Ever Sweeter

***note*** I just realized I have misplaced my list of people asking for a Bible.  If you requested one, and haven’t received it, please write to me again….I am so sorry about this.  
It is, of course, entirely possible that the devil stole my notebook and hid it on my bookshelf….he’s so stealthy…(that only made sense to about 15 women, but they are all laughing their heads off…love you, Amy!)
I started writing this post on 8/7, and was only able to finish it this evening…

It’s been four months today.

That’s hard to say. I guess in some ways it hurts to think about the fact that time continues to move along without her.
I am broken tonight.  
Todd and I are laying in bed, and we just finished watching the Larry King interview with Steven Curtis Chapman and his sweet family. I got goosebumps as I watched them boldly speak the name of our Lord in the wake of losing Maria.  They were so honest about the way they have been angry and the way they have screamed to the heavens, “Why?” They also talked about satan, and their description of our enemy made me shiver.  
I know that not all of you are Christians.  I want you to know that I am so grateful you are here, that you are reading these words.  I don’t say that because I see you as a “project,” or because I want to add you to my list of people I can brag about “converting.”  Before I was a believer, I had experiences with a few Christians who made me feel like I was on their “to-do” list, and I was irritating to them because they wanted to just cross me off and move on.  I promised myself that I would never make anyone feel like they were valuable to me because I had a goal with them.  I truly, truly, love people, and I truly, truly, love Jesus.  It’s actually pretty simple. With that said, I hope you stick around for this post.  You may choose not to agree (you are certainly entitled to your own opinion!), but it is important to me, and it is what I believe, so I would like to share.  As always, please ask any questions you have, and I will make sure to pass them along to my father in law and get back to you with a really smart answer:)
Here goes.
I believe that satan is real, and that spiritual warfare rages all around us every day of our lives.
I believe satan is the enemy of God, and that his desire is to see the fallen world turn their backs on the God he wanted to overpower.  I don’t think he has a pitchfork, and I doubt he has a long red tail.  I don’t think he wears Prada, but I do believe he was an angel once.  An angel with a beautiful voice who wanted to be greater than God.  An angel who God rejected and exiled from heaven. The fallen angel who rejoices in our sufferings and our regrets.  Who taunts us as we hold our dying children and who laughs as we crumble under the weight of it all.  
The day after we buried Audrey, we went to breakfast with Todd’s family, and we learned that Nicol was going to be singing that night at a showcase.  If you have ever heard her sing, you already know why we wanted to be there, but immediately, it was more than that.  I can only say it this way…God impressed upon me a desire to be there that was so strong that I would have moved heaven and earth to do it.
Later that night, as we were getting ready, everything started going wrong.  The kids were upset, we couldn’t find our shoes, we were late, and on and on.  We almost decided not to go, but again, I felt like no matter what, we were getting in the car. We did, and almost an hour later, in the pouring rain, we realized our navigation system was seriously confused about where we were supposed to be.  We could barely see the road, and no matter how many people we called, we couldn’t get anyone to answer the phone. Over and over we called Todd’s mom, Todd’s dad, Todd’s sister, Todd’s brother in law.  Nothing. Nobody.
I was angry.
Really, really angry.
Todd, his best friend Dan, and my dad were also in the car, and they will tell you that I was, by all accounts, being completely unreasonable as I huffed and puffed from the passenger seat.  I felt oppressed.  I felt like I was being sought out by the one who hates me the way he hates my God.  I felt an anger rise up in me that was almost inhuman.  What’s the big deal? I kept thinking, trying to calm myself down.  She will sing again.  You’ll see her next time.  You’ll get to support her next time. Still, regardless of my internal pep-talk, the haunting passion would not subside.
I must be there.
I asked the Lord to guide our car.  I asked Him to delay the showcase so that we would see her even though we were 45 minutes late for a half hour set.  I asked Him because that was all I could think to do. I felt like the devil himself was beside me, breathing on me, smothering me with his hatred.
We finally figured out where we were supposed to have turned, and we retraced our steps until the building stood in front of us.  We jumped out of the car and ran, hands over our heads in a feeble attempt to protect ourselves from the downpour.  As we entered the building, we heard nothing.  Silence.  I assumed we had just missed her.  We walked into the room where she was, and saw everyone standing up and talking.  I ran to Todd’s mom and asked her how it had gone. She told me it hadn’t even started and I almost started crying right there.  We found our seats and settled in. My heart was racing, and I remember thinking, OK Lord, we’re here.  Thank you. I don’t know what you’re up to, but I know You’re in it.

Just a few minutes later, Nicol got on stage.  She opens her mouth and Jesus falls out.  Trust me. I was just starting to close my eyes and relax when I heard a tiny little whimpering. The day before, I had watched my fourth daughter be lowered into the earth, and that sound, that tiny baby squeaking…oh it broke me.  I opened my eyes and saw my mother in law holding the baby.  I need to be selfless.  I just want to sit and listen and relax, but Lord, I need to help so she can stay and listen…
“I’ll take him, Mom.”
“You sure?” 

Not really, I thought.  I don’t know what it’s going to feel like to have that weight in my arms tonight.  
“Yeah, I’m sure.”  I swaddled him up and walked out the back doors.  
I stood in the foyer, ear pressed to the door for the next few minutes.  Every few seconds I would stare down at his sweet face, and just feel his warmth.  I couldn’t run from it.  I had to miss her the way I did in that moment, while he gurgled and shifted and turned his little head. 
After a few minutes, a peace came over me.  I just stared at him, every part of his face, and I started to whisper to him…Oh sweet baby…sweet baby boy…

The rain was pounding on the glass doors, and the sound of God was all around.
Weeks later, as I recalled this moment, I would realize what I didn’t know during that storm.
This was the only time I would ever hold my nephew Luke.

I am crying now as I remember the words I said to him.  I will never repeat them, because I believe that God allowed me those private moments with him to cling to for the rest of my life. Luke knows what I said.  He knows to this day that I fought the rain, I fought the clock, I fought the devil himself because on that night, he was meant to be held in my arms.
The name of the song Nicol sang as I rocked Luke? I couldn’t make this up if I tried…it was called “Downpour.” I now have, forever etched in my memory, the sound of my dear sister singing to Jesus while I held her son, worshipping the God who would greet him in heaven a few short weeks later.  She was singing to Him….singing sweet praise to Him…  
Several people have written me over the months and they have asked me this question in many different ways.  ”Do you believe that God was responsible for taking your baby? How can you love a God Who would do that?”  Here is my answer.
I don’t know why she is gone, but I do know Who had the final say.  And it wasn’t the snake.
And because I know Who, I am willfully unconcerned with why.  
I know that God will use this for good, regardless of who may have intended it for evil. If you are reading these words, and you know anything about my sweet Audrey, you will also know this.
He already has.
I listened to Steven tonight, and I thought about my sweet husband and my precious sister in law Nicol singing to the Lord, and I recalled a quote I read years ago in a Max Lucado book (ironically, I think the title has something to do with a storm…).  It told the story of a very young girl who was playing her violin at a concert and there was no question she was a prodigy, gifted well beyond her years. But while her fingers danced on the strings, a man in the audience leaned over to his friend and said,
“Can you imagine how beautiful it will be once she’s had her heart broken?”
The depth of sorrow has a way of changing the way you share your life, your heart, your God.  It makes you want to shout the name of Jesus because you realize that after all, in the very midst of it, He is real.  It isn’t just a big book.  It’s the truth, and it has changed me. He has used this season to show me an image of myself, kissing His feet while the tears slip to the ground. 
This week we will bury our sweet baby Luke in the same plot as Audrey. 
I write those words and then I shake my head, anticipating the tent, the benches, the flowers, the tears…..again.  It feels like too much to bear, and yet, I want you to know this.
There is much that the enemy cannot take from us. 
He cannot have our memories, our pure love, the way we have held each other up…he cannot. 
He cannot have our hope, nor our inexplicable peace. Never.
And this week, a sound most disturbing to satan will rise from a graveyard in Tennessee, where the echoes of loving praise will drift into the morning sky, ever sweeter for the brokenness.
I want to thank you in advance for the way I know you will lift us up in prayer, and for the way it will sustain us in the coming days. 
With much love, and more gratitude than I can articulate,
Angie

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • Diane

    We will be praying for you, Angie. Thanks for writing.

  • Kim

    I, as always, am honored to share in your good times AND bad. I have been in your shoes (losing a child) and sometimes I think I drove myself crazy with the “whys” and “how comes”!
    I will be thinking of you and all your family during this ongoing difficult time.
    Know that you are all in my prayers. I went to church tonight to meet with the minister that will be conducting my wedding in two weeks. I don’t get to church as often as I like but I did remember your words of encouragement in seeking the Lord. You have made me look inside myself and NEED to feel the comfort of the Lord, something I’ve been seriously neglecting.
    From one friend to another, I thank you.
    And in return for your encouragement, I will laugh, cry, and pray with you! :)
    {{Hugs from Michigan}}
    Kim

  • Laura

    I don’t even know how I started reading your blog but tonight’s was special – thanks AND
    Thanks for being so transparent.

  • Sarah

    In your last blog writing, you wrote that you had something to share but would save it for another night.

    I felt the Holy Spirit move me to pray for Nicole. I now know why. It must have been an emotional decision for you both, and one that I can see will bring such healing and closeness for you both.

    God bless you both and your families as you once again lay your lives in God’s hands.

    Hugs,
    Sarah

  • boomama

    This is absolutely beautiful. Thanks for sharing your heart with all of us. I’m praying for you!

  • Dona

    My condolence to you and your family. I pray the “Peace that passes ALL understanding” will continue to cover you during this stormy season of life.

  • Twice Blessed China Mom

    Angie, I’ve told so many friends about your blog. The depth of your faith touches me greatly. I feel that God is doing very special things with your story and your ability to communicate with us through your writing. I’m a single, adoptive mom to two daughters from China. You inspire me to be the best mom I can be. In addition to having a gift for sharing your faith, I’d love to have you for a neighbor and friend! I host an adoptive parenting bookclub, and we have an awesome group of moms that meet monthly. If you’re ever in the suburbs of Chicago, there are some special adoptive moms that would be proud to call you friend. We have wonderful conversations and chocolate, too! Your family will continue to be in my prayers. Thank you so much for sharing your love of Jesus.

  • Barb

    I’ve been reading your blog and praying for you and your family for months, but I’m just now breaking my silence. I have to say, I think God truly speaks through you. You have such an eloquent way of writing and your words always ring of truth. Your blog has been a blessing to me, and there’s no doubt in my mind that God will bring even more good from Audrey’s death. I continue to pray for you.

  • Carrie

    Angie, thank you for once again reminding me of God's unending love & amazing grace. Praying for you this week.

  • Misty Rice

    I think having Luke next to Audrey is the perfect spot. It reminds me of “Where the Red Fern Grows” story. Something beautiful and amazing is going to “bloom” from all of this sadness and loss. God is mighty and God is love, God is always “WITH US”. With God on our side, whom shall we fear? NO ONE, not even Satin himself.

    I have been gone all week too and tonight was the first I have read your blog in a week, and I swear the timing is so crazy on everything. God is doing some work in my life and I am not sure exactly what yet, but I know at times I feel so confused and frustrated and even angry myself. I have had my share of “shouts at my God”. And I have been a believer since age 9.

    I believe you in all that you wrote tonight, I believe in all that you felt and I that you say and I truly hear your emotions as I read your words. Although I don’t know you personally or your family or Lukes family, but some how I wish I had a moment to hold both Audrey and Luke, and just talk to them and feel them. I just put my little girl down for bed, she slept in her bed in her room last night for the first time. She just rolled over last week. She has her first little cold. She sings to me…..

    All the things I hurt knowing that some of my sisters and brothers out there will never get to do with one of their children.

    I honestly don’t know how you do it Angie, but I admire your strength, even when you are weak. I admire your TRUST and FAITH in GOD, our heavenly father.

    This entire family will be in my thoughts, my prayers and my heart this week and always.

    I pray tonight that God brings everyone peace, quietness, comfort and most of all his sweet embrace. I ask God tonight that he shine the moon a little brighter on you and Nichole, and gently run his hands over your hair as he drifts you into a peaceful nights sleep. My favorite thing is imagining my head on Gods lap as he strokes my hair and sings to me. I hope you feel it too.

    God Bless -

  • Michelle Pugh

    Thank you Angie for once again putting a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. I hang on your every word. God bless you and your family.

  • amy

    Sweet Angie,
    I am lifting you up as well as all of your precious family. Your story has rocked me to the core and I am so incredibly thankful that you have allowed us to be a part of it.
    I sat in the car with a new friend the other night who just marked a year since her sweet girl was born and went to be with Jesus. Her story is so similar to yours in so many ways. She too talks about the tenderness of the Lord as she has walked through her grief. He truly is the PEACE that passes all our understanding. We cried together as we talked about her sweet girl…and about our sweet LORD and the way He LOVES us so tenderly. I hope and pray that you feel his presence with you as you bury your precious little nephew, Luke. I know you know how dearly the LORD of all creation loves you and I hope you can rest knowing He will…IS working all things for good and one day we will see clearly. He is SO good.

    Love you friend,
    Amy

  • The Liebers

    I got shivers and tears reading your post. Thank you for sharing your story with us. My faith is strenghtened each time I read your words. I will be praying for you and your family.

  • Julie

    Oh Angie, thank you. Your words were perfect. Thank you for bearing your soul, and encouraging me when my faith is being shaken.

    Your words about Luke were absolutely breathtaking. I have no words but sweet, beautiful, true and precious.

    Your written voice is beautiful. I hope you know that no anxiety can ever take that away from you.

    Regarding your last post, do whatever you need to do to get through this “time” because as I know, anxiety flows in waves and if you can just get off the wave you will achieve some normalcy and be able to manage it on your own again. Don’t be critical of yourself dear friend. This is not a permanent condition.

    You are in my prayers, friend. You are a treasure. And you are a role model for me. Thank you thank you thank you.

    In Him,
    Julie
    Sacramento

  • Heidi

    The Lord speaks through your words. You will never know the depth of what your blog has done for me, my life, my faith. I will continue to pray for you and your family. Praise the Lord.

  • MAC5

    Angie,

    God’s plan is perfect. There are times when we just well go What are you doing? But, still continue to walk or allow him to carry us through. Just keep walking and loking up. Praying HE will give you the strength and peace you need for the days ahead. Praying for great weather and a peaceful day as you bury Luke near Audrey. I pray for something very specail to happen so you and nicol will see the hand of God in this.

  • Libby

    Angie,

    It was almost one month ago that I came across your blog. I sobbed as I read each and every word that you wrote. Your devotion to the Lord and willingness to openly share the story of Audrey was breathtaking. I can only begin to imagine the number of lives that have been touched by your obedience to Him and the blessings that have come from this experience.

    Almost one year ago, our son Charlie was born with Down syndrome. This last year has been full of prayer, contemplation and realizations for me both as his mother, and as a daughter of God. Your blog helped to opened up my heart, and also my ears, and allowed me to truly hear the Lord and what his plan is for me. By sharing Audrey’s story – by showing that each life is of value, you helped me to realize that ours was a story worth telling too.

    As we come close to our first year “anniversary” of Charlie’s birth, it seems as though a situation that may have been “chance” is not. Charlie’s birth was planned – he was not a mistake. He is perfect. We want to share our story – not hide it. Oh yeah, and to top things off – I was chosen specifically by God to be his mother! And he wants me to mother with grace and to share our blessings. To glorify Him. Whew!

