Friday, November 23, 2012

A Time To Rejoice....Baby Titus' First Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

What a difference a year makes.  A year ago Warren and I left the hospital a few days before Thanksgiving devastated and with broken hearts with pictures of our precious, yet broken little baby boy. Thanksgiving week was one of the hardest weeks of our lives.  This past week we left the hospital with pictures of a precious, healthy and whole baby boy.....neither little boy less special, just here to teach us different things and grow us in different ways.

Today, we are praising our Lord and Savior for getting to cry only happy tears this Thanksgiving, we are remembering our precious Timothy that changed our lives forever, and we are looking forward to days ahead with our sweet, Titus.

Last Thanksgiving was a time for mourning, a time for crying, and this Thanksgiving is a time for dancing, a time for rejoicing. The seasons of our life will forever be changing. Some will be so hard we feel as though we may not survive and some will bring us so much joy that happy tears will flow. As hard as it may be, we can rejoice in both, knowing that we can trust a loving and faithful God with our lives.

Today we laugh, today we smile, today there are no tears, today is a time to rejoice! I pray blessings on each of you and your families today on this day of Thanksgiving, and I pray peace for those of you going through that tough season right now. Know that God has promised you that you will never walk alone. He is walking right beside you and will carry you when you think you can't go on.

Happy Thanksgiving! We love you all!

Friday, October 12, 2012


Yes, you read that title right! I am 13 weeks pregnant! My due date is April 17th. Here are two precious pictures that were taken at our 12-week sonogram with the specialist. It was amazing what we could see! The sonogram was so high-tech that we were also able to find out that we are having another BABY BOY! We are so excited!!! Warren, keeps chanting "men, men, men" and keeps reminding me that the boys are taking over the house again : )

The 12 week sonogram went well and everything looked normal for 12 weeks, but we will know a lot more at our 16 & 20 week sonogram. The medical world says we have only a 1% chance of having another trisomy 13 baby, which is just slightly higher than the normal population. So, we ask for your prayers for us. Pray for peace, pray for a healthy baby boy, and a healthy pregnancy (since my pregnancies are so close together...there are a few slightly higher risks).

We are so thankful for this precious baby boy and we are hopeful and excited about what God has in store for us as we start this new journey with Baby Reichel #2! Thanks for all of your continued love and prayers and support for us! We are so blessed and thankful for each and everyone of you!

"We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you." -Psalm 33:20-22

Monday, September 17, 2012

"You Are Faithful, God, You Are Faithful"

Standing on this mountain top
Looking just how far we've come
Knowing that for every step you were with us

Kneeling on this battleground
Seeing just how much you You've done
Knowing every victory was your power in us

Scars and struggles on the way 
But with joy our hearts can say

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did you leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, you are faithful

"Never Once":

I love this song by Matt Redman! I can't sing it without tears in my eyes. I have felt unmeasurable joy in the last year of my life and I have felt the depths of despair. I have felt the joy of a precious new life on the way and the despair of being told that "new life" will never be. I have felt the sweet, faithful, enduring love of my husband and family and friends and I have felt the immense heartache of loving and loosing a son....and yet at the top of my lungs I can sing, I can raise my hands in praise to a holy Savior, because these words are true.... Never once did we ever walk alone! Never once did you leave us on our own! You are faithful, God, you are faithful!

Today, I am looking back. Today, I am remembering how God was there in every moment of this last year. He was there when when 5 years ago I began seeing an amazing Christian OB/GYN that God knew would be walking down this very difficult road with me. He was there when Timothy was formed in my womb. He was there in the sonogram room when my world turned upside down. He was there when the specialist was able to see us immediately, not the next day or the next week, but immediately. He was there when my friend, Katie, read the book "I Will Carry You" after having a miscarriage and then told me about the book. He was there when I read that book and it gave me a glimpse of hope that if someone else could go through what I was about to go through....then with the Lord's help I could do it too. He was there when everyone of you prayed for me, texted, called me, e-mailed me, and loved on me daily. He was there when celebrated Timothy's first Christmas and my mom had a stocking hanging for Timothy on the fireplace. He was there at our 30 week sonogram when the specialist, who I thought considered us stupid for not terminating the pregnancy, spent 45 minutes with us lovingly and compassionately doing a sonogram of Timothy and taking pictures of him for us.....and then told the receptionist not to charge us for the visit (that was a $500 gift from God). He was there when my sweet sister drove 45 minutes at 9:00 at night just to come be with me because Warren was at Young Life, I was crying, and I didn't want to be alone. He was there when all of my siblings came and spent a weekend with me in Dallas before Timothy was born...just to help me pretend like life was at least somewhat "normal" for a moment. He was there when my dad let me ask him all kinds of medical questions and let me cry on the phone over and over again. He was there when my mom drove up to Dallas on a moments notice to go to a doctor's appointment with me. He was there when so much of our family took time off from work and came from near and far to be there for Timothy's Birthday. He was there in the operating room when I thought I was going to pass out before the surgery even started. He was there in the waiting room amongst everyone that was waiting and praying for us. He was there when Timothy came out kicking and took his first breath. He was there when Timothy opened his eyes and looked at his daddy for the first time. He was there when Timothy snuggled up against my cheek. He was there when Timothy struggled to breath and then took his last breath. He was there in the hours that we got to hold Timothy's earthly body. He was there when a precious women from NILMDS took beautiful pictures of Timothy that we will cherish for a lifetime. He was there when our hearts were breaking as we said goodbye. He was there when Warren's sister lovingly took Timothy from our arms and made sure he was completely taken care of after that. He was there in the moments of the deepest sorrow I have ever known. He was there in the sunrise the next morning. He was there when I stood up for the first time after having a c-section and thought I was going to die from the pain. He was there when three amazing nurses took care of me with so much compassion and love in everything that they did. He was there when our family members came to the hospital and unselfishly served us in every way that they could (including bringing Bahama Buck's snow cones). He was there through the hands of every family member that spent hours in our backyard planting a special garden for us as a remembrance of Timothy's life. He was there when I couldn't breath when I saw Timothy's little white casket. He was there calming my heart. He was there at the memorial service.  He was there when the gospel was proclaimed because of Timothy's life. He was there when story after story was shared with us of how Timothy's life had changed someone else's life. He was there when we got an unexpected life insurance check in the mail that completely covered the cost of our medical expenses and extra funeral expenses...that hadn't already been paid for by precious loved ones. He was there when friends brought us meals for a month. He was there when a sweet couple handed us a check and told us to spend it getting away for a few days and we got to go spend time together at a beautiful state park in Oklahoma. He was there when friends and family sent beautiful jewelry and special gifts as remembrances of Timothy's life. He was there when Warren lovingly went on walks with me every day after Timothy was born until my doctor told me I could run again. He was there when I questioned Him and thought I would never stop crying. He was there through every terrible ache and pain as my body healed from a c-section with no baby in my arms to distract me and to tell myself it was all worth it. He was there as I read scripture and He began to heal my heart. He was there as I prayed and poured out my heart to Him. He was there in every moment. I can look back and see the fingerprints of God all over everything. He was there. 

