For those walking the path of grieving the loss of a baby or child, we offer grace for the journey and a friend to walk with you... There are moments on this walk when we feel we cannot go on. Moments when a friend comes alongside us to point us again to the One who sustains us. A friend to lift us in prayer. A friend to allow us to lean on her as she leans on Him. A friend, who is not afraid to walk through the valley in the rain, with a storm mounting. She is not afraid, because the Lord is her strength and her shield. She is not afraid because she doesn't walk alone. And because He has walked with her through the valleys and the storms, He has sent her to walk with you. And He will carry you both through the rain, through the storm, through the unknown dark alleys to secure, dry ground. Whether you are a newly bereaved mother or a seasoned mom who has watched the Lord make beauty from ashes in your life. Whether you need someone to lean on or you are the shoulder that can bear the burden, we hope you will walk with us as we are walking with Him. We hope you will join us with our broken umbrellas, with all our little quirks and imperfections in our various stages on this walk, as His grace washes over us in the pouring rain.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

We've Moved!!!

Walking With You moved last fall! You can find Walking With You posts here: Walking With You (The Sufficient Grace Blog). Please follow us there!

Blessings to all!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Walking With You is Moving Soon

Walking With You was originally an outreach on the Sufficient Grace Blog, and then I separated the two for design purposes. I'm afraid it may have been a bit confusing and we lost some readership in the process. So, I am merging the two again. It will be a bit before the entire process is complete, but if you are a follower on this blog, and do not want to miss out on future WWY posts, please follow me here: Sufficient Grace. We will also provide a link that includes only Walking With You posts on various subjects for grieving moms for your convenience. 

God Bless,

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Put it Away

Over the years, and even most recently, I have heard many of you share that your family and friends were less than supportive of your grief over the loss of your child. We posted on some of the original Walking With You posts about this subject. There are many reasons: maybe they are struggling with their own grief and have difficulty expressing it, or maybe they are uncomfortable and just do not know the right words. Unfortunately that leads many to just act like they don't care, fail to even acknowledge our children, avoid the subject or even avoid us, or worse...speak words that add to the hurt.

I posted a bit about it here:

But, for this post, I would like to focus instead on how we can cope with their reactions or lack thereof. While it has been many years since we said good-bye to our Faith, Grace, and Thomas, reading your struggles has made the sting of our family's reaction fresh on my heart this morning. And, before this launches into a finger-pointing, hurt-wallowing session, let me just say that while the memories still come with a sting, I have forgiven those hurts. I now realize that they were doing the best they could. Even if some of them reacted in ways that were hurtful to us, it was done out of lack of knowledge more than malice. God provided support for us in other ways. Over the years, I have learned to lay down my expectations for family. And, sometimes I have had to re-learn this again and again as new hurts arise. Sometimes love requires laying it all down.

That being said, I realize for many of you, the wounds are too fresh for full healing...the hurt still too intense for  relief. It may surprise you to know that I didn't know that I could publicly embrace the memory of my children in the early years of grief. I often felt compelled to put my feelings away to spare the discomfort of others. Sometimes I didn't want to see the expression on their faces as their eyes shifted down and they squirmed uncomfortably when I shared about my children in heaven. I didn't want to seem like the weird mother who thinks she needs to keep bringing up her dead babies, making everyone around me uncomfortable. Yeah...I know....the initial lack of openness seems pretty crazy considering God has placed a passion in my heart to serve in a ministry that honors the lives of these sweet little ones. 

People gave us some ornaments the first year to honor the memory of Faith and Grace, and it seemed at first that many friends reached out. The same month they were born still, another set of twin girls was born in our family. To comfort herself, and because she was genuinely excited about filling her own arms with these grandbabies, my mother threw herself into spending time with them. She had no idea that it felt like a punch in the gut to me when I walked into her house and saw two identical baby girl dresses slung across the chair. She had no idea that I went into the other room and cried, feeling sick when I saw their pictures on her refrigerator. Not that she shouldn't have been embracing the gift of their lives...certainly for them, it was a time to rejoice. But, for was agony. What made it harder is that I could never have shared that with my mom. I don't share this often, because in many ways, my mother was a great support to me in my life. But, there were things about grief she didn't get.

