Monday, March 18, 2013


As I sat watching my princess play, my mind began to wander to a place I only dream of.  A place where McKinnley and Ellianna are the best of friends.  A place where they run and twirl and dance and laugh until they fall over.  A place where they share secrets that only sisters can. A place that seems so real, it's hard to believe that it will never exist here on Earth.


This morning I was scrolling through Instagram and came across someone talking about the fact that their daughter was living proof of God's grace.  You see, this little girl had a brain tumor, but today, she's cancer free!  We all rallied behind her, bought bracelets and t-shirts to show our support.  We prayed for her as if she was our own child.  Looking at her now, you would have never known she was in this fight just a short time ago.  She truly is living, breathing proof of God's grace, mercy and healing power.

Our story turned out different.

Six years ago today, life as I knew it forever changed.  On one hand, it seems like a lifetime ago.  On the other, it feels like it was just yesterday.  Six years ago, we were in the biggest fight of our lives.  The doctors had already given us no hope.  They had all but begged me to abort the precious life that lived inside me.  She had already been declared dead and now we were just waiting.  It was in the waiting that my perspective shifted.  For months I had prayed, "God heal my baby!" But now, my prayer was simply, "God, whatever brings you the most glory." In my mind, healing was still the answer.  Raising my dead child back to life as she was delivered was naturally what I thought would bring God the most glory.  It was a no-brainer. 

We arrived at the hospital that morning after my water broke and ask the nurse to check on her.  She confirmed that she was still gone, but it didn't deter us.  We boldly told her and anyone else who would listen that they needed to be prepared if she came out and everything was fine.  We believed that she would be with every fiber of our being.  I suppose some would call that naive.  I call it faith.  "But Amanda, faith didn't change anything."  Ah, but it did.  

Faith changed everything.  

Yes, it true...Ellianna still died and took with her a piece of me.  Hopes and dreams died that day, but faith didn't die.  Faith soared.  Without faith, I would just be an empty shell of the person I used to be.  Faith has taught me that God's ways are higher than mine.  Faith has allowed me to share our story with countless other women who find themselves walking similar paths.  Faith speaks when words fail me.  Faith showed me that somehow, someway the fact that I'm a living, breathing, fully functioning adult brings God more glory than bringing my daughter back to life. 

So while our story did in fact turn out different, this morning I realized that I am proof of God's grace, mercy and healing power.  I read once that "healing doesn't mean the damage {pain} never existed.  It means the damage {pain} no longer controls our lives." If there's one thing I've learned, it's that healing is a process.  I will probably never "arrive" so to speak in the healing department.  But rather, I will walk a daily journey of no longer allowing the pain to control me.  Will there be days that the pain grips me so hard, it takes my breath away? Absolutely.  But if you think for one second that it's a set back, that it means "I'm not healing," you would be sadly mistaken.  Until you've walked the journey of losing a child, you may never understand it.  But I hope you aren't too quick to judge a moment of transparent sadness, but rather see that it's actually all a part of the healing process.  I hope you see the fact that I am able to  feel anything at all is proof of God's grace.  So while I may have been forever altered, I am not a shell of who I once was. Rather, I am a living, breathing reminder that God heals the broken-hearted. I am proof that faith changes everything...

I can't wait for the day when my dream becomes a reality.  We miss you Elli girl.  Happy 6th birthday my love.  We can't wait for the day we get to party with you. Until then...

We love you.


1 comment:

  1. Amanda, that IS faith! I'm proud of you! When I was in grad school someone defined faith like this, "faith is not the ability to stand up to anything, it is the ability to crawl on your belly a long, long ways, until you can stand again." I'm glad you are putting words to your journey. Love you.