The Macs

Friday, February 20, 2009

we're back

After many people suggesting that we get away after Cora's celebration service, we decided to follow their advice. We headed to Colorado to have some time alone and try to process how our lives have changed so quickly.

It was good to get away, but so hard at the same time. It was good to be together. It was good to be able to talk and cry together. It was good to be in the beautiful mountains. It was good to be able to go skiing and snowmobiling and be able to laugh a little.

But, it was so hard too. It was hard to have time to really think through the past four weeks. It was hard to be on a "vacation" without our Cora. It was hard to be at the cabin where we had taken Cora on her first family vacation just this past summer. It was hard to think about all the fun we had together and know that she is now gone. So many memories.

I don't even like posting pictures anymore. I want Cora to be in them. But, here we are. This day we went snowmobiling and it snowed the entire time we were out. It was beautiful. We didn't get any pictures when we went skiing, but the day we went was sunny and just perfect weather. The mountains were beautiful and I couldn't help but to think about how GREAT and LOVING our God is as I looked at his beautiful creation. Joel got to laugh at me wiping out several times. The next day we both laughed a lot because we could barely walk. We are a little out of shape.


Coming home was hard. It felt like just maybe Cora would be there waiting for us, but we knew she wasn't. We knew we were going back to reality. We both have HUGE holes in our hearts and it is hard to know how to move forward. We are trying. We are so thankful for the friends and family we have who are surrounding us so faithfully and lovingly during this time. We are overwhelmed by all that God is doing through Cora's story. And we are clinging to this same truth that got us through those horrible days in the hospital.

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." Lamentations 3:22-24

I have never felt more consumed in my whole life. I am so thankful for our compassionate God and so thankful that His compassions are new EVERY morning. This is definitely a day-by-day process. Thanks for loving us and encouraging us along the way.

234 Comments:

Blogger saras said...

I am one of many of your blog readers that you don't know in your real life! But I want you to know that your real life has touched my real life in a magnificent way! I'm glad you were able to get away and have a wonderful time together too! I'll be thinking of and praying for you in the days ahead! Sara

February 20, 2009 at 11:22 AM  
Blogger krystyna81 said...

My heart goes out to you...I too, would want my baby there as I came home...I can see that you and your husband are a strong, Holy union, and that you have Laughter and Love in your life.

I wish you all the best and a lot of Love.

February 20, 2009 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger Something In The Glass said...

Just another one of your faithful readers. Thank you for continuing to share your story with us.

I'm so glad that you are both finding your laughter again. Still praying for all who knew and loved Cora.

God Bless.

February 20, 2009 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger Whitney said...

I am so touched by your story. Please know that there are so so many people praying for you. Sweet Cora's little life has affected so many people that you will probably never know. SHE has done more for God's kingdom in her short time here than most people can do in a lifetime. Cling to that when you feel as though you can't go on and know that I thank you for what your story has done for me.

February 20, 2009 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Kendall Smith said...

We're so glad you got away and had a nice time. We think and pray for you SO often during the day. We love you guys!

February 20, 2009 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Marla Taviano said...

Loving you from Ohio with tears in my eyes! Your strength and grace is a beautiful testament of the God you serve. And my heart aches for you as you miss your darling, sunny Cora.

Praying for you both! And thanking God for your awesome testimony!

February 20, 2009 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger Sought-Out said...

Our hope is that through our pain and our hurt, we find Him in the middle of it all. That while we are consumed by the agony and loss, we are also consumed by His compassions and comfort. I pray that in the following days, months and years, that you will truly be consumed by Him.

February 20, 2009 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger PamperingBeki said...

Jess, we love you guys and pray for you numerous times a day.

Lean on each other, your friends and family, and God as much as you possibly can.

February 20, 2009 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger meleea said...

so glad you were able to get away. i cannot imagine the range of emotions you must go through each day. we continue to pray for you as you adjust to your new "normal". thank you for sharing your story with so many - God will use it in a very powerful way!

February 20, 2009 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Tothblog said...

You are showing tremendous strength and courage. I pray for you often. I pray for the peace that only Christ can offer. Your story has had a profound impact on our family.

February 20, 2009 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Samantha said...

Your sweet little Cora lives on in all of us who were so touched by her beautiful face and sweet smile. She has touched so so many lives.

Your faith is inspiring. Please know that you are loved and constantly prayed for.

February 20, 2009 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Megan @ Hold it Up to the Light said...

I bet that sunshine was a gift from your sweet baby in Heaven!

I think about you both often and sweet little Cora. I can't imagine the pain you are going through, but am in awe of your strength. Let Him carry you....and heal as He leads you. We will pray for peace each day.

I am so sorry.

February 20, 2009 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger Heather, aka Jake's Mommy said...

My prayers are with you and your husband. This is not a journey any parent should have to make. I am so sorry for your loss. I know those words don't carry much weight because they can't really change the situation, but please know you have more than just friend and family praying for you. You have thousands of people in the blog community who have you in their reader and just want to your your lives because you touched theirs with your tragedy. Please let it be known if you and your husband need ANYTHING.

February 20, 2009 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I'm so glad you guys find comfort in being together. You and Joel have such a fun and loving relationship. I think of you both often and pray for you whenever I do. We love you both.

I don't know if you've read my blog, but this is part of a comment someone left on a post of mine about Cora. I wanted you to see it...
"Although I am sure they would take her back in a heartbeat, I am truly amazed that they knew she had a purpose on this earth. She did. She gave God back to me. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

February 20, 2009 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger Scarlet O'Kara said...

Still so many prayers...

I am thankful that the two of you are pulling closer together and not apart.

February 20, 2009 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Heather's Home (aka Chez Hez) said...

You and yours are still in our thoughts and prayers. It's so good that you two got some time away together in order to process some of your own grief without dealing with everyone else's on top of it all. Take comfort in each other and draw strength and remember that there is always someone available to hold your hand when you need it. *HUGS*

February 20, 2009 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Glad to have you back. You are still in my constant thoughts and prayers. I will still be keeping up with your blog. You do not know me, but your family and sweet Cora have really touched my heart. I have cried right along with you, as your loss has broken my heart. I am so glad you were able to go away for awhile and begin the healing process.

February 20, 2009 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Jenae said...

You are an encouragement to me daily!

February 20, 2009 at 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Katie B. said...

We don't know each other....I found out about your family through an email prayer request for Cora.

I just had to say that I am SO very, very impressed with the way you are clinging to your faith during this extremely difficult time. Thank you for being such an AMAZING example to the rest of us of how to cling to our faith even in the worst of times.

I have been very touched by your story and have prayed for you both.

February 20, 2009 at 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Michele said...

Thank you for your words...keep breathing even if it feels like you are suffocating....you are touching people's lives through Cora and our sweet Lord Jesus. Praying for you.

February 20, 2009 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Lynne said...

Another blog reader who doesn't know you here. And another person amazed at your faith and your love for God despite your loss. I'm not sure what makes me cry more, your story or the words of encouragement from all of your readers. Like the others, I hope, hope, hope and pray you realize how much faith your tragic loss has brought to others. God knows what it feels like to lose a child. Continue to feel his love and understanding arms wrap around your lives, and remember to lean on each other as much as you lean on God. I love you guys and I don't even know you :)

February 20, 2009 at 11:50 AM  
Blogger Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

Continuing to pray for you. And my girls are praying for you both each and every day. In fact, just this morning, they were saying that maybe a teacher of theirs who recently died may now be rocking Cora to sleep.