Never once did we ever walk alone
Never once did you leave us on our own
You are faithful, God, you are faithful

I  still miss my little baby boy deeply and my arms long to hold him, but today I want to proclaim the goodness of my God! I want to proclaim his faithfulness! I pray that you will not turn away from God in your heartache and in your despair, but that you will run to him like never before. I pray that He will show you that He is there and that you will never walk alone.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Life Without Timothy... My New "Normal"

Well, it has been six weeks since Timothy was born. I have no more big belly, no more doctor's appointments, no baby stroller, no car seat, no crib, no baby in my arms.  To every stranger that I pass I am just a normal person now. No one would know that I now bare a several inch long scar on my lower abdomen and an even bigger scar on my heart. No one would know that six weeks ago I gave birth to a precious baby boy and then watched him take his last breath only minutes later.  No one would know that sometimes I can't think straight when I see a stranger with a pregnant belly or a stranger with a precious newborn baby. I wonder what it feels like to have a "normal" pregnancy, what it feels like to hold a son or daughter in your arms for the first time and imagine all of the days that are ahead with them. I wonder if they realize how blessed they are. I wonder if they realize what a miracle their healthy baby truly is. I miss my big belly, I miss my little kicker, I miss my Timothy!

The first several weeks after Timothy was gone were the hardest. I have never felt so much pain, so much sadness, so much heartache in my life. Tears fell often and they fell hard. Everyday I felt the weight of  seeing Timothy's moments of life, remembering holding him in my arms, and then coming to grips with the fact that, while on this Earth, I would never see him and I would never hold him in my arms again. I kept thinking, "It's not fair! That one day went so quickly! I would give anything to hold him in my arms again...I just want one more day with him! Lord, why can't I just have one more day with him?"

But I know that one more day would never have been enough.... and then in the midst of my tears and in the midst of my crying out to God....he was there. He was there saying "I have got this. I can be trusted. You did what I called you to do. I am proud. Keep taking it one day at a time. I am here. I will uphold you. My plan is good. I love you." Six months ago when we got the news about Timothy's condition, I could not imagine how I was going to get through this. I mean I REALLY did not know how I was going to walk through each day knowing what was lying ahead for our sweet Timothy. And yet here I am. I am still standing. I am on the other side of this journey and I can look back at all that the Lord has done in my life. I can look back at the joy he gave us in carrying our sweet Timothy. I can look back at the strength he gave us each day. I can look back at the fierce love of our family and friends. I can look back at his abundant grace. I can look back at the ways he provided for us. I can look back and still see a loving and faithful God.

Angie Smith wrote in her book, "I could have easily slipped into a life of resentment after we lost Audrey...picking yourself up and going about your life as if it's all a gift isn't easy when you have lost something so precious,..but that is just it...I can either focus on what I have lost, or what I have gained, and I choose the latter." 

That is my new "normal". The days, the hours, the minutes that I choose to focus on what I have gained from having Timothy in my life for the last nine months are great days, great hours, and great minutes. When I start to focus on what I have lost, what will never be, I am overwhelmed with sorrow and grief. So, today I choose to focus on what I have gained. I choose to trust. I choose to take one step forward at a time.

There is still sadness. There are still tears. But in the midst of the sadness, there is peace and there is joy. There is joy in knowing that I have done what God called me to do. I took care of Timothy as long as I could and then I entrusted his life to him and he called him home.  There is peace because I know where Timothy is. There is peace because I know that God has used this for good in my life and in the lives of others. There is joy as I begin to think about the possibility of God blessing us with another baby someday. There is joy as I spend time with friends, with family, with my amazing husband. There is joy when I get to be out in God's creation. There is joy when I get to serve and love on people. There is joy and there is  peace when I think about the days ahead because I know I can trust the Lord with whatever he brings into my life. Life without Timothy will never be easy, but I can continue to walk in faith because God has shown himself more faithful and more loving than I could have ever imagined! 

