Felling Understood

Kayla’s birthday was a great day for me. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from everyone. It meant so so much to me. I felt like people got my pain. My loss. And it feels good when you feel understood.

Our loss was different then the loss others go through. And that was hard for me at first. I used to have people tell me, “at least she didn’t die.” Or they seemed relieved when they realized she hadn’t. That statement felt like someone was disregarding my pain. Dismissing it as if it wasn’t tragic enough. Many people didn’t know now to respond at all because it wasn’t a loss like most. I will never compare my loss to that of a mom who’s baby died. Grief. Loss. They can’t be compared. Everyone’s heart is affected differently. What made my loss hard for me was that I had to hand my daughter over & I could no longer protect her. I didn’t know how she would be raised. How she would be loved. I knew she would grow and yet I don’t get to be there to watch it. I have to live my days knowing I’m missing out on her life.

What meant a lot to me about her 5th birthday was that people responded in a way that made me feel like they got me. Like they understood. And I have spent many years wondering if anyone did. Wondering if people thought I should just get over it already. And some of that was because I didn’t know how to handle my loss.

This year brought a huge amount of healing. You see, for the first time in 5 years, I celebrated her birthday instead of grieving. I was still sad and miss her like crazy. But this year it was different. A lot different. And then the tattoo. That was huge for me because every time I see my arm I’m reminded of how faithful God is. Where He has brought me. What a blessing it is to be able to say “it is well” and to believe it with my whole heart. It has changed the way I look at life. The fact that I permanently put that on my arm – well that was a big step for me.

Have you ever gone through something where you felt alone? Not understood? I want to hear from you for real. I’m very interested in peoples stories. Their journeys. So often we don’t open up about our struggles and our pain because of the fear that no one will understand. That they will dismiss it or think it is silly. But I can honestly say opening up and being real with what I have gone through has been a huge part of my healing and the growing of my faith.

Thank you all so much for the responses I got last Wednesday. For the way that you all loved on me. For accepting and appreciating my story. It helped my heart :)

~Kristen

it is well

Today Kayla turns 5! I always write her a letter every year… So here it goes…

 

Kayla,

hi sweetheart! Happy birthday! I love you so much! It’s so hard to believe that your 5. You have always held such a special place in my heart and you always will. I will never forget the day I met you and held you in my arms for the first time. It was one of the most wonderful days of my entire life. Loving you is so easy & such a blessing. We pray for you every day that you will grow up to know Jesus and that you will always know how loved you are. How precious you are. Today we are going to release 5 balloons into the air as we reflect on  what a blessing you are. Honey, you have helped shape me into the person I am today. I’m a better person because of you. I have courage.  I have strength. I have a stronger faith. A faith that trusts The Lord to always take care of you since I can’t. Your sister Hailey has shed quite a few tears today. She will always love you & miss you! She asked why God let you leave. I told her that we may never understand but that we have to choose to trust in God’s plan. We have to have faith. I can say today, even though it’s still hard to get the words out, your exactly where your supposed to be even though I don’t understand. I can only say that because of my faith. The faith that grew because of you. Loving you was one of the best gifts we were given & I’m so honored to call you my daughter. I may not get to raise you but that will never take away from the fact that your my little girl and you always will be. Your precious to me!

I love you so much!

————-

is is well……

Tonight I am going to get my first tattoo on Kayla’s 5th birthday! Let me tell you the meaning behind it for me.  My cousin actually has the same one and when I saw her in May it touched me.  The tattoo says “it is well”.  And I truly believe that. But it took a lot of wrestling with God and gut wrenching faith for me to be able to finally say those words after losing our sweet girl. Those words didn’t come easily but they came because God is faithful. He grew our faith… Faith is when we have to go through something that doesn’t make any sense to us but we choose to trust Him anyways. We choose to let go and to allow it to be well with our soul. I would jump at the chance to have her in my arms again. To raise her. To be her mommy. But I see God in a huge way in our story. And in our lives. I see that He never let me go. He has changed my heart. I can now say it is well.

The tattoo is also special to me because it’s the song my mom has always lived out. Even through her cancer and all the hardships that came her way, she always said “it is well”. And they were not just words to her. It was a way of life. Her faith has always and will always be the most important thing to her. She trust The Lord with all that is in her. And she has passed that legacy of faith down to me. And because of her beautiful example of a godly women, I saw courage. Strength. And it was extremely instrumental in me being able to say “it is well” when life got hard. When I lost my baby girl.

I was shaken to the core… And then I was given a choice.. I could hold on to the hurt & anger or I could put my hand in the Lords and trust Him. And I not only had to trust Him with my life but I constantly have to trust Him with Kayla’s life. Letting go was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. It took strength and it took The Lord carrying me. And never letting me go.

On this day, Kayla’s 5th birthday, I’m reminded of how much God loves me. How many blessings we have received along the way. I’m reminded that 5 years ago God gave us Kayla. We got to hold her for 7 weeks and we get to love her for the rest of our lives. We will always love her as our own. She will always be a part of me and always be in my heart. I so wish I didn’t have to miss out on her life but so thankful for the time I got to be in it. She will always be my little girl.  As I write this I start to cry… Because it will always hurt. And I will always miss her. But I also am so thankful that God has written our story and continues to. God doesn’t make mistakes. I can honestly say I do not believe a heart ever fully recovers from such a loss… God just strengthens the heart and gives it peace. He beings healing and it doesn’t hurt as bad.

