For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Oh sweet friends! What a journey my heart and faith have been on the last six years…..actually I take that back, probably for the past almost 15 years.
When we received our sweet Cicely’s diagnosis almost 15 years ago, my heart was rocked. My life….my heart could have traveled in so many directions. And truly it did go in so many ways. I was angry, sad, confused, anxiety filled, and everything in between. I have been listening to a dear friend, Fernando Ortega’s, new CD today. The song, “Stay With Me Here” hit to the core and took me back to those dark days many years ago. It is what I feel like I cried out for years, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow, to the point of death, my soul is overwhelmed with sorrow. Stay with me here. Stay with me here and keep watch with me . Stay with me here and keep watch with me”. I pleaded through an overwhelmed soul for Him to stay with me…. and He did. He never left. How can a parent understand carrying a child who will die before spending their days in your arms. I am still not sure. All I do know is that He never left me. <3
Here we are almost 15 years later and God continues to walk with me and use EVERY.SINGLE.EMOTION…..every single piece of my mess and pain. Some days I am amazed He has hung out this long ;). Oh friends I am so grateful he gives grace <3.
Sweet Grace continues to grow rapidly. The last year has been our busiest and it has been extremely heavy as our loss numbers in our partnered hospitals continues to rise. It is heartbreaking the number of families that are leaving with a basket instead of their sweet baby. This is not an “extra ministry” as some once thought. This is a needed ministry. Infant loss is affecting more families than you or I can fathom. We are watching families break apart, families dealing with addiction and divorce, families who can’t seem to make it much past their loss. These families can not leave the hospital without support in place. They. can. not.
As the needs of infant loss families grows, our needs grow and so does the “stuff” around us and our space needs. We have moved into a large warehouse and have been awaiting our permit for months. I have been weary and frustrated and have shed many tears as the process dragged on. God and I have had some long talks about patience and reminders that HE is in control and not me. Whew…. that is SO SO hard!
We have finally received our permit and in a matter of days, dear lifelong friends, new friends met in ministry, and family have not just volunteered but have EAGERLY stepped up and said, here I am! Use me! Truly it has made me smile for days as I have watched these gentlemen begin to plan construction. And I can’t forget my sweet, amazing friends who are filling their kitchens with nourishment for those who will be working! It takes every piece of the kingdom…the hands can’t work without the feet and the feet can’t work without the legs and so on.
When I heard that construction would begin TODAY, September 5, 2017 I had a few large lumps in my throat. Today is my birthday. The day chosen by our heavenly Father for me to enter this world, in this family, in this town. He has ordained each of my days, the good, the bad, and even the day I lost my sweet girl whom I long for daily. Was this start date a birthday present? Maybe 🙂 But I believe it is a dear reminder that “….we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
God prepared a tiny baby 38 years ago for ministry. He knew my life map and he knew that 38 years later, his daughter would be following him into ministry and clinging to Him for guidance. He knew I would walk through deep pain to get to this day, he knew I would hand over my sweet babe and in turn hand over my life to Him as he led me forward growing sweet, Sweet Grace. He knew! Makes me cry every time I think about it today!
Please join in praying for us as we work through much chaos, lists, piles, and messes for the next few months! We would love to have you as part of this journey in this way! Thank you!