My mother expected me to put my grief away after a time. When a friend of mine had her baby shortly after I lost my girls, mom said: "I know what will make you feel better. We'll go to the baby department and pick up a new outfit and visit your friend."

So, she drug my grief-weary self to the baby department (a place that still brings a twinge of pain to this day), while my wounds were still gaping, and to add insult to injury...a trip to visit my friend's brand new the hospital. She even made me hold him. It was all I could do to keep the sobs in until I reached the elevator. She looked disappointed by my tears. As if she thought forcing myself to visit the OB floor and hold someone else's baby would magically make me all better.

Other family members said hurtful things, ignored us, never mentioned our children, looked uncomfortable if I did. And, still sometimes look uncomfortable, even now that we have a public ministry. 

And, for years...I put it all away. Stuffing it far down. Hiding my hurt. Keeping the memories and longing to myself. Failing to mention my precious babies. I put it away because it was expected....and because I didn't want to draw attention or make others uncomfortable. It's shameful, really, but I also understand that it's hard to defend yourself in early grief. It's hard to know what you need. It's hard to take the next breath.

Here are a few ideas for survival in those early years:

You may not be strong enough to defend yourself, so find someone who loves you that is able to deflect hurtful comments and situations. 

Know what triggers hurt for you, and do what is necessary to protect yourself. We cannot keep ourselves from every hurtful situation, but when we can it's more than o.k. to do so. If the baby shower is going to be too hard to attend, graciously decline.

Take time as a couple...allow laughter when you can.

Find someone who gets it. This blogging community has been so helpful...even years later...for me and for many others. It helps to know we aren't walking alone. And it helps to know in the early days of grief, that you will not feel this way forever. You will feel joy again.


Have you ever felt you had to hide your grief and put away all your memories? What are some of the things you found helpful in dealing with others who didn't get it?

Friday, July 8, 2011


Evangeline Joy (daughter of Katie and Josh) was born on June 26, 2011. Please click over to read of the precious time her family was blessed to spend with her. Also, please show Katie your love and support, and let her know we are praying for her. Thank you for your prayers...and for all who took time to leave an encouraging comment for this family when we introduced Katie a couple weeks ago. May we continue to encourage them now, as they grieve the loss of their precious baby girl.

He has sent Me (Jesus) to bind up the brokenhearted...To comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. - Isaiah 61:1b-3

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Please Show Some WWY Love to Katie, Mommy to Evangeline Joy

I cannot believe it has been so long since we've had a Walking With You post! I have been praying about where to go from here, and considering doing some changing around with my blog/website. Perhaps we will start another Walking With You segment where we tell our stories like we did in the beginning. There are many new mothers out there...and some veterans to this grief walk. I think we could be a support and encouragement to one another. That is what we are called to do after offer comfort and hope to those who are hurting...the same comfort and hope that we received from God in our time of need. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

On that note, I want to ask you a favor. The cousin of a dear friend of mine is awaiting the arrival of her precious baby girl, Evangeline Joy. Evangeline has been diagnosed with Potters Syndrome (the same ailment that our Thomas had). Evangeline's beautiful mother, Katie, just started a blog to share her journey. Would you join us in welcoming Katie to blog world and let her know that you are willing to walk with her and pray with encourage her and let her know she doesn't walk alone? I'm not sure how many of you there are out there. But, I would love to see her blog flooded with comments. It will only take a few minutes of your time, and it will be a great blessing to this sweet mama.

And...I'd love to hear how all of you are doing in the comments. Let me know...still thinking of and praying for you ladies.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Walking the Walk...

When we were led to form Sufficient Grace Ministries in 2004, I had reached a place of restoration. God had spent eight years healing my grief...carrying me. He still carries me, but my wounds were not so fresh in 2004. I was able to begin to start reaching out, offering comfort and hope to others. And, He led me to do so...drew me, pushed me, stretched me, and equipped me every step of the way.

But, in 2006, my mother breathed her last breath.