Monday, April 16, 2012

I Will Never Be The Same Person. My Letter To Timothy

I have so many thoughts and emotions right now that I don't know if I could even begin to share all of them with you but I will try to at least share a few. Wednesday, April 4th, will forever be a day that changed my life. It was one of the happiest days of my life as I finally got to see  my precious baby boy, kiss him, and hold him in my arms. My first sight of Timothy was of Warren holding his hand and his legs and feet kicking in the air as the nurses worked quickly to get a diaper on him and clean him off. In the instant that I saw his feet kicking and him moving so well, I thought he was going to be able to stay with us for a little while. He looked so perfect, so healthy, so strong, so normal. However, moments later it became clear all too quickly that Timothy's life was fading fast from this Earth. Even though I had a false sense of hope for a moment, I have no doubt that is exactly how God wanted me to see Timothy and how he wanted me to forever be able to remember him. I remember him alive and well, kicking his long legs in the air. I remember his soft warm cheek snuggled against my cheek, his beautiful & perfect red lips, his big nose (Warren & I joke about who he got that one from...and I think we both agree he had a Trisomy 13 nose). I remember his beautiful blonde eyelashes that were so long they curled upwards, I remember his tiny hands, his tiny feet, and his perfect long legs. He was truly a beautiful baby and from the outside looking in you wouldn't even know what was going on. God gave us Timothy and we were able to share his life with so many of our family members that were able to be there with us for Timothy's birthday. I feel that God orchestrated him being breech so that we would choose a C-section for his delivery and our family would all get to see Timothy and hold them in their arms too. I can't imagine not having been able to share that moment with them. So, I thank the Lord for helping us to make that decision and I don't regret it for one moment. Wednesday, April 4th, the day we held Timothy in our arms, will forever be a day that I remember and cherish with all of my heart!

One of the happiest days of my life ended with the hardest and most heartbreaking moment I have ever experienced, saying goodbye to my son and letting him go from my arms. Warren and I snuggled in my giant hospital bed together and held Timothy in our arms. We cried together and then we prayed together. We gave our son back to his Heavenly Father. I have no doubt that in that moment Jesus wept with us and felt every sting of pain that we felt. I have no doubt that He was there with us, holding us, and giving us the strength that we needed. He was there. He did not leave us or forsake us. He was there whispering truth into our hearts. "Timothy is my son, whom I love. Timothy is not here. This is only his broken, Earthly body. He is already with me. I love him. I have prepared a place for him. He is in a better place. You will go to him but he will not come to you. I love him. I have him. You can let go and trust me. I am in control. I love him. I love you. I will be with you." And so clinging to each other and to our precious Savior, we said goodbye to our sweet baby boy.

I will never be the same person I was 9 months ago. God gave us a gift. He gave us Timothy. This is the letter I wrote to Timothy about how he changed my life. My mom read this letter at Timothy's memorial service. What a special blessing and honor that was for me to have her read this letter for me because I knew there was no way I would be able to make it through it.

Dearest Timothy,
     Oh, how I wish more than anything that you could be here with us on this Earth. I wish that you could grow up to be just like your dad. Because this world desperately needs more Godly men like him. So, my heart breaks. I mourn and I cry that you will not be here with us on this Earth. But I know deep down in my heart that this is not a sad day for you. You have been welcomed with open arms into the presence of your heavenly Father who loves you more than I ever could. 
      I began to pray for you the moment we found out that I was pregnant. I prayed that you would come to know Jesus at an early age and that you would walk with him all of the days of your life. I prayed specifically that your life would bring God glory, and I know without a doubt my prayers have been answered. Your life has brought God so much glory and you will be with him forever. I do not regret for a moment any of the days the Lord gave us with you, and I do not believe God made a mistake when he made you. I know that he knit you together in my womb and that all the days ordained for you were written before one of them came to be. I believe that God has plans to use your short, but precious life for so much good in my life and in the life of everyone around you.
     I am so thankful for the precious nine months that we were given with you inside my belly and for the wonderful day that we got to hold you in our arms. Because of you, my life will never be the same! Your life brought me closer to our Heavenly Father than I have ever been. Your life taught me how powerful prayer truly is. Your life taught me how to truly trust our Savior. Your life taught me that God’s Word is true when things in life are good and when things in life are bad. Your life taught me that I can’t walk through a day of life on my own but must surrender each moment to God. Your life taught me more about the love of the body of Christ. Your life taught me that this world is broken, this world will never be our home, but that those who believe in His name can look forward to our new home in heaven. Your life taught me to cherish each moment we are given with our loved ones on this Earth.  Your life taught me that so many of the things in life that I thought mattered so much don’t matter at all. Your life has given me a whole new understanding of what God felt when he sent His one and only Son to this Earth to die for us, and your life has given me a whole new appreciation for what Jesus did on the cross for us that allows us to spend eternity with Him in heaven. Your short life has taught me so much!
     Timothy, you are my precious son, whom I love and cherish with all of my heart. Know that I deeply miss you already and my heart breaks because you cannot be here with us now. But know that I look forward to the day I will be with you again. I look forward to the day when Jesus will wipe away every tear from our eyes. The day when there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. So, goodbye for now my sweet boy, but only for a little while. I love you!

