Jan 31

Eli

My heart is very heavy for a dear friend right now. Part of our journey with Mary Anna, has burdened us for parents that have to watch their babies suffer, no matter the age or circumstance, it is very painful to do. I have caught myself waking up all hours of the night praying for my friend Lizzy, her husband Josh, their daughter Zoey, and their sweet baby Eli. Will you join me? She told me that she barely has the strength to pray, so it is our chance to pray for them and with them.

Dan played football at Wake Forest briefly, and during his time in Winston-Salem, NC, I met a fun girl named Lizzy. She and I became quick friends, and I looked forward to going and visiting Dan, because it meant more time with Lizzy. Ever since Dan left Wake, we have tried to stay in touch. Unfortunately with life getting crazy and being states away, we have not been able to stay up to date with each other as much as we would have wished.

I remember it was around August that I got a sweet text from her saying, “I think of you so often these days. Your daughter is beautiful and you are a brave mama. Praying for your family.” She told me how even though it has been years since we talked, that her heart was broken for me. That’s exactly how I feel for her right now.

Eli is in the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) right now at Duke Hospital. His little lungs are not doing well, and he needs our prayers. I recount every procedure that he has had, the noises, the smells, and being there as a mom and a dad, watching your baby suffer is beyond what you can imagine. This was our view from Mary Anna’s window, and if I look at the picture it brings me to my knees. I feel like I am back there praying and weeping out that window.

My prayer for them today is:

Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Psalms 27:14
We all need strength as we wait for the Lord.
If you would like to know more about their story or donate to help with all of their expenses please visit http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/lets-show-our-love-for-the-bains-/132506 .
God is good. I believe that He heals, and that He never stops healing. He healed my girl by taking her home, and I pray that Eli receives an earthly healing.
Keep Walking Josh and Lizzy. You can do it.
Jan 30

Snow Day

It’s no secret that, yes yes, Alabama got snow. I still don’t think my Yankee friend believes me, but it’s the truth. We have had a few days to do absolutely nothing, so in our boredom this afternoon, D decided to run off to the woods in hopes to snag a deer, and I opted to spend a little time doing something that I had long wanted to do.

Books are important to Dan and I, so we slowly began our library for Mary Anna early on. Every trip we would pick her up a little book, and sometimes just because while we were out and saw one that we could not resist, we would get it for her. I am not much of a reader, so I tend to end up in the children’s book section more times than not anyways.

We had a loooong search for the perfect bookcase to house these sweet little books, and we actually did not find the perfect one until after Mary Anna went to heaven. It was bittersweet bringing that antique beauty to complete her nursery one evening this fall, but now her books have a house, and it makes me happy.

Dan actually had picked out a huge stack of books on a website right before our girl was born, and of course the logical person that I am convinced him that we did not need to spend that money right before our baby came. We didn’t order the books, so for Christmas this year I happened to come across that same website, and hallelujah! the shopping car was still full, so I ordered every single book and gave them to D as a gift. Together we cried and opened each book and thought about how we wish that we could read them all to her. The sweet thing is that all of them were animal related, because D picked them out especially for him to read to her, since her daddy would be an animal doc.

So today, I wrote her sweet little name in each book. We wanted to remember which ones were hers, and as we read them to our future children, we wanted it to always be a reminder of their big sister. I shed quite a few tears, but I had a precious time in my girl’s room. I found a sweet one from my mom that she had already written Mary Anna’s name in it, which made it even more special.

Also, I found a Bible some dear friends gave us for my birthday, and it had a precious note in the front of it that said:

We gave this Bible for Mary Anna that she will know that even before she was born, she was surrounded by prayer, and with the hope that there will never be a day in her life that she doesn’t know the love of Christ.
I texted her a picture of her note and she said, “Wow, I truly believe that prayer was answered.” And she is so right. My attitude has been a little sour lately, and today I realized that the Lord spared my girl. He chose her to come home early to Him, and what a joy it is that there was/is never a day in her life that she does not know Jesus. Her life is complete.
As I came to this conclusion, I got a text from D that said to go outside, because the sunset was pink. And once again, she painted me a sunset from heaven to let me know that she is always near. 

