The Macs

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

a hard week

My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
Psalm 119:28

I haven't blogged this past week because this is how I feel..."weary with sorrow". Wondering how long I will feel like my heart is crushed. Wondering if life will ever feel "normal" again. Wondering why God allows us to go through such painful things. Just sad.

You might remember me mentioning a boy named Tony. He lost his fight with cancer just a few days before Cora did while we were in PICU. On Friday I got a call with the news that Tony's dad had been killed in a farming accident. Joel and I feel such heartache for this family. We can't even imagine dealing with the loss of another loved one on top of losing Cora.  Please pray for Tony's mom, Olivia, and his four siblings who are facing such hard days.

I was thinking back to our days in the hospital.  I remember writing on our blog that God's Word had been so alive and relevant to what we were facing during those horrible days. It was.

That is still so true today. God's Word is the only thing that is getting me through these days. People's kind words and time with dear friends and family helps so much, but it can't sustain me.  My relationship with Christ and the HOPE that I have in Him--that is what is getting me through these hard, lonely days.  I long to read the Word each day because it comforts me in a way that only HE can.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

I am so thankful that I serve a God who is so close to me and my family on this journey. 

113 Comments:

Blogger Michelle said...

I hope that time will help heal your heart. I was really depressed years ago and had to remind my self it was temporary even tough at the time it felt permanent and like I was neer going to move on. I'm glad you posted, I've been wondering about you ~ always. I am so sad for Tony's family too. I was wondering if you kept in touch with them. Praying for both of you.

March 18, 2009 at 7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jess,

You don't know me, but every night I pray for you and Joel. Not an hour goes by during the day that I don't think of you and pray for you. I will continue to pray for you for years to come. Your sweet Cora will live on in the memories of countless friends, family, and strangers. We love you and are praying for you.

Love,
Emily

March 18, 2009 at 7:39 PM  
Blogger Sarah Joy said...

my heart is so, so broken for you guys and I sit here crying as I read your words... so transparent and honest to us, many of us strangers. I am lifting you before your heavenly Father tonight and praying for you, as I have been over the past weeks. May his word continue to strengthen you and sustain you as you walk your journey. Blessings,
Sarah

March 18, 2009 at 7:39 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Jess and Joel--
I am reading this and crying with you right now. Thank you for sharing your hearts and the HOPE that you find in our Father and through His Word. Praying for you constantly . . .

March 18, 2009 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger Alisha said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Your ability to stay so focused is amazing...God bless you!

March 18, 2009 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger Frugal Jen said...

You are in my thoughts and in my prayers. Many people around this country are praying for you daily. Sending more prayers :)

Jen

March 18, 2009 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger Tiffany White said...

You're not crying alone.

March 18, 2009 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger mrosev14 said...

I am so heartbroken for you and Tony's family. Your relationship with God is incredible, I hope to have a relationship like yours one day.

March 18, 2009 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger blessedmomto7 said...

Jess,
YOU ARE SO STRONG! I am so sad for Tony's family. In cases like this its SO HARD to understand WHY? Just like your sweet baby Cora-those of us who "traveled the journey with you" via blog land will never forget Cora or your family-prayers to you tonight friend.

Jen

March 18, 2009 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger Aaron and Shannon said...

It was good to see you today and spend time with you. I hope that a little bit of time with friends was good for you. I am still praying for you and Joel all the time.

March 18, 2009 at 7:51 PM  
Anonymous Rebecca said...

Hugs and prayers for both you.

March 18, 2009 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Devon said...

praying for you...

step by step. moment by moment.

thats how you do it...its not easy but you just keep going. praying god will continue to lavish his grace upon you...

March 18, 2009 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger purejoy said...

awwww, such a sweet post. you speak such truth, and i'm so glad that you've got the Rock to stand on.
press on, sister. we are praying for you.

March 18, 2009 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger Grayson and Finley said...

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul." Psalm 143:8

March 18, 2009 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger angie c said...

I've been thinking of you a lot this last week...you will surely go thru lots of ups and downs thru all this-I'm so glad you are focusing on Jesus. He is the only rock we have! hugs to you--

March 18, 2009 at 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Courtney said...

I really have no words for the pain that Tony's family is feeling right now. I do know that Tony and his Daddy are rejoicing in Heaven together right now. I will continue to pray for his family and as always your too. Stay focused on the Lord and know that He is always with you and Olivia and her children.
Love In Christ
Courtney

March 18, 2009 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Marla Taviano said...

Loving you. Praying for you. And for Olivia and her family.

March 18, 2009 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

oh my...i wish i had some words of comfort...but you have them already in your hand as you hold your Bible. you are so precious to God and He will not leave you. While we are not there with you can't truly carry your burden, know that you are loved and prayed for by strangers. your story touches me constantly...keep looking up to Christ and you will get the strength you need for the moment, then the next...

March 18, 2009 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger The Carroll's said...

For You will light my lamp;
The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
Psalm 18:28

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.
Nahum 1:7

Thanks for sharing how we can pray specifically for you guys. Praying that God will get all the glory and trusting that He WILL sustain you for He is near the brokenhearted. Please God- be near.

March 18, 2009 at 8:05 PM  
Blogger PamperingBeki said...

