Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I have struggled with anxiety for probably my whole, and didn't realize how bad it was until college. I thought I had dealt with it, and then I got married. I realized I don't do well with big changes in life. I get anxious, I worry, I can't focus. AWFUL!!

And now with the loss of Owen, I find myself super anxious. If I don't feel Julia moving, I worry. When I feel like she should have moved or I'm not sure I worry. When I wake up I worry. When I go to bed, I worry. My students are taking a test right now, and I worry. I feel like all I do is worry. And I feel out of control.

I know worry and anxiety are not from God. I know that He tells us to cast all of our anxieties on Him because he cares for us. I know that He says to not be anxious about anything but through prayer and supplication present our requests to Him, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.

My problem is I'm scared. I scared to lose another baby. I'm scared I won't know when something is wrong. I'm afraid of wasting money by going to the doctor just to make sure she is okay. I'm afraid of making Paul mad for being irrational. I'm afraid my instincts are right.

The truth is I want God to take us right to March so I know she is safe and healthy. Part of me wants to not feel anything so I don't feel anxious. I'm tired of the anxiety.

And I see that my biggest sin is just not trusting God. And the truth is that I don't really know how to do it. I'm lost right now in worry, anxiety, and fear. Overwhelmed by not knowing if something is wrong. Terrified that if it is I won't know how to handle it. Terrified that if something goes wrong I will literally go crazy. I'm scared, and all I have is God and I'm so angry at Him for taking Owen that I don't want to trust Him with Julia. Because what if He takes her too. What will I do then? How will I survive?

Paul and I have been reading Isaiah. Last night we read Isaiah 2 when Isaiah prophesies about the Messiah coming, and that all of the idols that Jerusalem and Judah have built for themselves will be destroyed. I haven't built and idol that I got to and worship every day, but I sure have an idol in my life. I worship control all too often. And now I have put my daughter above God. There is no way that she can ever satisfy me the way that God can. It's wrong of me to put those expectations on her before she is born. But my anxiety pushes me to try and control what is happening, and put her above God because I am so scared of not getting what I have always wanted....Children.

I know this might seem bizarre to some of you but I need to confess where I am so that God can get me back to where I need to be. Sin likes to stay hidden. It doesn't want to come out and have light shine on it. So I have to reveal the sin in my life so that I can, with the power of Christ, overcome it.

Please just keep us in your prayers.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Holding on to Hope

The one thing I have realized more this week is I NEED to be hopeful that everything is going to be fine with Julia. I kind of freak myself out by thinking too much, and compare every thing I feel with the day we lost Owen.

I pray often that God will allow me to trust my instincts but not be anxious about them. The night we found out we lost Owen I had a very clear feeling that something was wrong. I knew my anxiety and my thoughts about what were happening were something to check out, but lately I have been over analyzing every movement I feel or don't feel. I feel like I should be worried, but am trusting in God that everything is fine.

I know this is probably a normal stage to go through when you are pregnant, but I just keep thinking that I can't lose another baby. I must do everything I can to keep her safe. The reality is that I have no control, and that scares the crud out of me. Several months ago God made it really clear that I needed to trust Him with my children. I needed to do what I knew was healthy for my pregnancy and let Him take care of the rest. I felt a peace about that. Knowing that God is so much bigger and stronger than I am and He is capable of taking better care of my children than I can.

And then He took Owen.

At that moment I began to doubt in who He is. I began to think that clearly I would not have chosen this for myself so I will do a better job taking care of my children because He allowed one to die.

And then we sang "I Surrender All" in church on Sunday.

1. All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.
* Refrain:
I surrender all,
I surrender all;
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.
2. All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.
3. All to Jesus I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.
4. All to Jesus I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.
5. All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

Powerful words. And all I could think of is that I'm not surrendering all I'm holding on to Julia more tightly now than I ever could have thought was possible.

And I thought about Abraham when God asked him to sacrifice Isaac. God was asking Abraham if he trusted God, and loved Him enough to give his son to Him. And I realized that Julia quickly became and idol for me. She became more important to me than God. It happened the instant we found out about Owen. My heart quickly changed from being able to fully trust and depend on God to questioning Him and His purpose. I questioned His goodness, His grace, His mercy, His sovereignty...INSTANTLY. And yet, like the Loving Father He is, He continued to POUR out His love on me, and gently reveal the sin in my heart so that He could begin the healing process.