Jan 27

The Truth at 100

I have not had much to say lately honestly, because I just do not know what to say. Finally after much needed time in prayer and in the word this morning, I decided to sit down and write what’s on my heart.  As I opened my little blog thing, it said that it was my 100th post. WHAT?! This gives me anxiety. My 100th post should be epic, and I feel anything less than epic these days. The Lord has called me to write and be vulnerable, and if I am honest, most days I already feel like people stare at me since I am “the girl that lost her baby”, so why on earth do I need to write? This blog has been both a blessing and a curse. It has molded me and taught me so much about myself, and yet, it has caused so much heartache and pain all at the same time. My heart is to follow the Lord, and as best as I know how, I trust His plan for us even when the world does not understand why we do or say or act the way that we do. Thankfully, the Lord is my judgment, so I rest in Him.

Have you ever sat in a room and seen everyone smiling and felt like you literally do not know how to muster up the strength to smile back?
Or prayed a prayer and thought to yourself that you do not have the strength to keep on praying?
Or given advice and thought to yourself that really you should stop giving the advice and start taking it?

Welp! That’s me lately. A song we sang yesterday said, “when the world around is smiling…”, and I thought to myself that everyone seemed happy at church, and I was not happy.

I have persevered through my devotionals of hope, and yet, I have felt so hopeless.

I have refused to stop praying, but while I pray, I find myself wandering off and hoping that others are praying for me, because I do not have the words to even know how or what to pray for.

All this to say, I haven’t blogged or been a good friend or been very productive in much of anything, because I just do. not. have. the. energy. I feel empty and sad. I want Mary Anna more and more everyday, yet I somehow always trust in the Lord’s plan.

Last week I had one of the worst weeks of my life since I lost my girl, and I literally starting sobbing like a baby in Academy Sports yep, that’s right in Academy for no reason, and I looked at Dan and said, “I am empty, and I am tired of being empty.”

Slowly as I hit rock bottom again, the words of wisdom from a very wise person in my life kept ringing in my head, “You always have to go back to the truth.” So, I decided that I was going to get out of myself and my feelings and remind myself what is true.

Be strong and courageous…
Be strong and very courageous…
Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go….
Be strong and courageous.
Joshua 1:6-9

So with you; Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
John 16:22, 33

So the truth is that as Joshua says, I am to keep my eyes on Christ and not look to my right or to my left, but if my focus is on Him alone, then I will be successful. The catch is not success in the way the world ranks it, but as John reminds me, success in heaven. Hope in my salvation guarantees that I will indeed see Jesus again, since He overcame the world, and no one can take that away from me.
The truth is that I have been called to Keep Walking, and although I do not want to some days, I will. I will do it, because my Mary Anna continues to teach me how.
Jan 23

All Things Well

I had a vivid dream of my baby girl last night. In the moment, I love these dreams, but when I wake up, they break my heart. I went back to this video that a friend sent me a few weeks ago, and I was reminded that God does do all things well.

He didn’t choose to heal my girl like the guy in this video, but that by means diminishes the fact that Mary Anna’s life was all that it was supposed to be. I loved how he ended the video, “No matter what comes my way… you do, you do, you do all things well…”

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28
Jan 21

Hope

We have this HOPE as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.
Hebrews 6:17