    Thank you. Thank you for honestly sharing the joys and sorrows of life. Thank you for choosing to glorify Him. Please know that you and your family are always in our prayers.

    Love and blessings,

    Libby

  • Scott

    You are right, That was the most amazing hour on Larry King ever. I hope and pray that he was changed for ever. Again you have brought us to tears. Our prayers are continually with you and your family. That truly is an amazing quote, that through our tragedies, sorrows and deepest pains. The most beautiful and greatest praise can reach up to the heavans and glorify God from hear to eternity.

    God bless you,
    Scott & Kelly

  • Penny

    Dear Angie

    Your blog once again is nursing a grieving heart. Your words laced with God’s word is so powerful!! Your walk is one of such faith, and it calls all of us to be more faithful to the God of this universe that loves us with all our baggage and sin. I have introduced a friend to the blog who is now clinging to her tiny 20 week baby. His prognosis is not good, he will not survive on this earth. Her life is spinning out of control and she feels that her heart is being ripped from her. But she also sees God’s arms around her and knows that each of these days need to be the best days with her baby Mason.

    My heart will be praying for your family, I pray that this will be a time of healing.

  • Tamara

    I am not sure I have any words to write…but thank you. In Him, because someday I am going to be able to see Him and hug Him and right now, I am just going to try to get to know Him…Tamara

  • Jenny

    What a beautiful post, Angie. Really, really beautiful. God totally set up that divine appointment for just you and Luke that night. He knew that you would need that moment.

    I noticed in your post that you didn’t capitalize the name of the snake….you know, his name isn’t even worth having a capital letter on the front…and I never thought of it myself. From this moment on for me, I’m not even going to bother capitalizing his name either.

  • Whitney

    Thank you for the post. You posted it at EXACTLY the right time for me to see it – and I needed it!

  • Jen

    Angie dearest, you are constantly on my mind. I went away for the weekend for a ladies retreat, and still you came with me in my heart. I spoke with a friend about my friend Angie who I “talk with”, and oh how my heart ached for it to be a real friendship, and not “stranger friends”. One day!

    I will be praying for you this week. I think it’s perfect to have them buried together, then if any of you move, even though they aren’t really underground, their bodies won’t be alone. I think you said once that you knew she wasn’t there, but her knees were. I can imagine the comfort you muct have knowing those precious knees have her cousin close at hand.

    I’m sending a big, warm, all-encompassing hug your way, dearest of Angies, with the hope that one day you can return it :)

  • natasha

    Angie, I’ve been reading your blog for the last few months, but just never commented. My daughter was born just 2 weeks after your sweet Audrey. My heart hasn’t experienced the loss yours has, but your life, and that of Audrey’s (and Luke’s) have changed me. Everytime I read about your grief, I squeeze my baby a little tighter and watch her a little closer. I try to “blink” as many memories as I can.

    My husband is a pastor, and although some people look on the outside and think I have my spiritual life all together, it is through the reflection of your faith that I see how shallow and infantile my faith is. You have challenged me so much. Since I’ve been introduced to your blog, I have spent much more time with Jesus, and my desire to know Him is so very much stronger.

    You have truly been a blessing to me, and I have passed on the link to your blog to many others. Your family is in my prayers. I pray for strength, comfort and peace from our Father.

  • Celie

    Angie and Todd,I so admire the strength God shines through your words. Thanks for being real, praising God even in the shadow of death. Laying your two babies together. Makes so much since. Yes I believe God is good. He make no mistake, I believe. I believe he is strength in these storms of life when our children body are not here for us to hold. I believe they are absent from that body in the presence of God. Your families have been and will continue to be in my prayer. Thank you for the honor I have to serve you in prayers in this season of your lives. Loving from afar praying praising

    Celie

  • Chanandaler

    I don’t know how you manage to write so eloquently about a subject so painful but I am always blessed when I come to your blog.

    Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your heart. You are truly a blessing to others.

  • Jaci

    You are a beautiful, courageous woman. Your faith is beautiful. Thank you for your willingness to share your heart and life with us all. May God bless your faithfulness. I am truly so sorry for your heartache.

    I will continue to pray for you.

  • mamabearharder

    I have been following your blog since I had a friend put up a post about your story a few months ago. This is the first time I have commented and I want you to know I have been so touched by your story and how you have relied on the one true God to get through these tough times.

    I came from a LDS background and left the church about 4 years ago thanks to my wonderful husband (at that time husband to be) who was a tool in God’s hands! I have a story to share with you but it is much to long to post here. I know you get MANY emails and responses to your posts so I don’t want to take up any more of your time.

    Also I entered a photo contest on http://www.5minutes4mom.com and the picture is one of the 20 finalists (the pic is #9). I stumbled upon this site because my sister had entered as well and I really think it may be one you would like. The women are great and it is Christian based.

    I hope that homeschooling goes well for you. I am hoping to do this with my kiddos but I just feel so unorganized and like I don’t have the patience for it. Best of luck to you and God bless you!

    You are always in our prayers!!!!

    If time permits, I would love to hear from you sometime and get to know you better!

    Email: harderfamily4@gmail.com

  • Trina

    I don’t know how to put all that I want to say into words. The best I can do is…Thank You.
    Thank you for sharing your faith, struggles, joys and grief.
    You have brought me to tears. I have been able to see and feel God’s amazing love and comfort. It’s been a long time since I’ve opened myself up to that.
    My prayers are with you and your family as you place yet another one you love in His loving hands.

  • Vaeh’s Blog

    I, too, feel honored that I can walk this road with you. My youngest daughter was born with a very complex congenital heart defect, & have come to know so many families affected by similar defects. We are all walking a journey together, & as part of that walk we share our experiences. When I describe our 'travels' thus far, I use the analogy of God playing a hand of cards. The timing of when our daughter was born, the doctors that were present, etc. You can see where he has played each card perfectly to progress our daughter & our family through this journey. He's beating Satan at his game!

    From your description of going to hear Nicol sing, sounds like God was playing another hand of cards! Thank you so very much for sharing your journey… your thoughts, feelings & your interpretations of God's word. I look forward to each new post! Thank you, again!

    Tina Walp:0)
    http://nevaehkaylenewalp.blogspot.com/

  • Dani

    Oh sweet Angie!! I will be praying for you and the rest of the family! You are burdened on my heart tonight! I love your sweet family! I can’t express the feelings I have right now for you and your family!! Know you are thought about and prayed for very often here in FL!

    Lots of love and prayers,
    Dani

  • Jennifer

    angie- i know we don’t really know each other, but i feel like i know you. you are so precious and strong. the glory of the Lord shines through you and your family. i am so thankful that you had that special time with luke. audrey and luke are such beautiful babies. i will be praying for your family this week.

    i know He is near to the broken-hearted…

  • Mocha with Linda

    I can’t even describe what I feel right now. I wish I could hug you.
    My heart aches for you all.

    Yet I rejoice with you that
    Death has been swallowed up in victory.
    Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?

    I know right now it stings, but I thank God that satan cannot have our hope, nor our inexplicable peace. Never.
    And this week, a sound most disturbing to satan will rise from a graveyard in Tennessee, where the echoes of loving praise will drift into the morning sky, ever sweeter for the brokenness.

  • trblmkrtess

    Praising God for His faithfulness. Loving you for your transparency. Christ is consistently glorified in your blog, made visible to us as He carries you through the dark places, and as He shines over you in the joyful ones.

    I will be praying about your panic attacks. Unfortunately, I know them firsthand. Fortunately, I also know that this too shall pass. During the midst of them, I try to remember to thank God even for the panic attacks (no matter our circumstances), and to release that anxiety to Him in prayer (Phil 4) telling Him what I so desperately need, and thanking Him for meeting my needs His way, and in His time. Sometimes, I have to tell Him over and over:) It is hard to rejoice or be thankful in those times, but I know that He IS near, and that for reasons that are beyond me, I matter to Him.

    You matter to Him, and to so many of us as well. Be blessed Sweet Angie.

    In His safe grip,

    Teresa

  • Jennifer Gugle

    Angie, You will never know how much I appreciate you and your openess. I e-mailed you a while back about my daugter, Kathryn. She was born with a very complex heart defect, May 16, 2006. We just found out she has to go back in for her second open heart surgery. I am able to go through this storm/downpour in my life because I am truly standing on the promises of God. I hate that Kathryn has to go through all of this in her life; however, I am so thankful for the life lessons I have learned from having her. I would not change that. I am sure you completely understand that. I was able to outright witness to another hurting mother tonight, because she knows where I am in my own life. I see God use all of this for His glory. You, my sister in Christ, are being used for His greater glory. I know your pain burns to your inner most being. Thank you for being that broken vessel for those around you to see His light shine through.
    It is an honor to pray for you and your family.
    Much love, Jen

  • Candi

    Thank you for writing. Thank you for being authentic and transparent. Thank you for clinging so tightly to Jesus.

    I have been slammed with grief this summer, and I believe that Jesus sent me to your blog, and Steven Curtis Chapman’s manager’s blog, to remind me over and over that I am not alone. To help me watch—and learn from—and be so encouraged by—-your negotiation of this path called suffering. We’re called to have broken and contrite hearts, not to be crushed under our circumstances. Honestly, I’ve been having trouble these past two weeks telling the difference between the two.

    You remind me. When you share the stories of God’s whispers and shouts, the stories of His perfect timing in the midst of this battle for our very lives, you remind me:

    He is sovereign.
    He is good.
    He is for me.

    In your blog today, I heard God call my name. I heard Him say, ” I love you so much.”

    Thank you, Angie.

  • Taylor

    Thank you for being you and sharing your heart with me. You have a way of putting into words everything that my heart feels.

  • Elaine

    Amazingly said, I can feel the pain, and am praying that some will be lifted from you. My prayers will be with you and your family this week.

  • Natalie

    We will be praying even more for your family! Thank you so much for your honesty and the reminder that each moment is important, each moment is not a surprise to our God…

  • Jessica Turner

    love you.

  • SingerMamaMelody

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Angie. How incredible that God gave you those moments with Luke, and that you knew that you had to be at that concert. I also appreciated that you shared about our enemy and his reality. I think it is a topic that many people would rather avoid, but it is so real. Our Lord is so triumphant over the enemy. I’m so glad that we can cling to Him and His truth!!!!!

    I am praying for God’s peace and comfort over you and your family. May He give you all the strength you need for today, tomorrow, the next day…may you rest in Him.

    Lots of love from MN,
    Melody

  • Melanie

    angie, girl you always know the words to say.

    i can’t tell you how many sunday mornings my family and i have argued before church with one disaster after another whispering to me, “just stay home this week…”

    and then we arrive and we meet Jesus there. then i know that the devil was trying to keep us away.

    it almost seems like the harder the battle to get there, the more worth it the destination will be. you are in my prayers.

    much love…

  • Marilena

    Angie, I am sitting here weeping as I write this. My niece passed away in January from SIDS and I never got to hold her… I am in Arizona and she was in Michigan. I am so glad that you fought Satan that night and got to hold sweet Luke in your arms. You are so right when you said that spiritual warfare is all around us. Satan know just how to attack us when we are at our lowest. I will be praying for your entire family this week.
    Your sister in Christ,
    marilena

  • Amy

    Oh, Angie. I will definitely be praying for you this week.

    There’s one more thing satan may not have: your peace. I’ll be praying that the panic attacks and that heavy feeling are banished from your life. You have sisters and brothers in Christ lifting you up in prayer from the four corners of the planet. Remind the enemy of that the next time he slinks around.

    Hugs from another reader in Michigan.

  • Lindsay

    Be encouraged as you continue to encourage all of your readers through the seasons of your life.

    You are loved.
    You are treasured.
    You are a testimony of His mercy, grace & peace.

    Praying for you & with you as you continue to see Him through this storm.

  • Jai

    Thank you for sharing this. One thing I know is, there is NO WAY in this world that I could live my life without knowing the Savior and what he did for me!

    I don’t always know why, but I know WHO knows and I just want to be available for Him to use me in whatever ways He sees fit, especially when it comes to standing firm and against Satan.

    Continuing to pray for you! .. Even 5 years later … I think of those “missed” opportunities, but rejoice because I KNOW, I will see my baby again as will you.

  • Julie Dyer

    Beautifully written as always, Angie.

    My thoughts and prayers will be with the Smith and the Sponberg family this week.

  • Keri

    Loved the article about the Chapmans in the most recent People (big subscriber here). They unashamedly gave God the glory for all that has happened in their lives in a real and transparent way.

    Living life in a way that brings glory to God speaks volumes louder than many preachers. Thank you, Angie, that in a seeminly small way (blogging) you are shouting to the rooftops that your God reigns!

    I’ll be praying for your whole family this week!

  • Kristin

    Dear Angie,
    I have been reading your blog for quite some time now (I came across it through Heather L. from Mom4Life, who is a friend of a good friend) but it wasn’t until tonight that I felt God urging me to write to you. THANK YOU for your complete transparency…for your willingness to share all that is on your heart and for allowing us to carry bits and pieces of your burdens for you through prayer! Our God is so mighty and your post tonight reminds me how He weaves and intertwines each and every detail of our lives together in order that His beautiful tapestry can display His glory! Thank you! I will be lifting you, Nicol and your family up to our mighty Lord now and in the coming days!
    May God bless you!
    Kristin from CA

  • Sara

    Holding you gently in prayer as always, every day.

    I too believe satan is real and God is greater. I do think God can heal me even if He has chosen not to, just as he could have (and in His home now did) heal Audrey. But what I believe more than anything is that I trust Him. I believe that, at the heart of everything, He is love. Whatever He allowed to happen He allowed in love, with love. It’s beyond my human understanding, but it’s the truth nonetheless.

    Thanks for always sharing with us … as sure as I am of His love, I am equally sure that He is proud of you.

    Holding you close in prayer,

    sara
    http://www.gitzengirl.blogspot.com

  • Diana

    You are an amazing lady! Thank you once again for sharing your heart and conviction. I am certain many reading will be blessed by your sharing. I know I have been. I pray you and your family will be blessed with peace and strength and understanding as you work through the coming events of this week.

  • Tasha

    Angie~
    I wish I could convey to you through this computer what a sweet,beautiful blessing you are to me.I have been running around non stop all day today and I just sat down and opened my computer.I deceided to check your blog like I do every day.I wanted to here from you so bad.But I really didn’t think there would be a post today since you had just posted Friday.It was like fresh air to my soul to see a new post.You have been on my mind even more than usual today.You are ALWAYS in my heart!Oh how I love you Angie!I can’t wait for the day that I can wrap my arms around you.I can’t even imagine how hard this week will be as you lay sweet Luke to rest next to your Audrey.I read on Nicol’s blog that the service will be on Thursday at 10.At that time I will be going to my room,closing the door and crying out to Jesus for your family.I will pray for the kind of peace that only comes from HIM.The kind of peace you can’t explain.Good night sweet friend.

  • Sue

    …PRAYING daily for You and Todd, Nicol and Greg and Steven and Mary Beth and families. Satan will not win! God is in control!

  • Christy

    I am praying for you tonight, as I do numerous times every day. God is using to as a blessing in so many lives. May He give you peace tonight.

  • Lori

    Your words are a true blessing.
    I am inspired by your words and I long to be a better Christian
    because of you.
    Thank you.
    Love & Peace,
    Lori

  • Michelle

    Many, many prayers. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Carrie

    Thank you. I am continually amazed at how God speaks to me through your writing. I will be praying for you and your family. You are a precious vessel of the Lord’s.

    I have NEVER seen anyone give SUCH a picture of Christ as the Chapman family did on Larry King.

