Wednesday, November 21, 2012

22ish weeks

I apologize.  I was not meant to be a mommy blogger if you haven't noticed already.  I take pictures every once in awhile when I can grab my husband's phone due to mine having everything in the world wrong with it.  I really don't document much....at all really.  I've never owned a baby book.  I'm still not exactly sure how much Tucker weighed at birth.  If you ask me when I started feeling the twins kick I will most likely say it was between 13 and 20 weeks or I will make something up.

However, I cherish every milestone and live in the moment.

Here's what I do know.  We are having twin BOYS. :)  As I said before, our prayer was for God to take this and let it be His.  I didn't even want to think about what I wanted or what I thought would be best or worst for us.  I was excited to see what he thought was best.  Our Lord gives and takes away.  It's painful, it's beautiful, and it's confusing, but blessed be His name.

Our little boys are thriving.  They are considered mono-di, but are growing as if they are di-di.  They are identical in size and always measuring a little ahead.  So far, the pregnancy has gone perfect.  They move around all the time and my stomach is expanding at an alarming rate.  Which is concerning when I start thinking about how this is going to be humanly possible.

I find myself praying for them numerous times a day.  Not out of panic or worry, but acceptance that they are His...not mine.  I love them so much and stare at their pictures thinking about their innocence to this world and the pain that comes with living in this world.  I pray that their lives would be used to reveal His glory...just like their big brother's life was used.

They have no idea the impact their lives have already had through God using them to reveal himself.

These two pictures are at 18 weeks.  Disregard the disgusting mirror please.  We don't clean the bottom half because Tucker's nose and hand prints are still on it.  I'm not sure what our excuse is for the top half.






This one is at 21 weeks



And here are the two little blessings themselves. :)







And this is what welcomed me on my way home from work the other day.  I love it when this happens.

Thanks to everyone for continuing to pray for us.  Nothing has gone unnoticed.  Everything has been read and reread and brought tears to my eyes.  I don't know if I will ever be able to express my gratitude the extent that I long to on this side of heaven.

Lots to be thankful for....

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Rally


It has been a little over seven months since Tucker went to be with Jesus.  In seven months I have learned so much about this life we are living here on earth and the life I anticipate to live in heaven.  We were driving through the cemetery not too long ago, reading everybody’s stones while wondering what their story was.  I have grown to love the cemetery.  It is not morbid to me when you know what awaits you on the other side and to think of the many souls in that cemetery who are experiencing life as it was first meant to be. 
I’ve also been hit with an overwhelming feeling of sadness which leads to urgency.  My sadness stems from thinking of all the people in this world who really believe that this is it.  This world is all that life is about. 
After losing a son, that will just not do.  Not only will that just not do, but God has made sure to reveal to me that “our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Phil 3:20)  I’ve said from the very beginning, that every time I pray and plead with him on the “why” questions, the phrase that always pops in my head is “trust me.” 
So that is what I am doing.  Trusting that one day, when I walk into His kingdom and my eternity begins, that all the heartache, sadness, grief, and agony that we experienced in this world will be like “vapor that appeared for a little while, and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)
My urgency stems from wanting everyone to know Jesus before it’s too late.  I want Him to come back so badly, I was actually asking Him out loud every morning if today could please be the day.  He finally showed me this verse which I took as a big fat “have a little patience, Amy.” 
“And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved.”  2 Peter 3:15
Got it.
I want the lost to come to Jesus just as much as I want Him to return and it looks like these two go hand in hand. 
I think it’s time to rally.    