Ohmygoodness. What a horrible loss for Tony's family.

Prayers for them.

I had a good visit with you today and when I'm nervous I chatter a lot, but don't really "say" anything which is what happened, I'm afraid. After you left I thought of so many other things I'd wanted to tell you that I didn't say.

I hope this bond you've developed with Tony's family can help you both. It's a horrible situation that no one should ever have to endure, but having God and friends who relate might make it a tiny bit more tolerable.

Praying for you daily.

March 18, 2009 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Phoenix's Mom said...

Your strength and faith continue to amaze me. Thank you for sharing your story. Please know that you are in my prayers.

March 18, 2009 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

My heart aches for you...I feel so inadequate...I wish there was something I could do to ease your pain. I guess all I can say as another reader said, you don't cry alone!

March 18, 2009 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Time is such a hard thing...it's hard when it passes and takes us farther from the one we love and miss so much. And it's a hard thing to wait for it to pass so we can feel something different...relief, hope, joy...all those things.

I wish I had great words of wisdom to help your hurting heart. I know from experience that time is a great healer...one day you will just feel "different." Not better...not over it...but different.

Remember there is always hope, even in the darkest of days and nights. I know it is hard.

"If I'm afraid, doesn't mean that I'm not brave.
If I doubt, doesn't mean that I've lost faith.
If I fall, doesn't mean I can't go on.
If I cry, doesn't mean that I'm not strong."

Those are some of my favorite lyrics from a song by Jana Stanfield. Remember...you are so brave, trust your faith, it's okay to fall and cry - you will go on, and you are so very strong.

Praying for you tonight...and every night.

March 18, 2009 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger Tricia boutellefamilyzoo@yahoo.com said...

May God continue to bless you and Joel.
He will continue to lift you up.
Your lives and your strength have been such a blessing to others. I hope that others can be a blessing to you.

March 18, 2009 at 8:16 PM  
Anonymous ~kris~ said...

I think of you and Sweet Cora often. I bought a necklace off of Etsy to support the playground fundraiser. I wear it in honor of my healthy baby girl who is 19 months old and for your baby girl who is cradled in the arms of Jesus.

March 18, 2009 at 8:18 PM  
Blogger Carole said...

Jess,

While I know you are fighting for the strength to get through each moment, each day, please know that you have given me so much hope and faith through your journey. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be in your shoes, but I do know that you have touched the hearts of many. My own relationship with God has grown significantly since I have begun reading your blog, and I am grateful for the each and every day.

Know that you are in the hearts and prayers of many.

March 18, 2009 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger Trisha said...

Jess-

I've been following your blog and know what you are going through. We lost our baby, Nate (born the same day as Cora 3/5/08) after 25 days to a heart defect. I've been walking this difficult road for almost a year. I feel like the Lord has taught me so much and I want to share it. I don't want anyone to feel lonely -- like no one else understands. Phil. 4 is the lesson that God has repeatedly put in my face. At first, I didn't understand how it applied. So...he kept giving it back to me. I finally get it and it's really helped me deal with the loss of my baby boy. I know that at this stage it's hard to reach out for help. But, please email me. Hugs, Trisha trisha_larson@yahoo.com

March 18, 2009 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Whimsical Creations said...

HUgs!

That is so tragic and sad about Tony and his dad. I couldn't even imagine loosing one family member let alone two.

Hugs!

March 18, 2009 at 8:28 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

I think about you always and pray for you daily. I know that God is putting his arms around you and holding you tight.

I am so sadden by the news of Tony's dad. I will be praying for you both.

March 18, 2009 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger hoosier68 said...

Still thinking of and praying for you daily.

March 18, 2009 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I can hardly read your blog without crying! I just cannot even imagine what you are feeling and going thru. Please know that you have so many people supporting you and praying for you. From one mother to another....God bless you.

March 18, 2009 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger The Jones' said...

Jess,
You are an amazing women. I pray for you, Joel, and your families daily. Sending you hugs!
Liz

March 18, 2009 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger Kristi REDISKE said...

Thankyou for posting-I have been praying for strength for your family-I cannot imagine your loneliness without your daughter Cora. I know you must long for her and miss her terribly-God is the only one you can find some comfort in but its still terrible for you. Thankyou for still loving God-I pray that he will feel your heart with Joy. How are the grandparents doing-I am a grandparent and it must be hard for them and also to watch their children so sad. I will keep praying. we all love you in the Lord.

March 18, 2009 at 8:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THANK YOU FOR POSTING! Not that you owe us anything but we worry so much about you and Joel. You are so STRONG to continue sharing your life with us. Oh How I wish that I could take some of your pain. I don't know what it is like to stand in your shoes but oh how I grieve for your loss. My heart is broken for you, Joel and your families. I can't imagine how you get through the days, my tears flow daily thinking of you and sweet Cora. You strong faith and grace continue to be inspiring. You are an incredible person to be able to think of another families needs when you are going through such heartache..I will say prayers for Olivia and her children.
Thank you for thinking of us and continueing to blog.
I continue to check on you, think of you, cry for your loss and pray for you multiple multiple times a day. If I can do more PLEASE let us know.

Kim

March 18, 2009 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I love you so much.