    God is at work – in a mighty way – in the midst of this fallen world.

    To a “sister” I’ve never met … LOVE YOU! Thank you for listening to the heart of God!

  • Lori Anne

    Angie,
    I get anxiety and panic attacks and have suffered from depression for years as well. You might benefit from a book my doctor told me about: “The Edge Effect” by Eric R. Braverman, M.D. He discusses brain chemistry and offers a lot of alternative treatments to help you get your brain chemistry figured out and balanced.

    Look at the book on Amazon.com and see if it’s something you’re interested in. I like to peruse the comments other readers have written, they help me to figure out if the book will really be a help or not. I hope you find what you need!

    Lori

  • jen

    I have been reading your post lurking amidst it's honest, vulnerable sweetness & feeling God weave his way into your words for quite some time…but tonight's words compelled me, like so many others to write…

    I have not known your pain – I believe to some extent, we each have our own pain in this life – but I find healing and comfort in your words; your truthful, heartfelt out-pourings are a blessing to me and I thank you for sharing your heart.

    I have been praying for you and for your family & will continue to do so –

    "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
    2 Corinthians 12:9-11

    Praying you'll know His incomprehensible strength and peace – as our amazing God rests within you and surrounds you with his presence….

    blessings,
    jen:)

  • Megan

    God knows you Angie. You and Todd He knows Nicole and her husband.
    It is no doubt an honor. He knows that regardless of the shiking ground….you will praise His Holy name! Hallelujah! Looking forward to nursing our little ones in heaven. After all, it was the closest things to heaven on eath i have yet known?! Hail King Jesus!!!
    http://www.greatestblessing.blogspot.com

  • AnnaB

    A beautiful testimony of God and of the healing power in his hands. Satan is so real. His lies are evident everywhere. So grateful tonight, in tears, to be witness to the truth in your words.

    A friend in Idaho,
    Anna

  • Courtney

    Well, I was up late tonight and just read your blog. I have to tell you that after I read it, I had to turn off the T.V. and the music player on my computer and just weep and pray for you & Todd and for Greg & Nicol. I pray that the peace of God will cover you all this week. (Hug)

    I also thank you for a message of beauty in the broken. I love how God keeps reiterating stuff in our lives like he has done with this message for me this week. We can be so hard-headed sometimes.

    Courtney

  • Sam

    I wanted to say, I don’t necessarily think that He let’s these things happen in this world. This world is broken. BUT He is there to hold us when it happens.
    He couldn’t prevent what happened to Audrey but he can hold you and give you comfort and take the blame in the aftermath.
    He is a wonderful parent who knows the pain of losing a child. He feels for you as only He can.
    I LOVE reading your blog and it makes me cry everytime, either from sadness or from joy.

  • Julie

    I told Audrey’s story to my aunt and cousin today. I spoke her name and shared her life. They are unbelievers, I pray for them to know it’s real.

    Praying for you and the whole family this week.

    This story is beautiful and I am so thankful that you shared it.

  • Susan

    Once again your words speak the simplicity of Christ’s love and faithfulness. Reading through your tears, its obvious God has his hand on yours. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  • Bestill

    Angie, tonight our Pastor was speaking on speaking to our dry bones and one of the things he said will always be with me. Bless him, he was preaching in a church that is not our home church and is penecostal and he says, “I’m going to step on some penecostal toes when I say this…. Satan is not afraid of you speaking in tongues. He is not afraid of you falling on the floor, he is afraid of you loving people and standing in agreement in faith.” One thing that pours out of your words is your love of Jesus and your love for your family. I read your blog and I am forever touched each and every time. Satan attacks you because he is afraid. VERY afraid of the impact you have on other people because of your love. I am praying for you and your family and standing in agreement that He is going to raise up a tremendous army out of your dry bones.

  • Skerry

    My prayers for your whole family as you lay baby Luke to rest with Audrey here on Earth as they celebrate together in heaven.

  • Choua Yang

    my sister becky shared with me your blog. AMAZING… i’m currently serving in South Korea and some of your words- are what i needed to hear. thank you for sharing your heart. God bless you :)

    -choua

  • sara

    Precious Angie – I just cried tears of joy that you got to hold your beautiful nephew, Luke. Thank you for being honest about a VERY real enemy and the things that he can NEVER have. Yes, there are secret things in this life, but God’s love for us is no secret. Lifting you up..

  • Marci @Finding Joy in the Journey

    It’s so funny to me as I read through the comments left here. You seem to touch all of us in the same amazing way. No matter where we are, or who we are, or what pieces of your story we have in common, even if there are none, we all want to sit with you. We all want to hear you speak, to hug you. Each of us lift your family in prayer. Audrey has touched so many hearts and has paved the way for her Mama’s voice to shout the words of Jesus. You have touched us, she has touched us, and because of both of you He has touched us. For some it has simply refreshed things already within, for others it just allows our love to burn stronger, and for some it may be the first echoes of his voice they hear. What a sweet messengers he has sent.

    you will continue to be in our prayers…

    In His name,

    Marci

  • Kathy

    Hi Angie,

    Sending lots of healing thoughts and prayers your way at this 4 month milestone since your Audrey-girl was born and went to Heavenn.

    Today is the 4 month milestone for me and my family since our Molly-girl was born and went to Heaven. It is really hard for me to believe that much time has passed since I held my baby girl in my arms. I do believe that she is healed now at peace with God, but as you well know, it is still painful to not have her here with us in this world.

    Anyway, we haven’t been in touch in awhile and I wanted to check in and let you know that you and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Take care and God bless,
    Kathy

  • Jenny

    I will continue to pray for you and your beautiful family. I lost my dad on July 1st and the only way I’ve gotten through these times is with my faith in the Lord.
    Be blessed…

  • sumi

    Angie, through tears (again) I want to thank you for this post. You expressed what I feel but you did it better than I ever could.

    Inexplicable peace…amen!

    …because I know Who, I am willfully unconcerned with why. …double amen!

    It is precious to see al those little nuggets of grace and the faithfulness of God throughout your story.

    It has been six months today since I last kissed Jenna’s little chubby cheeks, but I can echo what you say…in the final analysis, he has made himself so real to us, as the one who is acquainted with our sorrows, and our praise to him is ever sweeter for the brokenness.

  • Kenzie

    Angie-

    Praying for your sweet family tonight as you share intimate details of your walk, your struggle, your trust… your faith in Him who has overcome this world. Thank you!

    Love & praying,
    Kenzie

  • katy

    Angie, I can’t tell you how long it took for me to get through this post…I had to continually stop to allow the tears to just fall. I just lost my Mamaw and I am so lost, how will my life be without her? It may be ok, but it can never be “just right” again. I know how I feel, and then look to you and imagine my hurt and sadness multiplied times many…how great the sorrow from the loss of a child. You are amazing. I am thankful the Lord is working through you to reach and help others…and that He will comfort you and He does have a plan for you. Thanks so much for this post. My prayers are absolutley with you and your whole family, and that through the loss of Audrey and Luke, your family will grow closer to each other, and to Christ. In His Love…

  • Allison

    I love you and your sweet family Angie. I will praying for all of you as you walk through these hard times.

  • Anna G

    “There is much that the enemy cannot take from us”.
    True, so true.

    Praising God and not turning your back on God in your tragedy means that satan has lost ground and didn´t accomplish what he was trying to do.

    Praying.

  • Allison

    I will be praying for your family.

    With LOVE comes GRIEF. You cannot have one without the other. If there was no GRIEF there would be no LOVE. I choose LOVE even if it means there will be times of sorrow. I will at least have those moments and memories of Joy and Love to cling too.

    I pray for Sonshine on Thursday. Theres been enough rain.

    Love
    ALLISON (first-time commenter)
    Blessed1976@hotmail.com

  • Kate

    Amen and Amen, sister! “O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?” Keep clinging to the One who knows it all…has a perfect plan and loves y’all more than you will ever ever know!!!!

  • Randi Jo :)

    thank you so much for sharing your heart with us. Your explanation of being on soembody’s to-do list is so accurate and sad and true. Thanks again for sharing your heart. You all have impacted me immensely.

  • Kacee Hogg

    So BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for always sharing even though I know it must be so difficult to write the words. And thank you for reminding me how great our God is and how His hand touches everything.

  • Debbie

    You touch my heart each time a read your words. You are an inspiration to my life.

  • Great-Granny Grandma

    Angie, you have such a beautiful spirit, and the way you write so touches me. If there are non-believers reading this post, may the Lord use it to soften and melt away any stoniness in their hearts, and convert it into fertile soil.

  • Life As A Newlywed

    Oh Angie, how heartsick we still are for you and your (entire) sweet sweet family.

    May our prayers SURROUND you this week. Satan has messed with the wrong family! And the wrong blog readers! :)

  • The Jones Family

    Angie,
    Absolutely beautiful. Praying for you.

  • Jennifer

    Something that struck me from another blog that I read. This statement. “If I could see things the way that God sees them, this is the very thing I would choose for my family.”
    I will be praying for you this week!

  • Megan

    I continue to pray for you. Thank you for showing us your heart.

  • Kristy

    Oh, this post (like others of yours) has brought tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. Thank you so much for writing this. “Even sweeter from the brokenness” – I will be praying for your family as you bury little Luke with Audrey – I can picture our Heavenly Father, and the angels listening to the sounds of your family’s sweet brokenness. I pray for comfort for all of you.

  • Jennifer, Eric and Isaiah Heuer

    Once again, unbelieveable words. Unbelieveable faith! God is using you, Angie Smith. Thank you for allowing Him to do so! Thank you for sharing your heart!

  • Pam

    Sear Sweet Angie,
    You have spoken such Truth in this post. The love of our Lord and Savior is so apparent in your writing. I know that you and Todd, Nicole and Greg, Steven and Mary Beth have experienced such tragedy that, if not for the strong faith of each of you, would destroy you. I praise God that you knew Him BEFORE this tragedy–and that you are able to know His perfect peace. I was at the Selah concert last night and I was so greatly blessed. Satan did not want that concert to happen–Amy told of all the delays, cancellations and lost luggage–he uses any tactic he can to keep us from our Father–for us to give in to anger, bitterness, and impatience so that we are unable to worship God but I just praise Him that satan doesn’t have the victory–we can just cry out the name of Jesus.
    Last night as Todd was singing ‘All my Praise’, I was struck by how hard it must have been for him to sing that song–but he sang it and I know he meant every word–’Even in the shadow of death I will praise You; Even in valley I will say, Holy, My God, You are worthy of all my praise’.
    I have lost many loved ones but I have never lost a baby and I can’t imagine how it must feel but I thank you for sharing your faith, your pain, and your joy. I will be praying for your family this week.

  • Shannon Crane

    Your post blessed my soul. Praying for you this week.

    James 1:2-4
    Dear brothers and sister, whatever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, endurance has the chance to grow. So let it grow! When your endurance is fully developed,you will be strong in character… ready for anything.

  • Amanda

    I think about how Moses wanted to see God and God told him that He would pass by and cover his face and Moses would only be able to see his back. Moses was only allowed to see where God had BEEN. I think about how we have those precious moments where WE can see where God has been. In the midst of the storm, my view is sometimes clouded. But, those moments are so beautiful when we look back and see just how close God was holding us.

    That night is a beautiful story. I know you will cling to it many times in the future. I am praying for your family and praising the God who gave us the promise of Romans 8:28.

  • Michelle

    I am sitting here weeping as I read your words. You have no idea how much your words mean to me today. God bless you.

  • Peas on Earth

    Precious words of truth, peace, hope, and Light. Love and Prayers,
    Sharon

  • J.C.

    I will be praying for your entire family during this very difficult week.

    God is so good, so loving, to have given you those precious moments with Luke.

  • The Vang Family

    We will be praying for you and your family! God bless you!

  • Lisa

    As always Angie, I count it a blessing to be able to pray with you and for your family. I will continue to pray for you and Nicol this week during the burial. I think it will be great to have them rest together.
    I pray that you feel the Father’s embrace this week. And know that I am sending you a big, warm, all-encompassing hug! :)
    Thank you for being so vulnerable and transparent. Your faith is amazing, keep looking to God, and HE will give you peace and rest!

  • Hailey

    You are always in my prayers. You are one of the the strongest people I know. Stay strong in your faith and it will get you through anything.

  • My2Gs

    Angie,
    Thank you so much for your blog, your ministry to the hundreds of peopele who read your words. I look forward to reading your posts. They are like a devotional for me. God bless you and your family!
    ~ Lacie

  • ManyBlessings

    Amen.

  • Tracie

    I always find it amazing how God takes our grief and uses it for His kingdom. I’m 32 years old and I’ve already lost my sweet brother and father to terminal illness. It would have been easy to crawl into a hole and let grief win. Instead I leaned hard on Him who is able to keep me from falling. It hasn’t been easy. When my father was dying I begged God to take him and end his suffering. I was angry with God for allowing my father only 2.5 months with his first grandchild, my first baby, but I also wanted God to just end the pain. When my father did pass, it was with my mother and myself at his side and she was singing hymns to him. God knew. He knew that we needed that time together with my dad. I am blessed to have my memories and to have the knowledge that someday I will see them again. I praise God for that knowledge and try desperately to live my life as His daughter. May God continue to bless your family and to comfort all of you in this time of sorrow.

  • Kristi

    You and your sweet family will be in my thoughts and prayers this coming week…as with many things pertaining to God…I can only imagine what your heart knows and is feeling. Praising GOD for your faithfulness in the midst of the “storm”.

  • ~Bekah

    I cannot even begin to imagine the difficult week you and your family have coming up but I can let you know that God does and that HE will restore and lift you up in His arms and hold, comfort and console you. He is being glorified through all of these valleys and you will see the wonders and those miracles that will come from this. I pray for you and your family daily and check your blog every day to see what you’ve posted. May God continually bless and watch over you. I also ask that you pray for me and my husband. we are in a valley ourselves of uncertainty and the devil is doing all he can to bring me down. Thank you for your ministry Angie…God bless you..

  • Cecilia

    As always, thank you for sharing your heart with us! You, your words, and your honesty are turely a blessing to me. I have never posted a comment (emailed once), but have been reading your blog for months with constant tears (I think my boys think I am crazy). You and your family are in my prayers.
    Love because of Him,
    Cecilia

  • Cindy

    Praying, praying, praying for your entire family this week.

  • Kelly

    (((HUGS))) to you and your family, Angie.

  • heather

    Dear Angie,

    What a beautiful post, you have blessed my day with you thoughts. Praying for you and your family this week.

  • Tales From the Eurovan

    Dear Angie,
    I’ve been thinking so much about spiritual warfare since your last post. I keep thinking about the verse that says that Satan walks about like a “roaring lion” seeking whom he may “devour”. I looked up the word devour and the definition said words like “to destroy” and “to engulf” to “take in eagerly”.

    I have been way to soft on the enemy.

    He has plans to completely destroy God’s work and God’s people and I think I view him more as a temptation or as someone trying to entice me, not eagerly devour me, my family and my loved ones.

    My ideas of spiritual warfare have to change. Just as our sweet Lord knows every hair on my head, doesn’t miss a thought and knows every word before I even say it, so too my enemy is using all the resources allotted to him to consume me and render me ineffective.

    I’m aware that the times in my life where I struggle to get somewhere to learn about God (think Breaking Free bible study last year or Church almost every Sunday)that those are undoubtly the times God is showing up with a message for me and I better be certain that satan will do everything he can to prevent me from getting there. (As in why does it seem like my kids are sick on Bible Study days or small group activities from church nights?) I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

    Thanks for this and all the other beautiful posts. I need to be aware that so much is going on in the heavenlies, not to be scared, but to be ready to testify for my Lord.

