in brokenness

Today these words popped into my head. I wrote them years ago as I walked a different valley. Now, I believe these words are even more fitting then before.

I am so broken right now. I feel like this part of me will never heal, and this might sound odd but right now I don’t want to heal all up. I don’t want a “quick fix”. I’m actually thankful that healing is a process.

You know what I’ve found in each of these places? He is with me in my brokenness. I can’t say I always “feel” Him because truthfully I don’t and I tell myself He is when I don’t feel His presence. I know He has met me in my broken, messed up state and He’s not only holding me, but He’s grieving with me.

I’m thankful to have such a Father that even in my broken state He is with me. And not only is He holding us, He’s holding our precious Eisley which brings me great comfort.

30 days of {truth} (3)

Tonight, I’m playing a little catch up on the 30 days of {truth} challenge. 

Day 13: A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough days.

Welp… the tough days are definetly here right now and I’ve been listening a lot to ‘Your Hands’ by JJ Heller and Mumford and Sons (especially ‘After the Storm’).

Day 14: A hero that has let you down.

This might be a little controversial, not because I’m trying to be…I really hope it’s not. I actually looked up the definition and to “let someone down” means to “fail to support”. So I am going to change it up a little bit because my hero hasn’t let me down but has disappointed me.

 So…”A hero that has disappointed you”

Here is the my {truth}.

The hero who has disappointed me is my God. Let me first say, He is my hero still. He will always be my saviour and my hero forevermore. But the {truth} is that sometimes I feel so disappointed by Him.

Right now I feel so disappointed that my Eisley-girl isn’t here in my arms. That her little heart stopped beating. I am disappointed that the healing I prayed so deeply for, didn’t happen in the way I hoped it would. I feel disappointed that I don’t get to see her smile, hear her laugh, feel her kisses, etc.

I’m deeply disappointed and He’s knows this, He’s heard my cries. Thankfully He can handle hearing my cries of confusion, of anger and of disappointment.

He disappoints sometimes, in the things I hope for, but  He’s never let me go.  He’s never even “let me down” and “failed to support” me.

One of the things I have learned throughout everything we’ve gone through with Eisley (not saying He did this to teach me a lesson), something that before I never understood, is that even in our deepest sorrow and disappointment He is still trustworthy.

I believe, even with my broken heart, that this is the {truth}.

Father, You are still trustworthy.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  2 Cor. 14:16-18

An {awe}some story and reminder.

I have an incredible story to share with you about this little Eisley Necklace

For Mother’s Day this year Ted bought me the above necklace with charms of Chase’s name and one with our initials and wedding date. I knew I wanted to add Eisley to my necklace when I came home from the hospital so I searched and found the one I wanted. I showed only Ted and a few family members and they all agreed, it was perfect! I wrote the The Vintage Pearl and asked them if they could please make me a charm of an angel wing with Eisley’s name on it. I waited and waited but heard nothing back (and still haven’t).

Not long after I had lost Eisley, my friend Sami (who I met while going through everything with Eisley) wrote me and told me she had something being sent my way but didn’t tell me anything about what it was. 5 weeks after having Eisley, she messaged me and told me “they” had emailed her and my gift was on its way and that she hoped it came in the perfect timing. I thanked her and she told me to thank God because He had totally laid it on her heart which made me even more curious!

So, then comes the day of my follow-up appointment. I was  in Arvada, standing in the Target parking lot and Ted calls me and says “Hey your charm came in the mail today!” I asked him what charm? And he told me, “the one of the wing with Eisley’s name on it”. “But I didn’t even order it yet!” I told him I hadn’t heard back  from the Vintage Pearl. We were confused and I told him I would check my paypal when I got home to see if I did order it and just forgot. My mind has been kind of jumbled lately, so it was totally possible. Ted and I talked about other possibilities, like maybe when I told the vintage pearl to make the necklace, they just went ahead and sent it. We briefly talked about the possibility that maybe this was what Sami had sent, but we were like “there’s no way” because it was exactly what I had asked for and she didn’t even know that.

When I finally made it home that evening, he showed me the charm and it just took my breath away. It was stunning and everything I hoped it would be… but I still was confused on how it came about. So I checked my paypal account and saw that I didn’t buy anything from the vintage pearl. I checked my email to see if maybe I had missed an email from them; nothing.  Because it was the very necklace I had written them about, I just assumed that they had gone ahead and sent it to me. Maybe it was a mistake and they didn’t realize I hadn’t paid? I decided before I wrote them I probably should write Sami to ask if this is what she’d bought me even though I still was thinking “there is just no way”. This was our conversation;

Me: Hey girl! I recieved a vintage pearl charm in the mail today. Is that from you?