Cousin Laura

March 18, 2009 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger The Sieberts said...

you inspire me so much to deepen my relationship with Christ. You are so loved and are prayed for everyday. We don't see you much-but know that you are always on our hearts!

March 18, 2009 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Allen and Debby Graber said...

Yes, Phil 4 is great, just like Trisha said. I love the Word!
You are right, Jess, the Word is just what we need to strengthen us. "The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul." Ps. 19:7

"I will call on you, O God, for You will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer...Hide me in the shadow of Your wings." Psl 17:6&8

Psalm 16 has been a favorite of mine for years. "You are my Lord; apart from You I have no good thing...You will fill me with joy in Your presence." I keep a bottle of Joy dish soap by my kitchen sink to remind me that my joy is in Him, not in circumstances beyond my control.

You are ever in my prayers, Jess. And we need to pray for Tony's family too. What heartache. I have heard of 3 others just this week who also have died or are dying. We must keep the eternal perspective at hand and look at the big picture. This life is just a pin point compared to all eternity. Without thinking of that, and of God's absolute love and plan for us, life would just be too depressing! How can people live without the HOPE that Christ offers? Debby

March 18, 2009 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger The Russell Family said...

I have been following your story for awhile and my heart truly breaks for you and your family... What faith you have ~ it's so easy to have faith and trust in "him" when things are easy I'm so proud of you for keeping the faith... Look at what little Cora's life has already done to spread the word of GOD... I know you will be forever changed by what you are going through and I pray that GOD will continue to use you and your story for HIS glory... May you wake daily to feel the arms of our everlasting father wrapped around you and may you find HOPE in HIM daily.... You are being prayed for by so many... In Him, Wendy

March 18, 2009 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

I'm so sorry that you are in such pain. We are just strangers, but are praying for you, and will pray for Joel's family as well. May God comfort you.

March 18, 2009 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger Heather's Home (aka Chez Hez) said...

Jess -
I was so relieved to see your post this evening. I, too, am thinking of you, Joel, and Cora often. Even though our families don't know each other, you and yours are continually in our prayers as like so many others who've left their thoughts here, too.

My friend lost her mom this week. I had given her a necklace that I had purchased on etsy that had been made up with "cora's playground" on it. I, of course, had told her your story and she told me last nite how much having that necklace has helped ease her pain this week. She holds it close when it feels like too much and then takes a deep breath and knows she can go on for just another minute.

Please, take care and know that we're thinking of you. <3

~ Heather

March 18, 2009 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger The Parker's said...

As many who have commented, you have no idea who I am. I check on you daily and think of you always. I cry for the loss of your beautiful baby girl. But, I pray that the God of all comfort will wrap you in his loving arms.
I am so very sorry.

March 18, 2009 at 9:28 PM  
Blogger mommaof4wife2r said...

bless your hearts...and i so appreciate the reminder. many prayers for you and joel...and i'm saddened by the loss in tony's fam...

March 18, 2009 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger Lacie and Stephen said...

The constant weariness does subside after a short time, but it will never fully go away. Even a year and a half after losing my daughter, I just have days where it will hit me like a ton of bricks. I am sure by now you have heard that there is no normal anymore. Only new normal. Things won't ever feel the same, but you will be able to breath again. Keep imersing yourself in God's Word! Lean on your friends when you can. This blog is great if you need words of encouragement.

March 18, 2009 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger The Morris Family said...

This morning I was reading Ps. 71. Throughout this Ps are these words. Thou art my rock and my fortress, thou art my hope, thou art my trust, thou art he that took, thou art my strong refuge. I brought all these words to the Lord as a way to praise Him, it drives my fleshy reasoning's away and replaces it with His person, His ways and His comforts to my heart. Thou art He that took our 3yr Joel to neuroblastoma as well, but Thou art he who will be my hope and trust. Thou art he who will be my refuge when I feel so weak with tears, thou art he that will be my rock when I feel like I am sinking in the emotions, thou art he that will be my fortress where I can hide from the enemy's darts of "God wasn't fair."
Only the Word can get us through this!!
Cindy

March 18, 2009 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger ran shae said...

you have been on my heart, and i continue to lift you up. i'm so sorry for what you're going through. that's all else i can really say.

March 18, 2009 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger Miss G said...

I ache for Tony's family. Thank you so much for sharing what you did about relying on God's word. I have been a Christian all my life but this touched a chord with me in some way that I haven't quite thought of the Word before. Thank you. Kelly

March 18, 2009 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

I was really thinking about you guys yesterday and praying for you and Joel and a particular verse came to mind that I wanted to share with you. It's a little random, so bare with me as I explain why I thought of it. In Exodus 17 the Israelites were fighting the Amalekites and Joshua was leading the battle. Moses went and stood on a hill and as long as he held his staff up in the air the Israelites were winning. When he put it down they would loose. But after awhile he was tired and he just couldn't do what the Lord had commanded him to do anymore. And this is what verse 12 says: "When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up--one on one side, one on the other--so that his hands remained steady till sunset." I know that you are weary with grief right now. I'm sure some mornings you feel like you can't go on. But I want you to know even in your weariness, even when you feel like you cannot possibly handle life as you know it now, there are hundreds of people who have come along side of you to "hold your hands steady." Hundreds of people who want to come along side you and lift you up! Hundreds of people lifting your names up to our father. The Israelites won the battle and then they built an alter to the Lord saying "The LORD is our banner." It is my prayer that when you look back on these days of incredible sorrow that you will see how God brought you through. That you will see how the LORD is your banner! I pray that the word of God will continue to bring you comfort, that he will continue to be close to you! I think of you guys all the time and was even talking to a friend about Cora today. Thanks for taking the time to check in with all of us out here in blogland! You are greatly loved by so many! I'm praying for you!

