The Macs

Friday, October 30, 2009

a new family

Joel and I have been involved in small groups ever since we were married.
And it seems like it is always the same with every group.
It takes about a year for everyone to feel really comfortable with each other.
It takes that long for people to be open and real and vulnerable.
It takes that long for those people to become more like family.

But it is amazing how this time it was so different.
In one weekend we gained a new family.
In one weekend we were vulnerable with each other, there was no avoiding it.
We shared our deepest hurts and struggles.
We shared our grief.

These are the eleven couples we spent the weekend with.
Eleven amazing couples. Each and every one of them.
Starting the first night together we shared our stories.
We sat in that big living room and told all about our sweet child.
We told about the tragedies and nightmares that we each had lived through.
Each story was different, but equally horrific.
We cried together.
And although listening to all those stories was really heavy,
there was something so neat about it.
We could relate.
We understood each other. And we felt instantly connected.

We loved being able to meet Bob and Lauren.
They too lost their first child, Robbie.
Shortly after Cora went to heaven, they sent us Nancy Guthrie's books.
Lauren has encouraged me so much.
She is so willing to share her story and answer my questions.
She is the one who e-mailed me and told me about the Respite Retreat.
And the best part was they were going to be there too!
Joel and I spent lots of time talking to them.
Their love for the Lord and dependence on Him is so evident.
We are learning so much from them.

We are so thankful for David and Nancy
and their willingness to share their lives.
The Lord is using their story to reach so many, including us.
Joel and I feel blessed to have met and shared our lives
with these eleven couples.
If we were honest, we would do anything to not be a part of this "club".
But this is our life now and these people really get us.
That was refreshing.
We are so thankful to have some new friends to travel this road with us.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for continueing to share your journey with us..I continue to think of you, pray for you daily..


October 30, 2009 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Awwww, so neat and loving that baby bump!!!!! :)

October 30, 2009 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Marla Taviano said...

Life is hard, but God is good. Praying for you guys!

October 30, 2009 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Beki - TheRustedChain said...

What an amazing blessing to have others you can relate with.

October 30, 2009 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Bri!!! said...

Wonderful. It's so amazing to be understood. I went to get an ultra sound on Wednesday at 10 weeks. We were SO EXCITED to be pregnant because with our first it took us 3 years of treatment and this one came so easily. Well, there was no heartbeat and I was devastated. However, there is so much strength in being understood. I had no idea how many of my friends have gone through the horror of an ultrasound gone bad. Or miscarriages of a baby that was so wanted. I find peace in this understanding that I share with these other women. I'm grateful you too are finding that peace. May God bless you. I can't wait to meet your next little one God is sending to you. GOD BLESS!

October 30, 2009 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Tricia said...

Hi Jess and Joel.

What a blessing to have people in your life who not only love and support you, but that can truly relate and understand. Amazing how God sends us the people that we need exactly when we need them.

With love and prayers for your family,

October 30, 2009 at 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Karina said...

I'm so glad you have found some solace in kindred spirits, although I wouldn't wish so much grief on anyone.

You look wonderful, btw, that baby bump is so beautiful!

October 30, 2009 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger Erica said...

what a blessing to have these new couples be a part of your life.

and you look SO adorable!

October 30, 2009 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Alyssa said...

How amazing that must have felt to be in a room where EVERYONE new how you felt. I'm sure there was GREAT comfort in that.

October 30, 2009 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Sounds like an amazing retreat ~ a gift from God.
God bless you! Your blog is becoming part of my daily blog ritual!

October 30, 2009 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Claudia said...

It's amazing how we can relate to other through the same experiences ... no matter how hard I try to get my girls on our bible study group to share, to connect, I know it takes time and I know it takes big moments in life that are similar to relate to one another.

I love how you phrase the fact that you would do anything not to be a part of this club but this is your life now. That's call acceptance and is a wonderful step that only God can help you take.

I admire your strength and your willingness to share your feelings as you go through this.

October 30, 2009 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger Trasie Bressler said...

God Bless you!

October 30, 2009 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger Dina said...

Amazing...I'm so glad that God allowed you all to find each other...what a blessing:-)

October 30, 2009 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger merlin said...

I love to see the smiles, that there can be joy in the sorrow. And I love to see your baby belly.

October 30, 2009 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger meg duerksen said...

i was crying by the first paragraph! i am SO HAPPY you went to this! what a perfect i feel so loved for you seeing that group of new friends.

October 30, 2009 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger dawn said...

It's the club you didn't want to join--the bereaved parent club. I'm in it too. However, it is such a blessing to connect with others in the club. There is an immediate understanding of each other's hearts.

This retreat sounds awesome, and an amazing gift. So glad you got to go prior to your new one coming...

I too love that book. What a neat thing the Guthries are doing.

October 30, 2009 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Thank you Jesus for community!

Praying for your family...and you do look super cute!


October 30, 2009 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

Thank you so much for sharing about your weekend and the book that touched your lives so much. I know it's such a personal story to share, but I know several people who desperately need to know that they are not alone in this journey of grief. They need to know about these resources. They need a copy of that book. They need other people in their lives who have walked this road...I'm passing this info on to Alex's mommy and Olivia's mommy! I'll bet Alex and Olivia are playing with Cora right now :)

October 30, 2009 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger onlymehere said...

Thank heavens for groups like these. I'm so glad you've found friends who understand. Those of us who have never lost a child can never fully understand how deep your pain is. God bless you on your journey as you continue to touch my heart and others. Cindy

October 30, 2009 at 9:57 PM  
Blogger Brown Apples said...

What an amazing time to be with people who can say, "I know how you feel..." I am so glad you guys were able to do this. Praying for you- hope you are doing good! We will need to set up another lunch date soon!

October 30, 2009 at 10:48 PM  
Blogger Danyele Easterhaus said...

love that the lord continues to use what has hurt us to mend others and still you guys rock. we love small glad you guys have a fab one!

October 31, 2009 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger laney said... is it that i can sit at a computer far away from you...and still feel such a strong connection...i have never lost a child...i have never known pain like yours...i have never seen you...and i probably never least not on this earth...and there is the thread...the thread of someday...someday i wll hug you and i will tell you face to face... i prayed for you...and you will know me for you will have known my prayers...that is what Jesus can do...and oh...i am so glad...

November 1, 2009 at 3:11 PM  
Blogger Heather @ Life Made Lovely said...

That is an amazing event! Meeting others that have lost a child is so important in this journey. It took almost 2 years after my son passed away before I met another mother that had lost her baby, and finally making that connection made a huge difference in my life. I'm so happy you were able to attend, and able to make friends that understand.

November 1, 2009 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Well done to you both for facing up to all of this so bravely! Keep your faith close by, it's the only thing that gets you through something like this.

By the way, you are looking so stunning. That bump is so neat and tiny.

Sue x

November 2, 2009 at 1:58 AM  

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