    I’m not surprised at the emotional issues you’re experiencing. I think our enemy knows our struggles and will do all he can to exploit them and therefor cripple us. Being healthy is big.I am praying for you this week. You are doing amazing work for the kingdom of God. I’m not surprised by the target satan has on your back.

    Take care, Julie

  • Dawn

    Amazing post.

    May HE be your Sustainer, your Comforter, your Peace this day.

  • I Believe in Miracles

    Amen!! What a beautiful post.

  • Maggie the Librarian

    August 7 was six months for us. I could have written this entry. How similar our journey out of the depths seems. When I fix my eyes on Jesus, all of the “Why?s” fade away.

    I continue to pray for you. Know that you are so loved.

  • Lauren Kelly

    We love you Angie!! If I could reach through the computer I’d give you a big hug right now. You are so special and so special to our God. We’ll be lifting you and the entire family up in prayer, hope you can feel them :)

    Love,
    Lauren

  • Sockrma18

    Your faith is amazing and very inspiring. WOW is all I can say. I have never fully understood spiritual warfare until this very moment. THANK YOU….I will continue to pray for you and your family. What an awesome gift of writing God has given you.

  • Shannon and Nathan

    How can I be mad at God for taking my sweet girl, when he was the one who gave her to me? I repeat that to myself when the “why’s” start. I’m so grateful for your blog and for sharing your heart.

  • Kelly

    I believe Satan is VERY real and he is looking for those whose faith is strong to try and shake them away. I love that SCC said that on Larry King – that there is one who comes looking for who he can devour – who came to kill and destroy – and like in Job – God allows it. I know Larry King wasn’t getting any of that AT ALL but I love that SCC and his family knows that even through this horrible time – God is the same as he was last year to them – and loves them just the same. The world was watching, waiting to see if their faith would be shaken – just what the Devil wanted. And it wasn’t. I feel the same about you. You and Todd and Nicol and the Chapmans may all have questions, you may all be sad and angry – but your faith in God has not changed. You know that “circumstances could never change who you forever are in Him.” Thank you for your faith that can not be shaken by Satan no matter how hard he tries. Thank you for your honesty. I’m also thankful for that moment you got with Luke. What Satan meant for evil – God meant for good.
    I’m praying for your families this week.

  • Kim H.

    Angie,

    You have no idea how your posts have touched me. Your description of Satan is absolutely right on and I believe he uses every chance he can to destroy our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

    Your post has moved me to tears and I want you to know, I think of you often and I find it amazing, that I don’t even ‘know’ you, I pray for you many times during my day. You pop in to my head when I’m standing at the sink doing dishes or folding a basket of laundry – I think of you and pray for you, and I pray your cross is somewhat lightened.

    You are an amazing source of strength and inspiration. You have touched me deep in my heart and brought peace to my soul, more than you’ll ever realize.

    Peace and prayers to you and your beautiful family.

  • Cindi

    I want you to know that I have to make myself not comment on every post you make..although I usually do anyway. :) Angie, you touch my heart so! I will be praying for you and Todd & Greg and Nicol. Here is a great big cyber hug! {} Cindi

  • crystal

    Lifting you and your sweet family up in prayers this week as always. And special prayers for Nicole and her family.

    Prayerfully
    Crystal

  • the myers’

    You are so open and so real! I am thinking of you and your family and praying for peace for all of you during this season…and those to come. You are truly a blessing for us reading (no, addicted:)) to your blog. Especially for me, in my daily walk with our Mighty God…you help me to remember his love and grace.
    All my love-
    Amber in TN

  • lud319

    Wow… what a moving story again. Every time I turn to your blog, I leave with a red, wet face and it blesses me. It feels comforting to know that we all have sorrow and pain and we can praise the Lord within that pain.

    I’ve posted once before, but I’ve suffered through three miscarriages and one ectopic pregnancy in my quest to have my first child. Just this past week, as my husband and I praying about it for the past few months, we decided to start the adoption process. I just wanted to share some of my story and suffering and then some of my praises. Your story inspires me and lets me cry when I need to and laugh when I need to.

    -Melissa

  • Hope Wilson

    Angie, my devotional bible verse this morning is 1 PETER 5:8 "Be self-controlled & alert. Your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."

    I then check your blog, as I do almost every morning, and get chill bumps as I read your post! I am SO PROUD of you for being "alert." And for "listening" & being obedient to God's prompting – b/c of your obedience God blessed you with those precious moments with Luke!

    I will be praying with you & your family for peace that passes understanding this week. And yes, I agree with you…"He already has!"

  • Stuarts

    Angie, your words are beautiful…absolutely magnificent. What a gift you are. You and your entire family are in our prayers.

  • kristina16marie

    I too have felt the enemy breathing down my neck and having the Holy Spirit tell me to go forward against all odds. It’s not at all suprising to me that my husband and I fight the most on Sunday mornings. Satan tries everything to get us to give up and not go. I can’t find shoes or clothes that I know I just put away, or I get angry that my husband isn’t helping me get the kids ready. And yet every time that happens, I know it’s because there must be a reason. And sure enough it’s usually because the sermon is EXACTLY what I needed to hear or I will run into a friend who needs prayer.

    A family friend once said that “satan doesn’t beat a dead horse.” If you aren’t having any attacks from the enemy, then he doesn’t think you are a threat. That really woke me up and made me appreciate the hardships a little more. If the devil is taking time to make my life miserable, then I must be doing something for the Kingdom of God that he doesn’t like.

    ~Kristina~

  • Abby

    Wow…your words amaze me…I’m so thankful that a friend or more likely God led me to them.

    I love it even more that you’re flawed and immperfect like me. You know it and you own it and you don’t talk down to people. You’re real and you’re beautiful.

    Thank you for writing in the midst of this tradgedy.

  • Tara

    This is beautiful. I sit here holding my sleeping baby and thinking about sweet Audrey and Luke so full of joy, praising our Lord in heaven. What precious babies. And I think about my amazing daddy, whose been with Jesus for nine months now – could it really have been nine months? It feels like just yesterday that I stayed up all night singing to as he was passing away, that I wiped the sweat from his brow and continuously rubbed water on his lips. Although I have known Jesus for years, He has never been more real to me than in the past nine months. I think that’s what touched me so much in this blog post. Thank you for using your words to allow Jesus touch my heart again today. It’s amazing how that wounded peice of my heart can become calloused over in just a matter of days and needs to be repeirced again, so that the Lord can continue to pour His love into me. Thank you for being so open with everyone here. I am so sorry you and Nicole have to go through this. I hold my baby a little tighter, just when I know I should be releasing all of him to the Lord, because I cannot even begin to comprehend how great the loss of a child would be. I am praying for you. And praying that God’s peace will be so tangible in the cemetary, under the tent covering you all. Peace and grace to you my friend.

  • KarenH

    Praying that God will give your family strength this week as always but more abundantly as you lay this sweet baby boy to rest by your precious baby girl.

  • Green Acres

    You and your family will be in my mind and in my prayers, as you have been since I started reading. Thanks for writing and being so honest. May you feel His presence always.

  • servantsheart

    I can’t even tell you what I’m feeling as I read your words. Such devotion to our Jesus. I know God is smiling upon you right now. Not because of your circumstance, because we both know that He finds no joy in that. But He is smiling because His child loves Him and trusts Him. What a sweet spirit you have.

    I am praying for extra special blessings on your whole family…all who are touched by the loss of these two precious lives. Though I never met them, I am so thankful for their time on this earth.

    Bless you all.

  • Kara

    The enemy is real and he does lurk around us. Thanks for the reminder. Thanks for the blessed words and encouragement of a God who is there always in the storms of our lives. The God who is bigger than the enemy.
    A sweet memory of your dear nephew Luke. You held him like God holds us. Wrapped him up and shared sweet whispers to him like God does with us. Thank you for that image today.
    May we all hear God’s sweet whispers like Luke heard you that day.
    Blessings and prayers for you.

  • Brittanie

    Tears come to my eyes as I remember back to where I was emotionally and spiritually when I was four months out from Cora. As your family goes through this second trial, I hope it can bring you a small measure of peace. I know that the Savior you love will be there to put His arms around you.

    I’m glad you got to spend that small amount of time with Luke. I wish I could be there, to give you and Nicol a hug. I think that there is a special sisterhood…those of us who have lost children. I have drawn strength from my sisters who know, as much as it hurts. I hope that you and Nicol can feel a little bit of that strength from those of us who are far from you.

  • Erin

    . . . continuing to pray for you all with love.

  • LisaO

    Your witness to others through your pain is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Mommy2Vin

    Sweet Angie,
    You are an amazing woman of God and a warrior! Your story of Audrey and the story of Luke continue to melt my heart. As you deal with the events of this week, please know that we are praying for you! We love you dearly and know that God is using the storms of your life to reach many.
    Continue to trust in the One who heals all wounds and wipes way each tear from your eye!
    Love you sister, Danielle

  • Michelle Morgan

    Oh, Angie,
    Thank you so much! Your words spoke so deeply to me today! I will also email you to share more! God bless you sweet sister in Christ!!!!
    Love,
    Michelle Morgan
    California

  • KM

    Angie…our Jesus shines thru the words you write. We’ve recently learned that my niece’s 2 week old baby is fighting a severe liver issue…and the future is so uncertain of what we we will grapple with. The Lord has shared some things with me to impart to her…and I feel that this is a time of great awakening in the midst of the suffering.

    I am beyond words to tell you that I know we would have never “met” without what has happened to Audrey. I am grateful we did. I am even sadder at the circumstances. But praise God Almighty that you can praise Him in the storm…and the rest of us are blessed by your honesty.

    Love and prayer covering to you this week. Also to Luke’s precious family.

    Kristi in Texas

  • Amy

    Amazing.

    When I am afraid, facing a lot in life, I always think of the verse that says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7.

    This is my weapon when I am facing the enemy of my soul. When my mind is cloudy, when I am terrified, when I am dreading something I remember and repeat, “Power, love and a sound mind, power, love and a sound mind.” When the fear creeps in, I say this verse and God blots it out.

    Your family is embodying that verse through this heartwrenching time.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    God bless you, sweet sister in Christ.

    Amy in Nashville

  • Stacy

    Angie,
    I am sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks as I read this. It is beautiful b/c of your faith. Your faith is beautiful. Thank You so much for sharing with all of us, for sharing with others who are hurting and trying to find our faith. It is so appreciated. You will be in my prayers. Blessings.
    Stacy

  • Shannon Crane

    Just added the song “Storm” by Lifehouse, to my playlist and prayed for you while listening to it… that through this storm you’ll be able to walk on water.

  • roscoepc1

    Thank you, Angie. In about 3 hours, it will have been exactly two weeks since two policemen knocked on my door to tell me my sweet boy was gone. It has been 11 days since we buried my baby. He was 13, but he was still my baby.

    I rest sure in the knowledge that his legs that would not hold him up here on earth are helping him to leap and run in Heaven, while my Saviour watches with a smile.

    But my earthly heart breaks, and my mama’s arms ache to hold him just one more time.

    And I struggle, b/c my house looks likes a bomb went off, and I feel like there is mud up to my waist as I fight to want to clean it up.

    All I want it my baby. But I defy Satan to ever touch him again. He can NOT have my baby.

    Laura

  • Everyday Thoughts

    We do serve a mighty and awesome God! He is bigger than any circumstance, pain, or fear we have here on this earth! May God’s peace, love and mercy be on your family this week as you honor Him through Luke’s life! What a Sweet aroma it will be at the gates of Heaven!!! I will be praying…..
    -Amy Starnes

  • Jill

    Angie,

    I am with you praying at the feet of the one who LOVES us! Who cherishes the words you share every time your fingers hit the keys. He is with you as the tears fall and come like the rain. He is there as the words sting your heart and the feelings try to overtake His love. He is there!

    I am here sending you all His love and blessings to shower you and your family in the coming days!

    Even though I don’t post much know that I pray for you daily! That I read every word you share – laughing and shedding tears right with you!

    I sometimes feel like one more post is too many to read. I can’t imagine trying to get through this many each time you post.

    Love,
    Jill

  • Amber

    Thank you for your honesty. Your words touch so many lives. My family will be praying for you this week and the weeks to come.

  • vaneblu

    God has used Audrey to change many of us in ways you will never imagine; I will continue praying for your family!
    Thanks for sharing your story, really really really THANK YOU!!

  • Crystal

    Angie,
    I have goosebumps and tears. You have such a way with words and I am so grateful and honored to have found your blog and to have read every entry. How wonderful that you were able to share those moments with Luke, with him in your arms. You and you entire family are still in my prayers. May Satan continue to fear you all! (:

    Love,
    Crystal
    LaGrange,GA
    crystal0911@gmail.com

  • lissilulu

    too many words and emotions to express….
    much love.
    Lori
    p.s. praying for your family and Nicol’s now

  • Alyssa

    Please know your family is being covered in prayer!

  • Tylertopia

    Thank you for continuing to share your heart and your faith, Angie. Thank you for always speaking the truth and for sharing the words of our Lord even in the most difficult of times. Your light continues to shine. You are truly a beautiful soul and a blessing to all who visit this blog to read your words or have the honor of knowing you in person (I hope to have that chance some day). Thank you for all of your encouragement and inspiration you so graciously give through your words and actions. You and your family remain in our prayers. May God bless you abundantly today. :o )

  • Kim

    Wow. That is truly amazing. Thank you for sharing this as it only points to the truth that there is a God.

  • CIRCLE OF LIFE

    I READ YOUR BLOG ALL THE TIME AND I READ NICOLS AS WELL I know that they were travling to bury the luke next to audrey and that brought tears to my eyes of pain and happiness, now audrey has a friends someone that besides jesus that is there for her they are family and are looking at there parents and saying wow,they are awesome keepit up.we all know that we wished they were not there, no one can expresss or be in your moment other then you, i pray that your familys feel blessed knowing that our god there awesome father is with them and watching over them. peace be with all of you amen.

  • sharon

    Your words are such an encouragement to me and I am sure many, many others. Your trust in God is so awesome! You truly are a gifted writer which I am sure is God’s gift to you. Your and your family are in my prayers and as always your words touch upon the trials and blessings in my life.

  • Lorri

    Angie…last night I posted this quote on my blog. It also seems to suit your words. Blessing to you today as always. Love, Lorri

    “Can we follow the Savior far, who have no wound or scar?”
    -Amy Carmichael

  • Tiff

    These are beautiful words. Thank you for sharing. I loved what you said about what the enemy can’t take away. Amen. I love what Beth Moore says, “You make satan sorry he ever messed with you.”

    I will be praying for you and your family.

  • Jen

    Powerful.

  • Becky

    Bless you, Angie, for sharing so much of yourself, your highs and your lows. Your words encourage me in my own walk with the Lord, and my own highs and lows. I pray that your whole family may be blessed beyond measure in this coming week.

  • brenna

    Thank you for allowing me into all of your lives and pain and joy.

    I struggle with sharing this because I don’t want it to see that I am comparing, but rather, sharing a piece of my story. A very good friend of mine had her first baby two a half years ago. Landon was born on my brothers birthday and I felt a special bond with him. I was spoiling him just as any “aunt” would do. My husband and I had the opportunity of babysitting him one Saturday evening while his mom went out with her family. We snuggled with him on the couch, giggled with him, sang to him, just loved on him for about 3 hours. Two weeks later we lost him to SIDS. I know that I will get to snuggle and love on him again in heaven. I’m still praying that opportunity will happen for his mom. But I also know that God gave us those few hours to bond with him because we never would get the chance again.