March 18, 2009 at 10:03 PM  
Blogger Rachael said...

Jess,

We have never met but I have been following your blog for some time. I am so very sorry for your loss. I have been and will continue to pray for you, Joel and your family.

I cannot pretend to imagine what you are going through, but I can tell you that I went through a devastating divorce a few years ago, and I can totally relate to how you are clinging to Christ during this time. I literally didn't want to do anything besides read my Bible, pray and write in my prayer journal. I am so thrilled to hear that you too are clinging to Christ during this time of grief.

For me, my veil of grief started coming up very slowly, and now, two and a half years later, I am SO GRATEFUL for that time with my Savior. This totally sucks for you, but the Lord will comfort you and sustain you... and that is something, unfortunately, you usually only receive in dark times!

Your baby girl was absolutely gorgeous!

Praying for you. :)

March 18, 2009 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger mommyof2sons said...

I was glad to see your post tonight. My heart just breaks for you. I am praying for you. And will be praying for Tony's family too. How horrible! :(

March 18, 2009 at 10:13 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

You have not been far from my thoughts since I first came upon your blog. I absolutely can not imagine your pain. And now, yet another family experiencing another very tragic loss so soon after losing a son and brother. We will be praying for Tony's family. Please know that you are prayed for, thought of often, and your sweet Cora is remembered. I pray that if I'm ever faced with anything comparable to what you've gone through, that I could have the strong faith to get me through...I'm just not sure I'm strong enough. Much love and prayers for you.

Susan in Indiana

March 18, 2009 at 10:15 PM  
Blogger The Nebrigs said...

Praying for you all.

March 18, 2009 at 10:22 PM  
Anonymous Paula said...

Jess, I think of you several times a day. I have always felt that when God brings someone to mind, I'm to pray. I see the importance of that with what you wrote today.

Your openness and honesty amazes me. I don't think I could share with the world what I'm feeling. But at the same time, I'm glad you do because it gives us more insight on what to pray for you and Joel.

It seems the Lord is allowing so much heartache and grief in these times to grow us into His image. I am so sorry for the news of Tony's dad. We will be praying for that dear family.

My cousin's niece had a baby girl that died of a head injury three weeks after Cora died. I told my cousin about your blog so I'm hoping her niece can take the time to look you up. Even in your sorrow, you are showing others how to deal with such unbearable loss. Thank you for sharing.

God's Word indeed is our only source of comfort. We love you dearly.

Paula Unruh

March 18, 2009 at 10:32 PM  
Blogger dg darling said...

Praying for you and for Tony's family. I think of you daily and pray for your comfort and peace. The following song reminded me of Cora and I thought I would share it with you...

I am a child of God and He has called me home.
My earthly journey's through but still, I do not walk alone.
He leads me, guides me, walks beside me, helps me find the way.
He welcomed me with open arms. I live with Him today.


I am a child of God and I have gone ahead.
My earthly life was brief but oh, such peace and love you gave.
You loved me, held me, stood beside me and though I cannot stay.
You gave me much to help me and I live with Him today.


I am a child of God and I will wait for you.
Celestial glory shall be ours, if you can but endure.
I'll lead you, guide you, walk beside you.
Help you find the way.
I'll welcome you with open arms
One bright Celestial day.

March 18, 2009 at 10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jess, Life will never be normal again and it is totally normal to feel the way you feel, probably you don't even know how strong you are but you are. I do pray for you every day I pray a lot but I think that it is not fear, I'm nobody to judge God but I wish if soon all the pain is gone for all the families. some times I don't understand why all this things happen to innocents I hope God can give me some understanding. but thank you for share and for those bible verses. few years ago I lost my cousin to cancer she was only 21 years old she was also an only child and till today my aunt has never been the same. We missed her a lot specially her baby who was only 2 years old when she pass away. but hopefully one day we will understand why.

March 18, 2009 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Marie said...

I've been reading about your precious family, but never know what to say except that I stop to pray for you every time I do. Your life will minister deeply to so many who look to the world to fulfill a void in their lives. I have never experienced a loss like you and your husband have so I can't say I know how you feel, but I don't think anything will ever heal something like that...not time or anything else. BUT the word of God and our hope and promise in Him and the eternal life we will have with Him one day very soon WILL sustain us no matter what we face. We don't understand why things happen and why babies have to go home to be with our Master so soon, but I do know that one day you will be reunited with your daughter and there will be no more tears. Just joy. Keep pressing into Him because the enemy is always seeking to devour us, especially during the deepest darkest moments of our lives...your words bring glory to our precious Jesus and I will keep praying that you and your family will remain in the center of His will so that He can show Himself strong on your behalf.
2 Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."

March 18, 2009 at 10:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to answer the questions you present...according to my own grieving process in the loss of my loved one two and a half years ago...and another 17 years ago.