Sunday, September 16, 2012

12 Weeks





So here I am.  Twelve weeks pregnant with twins.  Talk about a whirlwind of freaking emotions.  I think the coolest thing so far has been how much our Lord's name has been glorified through announcing the life of these two precious little ones.
We were simply blown away by the response of everyone on facebook, this blog, phone calls, texts, and neighbors running into our house as soon as we announced it.  And there seemed to be a common theme.  No words, tears, and praises to God.  How cool is that.
We have been told that they are identical twins because they are in the same sac with one placenta.  So I did what they tell you not to do and started googling.  I came across crazy statistics of how uncommon this is, and then scary statistics of what could possibly happen.
At ten weeks, they could not find a membrane separating them which led us to see a specialist a week later.  That was somewhat of a long week.  We knew the risks involved if they couldn't find a membrane.  We read the statistics of survival.  I've discovered that statistics mean nothing to me anymore.
So we prayed.
At eleven weeks they found the membrane.  They were identical in size, and their heart rates were 178 and 180.  They were absolutely perfect.  They are classified as identical twins, mono-di, meaning they have two sacs but one placenta.
As for me and how I am feeling, it really hasn't been too bad.  It feels a lot like my pregnancy with Tucker.  I feel nauseous but don't throw up.  Nathan refers to me as a bear in hibernation so I guess I might be sleeping a lot.
One hard part is feeling as if my grief and hormones have had a head on collision.  It's hard to control your crying when you actually have something to cry about.  My ability to stay poised and collected while in public has gone out the window.  I was a weeping mess at church today.  We sang "Jesus Paid It All" which is the song we sang at Tucker's funeral.  We also sang "10,000 Reasons" which gets me going too.  Give me a song, a message, or a verse about Heaven and I'm on the verge of jumping up and down with excitement while being moved to tears.
Thank you all, for continuing to love us.  Thank you for praying for us and these special little blessings.  I think about heaven a lot and words cannot explain my excitement for eternity.  To see my Savior, my little boy, my whole family to be reunited, and then to think about getting to spend everyday with all of you lovely people....it's just wonderful.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

His Faithfulness

I have struggled to write this post.  I feel like no words can quite articulate the depth of His goodness.  So here I am trying.  
We have known since July 20th that we are pregnant.  I wasn't prepared for the emotion as I stared at the pink positive sign while sitting on my bathtub.  I was thankful, I was scared, I was joyful, I was sad.  
It's an unnatural feeling when you are celebrating the new life within you while still mourning the life that just left you.
We have asked God all along that if He wants us to be parents again, for it to be in His timing.  
As we began to tell people, there was a lot of joy mixed with a lot of tears.  I began to pour out my heart over this child praying every possible prayer over this precious life.  
After early ultrasounds and blood work, all looked good.
I was on my way to meet Nathan for our 8 week appt. and I began praying out loud in the car.  I told God that it's just still really hard.  I told him that I don't even know what it would look like or take to be released from the pain and anguish that still resides in my heart, but please keep showing up for us.  I asked the Lord to make His presence known.
Next thing I know, our doctor, Nathan, and I are crying as we all three are staring at 2 precious little heartbeats on the screen.  
He showed up...again.
We are having identical twins.
I am in complete awe of His goodness and I can't seem to find the words to praise Him or even tell our story.  So for now, I just want to celebrate them and what they represent.  His faithfulness.  




Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pivotal Moments

It is our three year anniversary today.  Today more than ever, I've been thinking about pivotal moments in life.  Moments that were completely shaping what was to come.

One moment that comes to mind, is the 13 year old girl who moved to Arkansas kicking and screaming because she thought life could not get more perfect than Greenville, Tx.  This will be humorous for some of you.

I talked to God a lot back then.  I was incredibly timid and not so sure of myself, and especially not so sure of this thing called public school that I was thrown into.

After my family prayed about what church we were going to attend, I was baptized for the second time, and I was on my way to sunshine mountain for a youth group retreat feeling a tad bit more sure of myself.

I was chomping down on a bag of gummy worms when I decided it would be nice of me to share with others.  I turned around and asked the boy behind me if he wanted one.  He stared at me for probably five seconds and then said sure.  After he took his worm, I proceeded to tell him that he had very mysterious eyes. Then he stared at me some more.

Later in life I will realize that this was the moment for him.

We were inseparable after that.  We dated through my junior high and high school years.  We were best friends and I loved him.  We met each other in our most vulnerable phase in life and watched each other grow up.  We saw each other in our best moments, we saw each other in our worst moments.  We saw each other grow in Christ, slip away from Christ, and be provided with grace from Christ.