  • familyoftwo98

    It’s been 4 months for us too. And ironically last night was a tough one for me. The tears began to flow like they haven’t flown in months.

    Thank you for sharing this with us.

  • RZ

    I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but every time I come to your blog and read it, I end up in a little ball on the sofa crying my eyes out. I just picture myself in your shoes and I know there is no way I would survive the way you have. Maybe that’s why my heart hurts so much, I don’t know. I should know by now to get a tissue or something when I come here ;)

    Anyway, much love and prayers to your whole family this week.

  • wells

    Angie,

    I have been reading your blog since May and never commented. I am a bit ADD and was having trouble concentrating during my prayer time. BooMama mentioned your site so a came on over and read your broken pottery spot. It changed my life and God has used you and your family to help me in my prayer time as I pray for y’all!!! Thank you so much for sharing your walk with us. It has encouraged me in my walk as well. I will be praying for you all this week.

    In Christ,
    Sherry

  • Margaret S

    Angie,
    I almost didn’t read this blog because I thought it was going to be the story about Jesus smelling like the rain to a little girl who had been carried in His arms. Then I read it and have to say, I too will be praying for you. Even though I haven’t time to read all the blogs – this is the first I’ve seen of yours and I’m not totally sure how they work, I want to assure you that in times of trouble God lingers near. We just buried my 94 year old Aunt in a grave next to where we buried my 13 month old baby brother back in 1953. Because of his death when I was only 6, I feel God has allowed me to show empathy to those in grief. I pray God’s angels will surround you and I plead the blood of Jesus over satan and any of his antics. I agree with you that he tries anything he can to do us in. But remember we serve a loving God who wants us to remain faithful and promises to help us.

    Blessings,
    Margaret

  • brownblog

    I just want you to know that Audrey’s story has been used for good. As a sister in Christ, I get so burdened and bogged down with the annoying “religious” way that most Christians get in at times. It’s refreshing to read something that isn’t concerned with the how’s and doctrines, but with the sheer beauty that is our Christ. Our Savior. I found your website a few months ago after going through a miscarriage and then finding out we were pregnant again. There is nothing more scary to me that not knowing what will happen from day to day, but your page has been sort of a devotional for me. Thanks for being open and showing God’s love in your words.

  • auntmommie

    Oh, Angie,
    I’m so grateful for your moment with Luke – what a gift.
    I’m so sorry, so very sorry, for your pain.
    I know what the fruit that will be born, and is now, will cost you and your family. I have no words.
    You and your entire family are dearly loved.
    Sandi Faulk

  • kendra

    Oh Angie,
    You and your dear family will be in my prayers this week (as always!!). Take comfort and joy in knowing that the beautiful song that will be raised up from the graveyard in Tennessee will also carry all the way over from Portland Oregon…. and I am sure many, many other cities throughout the world.
    Let’s ALL rise up and make a joyful noise…
    blessings,
    kendra hoffman

  • Paying off debt

    What a great description of our greatest enemy !

    I too watched the Larry King interview and even as a Christian, it amazed me sometimes at the strength some are given. I do not know if I could be as open as the chapman family was, but I know it has helped so many, simple because they have spoken about it so open.

    I will say a prayer for you and your family burying sweet baby Luke this week.

  • Diana

    Your words and how you express yourself give me goosebumps. You are a AMAZING women.

  • doo-dah

    Angie–
    I just “happened” (by God’s leading) across your blog. Just wanted you to know how blessed I have been by it and your words of wisdom

  • Candie

    We will be praying for you this week. As hard as it will be, how awesome that Luke and Audrey will be together, not only in Heaven, but here on earth. God bless you and your family.

  • Andrea

    God is so good! Thank you for continuing to share your witness of faith and providing hope for all who read this blog! It’s beautiful to see how He is growing your walk of faith and how loudly you are proclaiming His name!

    Standing with you in prayer,
    Andrea

  • Judith

    I will be praying for all of you and thanking our God for His provision and His steadfastness in your lives and in mine. I am so sorry for your pain but He will redeem everything – every single thing. I do believe that with all my heart.

  • MEGAN

    PRAISE GOD for your faithfulness in times of joy and sorrow. I’m blessed to read your journey from California. I thank God for heartfelt followers like you and your family.

  • KK

    Sweet Angie, Thanks for sharing your heart once again with such honesty. You, your precious family and The Sponberg Family are in my continued thoughts and prayers. I would have been just like you, WE HAVE TO GET THERE to hear Nicol. I purchased a wonderful music set, Nicol Smith and Todd Smith "Alive" and their talent(s) continue to overwhelm me. It is an 'honor' to listen to them. LOVE her sweet song, "When I Miss You Most" and Todd's "Our Love Will Survive", along with so many other of their songs, but these are especially wonderful from their solo albums! Please know we all lift your family up in prayer, especially this week. Continue to 'walk with Him' and He will bless you with a peace which surpasses ALL understanding.
    With His Neverending & Precious Love,
    Kaye
    Revelation 21:3-5

  • Kaye

    Your blog touches me so deeply. You are an absolute inspiration and I know you are changing hearts and lives with your beautiful writing and the grace with which you are handling the tragedies that have befallen you and your family.

    Due to your incredible writing, I am “awarding” you the Gold Medal for August 17th over at mrsnespysworld.blogspot.com. If you’d like you can go to http://mrsnespy.googlepages.com/grabyourmedalhere to get the code to post your medal if you’d like.

    Thank you again for sharing your life so openly and for loving God so publicly. God bless you.

  • Angela

    Angie,

    A friend shared your blog with me for encouragement after my recent miscarriage. I’m sorry that we have the loss of a child in common; but I’m thankful that I can now better relate to those who are in the same type of situation. Since our loss, I have been greatly strengthened in knowing that God sees the end of the matter. He knows the way in which this trial will play into the grand scheme of things yet unknown to you; and He will surely cause it to work for your good. Praise God for your faith which is certainly a light to others.

    In Christ,
    Angela

  • Our happy zoo!

    I have read your blog for months and never commented before. I just wanted you to know that I find your site such a source of comfort and hope. The oppression that you wrote of I have felt and experienced as well. Your articulation of something I’ve battled brought tears to my eyes and gripped my heart. I continually speak to situations (and myself!) that we are MORE than conquerors through Jesus Christ! Thank you for your continued posting, it means more to me than I can say.
    Your Sister in Christ, Kristin

  • Tracy and Andy Yates

    Angie, Its so odd that you would right about spiritual warfare and it would be posted today. I can’t explain it, but I woke up this monring feeling like there was a war in the Heavenlies above me. Satan is a liar, and he comes to steal, kill and destroy. But I know that God has the victory and through him we are victorious! I feel like there is something that God is doing in my life right now, that Satan is fighting hard against. I will be praying for your family. There has been something (God perhaps?) that has been drawing me to re-read Audrey’s story from the beginning. Something that God is trying to show me. I believe it is about His faithfulness. Your whole family is in my thoughts and prayers daily.

  • Ang

    If you get a chance you can check out my blog, I posted a reference to you in it, hope you don’t mind.
    Angie
    http://buckinghamsblog.blogspot.com/

  • Leonard Family

    Thank-you so much for being so transparent, for sharing EVERYTHING with us! You have an incredible gift in your writing skills. Time and time again you’ve had me in tears as I feel like I am sitting right next to you as you tell us your story. I am learning, growing in Christ through you! Thank-you! Praying in Washington State!

    Jana

  • Taryn

    I am usually more of a blog stalker than a commenter, but I just wanted to say that your blog is a continuing blessing in my life.

    Your story has touched me so deeply and I am constantly surprised at how you relate everything back to God. Lately I have been very busy and I have not been as diligent about reading as I was at first, but this post has brought a lump in my throat.

    Thank you for continuing to share your life and your feelings with us. I have been in a stagnant relationship with God for a little while now and I have neglected my desire to be closer to him. I long to be able to see the works of God like you. I know that God has a hand in everything, but I have come to take that for granted.

    Just know that you have hundreds of people praying for you and getting encouragement from you.God has surely used Audrey’s short life to reach us. Thank you!

  • Sara

    God bless you as you and your family as you prepare to bury sweet Luke. Many prayers coming your way.

  • Jill

    you blog makes me realize how precious every moment really is~I have 2 kids and they are my world

  • Lewis Family

    I know what you mean about when Satan fights so hard to keep us from doing what turns out to be absolutely inspired. he tries so hard and I laugh (yes I actually laugh at him) b/c he’s only making himself so obvious that those times are when my husband and I know we ARE doing what is right! I am so glad our Heavenly Father loves you so much to give you that sweet moment with Luke. Keep breathing and praying; you are making it every day.

  • Melissa

    I’m thankful you had that special one-on-one time with Luke. How amazing our God is!

  • seth

    Praying!

  • georgia tarheel

    I will be praying!

  • mrsbroccoliguy

    God is Amazing. And I am humbled by the way you are able to see Him at work in the big and little things even during this hard, hard time.
    My life has been stressful over the last year, and many days I just want to go hide in a corner, but I can’t and it makes me grumpy and just not fun to be around. And then I read your blog and see how you maintain this grace, this ability to shine Jesus’ light even on your darkest days, and I am ashamed because nothing that I have gone through can compare to your pain and I feel like a failure – to my kids and to Jesus. But this isn’t about me, I just want you to know that you spurn me on to be more, to do better, and to give it all to God, and for that I thank you.
    I will be praying for you and your family in this coming days. I know God’s grace and peace will be upon you all.

  • Lesley

    All I can say is PRAISE GOD!
    It is so awesome to see how He works all the details.
    I hope you don’t mind but I would like to borrow a quote from you “Because I know WHO, I am willfully unconcerned with WHY!”. I think it says it all.
    I love Nicole’s song Resurrection and while I was reading your posting two lines kept playing in my head,
    “You have a way of turning winter to spring
    Make something beautiful out of all this suffering “
    I will be praying that this week He will make something that is extra special beautiful!

    Big hug!

    Les

  • erin

    I look daily for a new post from you. I always end up sitting at my computer afterward and saying a prayer, for you, for everyone really. There are so many people that have had their faith tested. I do too. My story is different, yet still it is the by the Grace of God that we can see through the pain to the greater Plan. Will be praying for all of you this week…and always.

  • Megan

    Angie,
    I love how you say that God is good. He is good, in every circumstance. He is our Creator, and until we realize that means He is the maker of life and the determiner of our timeclocks, we will not be able to experience that love for Him. Our pastor says that if someone cannot see Him as the Creator, they cannot really know Him. I am so happy that you know Him. That you scream from the mountaintops (your blog) that He is who He says He is. That you love Him so much that you want His will to be completed in your life, no matter the cost. I am continually encouraged by how you share what God is doing in your life, and how you desire for others to come to know Him. Well done, good and faithful servant.

    Megan

  • Connie@Little Red Hearts From God

    I was sent to your website by a blogging friend…. and I am glad… I am a Hospice Nurse and we are about to take on newborns and children…

    My journey is not about the medicine… as much as it is about God.. our precious Savior… and always.. I see Him in every where I walk…for I walk on Holy Ground.

    I would love to follow your journey and ask you for advice from time to time if you don’t mind…

    ps.. i support NILMDTS and have for a long time…

    May God Bless you….

  • Mab

    Angie,
    Every post I read just amazes me.
    Your strength and love is incredible. I will so be praying (and of course have been praying) for your family this week and especially on Thursday. God’s love just pours from you. I am blessed to “know” you. Thank you for all you write.
    With much love and care,
    Arlene

  • Michal Ann

    I am taking the liberty of copying below the August 4 posting of Greg Sponberg from “Light Your World,” http://thelukesponbergfoundation.blogspot.com/

    I just thought I would make it easier to read this right here and now. I hope it’s o.k. to share his beautiful and reassuring thoughts! I know we will be praying especially for Thursday morning. Greg wrote:

    During the past two months, Nicol and I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from literally hundreds, maybe thousands, of PEOPLE who have taken the time to write or call us. I have certainly been reminded of this recently, during the past several days, as many very encouraging comments have been posted here on our blog.

    And I must pause here to give a huge thank you to Angie for making this site available to you at Bring the Rain. What God has been doing in and thru her as she has shared their story is absolutely remarkable. But far more remarkable than that, to us personally at least, has been the way she and Todd and their girls have reached out to us with love, comfort, support, and encouragement.

    What makes their efforts so special is the fact that in the midst of their own grief they have chosen to carry some of ours. That is divine… a God-thing for sure. Nicol and I have commented on several occasions that we simply can’t fathom how they’ve done it. Their sacrifice has been like a soothing balm for our wounded hearts, a cup of cold water that has helped to quench our thirsty souls. Thanks Todd, Ang, Abby, Ellie, and Kate. You have no idea.

    But I can’t stop there. Many, many people have helped us during this time. Our parents – who have suffered on two levels in all of this, both as mothers and fathers, and grandmothers and grandfathers – have, not surprisingly, been wonderfully present for us. Our siblings have been incredible, even though they too are sharing in our pain and grief over their own loss in Luke’s death. Our friends and neighbors have been there for us in ways that we can’t begin to describe. Acquaintances and total strangers have expressed their pain and desire to carry this burden for us. Many have written to let us know that they understand, they “get it”… because they too have lost children.

    Still others have let us know that even though they can’t empathize, they are praying for us and will continue to do so. The list goes on and on and, in reality, these few sentences fail dramatically in my heart’s desire to express how much PEOPLE have meant to us as we grieve the loss of our son.

    I have been reminded again and again of a couple of verses in Galatians that have taken on entirely new meaning for us – bear one another’s burdens … each one will have to bear his own load (6:2, 5). I know that context is important (in this case, gentle restoration of those stuck in sin, guarding against temptation, pride and self-deception, etc.) but there are a couple of really important thoughts here: when life changes in an instant, we need each other, and yet there is also a sense that only the individual can carry his or her portion.

    These things that we face are too much for anyone to bear. We can’t do it alone. The only way to survive is with one another… and I mean that literally. There are days when the one thing Nicol and I want to do is get thru it. And the reason we are able to do that is because of God’s miraculous and gracious provision of allowing others to bear our burden. We have had our strength renewed time after time as He divides the load and gives out bits and pieces here and there, among his PEOPLE, so that we are able to keep going, to make it thru this storm. We have been so touched by this reality because many of you have written and told us that you have prayed that God would allow you to share in our loss. Please know that He has answered those prayers!

  • dre

    I don’t know if you’ve heard of the book, “The Shack” by William Young. It is absolutely amazing! Totally fictional, but an extrememly moving portrayal of a man dealing with grief, meeting God in his grief, and discovering the purpose behind it all. I just thought you might be interested in reading it….

  • manda1285

    Angie, I have been reading your blog for a while. I stayed up all night when I first found out about it to catch up and read the whole thing. You are such a beautiful person, inside and out. You have such amazing faith. I know you must hear this a lot, but you have really inspired me to reach out in my faith. And I just want to thank you for that.

    I read this story about your nephew Luke and it really instills the belief in me that God does things and sends messages for a reason. Your strong desire to be there that night was for a reason. So many little things like that happen, and I know just know in my heart it’s God.

    Since reading your blog, I have opened my eyes to the little things God does, and I want to thank you for that. I will continue to read about and pray for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your tragic, but beautiful story.
    -Amanda

  • Amanda:

    I can’t wait until the day you learn how many lives you’ve touched with your honesty and how open you are about everything. Know that you will be in my thoughts and prayers, today and always.