NO.

You will NEVER not feel the pain of your loss.

NO.

You will NEVER feel "normal" again.

You will experience highs and lows. You will move thru life, cuz that's what we do. But you will NEVER let go of the pain.

What you WILL do is learn to live with the agony.

Does this mean you become bitter?

NO!

You will keep your faith. You will praise your God. But you will also carry the deep emptiness. Even though HE used Cora in ways even you will never undersatnd...you will ALWAYS wonder WHY???

And you may NEVER get those answers.

But you will still hold fast to your faith. You will still look to HIM for comfort. And you will still be thankful for the many other blessings HE will bestow upon you, that are sometimes hard to focus on because they pale in comparison to what you are going thru now.

As time moves forward there will be days when you will realize, "I didn't think about her for the last hour...and I was okay." And that will turn into longer time periods. YOU WILL NEVER FORGET HER, but you WILL graciously allow life to slowly creep back in.

That, my friend, is MY reality. There are days, and sometimes several of them during one "mourning" period that I STILL stuggle to make it through. There are nights I cry myself to sleep, STILL. And I don't forsee the pain lightening any time soon.

The pain eventually becomes managable, but it never goes away. You just learn how to deal.

I remember in the beginning my sister told me, "Time. Time will take away the pain..." But it doesn't. At that time, I couldn't think about even an hour later, or a day...let alone my next breath.

Surely, I thought, the heartache alone would destroy me.

I admire your faith, for mine is not so strong any longer. But I KNOW there is a reason I have found your site. YOU give me hope that maybe ONE day my faith in God will be restored. Not today...I am still too hurt. I don't understand WHY.

For me, it's not about WHY he took this person from me...it's about WHY will HE NOT relieve me from my devastation. I have asked. I have begged. I have been on my knees sobbing. I have given this to HIM...and still I have no relief.

So I just move on as best I can. You will learn to do the same...in time.

March 18, 2009 at 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that your faith is as strong as ever moves me to tears. From following your blog I have learned so much about how it is more important to praise and glorify God during the dark times. I pray and will continue to pray that God comfort you and give you the peace which passes all understanding. His mercies are new each morning.
Ashley

March 18, 2009 at 11:25 PM  
Blogger Tessa said...

my heart goes to that family, so sad, praying for them and you guys are also in my prayers

March 18, 2009 at 11:47 PM  
Blogger heidi said...

Your faith AMAZES me. I didn't lose my children or child...but when something terrible happened I questioned God and his mercy & love. I stand in awe of you, even on your darkest days.

Someone in Montana is praying for you and sending you love.

March 19, 2009 at 12:02 AM  
Blogger Samantha said...

My heart is heavy too. It breaks my heart that a mother can't hold her baby... I pray for you every single day. You and Baby Cora are always in my thoughts.... Love and prayers...

March 19, 2009 at 12:08 AM  
Blogger Ryan's Mama said...

My heart aches for your family and for Tony's. Daily. I have a little girl about Cora's age, and I cannot even imagine what you guys are going through. A friend linked to your blog, and I've been following your story from Dallas since January. Thank you for sharing your pain and your faith so openly. You really don't know how many lives you're touching. God is doing amazing things through you story. I know that doesn't make up for the loss of Cora. But I hope that it is a comfort on some level to know that her life has had such a deep and profound meaning for so many.

March 19, 2009 at 12:31 AM  
Blogger Steve & Nancy said...

Hi Jess,

You don't know me, but I follow your blog. My heart aches for your and your family. I pray that God will continue to carry you through. I pray for peace, love, comfort and healing. He is faithful. He loves you and feels your pain. Keep looking up. You are amazing! Thank you for sharing your heart with us!

March 19, 2009 at 2:05 AM  
Blogger Netta said...

Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
46:2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
46:3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
46:4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
46:5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early."

The mountains are shaking for you now -- but He is in the midst. Glad that you guys know that. You are all in my prayers.

March 19, 2009 at 4:02 AM  
Blogger Sarah Furlough said...

That Psalm was the thing that sustained me after my son passed away. It gave me hope that I was not alone, that He was always with me.

I pray for you often, and remember your sweet Cora. What a great and faithful servant you are!

March 19, 2009 at 6:50 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

You dont know me either but I want you to know that I pray for you and Joel often. I have Cora's picture on my fridge , it was sent to me by the sweet lady who made my pin. My daughter is going through a heartbreaking divorce and is in so much pain and I too have asked why does God allow us to hurt so bad. Just like you the only way that I can get through all of this pain is to turn to his word daily. It is the only way I can go on , by leaning on his word. We have no answers to this pain but when we cross over into the Glory Land it will all become clear. The Lord promises to bring good out of pain. I will continue to pray for you and Joel. You both are precious to me! love, robin

March 19, 2009 at 6:57 AM  
Blogger Joanne (The Simple Wife) said...

You are in my family's prayers each and every day. In fact, both of my children pray for you every time they pray--in the car on the way to school, at school in their classrooms, at dinner time, at bedtime.

Audrey (10) has specifically been praying for God to wrap his arms around you and hold you close.

Thanks for your honesty and vulnerability and your witness of running to God with all your feeling. He is YOUR rock, YOUR strong tower, YOUR refuge, YOUR strength.