Sami: Hope it came in the perfect moment. Just read your tweet about Eisleys tests. I’m sorry….

Me: Is it a charm with an angel wing and eisley’s name on it? I’m sorry, this will make sense in a minute I promise!

Sami: Yeppers!!! It should have came with a necklace and a little pearl too. Let me know if it didn’t :)

I read her reply and put my hand over my mouth and began to cry. I just couldn’t believe it. I told Ted and we were both just dumbfounded. This was our God. He wanted to let us know “I’m still here with you”. He knew we needed this and most importantly that we needed to be reminded that He was still with us…. and the fact that it came to us the very day of our follow-up appointment…I’m in awe!  This was our God. How else could this be explained?  Some might say coincidence but I say this is truly God.

I like the way my friend Sami put it;

“Psalm 34:18 “He IS close to the brokenhearted…and saves those that are crushed in spirit.” I am so humbled and so thankful that it was beyond what I even knew. I cannot fathom that it was the exact necklace you had desired. God is so good…even in the pain. He IS near you. He IS holding you. It doesn’t take the pain away, but somehow the peace will carry you. Everytime you look at that necklace it can be a reminder of your love for Eisley and His love for the both of you.”

The story actually got even more incredible. Sami told me ”You have no idea how long ago this plan was put into motion by Him” because she had actually spent the past few months trying to buy a charm for her necklace with a gift card but everytime she went to buy it, she would either get distracted or it would freeze up. She told me that one night put all her information in to order the charm but got distracted and when she came back her husband had accidently closed out of it.  She decided to try again later and went to bed and felt God told her “EISLEY… it’s not for you… it’s for Jami”. When she went to order it she almost did 2 day shipping but her friend told her to send it normally and it would arrive at the right time.

And boy did it ever. The very day of my follow-up appointment?! Thank you God.

Whenever I wear this necklace (which is often) I will think of my precious Eisley-girl and I will also remember the story of how this necklace came to be and that He is still with us, even when it doesn’t feel like He is. He’s still with us in our broken state and in our pain.

The test results and the truth of where I’m at.

During my follow-up appointment we received the results for the chromosome tests from Eisley. I wasn’t at all excepting to hear the results just yet, in fact, they told us anywhere from 4-8 weeks and I assumed they would just call us. I am so thankful that Dr. Hill decided to tell us face to face.

The results; There were no chromosome abnormalities. The damage done to the placenta from the blood clots was too much and the placenta just wasn’t able to nourish her enough.

{Our Eisley was p e r f e c t.}

I feel afraid to tell you what I actually thought in those moments after first hearing and as I drove home…Honestly, I was so deeply disappointed. My placenta alone failed her? That was it? That is our “answer”?

Even despite the many talks with Dr. Daye (our fms) about her believing it was a chromosome abnormality of some kind, I had felt all along that it was just the placenta and not a chromosome thing, but honestly, part of me wanted to hear that she had something wrong with her to cause this. Because she is gone, part of me wanted to hear that she wouldn’t have made it outside the womb.

For ways it’s hard to explain, knowing my placenta failed her stirs up a new ache and agony inside of me. She was perfect. She would have survived had it not been for my placenta failing. I ache knowing that.

Dr. Hill had me sit in his office to let me process everything.  Before I could say a word, he started talking with me about how he know I probably feel a sense of guilt and like I failed her. Yes, I do. He told me I probably am wondering what I could have done differently to change this outcome. Yes, often. He went on to tell me that he believed that there was nothing that could have been done differently to change this. He told me even if I went on bedrest from day one, this could have happened. He was trying so hard, but nothing was making me feel better.

Until he told me this; because of the damage to the placenta was so bad and caused such a severe stunt of her growth and development, she would have been in the NICU for at least a year and would probably have had many health problems for life. Even though she had no chromosome abnormalities, she still could have suffered. I never wanted that for her.

While sitting in his office, I remembered what I felt God told me when I was in the hospital with her.  One day I asked God if he would please just tell me what was going to happen. If he would tell me whether she was going to make it or not. In that moment I knew He wasn’t going to tell me whether she would live or die but I felt that He knew what was best for our Eisley. I still truly believe that and it brings me comfort knowing she’s with Him, but honestly, it doesn’t take away the deep ache inside of me.

On my drive home, I had my music on shuffle and ‘None But Jesus’ by Hillsong came on. When I heard the line, “In the chaos, in confusion, I know you’re sovereign still”, my heart knew that to be true. Even having walked this road, I feel so strongly that He is still soveriegn. He is still worthy of our praise.