  • Phillips Phamily Mama

    The rain/storm connections through your experiences with God in these tragedies is surely meant to help you feel His presence. I remember in my search for Him, I saw Him through sunlight, reflections, and water. I pray that you’ll always be able to see His presence, feel His presence, and continue to communicate–so well–your faith through His presence.

    -My Heart in Tennessee, my body in Georgia, my soul Heaven bound!

  • DeeJay

    Angie…thank you for writing these posts for us to glimpse inside your life. I know they have helped me look at life differently. One of my favorite songs is “Waging War” by CeCe Winans. I have heard a lot about Satan, our enemy, working hard to fight us Christians as we take a bold stand for our faith.

    Thanks again for sharing…DeeJay

  • John & Michelle

    Your faith and honesty about your life has renewed my faith and hope. We are in what seems at times, a hopeless situation and tonight at least…I don’t feel hopeless at all. I know that God has the plan for our lives and I need to be still and listen for his leading.
    Thanks from Illinois,
    Michelle

  • John & Michelle

    Your faith and honesty about your life has renewed my faith and hope. We are in what seems at times, a hopeless situation and tonight at least…I don’t feel hopeless at all. I know that God has the plan for our lives and I need to be still and listen for his leading.
    Thanks from Illinois,
    Michelle

  • John & Michelle

    Your faith and honesty about your life has renewed my faith and hope. We are in what seems at times, a hopeless situation and tonight at least…I don’t feel hopeless at all. I know that God has the plan for our lives and I need to be still and listen for his leading.
    Thanks from Illinois,
    Michelle

  • John & Michelle

    Your faith and honesty about your life has renewed my faith and hope. We are in what seems at times, a hopeless situation and tonight at least…I don’t feel hopeless at all. I know that God has the plan for our lives and I need to be still and listen for his leading.
    Thanks from Illinois,
    Michelle

  • John & Michelle

    Your faith and honesty about your life has renewed my faith and hope. We are in what seems at times, a hopeless situation and tonight at least…I don’t feel hopeless at all. I know that God has the plan for our lives and I need to be still and listen for his leading.
    Thanks from Illinois,
    Michelle

  • John & Michelle

    Your faith and honesty about your life has renewed my faith and hope. We are in what seems at times, a hopeless situation and tonight at least…I don’t feel hopeless at all. I know that God has the plan for our lives and I need to be still and listen for his leading.
    Thanks from Illinois,
    Michelle

  • John & Michelle

    Your faith and honesty about your life has renewed my faith and hope. We are in what seems at times, a hopeless situation and tonight at least…I don’t feel hopeless at all. I know that God has the plan for our lives and I need to be still and listen for his leading.
    Thanks from Illinois,
    Michelle

  • John & Michelle

    Your faith and honesty about your life has renewed my faith and hope. We are in what seems at times, a hopeless situation and tonight at least…I don’t feel hopeless at all. I know that God has the plan for our lives and I need to be still and listen for his leading.
    Thanks from Illinois,
    Michelle

  • Twy

    A,
    I don’t think of Satan much. I never link him to the negative in my life, this is blind. I will now be more aware of “his” effects on my daily life and the struggles I deal with that he might have a part of.
    Also, This part of the post touched me. I am putting it in my book of quotes that I keep.

    I don’t know why she is gone, but I do know Who had the final say. And it wasn’t the snake.

    And because I know Who, I am willfully unconcerned with why.

    Your constant way of ministering to other’s overwhelmes me everytime I read this post.
    I love you for that.
    Take care, Big Hugs,
    Twyla

  • Linda

    Angie,
    I always hesitate to share things the Lord has shown me because I don’t want to sound like I have all the answers. Because I certainly don’t. The Lord has nudged me to share this with you, so I’m going to – praying it will be of some small help.
    I have experienced so much pain (not physical – emotional) over the past few years, there were times I thought I would not survive. I would lie in bed at night feeling as though the weight of the burdens was literally burying me alive. I felt so far from God – so disappointed that my family was suffering and He seemed indifferent.
    I have since learned many of the same things you write so eloquently about – hard, painful lessons.
    In my little Spurgeon devotional this morning I read a passage that challenged my heart. I read it wondering if I could ever truly reach such a point in my relationship with the Lord. I think I have and then find myself pleading with God to answer my prayers for my loved ones in the way I want Him to. It is something I would like to say of myself some day:
    “My Lord, if for other reasons I need not suffer, yet if I can honor You more by suffering, and if the loss of my earthly all will brin You glory, then so let it be. I refuse the comfort, if it comes in the way of Your honor. O that we thus walked more in the footsteps of our Lord, cheerfully enduring trial for His sake, promptly and willingly putting away the thought of self and comfort when it would interfere with our finishing the work which He has given us to do. Great grace is needed, but great grace is provided.”

  • noahandlylasmommi

    as usual you and all of your family are in my prayers. it brought tears to my eyes reading this post. I have been following nicol and greg’s blog and feel so connected to them already. I have two nephews whom I love like my own and the thought of losing them is too much to bare. Thank you for always reminding us to count our many blessings!!!

  • Lisa

    My prayers are with you always. Thank you so much for allowing us into your life.

  • Amy

    My friend told me about your story and pointed out your blog to me. I have read every one, only commenting on a couple. I just don’t know what to say, or afraid of saying the wrong thing. I lost my first child, suddenly, several years ago. I look into my son’s eyes now and wonder what he would’ve been like. Would he have had Adam’s personality, Daniel’s energy, or Caleb’s sweet smile? I know I’m rambling…I’m not sure why I’m saying all this…yet can’t quit delete it. I hurt for you, but also rejoice for you. Because, God has already used your story, Audrey’s story, just like my Todd. God will heap blessings on your family. I pray he wraps you in His arms of comfort tonight.

  • The Rose’s

    Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us! You and your family are amazing and an inspiration! My family will be praying for yours. God Bless!

  • take me away

    Angie, you constantly remind me of the love and beauty God has to offer, and I thank you for that. I love reading what you have to say. I will continue to pray for you.

  • Unspeakable Joy

    i love your comment “willfully unconcerned”. not just unconcerned, but it takes will. thanks so much for sharing!

  • Jess

    WOW….just…WOW!!!!! I LOVED, loved, loved this….you have an amazing way with words, I’m so grateful to have found your blog.

  • four little blessings

    You always write so beautifully. Your honesty and true faith has made me smile, laugh out loud and sob. Thank you. Tammy and family

  • Marla Taviano

    Aw, man, Angie. Praying for you, sweetheart!

  • Farrah

    “Every child is a story yet to be told.” I saw this in Kohl’s (it’s a clear wall decor that makes it look as though someone wrote the words on your wall) I liked the saying and thought to myself the title “Tale to be Told”. Now I’m not a veteran songwritter or anything, but my creative mind likes to dabble and I had immediately thought of Audrey’s story that I’ve been reading for so many months and how you are telling ‘her tale’. I just wanted to share this (the words of my ‘song’) with you and say how I pray for your family. You have brought such encouragement to us readers through your stuggle. God’s blessings to you.
    Tale To Be Told (2008)

    A life measured in hours
    Yet fuller than most
    Through their tears they find strength
    In the one in whose image she’s made

    She had a tale to be told
    One of sorrow and faith
    She had a life to behold
    Of a father’s deep love
    Where many found new hope
    She had a tale to be told

    Well worn and showing its age
    Pages tattered and ribbons frayed
    Yet those words still maintain
    For that sinner’s soul that they saved

    It had a tale to be told
    One of strength and devotion
    It had a life to behold
    One of teaching and yearning
    To tell the truth that he’d known
    It had a tale to be told

    From a manager stall so tiny and small
    From a cross to a grave to that glorious day

    It was a tale to be told
    One of simple beginnings
    It was a life to behold
    One of grace and mercy
    The Bible tells us so
    It is a tale to be told
    One for all the nations
    It is a life to behold
    One to praise and worship
    One that never gets old
    It is a tale to be told

    (I love to tell the story . . . )

    Thank you again Angie!

  • StephieAnne

    Angie,

    You don’t know me, but I was linked to your blog by my friend, Hollie, who, I believe is the cousin to Greg (your sister’s husband?)

    I’ve spent the last hour ignoring my children and reading your blog. I laughed out loud at the stories of you going to the homeschooling play and pray date (I LOVE your sense of humor and parenting style- the things you “hesitate to mention” definitely remind me of my own home). And, then, I went back to the beginning and read over the heartbreaking story of your wrestling with God over His plan for Audrey. I am so sorry for your loss – and how it must have felt that much more cruel when your nephew went to Heaven so soon after.

    I will be praying for the grieving that you are enduring – and that of your sister’s family – as I lift up the Chapman family too, their story brought me to a place of sobbing that is not a common experience for my children to witness……

    Thank you for being a shining light through this darkness with your awesome transparency and honesty – and, of course, love for God – through every course He takes you.

  • four little blessings

    I forgot to mention earlier that your blog had inspired me to follow my dreams of being a writer and I have started my own blog. Thanks for the push!

  • Blogs by Danielle

    Angie,

    I am glad that you wrote about what is going on. You know I am praying for you and your entire family.

    I think you are such an amazing person and I am confident that we will meet one day. Looks like I might be in your area soon. I’ll tell you more about that later.

    I am praying, and I am thankful that through all this, you have become such an amazing support to so many, including myself. Thank you for being here for me.

    Danielle

  • Heather

    I am praying for you and your family, Angie. Thank you for sharing your heart and the love of Jesus with everyone. This is TRUTH- and I loved reading it even though it broke my heart. Thank you.

  • Samantha

    Praise God, you have glorified Him in your writing and in your pain. As one who has sent a son ahead of me, too, please know that in the years ahead as God unfathomably heals your deepest hurt you will be blessed in knowing that you have done this, this walk of grief, well.

  • Denise

    Of all the beautiful things you’ve written, this story is your best one yet. You have an amazing talent as a writer, an amazing talent for observation, and amazing strength in your faith. I thank you for sharing all of those gifts. I am a better person to “know” you!

  • melinda

    Wow, so many times I have come here to read your post and been moved beyond words but this one was different. I was brought to total breakdown. For so long I have felt this pull to the Lord but I have fought it. I know that it is Satan keeping me from the things I need to do. I just don’t know what to say. Thank you for sharing.

  • Becky K.

    That was so eloquent and beautiful.

    I don’t know if that is an appropriate way to put it, but how else can I.

    Your broken heart and Jesus are compatible. He can help to put your heart back together…He is, isn’t He.

    What a testimony you just shared. Thank you for being that unselfish!

    Becky K.

  • Brandy

    Many hugs to you.

  • Lee

    I am praying for your strength, peace and comfort wile you bury little Luke. My face is salty with tears after this entry. Powerful words that I know without a doubt God put at your fingertips. Thank you, Angie and thank you Jesus.

  • Jenny

    This is beautiful, Angie. I will pray for you all.

  • Lynn

    SUCH PRECIOUS GEMS to be found in the words you have written… reading your words and then reading the words of so many others in response…. this is truly sacred ground where God’s children gather to worship HIM… all of us so frail, so weak, so finite – yet clinging to the infinite God. Right now I feel so close to all of you here.. I can almost feel you near!

    What a sweet sweet spirit that has drawn us all together.

    Thank you dear Angie – thank you.

    Loving you in Jesus,
    Lynn Campbell

  • MandieGirl

    All I can say is Wow…..Loving you and praying for you. thanks for your encouragement, even during the hard times.

    You are loved.

  • Trudy

    You have an amazing way of making me cry and feel joy reading your story then you hit me with something that makes me cry about my story…and then you give me hope.

  • Mom 4 Life

    Oh Angie, thank you for writing. Just recently was my three month mark and I wrote the same thing on my blog (about how strange it is that time just keeps on marching).

    Thank you for addressing Satan and putting him right in his place. I have developed a very healthy hatred for him in the past several months and I enjoyed reading what you wrote about him. Yet it makes me so frustrated that I still drift off alone away from God EVEN despite all that I KNOW to be true of God and Satan! This human skin is so heavy sometimes.

    I am also grateful for the time you shared with Luke and that God saw fit to give you that very special time with him. With love, Heather

  • Carol Davis

    Thank you for this post today. Although I am not experiencing the same pain that you are…this post really encouraged me. Know that you are prayed for today.

  • A Stone Gatherer

    As I was reading your post I was reminded of the song that says “when everything falls, we’re healed”! That is God! The pain, hurt and even anger are real and raw, but God holds us through it all! Your testimony will change hearts because it’s authentic! People cannot help but see God through your words!

  • Baseballs and Tutu’s

    You word uplift me in ways I never thought imaginable. I got chills when I read about you holding Luke. May God bless you and your entire family and give you the strength to get through these next few days.

  • Patty

    Two of my friends and I were on the phone yesterday getting ready to pray and they both mentioned this post. My heart is broken for you and your family but through your pain and loss you exalt and glorify Jesus and to me that is amazing and beautiful.
    I agree with what you speak about the enemy. I have had him breathing down my neck many times. 5 years ago I was diagnosed with a rare cancer. Being a single mom and the only parent who is a Christian, I thought, why would God allow me to go thru this but I knew He had a higher purpose and that he would either heal me here or in heaven. The saddest part was not my physical pain but the pain of thinking I would leave my children with a father who hasn’t had much to do with them and has no love for God. Shortly after being diagnosed I was driving and I felt the enemy , the oppression and the lie I heard that day was that I was going to die from this disease. He wanted to kill me. God says in his Word, the devil comes to kill, steal and destroy. The battle I would face after that was one I didn’t think I would make it through but God does have the final say. He is all authority, period. He showed off for me time and time again through that season and praise God I am here writing this today! You are such a witness and testimony of God’s great love. Only God can see us thru the pain and loss and sufferings in this life. Thank you for sharing your heart.
    Blessings,
    Patty

  • Amy

    I will pray for you. I will pray for your family. I will pray for Nicol. You amaze me. God LOVES you and He is wonderful to you. I love you for knowing this and believing this.

  • Olivia

    In your earlier post you talked about that feeling of fear about losing another person in your family. I am in a group of women with children with congenital heart defects. We all “worry” about what else will happen. The “not me” naive thinking has been stripped from us. We know the “worse case” can come true. I know it is normal, and I know you pray too that the Lord will fill you with His hope and joy in the midst of the pain. Praying against the fear! Keep standing strong!

    Thanks for sharing your journey! Blessings,
    Olivia

  • Mindy

    I’ve never left a comment before but I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time. The first entry I ever read was the letter you wrote to Audrey. I’ve laughed and cried so many times while reading your posts. I have one child, an 18 month old, and absolutely cannot imagine what I would feel like if I lost her. I can’t even think about it. You are truly an inspiration to me and I know everyone that reads your entries. Thanks so much for sharing your life with you. You are all in my prayers.

  • Jennifer

    Angie,
    I continue to keep you and your family in my prayers. This was a beautifully written post. Thank you. Audrey blossom continues to do so much for so many people. I hope you feel all the love that so many people have for you and your family!
    Love and prayers,
    Jen P

  • Bonnie

    Thank you for your ministry through your precious website. I, too, am a bereaved parent, having laid my sixteen year old son, Scott, into the arms of God in 1996.
    I share your same thoughts regarding God’s sovereignty here in this fallen world. My way of making sense of “Who caused my child’s death?” is: If God is God, and He is, then nothing can thwart His will. There must be a bigger picture to this than I can see this side of eternity. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but the Lord’s purposes prevail.”

    I have been given a glimpce of His purposes, as you, as we have been transformed by His power to turn our tragedy into a ministry, http://www.newpathcenter.org, and walk with other parents and families who experience difficult times.