We would break up. We would be best friends.  He would boldly confess his love.  I would boldly be a flaky hot mess.  We would be best friends again.  And then repeat.

Pivotal moment was the day I decided to get my act together and start listening and obeying the Lord, instead of just talking.

With hands shaking and all, I boldly confessed my love to him over lunch at Marketplace.  Days later, after he had time to pray and think about it, he said I've had his heart since the first time I shared my gummy worms with him at sunshine mountain.

He knew to put a ring on it quickly and get me down the aisle.  Probably fearing a relapse of the flaky hot mess he experienced from me for the past 8 years.

I share our story because that was 3 years ago today and I can't help to think about what it would be like if someone was to show you a preview of what you were about to jump into.  What if the slideshow at rehearsal dinner were pictures about what's to come.  The good and the bad.

I don't know why it's comforting but it's nice to know there is a sovereign God.

It just blows my mind to think about when I was sharing my gummy worms and staring into Nathan's eyes for the first time, God knew that Tucker was going to be our son.  He knew that we were going to experience a heartache that exceeds any hardship that we could possibly comprehend at the time.  The day I met Nathan at Marketplace with my hands shaking, and I knew that I was meant to marry this man, God knew then too.  Three years ago today, as I stared into those mysterious eyes and said "I do", I had no idea the depth of the phrase "I do" until now.

Today is special.  It reminds me of where our journey began and where it is still going.  God knew every hair on Tucker's head the day I shared my gummy worms.  He knew he was going to enter this world on December 8, 2010 and that he would return to His kingdom on February 28, 2012.  For some reason, He wanted Nathan and I to be Tucker's mommy and daddy for his short life here in this world.

Nathan and I have told each other numerous times that we can't imagine going through this with any one else than each other.  The beautiful part is that God knew that too. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Angels



It has been tugging at my mind, my heart, the very essence of my soul.  Who was he talking to?  That is the question that has been lingering in my mind since that night. 

Tucker had been doing it for awhile but towards the end it became so obvious and clear that he was having a conversation with something/someone unseen that brought about an unmistakable pure joy. 

The most significant time was the Saturday right before he died on Tuesday.  My sister Kristen and I sat in the living room watching him have a complete conversation.  He was laughing, he was answering, he was pausing and looking intently at something/someone that would have been about is height.  He would wait….and then he would respond.  We didn’t understand a word he was saying but he acted like it was clear as day.  We didn’t understand what was so funny, but I’ve never seen him so joyful.

I remember saying several times, “Tucker, who are you talking to you??”  He would look at me with those big brown eyes and then give me his big “squinty eye” laugh. 

Could it just be….they were getting to know him.

One of my biggest struggles through this grieving process is when my mind starts forming images of that night.  When any thought or image of that night comes to mind the only word that I can think of is agony. 

I have witnessed panic attacks, I have helped people deal with their stress, I am usually as calm as they come.  But images of that night can bring me to my knees, leaving me gasping for air, and literally having to remind myself how to breathe again. 

There is no coping skill in the books that can get you through that image. That’s where God comes in.

Within the last month I have come across this verse several times.  The way my body reacts when I see it, it is as if the very voice of God is whispering in my ear.

“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones.  For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”  Matthew 18:10

Could it be….his angels were here.

“Therefore, angels are only servants—spirits sent to care for people who will inherit salvation.”  Hebrews 1:14

Were they preparing him?

Then there is Luke 16:22.  Jesus says, “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side.”

To think, the army of heaven, God’s own ministering spirits, getting to know Tucker, talking to him, laughing with him, and carrying him home to the very presence of the Father.

The moment that brings haunting images to my mind is the moment that Tucker was made alive in Christ and ushered by his angels into the presence of God and His eternal kingdom. 

What a moment that was. 

How can a moment like that bring so much torment to one’s mind here on earth, but bring such joy on the other side.  I sat in his room, just taking in the thought that the presence of God was alive in this place.  To think that we were possibly entertaining angels and didn’t know it.