With love and hugs from Colorado,

Joanne

March 19, 2009 at 7:14 AM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

I am so glad you posted, I've been checking a couple of times a day to see if you had. I've been praying for you. I don't believe a mom's heart ever "heals", but I think you find peace. I think that sweet little angel of yours in heaven will have it no other way. I found your blog after Cora was ill and I always smiled when I saw her pics, she reminds me of my 10 year old at that age. I think every day you get out of bed and face another sunrise you have reason to be proud, I can't imagine the heartache.

March 19, 2009 at 7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is ok to let yourself grieve. Will you ever be "normal" no..your life is forever changed after being allowed to have your beautiful Cora and then to have her taken away. It is ok to get mad, scream, cry, question why. Your faith is AMAZING but it is ok not to always be strong..I don't understand why and never will..but I am drawn to your blog multiple multiple times a day since your Cora was diagnoised. I have questioned my faith in God, I have learned to cherish my loved ones more. What keeps me coming back? Your Cora's legacy. Jess let yourself grieve, it is ok...You don't have to show only your strong side to the world..Grieve for your loss and your sweet Cora!
Always thinking of you and praying for you!

Kim

March 19, 2009 at 7:23 AM  
Blogger Jeff & Aleigh said...

Does Tony's family have a blog? If so, I'd love to follow it! Thanks!!

March 19, 2009 at 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you have amazing faith. I am a Christian but I really don't know if I could be as faithful and strong as you have been and continue to be. You show so much grace and even though you pour out your heart, it never comes across in a poor manner. Simply Amazing! I pray that you will feel continued strength and comfort. Your story is difficult to fathom but you are an awesome testament of God's love.

March 19, 2009 at 7:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your words break my heart.
Still praying for you.
Carly

March 19, 2009 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger The Hopkins Home said...

You inspire me. Thank you for sharing your faith so openly and honestly, as I read your post I want to go immerse myself in the word as well. Praying for you and Tony's family.

March 19, 2009 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger Christina (aka - Tina) said...

I am so glad that you have such a close relationship with our Lord because if you didn't, you would never heal. What a blessing that is. Continue to cling to Him in these trying times and know that there are so many people praying for you and thinking of you everyday.

Take good care -

Your blog friend

March 19, 2009 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Tsquared417 said...

I'm a stranger to you, but check in on you daily. I am thinking of you constantly and wishing peace for your heart.

March 19, 2009 at 7:51 AM  
Blogger Miranda @ Traveling Treasures said...

I am so, so sorry. I am sorry for Tony's family's loss also. How awful.
May God keep giving you strength.

March 19, 2009 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

I honestly have no idea how you do it. I am just in awe of you! I pray for you and your husband every day and you are always in my thoughts and prayers!

March 19, 2009 at 8:01 AM  
Blogger Micah said...

I am so sorry this has been such a hard week. It is so encouraging, though, that you know where True Comfort comes from! You are hungering and thirsting for the Word of God! That is so wonderful!

I felt so sick when I read about Tony's family. I just can't imagine that kind of heartbreak. We will pray fervantly for them, just like we are for you. Every, single, day.

I miss Cora, and I didn't even know her. I can't imagine the pain that you're experiencing. There is so much comfort in knowing that she is with Jesus. She is safe and happy. She will never experience pain or sadness or tears ever again!

March 19, 2009 at 8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Jess,
This journey is so hard, I am so glad that your faith is so strong and that you find comfort in the Lord's words. I am praying for peace and healing for all of your family...you inspire me so!

March 19, 2009 at 8:17 AM  
Anonymous Jamie from Quinter, KS said...

I just posted your blog site on a Circle of Moms discussion board (through Facebook) for a mom that just lost her little one. So now your story and testimony are getting out even more!

March 19, 2009 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger Ethansmom08 said...

I can't even imagine what you are going through...I have been following your blog for about a month and a half now and have been so touched by Cora's life, your testimony and faith. I am so sorry this has been a hard week for you, please know that I am thinking of you always and praying for you and your family daily.

I am so sad to hear about the tragic loss Tony's family is now experiencing...I will be praying for them as well.

Love,
Sara

March 19, 2009 at 9:20 AM  
Anonymous Audrey said...

Hello, Jess. I keep thinking about you every day. God is such a wonderful God and it's so comforting to know that you can feel His presence through all of this. It gives us all hope.

In May I will be hosting a table for a ladies' social that benefits the Relay for Life. I will be hosting it in memory of my grandma, who passed away from cancer in 2000. I will make sure to host it in honor of Cora as well.

March 19, 2009 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Marsha said...

It was good to see a post from you. I cannot imagine the depth of sorrow that you are experiencing now. All I know is that God will carry you through this. He will be your refuge, your strong tower. One of my favorite verses is Philippians 4:13
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Even when it seems like we cannot carry on, God will carry us through. Continuing to pray for you and Joel.

Love and prayers,

Marsha in VA

March 19, 2009 at 9:35 AM  
Blogger amyflew said...

Jess, I am sad to hear you are having such a difficult time. My heart overflows with thoughts and prayers for you and your whole family that God provide you with peace and understanding. Every night my daughter and I remember you and your family in our prayers before we put her to bed. Keep staying strong!!

