Personal

Just as good.

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We made a really joyful announcement yesterday on our person social media channels. Six month after our loss, God decided to bless us with a new gift. The more people find out, they would say, “WOW that was fast” in a “good for you!” tone. Maybe it was. All I know is the past 8 months have felt like a million years. We have never conceived quickly (TMI?) and we waited and prayed for both of our boys for forever it felt like. I have a few wrinkles (AND A GRAY HAIR THAT I PROMPTLY TOLD TO GO TO H - E - double hockey sticks ) to prove it. I feel heavy about sharing our joyous news about our sweet girl on the way. Not because I’m not completely blown away in the BEST WAY by God in this (I am so grateful I could burst), but because I just think about you and what you’re going through too.

Because this community is made up of women who have children, are trying for children, long for children, have lost children or choose to love others kids instead of having their own- I want to be sensitive in speaking on this. 

Where ever each of us is, we know that God is good and life is messy. It doesn’t always feel good, but it always feels messy. Let’s be honest about that. And I hope that we can all stand right where we are and know that even here, each of our stories has a purpose. Each of us is seen and loved and deeply known by God. No matter how far we try to push Him away. And I pray for grace for all of us that we can share our stories with a level of vulnerability that surpasses the differences in where we are in our different season.

Suffering is sacred. And it does things (good things) that I’m not sure joy can do. There is purpose for it and if we’re in it, it’s because we’re loved and wanted and desired and our Father wants us closer- not the opposite. If you’re hurting you’re not alone. And if you’re celebrating you’re not alone. We can do both together.

My point is even in the darkest and brightest moments and the many different seasons, let’s still do life together. Because even in our joy, we can grieve with together. Even in our grief, we can be joyous together. And if you’re not there yet, that’s ok too. You are not discounted because you are not where you want to be. You’re still chosen, seen and loved, even here.

Our sweet girl will be here in 2020. We are overjoyed. Terrified. At the end of the day though, If we want you to know anything about us, our story, how we’re doing or processing it all, we want you to know this. God is just as good in the loss as he is in the gift. And it’s our greatest privilege to get to share that. 

We would love your prayers as we continue to grieve and celebrate our newest gift. This is messy, but God’s got this. Always know I am praying for you too.

In this with you,

Jillian

Wells' Day

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This week marked the due date of our sweet Wells. If you aren’t familiar with our story, at the beginning of this year we lost a very long awaited, prayed for baby to a fatal birth defect that left him no chance to live. I’d been dreading this week for a while as I knew it would be an emotional roller coaster. This week was full of normal challenges as well as unexpected ones. And it included the birthday of our now 4 year old miracle baby. Processing great grief and great joy two days apart felt unfair. Like one wouldn’t have enough room to breathe before the emotions had to shift in the other direction to accommodate the other one. I was worried each of those days and the emotional needs of it would somehow overshadow the other, or rob the other of what it needed.

I planned this day (Wells’ day) full of fun and relaxing things to enjoy with Zack to celebrate our baby. I felt like if we celebrated our love for each other then we were celebrating the love we had that made him, and the love that made his home in heaven far sooner than we pictured. 

None of what I planned is happened that day. The stomach bug hit our house Friday and things still aren’t back to normal. Much like it did the week before we found out about Wells’ condition. I was sad thinking about how nothing is going as it should. I know God led me to live into the words Even Here because it challenges my spirit so much. It feels like a great resistance for my heart to shift from “Why God” to “Yes God”. Accepting His plan over mine.

That day (Wells’ day) I woke up (on the couch trying to avoid being the next one down with the plague), with the hymn “Holy Ground” on my heart. That song sang in acapella has such sweet memories for me. When I was young and I’d be out of school for some reason, I’d spend the day with my Nanny and Poppy. If my Nanny had an errand we’d hop into her gold Buick, pop in a hymnal CD (or Celine Dion - my favorite) and get going. Holy Ground and Trust and Obey were always my go to and favorite to sing aloud as if it were a solo performance. No mistake by any means that the words of that song and the familiar and comforting tune awakened me to a new joy that day with a fresh perspective.

Our loss/grief/suffering is holy ground. Yours is too. It’s a path set apart for us to walk closely with the Lord. It’s out of complete love that we are even offered that. We don’t always like the way it looks as we watch it wreak havoc on our bodies, our hearts, our homes, but it’s still holy. We have a hope that those things aren’t of the big picture anyways. Eternity promises wholeness and healing and walking streets of gold with Jesus where our feet never get tired. 

If walking alongside Jesus looks like this on earth, I’m more than ok with it. That’s hard to say. It’s like sandpaper on my throat to say “thy will be done” and really mean it because we know that could mean anything. Any pain. Any loss. Any unwanted path. But nothing like THIS holy ground has made me crave heaven more. I am homesick for it. A big piece of my heart is already there and thats given me a glimpse into something I cannot ignore.

His promise is to be near to us. So even though on that day, I spent it with distance from my sweet and germy husband, spraying Lysol everywhere, and lots of laundry, I will praise Him knowing he was/is near. Even here. 

Wells’ day was nothing I planned or expected, and everything I needed. Because that’s what God does.

A sweet friend told me Wells is more than just a baby gone too soon. He’s got his own ministry going on that has changed the hearts inside of our home and started conversations about God’s love and heaven that never would have happened so soon if not for his loss. To watch how that has trickled out onto those around us wrecks me in the best way. It’s so honoring of his life and honoring of our gracious Father who does all things out of love. 

If you’re going through a hard thing, and you’re wondering why God had to choose you for this specific thing to go through, please know you’re not alone. There’s hope in remembering that in all places God has brought us, we are standing in His holy ground for us. He’s gone before us (Deut. 31:8). Holy ground on earth is not streets of gold, clearly. But if we press into His presence here, then the hope of heaven gets so thick it is contagious. 


“As I walked through the door I sensed his presence and I knew this was a place where love abounds. 

For this is the temple, Jehovah God abides here. 

And we are standing in his presence on holy ground 


We are standing on holy ground

And I know that there are angels all around.

Let us praise Jesus now.

We are standing on holy ground.


In his presence there is joy beyond measure and at his feet peace of mind can still be found. 

If you have a need I know he has the answer.

Reach out and claim it for we are standing on holy ground....”

Sweet Wells, You will always be my little adventurer who found his forever home before the rest of us. You led us into uncharted and impossible territory that led us through healing and wholeness in so many ways that we never asked for or knew we needed. I miss you everyday, but what a gift of where you are and who you’re with. I cling to that hope everyday. Have fun up there. I love you.