Joanne

February 20, 2009 at 11:52 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I'm one of your readers and I can't imagine what you 2 are going through. I'm still so sad when I think about how quickly all this came about. I had looked back at your posts back around Christmas time with no idea how life can change. Your story has really touched me and really makes me cherish my daughter. I miss Cora and I never even knew her, I'm so sorry for your pain. Thanks for sharing and know that all 3 of you have really touched my life.
Dawn from Oregon

February 20, 2009 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I was so relived to see a post from you. I keep worrying about you and what you are going through and still continue to pray for you. Somewhere recently I saw a post someone put up asking where you see Gods fingerprints. I see them in the sunrise and new fallen snow and birds chirping among other things. I'm glad you were able to find some of them to smile about. You have another home away from home in Utah if you ever want to try our snow.
Hugs and prayers.

February 20, 2009 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger mommaof4wife2r said...

i am really glad you all took some time away...as hard as it was. we are faithfully praying for you all still and will continue.

greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world...

February 20, 2009 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Falling Around said...

Joel & Jess,

You both AMAZE me - your strength and trust in the Lord during this difficult time is a testament to the power of a relationship with Jesus.

My heart is blessed by hearing that you two were able to get away and have a few laughs, even with all that has happened still so fresh in your hearts. I'm sure it was a difficult thing to do, but needed.

Please know that you guys continue to be in my thoughts and prayers daily. My heart aches for you.

Sending Prayers Your Way,
Christy Klein

February 20, 2009 at 12:05 PM  
Anonymous Megan (mommyesquire) said...

I am so glad that you were able to get some time away. So often circumstances like the ones you have been given will pull you apart and pull you away from God. I pray that you will cling to God and each other as you move through the next days and weeks.

February 20, 2009 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger The Jarmans said...

I continue to pray for you as you travel down this difficult road. I'm sure that your darling Cora is glad that her Mommy & Daddy are smiling again.

February 20, 2009 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger in a world surrounded by men said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and will remember you in prayer.

February 20, 2009 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Megan Noel said...

i'm glad you have had some rest. thinking about you always, love you both. megan

February 20, 2009 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger purejoy said...

oh, i have missed you and have thought about you every time i check to see if you've updated your blog. to go through something like this in such a short amount of time since the onset. . .it is just beyond my ability to understand.
at the risk of saying something trite and stupid, i'll refrain. just know that you are being lifted up by me, a complete stranger. my heart aches for you and i am so glad that you know Jesus and can lean on your ROCK. may he sustain you and carry you through these difficult days. so thankful for your opportunity to get away and grieve and begin the long road to tomorrow.
blessings to you from tennessee

February 20, 2009 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Stacia Howard said...

I have no words for you. My heart truly breaks for the two of you. I will continue to pray for you. His mercies are new every day...

February 20, 2009 at 12:09 PM  
Anonymous Robin in Benton said...

Your faith is an inspiration to us all. Remember that even though you can't see her Cora is watching over you from heaven. God bless you and keep you. You are in my prayers.

February 20, 2009 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

It's so good to see you guys and hear from you! I haven't stopped praying for both of you. There are many moments through out each day when God brings you to mind! Thank you for sharing this journey with all of us out here in blog land! God is still using your precious Cora to draw people to Him! Zephaniah 3:17 is my all time favorite verse. It paints a beautiful picture of how much God loves us. It says: "The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."
I know that Jesus is rejoicing over Cora with singing right now and I'm praying that he will quiet you with his love!

February 20, 2009 at 12:10 PM  
Blogger ml said...

I still think about you both and pray for you often. Thank you for sharing so much of yourselves with us. I am so sorry for what you have been through and are going through.

February 20, 2009 at 12:14 PM  
Blogger 4girls1boy said...

The words I am about to write don't feel like they will have even a tenth of the power I want them to. Reading the story of your beautiful Cora has touched me in the most profound way. I have been feeling burnt out the last few weeks as a mom and a wife. I have been praying that God would give me a renewed joy in the life that he has provided me. I have always felt blessed to be at home with my children, but lately I've been struggling. God answered that prayer for me the day that I ran across your blog. Obviously that was not an accident, but God's way of answering my prayer. The intense faith and love that exudes from your writing has filled me with a renewed belief in the power of family, love, and our ever faithful God. You are both an inspiration to me and my husband who have cried along with you. You are in my prayers many times a day, and I thank you for the profound effect that your strength has had on our lives. May God continue to bless you on your long journey. Please know that your story, and your beautiful, precious Cora will be in my heart forever. Thank you for your bravery and strength.
Tricia

February 20, 2009 at 12:14 PM  
Blogger The Sieberts said...

we will continue praying for you. i know your journey is far from over. I'm so glad you guys got to get away and hear you are headed to China this spring/summer! How exciting! we love you guys!

February 20, 2009 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Auntie Ann said...

When I was reading your blog for the first time when we heard about Cora, I read your blog and knew of your need for a new dryer I think it was. If it is still not working we would love to bless you with a new one - no strings attached. Just something God put on my heart as I read that you were needing a new one! Your family has been on my heart and I would love to help you in this time of sorrow! My family has been praying for you!

February 20, 2009 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger JANE said...

I came to your blog late by way of wandering. But know that Cora's story has touched me so. Your strength and grace amaze me. I am sure Cora and God are smiling at the beautiful way you glorify our Lord. Know that you are being washed by prayer from all who visit.

February 20, 2009 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger ~Cherie said...

I'm so happy you are back. I check your blog daily for new posts from you. In time, I hope you can laugh more and cry less. Sending love and prayers from Ohio. Welcome Back!

February 20, 2009 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger Carly Winborne said...

so good to hear from you and glad to know you have had time away. i'm a faithful reader and pray for you daily.

February 20, 2009 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Nadia said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 20, 2009 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger Nadia said...

You dont know me but I have been traveling through this journey with you in prayer. Truly, my family thinks about you and prays for you both every single day.

The verse you posted is one my absolute favorites. I just wanted to share a little something with you about those words... specifically about the word compassion. In college, I was a new Christian and spent a lot of time studying this verse. I realized that while we use the word compassion a lot, we often do not really know what it means. I looked it up in a dictionary and it said, "Compassion is the ability or desire to suffer alongside." It is just amazing to me that God's ability and desire to suffer alongside us is new with every sunrise. He never wearies at our pain. He never hides from it. He sees it and comes alongside and is present with us in it.

I cannot pretend to know your pain... but I just pray you find a bit of comfort in knowing how dearly loved you are by the one who sits beside you even now.

Blessings...

nadia

February 20, 2009 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger The Balzers said...

I know that was a hard trip for you, but I'm glad you made it. I'm glad you could laugh a little...I laughed thinking about you wiping out and then laughed harder thinking about Joel laughing AT you.

We're glad to have you back so we can love on you! Please be honest with us and let us know what you are needing.

We continue to pray for you each and every day, many times a day. Thank you for showing us ALL what a deep deep relationship with our God is all about.

February 20, 2009 at 12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so VERY glad to hear that you are doing ok..I cannot begin to understand how hard it must be. I still shed tears over your lose everyday. My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you. This has touched my very soul and made me question my FAITH. Please keep us updated for those who only know you through your blog. We have grown to care deeply for your family.

Kim(alabama)

February 20, 2009 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger Marlene W. said...

I am SO happy to see you having fun, you guys are such a strong family and I just want to say thank you for taking some time out for yourselves. May God continue to give your hearts peace, rest and hope for the days ahead. I know He will because our God is unstoppable in His faithfulness and loves you so dearly.

You and Cora have ministered to my heart in ways you will never know! Thank you again for sharing your life with the rest of us.

With love to you,
Marlene

February 20, 2009 at 12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think about both of you and Cora everyday. I haven't even met you two but I feel like I already know you two in my heart.
I am glad you two were able to get away.
Your family is ALWAYS in my thoughts and prayers.

February 20, 2009 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Shawn said...