Love Always,
Your Mommy

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sweet Words From Timothy's Daddy

Warren wrote the sweetest poem the night we said goodbye to Timothy. The poem is written as if Timothy is talking to us. Warren also spoke at Timothy's memorial service on Saturday. He did such an amazing job! I will never forget hearing him speak truth about our loving and faithful God and our precious son, Timothy. I praise the Lord everyday for my incredible husband and I wanted to share with each one of you these precious words from him.

"Thank you all for coming. Julie and I deeply appreciate all your love and support. We read every note, email, facebook message and text. We felt so encouraged and loved. Because of your prayers, we felt a strength and a peace that only comes from God.I have a few words that I want to say. God has been teaching me so much these past few months and I want to share some thoughts with you. 

First, Timothy David Reichel was greatly loved. We loved him every bit of 9 months and 20 minutes that we got to spend with him. Timothy was not a mistake. He was not a fluke. He was not bad luck. Timothy was our son. He was a baby boy. And we loved him and will miss him very much. Timothy came into this world kicking and punching just as he did inside Julie for nine months. We kissed him and held him as our son. And not just us, but our whole family and friends loved him too. Timothy was greatly loved.

Second, I want you to know that it is okay to cry. You are not stronger if you can hold back tears. And you are not weaker if allow yourself to cry. We miss Timothy and are sad that we don’t get to see him here on earth. And it’s okay to cry about that. In fact, your tears show us how much you loved him too. Even Jesus wept when his friend Lazurus died. Jesus also said “blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” This is so true. I would rather spend a few days of sadness intimately close to my heavenly Father than ten thousand good days never needing God. 

Third, we firmly believe that we will see Timothy in heaven. God’s word tells us so. And we are assured by the spirit of God that speaks to our hearts that we will spend eternity with Timothy. Without God, our faith is weak, but with God  he provides the faith we need to believe these truths. We thank God for what Jesus did on the cross yesterday on Good Friday. He forgave our sins, gave us life, restored us back into God’s family, and promised us everlasting life. We will see Timothy again.

Fourth, I want you to know that it is also okay to smile. It’s okay to laugh. It’s okay to sing songs that praise the lord. And it’s even okay to be angry. You are allowed to have all these emotions. God can handle our emotions. But if you’re a Christian, it’s our joy that is most profound. That even in the midst of the darkest times, we can have joy and peace because we know the end of the story. That God will come back. That we will live forever. That there will be no tears in heaven. And that is profound and amazing. That as Christians, we can have joy in sorrow because we know God will redeem everything in the future. Our smile proves we believe this. 

Finally, although Timothy did not speak a single word, his life spoke so loudly that the earth quakes and the mountains tremble. Everyone can hear what Timothy has to say. My siblings will come and read a poem I wrote. These words I wrote are the words Timothy wanted to say to you and me."

I am in a Better Place

Mommy, Daddy
It’s okay to cry.
For by your tears
Your love shines bright.

Blessed are
The teary eyed.
God wraps his arms
Around those who cry.

I am in a better place.

I know you ask
Why, oh why.
Why must your son
Have to die?

Remember Jesus.
He was like me.
Innocent he died
To set us free.

I am in a better place.

Jesus rose
Up from the grave.
Your son you love
Will do the same.

No fear in death.
No guilt remains.
Our destiny
Forever changed.

I am in a better place.

The sunrise speaks
Of better days.
God deserves
All the praise.

Jesus loves me
This I know.
For here in heaven
He tells me so.

I am in a better place.

Mommy, Daddy
It’s okay to smile.
It proves you believe
You’ll see me in a while.

Mommy, Daddy
I miss you too.
I’m in God’s arms.
I’ll see you soon.

I am in a better place.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pictures of Our Precious Baby Boy

This picture was taken seconds after Timothy was born. This was his daddy's first touch with his son. Warren grabbed his hand and said hi for the first time, and Timothy opened his eyes and looked straight at him. This was the only time that Timothy opened his eyes. What a precious memory that will forever be for Warren! We thank you Jesus for Timothy's life!
Timothy getting put into his little outfit by his Gigi, Grandpa (Mac), and Aunt Michelle. Look at those long, perfect legs and arms! He was absolutely adorable!

Me, still unable to sit up yet, holding Timothy in my arms shortly after they finished sewing me up. Warren was right next to me with his hand on Timothy's little hand.

Timothy with his proud mom and dad! We love you Timothy! We will never forget holding you in our arms!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Timothy David Reichel

Begin forwarded message:
With joy and sorrow, we want to share the news that Timothy David Reichel was welcomed into the world this Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 at 7:55am. He was 4lbs and 13oz. He was almost 20 inches long and came out perfect, beautiful, and kicking. He went home to his heavenly Father at around 8:20 am, passing peacefully in his mother’s arms.  
Julie and Warren are so thankful they were able to spend time together with Timothy.  They are so sad that he couldn’t stay longer, but rejoice that he is now perfect and whole in heaven. He was surrounded with love today by grandparents, aunts, uncles, pastors, friends, and cousins who were able to be here for his birthday.
Timothy’s memorial service will be held at 1pm this Saturday, April 7th, at RockPointe Church in Flower Mound.
The church address is: 4503 Cross Timbers Road, Flower Mound, Texas 75028
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Lewisville/Flower Mound Young Life in memory of Timothy to be used to send students to summer Young Life camp. It is our hope and prayer that through Timothy's memorial many of these student's lives will be forever changed as they have the opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Make Checks payable to Young Life. Checks may be mailed to Warren and Julie or directly to Young Life:
Young Life 
PO Box 292561
Lewisville, TX  75029
Please write “Timothy Reichel Memorial” in the memo line
Warren and Julie thank you so much for all of your prayers! They truly felt God's grace and peace.