After having all these thoughts and coming across these verses, I came across an article of a little boy who was dying from cancer.  Some pictures that were taken of him on a hayride came back with white spots surrounding the child.  The child was very matter-of-fact and stated that those were his angels that had been with him for quite some time.  

Angels....

I just love it :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Little Blessings

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.  
Psalm 19:1


I stare at the sky quite a bit lately.  I'm not sure what I am looking for but there is something so peaceful and extraordinary about how it's ever changing but never ceases to take your breath away. There have been numerous times when I will come to a screeching halt in my car and pull over on a busy highway  to take a picture of the sky.  Usually it's of a "T" that the clouds have formed so perfectly.  I actually have this weird pain in my neck now that I think is a result of staring at the sky when I go running.  I'm sure I don't look like a crazy person at all.

Nathan came outside one night when I was standing in the middle of the backyard staring at the moon and the stars.  We just stood there staring.  There's an anticipation now that I've never known.  Maybe I just want a front row seat when the clouds depart for His return.  Maybe I am really taking that verse literally about "keeping watch."


Maybe it's knowing that this precious boy is sitting next to the one that controls the clouds, sun, moon, stars, and entire universe that I am trying to patiently live in right now.  All of a sudden, His creation around me is coming to life as I realize how He speaks through His works.

For the past couple of months now, I have been seeing white butterflies everywhere I go.  The very first thing I see in the morning when I look outside is a white butterfly.  When I go running, I will be praying and see a white butterfly.  I don't remember the last time when a day has gone by and I haven't seen one.

The moment I found out Meryn McCall went to be with Jesus, I went to the window, closed my eyes, and started praying.  When I opened them, there were two white butterflies in the window directly in front of me.
  

I finally decided to go figure out what the symbolism is for white butterflies.  I stared in disbelief at my computer and said out loud "you've got to be kidding me."  There were three definitions that immediately popped up in my google search.  Representation of past soul.  Guardian angel.  Resurrection.


So then I became obsessed with taking pictures of white butterflies.  To the point where I would sit outside in the grass with my camera in hand.  Just waiting.  I was with a group of friends one night where everyone was going on about what they did that day.  Then I realized there was no way of getting around saying that I spent my entire day looking at butterflies.

Another sweet blessing in our lives has been the births of our precious niece and nephew.


Adelynn McMahan


and Ven Phillips

I prayed for these two precious babies this morning.  That they would grow up to know Jesus and fulfill His purpose for their lives.  They are the sweetest things and such a reminder of His redeeming love.

I believe that God is good.  I believe that He is the Creator of all things.  I believe that He is in control.

Tucker would have been 18 months today.  Yes it is hard, but each second that goes by is one second closer to when I get to see him again.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Life Lately

So this past week has been unexpected.  That pretty much sums up life right now but I'm okay with that.  I've managed to turn 29 years old, babysit my newest nephew Ven in the ER while doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with my sister, take Ven to his first pediatric appointment, admit Ven into Washington Regional due to jaundice, pray hard for God to heal my sister, attend baby Meryn's memorial service in Little Rock, make it through Mother's Day without my little boy, and then praise God for healing my sister so she could spend mother's day with her little boy. 

There were times when I would sit there almost saying "really God" but then I envisioned Him saying back "yes, really Amy." 

That book I am reading, What Women Fear, Angie talks about Job's response to God, but what is even funnier is God's response to Job's response.  God responded to Job, "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?" 

There were a lot of triggers this past week.  But life still went on.  I continued to breathe, I continued to wake up each morning, I continued to laugh at times, I continued to cry at times, I continued to pray, I continued to ask God to be near.  He continues to be faithful so I am trying my hardest to do the same. 

If you have been around us lately, it is hard to escape a conversation where we have the whole group talking about heaven.  God has been revealing himself to us in ways that I never experienced before.  There used to be a disconnect when thinking of heaven and what it "might" be like and how it "most likely" will be really great.  He has opened our eyes through books we have read, dreams He has given us, and just plain showing up when we ask Him. 

I have gone back and tried to read some of my posts with an unbeliever perspective.  Just in case there are any out there.  I think the hardest part to grasp is how can I remain faithful when I prayed for Him to specifically not take my son, and He still did.  Honestly, I don't have an answer for that. 