Jess and Joel--
your documentation of your commitment to a healthy way through this tragedy is as encouraging as the rest of your posts have been. I have been so moved by your ability to maintain any ability to express yourself--and you continue to do so with poise and eloquence that belies the unsteadiness of your moorings at this time. Having each other and your shared faith offers the readers of your log comfort. Again--it is beyond ironic that you, who have been through so much, should offer us reassurance that you can get through this; I admire your spirit and send you constantly my best wishes and love.
Shawn (with implication of Charlie, Maura, Simone, Lucas)

February 20, 2009 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger Meghan said...

Your grace is amazing. I love how you are strong and honest with your feelings. God is good...

February 20, 2009 at 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for updating us strangers on how you're doing. I imagine it's hard to write much of anything now. My family prays for the 3 of you everyday. Last night my 7 yr. old and I just sat and cried about your sweet Cora. She asked if we might ever get to play on Cora's playground. We live in Northern Kansas and I told when it's ready we'd for sure make a trip down to play on it. I'm still at a loss of words. I still have a pit in my stomach. I pray everyday that the Doctors did what they thought was best for Cora. I imagine coming home without Cora is just awful. Oh how I pray your memories with her will keep you above water. I can't wait for the reunion you will have with her one day. As far away as that may seem, it will be amazing. Bless you both as you journey this most difficult road. I'm sure our Heavenly Father has sent Cora and other ministering Angels to surround you.

February 20, 2009 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

"Coming home was hard. It felt like just maybe Cora would be there waiting for us, but we knew she wasn't."

But she IS. Waiting for you. At HOME. Where she is not hurting any more. And you will see her again.

I know that is not much comfort right now. I think we will never know how much our Father grieves when His children are hurting, because He didn't design the world this way. But He is trying to redeem it, and I think Cora is part of that redemption.

Blessings to you all as you walk through this very difficult time.

February 20, 2009 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger The Di Vito's said...

I had come across your blog right around the time Cora was diagnosed, and had become a loyal follower ever since then. I had asked for my friends and family to pray for Cora through my blog, and was devestated when I heard she passed away. I am amazed how strong your faith is. I grew up in a Christian home, my Uncle was a minister, I went to Christian school my whole life, and have never met anyone with stronger faith than yours. I will continue to pray for your loss, and rejoice in the fact that I will be able to meet sweet Cora one day in Heaven.

February 20, 2009 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger The Eyre Family said...

We continue to pray for your healing. Each time I read your blog, I feel that God is calling me to be closer to Him. I pray and I believe but I don't think I have the life of prayer that you show us...and I want to. You are a true inspiration. I am so sorry your heart is hurting. Mine aches for you as well! God Bless You

February 20, 2009 at 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Mandy Rose said...

So glad you were able to have a little time away. I am sure your life is upside down right now. I have been thinking deeply about you and your husband. I pray God heals your heart soon.

February 20, 2009 at 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please know that my family is continuing to pray for you all. You are amazing people...and I honestly feel so blessed being able to read your blog and having the honor to see/read what you have been going through and being able to pray for you. I don't know that I will ever meet you on this side of heaven but I hope I get the honor at some point. You 2 are an awesome example of Christ's love. It was great to receive an update on how you are doing...and please remember that although our days go on, Cora will not be forgotten. You all have left an impression on my heart forever!!

February 20, 2009 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

You don't know me, but my heart goes out to you. You both are so brave and strong to not let your faith falter. I can't imagine going through what you've been through. I wanted you to know that your life has been a witness to mine and I greatly appreciate it.

February 20, 2009 at 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Toni :O) said...

May God continue to bless you during this incredibly difficult time. Welcome back...I've missed checking in on you. Know your family will be in my thoughts and prayers every single day for the rest of my life. Your family has shaken me to the very core and I will never take my children for granted again. Thank you for allowing us into your lives and even though I don't know you, I miss Cora's beautiful smiling face. Your memories of her and her future built playground will leave a lasting legacy everywhere. Keep holding each other tightly and SO many of us are pulling for you and wrapping our virtual arms around you both.

February 20, 2009 at 1:18 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

Tears streaming down my face as I read this. So glad that you two are clinging to one another and to the Hope we all have in Jesus. But, oh, how I can't even fathom the ache and hole that now exists in your hearts. May He grant you a peace beyond any of our understanding and may He continue to get glory for Cora's life!

February 20, 2009 at 1:19 PM  
Blogger MidnightMom said...

I am so glad to hear that you went away for awhile, as difficult as it was to come home. I can only imagine, dear parents, what you experience. God's mercies are new every morning, and it is my daily prayer that He generously gives such mercies to you and your families as you all, and especially the two of you, walk through this darkness. As so many are saying, here is one more family in daily prayer for you. Etsy shopping has been fun, and a blessing to see so many share in honor of your precious baby girl. God be with you every hour...Danielle Shore Graves

February 20, 2009 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger Colbert Family said...

Praying for you guys often and just falling in love with the people that you are. God is doing amazing things through you both and although this life is hard, it is like a blink of an eye compared to eternity. You will be with Cora again and you will be together for all eternity. You will meet thousands of people in Heaven who were touched by your lives and little Cora's life. Hang in there and keep your eyes focused on Jesus.

February 20, 2009 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger Elaine said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Angel Cora is now watching over you.
Elaine from MT

February 20, 2009 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger Joy said...

Oh how I know that consumed feeling. We had a very different path than you have, but we lost our daughter last fall after an 8 1/2 year battle with a host of medical challenges. I will add you to my middle-of-the-night-can't-sleep prayers. Hang in there and take it minute by minute if you have to -- I have days where I just can't get off the couch or stop crying. But ever so slowly, I've started having more and more days where I can actually function more "normally" and those are a relief. I promise that it won't always feel so dark and heavy and impossible.

February 20, 2009 at 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Lisa Daniels said...

I hesitate saying anything, on the chance that I will say the wrong thing. I'm sure you hear a lot of "wrong things" (i.e. timing is bad) when people attempt to ease your pain. But I know that people really have connected with yours in a way that is seen so rarely.

God Bless You for your willingness to share your heartache with us. It inspires and "heart-ens" us.

Lisa

February 20, 2009 at 1:31 PM  
Anonymous megan said...

GOD Is faithful...He will contunie to be faithful to you and your hubby during such a time of grief and though I only got to know little Cora through your blog she has touched me in a amazing way..I contunie to pray for a healing in your hearts. Thank you for sharing her with us and Im glad to see you were are able get away in the beatiful outdoors Im sure Cora had a good time taking a break from her big heavnly play ground to look down on her mommy and daddy playing in the snow! Blessings

February 20, 2009 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger Hailey said...

Praying in NC.

February 20, 2009 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

My heart hurts for you as you talk of missing sweet Cora. I can't even begin to imagine the swell of emotions you must be experiencing. It's so encouraging to see you still praising God for His goodness. You are touching so many by sharing your story. Thank you.

February 20, 2009 at 1:33 PM  
Blogger The Schumachers said...

It is a true testament of your faith to see you both taking solace in God and each other. I am continually touch by your story and your love and commitment to each other as husband and wife and to God. May He and you friends and family help and guide you on your journey. I stumbled upon you blog on accident and now believe I was brought there for a reason. You have taught me so much about love and faith. Your little girl is truly an angel.

February 20, 2009 at 1:36 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I am so glad that you guys were able to go away and enjoy yourselves a bit. You two are the most amazing people that I have never even met! I can't even begin to imagine your pain but I am thinking of you guys and praying for you!
Hugs and prayers,
Heather~ On the Homefront

February 20, 2009 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

You are so strong! I don't know how I would do in your situation.
Stick together. It seems like you will make it through the hard days ahead if you are able to stick it out together.
I think you decision to go away was perfect. Sometimes we all need to time to reconsider how our lives have changed. Your solution of a few days together, alone, was a start in the healing of your hearts.
I wish you both the best. Thank you for sharing more of your story

February 20, 2009 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger KKJD1 said...