I know the healing process has just begun, but God has already done a huge work in my heart. He is revealing Himself to me in ways I didn't know I needed. I'm learning to trust Him in ways I didn't know I needed to, and I'm learning how deep and how vast His love is for me.

Now I can be more hopeful for Julia. I am learning how to trust God with her even though I want to hold on tight to her and never let go. I know that isn't what she needs.

Please pray that through this God will teach us how to be parents that pursue Him, that depend on Him, and that trust Him with our children.

Please pray Julia would continue to grow strong and healthy, there would be no side effects from losing Owen that would harm her, that she will know God in a truly precious way, she will be drawn to Him, and that He will daily reveal to her His purpose for her life.

She is a precious gift, and we are absolutely honored God is allowing us to be her parents.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

1 Week...

Today marks one week since we found out that Owen had died. Today has been an interesting day talking with Paul about my feelings and processing. But in other ways God has reminded me of His goodness.

Since we took this week off from serving in Children's Ministry we decided to head up to the new campus our church has a check it out. It's very new to us since we serve at a different campus. I was hesitant to walk in this morning because I was nervous about just being at church this week. I wasn't sure what to expect, what God was going to say to me, or how to respond to Him. It seems weird saying that I was nervous to go to church. But I was, and I knew God was going to speak to me, and I wasn't sure I was ready to hear what He had to tell me.

We got there, found seats, talked to some friends, and waited for the service to begin. We had meet and greet time which I don't remember us having at the Austin High campus, and I'm always nervous to meet new people but more so today. As the service started I felt like each song was God reminding me of Who He is. I held on tightly to Paul's hand, sang along, and prayed that God would move my heart to a place where it was totally abandoned to worship Him.

I heard someone singing loudly, a little off key, but the noise was a joyful noise unto the Lord. I turned a round, and there was a man who seemed to have cerebral palsy literally jumping out of his wheel chair to praise God. His heart was completely unabandoned when it came to praising God. I want my heart to be like that. I stood there and asked God to change my heart so I wasn't holding back when I worshiped Him.

The next song, was "How He Loves Us" by David Crowder:
He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realise just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

Yeah, He loves us,
Oh! how He loves us,

Oh! how He loves us,
Oh! how He loves.

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an sloppy wet kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don't have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way...

Singing these words I just began crying because I was reminded that God is LOVE. And He not only is love, but HE LOVES ME!

The significance of this might not be understood if you don't what I have struggling with this week. When people find out about Owen, read my Facebook updates about how much I miss Owen; attempt to comfort me by saying "He's Julia's guardian angel now, He is watching over you, He is an angel." The problem with this is nothing in the Bible leads me to believe that any of it is true. I have been struggling with is how do I know Owen is in Heaven? My heart's desire is to know what the Bible says, and to not take comfort in what I want to be true. So to me these are empty words because they aren't pointing me back to the character of God.

When singing "Oh! How he loves us" over and over again reminded me that God is Love, and that He loves us, and a peace washed over me like I have never known. I was reminded that I can trust in God's love, and goodness.

Now my question may never be answered for sure, but I do know that by focusing on who God is will give me peace that He is taking care of Owen. I'm just trusting in God right now. I'm not sure what else I can do.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Joy turned into sorrow...

Words can't begin to describe how my heart aches right now. I'm stuck between feeling joy over the life of Julia Ruth, but grief over the passing of Owen Paul. I feel like I go from being overjoyed about her life to just crying because I miss him so much. It is seems unfair to her to miss him, and unfair to him to be excited about her.

I haven't figured out yet how to balance these feelings. I heard her heartbeat this morning and was able to breathe a sigh of relief and laugh at how silly she was being. She was moving, and kicking, and spinning, and I was amazed at how active she was. I still am.

I know she must miss his movements. Having her playmate in there with her. I know that having his body there has to give her comfort, but I wonder if she misses him like I do.

I love that I serve a God who works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Even though I don't understand what His purpose is right now. I wonder if I ever will.

Please continue to pray for Julia to grow and grow stronger. We need to get to at least 23 weeks so that she can live outside. Of course, we are praying that she makes it to 37 weeks. We have been told that her going to 40 weeks could actually do more harm than good. So it looks like we will be delivering at 37 weeks. Your prayers are appreciated.