facebook

Angela’s Blog

written August 7, 2012

It has been almost four months now, and I can’t help but wonder what she would have looked like today at almost 8 months old. I miss that big, beautiful smile that made me fall in love with her all over again. I find myself constantly watching the only video I have of her to cherish and wanting to reach through the screen and just touch her once more. If I could go back in time and hold her just a little bit longer, just to see her smile at me once more, I would go through all the pain all over again. The pain has yet to cease, and it has taken a greater toll on my physical body. I wake up every day bearing the burden that belongs to God alone, and I struggle letting it go because I do not want to ever forget how I feel. My bones hurt, my back aches, and my physical strength is greatly diteriorated. I have a difficult time sleeping because of fears I face daily of not controlling what happens while I am sleeping. I know for weeks following her death I feared walking past her room thinking I might look inside and find a grim reaper standing by her crib taunting me. I have now worked through those fears, but new ones have surfaced recently. These fears still remind me that I cannot control what happens while I am asleep, but they are also fears that I face daily of not knowing what the future holds. I seem to hold onto each day not wanting to face a new day with new challenges.

As my other two girls keep growing, I find myself frantically trying to protect them from any harm that may come their way. I am trying so hard to be what they need, but it’s very difficult when my patience is extremely thin to say the least. I have found myself screaming at them when kinder, softer words would have been just as successful in getting my point across. They often remind me of this as they tell me, “Jesus doesn’t want us to say that!” This suttle yet in your face reminder of what I’ve taught them to be, reminds me of what I am to be. I am so glad I am showing them the strongest foundation they can have, but I am also reminded that I will not get to do this with Maddison. When Aaron and I found out we were having yet another little girl, I was honored that God felt we were well equipped to raise three woman of God. And I did just that. After Maddison was born we took her to church and were the Christian parents she needed. I also have fond memories of one night right before Easter. I had just purchased a new book for the girls about the real story of Easter. I took all three of my girls into their bedroom, and Maddison was sitting on my lap while Cali and Kerrington sat on either side of me. It was that night I shared Jesus’ love for them through His sacrifice for our sins. I feel great joy and comfort in knowing that I got to share with Maddison about Jesus and His love for her that night. She may not have understood every word I said that night, but that night she was extremely fussy, and when I took her in with me to read a bedtime story to the girls, she became calm when I started to read.

Just like Maddison, I am extremely fussy. Not in a literal since, but I have been extremely down, grumpy, exhausted and tired. Life has worn my body and spirit for what seems like an eternity, and I have looked for something to release that tension. This got me to thinking about the woman who reached for Jesus’ cloak in the crowd, so I looked up the story, and I began to weep. Luke 8:40-48, talks about a woman who had been bleeding for twleve years and could not be healed medically for her problem. When Jesus entered her city, he was followed by a huge crowd of people including her. As she came up behind him she touched the hem of his cloak and was instantly healed. Jesus felt that someone had been healed and asked who had touched him. The woman fell before Jesus and confessed it had been her and that she was now healed. Jesus graciously told her that her faith had made her well and to go in peace.

I too am like that woman. I am in a time of despair with no end in sight. Nobody can take away my pain that I feel. No medicine or world’s best physician can heal my wounded heart. I feel like I am in that same crowd following Jesus. We are all in that crowd called life. We all want to follow God, do what He says, listen to His great wisdom, and to have that woman’s faith. I have that same faith that He can and will heal me, but I cannot see the hem of His cloak. I can hear his voice, hear others around me that are rejoicing in their healing, but I have yet to have a glimpse of His hem.

Lord, give me strength and give others strength who are going through what seems like years of despair with no healing. Allow us to reach out and touch your hem of your cloak so that we can have healing from what has robbed us of our joy. Amen.

Share on Facebook

Angela’s Blog

written July 25, 2012

I will never forget when the coroner sat across from Aaron and myself and told us that babies weren’t supposed to die, and that he would be performing an autopsy on our little girl to find out why she had died. He then told us we wouldn’t know the results for six to eight weeks! I couldn’t imagine burying her without knowing what had happened, but we would have to.

Although he told us we would have to wait, he graciously called to inform us he could find no answers, ruling it as SIDS. I was grateful for his call, and felt a little at peace in burying her two days later. I was not, however, ready for the enemy’s taunts that would haunt me the next several weeks. He would try to convince Aaron and myself we could have done many things differently, that it could have been prevented, or that we were even being punished. Much prayer was spent on our behalf rebuking his presence in our thoughts, and I will continue to need those prayers for the rest of my life.