All I know is that this is not our home, and I have never been so thankful for that.    

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Please Pray

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones."  Psalm 116:15

I spent the majority of the day praying yesterday.  I prayed specifically for the Lord to perform a miracle and save Meryn Grace McCall.  Some dear friends in our community group, Adam and Joanna, were 22 weeks pregnant with their healthy baby girl and she went to be with Jesus yesterday. 

As I found out the news, all I could was cry and beg Jesus to cover them like He has covered us.  I asked Him to cradle Meryn in his arms, and I asked Him to allow Tucker to show her around. 

Adam texted Nathan after she passed and said, "I told Meryn to say hi to Tucker."

Nathan and I are heartbroken for our friends and are committed to praying and being there for them as they have been for us.  I have personally experienced the body of Christ and how powerful we can be as we pray together.  I'm asking you to pray with me for these parents who lost their child. 

We have been so fortunate and blessed to be part of an awesome community group.  At one point yesterday, Nathan kind of smiled and said, "it's kind of crazy that we have our group on both sides now."

I smiled at that thought.  Not gonna lie though, kind of jealous of Meryn and Tucker's side. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thought I'd Share

I have experienced a handful of times now where I feel like the Lord just shows up.  Usually He involves the sun in some way.  The first time this happened, I was driving and one of those triggers took place.  I think it was Walmart.  I was blinded by tears the entire way home and repeated the phrase "remind me that he's with you."  I stumbled out to our hammock in the backyard and layed down with my eyes closed still repeating that phrase.  I must have said it about twenty times and all of a sudden, I felt such a warmth on my face as the sun decided to come out for the first time that day.  I layed there with my eyes closed feeling the brightness and the warmth cover me.  All I could do was smile.  It lasted about fifteen seconds and then it was gone.  All I could say was "thank you."


Nathan and I went up to Mount Sequoya one evening to watch the sunset.  If you live in Fayetteville, you know personally how beautiful this spot is and chances are you might have been up there the same evening.  I turned around to find a sweet old man taking a picture from behind us.  I tried to move so he could get a clear shot and he yelled "No!  Ya'll stay right where you are."  The sweet old man came up to show us the picture he took of us and asked if he could take one with our camera for us to have.  Little did sweet old man know that the Lord was truly using him in this moment to capture a picture that spoke so dear to our hearts.  Little did he know that our precious little boy was sitting next to the artist who painted this picture.  




                        

There have been two times now where I will pull up to the cemetery with the sun behind a dark cloud.  As soon as I walk up to Tucker's spot, the sun has come out from behind the cloud and appears to be shining directly down on me.     


So as you can see from the pictures above, I have quite the obsession now of taking pictures of the sun.  I find myself drawn to it.  I actually watch sunrises now from my backyard.  Part of this is due to the fact that I am doing a 5:30am bootcamp for some reason.   


One more thing...
The girls in my community group decided to start reading this book and meet once a month to discuss a chapter.  The first and last time I had met with them to discuss it was the night before Tucker died.  Tucker and I went that day to the bookstore to buy the book.  He sat up on the counter as I paid for it smiling at the clerk as people commented on what a cute boy he was.  We went home and played outside in the backyard while I ate hummus and carrots and he said "pwease" twenty times for another graham cracker.  As I got into the hammock to start reading the book, he ran over and reached out his arms for me to pick him up.  I put him in the hammock with me while I read, only to look down moments later to find him cuddled up asleep.  I stood up holding him thinking I will go lay him down.  He opened his eyes suddenly, so I decided to just let him sleep next to me.  And he did.  He slept cuddled up to me while I read the first two chapters of "What Women Fear" by Angie Smith.  Little did I know that this author and I were about to have something in common.  