Just stopping in, wanted to let you know you are both in my thoughts and prayers. Your faith being so strong has helped me so much. Blessings,Karen

February 20, 2009 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Hollie said...

I'm so glad you guys got to spend some time together. Sending lots of prayers and love your way!

February 20, 2009 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger nennermommy said...

I have followed your blog for about 3-4 weeks now! I have a 20 month old and 6 year old and they have been checked for neoblastoma because my husband had a tumor removed when he was a baby. We have been lucky. I just have to say I can't and can only imagine your pain. I am so so so sorry!!! I think you spending some time is great, you need to be each others steinghts and shoulders. My heart is here for you! with much Love, Jen

February 20, 2009 at 1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been worried about you both and am so relieved that you got away and lightened your hearts a bit. You left Kansas for Colorado and Cora was with you the whole time, in heart and spirit. She will always be with you.. I check your blog every day to see how you are doing and I love to be able to see a glimpse of life thru your loving eyes. I am amazed by how much love I can have for this sweet angel baby that I have never had the pleasure to meet. Please know that I will keep you all in my heart and in my prayers. Paula from NY

February 20, 2009 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger The Harper Family said...

Just wanted you to know that we are still praying comfort for your family. Cora is in the sweet arms of Jesus.

February 20, 2009 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Matt, Joy and Ryder said...

Can't even begin to imagine what you both must be feeling. What a good idea to get away and be able to reflect away from where everything happened. Your faith is amazing and our love and prayers are lifted up for you everyday.

February 20, 2009 at 1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back. We know that nothing we say or do can take away that hole you feel or bring her back. But oh, how we desperately wish we could! So we will continue to pray for you and hope to be an encouragement to you in any way we can. You are 2 very special people from 2 very special families and we love you all.
Gary, Kathy, Caleb & KaLisa Veer

February 20, 2009 at 2:08 PM  
Blogger Misty Rice-Baniewicz said...

I hope that should my God choose for me to ever go through anything like this, that I can only be half as courageous and faithful, and strong as the two of you. I am in awe (in a good way) to see how the two of you are handling this. I know it will be a day to day, and we are ALL here to go through them with you. You are not alone.

We love skiing, my husband and I went for an entire week for our honeymoon. I always feel closest to heaven when on top of the mountains, looking over at the beautiful world God has created for us to visit for a little while.

You are a beautiful couple, I truly admire you and I have grown a deep compassionate love for this entire family.

I look at Cora's pictures often, and will keep one in my home (if you don't mind) as a constant reminder of my blessings, so that I don't allow those hard days as a mom to consume me, but yet I embrace them.

Thank you, thank you... for your heart, your faith and for sharing your little girl with ME.

God Bless.

February 20, 2009 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger The Stockton Crew said...

I am so touched by your story and little Cora's life. I have a daughter that is 14 months old and when she was 4 months old, she started having some respitory problems. Nothing serious, but we spent some time in Children's Hospital in Birmingham. I got to see first hand what families go through and it hit us then that we could be going through the same thing one day with our Addy. It breaks my heart that you lost your precious Cora, but know that people you don't even know are praying for you. I think about your family often and am praying for God's sovereign grace to help you through your grief.

February 20, 2009 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger Mae said...

Your family has been in my prayers.Thank you for sharing your story with us. I will continue to pray for your family in the coming future.

February 20, 2009 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Praying for you...

February 20, 2009 at 2:22 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

Your faith is awesome. It's inspiring and I am learning from you. I hope to someday have that kind of faith too. I am praying for you and your husband. And "Thank You"

Steph in CA

February 20, 2009 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger The Stockton Crew said...

Sorry, respiratory!

February 20, 2009 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger The Boccias said...

Thinking of you all the time.

February 20, 2009 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger jandkland said...

I know you only from your story here and the photos of your precious baby girl. I can't for the life of me imagine enduring what you've endured. It doesn't make sense, and there are no easy answers to the question we all want to ask: "Why?"

I wish to share this Scripture, which offers a lot of hope despite the desperate circumstances in which you find yourselves. It's hope not only for your reunion with your baby in heaven, but also for right now--in the land of the living.

"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." --Psalm 27:13-14

We live in a culture that teaches impatience. We don't wait often, and when we must wait we despise it and try to rush through to the next thing. I pray that somehow in the midst of your darkest hours, you can find the strength to wait. Thinking of you and remembering Cora.

--Kelley in Georgia

February 20, 2009 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger Liana said...

You are an amazingly strong woman-- Cora was blessed to have you as her mama. Your words show such strength. You and your husband and entire family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing your journey and tremendous faith with us.

Big hugs and many prayers from St. Louis!

February 20, 2009 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger Kim, Aaron, Jake and Jack said...

I still am in awe as I think about your story. My heart breaks for you, yet I am so moved by how strong yall are being and how yall are leaning on the Lord. I pray that God will continue to bless you and that your life be full of His Praises. Chances are we will never meet you this side of heaven, but one day we will, and I will tell you once again how strong you were and how much your situation with sweet Cora has touched so many lives. Bless bless bless your precious family. Love and prayers from Abilene, Texas.

February 20, 2009 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger sarahross said...

You two are precious. My prayers continue...

February 20, 2009 at 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your faith encourages me daily and that in the mist of the storm you are able to see beyond the clouds and see our Heavenly Father with outstreached arms. I hope so many things for you and I am praying for you daily. I find myself asking God WHY but everytime I do I suddenly have a vision of sweet beautiful Cora in the arms of Jesus. My life is different, faith is stronger, and I am reminded of the power of love. Thank you for sharing your sweet Cora with me, the world is a better place because she lived. May God continue to hold you in the palm of his hand.

February 20, 2009 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

i often often consider your burdens and pray for you. and...as i've said before...my parenting has changed in light of your journey. a much needed change...i am a better mommy b/c of you & our God.

February 20, 2009 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger Britt- Sparkled Vintage Charm said...

I am so glad that you were able to have a little get away :-)
You are an amazing couple and I am so proud of you for being so strong.
I know without a doubt that you will always miss your little sweetheart. She will be with you always. God is with you always. You are wonderful parents and you will be united with your little angel someday. I hope that didn't sound corny,but I know it is true. Huge hugs to you both!!! xoxo!!! Britt :-)

February 20, 2009 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Jeremy, Jennalee and Julia Ekeland said...

So glad that you guys got away from a little bit although we miss you a lot! It makes my heart smile to see that you guys are sort of smiling through your masks in your picture. Still praying for God's strength to get through each day. Love you!

February 20, 2009 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

Thanks for posting guys. I hope it helps a little. We all want to know how you're doing. I promise to keep praying!

February 20, 2009 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Dearest Jess and Joel -
I was so encouraged to read your post today. I am glad you two were able to enjoy a bit of time away and share some good times together. You needed that for sure :)

It still amazes me how I could grieve so deeply for a family I had never met. It is truly a God thing, and I am so thankful that you have and are continuing to share your story with us.

There is a fire in me to reconnect and strengthen my walk with the Lord. You two exude such an amazing love for our God in the midst of such unthinkable tragedy, and I think to myself - am I showing that same love and faith? Am I giving glory to Him in all things? How can I grow more closely to God?

Please know that I pray for you daily, sometimes more. And, I will continue to do so. I pray that you will continue to feel loved, upheld and encouraged through this journey. You guys are not alone.