Dan rides alone to and from school everyday. He realized early on that he needed that time to be alone, pray, and think. The time going to school is usually prayerful, and the time coming home is usually a deep breath to prepare for ME! I like to dissect every part of both of our days as soon as he walks in the door, and since he tends on being more of an introvert, he has time to think on his way home, when he rides alone.
My dad is a big, “Hey… Listen to this sermon…” kind of guy, or “This sermon the other day said… and I think it was really something you should hear.” He sent us a ton during our pregnancy with Mary Anna, while we were walking through a time filled with lots of fear, and he sent us a lot after her life was completed to share a glimpse of hope. I have always been thankful for that in my dad.
Needless to say, Dan decided to start listening to sermons on the way to school, ever since  Mary Anna went to be with Jesus. It has helped him process her life and death, stay firm in his faith, and learn to trust in a way he would have never been able to before. Therefore, most evenings he shares what he learned that day with me through whatever podcast he listened to that morning.
Lately my heart has been really sad and lonely. I have seemed to feel the weight of Mary Anna’s death heavy on me. Early on, my focus was on her life and trying to process what God wanted to do with what time she had on earth, and the hard part is once you have processed her short little life, you have to process her death. Like I previously wrote, processing your baby girl’s death is hard and dark, and I have felt like I recently have been in the darkest days since July 17th.
I was encouraged, by a friend, to focus on hope.
Hope? Do I even want to have hope right now? Not really…
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my HOPE comes from him.
Psalms 62:5
But… I spent last Sunday afternoon looking up every verse of hope that is in the index of my Bible. I wrote them all down, and each time I feel dark and lonely, I read the list of what my hope is in.
I would dare to speak for D, that he has felt dark and lonely lately too. He recently came to me with tears in his eyes and said, “Why does it  feel like it’s getting harder and not easier as time goes on?” I sadly responded with tears, lots of them, “I do not know.”
Yesterday, Dan told me that his sermon was on hope. The hope in Christ, the hope in death, the hope in suffering, and that he felt like we needed to focus on hope.
I whipped out my list of verses, and told him that I thought he was right. So, we prayerfully, missing our baby girl more than ever, concluded that it was clear enough that hope is what we should rest in right now. And Christ is our hope.
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the scriptures we might have HOPE.
Romans 15:4
Jan 17

the Bear

It had been less than three full days since my c-section, and my pain was unbearable, yet the physical pain could not even be felt due to the pain and emptiness in my heart. I kissed her head and rubbed her hair, and I could not even stand anymore, so I walked towards the noise of a room full of people who loved us, prayed for us, and would try to walk with us through all of this. The first face I saw was my moms, and she grabbed me, and I did not have the energy to look at anyone else. I wailed, I think, very loudly, and simply said, “She’s gone.” I do not know how long they all stayed or waited. I know the day seemed to end too quickly, yet they had been there when the sun was high, and now it was setting and casting a shadow on my sweet girls empty body. Dan stayed back to go over a few things with the nurse, he was strong, my husband, my girl’s daddy, and he did what I did not have to strength to do.

As Melissa pushed my wheelchair, because my mom began to lose her strength, we passed by that NICU room one last time with the name “Mary Anna Caldwell”. Dan slowly walked out and of course, his first priority was me. I remember him touching my head, and then handing me a bear. He said they wanted us to have this, and that it would be something that I could hold. I cried harder and harder and harder, and barely could sit up in my wheelchair. They pushed me into my room, got me in the bed, and handed me the only thing that could fill my empty arms, the bear.

My name to those close to me has always been Karebear. D and my mom especially still call me that to this day, so we planned to call Mary Anna some version of bear something or another, because it is special to us.

The bear could not take the pain away or make sense of anything that was real, yet seemed so unreal, but it gave me something to hold, to touch, and to squeeze. Somehow in someway, to this day that sweet bear is what I grab when I am sad. It’s what dries my tears when I go to sleep at night, and it just helps.

The bear has been to Birmingham, Anniston, Auburn, Seaside, Raleigh, Atlanta, San Fran, L.A., and at times even if I am 26 years old, and I look stupid carrying a bear around in an airport, guess what? I don’t care!

Dan will sweetly tuck the bear in my arms, when I am sad. And even though he’s a big, strong grown man, I have caught him holding the bear too.

Nothing can fill the void of your baby. Nothing except Jesus. Yet, if I have one suggestion if you have lost someone or know someone who has, no matter the age or gender, get/give them something to hold. It helps.

We will forever cherish our Mary Anna bear. It will always be a part of our family and help during the pain and the tears, and yet somehow bring joy and peace in the happy times to come.
Jan 14

January 14

Mary Anna,
Today my baby girl, you would be 6 months old. Actually you are 6 months old in our hearts. We have been really sad the last month or so, because people kept telling us that it would get easier, yet learning to live without you is harder each day. Thank you for sending us your beautiful sunsets, especially on the days when we seem to be extra sad. You got some books for Christmas, and I put them on your bookshelves to share with your brothers and sisters one day, but I wish I could read them to you. I woke up really confused today, so I sat in your room and felt you near me. As I read the Word, I kept coming back to Psalm 139. Do you remember when I would read this to you while you were still in my tummy? Today this is what I needed, and I know you know all of this already, but I want to read this to you again:

even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
I love you baby girl, and your daddy loves you so much too. We miss you everyday. every. single. day.
-your mommy
My mind has replayed this article, that I copied below, ever since two different friends sent it to me on two consecutive days. One saying, “I’ve been thinking about your sweet girl today! She is so loved and so are you too!” Both girls had no idea how sad and lonely I felt those two days, and this encouragement was exactly what I needed. You see, I have wondered exactly what you are about to read here. I have said to myself so many times, “Why do people tell me that God won’t give me more than I can handle, or that he couldn’t trust them with a sick baby but he could us?” Stick with it and read this, because it will change you and how you approach others forever.