Monday, April 2, 2012

C-section on Wednesday

Many of you have heard by now that Timothy is still breech at this point and since I am due a week from today we have decided to go ahead and due a C-section this Wednesday to beat labor (that is if he doesn't decide to come on his own today or tomorrow). We had been hoping and praying that he would do a nice little flip and we could avoid a c-section but he seems to like the spot he is in right now. While we have been praying that he would flip, we have also been praying that if a c-section was the best option for Timothy that the Lord would make it abundantly clear. And we feel the Lord has done just that.

So, if Timothy has not flipped by tomorrow then I am scheduled to go in for a c-section on Wednesday morning at 7:30 am. I have so many thoughts and emotions running through my head right now that I don't think I could right them all down. I am so excited to meet our sweet Timothy and hold him in my arms and I am almost more excited for Warren to get to meet him and hold him in his arms! Timothy's life has felt so much more real to me for the last 9 months because I have felt him moving every day, but I feel like Warren is just now really and truly going to get to experience the life of our son. While I am so excited, I am so scared as well! I am scared that we may also have to say goodbye on Wednesday. But there is still no way to know for sure how much time we will get to spend with him. God may choose to bless us with a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days. But no matter how much time we get to spend with him, the time will be precious. We are so thankful that God has allowed me to carry Timothy to term and for the chance to get to meet him! I am trusting that the Lord knows what we can handle and that he will give us just the right amount of time that we need with our sweet Timothy. I had a dream about a month ago that Timothy came out perfectly whole and healed and I still know that no matter what God is ultimately going to heal Timothy and give him a new and glorious body.

We ask for your prayers for us at 7:30 am on Wednesday morning. We ask that God would give us complete peace and comfort as we walk into the hospital Wednesday and prepare for Timothy's B-day. Pray that God will give me an extra measure of peace as I am definitely a little scared about having surgery. I have never been a big fan of blood, needles, IV's, and all of that. So please pray for me in regards to that. Pray that I will be distracted and feel a complete sense of peace. Pray for Warren that he will be strong for the both of us and that God will prepare his heart to meet our precious son for the first time. Pray that the surgery will go smoothly and recovery will go smoothly as well. Pray for Timothy. Pray that God will protect him from pain and bless us with as much time with him as he knows that we can handle. Pray for our family members that will be with us at the hospital on Wednesday. Pray. Pray. Pray. 

God has carried us this far and given us the strength that we have needed to make it through each day, and we know that he is going to carry us through the days that are ahead. We are so thankful for the support and  prayers from each one of you! We know that we will be covered in prayers on Wednesday and in the days that are ahead. So, thank you in advance for your prayers for us! We will do our best to keep everyone updated as much as possible. We look forward to sharing the story of Timothy's birth and his life with you all! We love you guys!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen..."

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.... because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.

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 Corinthians 4:7-18

Friday, March 16, 2012

36 Weeks!

I can't believe that I am 36 weeks! Timothy will be here so soon! Keep praying for God to prepare Warren and I for that day. I am still so excited to hold him and yet so scared to loose him. We continue to pray that if possible God will heal Timothy, yet not what we will but what He wills. We find comfort in the fact that ultimately no matter what happens God will heal Timothy. He will heal Timothy's earthly body or He will give him a new perfect and whole heavenly body. I love the following verses in 2 Corinthians that talk about favor being granted by the prayers of many. Keep praying! Your prayers mean the world to us right now!

"We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we dispaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God....On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many."
                                                                                        - 2 Corinthians 1: 9-11

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sibling Weekend 2012!

Last weekend I was blessed with such a special treat! My two sisters and nephew flew in from Colorado, my brother drove up from College Station, and my other sister drove up from DBU. Thus, we had all the McClellan siblings at our house for the weekend! The girls got pedicures on Thursday afternoon and watched a girlie movie on Thursday night, since the boys weren't home yet. Friday we enjoyed sleeping in late, a long walk on the trail by our house in the sunny 65 degree weather, snow cones from Bahama Bucks, and On The Border for dinner. Saturday we got to show the Coloradans the DBU campus and then spent the afternoon at White Rock Lake. We enjoyed a wonderful picnic lunch, frisbee throwing, sunbathing on a blanket in the grass, and walk/runs around the lake. It was a glorious day! Saturday evening we feasted on pot roast and mash potatoes and then played a competitive card game after dinner. It wouldn't be a McClellan Family reunion without at least one card game being played! Sunday we went to church and then enjoyed the beautiful sunny weather again by eating lunch out on our deck, and then we said our goodbyes later that afternoon.

My family means the world to me! We have walked through so much together in the past and I know that we will always be there for each other to walk through what lies ahead in the future. Friends often come and go as we move from place to place and walk through different stages of life, but family remains constant no matter where you live or what stage of life you are in. I laugh now at all the fights we had as kids and I thank the Lord that he has brought all of us so close together!