May you continue to feel His presence in the days ahead. With love,

February 20, 2009 at 4:05 PM  
Anonymous Stacy Lord said...

Joel and Jess,
I too am one of the people that you have never met. I still think about Cora every day and pray for peace and comfort to find you both. I am so glad to hear that you were able to get away for a while and just have some time. I just wanted you both to know that even though it seems that the world is just moving on, Cora will never be forgotten, nor will the love and strength that you have demonstrated so beautifully. I have never taken my child for granted because we almost lost him, but even still, I make a point to hug him more, tell him I love him more, and enjoy everyday with him. I'm so sorry your time with Cora was so short. We will continue to pray for you both. Know that people all over the world are thinking of you.
Sincerely,
Stacy Lord
Ames, IA

February 20, 2009 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger Rest For Weary Step Moms said...

I'm a mom from Wichita Kansas. Keep holding on Sweet heart. Take each day as they come. Some will be good, some not so good. Baby Cora's going with Jesus will never be or feel ok, but take it a day at a time and one day, you will go from crawling to walking as God gives you more strength. One day sweetie you, will run again....

February 20, 2009 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Hello Jess & Joel,

My heart smiled to see a post from you. I continue to pray for you both and sweet little Cora several times a day. Cora is an Angel, in every sense of the word.

Take care and please continue to share your Faith and Trust in God with us. You are such a true inspiration!!

With love & prayers,
Stacy

February 20, 2009 at 4:18 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Your family has captured me in a way I can't really understand... I hope and pray only for healing and love for your entire family.

February 20, 2009 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger Charis said...

Just said a prayer for you. I was just led to your blog from a post on Etsy, and thanks for posting the grace and beauty of your story - and what a wonderful outlook you have, even in the midst of struggle. You are an inspiration!

February 20, 2009 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger McKenzie said...

I am so happy to see a new post. I too am one of your readers whom you do not know, but I have been so blessed, inspired, and renewed by your little Cora. My heart rejoices and aches for you at the new steps you have taken in your life. I am so anxious to hear more about your faith as you continue to progress through your healing. I am amazed by our God and amazed by what he accomplished with your little Cora's life. Lots of love and prayers to your family.

February 20, 2009 at 4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't even know each other, but your story has deeply touched my life. I started following your blog after a friend of a friend wrote a post asking for prayer for Cora. What you've gone through is unimaginable, but the grace and strength you have shown has been truly inspiring. Your sweet girl has touched so many lives and been an amazing example of our Father's love. I think of you often throughout the day, and whenever I do I stop and pray for you both. I pray that you will continue to find love and peace from the Lord, and that somehow, you can feel yourself being lifted up in prayer. Thank you so much for sharing with us.
Love in Christ,
Sara C.

February 20, 2009 at 5:03 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

we're still praying for you every day over here. I'm glad you got away to spend some time together, but I know that it must have been so hard. we'll continue to pray for you and your family.

February 20, 2009 at 5:03 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

Still thinking about you and praying for you.

February 20, 2009 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger Deb DiSalvo said...

God bless you! That's all I can offer - just read your blog for the first time and there are tears streaming down my face. I cannot imagine.
Please take care of yourselves and keep your ever so strong faith in God.
-Deb

February 20, 2009 at 5:20 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Our family has been praying for your family & will continue to pray for you and your husband. I admire your strength! We will be lifting you up in prayer daily!

February 20, 2009 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I am glad you were able to get away & I can only imagine what you must be feeling now... I pray that each day gets a little easier for you & know that your sweet baby girl is in good hands, pain free having a good ole' time.

February 20, 2009 at 5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When there is a loss it's easy to want to curl up and retreat from the world. This is normal for grief but it's also healthy to get out and begin to take on life again. It feels wierd that the world does not stop and people are still moving around. Hard to explain but you probably know what I mean. Keep on getting out there. Keep on being together. Keep on talking and leaning on friends and family. Keep on. Keep on.

February 20, 2009 at 5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your blog listed on Josh and Deb's blog.

I don't know you, but feel your strength.

Cora, what a beautiful child!

Many prayers for you and your family, you are very special people and wish only the best for you.

May peace find its way into your hearts and fill those holes.....

Thanks for sharing, it is an honor to know you.

February 20, 2009 at 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Deborah said...

Still praying for youall...

February 20, 2009 at 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Tami said...

I can't imagine how tough these days are for you. I pray for you always and will never forget Cora.

February 20, 2009 at 5:54 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

My heart aches for you both. (((HUGS)))

February 20, 2009 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger Polka Dot Moon said...

Joel & Jess,

We've never met but my family feels as though we know you and your beautiful Angel Cora. I cannot imagine what you are going through, and so amazed at your strength and Faith. You've touched so many hearts with your story.
Please know that you are in our prayers and we think of you often down here in Arizona.


The Nagle Family

February 20, 2009 at 6:01 PM  
Anonymous Crystal said...

You two are so amazing and a great family...we love you and your in our prayers...

February 20, 2009 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger PamperingBeki said...

Jess, I tried to call and didn't get through.

But I wanted to tell you that I just about wet myself today when I found out that Etsy is running a story in their blog about you guys! My understanding is that the hits they get each month reaches into the millions.

I know you would have NEVER picked this, but this gorgeous baby girl of yours is reaching people. Lots of people. :)

February 20, 2009 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger Hansen Soap Co. said...

I just read about your story on Etsy's blog. I was very touched and felt I immediately wanted to help. I am going to be donating some of my soaps on Etsy to try and raise more money for the Playground in Cora's name.

I also wanted to mention that I just lost my father to stage 4 lung cancer. It is so hard, and it takes so much time to heal. Every day I think it is not real still. And I keep thinking I'll see him when I go to my parents house. The pain and reality are the hardest things to face. I cannot imagine loosing one of my children, but I do know how wretched cancer is after seeing my dad go through it and pass away. May you heal with time but never forget. The memories are what keeps the soul alive forever!

Kristina

February 20, 2009 at 6:18 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

My heart, my thoughts, and my prayers are going out to you and your family.

Have you tried getting in touch with other couples who have survived what you are going through now? One of my favorite women of all time, who has also lost a precious daughter, is Sheye Rosemeyer. If you're ever interested, her blog address is sheyerosemeyerphotography.com/blog. She always says that it is so helpful to have support and love, but it has also helped to have people to talk to who understand her pain and the depth of her grief. Maybe that will help get you through these early days.

Outside of that, all I can say is taht I am so, so sorry for your loss and that I am still praying for both of you. Please take care of yourselves.

February 20, 2009 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger Terry said...

Hello, you don't' know me and we live in different countries, but I saw you blog via Etsy. I have no words that could lift your sorrow but please know that darling Cora and your family are thought of with love.

February 20, 2009 at 6:22 PM  
Blogger jennifer rogers said...

i don't know you two at all but I am praying for strength for you two...i am so sorry for you loss of your sweet beautiful little cora god bless you both...
jennifer rogers

February 20, 2009 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger i love plum said...

my heart is with you...it is so good to see your smiles in that picture! xo

February 20, 2009 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger Marianne said...

I'm another "stranger friend" who found your blog. Your story has touched me in a way I couldn't imagine. Your Cora was such a beautiful girl that God must have needed her sooner to help Him with His work. Thank you for sharing your lives with us, we are all blessed because of it.

February 20, 2009 at 7:06 PM  
Anonymous Emily Dalke said...

Your faith is an inspiration to me. It has affection my relationship with God in such a positive way. I pray for you and your family often.
Emily Dalke

February 20, 2009 at 7:06 PM  
Anonymous cherryTreeLane said...

Continuing to pray for you each and every day. God is using you guys to reach thousands. Praise the Lord for you!

February 20, 2009 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger cancersucks said...