Amy

March 19, 2009 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

You are in my thoughts and Cora in my heart - I have purchased a few items from Etsy sellers who support Cora's Playground - I hope it helps!

March 19, 2009 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Lori said...

As I was sitting in the ER with my little girl (who will be one on the 29th), I thought of you. As hard as injuries and seeing our babies get hurt, all I could think of was how unfair for me to be so overwhelmed with an injury when some people have just lost their babies. I cried just sitting here now and catching up on your blog. My heart aches for you and I can't imagine losing my baby and being able to keep busy like you are and to read His Word daily. You are definitely shining bright for Christ and you are living out his promises that He will carry you through heartbreak and tragedy. You may not feel strong, but you are such a testimony. Thank you and may God continue to uphold you and use you for His glory. I'm praying for you now and also Tony's family. My heart is heavy for so many people right now. I can't imagine getting thru these hard times without Christ. May God bless you both as you continue to grieve for your little Cora.

March 19, 2009 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Abner & Jennie said...

Crying and praying for you still.
Thinking about you often even though you don't know me. May He keep comforting you like no other.

-Jennie in CA

March 19, 2009 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger The Mumaw's said...

I have been thinking of you a lot lately. I was hoping that you guys were doing better. I pray for you each night!
Please keep clinging to God's word.
Amy Marinello Mumaw

March 19, 2009 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger HighlandGhillie said...

I always want to say something. I sit here looking at a little white box trying to think of what words would be most comforting to people I do not know. In truth there are no words that I could say (type) that could take away any of your pain. I hope you are able to find those right words in the bible.

March 19, 2009 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger Mrs. MK said...

I have really had to come to grips with the fact that I will never be normal or healed from this pain completely until heaven. Which really seems like a terrible thing....I want to be better NOW!

I understand your not blogging. I go through huge gaps of time where there is just nothing to say. I try to live every day, be IN that day, but often, time goes by and I am just barely surviving. Not much to blog about.

You are in my prayers, and I only share where I am in hopes that it will encourage you that there are others who are completely and utterly weary with sorrow. And that the only hope for the weary is hope of heaven, where there will be no more weeping. All will be right.

I cannot tell you how much my desire for a true relationship with God has grown from this. I want to be His, I want to love him, not for what he has done or not done for me, but for who he is. I want heaven and him so badly that it is a physical pain. We are groaning, waiting for our adoption as sons....

I will stop rambling now, just know that you are always in my prayers.

March 19, 2009 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Mike, Chelsea and Co. said...

Joel and Jess-

We want you to know that our little family continues to pray for you and we think of you and your sweet Cora multiple times a day. We don't know you personally but we pray for you and are grateful for the knowledge that the time will come when you will be reunited with Cora again. Though we wish she were still here in your arms healthy and happy.

March 19, 2009 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger Hollie said...

I was going to email you, but I don't see an email address listed on your blog...could you email me? I had a question for your...cheers2Him {at} verizon {dot} net.

Still praying for you guys!

March 19, 2009 at 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Karina said...

My heart still breaks for you; I cannot even imagine the loss that Tony's family is experiencing. It all seems so utterly unfair.

I wish I could have the faith you have. I can only say that if I were in your shoes I would not be able to go on. It must be small comfort indeed, but I want you to know that you continue to be an inspiration.

March 19, 2009 at 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I praise God for the strength He is giving you, I cry out to Him for the comfort you so desperately need... Great is Thy Faithfulness.

Love you,
Angela Leaverton

March 19, 2009 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger megan said...

I pray for your heart to heal and for some of the pain you feel to lessen though you will always miss Cora I pray the fog will lift. I am lifting Olivia's family up in prayers. Blessings

March 19, 2009 at 11:50 AM  
Blogger Micah said...

Is there anything physically that we can do for Tony's family? I know you're probably not comfortable passing out their names and addresses, but if there is anything at all that we could do for them, money, notes of encouragement, whatever, let us know. We will for sure be praying.

March 19, 2009 at 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just finished the book The Shack and thought of your family. It's such an inspirational book in the midst of tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are always with your family. I'll include Tony's family as well.

March 19, 2009 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

What an incredible thing you do - being so open and vulnerable with lots of us whom you don't know. Your testimony - even when it's hard - is touching the hearts of so many! Thank you for sharing your heart.
How sad for the family of Tony. Thank you for letting us know that too. Now we can all pray for them as well.

March 19, 2009 at 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for a while and this is my first post. I am so, so sorry for your loss. Cora was a beautiful little girl.

I think about you daily and I am so saddened for you, but so happy for you too. Happy you were the parents that Cora had. Happy that you had 11 months of being the loves of her life and happy that you have a sweet angel looking over you and helping you get through every day.

People are over are hurting with you and have you in their thoughts, only wanting the very best for you. I know there is nothing anyone can say, but I felt I just needed to say...something.

I am thinking of you from Manitoba, Canada.

March 19, 2009 at 12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your faith AMAZES me! I too lost my son and only wish that my faith could be as strong. Praying for you and your family.