This tattoo will be a constant reminder to me that this life is not my own. It belongs to God. He doesn’t make mistakes. I can get through anything in this life as long as I have the hope and faith that comes from The Lord. To be able to say the words it is well is one of the biggest blessings that God has given me. There’s so much peace in surrendering to Him.

 

~ Kristen

 

She wants brown eyes

 

I had the most precious conversation with my daughter Aleah before she turned 3.  For weeks.  Every night.

 

Aleah said, “Mommy, what color eyes do you have?”

 

Me, “Brown”.

 

Aleah, “Mommy, what color eyes do I have?”

 

Me, “Blue”.

 

Aleah sadly says, “Mommy, I want bwown eyes like you.”

 

Me, “Honey, your blue eyes are beautiful.  I wouldn’t change a thing”.

 

Aleah put her little hands on my face and said, “But Mommy, I want bwown like you.”

 

Precious.

 

Precious.

 

It melts my heart to know how much she loves me.  How much she looks up to me and wants to be just like me. It is an honor.

 

It makes me realize that I need to be worth looking up to.  Not on the outside but on the inside.  I need to be the person God made me.  I want her to see God when she looks in my brown eyes.  I want her to know and feel how loved she is.  How precious.  I want her to see what life is all about.  What is important.  I want to set an example for her.

 

This precious conversation with my daughter makes me want to be a better person.  It makes me want to change to be more like Jesus.  It makes me realize that who I am is some of what they want to be.

 

I want a heart like Jesus.  So that when my beautiful daughters look at me they see how to live.  Good thing I have the Lord.  Because I could not do it on my own.

 

I love the precious gift of my children.

 

~Kristen

Shes turning 4

You never forget what it feels like to hold your baby for the first time.  You never forget bringing her home.  And I will never forget what it felt like to have her.  And I will never forget what it felt like to let her go.  No mom should ever have to do that.  I miss her.  She is going to be 4 years old in a few days… and I miss her.  I miss getting to see her grow up.  To love her through all her stages of life.  She made me stronger.  She made me a better person.  I just hate that I had to lose her.  Part of me wishes I was able to hold my heart back… and yet, she deserved to have all of it.  And that is what I gave her.  There are days, like today, that I tell God if he wants to give her back it is okay… I will always long for her.  Always.  But I know that Gods will was done and I trust Him.  I trust Him to take care of her.  But at the same time, I want to take care of her.

 

Lord God,

 

Even tough I trust You with all that I am… there are days I don’t get it.  There are days I just want her back.  Period.  Every day I want her.  Some days it hurts.  Bad. Lord, meet me here once again.  In this place I am all too familiar with.  And just hold me.  And hold my sweet precious baby girl as she turns 4.  Help her to know how precious she is.  How loved.  Thank you for the gift of her 4 years ago.

 

Once again I give her over to You and trust You!

 

Happy birthday sweet girl!  You will always be my baby girl, my “Roo”.  And I will always always love you!!!

 

I am okay.  This is just a part of what a heart goes through.  What my heart goes through after losing something so precious.  But I know that God has a plan.  I trust His plan even when I don’t get it.

 

Thanks for listening again!

 

 

~Kristen 

Mothers Day

Mothers Day

 

First thing that comes to mind is BLESSED!  So blessed!  Our two sweet precious girls have filled up our lives!  They call me mommy everyday.  They hug me.  They tell me that they love me.  We laugh together.  Play hard.  Enjoy each moment.  I have the honor and the privilege of raising them.  I am indeed blessed.

 

Mothers day also bring to mind that I am blessed to call my mom, mom. What an amazing women she is.  A women who loves the Lord with all her heart.  Who loves my daddy with all shes got.  Who is a precious Nana to my children.  And who has walked though EVERYTHING in my life with me.  Often times holding me along the journey.  She is my role model.  My hero.  And the type of mom that I pray  I become.  She is one of my very best friends.

 

I am blessed by the legacy of my Grandmother, whom we call Nonnie!  She was an amazing women of God who loved her family well!

 

I am blessed to have the two precious babies that God gave us for just a short time.  To love them and hold them close.  To have them love me in return.  I will always love them and hold them in my heart.  My dear sweet precious baby girl will always be just that – my dear sweet precious baby girl –  I miss you today honey but thank God for the time I had with you even if it was too short.

 

Thank you Lord, for blessing me this mothers day and always.  For giving me so many to love!

 

~Kristen

 

Jeremiah 29:11-14

Jeremiah 29:11-14

“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you”, declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

 

Amen to that!!

Just Be

I have been feeling off lately and trying to figure out why.  I miss my Grandma.  I miss my sweet little girl.  There have been doors closed that I didn’t think would be.  And all the while I am feeling a little lost.  And I am trying to find myself.  I was chatting with my mom tonight and she said that I am defined by Christ.  Not by what I do.  Yah, I know that… but yet, I don’t live like I know that – at least not lately.  I need to be praying that God will reveal His plan for my life and what He wants me to do… I need to let go of everything I thought I would be or thought I would do and hold tightly to the truth that God designed me.  He knows the plans He has for my life.  I need to put my hand in the Lords, quite trying to figure it out – and let Him lead.  I have been so busy lately trying to “find myself” when what I need to do it surrender myself.  My life is His.  I am here for one purpose.  I spend so much time planning what’s next and what I should be and what I want to be.  So, what do I do? (Besides stop running around trying to find me and define me).  I sit still – I listen – and I obey.  Just be.  Where God wants me.  Where God calls me.  Be who He made me to be.  Be defined not by what I do but by Christ. Life is a journey, my friends.  But one that is filled with so much hope and joy and purpose when lived for Christ.

~Kristen

 

~Kristen