The Macs

Friday, November 27, 2009

even this year...

...there are so many things to be thankful for.

We made it through the first part of the holiday season. And honestly, yesterday I did not wake up with a thankful heart. I woke up with a heavy heart and tears. I knew that I was having to face another holiday without Cora and I was so sad. The normal happy family gatherings just didn't seem right without her. I thought about what that day should have looked like. Our house should have been filled with excitement as we got ready for the day and told Cora all about going to Grammy and Papa's to eat dinner and play with her cousins. Instead our house was horribly quiet and there was no one to talk to. I just felt this huge hole in my heart. It has been there since Cora died, but yesterday I felt it so intensely.

But, God's grace was truly sufficient to get us through the day when we would have rather stayed in bed and not faced Thanksgiving at all. He gave us the strength to make it through. And yet despite the sadness and heaviness in my heart, yesterday I sensed how much I still have to be thankful for. Even in the face of death and celebrating these holidays without Cora, God's hope comes shining through.

Yesterday I took time to write down the many things I have to be thankful for. These were just a few:

Joel. My husband is amazing and I can't imagine walking this road of grief without him. I am so thankful for his constant love, understanding, and support. I am so thankful that I have someone to cry with who misses my sweet little girl just as much as I do. I am so thankful for how he continues to point us to Jesus in the midst of pain.

Cora. My sweet daughter and the eleven amazing months we had with her. Even though loosing her has been the most painful thing I have ever had to endure, I wouldn't trade those eleven months for anything. I feel so blessed that the Lord chose me to be Cora's mama. She has forever changed my life and I can't wait to see her again in heaven.

Baby Mac. What a blessing he/she is to us already. I am so thankful that our house will be filled with the love and joys of a child again. I am so thankful that Joel and I will get to be daddy and mommy again.

Family. ALL of our family is wonderful. I honestly couldn't ask for a better support system. Even as I write this they are helping me paint and finish some projects in my house so it is done before the baby comes. They love us and will do anything for us and I am so grateful. I am especially thankful for my mom and sister who have stuck so close to me this year. They have seen me at my ugliest and I am so thankful for their unconditional love.

Friends. Old friends and even a few new friends who allow us to be real and miss Cora along with us. They care about us so much and want to know how we are REALLY doing.

HOPE. I am most thankful for the hope that is found in my relationship with Jesus Christ alone. It is this hope that sustains me and inspires me to keep enduring. It is this hope that assures me of the deep love of my Savior even amidst a painful world that doesn't make sense. Because of this hope, and because I am in His loving care, I have everything I need.

For that and that alone, I am extremely thankful.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

31 Comments:

Anonymous Christina said...

I sat here for a while, and I don't really have words to say. That's probably better sometimes. Just to say I'm still praying for you and I'll keep on doing that.

November 27, 2009 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger FaceforGrace said...

Beautifully written. You are such an inspiration!

November 27, 2009 at 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Robin in Benton said...

God truly blessed both of you with being Cora's parents - and blessed Cora and Baby Mac by allowing them to have you as parents. You are both amazing and a constant inspiration to so many. Praying for you always.

November 27, 2009 at 10:43 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

God Bless You both!! I am thankful to God that I found your blog!

November 27, 2009 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger starnes family said...

Your strength is inspiring!

November 27, 2009 at 11:24 PM  
Blogger dawn said...

I don't know you, and hope I am not too bold in saying this-- but I am proud of you. You are doing the right thing--you are grieving and you are sharing your grief. And you are putting one foot in front of the other, being as thankful as you can be, and not despairing. While you won't have Cora back in this life, better days are still ahead...days when the hurt is not in the forefront. And it won't mean you won't miss her--it just won't hurt as bad. You are cooperating with God as you walk this dark path...and He is faithful. He is a redeemer. Blessings.

November 28, 2009 at 12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and we thank you for sharing your journey and for helping any parent that has or will lose a child. xx

November 28, 2009 at 12:15 AM  
Blogger Jenifer said...

I prey for yall...I have to say you made me look at what I am truely grateful for

November 28, 2009 at 12:38 AM  
Anonymous Carla said...

I thought about you alot yesterday and on Thursday. Im glad you made it through. To find such generosity and strength in your heart at such a hard time is truly amazing. Take good care of yourself and Joel and baby.

November 28, 2009 at 4:03 AM  
Blogger k and c's mom said...

I stop by often to see how you are doing. Above all else I appreciate your honesty: certainly it helps us know how to pray for you. Blessings on you all.

November 28, 2009 at 4:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God bless you abundantly!! I came to your site when sweet Cora was sick and have been following your blog since. Have cried many times when i read your update-i was touched and challenged! Cora is beautiful!! Now having experienced the death of a tiny son on Sept 18th of this year i had a new reason to come back- u feel an instant bond with other parents who lost loved ones. One post you blogged about the book HOPE by Nancy Guthrie and i decided to get it--it has been a HUGE blessing to me- thank u for that.
I also just purchased some Cora items for the first and can't wait to see them. Got a set of burpies even tho my baby isn't with me-i just had to have them! Many blessings to you- i pray your upcoming labor and delivery will be smooth and your precious little one healthy!
Lena Stoltzfus

November 28, 2009 at 7:01 AM  
Blogger onlymehere said...