Several weeks ago I went down to the health department to obtain Maddison’s death certificate, only to be greatly dissappointed. I kept putting it off, because I didn’t want to see it in writing. Just a fews week prior I had gone there to get her birth certificate knowing full well I would have to return only a few weeks later to get her death certificate. Not your traditional excitement in getting the birth certificate.

As I looked at the paper, I was confused by the cause of death. It was still marked unkown, and as I asked the receptionist why, she explained the coroner’s results where still not complete. I left there empty handed and with the same unanswered questions.

Now, 3 months later, answers have come. Aaron and I received her full autopsy results and death certificate earlier this week, and I wanted to share some relief we got in the answers. It appears through blood cultures, they have found E. Coli in her heart and brain. There is no indication how much, but it clearly states it was a contributor to her death. The main cause of death was a lack of sufficient oxygen which could have been caused by her brain not telling her to breath, by her blanket she slept with, and the presence of the E. Coli in her system that didn’t help by attacking her immune system. Through some of my own research, I found that E. Coli could have entered her body through many different circumstances, and now a lot of her problems seem to make a bit more sense.

Maddison was a pretty fussy baby, and sometimes it seemed like she may have been in some pain. Like I have shared before, our doctor suggested gas drops, and while these helped somewhat, they didn’t take care of the problem completely. Maddison also spit up a lot, which we though had something to do with her formula, but once again switching formulas didnt’ help either.  Maddison had many symptoms of what could only be thought to be natural for a collicky baby, and it would have taken greater syptoms and concerns to allow us to find the E.Coli in her system.

Although we have these answers, there is still an unkown of the how. How did it all take place, and how did each componenet play a part? That’s what makes it SIDS. There is no real answer why she died, but we can find some peace in knowing more details in what may have contributed to her death.

I wanted to share these details with all of you once again in hesitation, because I want you all to share in our healing. We were not bad parents, but the enemy still likes to make us think otherwise. He has no reservations being right in our faces, but he is also very suttle too. I didn’t want others to think less of Aaron or myself, and although there may be a few people who do, I still wanted to share this with others who may be looking for answers as well. Answers in life don’t always come in ways we want them to, but God knows what He’s doing when He does fill in those blanks.

 

Share on Facebook

Aaron’s Blog

written 7.24.12

“Time heals all wounds.”  A quote that is as prevalent in the English language as any other, and has truly stood the test of time.  Many give Geoffrey Chaucer credit as the original author.  In his late 1300′s poem ‘Troilus and Criseyde’ he says,”As tyme hem hurt, a tyme hem doth cure.”  There is no denying that in many different forms,”Time heals all wounds” has been spoken throughout the history of our world.  What baffles me is how such an incorrect statement could have such a long, illustrious career.  How can such a lie be passed from one generation to the next, with each one believing in its truth as much as the last.  Well if that is possible I guess I am going to tell a lie myself.  2+2=…turqoise.  You can quote me on that one.  Make sure to tell your kids and your grandkids, and keep passing it down the line because that has about as much truth.

Now it would be possible to rectify this quote however, it will take some tweaking.   Perhaps John Lennon tweaked it best when he said “Time wounds all heels.”  Wow.  I wonder if he really knew the power and truth within that when he spoke those words.  This is a truth that I have become ever so sensitive to since Maddie has gone.  “Time wounds all heels.”  Anyone who has walked this Earth for any substantial amount of time is facing something.  Therer is a struggle, a need, some issue they are facing.  I pray that I will never again be as oblivious as I was.  Please don’t ever say “Time heals all wounds” to someone who is dealing with a serious issue.  The truth is “God heals all wounds,” but only if you let him.

Share on Facebook

Angela’s Blog

written July 23, 2012
Time keeps passing by, but the hurt still stays prominent in my life.  I have struggled greatly these past few weeks, and I have wanted to share those feelings with you all in hesitation. I want to share to help others going through similar circumstances, because I know it has helped us out greatly, but I don’t like to appear pathetic or weak in other’s eyes. I want to be strong and courageous, and I am through my walk with God, but the hurt is weakening to my spirit on a daily basis and cannot be avoided.

 

In the past few weeks I have missed Maddison even more as memories of watching her grow slip away. The things that she would have done, or would have become are ever present in my thoughts each day. I will miss not seeing her learn how to say momma, how to crawl, or even sit up on her own. As each month passes and milestones have not been reached, my heart aches.  I remember sitting on the front pew at her funeral and telling Aaron how much my heart physically hurt, and I feel that same physical pain even today. I cannot describe how it really feels in words, but it is a heavy feeling down inside my chest that cannot be swallowed.