He also knows how deeply our hearts ache. He can handle the difficult questions I have and the times I feel like throwing a temper tantrum and scream “it’s just not fair!” He meets me in my grief and sorrow and let’s me know He is still with me.

I really need to share with you that just because I am saying ‘He is sovereign still’ and ‘He knew best for her’, doesn’t mean I am copping out on how I am feeling. I’m still aching and struggling, and I am still asking Him the hard questions. I am still confused and hurting and upset and wounded and sometimes I feel abandoned by the One I put my trust in.

But I am saying, even though I am walking this hard road, I deeply know, He is still sovereign. I hope I am making sense. I don’t want you to think I am writing and saying I have it all together and am using ‘God is good’ as a way to copp out of how I truly feel. Because I do not have it all together, I’m a pretty big mess right now but I  know deep inside, the truth still rings true no matter where I am or how I feel.

And when I say He alone is how I am able to get through this time, I mean that. I was sitting here in my chair the other day thinking again, as I have many times lately, if it weren’t for Him, I don’t know how I would have walked through what we have, I don’t know how I would be walking right now. It doesn’t mean, since He is with me, I am cheery and bubbly-happy and have a huge smile on my face, no. The season I am in, He is with me in my grieving and my sorrow.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:15-16

when words aren’t enough.

I have this deep welling up in me. I constantly feel like my body aches. I know it’s more mental and emotional but sometimes when I cry I just reach for my heart, as if it’s physical. As if I could ease the ache.

This is grief. And no matter how hard I try, there aren’t words to even describe the feeling inside of me… inside of Ted.

When I journal or I talk with friends or family, or when I blog or even when I pray… it’s hard to find the words. You might be thinking. “Seriously?!” because of how often I write here and how much I say. But the words, the words to describe this ache… there just aren’t words to express or portray even the slightest bit of how we ache inside.

When people asked me how I’m doing, I get this sudden lump in my throat and heat in my stomach and I literally have to fight the tears. I have this deep welling up inside that isn’t satisfied even by weeping (or writing, talking, singing…).

Yesterday, I realized a few really significant things for Ted and I.

First let me just say, I was really amazed at the response to my blog the “what ifs”. I knew being so raw and vunerable could leave people wondering why I would even share so much or even have people judge me. Honestly, I just didn’t care because I’ve shared where I am at this entire time and that day, I just really wanted to share.

In the responses to “the what ifs” post I received via email, facebook/twitter messages, here or a text message… I was in tears. Most of you would say “He knows” or “He knew” and things which spoke deeply to my heart. I know some of what was spoken to me was straight from the heart of God. 

He knows (our ache, our hearts, our struggles, etc)

He loves us.

And we are clinging to that right now.

We were visiting our dear friends the Cobbs yesterday and as we were about to leave we remembered the time their little girl (3) prayed for Chase who was screaming (teething). All she said was, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…” over and over. It was the most precious prayer, whispering his name over and over. My friend, Kat told us that they actually pray that way often because sometimes you just can’t find the words.

I love that and it rings so true in our lives. Sometimes, words aren’t enough. Right now, we can’t even find the words to speak even when we pray because this ache is so deep and overwhelming.

When I am weeping and crying out I can barely utter what my heart feels… but He knows. He knows my ache… Ted’s ache.

You might know those times (I think we’ve all been there at one point or another) when words aren’t enough. But He knows.

“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus… be with us now”

One week; wishing time would stand still.

It has been one week since we first held our sweet Eisley and had to say our earthly goodbye. I wrote in my journal of how I wish time would stand still. Time is moving forward a lot faster than my heart is healing. I close my eyes and imagine myself holding her for the first time again. Remembering how in awe I was at her tiny hand between my thumb and finger. I can still picture her tiny little Chase-like nose and her beautiful mouth shape and lips. Her tiny soft toes… everything so perfect.

After she passed away Tuesday and we decided to be induced, they told us that is could take a while for my body to deliver, because it just wasn’t time. They told us that there will be changes her body will make immediately and they prepared us for what we might see. They told us that her skin would be lose and could even be falling off and that her features will have changed. I immediately wondered if we should just do the c-section so things would be over quickly. But they reminded me to think about future pregnancies and also the healing process which would be incredibly difficult on top of the loss of our daughter. I couldn’t even believe I had to face these questions right away and to think about being pregnant again… hours after losing her… it was the most difficult thing.

