Friday, June 5, 2009

Thank You and Some Thoughts

I want to say thank you again very much for all your prayers for me and your blog comments, emails, and cards to encourage me. They have all been wonderful reminders of how blessed I am to have so many Christian, praying people as friends and coworkers.

Can I take this blog post and just be very transparent? I hesitate in knowing how much I should put out here for the whole world to see if they want to stop by this blog. But if being honest and open about some personal things can hopefully bring glory to God and help encourage others in their walk with Him, then I’ll be an open book. :) And since the top of our page does say “into the lives". . . .

I still hurt quite a bit over losing our baby. It’s not the same heart-crushing feeling I experienced in the first several days after it happened, but the intensity of my hurt and the roller coaster of emotions do still surprise me. Sometimes I feel just fine, but sometimes I want to be super busy to fill my mind with anything but the painful, wistful thoughts that threaten to consume me; sometimes I want to wallow in self-pity; sometimes I long for heaven and my baby so badly that I selfishly beg Jesus to come back immediately and make all things right; sometimes I’m filled with guilt because I think of all my blessings and how much worse things could be for me and our family and how much worse they are for some people. And sometimes, okay often , I just think, Life is too hard! I’ve prayed that over and over in the past few weeks, Life is too hard, God! I hurt and there are so many other people hurting in different ways. There’s just too much sin and evil and pain here. How do you expect us to survive in this world? What if worse things happen to me? I won’t be able to handle it. LIFE IS TOO HARD!

And when I take the time to listen, God has been quietly speaking to my heart through His Word, mostly with scripture in 2 Corinthians (especially here), that I’m right about this: life on earth IS too hard. Sin has made it that way. And I can’t handle it.

But thankfully He can.

So that’s where I am right now, learning in a new way how I must depend on God to get through this temporary life to make it to eternal glory. I’m also reading two books that were recommended and given to me by friends who’ve lost babies. So far I think these are great and would recommend them to others who need them: Grieving the Child I Never Knew by Kathe Wunnenberg and Empty Arms by Pam Vredevelt.

I’ll end this with a couple of photos of the flowers we planted in honor of our little one waiting on us in heaven. Thanks for letting me share here. I pray you might be encouraged in some way and remember this scripture when you’re feeling overwhelmed that life is too hard, too:

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18


Barbara Curtis said...

Dear JoAnne,
Thank you for sharing your heart with us. And for the encouragement for all of us Christians in God's Word that there is hope beyond this earth's sorrows, hope in heaven for eternity. With continued prayers for you and your family.
Love, Barbara

PatriciaW said...

Thank you for sharing. I wish I'd had those books 12 years ago. I can tell you that your journey into this part of the vineyard will be yours uniquely, but that God will be you every step of the way. Don't be surprised by how and when He may use you to minister to others.

Cara Putman said...

JoAnne, I wish I could take those feelings away. That's what blindsided me most. I'd be fine, and then be curled up in so much pain. It felt like whiplash. I planted tea rose bushes in honor of our baby. And we're blessed to have a Catholic hospital here that has a memorial spot at one of the cemeteries and services three times a year. I've gone there on some of the harder anniversary dates. Praying God will continue to hold you close. Thanks for your vulnerability. Love you.

Debby Mayne said...

You're still in my prayers, JoAnne.

My husband and I lost our first baby 27-1/2 years ago. We were heartbroken. Now we have 2 adult daughters, but I still think about the child I never got to hold.

I think being open about your feelings is a good way to let others help comfort you. I wish I'd shared my feelings more when this happened to us.

Lisa Harris said...

I appreciate your candidness, JoAnne. Almost thirteen years ago, my husband and I lost our first child. I too, had a hard time understanding why. And even today, as I look around me at all of those who are suffering, I have to ask the same question.

In the end, though, like you, I had to make the choice to hold to my faith and believe that He truly was in control of everything. The pain won't leave overnight, but He is faithful. May each of us, no matter what circumstances we face, "hold unswervingly to the hope we profess."

Praying for you today.

Mary Connealy said...

I'm so sorry, JoAnne. God bless you.

Erica Vetsch said...

I don't even know what to say, except that you continue to be in my prayers.

I wish there was more I could do for you.

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Praying for your grief.

CatMom said...

Dear JoAnne,
Thank you for sharing these thoughts from your heart. And you pointed out what we all need to remember: WE cannot handle life's difficulties but GOD CAN !! ~ Please don't be hard on've been through a very painful experience, and in time it will be easier. ~ I firmly believe the Lord uses us to minister to others who are experiencing a difficulty that we've been through...He has demonstrated that in my life many times. ~ Keeping you close in prayer, Patti Jo
1 Peter 5:7

Helen Gray said...


I'm another one who has experienced the loss of the first one. The daughter and two sons we had later have been blessings beyond description.

Remember: Life has some valleys in it, but for every valley there must be two mountains.

May God bless you and lead you from your valley to the next mountaintop--in His way, whatever that may be.


April LeHoullier said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for your testimony about what you are going through.

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Thanks for being so open and honest with us. I pray the Holy Spirit covers you, lifting away these sad feelings...

Caroline said...

I am so sorry for your loss. And also the pain you and your family are going through. Please know that we are holding you close in prayer. Also, that your little one is in heaven now praying for you.

As you know only God can ease your pain. He LOVES you dearly.

Ausjenny said...

JoAnne, Im so sorry for your loss,
I have never had this happen but both my mum and my SIL have experienced the same loss.
Praying for you and your family

JoAnne said...

Thank you all again so much for your thoughts and prayers! God is so good.

Jennifer Johnson said...

Dear JoAnne,

Thank you for sharing. I'm so sorry, JoAnne. I'm still praying for you and your family.


Beth Goddard said...


You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. I know that only God can speak the right words to comfort you and He is. HUGS