Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Timothy's First Christmas

Since we don't know how many more days we may have with our dear little Timothy, we were so blessed to have him with us on Christmas Day! What a joy it has been to feel him kicking and moving around everyday. We had a wonderful Christmas Eve celebration with Warren's family and a wonderful Christmas Day celebration with my family. We feel so blessed by all of the wonderful gifts we received, but most of all we are so thankful for the gift of spending time with so many of our family members and our dear Timothy David this year! Merry Christmas to you all!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

24 Week Baby Bump

Trust in Him at All Times

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."
 - Psalm 62:5-8

The Tears That Fall in Public Places

"So many people are afraid to bring up my loss. They don't want to upset me. But my tears are the only way I can release the deep sorrow I feel. I tell people, don't worry about crying in front of me, and don't be afraid that you will make me cry! Your tears tell me that you care, and my tears tell you that you have touched me in a place that is meaningful to me- and I will never forget your willingness to share my grief. It often feels like we are carrying an enormous load of sorrow, and when others shed their tears with me, it is as if they are taking a bucketful of sadness and carrying it for me. It is, perhaps, one of the most meaningful things that anyone can do for me." - Nancy Guthrie

This last week brought with it several firsts. Several firsts that were hard. It was the first time I ran into an old co-worker who didn't know that I was pregnant, the first time I saw my dental hygienist since being pregnant, and the first time I ran into several other unsuspecting people that didn't know our story yet. My heart hurts for them and I feel like it's almost unfair for me to walk around with my growing belly sometimes. When do you ever congratulate someone on being pregnant and ask if they are having a boy or a girl and expect to hear such sad news? I don't know about you, but that has never happened to me. Pregnancy is supposed to be such a joyous time, an exciting time, and everyone is excited for you, congratulates you, and loves to talk about your growing belly. So, when someone says to me, "You're pregnant! Congratulations! How are you feeling?"  I find myself, mostly for their sake, wanting to just be normal. To say, "Thanks! I am due in April. We are having a little boy." But instead I find myself having to struggle to find the right words to say. The words to share the story of our sweet little Timothy and yet not ball my eyes out in the aisle at Target or the checkout line at Kohl's. I think at this point the best plan I have come up with is to avoid all public places for the next 16 weeks. Unfortunately, since that is probably not a logistical plan (even though I am sure Warren would love to do all of our grocery shopping for the next 16 weeks), I have had to come up with a backup plan. Pray. I pray for the right words to say to share the story of Timothy's life. I pray for the peace to share his story without too many tears coming down. I pray for the people who hear his story to know how much I love Timothy and cherish his life. I pray for them to see my faith in God and my complete trust in Him in the midst of my sorrow. I pray for Timothy's story to bring glory to God and to change the lives of these unsuspecting friends, shoppers, and sometimes even strangers.

And for those of you that I run into that do already know our story, please know that it means the most to us when you don't ignore what is going on in our lives in hopes to not upset us or say the wrong thing. Know that if you don't have any lengthy words of wisdom or insight to share that is almost better right now. Just say something and then listen. Give us a big hug and tell us you are praying for us. That is enough. That is enough to tell us that you love us and that you haven't forgotten the journey that we are going through. That is enough for us to know that you are walking with us and that we are not walking alone.

Today I shed tears and I pray for the right words to come. And today I thank those of you, friends and strangers alike, who have cried with us, hugged us, listened to us, prayed for us, written us sweet e-mails, cards, and text messages, and been there for us! We love you all!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Aunt Michelle

Michelle got to feel Timothy kicking tonight. She is the first person, other than Warren, to get to feel him moving around. What a fun and special blessing to get to share with her! We love you, Timothy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Timothy's First Thanksgiving - 11/24/2011