Thoughts and prayers with you every day. Stay strong. Going away was a great idea. Pulling together instead of away is wonderful. Your blogging friends are here for you...even if you don't know us, we are here in your heart.

February 20, 2009 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger Hana said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us! I cannot begin to imagine the emotions you must be experiencing but the fact that you are able to exhalt our Lord amidst this trial is amazing and awe inspiring!! Cora's life will touch more people than you will ever know!! May you find peace in knowing that your sweet, precious Cora is at peace w/ her creator, wrapped in the arms of the one who loves her even more than you...our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! May God pour out his blessings on you and your family!

February 20, 2009 at 7:39 PM  
Anonymous Becky Bishop said...

Wow, what a testimony your family is for our awesome God. You don't know me, but you have been in my thoughts and prayers. I am amazed at your strength and know that it could only come from God. I will continue to pray for you.
In His Love,
Becky Bishop
Trussville, Alabama

February 20, 2009 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

We are all I am sure thinking of you and wondering how you have been while going through this .
Always thinking of you and of course Cora too.
xoxo

February 20, 2009 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger Erin, Kaitlyn and Henry said...

I am praying for you and helping the best way I know to support your cause. I am one of the Etsy sellers that is helping build Cora's Playground. Although, I feel that my prayer is going to be more beneficial to you than my $ will ever be. I posted on my blog about you and my aunt from Overton NE said that you guys have connections to Overton through grandparents and aunts and uncles. It is such a small world and I am glad I came across your story to really help pray. God Bless and take good care of yourselves.

February 20, 2009 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger woolies said...

If only my teenage children could realize how fleeting life can be, why is it that they don't treat each other with love and compassion? It breaks my heart, as it broke my heart this evening to read about your loss. Sending prayers to your family -
"The Lord is my shepard, I shall not want.."

February 20, 2009 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger Skylars Candy Clips said...

Joel and Jessica - I was so touched by your story and everything you've been through. I am a seller on etsy and I listed one of my items for Cora's Playground. I'm happy to say that it sold today and I've contributed the proceeds in her memory. God bless.

February 20, 2009 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger anglswngs said...

I just want to send you guys a huge hug!
Debbie
Annapolis

February 20, 2009 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

This is the first I have read about the difficult trials you have had to face. Cora was just a darling and I know you must miss her terribly. That sweet precious little face and those beautiful eyes. I know that God is sitting right beside you and my prayer is that you will feel His presence each day. Blessings to you all and tremendous sorrow for your loss.

Carrie

February 20, 2009 at 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Ann-Margaret's Visions said...

I just came across your blog the other day and want you to know that Cora has already touched my heart, and I can see that she has touched so many. I hope knowing that Cora will live on in the hearts of many people will bring you some comfort each day. I am so sorry for your loss but can see that your faith will be a shining light to many others.

You and your family are in my heart and prayers. May you feel God's comforting embrace...I can tell you do. :)

February 20, 2009 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger heather spratt said...

I am still praying and thinking of you often. I can't comprehend any of this but I know our God and He is faithful. I would love to say something that would make it easier or better in some way...it is so uncomfortable to be sad & filled with grief...then I remembered what Angie Smith (of Bring the rain blog) said...she said that people always mean well but sometimes they can be insensitiive and what helps the most is when your friends just meet you in your grief and share your burden. So let us all share your burden and continue to lift you up to our Heavenly Father and walk beside you, carry you if needed. I am praying for peace, grace and comfort! New every day!

Much Love,
Heather

February 20, 2009 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger heather spratt said...

I am still praying and thinking of you often. I can't comprehend any of this but I know our God and He is faithful. I would love to say something that would make it easier or better in some way...it is so uncomfortable to be sad & filled with grief...then I remembered what Angie Smith (of Bring the rain blog) said...she said that people always mean well but sometimes they can be insensitiive and what helps the most is when your friends just meet you in your grief and share your burden. So let us all share your burden and continue to lift you up to our Heavenly Father and walk beside you, carry you if needed. I am praying for peace, grace and comfort! New every day!

Much Love,
Heather

February 20, 2009 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger Aaron and Shannon said...

So glad you are back safely. I miss seeing you! We have been praying for you daily.

February 20, 2009 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger angie c said...

Glad that you had a chance to enjoy some of God's beauty in the mountains...Cora was there with you and will always be your sweet guardian angel. Thinking of you and praying for you daily, and thinking about sweet cora too. ((hugs)))

February 20, 2009 at 9:02 PM  
Blogger Kelli said...

I really don't know what to say other than I am praying for you! You are honoring Cora's life by staying true to your faith in Christ.

February 20, 2009 at 9:20 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I am thanking God for your strength. I am thanking Him for your testimony to the thousands who have heard your story. May God's peace, which surpasses all understanding, engulf you and comfort you.
Heather

February 20, 2009 at 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Vanessa said...

I came across your blog just a few days before your sweet little Cora passed on. My own daughter is just two days younger than Cora. I was back at work full time and really wishing and knowing in my heart that my place was to be at home with my baby. I had been contemplating leaving my job for months but I didn't do it. After Cora's passing I bawled for days thinking of you and your family as well as my own and I made the decision to quit my job and be a stay at home mom. This may seem crazy, coming from a complete stranger, but I feel I was brought to your site for a reason. It was the wake up call I needed to know what I felt in my heart was right. You have been in my prayers each and every day. Cora will forever be a reminder for me of just how precious life is and to follow my heart more often. All of my love and prayers.

February 20, 2009 at 9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jessica and Joel: So glad that you got away for a few days - Yes, coming "home" is hard, I can't imagine how hard for you both. Remember how much you love each other and that love created "Cora" who only wants her parents to be as happy as they can be together - stronger and more in love. Cora would want that. Prayers continue for you both. Peggy v.

February 20, 2009 at 9:44 PM  
Blogger The Carroll's said...

Like many others, I do not know you personally but I have been forever changed by your story and your sweet Cora. I cannot stop thinking and praying for you. A friend recently wrote about a devotional on surrender-
Surrendering your life means:

· Following God’s lead without knowing where he’s sending you;

· Waiting for God’s timing without knowing when it will come;

· Expecting a miracle without knowing how God will provide;

· Trusting God’s purpose without understanding the circumstances.

The supreme example of self-surrender is Jesus. The night before his crucifixion Jesus surrendered himself to God’s plan. He prayed, “Father, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine” (Mark 14:36 NLT).

Jesus didn’t pray, “God, if you’re able to take away this pain, please do so.” He began by affirming that God can do anything! He prayed, “God, if it is in your best interest to remove this suffering, please do so. But if it fulfills your purpose, that’s what I want, too.”

Genuine surrender says, “Father, if this problem, pain, sickness, or circumstance is needed to fulfill your purpose and glory in my life or in another’s life, please don’t take it away!”

Please know that you have been an example of genuine surrender to me and MANY others. We cannot take away the hurt but we can pray and encourage you-even from afar. Your road is hard and only you know the deepest pains, but you are not walking alone.

Praying as I breathe for you-
Sarah Carroll (Alpharetta, Georgia)

February 20, 2009 at 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Cristy said...

So glad you got to get away for a bit. I pray for you guys daily and will continue to do so. I am plugging away making my hair bows for the Cora Playground Etsy Fund!

Sending my love and hugs to you guys tonight....

Cristy Harder

February 20, 2009 at 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Courtney and Kelly said...

Jess and Joel so good to hear from you guys again. Keep holding on to eachother and God and just take one day at a time. Cora touched our lives more than you can imagine. Thank you for sharing her beautiful life with all of us.

February 20, 2009 at 9:54 PM  
Blogger Firefly Photo Jewelry said...