Last week was the first time since then that the girls decided to meet again.  I knew what this meant.  I was going to have face the book, the hammock, and the same discussions with a completely different outlook on fear now.  I walked out to the hammock that day gripping my book, gritting my teeth, and telling myself to remember to breathe as I was trying not be so aware of what was missing.  I sat down and closed my eyes as I asked Jesus to be near me.  I opened the book to chapter 4 and started reading.  The very first page had this verse,
"The Lord is with you, mighty warrior."
Judges 6:12   


Friday, April 13, 2012

Redefining Normal

This was the last picture taken of us as a family. It was a few days before Tucker went to be with Jesus. I am so thankful that the Lord gave us moments like this, knowing full well that we only had days left with our precious little gift.


I think the most common question, understandably so, is "how are we doing." It's a hard question to answer because we can say "okay" and mean it, but it's not the same "okay" as we once were before our world was turned upside down.

We have a very close family friend who lost his daughter about a year and a half ago in a tragic car accident. I was in Big Lots the day I found out, and I still remember the feeling of horror every time I pass that store and have yet to go back there. This past summer we met them in Destin and listened. Our hearts broke for them and I tried to envision what that would be like to lose Tucker. I couldn't. He told me a few days after Tucker died that we would be redefining normal. This completely makes sense to me now.

I am realizing that there is a choice that I have to make daily. I can think worldly or I can think eternal. I can be sad and stay fixated on the things that Tucker and I used to do in this world, or I can choose to believe that the Lord has prepared a place for us and "to depart with Him is far better than staying on Earth."

It doesn't make sense to me because my world seemed pretty perfect when we ate our oatmeal together everyday. When he would say "bweakfast" first thing in the morning. When the only thing that woke me up for a year was his sweet little voice through the baby monitor. When he would lay his little head on my shoulder. When he would take turns cuddling with me and Nathan all throughout the night that last month he was alive. When he would say "pwease" to everything he possibly wanted. When he would run at me full force knocking me over only to find it the most funny thing in the whole world. When daddy would do free throws with him and he couldn't contain his giggles. When he would be a walking dance party every time he heard music. When we would whisper the word "bath" and he dropped everything and ran for the bathtub. When he would say "mama" and "dada" with his head nod.

Seems pretty perfect. But it's not. As Paul said, "to live is Christ, to die is gain." He got it. He endured a lot of suffering but he was purposeful with his remaining days here on earth. It is my prayer to grasp this too. These are NOT just words of comfort that we cling to in times of trouble to make us feel better. These are absolute truths and promises that come from our Maker who IS going to return to us.

Easter. Another common question, "was Easter hard?" Understandable question, but the Lord carried us that day. It was my specific prayer for the Lord to remind us every moment of that day that this is why we can celebrate and have eternal hope. This is why we can be joyful. This is why we can go on living and trusting Him. Every time my gaze fell towards cute kiddos running around in their Easter outfits, hunting eggs and shoving candy in their mouth, I would simply say "remind me Lord." And He did.

I definitely still have hard moments. I've enjoyed being at home during my days. Some people don't understand this but it's truly healing for me to have time to myself, with the Lord and face my fears head on. I have a found my home to be a safe haven again like it once was. It is the place with all the joyful memories of Tucker but also the place where his presence is missing. This has been challenging but I have found the Lord restores.

There are triggers that will suddenly make me burst into tears at times. Usually by myself. I have an entire family who all happen to be psychotherapists who can validate the normalcy in this. Triggers can be anything such as seeing his jug of apple juice in the fridge that I can't bring myself to throw away, or driving by walmart and not wanting to go in because he is not with me, to having to say the phrase "endotracheal intubation" three times to the billing department at the hospital.

We took a trip to Colorado a few weeks ago. A wonderful family offered their house in Crested Butte to us for a week. I found myself thinking about God and Tucker quite a bit as I stared in awe at how artistic and creative our Lord is. In our human heads, it just doesn't get much better than this. That is why Heaven is so amazing to think about. We can't even fathom how beautiful and perfect it is.