God will give you more than you can handle: I guarantee it.

By 

There’s a certain phrase I’ve come to really dislike.
All my life, I’ve heard this phrase whenever I go through a rough patch. *And by rough patch, I mean a prickly, gnarly patch that leaves me bleeding to near death*. You’re probably familiar with those kinds of “patches”.
“God will never give you more than you can handle” is the phrase I’m referring to.
more than to bear
And it’s a sweet sentiment, really. The people who say it are speaking from caring and concerned hearts.
BUT–it isn’t true.
I know that sounds harsh, but I promise I haven’t suddenly lost my mind or have become an angry-with-God bitter woman who hates the world. Actually, when I realized the simple fact that God can–and will–give us more than we can possibly bear, it got easier.
And it all started to make more sense.
I’ve often trudged through trials that overwhelm me. Ever since my childhood there have been trials that have made me “grow up” pretty fast. But granted, I know for a fact you’ve had your own fair share too, because that’s the reality of life. But this last trial is the one that shook me to my core and had me searching like a mad woman for answers as to why it was happening–and how I could possibly even survive it.
DSC_3283
I lost my Dad to cancer last month–if you’re a follower of mine, this is old news. But–it was absolutely horrific.
Every day leading up to his death was like walking through every level of hell–slowly– for lack of a better term. There’s no other way to describe it. The images…the sounds…the sleepless nights…the cries for God while we look on, helpless…the torment of rubbing morphine in his cheeks, praying it’ll absorb–but to no avail. The horrible, wrenching pain that came with lifting him up, laying him back down, lifting him up, laying him back down…because he became so restless and cried out for “home” every few minutes. And all along, in the back of my mind, I reminded myself that millions of people go through this, and have already gone through this, very thing. And it is simply unbearable. If you disagree–it’s because you haven’t been there.
SONY DSC
This trial was so consuming that I hate to even put it in the past tense–sometimes it still consumes me. Yesterday, at my Dad’s memorial service, it consumed me all over again.
I’ve suffered from nightmares where I relived the memory over and over mercilessly–I sometimes see his face on strangers that pass and worry that I’m going crazy. I cry over sad songs in the car and torture myself with stacks of pictures and yellowed photo albums. It’s beyond just missing him. And even with a firm testimony of the gospel and with peace that he is exactly where the Lord prepared him for, it is still too much for me to handle at times. It steals my breath–and it can steal my joy.
crying2
So, the other day, I turned to the scriptures. I needed help.
I wanted to know where that phrase was that people kept repeating to me in church and at work and over the phone. Why did the Lord “trust me so much”?! Why did He think I could handle these kinds of trials?
And then I realized: I couldn’t find that quote because it isn’t there.
It never mentions anywhere in the scriptures that the Lord won’t give you more than you can handle. Yes, in 1 Corinthians 10:13 it speaks of Him giving us an escape from temptations so that it’s not too much to bear. But when it comes to pain, trials, heartache, and burdens– not once does it say it won’t be more than we can bear. Instead, it beautifully says this instead:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me…for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11: 28-30)
carrying man
The words struck my heart, as you can imagine. Christ is speaking to those of us who are carrying burdens much too heavy for our own shoulders. And in that one verse he simply states the reason why we are given more than we can handle: It’s so we can come to him. It’s so we can trust him enough to hand over our heavy, crippling burdens and let him carry the load.
You might be heavy laden right now like I was before reading and re-reading and re-reading once again this scripture that has never stuck out to me as much as it has lately.
trsut
You might be shrunken with sadness or drowning in debt. You might be overwhelmingly angry at someone at church or aching under the pressures of raising children or maybe the inability to have them. You might be dealing with a terminal disease and you still have young children. And chances are–you might need your Redeemer to find you on the path and take up that heavy cross you’re dragging. Besides, even he tells us that he’s more equipped to carry it, so why not hand it over?
I’ve come to learn–slowly but surely–why I need Him.
I suppose it’s because of pride that I always thought I could just do things on my own. I’m strong, I’d say. I’m a tough cookie. I can help others through their tribulations while carrying mine all by myself. Well…wasn’t I wrong.
at jesus feet
I didn’t really know what needing him meant until I had no other choice. I didn’t know what it meant until I wrapped my arms around my middle so I wouldn’t fall apart–or the time I choked on tears and yelled toward Heaven. Or the times when I was utterly alone, and the silence was too much to bear. Those are the times that taught me he’s not just a want or a convenient symbol of love or a reason to do good deeds.
No, he’s the very air we breathe.
And he’s the only one who can make it bearable when life is simply anything but.