 

 
As Aaron and I have started this foundation, there have been days when I wanted to give up. I haven’t had the desire to help others or to be obedient to what God has called us to, but then God is God and provides renewed strength and confirmation.

 

Church camp gave me that renewed strength. Ten days of listening to God, hearing God’s Word, and being surrounded by many Christians was extremely welcoming to my spirit. The evangalist, Jeannette Flynn, was amazing! God had His hand in every message she delivered each night. I felt as if God was speaking through her directly to Aaron and myself. One night in particular she shared the passages in Genesis 37 & 39.  These passages begin talking about Joseph and all that he goes through in his life from being sold into slavery, being put into prison, to ruling over his brothers who disowned him.  Through it all, God showed favor and steadfast love for Joseph.

 

Jeanette shared that there are 5 non-negotiables during dark times.

 

1) Some places are meant to be PASSING THROUGH places.
I believe Maddison’s death is a passing through place in our lives. I cannot allow myself to set up camp in this dark time in my life.

 

2) Don’t despair in the darkness.
God is our only hope through this dark time in our lives. If we had turned from Him, I don’t even want to think of where we would be today.  I will sing out praises through this desparate situation!

 

3) Do whatever your hand finds to do with excellence.
In the scripture Joseph chose to be a good, reliable worker and not to despair in his situation. Starting the Princess Maddie Foundation has been our way of working through the grief and reaching out to others.

 

4) Don’t make your own light in the darkness.
Wait for God’s timing! I want healing NOW, I want Maddison back NOW, I want to see her NOW, I want peace NOW! I want, I want, I want. I NEED to wait for God to provide each and every one of these things in His time. I will see her again if I keep my eyes fixed on Him, and He will help me find healing and peace eventually, but for now I will TRUST IN HIM, because if I trust, He will bring all these things to pass.

 

5) Don’t forget the dream!
Joseph’s dream showed him that he would rule over his brothers one day, and he did. In the meantime, Joseph chose to let God be God through his life, and eventually he did become ruler over his brothers. I need to remember that God is in control of my life. I will see Maddison once again, and in the meantime He will restore my joy in life here on earth.

 

In sharing these words I pray that God will use them to help you through a dark time you may be going through. Just remember this is just a PASSING THROUGH place!

 

Share on Facebook

Angela’s Blog

written July 6, 2012
Today will be seven days since we lost our power due to a terrible storm that swept across Ohio last Friday evening.  I know this may sound a bit extreme, and so unlike myself (not really), but I cannot live without electricity.  We have been camping out at my mother’s house, and sleeping on her couch has become very tiresome to say the least.  AEP has promised that we will have electricity by Sunday, but we will be leaving town for Church Camp later today, for several days, and will not get to enjoy such a luxury until we return.

 

God definately had His arms around us last Friday evening as the storm swept through our town.  I was getting ready to leave the house with Kerrington when the sky immediately turned dark, and the wind began to rapidly sweep through the trees all around our house. I froze in fear as I watched tree limbs fall and the truck began to shake.  In the meantime, Aaron had gotten Cali out of bed and ran outside to meet us in order to get somewhere safe.  As we got in our vehicles and began to leave, the two roads that lead out of our neighborhood had become blocked by fallen trees.  I watched in fear as Aaron got out to move them so we could get through.

 

When we returned to our house after the storm had died down, we were in shock to see how many trees had fallen in our yard. About ten in all, but none had fallen on our house.  Maddie’s memorial had also made it through the storm perfectly fine.  It was amazing to see how close the trees had come to falling on our house, and I thank God for keeping us safe through it all.

 

I remember that night thinking about how upset I could be, or how upset I might have been had this happened a year ago, but I decided to laugh instead.  I cannot let the enemy get a hold of me that easily.  I began to think of our road as my walk with Christ and how sometimes it’s rough and stormy, sometimes things fall in the middle of the road and hinder our walk with God.  And I look at Aaron moving those trees aside like God, who can move anything out of our way from getting to safety with Him.  This reminds me of one of my favorite verses as a teen. Isaiagh 41:10, which says, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” God doesn’t want me to fear what lies ahead, nor does he expect me to do it alone.

 

I want to take a few moments to share how I’ve been feeling the last week as we enter the third month after losing Maddison.  Aaron and I still feel overwhelmed by her absence, and we are struggling greatly to hold on to one another as we both struggle in our grief.  It still feels like just a dream, and that at any moment she will return to our lives once again.