The 3 decisions to choose from for delivery were; one, a c-section. two, induced labor. Or three, go home and wait for my body to naturally go into labor. I knew immediatley 3 was out of the picture. It had only been 2 hours of knowing she had passed and I ached knowing that she was inside of me, but she was no longer alive. No way could I go weeks of waiting for my body to deliver her. And they also told us that Eisley would have a lot of changes during that time. I couldn’t bare the thought of what we might see weeks later.

We choose to be induced. It took 3 days (72 hours) for my body to deliver her naturally but we don’t regret the decision. We we’re able to see our daughter and she wasn’t anything like they had told us.

When I delivered her (which someday I will share about the actually delivery part and maybe soon) I was terrified to look at her. I actually asked them to clean her and dress her before I saw her, because I was so afraid of what I would see. Ted later told me, he was afraid too.

The nurse I had at the time I delivered her said, “Oh Jami, she is so beautiful.” She paused and I wondered if she just had to say that. “She is so beautiful. I was afraid of what we would see since she passed away 3 days ago… but she is perfect.” I just looked at Ted’s expression as he looked down at our daughter and realized, our nurse was right. Ted’s face said it all. She was perfect.

Even no matter what she would have looked like, she would have been perfect to us. Although, I am extremly thankful that it didn’t end up being what they had told us. Thank you God.

One thing that helps me are the photos Ted took of our little Eisley. It felt so strange to pull out the camera in a time like that, but we knew we would want photos of our daughter because our memory may fail us, although I pray we will never forget.

(I may never share all of the photos, just some for now….)

Ted and I both wish we could have had more time with her, but we agreed that any amount of time with her, wouldn’t have been enough. We were only able to keep her with us for a few hours after her delivery because of the changes her body would go through outside the womb. I’ve already shared, but the time we did have with her were that of peace. We felt complete peace as we held our little Eisley and we knew it was right that she was with Him.

We didn’t get a lot of time with her on earth, but I do believe that I will see her again and I will spend eternity with her. Right now she’s hanging out with Jesus and He’s telling her how much she was and is loved by us and by Him.  A friend gave me a photo last night that made her think of Eisley. It is incredible.

It makes the ache inside a little easier when I think of her in heaven. Healed and whole. In the arms of Jesus, who’s showing her the universe.

‘I Will Carry You’

I am in awe and I had to share just how incredible our God is. I must share.

(You’ve may or may not have heard this part of our journey before…) Months ago I was on my way home from running errands. I heard this story on the radio that touched my heart deeply and caused me to have a much needed conversation with my God. That very evening I felt that God was preparing my heart for something big. I came home and told Ted about this conversation with God and what I felt. I even wrote it on my facebook status that very evening.

I wrote a blog in greater detail about that day here. Please read it because it pieces all of this together in the most beautiful, awesome way.

Yesterday, I recieved a package from a friend, of books she ordered from Amazon for me. She bought me 3 books, one titled ‘I Will Carry You’. I briefly looked over them but sat them down because since I’ve come home, nothing has satisfied me for very long. Hours later after I went from trying to surf the web to trying to watch tv to trying to journal what I am feeling to trying to eat, etc.  Nothing has been able to distract me from my pain, so I just didn’t even try to read one of the books.

Hours later, I finally decided to read the summary of the books. ‘I Will Carry You’ immediately captured my attention. I realized it was a story of a family who walked through the tragedy of losing their daughter and even despite knowing how hard it would be to read it, I began. Soon, I was as page 25 and realized in complete awe, I knew their story. This was the exact couple I had heard on the radio that evening as I headed home from errands. It was the exact couple whose incredible faith and trust drew me into hearing their story. It was the story that led me to talking with God and the very night he spoke to me about preparing my heart for something big.

I began crying as I told Ted about this miraculous and amazing thing. Iam still in awe. I mean, this was the story I had hear prior to beginning this journey and walk with my sweet Eisley. It was God preparing me, it really was. And now here I am with the very story that spoke to my heart, in my hands and not long after our tragedy.

This is God. This is my no means a coincidence. (I even wrote my friend and asked her if she knew when she bought the book. She didn’t have any idea.)

And just as I was beginning to feel like He’d left me, He does this, like He’s gently reminding me, “I’m still here, Jami”.

I’m already pretty far in the book and I told Ted I feel like someone reached deep inside my heart and mind and put it in a book. It’s so similar and how she describes how she felt during appointments and throughout the entire procress, made my heart ache in a very familar way. I will write more as I read it, but for now I just had to share how incredibly AWEsome our God is.

post edit; a friend just sent me this song the couple had written for their daughter. It touches my heart so deeply.