Jan 13

2013

As I read through blogs that I follow, I have seen a lot of reminiscing of what 2013 was for each person. The good and the bad. The pretty and the ugly. The happy and the sad. I debated a happy recap for 2013, and I debated a depressingly sad recap for 2013. Neither option seemed right. What was 2013 for me? What was it for my family, my marriage, my children, my friendships, and for my church? I thought about asking friends to write down their account of how they saw me this past year, and I pray as I think of the ways that I have walked through the good and the bad that I have radiated Christ above all. I want to remember it as a year of hope in the midst of pain, and I want others to say that I was gracious and held my head high. I am sure that I did not hold my head high all the time, and I know that I probably did not extend grace like I should have, but I do know that my salvation became more real to me than it ever has before in 2013.
I learned….
To appreciate sunsets.

The value of life.
Hope in death.

That my marriage is my rock.
The joy that comes from a child.
Who my baby girl is and was made to be.

That heaven is REAL.
The Lord loves me and meets me where I am.
That music is very important to me.
That some relationships are worth holding onto and some are okay to walk away from.
To love others when they’re hurting.
How to walk with people where they are.
 Lastly, I guess, because the list could go on and on, but to enjoy the little things.


I really learned that I am so small, and that I have so much to learn. As I thought about one word that would describe 2013 to me it was darkness. This last year was the darkest place that I have ever been in my entire life, and I am afraid that as I begin 2014, I still feel lonely, dark, and sad. Yet, in 2013 I felt light in the darkness, and each time I think of a dark moment, there was/is always a light that came. It appeared even when there seemed no way for the sun to shine, somehow or somewhere the sun would peek behind the clouds.
I think that’s why I love sunsets now. As the darkness appears, there’s hope, beauty, peace, and rest. And of course, I love sunsets, because I see my baby girl painting them for me in heaven.
My hope is in Christ alone. He is my anchor and my light in the darkness. And as I listen to music and type away my emotions with mascara slowly streaming down my cheeks, I am thankful that 2013 was dark, and that I know Christ is real and that my hope in heaven is real. I am glad 2013 gave me the greatest gift in my Mary Anna who was not a mistake or an accident, but she was perfectly made in Christ image for a purpose and a time. Her life was meaningful, and as each day ends, and the darkness seems to appear again, I see hope in her life through the darkness. I see Christ in the darkness.
You are my lamp, O Lord;
the Lord turns my darkness into light.
2 Samuel 22:29

Jan 10

the paint store

Dan was recently challenged to pick a verse, one single verse, and memorize it. To take that verse and place it in your car, mirror, pocket, phone, etc, and let it be the verse that you stand for in 2014. We were discussing a verse to choose the other night, and I immediately thought of Psalm 91, because this was the verse that we prayed over Mary Anna. I read it to D, and as soon as I finished he reminded me of something that happened to him last summer. He wrote it down, and I wanted to share it with y’all:

Kari and I had discussed on multiple occasions what the perfect choices would be for the color our baby girl’s nursery. It was easily and finally settled. Mary Anna would dream every night in a room painted with “Beach Glass”, and her bathroom would be painted in another color that made us of think of the ocean. Its color name was “Constant Coral”. With the colors decided, I went to the local paint store get a gallon of each. Having placed my order, I wandered around this monstrosity of a warehouse filled with anything painter related. You have been to a paint store, so you can relate. The door beeped as a man walked in wearing painter’s clothes, solid white with little dabs of every color imaginable splattered on his uniform. I’ve never understood why painters wear white. It’s like a wearable canvas that shares with people all of their adventures on the high seas of paint. His shirt pocket read “Auburn University Paint Department”. I figured he was there to order or pick up and head back to campus, but he looked straight at me from across this giant paint store and walked straight up to me, nowhere near the front counter. Looking me in the eyes, he stretched out his hand and asked me my name. His gaze was different than most people you meet. It had a gentle intensity to it, filled with enthusiasm. I told him, thinking he was just making small talk. He then asked what kind of paint project I was working on.  Smiling, I told him I was painting my baby girl’s nursery. He smiled back reflecting the joy I must have beamed when talking about Mary Anna’s expected arrival. Then he asked if it was our first. I said yes. He pointed his finger at me, not in a condemning way, but rather as if giving an encouraging presidential speech, and said that he wanted me to do him a favor that my child and family would be benefit from. The tone of his voice sounded serious. He told me to read and pray Psalm 91 over my children and household every night… Every night, he emphasized. I agreed to his terms, we shook hands, and he walked off toward the paint counter smiling.


His words were simple and straightforward, not filled with an unnecessary depth as if he was evangelizing to me. He never even asked if I was a believer. It was almost as if he knew. It was such a rare, unforeseen moment that I knew it wasn’t a chance encounter. Here I was in the middle of a paint store, and this guy walked straight up to me from the front door, nowhere near the counter, and spoke words to me that made me feel as if I was meeting an apostle in a farmer’s market in Philippi. And just like that, he was gone.


I told Kari the story as soon as I could, because it made such an impact on me. His handshake, the gaze, and words struck a cord deep inside me. It obviously has left a mark because I remember this encounter with such vividness that I can replay it in my mind as if it was an iPhone video. I wish I could find this man and tell him Mary Anna’s story. I would want to add what an impact Mary Anna is making in other people’s lives.


Soli Deo gloria,

DC


beach glass
constant coral


















Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you will all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands;
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With a long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Psalm 91


Jan 08

The fixer

We were driving down a bumpy interstate across the country about to do a tour, and my family was jabbering in the back ground and I found myself in the back seat reading and thinking. My devotional was life-changing, and the scenery seemed to somehow fade along with the voices as I read:

Our culture says to love a child is to tell him that he is special and unique and that everything he does is wonderful. We’re to give him the impression that our world revolves around him. And we’ve grown up expecting the same of God. We figure if he loves us he will make a fuss over us and celebrate us, only to find ourselves disappointed and disenchanted with God when we discover that we are not at the center of the universe. Instead, the holiness of God is at the center of the universe. His absolute uniqueness and perfection shines bright and beautiful.
Nancy Guthrie
After I read this, I debated reading it to the whole car, but instead I decided to reflect and pray about what I was thinking. The next morning I got Dan to read the same thing, and he was equally blown away, so I shared it with the rest of the group that morning. As tears streamed down my face, I expressed my selfishness in the moments that I am angry at the lot given to me.
My life is supposed to be easy.

My dad tearfully responded and agreed that we were raised in an environment where most things could be fixed for us, but the truth is as I journey life as an adult, less and less things can seemingly be fixed the way I expect them to be. I want them my way and Immediately, and yet even after The Lord answered our prayers about Mary Anna, and why yes he did answer them, I still think that each prayer should and will be answered in the way I request.
I remember as we were making the arrangements the morning we awoke to the reality that we she was gone, and I looked toward my parents, and they were speechless. They kept trying to help, yet respectfully step back and let D and I be the parents and handle our baby girls death, and my dad with large tears streaming down his face said, “I just want y’all to know that mom and I are having such a hard time, because we can’t fix this… We are supposed to fix things for y’all… And I don’t know how to make this better,”
That’s what I want. A fixer. An easy button to press. Yet I choose the narrow road. We keep walking down the road less traveled, where there is a fixer who does fix. I promise. The screen is blurry as I type this, because my heart has been burdened to let my King fix me and to stop trying to fix it all myself. This song has been our theme song these past few weeks. I hope you find rest in Him alone, and that you learn to need Him more and more with each passing day.

Who else among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is glorious in holiness like you- so awesome in splendor, performing such wonders?
Exodus 15:11

Amen.