Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Moving on...

It seems odd to be writing this type of post right after finishing the 7 part series of AMAZING vacation posts but I have to...when God puts something heavy on your heart you listen. It's our job as Christians. The past few months I have had "random," if you will, encounters with people. People who have someone in their life struggling with the loss of a child. I am by no means any different than anyone else that has lost a child. I am not an expert but I have lost- until you have lost you just don't know. 

A year ago in March I prayed God would use our story for good. After all, he was the one who wrote it. With that said...the encounters and even messages/e-mails from friends and strangers pulled at me to write a post...of encouragement. Because believe me when I say there will be moments when you feel like your heart is literally being ripped from your chest in every way possible, mentally, physically, and emotionally and you NEED encouragement from someone who "has been there." 

There are always articles and such floating around social media about "loss." I don't normally click on them because I know what those types of articles do to me. (That is actually why I hesitated to even write this post but I couldn't keep being disobedient.) They make me sad...they put me in "that place." The place that is hard for me to climb back out of...but this article was different. It's as if I put my thoughts on paper but written better than I could ever do. 

"Putting a baby in the ground changes you. I don’t know how it couldn’t. We went back to the church, and I found one of those strong men I mentioned earlier. He held me again and told me things would never be the same for any of us. He’s right."

I know I have posted about how different life was/is after the loss of Ryder. For a while I tried to "get over" the loss. It wasn't until I realized this wasn't something I would ever get over. This was a chapter in my life that changed me. Some may read that and completely disagree and that's ok, it's not their book. For so long I was trying to be the person I was before becoming a mother...that's not possible. I became a mother the day we lost Ryder. I became a mother of 2 on Earth and one in Heaven. It's been 5 years and as each day passes I learn how to cope better. I learn triggers. I learn it's ok to still be sad. I also remind myself to not allow that sadness to consume me. For some of us that is harder than's ok. 

"For a lot of us (myself included), Christianity has come easy. There has been no suffering. There has been no pain. There have been few questions. There has been no reason to not trust God and to not call ourselves Christians.
And now there is.
Now we have known unimaginable depths. The sorrow that flowed that week is an unspeakable thing. And we can truthfully say that the Lord is good in both, if not greater in the sorrow. That was what we tried to point to all week.
That we do not hope in our children. That we do not hope in each other. That we do not hope in our friends or our families or in anything outside the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. That is all. In Christ alone. This was a wild reminder of that. One we didn’t want, but always need.
1 Peter 1:6–8.
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." 

I have used our situation as a constant reminder our hope should be in Jesus Christ, not in anything else. Not my spouse, family, material items, or even other Jesus Christ alone. It's a daily task. It's hard but when I rely on the true healer the pain is bearable because he carries it for me.

Unfortunately there are so many details I don't remember from the birth. I was completely put to sleep, Mark wasn't in the room. When I woke I had 2 babies to hold but one was already sitting on Jesus's lap. I went to sleep and woke up a different person, literally. Just a few days after visiting Ryder Sloane and Wyatt began to ask questions. They always have questions and we always give answers. Ryder is a part of our family and we will never hide that or keep it from them. Yes, we will share what we think is age appropriate but sad things happen and I will not keep their brother a secret or even make it a subject they are ever afraid to talk about. With their questions I usually learn something as well...and that stings. They ask the simple childlike questions. Mark is the one who usually answers- good or bad but he is the one who knows all the answers. I do not.

Our story goes a lot like the one in the post I have referencing...we came home and a day or 2 went by before we had the service for Ryder...

"Life that week was so thick and so rich that it barely resembled all the other weeks I’ve experienced. And the goodness in all of this (and a sign of God’s spectacular grace to us) is that the only constant we knew that week is that God is still good and His grace and love roll deeper than we will ever know. He is sufficient, but He is also beyond sufficient. He is good to give us more of himself no matter the circumstance.
James 1:17 says this.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change."

 Coming home to a room we had set up for 2 was so hard...I remember one of the hardest things to do was to go through the closest. Mark and I just sat and cried...we exchanged looks every time he was dressed because these used to be 2 of those outfits. 2 car seats, a double stroller, 2 everything...

"Jen says that means our faith must not waver because God didn’t change. He didn’t waver. The only thing that has changed is how much of Him we carry with us. We lost sweet Kate, but we got so much of the Lord. Not in spite of, but because of her.
Don’t mistake what I’m saying here. We lost a lot. We lost a child. It is every parent’s deepest fear and greatest nightmare. I honestly can’t, off the top of my head, think of anything worse in terms of sheer traumatic force applied to two married adults. But we gained even more than we lost. This is a bittersweet reality. One too complex for me to understand in full.
A pastor named Dave Zuleger once said this about suffering.
Suffering is one of the great instruments in God’s hands to continue to reveal to us our dependence on him and our hope in him. God is good to give us the greatest gift he can give us, which is more of himself, and he’s good however he chooses to deliver that gift."

Mark and I have made the decision to not waver. We serve a God bigger than anything we will be dealt here on Earth. We choose to keep walking the path that was paved for us. People deal with tragedy in many different ways...some run and hide, some block out ones who love them, and while there isn't really a right or wrong way I know as I dealt and continue to deal with the loss of Ryder I will do it with my eyes and arms lifted praising our Lord...the Lord who will ALWAYS love us BEYOND MEASURE. 


  1. Wow. I'm deeply moved. What a beautiful post honoring Ryder. Longtime reader but I don't usually comment. Sending loads of hugs from Canada. xoxo

  2. Absolutely beautiful. I'm so proud of you and Mark - for "letting us in" and sharing in whatever ways and timing you're comfortable with and when God puts things on your heart. I'm honored to be your friend and carry Ryder's memory with you!

  3. What a lovely post and the last picture is so beautiful


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