Celebrate Each Day

It is funny to me now how most of the time we don't celebrate a baby's first Thanksgiving or first Christmas with us until after they are out of the womb. I find myself questioning that thought process now. Now that the only time I may get to celebrate Christmas with my little one is while he is in my womb. I don't say this to make you sad. I say this to make you think, to challenge you to enjoy each and every moment that you have with your precious little ones, whether they are in the womb or not. I say this so that you will remember to fully enjoy each moment you have with your husband, with your wife, with your son, with your daughter, with your grandson, with your granddaughter because we are not promised tomorrow. Until now, I never fully comprehended how precious and how special each day of life really and truly is. Until this moment I am in, where each day might be the last day I get to share on Earth with my precious little Timothy. We are given each new day as a gift. I pray that I don't let this precious gift go to waste!  So, today I celebrate LIFE! I celebrate being a Mom for the first time and Warren being a Dad for the first time, I celebrate the blessings we received on Timothy's first Thanksgiving, and I look forward to the possibility of celebrating Timothy's first Christmas. Today there is life and joy and peace! We thank our Lord for the blessing of this wonderful day! I pray you will do the same with the ones that you love!

I Still Believe

Everything that I have read and learned about God my entire life is being tested. Everything I have ever said I believed about God is at stake. In this moment when the suffering and grief are overwhelming, will I still believe in a loving, faithful, and just God or will I run from him in anger? -Julie

"It is one thing to believe that God is faithful and will supply all of your needs-even in the darkest of times. It is another to experience it. In the darkest of days, we've experienced a supernatural strength and peace that could only come from God."- Nancy Guthrie

She says it so well! It is one thing for me to have said I believe that God is faithful and it is completely different for me to have actually lived it. To have felt from the depths of my heart, in the midst of the deepest sorrow I have ever known, that HE IS FAITHFUL.  Instead of running away in anger, I  have found myself running straight towards him. And I have found his arms wide open. I have never felt so loved by him in all of my life!

 I still believe that his ways are higher than my ways. I still believe he will work ALL things together for my good. I still believe that he knit Timothy together in my womb and that he sees and knows everything about him, this is not a surprise. I still believe that he has numbered all of our days, including sweet Timothy, and that he will take Timothy home in his time. I still believe that he is loving and faithful. I still believe that he is my strength, my strong-hold, an ever-present help in times of trouble. I will not walk alone. I still believe that Timothy's short life is not in vein and that it will bring him glory and honor. I still believe that God is the ultimate Healer and that he will heal Timothy's body on Earth or he will make him whole again in Heaven. I still believe in Heaven and that Timothy will soon be there in the presence of our God. I still believe that Timothy will feel no pain and cry no tears, for in heaven there is no more pain and no more tears. I still believe that he loves me dearly, more than I will ever be able to understand or comprehend. I still believe that he has not brought meaningless suffering into my life, and that he has a plan and a purpose for all of this that is good, and pure, and holy. I still believe!

"More Loving & More Faithful Than We've Ever Seen Him Before"

"Job, like Paul, discovered a new place of intimacy with God through his severe suffering. And it is uniquely through suffering that we can find our way to the very heart of God. In fact, there is no other pathway that can take us there.  It is when we are hurting the most that we run to God. We recognize that we are powerless and that he is powerful. We pray and we see him more clearly because we are desperately looking for him. And in our looking for him, we find him to be more loving and more faithful than we've ever seen him before. We discover an intimacy  that we never experienced before, perhaps because we we're looking for him so intently. That is always God's purpose: to use whatever means he sees fit to bring us to a closer relationship with him, to create in us a faith that will give us the strength to keep holding on to hope--not a flimsy wishing or a hope that everything will be fixed in this life but a genuine biblical hope that one day what is unseen will be seen. This faith is confidence in an eternal future in which God sets everything right." - Nancy Guthrie.

Holding On To Hope

The title of this entry is the title of a book that some dear friends sent to us. Our dear friends lost their little boy (a son, a grandson, a nephew) at almost 35 weeks. They experienced much of the same sorrow and the same grief that we are experiencing now, and they have allowed the Lord to use them to love on us during our time of need. They sent us several books, one of which is called "Holding on to Hope" by Nancy Guthrie. I highly recommend this book for anyone that is experiencing suffering or going through an extremely difficult time in their life. The next few entries in my blog will be some of my favorite quotes from her book. These are the  things the Lord has been teaching me from the very beginning of this journey with sweet Timothy and Nancy puts it all into words beautifully.