    I pray that God will continue to work through you and Todd to transform you and heal you. I wish I could say the pain will go away, but after 12 years I know that it will change, but it is a part of us we carry. I leave you with Hebrews 11:4b. Even though Cain killed Abel as a young man, Abel is listed in that great list of faithful. In verse 4b, it states, “Though he be dead, Abel still speaks.” Though they be gone from us for the time, Audrey and Scott still speak as we allow the experience of loss to glorify God and draw others to His Kingdom. Bonnie

  • Annie

    Thought these beautiful words may encourage you in your brokenness…let God comfort like only a “mother” could. *hugs*

    Jill Phillips – I Am

    Oh gently lay your head
    Upon my chest
    And I will comfort you
    Like a mother while you rest
    The tide can change so fast,
    But I will stay
    The same through the past,
    The same in future, same today

    CHORUS:
    I am constant; I am near
    I am peace that shatters all your secret fears
    I am holy; I am wise
    I’m the only one who knows your heart’s desires
    Your heart’s desires

    Oh weary, tired and worn,
    Let out your sighs
    And drop that heavy load you hold
    Cause Mine is light

    I know you through and through;
    There’s no need to hide
    I want to show you love
    That is deep and high and wide

    CHORUS(2x)

    Oh gently lay your head
    Upon my chest
    And I will comfort you
    Like a mother while you rest

  • Lift Up Your Hearts

    Your writing brings tears to my eyes every time. They aren’t tears of pity, though I hate what your family has been through. The tears come from how very real your praise is. You are such an inspiration and I have no doubt that you are leading countless souls to the throne of God.

  • Erica

    Thank you for being transparent enough to allow people to see Jesus in you!!

  • Longmeadow Mama

    It’s absolutely amazing, absolutely God, how a blog can continuously touch my life the way yours does. Just when I don’t think God could use your words more, He does. Thank you.
    As you continuously sow into my life, I continuously pray for yours.
    Kelli

  • Jenn in GA

    the enemy is real, but he is defeated. i have experienced the reality of warfare as you described, but every time i have seen THE LORD be victorious.

    i am so thankful to HIM that HE gave you those moments with luke.

    will be praying for you and yours as again you walk through the valley of the shadow. our sufferings may be great, but THE LORD is greater still.

    thank you for your transparency and honesty.

  • becca

    what an amazing post.. god speaks through you in volumes. god bless you and your family.

    becca

  • Holly

    Thank you Angie. I will be praying for you all this week.

  • Monica

    Just reading this post gave me goose bumps…especially in what you wrote that Satan could not take…praying praying praying for your family. Again, words don’t do justice for the impact Audrey and Luke’s story has had on my life and many–so many–others.

  • Holly

    Thank you Angie. I will be praying for you all this week.

  • Kristin

    Angie,
    I’m posting a comment regarding your previous post on anxiety. I have struggled with worry my whole life. I’m not sure it manifests itself the same way as yours, but I get into these cycles of negative thoughts, irrational worry etc.

    The book, The Bondage Breaker, by Neil Anderson was the best book I’ve read for calling my anxiety what it is. I can’t recommend this book enough.

    I’ve followed your blog for months. What an amazing life you are living for the Lord. Thank you Angie, for beautifully sharing your heart and life.

    ~Kristin

  • Emma’s Mommy

    Angie, I started reading your blog just a couple of weeks ago. I finished it on August 7th. The day your sweet Audrey would have been 4 months old and the day I would have been 4 months pregnant had I not miscarried. I have felt so incredibly different lately and I just have not been able to describe it to anyone….until I read the following paragraph from your latest post…

    “The depth of sorrow has a way of changing the way you share your life, your heart, your God. It makes you want to shout the name of Jesus because you realize that after all, in the very midst of it, He is real. It isn’t just a big book. It’s the truth, and it has changed me.”

    I have always believed that He is real, but it now shouts to me.(if that makes any sense). I have been a Christian since my youth, but I feel my faith changing. It is all so REAL to me.

    I think of you often and I thank you for your words!

  • Francine

    Hi angie I belive I was one of those that was on your list. Just let me know what information you need again.
    Thanks
    Francine

  • Chris

    My nephew will be nine years old this next week. There was a tiny period of time between his birth and my “bed rest” with Daniel. I remember holding him on the front porch of my sister’s house just after he came home from the hospital. I held him close to my face, as my belly (with Daniel) was blocking his place in my lap. I remember singing to him and telling him how much fun he was going to have growing up with his cousin… how they would be much more than cousins, brothers even. nearly twins. It was the only time I remember holding them together, but I will never forget the dreams that I had for them that day. As Caleb approaches his ninth birthday, I am reminded. My older son is going to coach his sister’s soccer team and my heart is broken, again, because I am sure that in a different world he would be coaching his own brother. Praying for you today, chris

  • Joy

    Words fail me right now. What an awesome God to give you that opportunity to hold your nephew. I’ve been sitting here for the past couple days feeling really sorry for myself but your post helped me see the GRAND SCHEME of eternity is much more important than the tiny pickle I’m in right now.

    Being able to see the glory and righteousness of God in retrospect is one of the most goose-bumpy, tingly sensations. He is GOOD!!!

    I’m confused about one thing, though. I thought you guys already had Luke’s funeral?

  • dhuntman

    THANK YOU for all that you write and share. God Bless You Angie! You had mentioned in a previous post that you would be in Michigan, that is where I live, it would be such a BLESSING to hear and see you. Do you know where you will be?? Also, when??

    Angie

    p.s. My maiden name is Smith, so we share a similar name.

  • April

    You often speak of a peace that passeths all understanding.
    I came across this website today:
    http://www.birthverse.com/mybirthverse.cfm

    Since I share a birthday with Audrey, I thought you would like to see what her birthverse is, I found it very appropriate.

  • The Butcher Family

    Yes, sister!

    Amen & Amen.

    Love & many prayers~ Rebecca

  • liz

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your post. It is the 6 month anniversary today since my husband and I lost our sweet baby Luke Thomas. I agree with you completely – our God has a purpose for everything, and our babies fufilled theirs. Someday when we meet God face to face we will understand why we had to go through this valley of tears but I do know one thing – God’s purposes are good! We will be raising your entire family up in prayer as you bury your sweet baby nephew Luke.

    All our love,
    The Timmmermans

  • Honey Bear

    Angie,
    I pray that the day went as peaceful as ever.
    That the Lord whispered to you in the breeze – letting you know He was there, watching over your babies and your family.

  • mkk49

    Your words sound so familar to me. People as me all the time how I an believe in God even though my daughter is gone. I tell them how can I not believe in him. He is what is keeping me here grounded and able to function. Without the Lord I don’t know what I would have done. Thank you for your great words.

  • Hannah

    Angie, thank you so much for sharing your heart with us! I have never lost a child, but in the last year have watched several couples near to us lose their children through illness and miscarriage. Each time, we asked, “why…?”
    I’m so glad that you didn’t give up that night so many weeks ago! I know that memory will always be precious to you. My prayer for you and Nicole is that Jesus would continue to embrace you tightly and lift up your faces!

  • E J Johnson

    Angie,
    You do such a good job of articulating your feelings. When mine are strong, they just get all jumbled and I can’t explain anything. We all benefit from your good memory and clear thinking!
    I go to MckMama’s former church from before they moved cities (noticed you’re praying for her too) and our new pastor gave an amazing sermon Sunday about the bible verse (forgot the ref) “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
    He took it several steps further and encouraged us to savor this opportunity and moment, as you did with Luke. Sometimes you just KNOW it’s a special moment and sometimes you wish you would have known.
    We can’t live in the past or future. It’s a daily struggle, isn’t it? SO much easier said than done. I’m thankful for your loving husband who is there for you. What a gift
    In Christ’s love…

  • Katy Lin :)

    thank you so much for articulating this so beautifully. it has been my blessing to be able to follow your family through your blog, and i will continue to lift you up to the Lord. thank you for allowing him to use these circumstances to His glory, and “willfully choosing” to not need the why! Praise His Name!!!

  • Juel

    The words you write Angie are so simple but profound.
    Today, God reminded me of the place I was 8 years ago, after my dh came and told me of several affairs he had had over the course of our married life together.(I chose to forgive him and change our marriage for the better) Your words painted that picture again for me, kissing His feet while my tears fell to the ground. God impressed on me that He never wants me to forget that place, a place of comfort.
    May God give you peace which surpasses all understanding, just like He did for me. Be blessed.

  • Barb

    This is my first visit to your blog.
    God led me here through Katy Lin. What a strong, spirit filled post.

    God bless you.
    Barb

  • Emily Becker

    OK, my name is Emily Becker. I have been reading your blog for about 4 months now and why I chose to write you tonight I haven’t a clue. I have been praying for you and your family (extended and all) as the Spirit leads. Tonight, I just keep thinking cling to God and I don’t know if I am saying it for you or to you or to myself! I just had to send you my LOVE via the computer. I will email you soon and send some pictures.

  • Emily Becker

    Ok, my name is Emily Becker. I have been reading your blog for about 4 months and haven’t a clue why I am writing tonight. I have been praying for you and your sweet family (extended and all)as the Spirit leads. Tonight I keep thinking “cling to God” and I don’t know if I am saying it to you, with you, or to myself but it is the thought of the evening since I read your entry. Just wanted to send my LOVE via the computer. I love people and Jesus, too. :)

  • Delana

    I have been following your blog and the story of your family since very close to the beginning, I just never commented. I just want to say that you humble me and you are the strongest, most faithful woman I “know”. I am praying for your family. Keep beinging us all those “Wonderful Words of Life” and grief that we long to hear and experience right along side of you.

  • kjoy

    I love reading about how God has worked in your life. Thank you for these words tonight. I also noticed how you keep satan uncapitalized–and I think that’s fitting, too.

  • Rachelle

    Angie,

    I can across your blog some time ago while researching trisomy 18, which tests suspected my unborn son might have. We were blessed to find that it was not in God’s plans for Yadon. I have continued to be drawn to your writing since that time and continue to be in awe of the simple, honest and totally open way you journal about life and faith. You have a gift of words and I pray that others happen upon your site as I did and are comforted by what you have said.

    May God keep you and the family in His loving arms as you celebrate Luke’s passage to heaven and to play with his cousin, Audrey. In every test their is a testimony. God Bless.

  • Tonya Gray

    That sweet story about holding Luke is a great glimpse of how much God loves you. He knew that if you didn’t have that opportunity with the sweet baby boy, your memories of him would be tainted with guilt for not having time with him.
    Angie, God is using you in so many ways. You are always in my prayers.

  • Becky

    I recently discovered your blog and I spent a good portion of my night (um, and early morning) reading through every post, shedding many a tear for you and your family, and being truly inspired by your faith and your words. This post above all others has truly inspired me and opened my eyes. I lost my dear sweet mother to cancer nearly 6 years ago and all this time I’ve wondered why. I’ve had my moments where I was angry with God and I can honestly say I lost a lot of faith in Him the day she died. Your words tonight have spoke to me and I can’t believe I didn’t see it this way before.

    “I don’t know why she is gone, but I do know Who had the final say. And it wasn’t the snake.

    And because I know Who, I am willfully unconcerned with why.”

    Thank you for opening my eyes and helping me forgive God. It’s something I can never repay.

    Now that that’s out of the way, I wanted to share with you my experience with anxiety. After my mom died I spiraled into a deep depression that eventually was accompanied by severe panic attacks. I tried for a long time to control them by myself, but eventually my doctor convinced me to try antidepressants and I’m so glad I did. I was afraid it would make me feel numb, but in all honesty it made me feel like ME again. I’m not big on pushing pills at the problem, but for me it truly was a godsend.

    Thank you again, and my prayers are with you and your family.

  • Carrie

    Your humbleness touches my heart. God is using you and your testimony to touch so many people. Thank you for being bold enough to share and be obedient to the messages God lays on your heart!

  • melmietzner

    Dear Angie,

    As usual you have written with wonderful honesty and openness. May the Lord be with you and Greg and Nicol this coming week as you grieve and mourn some more. You are truly gifted and a wonderful writer. The Lord is surely using your life, Audrey and this blog to bless, convict and inspire many people. You may not see the fruit of your work/trials here on earth but God surely has many crowns waiting for you in heaven(right next to Audrey!:O) )

    Melissa in MA

  • Just

    I have followed your blog for a few months and I have cried every tear with you.

    As a woman who lost my faith many years ago, I find it hard to say these words but your faith has given me new hope.

    I have a grandchild. I am only 34. I am the luckiest woman alive that a baby I once thought of as a burden (my daughter is a teen mom as I was) could change my life so much.

    After reading your story and being so ashamed for how upset I was at my daughter’s pregnancy, I cried to the lord to forgive me. I prayed for him to fill my soul once again. He has a plan for my family and the sooner I embrace his plan, the quicker it can flourish.

    Thank you for opening my eyes and letting me see the power of god take over. I will never stop being thankful for stumbling upon this blog.

    I went to a funeral for a friend a few weeks ago. They read the 23rd Psalm. One phrase has lingered in my mind since leaving. “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil”.

    How can there be a shadow without light? God is my light and although I tried to forget him for many many years, he never left me. I will be eternally grateful to you and your family for helping me find my light again.

  • Jocelyn

    I have been reading your blog for awhile now, but have never commented. I’ve not had the time to read for a few days, but today was an extremely difficult day for me and I came back and this is the blog I needed- the reminder of God’s soverienty that I needed. I am a foster mommy to 2 wonderful babies who both had court today and it was a heartbreakingly overwhelming day for me. Today my heart broke and fear set in. Dealing with wanting to trust God, but also wanting to make sure His plan is the same as mine- cause I think my plan for these babies is a pretty good plan! :) I have gained such insight into my comparitively small-scale heartaches from your writings and I thank God for you. He has used you to remind me of his authority and His peace. Thank you for sharing your heart in an open and honest way… thank you for being here.

  • Susan

    How does it feel..to have the Holy Spirit truly speak through you..I am not sure how I found your blog..but, I am so happy I did. You have a special place in this world..through your pain you are bringing so many closer to God. You have a gift, thanks for sharing.

  • Z’s Mom

    Hi Angie. We do not know each other….I found your blog through someone else’s. This post was beautiful….heartbreaking…..but beautiful! Your family has endured more than its share of loss and I will keep all of you in my prayers. Your sweet Audrey and sweet baby Luke are back home with God now…..and you are right….the devil can’t take that away from you! God bless!

  • Cynthia

    Luke & Audrey together sounds so perfect. I will be praying for your family during this ongoing difficult time.You have bless so many with your writings.

  • Pipsylou

    I am praying, Angie. Praying for unspeakable peace.

  • Kristi O

    once again my heart so identified with this blog post. you clearly shared your heart and the truth we need to be aware, on guard. thank you. thank you for the reminders for the hope and thank you for sharing such a precious time with us. I am praying for your family thru this time. Its funny I keep referring you as “my friend” cause our hearts are learning so many similar things in such different arenas. God is so kind to have this medium “blogging”. blessings to you and your family.