 Kristin, Lauren, Michelle, and John David....I am so truly thankful the Lord put each one of you in my life! I am thankful for all the memories we have made together and all the love and encouragement you have given me over the last 29 years of my life. And I am especially thankful for your love, your hugs, your tears, your phone calls, your prayers, and your texts as you have all walked through the last three tough months with me. I am so blessed to call you my siblings! Thanks for blessing me with such an encouraging, joyful, and special sibling weekend! I love you guys!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

33 Week Email Update On Our Journey With Timothy

I am now 33 weeks pregnant. Wow! Timothy will most likely be here in less than 7 weeks! His official due date is April 12
th. I decided it was probably about time to send out an update on our little guy, but if you have been following my blog closely you will have already heard some of this. Well, the doctors said he might not make it to term, and he has defied the odds so far. I am reminded of his precious life each day as he moves around constantly. My belly is getting bigger and his kicks are getting stronger and stronger. If I slump over too much while sitting these days, I get nailed in the ribs. He must be an athlete like his dad!  We had a sonogram a couple of weeks ago and at that time he was only two weeks behind for his height and weight. However, the size of his head was measuring several weeks behind (which is normal for a Trisomy 13 baby). Everything else is pretty much the same as it was when we first received Timothy’s diagnosis.  Nothing has gotten better, but nothing has gotten worse.  We got to see a 3D picture of his face where he managed to give us a Gig ‘em Aggies with a huge thumbs up in front of his face. He looks adorable! He has a few small things that make him look a little different than most healthy babies, but he really looks like almost nothing is wrong with him from the outside. It is his organs that have been affected the most, which again is typical for trisomy 13 babies. 
 There is still no way for the doctors to predict exactly how long Timothy might get to be here with us before the Lord takes him home. Their biggest concern is that his heart only has two chambers. A normal heart has four chambers. So, we are not sure if his heart will be able to pump his blood correctly once he no longer has the support that my body is providing for him right now. This means that, once Timothy leaves my womb and comes into this world, his life is eminent danger. The doctor’s best guess is that we might only have seconds, minutes, hours, possibly a few days with him at the most. That is so hard! He has so much life right now! So much strength! It is so hard for me to imagine that after carrying him for 9 months and feeling him move every day, we might not get to spend much time with him while he is alive. That the same day I finally get to hold him in my arms and kiss him, may be the same day that I have to say goodbye!

And yet we know that science isn't always right. We know that God has every moment of Timothy’s life already planned out. That plan might be that even though Timothy’s heart only has two chambers it will beat and pump blood to his body way longer than any doctor would ever expect. But that plan might also be that Timothy will be born into this world and then go immediately into the presence of his Heavenly Father.   There is no way to know for sure what will happen, so we just have to pray and trust the Lord with that one. But we are so truly thankful to have been given 33 weeks with him already. 33 weeks of precious life!  And no matter what may come in the next 7 weeks, we cannot wait to hold our son in our arms!
This journey with Timothy has not been an easy one. Our lives will be forever changed. Some days there is peace and joy in the midst of our deep sorrow and other days there are mostly tears. But the Lord has not left us to walk through this journey alone, and we have felt his arms wrapped around us every day. God does not bring meaningless suffering into our lives, and if he has brought this trial into our lives we can know that he has plans to use it for good. Timothy’s life is not a mistake. Every day that he is here with us has been ordained by his Heavenly Father. Timothy’s life is bringing God glory and forever changing the lives of the people around him.  
We continue to trust God with Timothy’s life. We continue to believe that His ways are higher than our ways. We continue to hold on to the hope that this world is not our home, and that one day we too will be ushered into the presence of our Heavenly Father.  And God promises that He will wipe away every tear from our eyes and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. He promises to make everything new! We still feel so much pain and hurt  right now, but we are able to hold on to the hope that God is in control and that Timothy’s life is in the hands of his Creator, his Heavenly Father that loves him more than we ever could.

We want to thank all of you that have been praying for us and walking alongside of us throughout this journey! We are so truly blessed to have had such wonderful friends and family members loving on us and being strong for us when we are weak.  We know that the days ahead will be filled with great joy and great sorrow. We ask for your continued prayers and support. Pray that the Lord will continue to give us the strength and the peace that we need to face each day that is ahead. We love you all!

Julie & Warren

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Flesh and My Heart Are Weak

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." -Psalm 73:26

I had felt surprisingly strong over the last couple of weeks but on Sunday all of that came to a screeching halt. My heart was overwhelmed with fear, with sadness, and with brokenness.

For the past 3 months, since November 18th, when we received Timothy's diagnosis it has been a daily battle to continue to trust the Lord and continue to walk in faith not allowing myself to be overwhelmed by sorrow, grief, and fear.  For the past 3 months. I have woken up every morning just waiting anxiously to feel Timothy kicking to make sure he is still alive. For the past 3 months, I have walked by every baby aisle and been hit by the weight of the fact that I don't need to stop there anymore. I don't need to look at the car seats, the strollers, and the adorable baby clothes, and in fact I can't bare to stop and look at them.  For the past three months, I have heard so many comments from strangers about being pregnant, "Oh your pregnant!, When are you due?, Is this your first?, You must be so excited! Boys are so much fun!"  With some I have nodded and smiled and continued on my way while my heart was breaking inside, and with others who have asked more detailed questions I have felt the Lord calling me to share Timothy's story. I have even dreaded the "turn and greet your neighbor" time at church these days because what do I say in 30 seconds if they start asking me questions? But if I don't say anything I feel like a liar. For the past three months, every time I have seen a blonde haired toddler boy that looks like Warren I can barely breath. We are supposed to have one of those in a few months. The world desperately needs more amazing godly men like Warren. Why is God going to take Timothy home so soon? If he lived and grew up to be just like his dad, wouldn't that be what this world needs!  For the past 3 months, I haven't gone a day without thinking about my sweet little son. I haven't gone a day without feeling him moving constantly. Over the past 3 months, I have fallen in love. I have fallen in love with precious Timothy. I love him more than I could ever have imagined would be possible!

