Monday, October 27, 2008

a deep breath

A few words to describe the last week or so:

  • foggy
  • tear-filled
  • hopeful
  • freeing
  • more tears
  • loving the body of Christ in new ways
  • trusting
  • peaceful
  • yet more tears...
  • still in need of prayer
I have cried daily. Some days harder than others. I have realized that every day I miss her more, not less. Little things that I have realized that I hoped for, or planned, or expected these days to hold are exactly the opposite. For example...We had a friend of ours,Kelly, live with us August-October before she got married. So, instead of moving Kelly's stuff out and painting Mia's room, moving Jada out of the crib, hanging up Mia's clothes that we already bought, etc...we restore the office as it was before Kelly moved in, leaving Jada in her crib a little longer, folded Mia's clothes and sadly placed them in a trunk. It stinks...really...there is no way around that. I have spent many hours in the "office" over the past few weeks. I have done a lot of singing and worshipping in there with my hands literally lifted up in surrender...I really don't know what else I can do. I have had some really sweet moments in there as I have been utterly convinced of a few things...

Which leads me to last weekend. Brian and I were able to attend a conference in Austin about Job- suffering. There is a fun story about how we were able to go the conference...but that is another story :). John Piper was the teacher and it was absolutely a gift to Brian and I. The conference began exactly two weeks after we lost our precious Mia. I described those days like this: when I arrived I was an emotional wreck. The Thursday before we arrived was no doubt the hardest day yet. I was just really sad and felt like an absolute outsider to the world. My mind believed God and the many truths that I have placed my faith in about who Jesus is...but my heart was broken and I couldn't feel anything but pain...Heart and Head disconnect in a big way! When we left the conference on Saturday my feet were firmly planted in truth and my heart matched what my head believed. We were washed in the word and truly our faith came by hearing the word of God magnificently taught. And the greatest part is that I have remained in that steady place of faith by the mercy of God! I already told you I've cried every day...but in the pain I have this deep joy and peace in loving God. A few things that I was able to say after the conference...

I went to Mia's grave and said to her and to the Lord "Jesus rescued me from the absolute pit and I absolutely treasure Him more than anything else He could give me...including my precious babies." My words were broken through convulsion like tears...but absolutely meant. So, I am saying to all of you who take time to read through this long post...Jesus is better and I trust Him with my future so much more than I trust myself...and if that means suffering and pain or if that means ease and delight, He is good and He knows what would be best to bring the Kingdom of God to the earth, and as people that have been rescued from our various pits...that is really what we all want.

Another wonderful thing that happened is this...a few days after we lost Mia I began to become anxious about Jada and worried about little things like if her runny nose was more than it seemed and I would just beg the Lord not to take Jada away. The visual that I had of myself during those days was me holding Jada so tightly and never letting go...literally. Totally led by fear. I would pray and cry knowing that this was not a safe place to live and like I said before, my head knew better, but my heart was all over the place emotionally. A wise woman in my life spoke directly into my soul saying "Jesus is a giver...not a taker." This same wisdom was spoken through the conference: "Satan aims to destroy your faith, but God aims to strengthen it." Amen...through this I have been more free as a mother over the past week. It is almost like the sentiment of the old hymn "Because He Lives, I can face tomorrow, because He lives all fear is gone, because I know who holds the future, life is worth the living just because He lives."

I wanted to leave you with this... Piper shared a quote from George Mueller...who Brian says is the guy who was responsible for radically loving orphans in England in the late 1800's...a real man of faith. This quote was spoken after George Mueller lost his wife. It brought tears to my eyes when Piper read it and took a deep breath as it sunk in...this is where I want to be as I grieve Mia...this is beautiful:

"I miss her in numberless ways, and shall miss her yet more and more. But as a child of God, and as a servant of the Lord Jesus, I bow, I am satisfied with the will of my Heavenly Father, I seek by perfect submission to his holy will to glorify him, I kiss continually the hand that has thus afflicted me."


  1. Steph and Brian,
    I happened upon your blog. We don't know each other but I want to say I am sorry for your loss of Mia and the deep waters you are having to walk through. May God be your constant strength and comfort.

    You may value looking at the blog of Molly Piper, the daughter-in-law of John Piper. Their (her and Abraham's) daughter Felicity was delivered stillborn after a full term pregnancy and Molly writes about it (and lots of other things) here:

    If you look down at the categories on the right at Molly's blog such as "grief" or "Felicity" you will see pertinent entries.

    Molly and Abraham (see his blog at have been open about their loss and it may give you some comfort from shared experience.


  2. Still praying.....

    and crying with you now!

  3. These are words from a hymn that is so powerful....

    Whate’er my God ordains is right:
    His holy will abideth;
    I will be still whate’er He doth;
    And follow where He guideth;
    He is my God; though dark my road,
    He holds me that I shall not fall:
    Wherefore to Him I leave it all.

    Whate’er my God ordains is right:
    He never will deceive me;
    He leads me by the proper path:
    I know He will not leave me.
    I take, content, what He hath sent;
    His hand can turn my griefs away,
    And patiently I wait His day.

    Whate’er my God ordains is right:
    Though now this cup, in drinking,
    May bitter seem to my faint heart,
    I take it, all unshrinking.
    My God is true; each morn anew
    Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,
    And pain and sorrow shall depart.

    Whate’er my God ordains is right:
    Here shall my stand be taken;
    Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
    Yet I am not forsaken.
    My Father’s care is round me there;
    He holds me that I shall not fall:
    And so to Him I leave it all.

    We sing these words all the time, but it wasn't until I sang them at the funeral of a 17 month old little boy from our church that the words became so powerful. I watched as the father of the little boy stood, and placed his hope in God. I know you and Brian are doing the same. I'm praying for you both!

  4. HI! My name is Dani and I found your blog via a comment left on Angie Smith's blog. I think your friend left the comment. Newaz...I Just wanted to stop in and say that I am praying for you. God has placed a special burden on my heart for women who have to endure such tragedy through their journey of life. I am planning on starting a website where women can come and find comfort. I don't exactly have the resources right now so I am planning on having a blog where people can come and find other women's blog and leave comments and such for other women. newaz...Just wanted to let you know that. Oh and Piper is amazing and that is awesome that you are your husband were blessed to get to see him.

    Love and Prayers,

  5. thanks for sharing. loved reading. sweet quote from george mueller...danny calls him his "mentor." :) hubby shared with me that at Mueller's wife's funeral he himself preached at it. Mueller preached from Ps. 119:68, "The Lord is good and does good." His sermon had 2 points- 1. The Lord was good and did good in giving me my wife. 2. The Lord was good and did good in taking her from me.

    So glad we have old guys and ladies to mentor us in these times. What grace to have this cloud of witnesses.