“Preparing my heart for something big…”

This May, prior to when I began bleeding the first time, I was driving home one evening after running errands. I used to take the time I had alone in my car to talk with God. I have had some amazing and much needed conversations with Him while on the road. But at that point, in May, I was at serious odds with God. I was struggling with the same thing I always fall back to, my lack of trust in Him. So all that to say, we weren’t talking on this car ride home. In fact, I was flipping thru radio stations, searching for a song to sing along to. Nothing.

I decided to switch to a christian radio station and was immediately drawn to the conversation. A couple was on air, speaking of walking through an intense tragedy of losing their daughter. I kept turning the station because I was afraid of listening to something like this while pregnant, but I would going back. I was so drawn to the couple’s intense faith and trust in God, despite everything they had walked through. I wanted what they had.

{I wanted the faith and the trust they had despite their tragedy}

I listened all the way home and then sat in the driveway until it finished. When it finished, I began talking with God about where I was at and I felt His prescence so strongly and then I felt he was {preparing my heart for something big}. But I didn’t know what that meant and I tried to process everything I felt inside onto my journal through words and art. (I also wrote this on my facebook status here that very evening)

Side note: Let me just say… I do NOT believe he’s caused this high risk pregnancy to teach me a lesson on trust, I don’t even believe he’s caused it. I believe this happened and that he’s here with me and he did prepare me, yes. But he did not cause this.

This week, He reminded me of our conversation that evening and I was in awe as I pieced it together. Was this what he’s been preparing me for? I feel like that is the only explantation for how I am dealing with everything. {It’s not on my own strength, it’s with his}. I’ve been telling people, as we’ve walked through this, I have felt him intensely and that if it weren’t for him I would honestly feel completely helpless. Prayer helps my feeling of helplessness more than words can say.

I just wanted to share where I am with all of this and mostly, about how I feel he’s prepared me for this season. I’m so thankful to him. And I’m incredibly thankful he’s put such great people in my life (like you!) who’ve prayed for our sweet baby throughout all of this. Thank you and please keep praying!

Me (Of Little Faith)…

This is very humbling, but definitely something I need to share. I deleted and then reposted the blog below called ‘{Dis}couraged’ because I realized I want to be completely honest…

I want to always be {real and raw} on here.

Yesterday, we arrived for work early because Ted needed to run sound for worship. I wrote  the blog post below out of my emotions and out of my lack of faith.

Two huge things happened not even two hours later.

01:: We were asked to share with the staff at YWAM Denver about what was next for us, our future plans. We shared and then stood as our friends surrounded us and prayed for us. They began to speak out words and pictures they felt God gave them for us. Some were about our plans and of confirmation that we were headed the right way, some were about the time in between now and the photo school, some were encouragement and some were even about our marriage. It was so uplifting and exactly what we needed.

02:: Immediately after staff meeting, our friends who left us borrow their car (which was for sale), gave us the title and told us it was now ours. They told us they prayed Sunday and felt led to give it to us!

As soon as I got time alone, I cried because I felt excited and then completely disappointed with myself and my doubt.

Yesterday I shared this with my friend April. I told her how I felt disappointed with my lack of trust (again) with God. She told me that maybe God just wanted to bless his little girl and that thinking about the way I reacted beforehand wasn’t the lesson. That was hard to swallow. And then last night while texting my friend Petra, she challenged me too. She said feeling badly can steal the joy He wants us to feel from the blessing He has given. That the message from yesterday was about his care and his love, not condemnation and that He just wants us to know He has us in His hands and that we can rest securely in Him.

I spent last night and this morning thinking about that and it’s hard to accept, His unconditional love. He met our needs, both physically and emotionally, despite our doubt. He holds us securely no matter how I am feeling in the moment. I don’t know why I doubt him when I have seen Him move in our lives and the lives of others, over and over again.

We have a car and we are extremely grateful for this blessing. Thank you for praying for us!

The Tough Questions.

Today when I was writing one of my dearest friends an email,
I was reminded of what God spoke to me two years ago September when I was questioning him
with the “whys” and “where were you when…” and about hurts, etc.

He said,
“I trust you to trust in me.”

It was so simple, yet it stuck.
I needed to hear Him speak.

And He spoke exactly what I needed to hear.
Initially, it wasn’t what I wanted to hear and it wasn’t easy to do.
Actually… it still is hard (hence, last nights blog)
It is hard, but today I’m reminded of this and giving it ALL to him.
Thank you Father, for allowing me to ask the tough questions and thank you, even more, for answering my cries with what I need to hear you speak, rather than what I want to hear! You are trustworthy. I know this.