But that is what hit me on Sunday. This baby that will have been with me for the last 9 months will, in less than 9 weeks, finally be in my arms. I will finally get to hold him, snuggle with him, and kiss him. But the same day that I finally get to hold him in my arms, may be the same day that the Lord calls him home. It may be the same day that I have to say goodbye. As that day gets closer and closer, I am overwhelmed, my heart is breaking, and I feel as though I can't do this! Sunday was a day of feeling like I can't go another day with the weight of this on my shoulders. How can I ever prepare myself for what is ahead? How can I ever prepare myself to say hello for the first time and then say goodbye? My heart is breaking! My flesh and my heart are so weak. How can I walk past another baby aisle? How can I continue to answer all of the comments from strangers? How can I keep doing this?

I can't. It's that plain and simple. I can't carry this on my own. I have to let go again. I am trying to be strong on my own. I am trying to carry the weight of daily life and of Timothy on my own.  I have to get back on my knees and crawl to the feet of Jesus and lay it all at his feet again.  I have to run to the only one who is strong enough to get me through this. But today I feel like I can't move..let alone run.

I share all of this to be honest, to be honest about the fact that though I am strong and unwavering in my faith most days, some days I am oh so week. I say all of this to ask for your prayers, especially as my due date gets closer. Please pray for strength. Pray for peace. Pray for an unwavering faith. Pray for Warren and I as we figure out how to walk through all of this together and try to figure out how to best love each other in the midst of all that we are going through. Pray for Timothy. Pray that if it is the Lord's will He would bless us with some time with Timothy (whether that is minutes, hours, or days) before He takes him home. Pray that we will keep daily running to Jesus.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the prayers that you have already prayed for us! We have felt them and seen over and over again how God has not forsaken us! We love you all!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

This World is Not Our Home...In Memory of Hartley Joy Morris

This last week my world was shattered again as our dear friends, Katie and Caleb, lost their sweet little girl. Katie was almost 24 weeks pregnant when her daughter, Hartley Joy, went home to be with the Lord. My heart is broken and hurts for them so deeply! I feel all over again the depths of my sadness on the day they told us Timothy would probably not make it. The day that my hopes for a baby were shattered. I feel the hurt all over again and my heart breaks for them. At first there was shock and unbelief in hearing about Hartley Joy, then there was anger, and then there were tears. Tears that did not want to stop. Tears for Katie, Caleb, and their precious son Zach that have lost the hope of a daughter and a sister here on this Earth. Why??? Why is this happening again???

I search my heart  and I cry out to the Lord again. He speaks truth to me through His Word...
  • For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. -Hebrews 13:14
  • 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. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. -2 Corinthians 4:17-18
  • He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. -Revelation 21:4
  • “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the  LORD.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." -Isaiah 55:8-9

This world is broken. In the beginning when sin entered the world, death entered the world. Death and disease and sickness. So often I want to ask God why all of the bad things in the world are happening. Why the cancer? Why the car wreck? Why the murders? Why the death of Hartley Joy? Why Trisomy 13? The answer is sin. Sin entered the world and now the world is utterly broken. We have to hold onto the hope that this world is not our home. Our time here on Earth is only a fleeting moment compared to the eternity that we will spend with our Lord and Savior and with our loved ones that have gone home before us. We will spend eternity with Timothy and with Hartley...this time here on Earth without them is only a moment. I must keep telling myself that and hold onto that hope. That doesn't make the pain of loosing them hurt any less, but it gives us hope. A hope for the future home that God has promised to those who love him, to those who believe in His name. This world will never be perfect. There will always be disease, there will always be sickness, there will always be death...but praise the Lord that this world is not our home! 

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” -Revelation 21:1-4

Dear Hartley Joy,
 We mourn the fact that you will not be here with us on Earth. We mourn the loss of a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a cousin, and a dear friend. You are dearly loved and you will be dearly missed. But we rejoice in the fact that you are with your Heavenly Father, your Creator, who loves you more than we ever could. Our lives will be forever changed by your short but precious life, Hartley Joy. We look forward to the day that we will be with you again! We look forward to our new home with you where there will be no more death, no more mourning, no more crying or pain. We love you!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Lord Determines Our Steps

In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps. -Proverbs 16:9

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” -James 4:13-15

Something I have been struggling with through all of this, is the fact that my plans for what the next year of my life would look like have been completely shattered. I had everything figured out for what life would look like with our new baby. I was planning to be a wife and a mom and continue working a little bit part time, whether that is nannying or working from home so that I could take care of our baby. But now, if the Lord decides to take Timothy home, there must be a new plan. But it is so hard for me to think about that because I don't want there to be a new plan. I want to be a mom. It hurts deeply to feel the weight of that and to come back to the feet of Jesus and ask for guidance and direction for my life. Thinking about moving on and changing "my plan" has not come easily. There have been many tears and it still hurts so deeply even as I right this.