My foundation was shaken. It's a foundation built on Solid Rock, so it did not crumble or break. But, I shook under the weight of the blow. I've shared before how difficult it was for me to watch her suffer and slip away, and how agonizing it has been to ache for her these four years. I am still healing. God is still faithful.

After she passed, I felt what I have referred to over the years as an Ecclesiastes moment (those moments in life where we wonder "what is the point...everything is in vain"). I felt like a hypocrite offering hope to grieving mothers, while I wept on my face every night, begging Jesus to help me see.  I only shared those feelings with my pastor and a couple close friends. But, when my grief was fresh and the pain so great, I didn't want to get up and speak pretty words about the hope we have. It seemed so trite, so inconsequential to reach out with small gestures of comfort and hope in the face of such terrible pain. I still believed God's promises, knew they were true...but in those moments all I felt was the pain. In the midst of that great sorrow, I wondered about the purpose of our ministry. Could we really even do anything to make a drop in the bucket to comfort hearts that hurt this much...brokenness that feels this broken? My words tied up in a neat bow seemed to paint a different picture than all the ugly we had to walk through to come to that point of grace and healing.

But, I did keep writing and speaking of the hope we have in Him during that time. As I said the words, my heart remembered the truth of those words. And, they didn't seem so trite. After all, our God is bigger than the greatest canyon of sorrow.

This morning, I am here this place of great sorrow and loss...fresh, raw grief. I just watched one of my closest friends, my second mother, my mentor...a woman who has walked and prayed with me through my marriage, sat beside me at the grave of my babies, wept with me as I missed my mother, laughed with me, and loved me as one of her own...die the same way my mother did. Monday, I will sing at her funeral about His amazing grace, while Tim plays his guitar. My beautiful, larger than life, snarky sweet, horse-loving, dog-loving friend.

I know she is laughing and having a big time in heaven with her beautiful, sassy mama and probably my mom and babies, too. I know she is free from cancer, and the images of her suffering still fresh in our minds are forever erased from hers.

In this moment, I will continue to proclaim His grace and the hope we have in Him...knowing that it's true...knowing that those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. I've both sowed and reaped again and again. But, I also want to give a full, honest picture...because I know there are others on their faces weeping...asking Jesus to help them see...torn and weary. What it really looks like to cling desperately to the hem of His garment cannot be wrapped up in pretty words. It is a gut-wrenching sight...the faith that clings from desperation.  I'm going to share what fresh grief is like for a moment as I'm in that place right now. The purpose? Not for pity or to wallow in the sorrow (for we have great hope), but to be be honest and so that you who are walking this beautiful-ugly path will know you are not alone. Please know, there is a blessed assurance, an undercurrent of steadfast truth girded at my waist, even in the brokenness. I know He will carry all those who grieve the loss of our sweet Dinah, just as He has faithfully carried us through every other good-bye.

But, what it feels like...

Waves of sorrow
Weeping that comes from the depths and heaves the body with it's force
Aching, missing, agony....
Poured out and exhausted
Grateful...for the precious gift of life...for the faith of those who go before us
Joy and laughter remembering a life well lived
Tears mixed in

What it looks like...

On our face in the wee hours of the morning, in the middle of the night...
Dreams we'd rather not dream
Consciously reminding ourselves that He has already had victory over death...even as we feel the sting of it brushing close
Tear stains on bible pages
Prayers that hurt too much to grace lips...but moan out in cries that cannot be uttered.
Clinging and letting go...

Please pray for Dinah's beautiful family and for all the people missing her...and clinging to Him.
And, please pray that His grace will fill us, carry us, and meet us there as we honor her beautiful life the next couple days...and beyond.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Gift of Time and Perinatal Hospice

I wrote a post on the Sufficient Grace blog about the new book by Amy Kuebelbeck and Deborah Davis called A Gift of Time. There is also a giveaway and more information about perinatal hospice support for families facing a fatal or poor pregnancy diagnosis. Please click here to read about this wonderful book I had the privilege of contributing our family's story to, and read more about the amazing work of perinatal hospice.