I can't begin to imagine the hole that is in your heart. It would be so hard going on vacation AND coming home without her. I continue to pray for you guys. May God continue to hold you in these dark days..

February 20, 2009 at 10:14 PM  
Blogger Brian and Staci said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!! I continue and will continue to lift you up in prayer. Giant hugs from little old me in Oklahoma...who doesn't even know you personally...but still would like to just give you a huge hug :)

February 20, 2009 at 10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found out about your story and sweet Cora through the blog-vine if you will and have been praying for you. I know the hurt is so deep and real and probably still so shocking, but know you are being lifted up to the Lord often by so many of your faithful brothers and sisters. How wonderful one day it will be when we all get to meet your sweet daughter in heaven! Please know that Cora will NEVER be forgotton. In Him, debi

February 20, 2009 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger Homemomma said...

laughter is healing medicine for the heart, laugh and cry together but know that you are NEVER alone for God is always with us...

Love,
Homemomma

February 20, 2009 at 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Terry said...

You said that you are "overwhelmed by all that God is doing through Cora's story." I am overwhelmed and find it difficult to describe the the emotions that I feel when I read your story. I am strengthened by your steadfast faith and courage. Little Cora was blessed to have such wonderful parents. May God give you continued strength and his peace that surpasses all understanding. Thank you for sharing your journey.

February 20, 2009 at 10:52 PM  
Anonymous kels said...

I love to log on to look at Cora's beautiful face. I am so grateful that you shared her life with us. I wish you continued peace during this challenging time. I can't wait to hear more about Cora's playground.

February 20, 2009 at 11:12 PM  
Blogger Lauren Kelly said...

So glad you both were able to go away and spend time together! I'll continue lifting you up in prayer because as you said, it's a day by day process!! We love you!!! :o)

February 20, 2009 at 11:24 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

I've not lost a child but lost my husband (we had 2 children) when I was 24 years old. That was 35 years ago and although I can tell you time eases the pain, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of him. My heart breaks for you and sweet Cora. God bless you!

February 20, 2009 at 11:49 PM  
Blogger Little Lovables said...

I am so so very sorry for your loss of your beautiful little Cora.

Many people will be crying with you and praying for you!

February 21, 2009 at 12:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for you and for peace that will surrond you and let you remember your beautiful girl with nothing but happiness in your hearts.

SW WI Mom

February 21, 2009 at 12:17 AM  
Blogger Amber said...

You two are simply amazing. You portray so much faith and trust in the Lord it is so inspiring. Thank you both for sharing such an intimate part of your life for others to love and pray for Cora. She was just precious and I know she is one beautiful angel in heaven. God has truly gained an amazing little girl. She was just too perfect for this world that God needed her for a special purpose and it is definitely being revealed to all. My thoughts and prayers are with you for I am sure you are definitely facing hard times but God will help you prevail. Lean on Him for support and have comfort in knowing so many around the world are lifting your wonderful family up in prayer every single minute of each day. May God bless you and keep you forever.

In Christ,
Amber in San Antonio, Texas

February 21, 2009 at 12:28 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer L. said...

Just wanted to let you know that I am following your story, and praying for you. I think of you throughout the day. We lost a baby while still in the womb, and while I know it's not the same, I know what grief and loss feel like. Can't wait for Heaven where we will be reunited with our loved ones.

February 21, 2009 at 1:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I came across your moving Blog via links from others. I am devastated for your family. Your adorable Cora looks so much like my own little girl Charlotte. You are incredibly strong and loving parents - I am in awe of you both. You are amazing ambassadors for Christ. I wish you much peace and love during this difficult time.
Tracy et al (Brisbane, Australia)

February 21, 2009 at 1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear family,
Asking Jesus to surround you with His peace and comfort. We will be praying for you in the days ahead.

February 21, 2009 at 1:32 AM  
Anonymous Janene said...

Your faith inspires me. Thank you for sharing it.

February 21, 2009 at 1:33 AM  
Blogger Charity said...

My Bible study has been faithful to pray for your family, and will continue to pray for you guys.

So much love from Albuquerque

February 21, 2009 at 1:46 AM  
Blogger Lemon Lollipop LLC said...

I'm just learning about your family from the article in the Etsy Storque. I don't even know you and I love you!

When I was 24, my dad died in his sleep. That was January 13, 1993. On my tear-off calendar for that very day was this verse:
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. -NASB

Now is not the time to recommend a book. Except that this book has had such an impact on me. Maybe in the future it would be helpful to you. A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sittser...his story is astounding and he put words to my own grief when I could not.

I am praying for you. Thank you very much for sharing your story. He is very near to you and even in the depths of your agonizing loss I pray that the Holy Spirit will bring His sweet comfort to you over and over again.

God bless you!

February 21, 2009 at 1:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am also a reader you don't know. Your story has touched me in so many ways. I wish you all the strength you can muster at this impossible time.
A reader in Switzerland

February 21, 2009 at 2:31 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

i too am one of the many readers of your blog and want you to know you are such an encouragement to so many and i admire your incredible strength.

continuing to pray for you and your husband and family.

February 21, 2009 at 4:05 AM  
Blogger Duyvken said...

God bless you both!

February 21, 2009 at 5:13 AM  
Blogger Lynn Jones said...

Thank you for sharing so generously with people that you don't even know. I pray that our prayers will give you strength and peace and that you will have some sense of the love that is sent your way.

February 21, 2009 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger k and c's mom said...

You'll be in my husband's and my daily prayers. Please post as you feel the emotional ability. But don't let it be something on an overwhelming to-do list. Your words and your wisdom bless as you walk through this valley. Thank you.

February 21, 2009 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Enos Family said...

So glad you have each other, and were able to get away. I can't imagine how hard this is, but you both are obviously very in love and will get through it together. I can't believe how much I worry about people I don't even know! Thank you for letting us know how you're doing. Obviously you owe "us"(your readers) nothing, so thank you. Continue to take care of each other, and turn to your friends, family, and your faith. You will get through this.

February 21, 2009 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Lacey said...

I had posted this comment when I heard the tragic news:

Anonymous said...
I cry for you - sweet, sweet baby girl - I have a daughter about Cora's age and all I can do is hold her tighter as I think of you and your angel.
Praying in MN
Lacey

February 8, 2009 4:04 PM


Since then, I've been catching up on all of your sweet posts about Cora and telling my daughter all about her and crying with her over your loss. We talk about Cora watchig over her and being her angel. Then when I got all the way back to the begining of your blog, I realized that my daughter, Evalynn, and Cora share their birthday.
I've cried so many tears for you and your sweet baby girl. Everyday we pray to her.
Please contact me if there is ANYTHING we can do.
lacey.grinager@gmail.com
~We will think of you forever.
Lacey

February 21, 2009 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Nicky8 said...

I am another person who has followed your story that you do not know but I too wanted to say thank you for sharing it with me and being such a wonderful example of God's love. I pray for you and Joel daily and I have no words for how much you must miss your sweet Cora. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

February 21, 2009 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

When you are ready, check out this website:

http://www.glowinthewoods.com/

After losing my son, I needed to find others who understood my emptiness and the way my world had turned upside down. I hope it encourages you as it has me.

Psalm 27:13-14

February 21, 2009 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger Linkis Family Love said...

Hooray, you are back. I have been checking every single day...hoping for a post, but knowing it is hard. Thank you sooo much for sharing your story, your life, your Cora, your healing, and your testimony with us all over the world. I am having a silver charm made for a simple chain necklace that says, Cora on it. This is to remind me of God's daily grace and to cherish my own little girls with patience and love, daily-even when things seem rough. My love and prayers continue for you.
Kelli <><<

February 21, 2009 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Justine said...