 

Emptiness has entered my heart, and I don’t know what to do in order to fill that void other than God.  Life has a way of throwing this in my face wherever I go.  I watch as little babies are pushed in their strollers by happy parents, or parents announcing the arrival of their new precious bundles, or even those who announce they will be proud parents in months to come, and I cannot help but feel hopeless.  I long to hold her in my arms, I long to have that joy in my life, and I can’t help but allow my thoughts to be flooded with jealousy and rage.

 

I pray one day these feelings will cease, but I also know they probably never will.  My God will have to be my strength for until I meet with her again, and as one of my favorite hymns growing up says, “Jesus is the Rock in a weary land, a shelter in the time of storm.”

 

Share on Facebook

Aaron’s Blog

written 6.19.12

Anger seems to have such a negative connotation attached to it.  I think it would be fair to assume that more crimes are committed out of anger than any other emotion.  More hurtful words spoken and more lives broken.  More marriages torn, and more destructive actions taken.  Not to mention the numerous health issues associated with anger.  Being that anger is such an intangible element, an accurate study to corroborate my claims would be difficult.  However, I don’t know that there are many who would disagree.  It seems to me that anger is yet another God given gift to humanity that we have tainted.  In its purest unadulterated form anger is “passion meets action.”  Its “ambition meets direction” and its “drive meets poignancy.”

All of this talk about anger simply to say that is the emotion I have most strongly felt since the loss of Maddison.  The anger that I feel is not directed toward God even though I know he holds the keys to life in his hands.  He could have stepped in and breathed life into my little girl, and she would still be here.  Yet through His perfect will he chose not to do so.  I don’t blame God for the time I didn’t have with her, but I praise Him for the time I did have with her.  The fault in my eyes lies in the lap of the adversary.  There are those who disagree with me on this but it is quite easy for me to explain.  Death entered this world through sin, and satan, right?  That is where I place my blame and therefore the place where my anger lies.

This anger is one like I have never felt before.  First of all it has held firm for two months now with no signs of fading.  Secondly, I feel like this is the way God intended anger to be used.  This anger has been a fuel for the “Princess Maddie Foundation.”  It has driven me into a relationship with God closer than I have ever been. I feel like I am a heat seeking missile God is about to use to tactically destroy a crucial part of Satan’s kingdom.

Let me further clarify my state of mind.  I want to destroy Satan, and  I want the Gates of Hell to fear my family.  Not because of who we are, but who we serve.  I want Satan to look me in the eyes as my God destroys his kingdom.  I want him to fear me because I cling to the cross!  That is where my anger lies.

My favorite biblical account is in Exodus 17:8-13.

Israel Defeats Amalek

8Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. 9 So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10 So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.

My favorite part of this account is the fact that Moses went up on the hill to pray.  Did the Amalekites see Moses up on the hill with arms lifted in prayer?  Did they know it was Moses and that he was lifting the nation of Israel before God?  I firmly believe that they saw Moses and knew what he was doing.  I wonder if they associated his actions with their lack of battle success.  In that same manner I want Satan to see my face and know who I am as I lift my arms before the King.  I want Satan to see me as my God crushes him.  I want  the “Princess Maddie Foundation” to be a force that effectively glorifies God as it destroys the enemy.

Share on Facebook

Angela’s Blog

written June 19, 2012
I just realized it has been two months since we lost our little baby girl. It feels like only yesterday I found out we were expecting and anxiously awaiting her arrival. I find myself on days like today trying to remember what it was like having her around. Somehow it feels like we never even had her in our lives for those four short months. Life has become a new “normal,” but it seems very similar to the normal we had before she came into our lives. I hate feeling those memories slip from my fingers as I move towards the future. Each and every day I have to wake up and decide whether I will allow this to affect how my day will go. The enemy knows this and tries diligently to persuade me towards allowing it to get me down, but I know one who is mighty and can help me trample the enemy down. I must admit, I do allow myself to sulk as I feel like I must in order to give Maddison the greif she deserves, but I do not and will not allow myself to do this more often than not in order to keep my sanity.

 

I have struggled greatly the last two months, but the healing that comes ever so slowly helps me get closer and closer towards obtaining peace. Peace is what I struggle with daily, and I believe one day I will obtain the peace I desire with God’s help.  The Greek word for peace is eirene, which means wholeness, completeness, tranquility in the soul that is unaffected by outward circumstances or pressures, or the rule of order in place of chaos.  Isaiah 26:3-4 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”  I try diligently to keep my eyes on you God daily.  I want only to be pleasing to you.  Allow me to show others what you have to offer, and help me to trust in you always so that I may have the peace I long for.

 

 

Share on Facebook