I'm truly and sincerely thankful for your faith this day. Without even realizing it you are inspiring and helping those of us who are struggling with much smaller trials than you've been called to endure. May God continue to bless you, your husband, and your unborn child. Cindy

November 28, 2009 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger Shelly Primm said...

My heart is heavy for you and Joel. You are such an inspiration to so many parents who are walking this walk with you. I was 12 when I lost my 14 year old brother to a tragic accident and my mother grieved for 20 years until I had my first child. I SO wished she would have had support and faith like you. God bless you!

November 28, 2009 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger PamperingBeki said...

Tears falling for you.

I'm so proud of you.

And happy for you too. I woke up Thanksgiving morning and prayed for you. I prayed that you would have the exact kind of day that you did - Knowing that there is a dreadful, painful, hole, but able to give thanks anyway.

You're always in my prayers, but we're praying a little extra to help you get through this Holiday season.

November 28, 2009 at 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You amaze me. . .your honesty, your faith in God. You and Joel have been such an inspiration to me. . . .
Thank you for sharing and allowing God to use you and bless others the way you have. Praying that Baby Mac will arrive safely. What a honor and joy it will be to share your memories of sweet Cora with your other children!!

November 28, 2009 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger Whimsical Creations said...

hugs!

November 28, 2009 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Heather | Cookie Mondays said...

I'm so glad you made it through. Your package is FINALLY on its way :) Thinking of you lots.

xx

November 28, 2009 at 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Courtney said...

It will be 10 years on Dec 11 since Dylan went to Heaven and yesterday while I was decorating for Christmas all I could do was cry. Cry knowing that a big birthday was coming and crying because He isn't here to decorate with us. Today we went to the cemetary to decorate and while it looks wonderful it really is wrong. I too know that we will be together in Heaven and I find peace in that.

I pray for you guys all the time and I am so glad that you still are thankful.
Courtney

November 28, 2009 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Marla Taviano said...

Thankful for you, Jess! Love you, sweet Cora!

November 28, 2009 at 9:27 PM  
Blogger Dinee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 29, 2009 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger Dinee said...

This song has brought me comfort and I hope you can bring you some as well.

http://www.last.fm/music/Steven%20Curtis%20Chapman/_/Jesus%20Will%20Meet%20You%20There

November 29, 2009 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger Mum2twopreciousgifts said...

Jess

I stopped by as I was thinking of you. I was praying that you managed to cope with Thanksgiving.

With thoughts from our little family in Australia to you, Joel and your family.

November 29, 2009 at 6:11 PM  
Blogger TRICIA @ The Zoo said...

Jess and Joel,

My heart is hurting and full for you all at the same time. I know that no words from a stranger could take away or even begin to heal the pain that you feel. God sustains us through all things if we choose to allow him. Please just know that today I am thankful for the strength that you both have shown in continuing to share your journey.

With love and prayers for all of you,
XO*Tricia

November 29, 2009 at 9:09 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

This post is so honest, I can feel your pain. Keep your hearts focused in the right direction and you'll get there. It's always going to be tough. After my husband died (and it must be so much harder to lose a child), I felt that there was a huge gaping hole in my heart. A physical ache. That hole has healed now (it's taken me 5 years!), but the scar will be there forever. Cora has touched so many hearts and she will always be with you.

Sending you both all my love, Sue x

November 30, 2009 at 2:40 AM  
Blogger Lauren Kelly said...

Glad you were able to find thanks and peace in a day where the pain of missing Cora was in the mix. His grace is sufficient!!

November 30, 2009 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

I thought about you and prayed for you on Thanksgiving. This season will undoubtedly be difficult. Cling to each other, cling to Jesus and cling to hope.

November 30, 2009 at 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Diana said...

Amen.

{{hugz}}

:)

November 30, 2009 at 1:00 PM  
Blogger The Mershawn's said...

We're still praying.
And still so sorry.
Hope is good...praying it grows everyday that you miss her.

November 30, 2009 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger Alisha said...

Thank you for being an open book and showing your feelings. I can't imagine your pain and I'm sure it will never go away. She is so darn beautiful with a gorgeous smile - I'm sure she gave you 11 great months of memories - what a blessing that is.

God bless you!

November 30, 2009 at 7:45 PM  
Blogger Annie said...

The "firsts" area always the hardest and you have are close to the end of the valley of the first year without your sweet girl. Special days are always hard, especially when you think about how it "should be"...that's always the hardest for me, anyway...
So much healing and joy is coming with Baby Mac---and even though having another baby brings a whole new set of fears and anxieties, it also brings so much peace and happiness! Keep giving those fears to our Heavenly Father...I pray for you often...

December 1, 2009 at 7:03 AM  
Blogger La Familia Garcia said...

As I sit here with tear-filled eyes, I know can't truely understand since I have not "been there." But you have an amazing out look for what's next in this life and after this life. Thankyou for sharing that with us!

December 2, 2009 at 10:15 AM  

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