I'm glad that you guys got a chance to be together and grieve. My prayers are always with you. I pray for God to give you two strength and I believe he will carry you throught this dark tunnel. We all miss sweet baby Cora but I'm glad her hurt is over and that she is dancing with angels.

February 21, 2009 at 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Lana said...

I'm also one of your blog readers that you don't know in real life! I have been following your blog these past weeks and thinking and praying for your family. You and your husband are def. an example to everyone; you have clung to God through what I can imagine only to be the hardest thing you will ever endure. Stay strong, you will see your beautiful baby girl again one day! =) I will keep you in my prayers!
Lana

February 21, 2009 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger Laura. said...

i just found your blog via the article on etsy. there are just no words at a time like this, but your faith encourages me and i hope and pray that God will continue to comfort and sustain you.

February 21, 2009 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger Hollymark said...

I'm so very sorry for your loss. I can't even imagine the things you all are feeling right now. My heart goes out to you, and you're in my thoughts & prayers. God bless you

February 21, 2009 at 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for what you have been through. I have cried tears of sadness for your family and your loss. I pray that God will continue to give you both strength to recover from this very difficult situation and bring you many blessings in the future.

February 21, 2009 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger Ang said...

Hi, I came across your blog thru one that I follow (Heidi) and I just have sat here and read page after page of your precious baby girl. I am sure you have heard 1000 times by now but I am truly sorry and will pray for your family to heal. Hope you don't mind me stopping by. (((hugs)))

February 21, 2009 at 1:14 PM  
Anonymous domoshar said...

I first heard of you and Cora few minutes ago, just read your story... and I am shocked, impressed and crying... Sending you love!

February 21, 2009 at 1:17 PM  
Blogger Priscilla said...

Hello,
I found your blog not too long ago off another blog. I can't imagine what it is losing a child, but it is encouraging to see you guys trusting and praising God even thru this trial. I pray that He will continue to strengthen and even fill your hole in your hearts.
May God bless you,
Priscilla

February 21, 2009 at 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Kathryn said...

Saw your blog because of Etsy, and I read the whole thing.

It is crystal clear that Cora had an amazing life, full of love, fun, adventure and surrounded always by people who loved her. You are incredible parents.

Thank you for sharing your story, and thank you for taking such good care of that sweet baby while she was with us.

You are loved.

February 21, 2009 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger texasinafrica said...

It is OKAY to not move forward for awhile. You need to grieve fully. May the peace of Christ be with you every moment.

February 21, 2009 at 1:36 PM  
Blogger Micki said...

Griefshare.org has a great daily devotion that you might be interested in...click on the "sign up" and they will email it to you every day for a year. I have found it to be very helpful.
Thanks for letting us know that you are surviving...that is encouraging.

February 21, 2009 at 1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome back! I hope the time away has given you a renewed look on the days coming ahead.

Still praying for you both and I look forward to reading more and learning more from you as you continue down your path with the Lord.

Audrey

http://gi-janearng.livejournal.com/

February 21, 2009 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger LisaL said...

So glad that you two were able to spend some time together away and in a beautiful place. I know you don't know me, but I have grieved for your loss. I pray for your comfort and healing. So glad you were able to spend some happy time together. \

God Bless You!

February 21, 2009 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger The Evans Family said...

God bless you both.

February 21, 2009 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger Splendid Things said...

Your family is in my thoughts and prayers! Jeanette

February 21, 2009 at 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome home. I pray that the Lord will fill that hole in your heart in his wonderful way of doing things. He is indeed a great and mighty and LOVING Father!I pray that Joy will come to you both in the morning.
Bless you. And thank you for continuing to blog.

February 21, 2009 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger wife.mom.nurse said...

With Love, Encouragement, and many prayers.

Julie

February 21, 2009 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger The Twins said...

I don't have any words to console you but God is holding you in his arms! Your faith has been an amazing witness to ME!! I am 41 years old and lost my identical twin sister to Acute Myoletic Leukemia on June 1, 2008 - 10 days after her diagnosis. It gets easier one day and then it is harder the next - hold fast to the promises of our Heavenly Father! And my Tracy always wanted a little girl (she has 2 boys) so maybe she is loving on your beautiful little Cora! My love and prayers go out to both of you and each morning when you wake up, just breathe, and let God do the rest. ~Dorothy

February 21, 2009 at 4:46 PM  
Blogger Mimi and Lola said...

My husband and I know your exact emotions and feelings. I gave birth to a baby boy Massimo on July 22, 1998 with cancer. Our son was with us for only six months. I never thought I would have kids ever again fearing that this would happen again. Two years later, Madeleine was born. Our family always talks about Massimo. Madeleine has never met him but talks about him like she had met him. He's her big brother. My eldest son faintly remembers but he too talks about him, writes essays about him. He's still part of our family. He's with us in spirit. Stay strong. It's going to be tough but talk it through. Keep talking to your husband and express your feelings.
Our prayers are with you. Frank and Laura, Toronto, Canada

February 21, 2009 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger ran shae said...

still thinking of you and lifting you up to my Father every day, knowing He is the one who can bring peace to your life and healing to your hearts. tonight, i ask that He give you lighter hearts and peaceful sleep.

~randi, in wichita

February 21, 2009 at 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

I have had a bad day today and thought about skipping your blog because I figured it would just depress me even more, I'm pleasantly surprised that you got away and spent some time together, I can't imagine your heartache but it's good to hear you talk about your faith. I am praying for you daily and hope you continue to share your heart here.

February 21, 2009 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger HugYourKidsToday said...

'Just came across your sad story. I am sure your arms ache for darling Cora. Thank you for being bold enough to share your real experience.

I too am a grieving mother. Our son Mark died 10 years ago from brain cancer. He died very suddenly too.

I started National Hug Your Kids Day" in his honor (July 20 this year) and wrote a book called "Hug Your Kids Today! 5 Key Lessons for Every Working Parent." Learn more: www.HugYourKidsToday.com

I'd like to send you a copy if you'll send me your mailing address.
Michelle Nichols
hugs@HugYourKidsToday.com

February 21, 2009 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

I'm so glad to hear from you...You both are such a model of Christ's love. I know God will bless you abundantly for you faithfullness.

February 21, 2009 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Tuesday Girl said...

My son just turned 11 months old. Reading this post tears were falling from my eyes.
I hope you find peace and make sure to love each other more and hold on to each other, because it is easy to do the opposite.

I will keep your family in my prayers.

February 21, 2009 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger meg duerksen said...

i see hope in your eyes.
i am thinking of you constantly. hoping your doing okay. constantly on my mind.

February 21, 2009 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger Dancing Queen said...

what wonderful advice...to take time out for yourselves to step back and try and renew your love for one another & lean on each other in your new "normal". you are in our thoughts & prayers constantly, and we send you every wish for peace!

many, many blessings...

February 21, 2009 at 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Maria said...

I am praying for you. Every day.

February 21, 2009 at 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crying for you. Praying for you...a dozen times everyday.

February 21, 2009 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger auntsuesoldnewlovely said...

I just saw the bit about your family on etsy!
I know your pain.
God is good all the time and he is faithful to bring you through this. His mercies are new every morning!
I am praying for you! What a grand reunion you have to look forward to!
'Aunt Sue'

February 21, 2009 at 9:45 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

God bless you and your family during this heart wrenching time. Your Friend In Christ (and loyal blog follower)...Wendy in AZ

February 21, 2009 at 9:49 PM  
Blogger Momma_Hug said...

Your strength is amazing. It's great that you both were able to get away and have time together. I can't even begin to imagine what you have been through and continue to go through. It's so good to hear from you. I think of you both and precious Cora daily.

February 21, 2009 at 10:04 PM  

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