This has turned out to be longer than most posts. Nathan is out of town tonight so I felt like writing. One last thing, I can't think of the words that fully reflect our hearts and the gratitude that we feel for each and every single person who has been a part of this story. I have prayed for the Lord to help me in showing my appreciation to each of you. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for loving Tucker. Thanks for caring enough to read this incredibly scattered blog. :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Glimpse of Tucker

Nothing profound to say except this makes me smile. He is quite the dancer and wanted to share a glimpse of Tucker.

video

"He will turn our mourning into dancing...." Psalm 30:11

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One "worldly" month





It's been one month. One month since that precious little boy went to be with his Maker. He got to wake up in the arms of the one who so intricately designed those sweet cheeks, jagged teeth, brown eyes, and hair that did nothing but fall in his face.

We are experiencing a pain right now that might be harder than the first initial pain of disbelief and trauma. This is the pain that is not going to go away. This is the pain that even in a joyful moment, you are quickly reminded that there is something missing and your heart just aches.

The only thing that seems to bring a little comfort is to simply stop and say "Jesus be near me."

It's hard to explain, but I don't think it was meant to be explained. For anyone who has truly experienced Jesus knows what I'm talking about. He is with you and wants more than anything to be with you. You just have to acknowledge Him.

I found myself taking great comfort in this verse this morning. "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

That verse gives me chills. He knew. He knew the heart ache and troubles that we were going to experience in this world. And now my little boy sits with the One who conquered death.

I have never felt so stuck in a "worldly" world. But I choose to be here and fulfill the Lord's purpose until He takes me home. We are in constant prayer about what that purpose is while we continue to miss and grieve our son who is no longer with us.

Jesus also said to his disciples, "I am going away and I am coming back to you. If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I."

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Faith not Sight

I was discussing with a close friend of mine tonight about the deep yearning in my heart to see my baby boy again. I can smell him, I can hear his raspy voice, I can feel his oddly large hands, I can remember the joy in my heart when he gives me his big toothy grin with eyes squinting and all.

I've never felt this kind of longing before, but I should have. I am slowly realizing that this is the exact longing that Jesus desires from me. I've always known the verse "We live by faith, not by sight" but it has suddenly hit home. A little too hard.

Heaven has always been exciting to think about. I've always been excited when thinking about seeing my Savior face to face. But I don't recall ever having the heart wrenching ache where my whole body is physically and emotionally longing to see Him.

This is where the faith comes in, and not so much the sight. I was able to see Tucker. I physically felt him. I heard his voice. I didn't have to experience him through faith because he was there. Jesus on the other hand requires a great deal of faith to experience him.

Even though I have not physically seen Jesus with my eyes, He is there. I have not physically touched him, but He is there. As He is revealing Himself more and more to me, my heart is beginning to ache to see Him in a way I never knew was possible.

So this is my desire. Just in case you're interested.

I desire to long to see my Savior. Until that day comes, I will continue to try to live each day with a little more faith than the last.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Heart of a Daddy


God chose Nathan to be Tucker's daddy. This was not a mistake, a fluke, a coincidence. God knew that Tucker would only be with us for almost 15 months and that Nathan had every quality he wanted Tucker to have in an earthly daddy. I would love to share with you the heart of Tucker's daddy who I so proudly call my husband. This is the letter that Nathan wrote to his little boy and read at his funeral.

Dear Tucker,

Daddy loves you more than you could possibly know. Every day God gave us together was the most precious gift. I want you to know that you taught daddy how to love in a way that I never thought I could. You showed me unconditional love and what it means to have a joyful heart. I can never express how proud you made daddy!

Every night that I got to hold you and sing "Jesus Loves Me" made me eternally grateful to Jesus for giving you to me and mommy. I miss you so so much and I will ache until the day I get to see you again. Everything you did made me love you more!

I especially loved the mornings you would follow me around step for step as if you were my shadow always looking for something to get into. Fear could never overcome your curiosity or desire to get into something. Your tenacious and adventurous spirit was hard to contain.

Daddy always prayed over you that one day you would be a warrior for Jesus and the man I've hoped to be. And though I'm at a loss for understanding and my heart is broken, God answered my prayer. Your life has revealed the power of the body of Christ and shown people Jesus.

