Sunday, October 13, 2013

Holding onto God's Faithfulness: Surviving Pregnancy and Infant Loss

Fall 2003 and me pregnant with Luke

I've been thinking back in time for the #october2013blogchallenge to when I have been aware of the Lord's faithfulness to me.
October in Florida is when the chill autumn air carries with it the the sense of expectancy before the rush of the holidays.  And, when the wind picks up and the leaves fall down, I start to remember.  It's the same thing I think about every year and always in October. 

It is fitting that October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month (PILAM).

That's when the crushing news came for me. 

In October of 2003, I was 27 weeks pregnant, and I went to get an ultrasound to determine if my little one was a boy or a girl. What I wasn't expecting was to find was that something was terribly wrong with my child.


The doctor said that he had no kidneys. That he had something called Potter's Syndrome, which at that time, there was no treatment. No cure.
After going to more doctors and doing more tests, it was confirmed.  My baby, when he was born, would die.
I realized at that moment that this was all the time I had with him.

I learned to cherish every little movement, hiccup, stretch. I learned who he was by how he felt in my womb. He lived. He mattered.

Luke Joseph Griese was born on December 5, 2003, and he was so light, only 3 lbs. 12 oz., yet my love for him was beyond measure.

He went to be with Jesus eight hours later.

The biggest thing that little Luke taught me was that every life matters because we are all here for a reason. Some of us are here to love and some of us are here to be the recipients of love.
Then there is the love that God has for us. He sent His Son to die for us so that we could live forever with Him. There is no greater love than that.
And now, Luke lives and basks in the eternal love of God in heaven, and I await the day we will be reunited and can share that love again.

Because God is faithful to His promises, He will make all things new, make all the sad things come untrue (Revelation 21). 

So, I will hold onto that truth and look forward to that Day.  Not only to see my son again, but to see the Son, Christ, the Risen One, who carried me in my darkest hours and brought me to the light of day.

If you have lost a child in pregnancy or shortly after birth, my heart aches for you. 
I pray that you will know the faithfulness of God in Christ on your grief journey. 
Never will He leave you, never will He forsake you (Hebrew 13:5). 

For His Word says:

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
 I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me." (Psalm 23:4)

Holding onto Hope,


Friday, October 4, 2013

God is Faithful: Treasures in the Snow

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Being a Florida girl, born and raised, I never did see snow until I was grown and married and had a few kids in tow.  It was amazing.  I felt like Lucy Pevensie when she stepped out of the wardrobe and into Narnia.  The little snowflakes ambled down, peppering my eyelashes and tickling my nose.

The autumn leaves changing is pretty sparse in Florida, so I'm packing up all our winter wear for our trip up to North Carolina tomorrow to see the real fall.

You never know what a trip up North will bring. 

The last time we visited the Carolinas was an adventure worth telling...

We were starting up the mountain on our way to our cabin.  It was evening and the ground and road were already covered in snow.  Our compact SUV did alright until we came to a steep part.  The snow had melted some and was icy and slippery. 

The Captain clicked the gear into 3D (which I think is mountain drive) and proceeded to go further up the mountain.  Panic struck when the wheels were spinning, but we were going nowhere and then backward, toward the ravine on the side of the road.  I closed my eyes and braced for impact.

Our SUV slid down and into the side of a snow bank, stopping us from going over the side of the mountain.  Relieved and shaken, I realized we were stuck in the snow.  We couldn't go up and we couldn't go back down the mountain.  The Captain turned on our hazard lights to keep anyone from hitting us in the dark. 

"We need to pray, you guys," I said to my husband and the kids.

The Captain and I prayed with the kids for help.  As soon as we finished praying, we saw someone walking in the snow right to where we were.  I rolled down the window to get a better look.

"You all need some help?" said a woman in a plaid flannel, sweat pants, and hiking boots.  Her husband walked up behind her.

"We're stuck," I said.

Scott and Denise were their names, and they were a God-send.  They offered to drive us in their massive 4-wheel drive pick-up truck up the mountain to our cabin--luggage, kids, and all. 

When we got to the cabin, we unloaded all our stuff and kicked the snow and mud off our boots.

"There's going to be more snow tonight," relayed Denise.  "You all might be stuck here for about a week until the snow melts."

That night, our trip looked as if it was ruined, and to top it all off, there was no food in the cabin except for ketchup and sugar packets left there from fast food restaurants.  We had eaten dinner before we went up the mountain, but what were we going to do for the rest of the week? 

Will God really provide for us like that?

The next day was like Christmas.  We got a knock on the door and there were Scott and Denise with boxes full of food.  They even gave us a gingerbread house kit for the kids.

I was humbled and my faith in God's faithfulness was renewed. 

The Lord was going to take care of us, so we need not fear.

That day, we had forgotten a few things in the SUV, so the Captain donned his snow gear and walked down the mountain.  When he came back, he was carrying our cell phone and our toboggan.


After calling a tow truck, we all went out and played in the snow and went sledding.

The Captain had our SUV towed to the bottom of the mountain to a parking lot, so we wouldn't get stuck again.  That night we had fresh pork loin (from a local farm) and home-grown canned green beans for dinner courtesy of Scott and Denise.

We stayed the rest of the week and from the pictures, you can tell our trip was not ruined.

Little Man getting ready to sled

Bob the snowman

The Captain posing with Bob

Snowball fight!

Making the gingerbread house

Our last day at the cabin

Eventually the snow melted and the snow plow shovelled the way for us to get down the mountain.

After another neighbor gave us a lift, we made it to our SUV, and were on our way back to sunny Florida.

This year we'll see what adventures the Lord has in store for us.

I know that no matter what, He is there for us and hears us when we call.

If you are a blogger, then I invite you to join the Christian Bloggers community in the #october2013blogchallenge and share how the Lord has been faithful to you.

Trusting in His Faithfulness,