And yet I know that if the Lord takes Timothy home and I don't get to be a mom just yet, "my plan" may be shattered but God's plan and my purpose in life is not shattered. My purpose in life is not just to be a mom. My purpose in life is to "love the Lord my God with all of my heart, soul, and mind" and then "love my neighbor as myself". I am to love God with all that I am and out of the overflow of that, I am to serve people, love people, and lead them to Jesus. If the Lord takes Timothy home, I can still do what God has called me to do on a daily basis.

I think God wants us to be wise, wants us to make plans, and wants us to prepare for the future. But I also think He wants us to hold those plans loosely in the palm of our hands. To daily lift those plans to Him and pray for His will to be done in our lives, for we do not know what tomorrow holds. All we can do is walk in the path that He has called us to today and live out the purpose that He has called us to everyday of our lives. He has called us to love Him and to love people no matter where we are in life and no matter where He has determined our steps will go.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Timothy the "Kicker" and Dr. Appointments

This is Timothy's 12 week sonogram picture. This is the best picture we have so far, because sadly at our 20 week sonogram they didn't take any normal profile pictures because of everything that was going on at the time. But this picture is my favorite! It is amazing how much he already looks like a perfect little baby. He waved at us during this sonogram.

My favorite thing about being pregnant with Timothy right now, is the mover and the kicker he has become these days. His movements and his kicks are so strong (In fact, he is kicking me right now as a I type. He seems to consistently kick me every morning to assure me he is still alive and well). If you watch my belly when he really gets going you can watch parts of it move up and down, and now if you put your hand on my stomach when he gets going your hand will move up and down a little too! It is such a crazy feeling and such a special feeling! He has so much life right now and I am reminded of it every moment. I am thankful today to be a mom and to feel the strong movements of this precious life that is in me! 

I have been going to the doctor every two weeks since the day we found out Timothy has Trisomy 13 because there is a little bit higher risk for preeclampsia (very high blood pressure). So far all of my doctors appointments have gone well. His heart beat is strong, my uterus is still measuring normal growth wise, and my blood pressure has been completely normal. So, praise the Lord for keeping us both as healthy as can be so far! I think the Lord must know that I probably wouldn't handle being put on bed rest right now very well. My run/walks are part of my therapy these days. It's my "Julie time" as I call it where I can spend time thinking, praying, and worshiping as I listen to my favorite praise and worship play list. Praise music has been such a blessing to me these days.

So many things have been put into different perspectives for me as I have walked through this journey with Timothy. Carrying him is teaching me so much! I have to daily surrender to the Lord and pray for the strength and the courage to walk gracefully and peacefully through another day. Some days are still really really tough and the tears fall often and then some days I feel strong. Not because I am strong, but because I am letting my strong loving Father carry me and be strong for me.

Friday, January 6, 2012

How do I pray?

It has been so hard throughout this whole journey to know how to pray. Do I pray for complete healing? Do I just pray for the Lord's will to be done? What do I pray? What does the Lord want me to pray?

Matthew 21:21 says, Jesus replied "Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree (which he told to never bear fruit again and it immediately withered), but also you can say to the mountains, Go throw yourself into the sea, and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

This verse makes me think I need to have great faith and boldly ask the Lord for Timothy's complete healing. And yet throughout my life, I know that there are things that I truly believed in and had faith and asked the Lord for and yet he said "no" I have something better for you. Like the time Warren and I really felt the Lord calling us to move back to College Station. We prayed and prayed over this decision and felt it was the Lord's will. We then sought out jobs in College Station, and yet the Lord quickly closed that door. Now that we are still in the Flower Mound area several years later, we can see that God's plan was good and that we are still here for so many reasons. Other than deeply missing be close to family, we love it here in Flower Mound and know that God is using us to serve him through our jobs and through Young Life.

So, that whole thought process left me torn about what to pray for in our situation with Timothy. As I kept reading through Matthew, I found where Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. This takes place right before he is about to be betrayed and taken away to be crucified.

Matthew 26:39 says, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

A few moments later Jesus prayed again saying, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done".

I know that Jesus had faith and Jesus healed many and performed miracle after miracle. So, it is not a question of him not believing that God could stop him from having to be crucified. He knew that God was powerful enough to save him from this, but he also knew there might be no other way for mankind to be saved from their sin. He selfishly prayed to be saved from the pain of death, but selflessly prayed if there was no other way that God's will would be done. Not his will, but God's will.

This was huge for me! It answered my prayer and my struggle for how I should pray for Timothy. I can pray as our ultimate example prayed. I can pray as Jesus did.

So, today this is my prayer: "My Father, if it is possible, may you heal our sweet Timothy completely. Yet not as I will, but as you will." Lord, if your will for our lives and the lives of everyone around us can only be accomplished through a sweet little baby with Trisomy 13 that may only live moments on this Earth and then spend eternity with you in heaven...then may your will be done. Yet, Lord if it is possible that your will can be accomplished through the miraculous healing of Timothy, then we ask for healing. But Lord, most of all, we ask that YOUR will be done. We trust you, we love you, and we give you Timothy's life. Amen.