Daddy is having a hard time with the idea that I won't be able to play ball, or wrestle, or play blocks, or do free throws anymore. I could hardly wait to start teaching you how to shoot a basketball or hit a baseball. But these were always daddy's plans. Jesus had a different plan for your life. You are so precious to Him that He called you home so you could be together and be spared from the sin and brokenness of this world. And for now, I take comfort in this.

However, there will always be a part of mommy and daddy's heart missing until the day we get to see you again in Heaven. From now until that day, I will always be thinking about you! You are and always will be my Bubbs. And daddy is so proud of you!

I love you,

Daddy































































Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mighty Warrior




"The Lord is with you, Mighty Warrior." Judges 6:12
At this point I am sure everyone who reads this is aware that we lost our precious son Tucker a week ago on February 28th. Nothing can prepare you for that phone call, that tragic moment when you keep asking yourself "is this real?" That moment when the only thing you can do is cry out to the Lord in desperation to save your baby boy.


Tucker was a special one. Tucker will never have to experience the brokenness and sinfulness that comes with living in this world. Tucker is with Jesus. I ache for the day I will see him in my Savior's arms.


I never did well with writing on here and I probably still won't, but I know that we have an enormous amount of people praying for us and a lot of unanswered questions.


Last Tuesday I layed Tucker down for a nap around 5:00 pm. My last moments with him were him falling asleep in my arms and then laying him down in his crib. He woke up several times to look up at me as I was walking out but I rubbed his back until he finally fell asleep.


Nathan returned home from work around 6:30 and we talked about how Tucker seems to be catching a cold lately so we decided to just let him sleep for a little bit. I kissed Nathan goodbye as I headed out to coach a thirty minute private cheerleading lesson.


In the middle of my lesson, my phone rang. My neighbor was frantically telling me to come home and the only thing I said was "who is it?" Tucker. It was Tucker. That drive home was me screaming to the Lord "please don't take him" and an utter disbelief that this was happening.


Nathan decided he didn't want to wait for Tucker to wake, he was ready to see and play with his boy, only to find that when he touched him there was no response. I weep and cringe when I think what his daddy had to go through with trying to revive him on our living room carpet, the same carpet Tucker drags all his toys on to play. Our neighbor/friend Amber came over and did CPR on little Tuck before the medics showed up.


As I pulled up, Tucker was already inside the ambulance and they were still working on him. Neighbors I didn't even know were on their knees in our yard praying fervently. Once at the hospital, I somehow found my way back to the room where little Tuck was laying on the table in his diaper I remembered just changing while a team was around him attempting to bring him back to us. Nathan and I just held up our hands to God and cried out to him to please save our son.


I knew that when the Doctor started saying "anyone have any ideas" that it was over. I knew that are baby boy was with Jesus. We laid our hands on him, we prayed over him, we told him to be with Jesus, we kissed those sweet cheeks, we stroked that long hair, and then finally we sang "Jesus Loves Me" to him for the last time.


I sat in my kitchen a few days before Tucker passed and poured out my heart to the Lord. I remember I kept saying the phrase "Lord, just please let me him know you." I asked the Lord to start working in Tucker's little heart so the he may know the Lord and follow him. That's all I could ask for and the rest was up to the Lord on what he wanted to do with his life.


Tucker knows Jesus now. More than I do. The coroner explained to us that the cause of death was something so subtle that after eliminating every possible scenario nothing was making sense except to say it had to of been arrhythmia. The Lord decided to use tucker's little heart to take him to be with Him so that Tucker may know him.


We are confused, we are hurting, the pain feels unbearable at times, but then the Lord will show up in a very subtle way to remind us that He is here. Just like Tucker went to be with him in a subtle way.


The kingdom has never felt so close. It is our absolute desire for Tucker's life to be used to bring glory to our Lord's name. Nathan's prayer over Tucker was to be a warrior for Christ. We've never been so proud of him.


Words will never be able to express our experience with body of Christ that the Lord is using to envelope us in such a time as this. The outpouring of prayers and encouragement have played such a role in helping us cope through the pain and remember that Jesus has conquered death. This is not it.


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


It is not sufficient....but thank you.


In Christ and in Love,


Amy Hill