Laurie

March 19, 2009 at 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jess, I can't fathom how you (or Joel) feel. I can't imagine losing my daughter. I admire you guys for your strength in Jesus. I don't think I could be as faithful to Jesus when going through what you are going through. Your faith is an INSPIRATION to so many!!!! Everytime I check your blog I seem to learn something about faith. I am a Christian just not as strong as you are!! I pray for you guys every night and will continue. Thank you for sharing your faith will all us strangers.
Ashley-Tennessee

March 19, 2009 at 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jess-
I have commented on your blog a time or two. I am friends with Rhonda Rush, she and I live in Arkansas. You are friends with her sister I believe.
I wanted to let you know that I too lost my daughter. Hannah died a little over 3 months ago with a rhabdoid tumor (crazy, rare, cancer). I feel a lot of the same emotions and feeling that you are.
I know that you have a super amount of support with all your family and friends but if you ever want to talk or need someone to listen to you that has been through something similar. I am here.
Blessings to you.
Keep the Faith!
Tiffany
(hutchens_tiffany@yahoo.com)
Hannah's website
www.caringbridge.org/visit/hannahboles

March 19, 2009 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Sonya @ Balentine Bliss said...

I am so blessed everytime I read your blog. I just know God is going to bless you and your husband so abundantly for your precious faithfulness to Him and for your submission to His plan for your lives. You guys are amazing people and your little Cora's life has drawn so many to the feet of Jesus.

Even though I only know you from what I read on your blog, you are a blessing to me and I will continue to pray for you guys. Thank you for standing up and calling HIM blessed in a time that many would fall and crumble.

March 19, 2009 at 2:09 PM  
Blogger Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Praying God's continued comfort for all of you...your grief is still very fresh.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God; The Holy One of Israel, your Savior...
~Isaiah 43:2-3a

He is with you...even now...

March 19, 2009 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger Beav's Wife said...

i think of you guys all the time. we don't know each other but i often wonder how you are. when i first came across your blog, i immediately took notice of cora's name...that was my great grandmother's name and she was a triplet. she was born in the 1880's so obviously it was natural. her sisters were zora and dora and they all lived to be in their late 70's and 80's. my g'grandma was strong and a fighter, just like your sweet cora. must be something with that name. now two cora's have left a mark on my life. thank you for that...your cora is changing lives.

March 19, 2009 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger Hey Rachie Kae said...

I will be praying for Tonys family and yours. Please continue on sweetheart. God is using you in so many lives. You may not see the difference you are making in the world but I promise you God will reveal His glory that was able to touch so many lives because of you heartache and loss. All my love!

March 19, 2009 at 5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel and Jess

Just saw the article on you two on several of your following bloggers, can I just say FANTASTIC job MOMMY AND DADDY! What a great Legacy Cora's Playground is to your sweet baby girl.
You have and continue to inspire me beyond words with your FAITH and grace. How proud you should be of yourselves!
Always in my thoughts and prayers!

Kim(alabama)

March 19, 2009 at 7:17 PM  
Anonymous Maria said...

I am praying for you every day. I am so so sorry for your loss.

March 20, 2009 at 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Vernon and Grace K. said...

Life is so hard, but God is good. You show us many glimpses of your belief in His goodness and sovereignty. We just saw the television interview last night, in which you gave testimony of Jesus. That was well done and very touching; we were glad they let you speak freely.

I know there must be doubts and times of grief that nothing seems to ease, but then a verse of Scripture comes to your minds. His Spirit is your Comforter.

Just last week I heard someone say that heaven is not so far away. We are separated but by a veil, not billions of miles. This has comforted me. We cannot see our loved ones there, but they are very aware and awake in God's presence, perhaps able to see us at times. I know Jesus is taking wonderful care of Cora. And like King David said when his baby died. "I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." Someday, you and your family who know the Lord as Savior will also go to see Cora in heaven. What a reunion that will be!

You share honestly the good and the bad...this is life. Thank you for expressing the hope you know in Jesus Christ--The Resurrection and the Life.

I heard from your mom about the boy named Tony and his family. His family will be in our prayers, too.

March 21, 2009 at 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praying for you and hurting with you. I'm so sorry for the road you are walking. Thank you for sharing about Tony's family as well.

Praying that you feel us Aarons and Hurs holding you up the best we can. We know the Lord records every tear and sees every heartache. He sees you, dear ones.

Holding you up in Texas,

Jen

March 22, 2009 at 1:07 AM  
Blogger Brittany said...

Praying for you always and thinking of you often. We are still remembering you on our knees.

Hope in Him,
Brittany

March 26, 2009 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Heather Agee said...

Jess,
Thank you for sharing your heart and life with the rest of the world. Last year a dear friend of mine lost her baby when he was 23 hours old. I found myself reading your posts, and just crying. My heart aches for your loss. I am encouraged by your faith and dedication to glorifying God in the midst of your loss. I pray that God's Word and Spirit would continue to comfort and center you.
Heather

March 27, 2009 at 4:05 AM  
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August 25, 2009 at 3:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jess,
You don't know me, either; I found you through Barb (mommylife) - I think (I get lost sometimes) but I kept going when I read about your loss; my son and daughter-in-law lost their little girl about the same time you did (I think; I haven't quite gotten there yet) but I stopped when I read about Tony - I wanted to ask how his mom is doing after losing her husband as well. (My DIL also lost her mother last year as well) Hope you do well as the anniversary comes up. Hugs,
Donna

January 18, 2010 at 6:44 PM  

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