  • queenie76

    Angie,
    Atthis point I feel like if we hung out it would be like cathingup with anold friend. I THANK you so much for your honesty adn your brokeness. I too saw SCC on Larry KIng as well as Good Morning America. IT’s amazing how a family like the Chapmans have been tested beyond what they ever thought, YET God has been in it from the very beginning , also, along with frustation , all this shows is that You, Todd, Mary Beth and Steven are HUMAN . God has Put you in this path for a reason, sometimes I am sure you tihk “Now I get it!” and other times the questions still remains. I know that from all this , though it may take more time, you , me , The Chapmans will undertstand.
    You cannot put a timetable on grief , I know, but you and the story of Sweet Audrey , Luke, Maria Sue will contiue even in Heaven.
    LOVES!
    Tara Adams, Nashville

  • Jenna

    so glad you got to hold him. so glad you see God’s good hand in that. two evidences of grace. praise His name.

  • Asha

    Hi Angie,
    I am reading your Blog ever since I read about your daughter Audrey at Celebrity Baby Blog.com

    I am so honored that I found you! I admire your faith and the way you and your family handle the task god gave you.

    A few days ago I felt I need to share your story with a friend of mine. We were looking the video on youtube with the pictures of you all. She was really impressed that you were so greatfull in those pictures so happy and thankfull. And I realized that I would be too. Audrey was a present to you and you were just the right ones to have her. Not because you deserved to loose her but because you were able to love her and see her as what she was a beautiful present from our Lord.
    You will remeber her and so will I.

    God is always with us and I believe that he has a plan for us.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. It helps me to knwo that the way I see our Lord is right for me, eventhought people want to tell me it is not.

    kind regards Anna

    PS: I am sorry about the mistakes I made. But I am from Germany so my English is not perfect.

  • Megan

    When I woke up at 5:00 this morning, I felt compelled to pray for you this morning. Don’t know why other than God was telling me that I needed to pray for you today. Prayers from Philadelphia being sent your way today…

  • Lerin

    I just visited your site for the first time this week, and spent hours reading and crying over the archives. Thank you for sharing so honestly… you are touching so many by sharing your story.

  • Candy

    What God is doing here on this blog, through your words, is nothing short of miraculous. Your faith is strong and yet in some way your weakness comes through and in that moment, He is stronger. Your obedience to keep writing here is a testimony to the power that we have at our disposal to conquer this enemy that threatens to steal, kill and destroy – the power of the living God – the power that raised Christ from the dead. It is a spiritual battle, every last minute of it. And you are a mighty warrior princess. Papa is so very proud of you.

  • A 5 time mom

    When I want to be spurred on in my faith to trust NO MATTER WHAT, I come to your blog and the Lord speaks peace, grace, mercy into my heart.

    Thank you again for your transparent heart to me and many others who are able to “see” just how alive Jesus is as we see His power being perfected in you.

    I am reminded again to keep on going. Thank you.
    Beckie

  • Britanee-Morgan

    You always make me cry sometimes with laughter and others with sadness! But after reading your posts I always feel so special that My Lord and Savior has chosen me and you and anyone who will accept him. As I sit here with my little girl in my lap I can’t begin to see what all you have and are going through. But we both know that OUR LORD has a plan and will be there right beside you all the way! I will pray for you as always and especially this week. Thanks for sharing. I truly needed that this morning!

  • Kristi

    Hi..nice to meet you. Katy from “the great adventure” suggested reading your blog today, and I’m so glad I did. I have laughed and cried reading through your blogs. You are an awesome writer. I’ll be praying for you and your family. God Bless.

  • Mandi

    So thankful you persevered through many trials to be there that stormy night…Those tender moments with sweet Luke must be etched in your memory for always. I continue to pray for you and your precious family as you grieve with hope in knowing God is Sovereign and He will sustain you in your time of need.
    Love,
    Mandi

  • Amy

    Please remember that you will be in the thoughts and prayers of so many people, including mine. Your writing has brought so much to so many; hopefully we, as your readers, can find a way to give back to you. I hope that you can find some peace, comfort and serenity during the difficult days.

  • Karen

    Wow. Again, your writing gets to me. I have recently felt the pull to believe and you’re part of it. I bought a bible, have started attending church, praying more, and just thinking of God more and how I can be better. This post had my eyes filled with tears. I’ll be praying for you and your family.

  • Brandy

    what about the things that God does not make good of? How do you reconcile those things?
    http://foshefamily.blogspot.com/2008/08/i-saw-satan-today.html

  • Dijea

    I just came across your blog and am uplifted by your strength. I know what you mean when you can hear Jesus speak to you through a voice. My son as lucky enough to go to school with a very special Gospel Singer’s son. (She’s won several Dove awards and is unbelievable.) She sang often in our school programs. Not only does she have an amazing voice, she has an amazing spirit and her voice is pure love.

    I think Satan is God’s rival not enemy. I do not speak of my spirituality as openly as you do, but its there and I commend you for your open devotion. God has blessed you with a strong spirit to be a role model for others who are facing unbelievable obstacles.

    I’m deeply sorry for your loss, but somewhere what you have written will help someone else. You are an inspiration to others.

  • Mandy

    Your family is in my prayers!

  • The Brown Family

    I, like many, have come upon your blog through friends and I can’t stop reading it once I have started! The way you write is so moving and so inspirational. I can’t help but be at the computer balling my eyes out most of the time and then laughing my head off, others! God has given you such a talent, it’s amazing!

    To be completely honest, I had never heard of Selah before (only because I usually don’t listen to Christian stations, which is terrible and I should!) and since I have read your blog, of course I know the name now. While we were on our way to church Sunday, I turned the radio to our local christian station, no sooner did the DJ say,”Here is the latest from Selah…enjoy.” It was so cool! I felt like I knew them just from reading your blog. I had to shed a tear or two just remembering things I have read and, of course, the words of the song. I am so inspired by your blog but not because I have lost a child, but because you write and it is amazing. It is like you are talking to me sometimes.

    I know you have hundreds of people that are going to be praying for you (and your sister) when you have to bury Luke, but just add one more person to the list. I will be praying/thinking of you and your family on that dreaded day.

    Also, I have a little piece of advise from the last post. This is probably going to sound so silly to you and you will probably just want to disregard it, but please don’t! I am like you…a worry wort!! (as my husband likes to call it!) I was on anti-anxiety drugs because I was so scared something was going to happen to my husband or my son. The fear consumed me so much I had to go to the doctor because I was having all the symptoms of a thyroid problem and tests said it was nothing. They chalked it up to anxiety…I totally agreed.

    See, I grew up an only child in a home with a step father who was physically/emotionally abusive to my mother and once to me. (which they are divorced now so I don’t have to see him anymore.) I grew up in a home full of intense anxiety all the time…always scared to death something was going to happen to my mom. It has since carried over into my adult years (the anxiety that is. My husband is AWESOME and someone God hand picked just for me, I know)

    So all that to say, I am now off my medication and doing great. Wanna know why?!? The chiropractor! For real! He has been a God send. He is a Christian man who has Christian music playing in his office and freely talks about God. He said that research shows that anxiety pills did just the same as sugar pills in studies. I was extremely skeptical. He explained that the first thing that God creates in us is our nervous system. EVERYTHING runs off the nervous system. That runs down our spine. He is not the kind of Chiro that when you go in there he pops and cracks you every which way. He adjusts you in small amounts over time so your body will heal itself. Our results have been AMAZING!

    Here is why I really believe in him. When we started going there in March, he and his wife were getting ready to move into a brand new office built just for them (she was the office manager). They were such a sweet christian couple with two kids (ages 6 and 7). Well, in April, his wife unexpectedly drown in their tub from a seizure. She was 29. One day she was there and the next she was not. It was so incredibly sad and really unbelievable. He was/is an incredible example to everyone there. He openly talks about her and is doing so well. I just wholeheartedly believe in his practice.

    I just wanted to share that with you because I know how you feel as far as the anxiety goes. It sometimes just completely consumed my thoughts and I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. I pray that it will go away for you.

    Sorry for the book I just wrote! I too can be a little long winded! ;) Thank you for sharing so much with us…God Bless!

  • Monica

    Hi Angie-I think of you often and talk to Jesus in your behalf.Knowing he hears me and answers.Because,you’re one of his kids.Just like Audrey and Luke..I recently read and finished a book titled “The Shack” by William P.Young.You may have heard and read it.If not you should,I know it will help you,like it has helped me and others around the globe…God,Jesus,the Holy Spirit,What amazing oneness to want only to be in relationship with me,us,everybody.Be blessed in your week,knowing he is with you,always.Monica

  • Sab

    Your post brought tears to my eyes. I agree that God is with us through everything, even though we sometimes can’t see why or how He does or allows certain things into our lives. I’ve also lost a child (due to miscarriage) and I know without a doubt there was a reason for it. He will never give us what we cannot handle with Him by our sides. Nevertheless, what you are going through must be so hard. You are a strong woman. I will keep you in my prayers.

  • Sab

    I posted a comment earlier, and I hope you’ll see this one as well as I’m not sure how else to do this. I really love your blog. It brings tears to my eyes when I read it. So, I nominated you for the “I love your blog” award. Again, I hope you get this. Clicky

  • Dorothy Bowen Klass

    Don’t grieve so much over what He’s taken that you miss what He’s given.
    I have to remind myself of this quite often!!!!

  • Michelle

    Hi,

    You don't know me and this is my first time visiting your blog, but I would LOVE to add you to my blog list.

    I read your post and couldn't even finish due to the well-up of tears.

    I always love to hear/read stories of people's journey & walk with our awesome God. I'm going through a situation in my life right now where for the first time I have to TRUST in him. Never knew to do that. I'm a work in progress so to speak.

    Anyway, I will definitely be visiting often to read your entries & any words of wisdom that you may have.

    Blessings to you and your family!

  • Lindsay

    I don’t know how you’ll get through more than 298 comments – or even if you’ll get through them at all. But I am grateful for you Angie – the fact that you have brought so many ladies/families to Jesus is remarkable. Your faith is unforgetable and I hope that you don’t even doubt that. God is using you in a big big way and I can’t wait to really “meet” you in heaven someday.

    In His Grace ~ Lindsay

  • Overwhelmed!

    This post sent shivers down my spine. I’m so glad you had that sweet moment of holding Luke and sharing your heart with him. I’m glad it’s bringing you comfort now.

    I’ve been wondering how the Chapman family has been doing. I missed the Larry King interview. Thank you for sharing that tidbit.

    I’m offering up prayers for your family.

  • The Browns

    Your family will absolutely be in my prayers.

    And using your words and giving them to your entire family..With much love, and more gratitude than I can articulate.

    Your sister in Christ,
    Diana

  • momof4kr

    If there were such a thing as The Spiritual Gift of Writing…you would certainly have it!
    Your blog blesses my soul!!!
    Katie
    <><

  • MegNJaxMaMa

    Hello Angie. I found you from MckMama’s site. I came because the boots in the puddle were cute… and read your whole archives because I felt connected to you in a way I can’t really describe. While I haven’t dealt with the pain of losing a child, I can understand and empathize. My daughter was diagnosed with some medical issues in utero, and the docs told me she would not live. I screamed and cried, begged God to save her. He did, but not without a journey of faith and learning for me. She has helped God accomplish a transformation in me. I still grieve for the daughter I thought I would have, but have finally let some of that go and really started connecting with my daughter (she is 4).

    Your words hit my heart and resonated like I haven’t felt in a long time. It is also nice to read the words of someone that loves Jesus, loves God, but admits they are not perfect… because sometimes that is hard to come by.

    I am finally on the path I think God intended for me. I have about a year or year and a half left until I receive my bachelor’s degree. I will receive my elementary education degree, and I have committed myself to helping to educate not only the children, but the families and helping special needs children like Megan reach their very highest potential.

    I look forward to getting to know you better! I feel like we have met. My prayers are with you!

    Love,
    Heather

    PS-I created a blogger account to send a comment to you. If you would like to meet my Megan, she has a CaringBridge website: http://www.caringbridge.org/ne/mimigracey

  • Hope Wilson

    Praying for "rest" tonight & strength tomorrow…

  • Susher

    Your story moved me tremendously. I wanted so much to print off your words for a friend, so that God could use them for this person. I tried printing something else earlier today, and my ink cartridge was almost empty, making the printing illegible. But still, I wanted to print your post. I gave my computer the print command. A notice came up on screen informing me that both my black and white and color cartridges were completely empty. So I prayed. I trusted God for ink. I needed to share your words with somebody who needs to see them. And then … there it is. Printing complete. Four full pages of perfectly printed material. He is a God of miracles and favors and blessings. I cried with joy and gratitude. Our God is using the loss of your Audrey in ways we could never imagine, isn’t he? God bless you for your faith, and for sharing your journey.

  • jen

    You are such an awesome steward of all God gives you. Thanks for sharing with all of us and encouraging us. Thank you for being obedient to witness to those who don’t understand. God is using you, Audrey, and Luke in such a might way. To Him be the Glory!

    Jen

  • insertgracehere

    Angie,
    I know the time will come when you will sit and read through your many comments.
    I just want to say that I am crying with you. I am weeping with you. I cannot comprehend your loss. This new loss. I am just so blessed and moved by your steadfast love and devotion to our Christ.
    There is just such a sweetness about your spirit that I am sure you have heard many others speak about.
    On your panic attacks and that fear that you mention, I recall just recently having a situation- an isolated situation not to be compared to your grief or loss that may factor in your current panic and fear- but it was fear nonetheless. Fear has torment. I remember thinking logically what was likely gripping me. But when fear grips you, you may often find yourself wondering about each loved one. For you, no doubt your entire family. Those precious girls. So understandable. I remember when this particular situtation happened, I prayed, prayed, prayed- as I’m certain you do. I was determined to “by faith” press through in spite of that gripping fear.

    I called my baby sister who had not long since tried to reach me. I told her my current story and the fear that was overwhelming.

    She prayed. And prayed, and prayed. The Holy Spirit led the way. Peace flowed over my soul.

    I know sometimes these things are not isolated instances. Like you, I imagine I would find myself searching out all avenues. You will do that. It’s who you are. You want to know exactly what He is telling you to do.

    With that in mind, I just want to say that perhaps, just perhaps it may help you to know that I was diagnosed hypoglycemic nearly 8 years ago. That may not seem like a big deal, but I’ll tell you that I was originally going in for a hormone check. I was 31 and new hormone levels could change. I had also received a pamphlet from the 700 CLub on hypoglycemia. I could pretty much check off the whole list of symptoms.

    I say all of that to say that sugar had such a grip on me that my metabolism was so affected to they point of hypoglycemia. It truly has an affect on your entire body. This includes psychosomatically. After a glucose tolerance test, and a diet change- my entire system changed. That included the hormones swings, mood swings, etc.

    Although it’s very understandable that your grief and loss may be a huge contributing factor in your current situation, and the enemy can really use that, diet can compound the whole situtation.

    For you, that may not mean the exact thing that it did for me. But you will find out. I am amazed at God’s faithfulness.

    I am praying great peace flood your soul. Sweet peace! Oh that’s what the enemy wants! Our righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Praying your restoration seven fold! When the thief is revealed, he MUST restore.

    Much love and prayer,

    Rena Gunther

  • Rachel E.

    Angie, thank you for sharing this powerful story about spiritual warfare. I was raised in the church but was SO unaware of the battle that rages against us each and every day that we choose to follow Jesus. Now that I understand that it makes me so thankful we have a God who is so much bigger than the enemy! Praying for you and the Sponbergs this week as you lay little Luke to rest.

  • Tracy and Andy Yates

    Angie,
    I am praying for you and your family today.

  • FaceforGrace

    Wow. I don’t think I’ve ever posted a comment before, but I’ve been following your Blog for months now. I am amazed at how God orchestrates things and lines up certain situations for “such a time as this”.

    See, we just lost our 4th baby. It has been very difficult to say the least, but we are persevering and holding out for our promise! I know that God will restore what the enemy has stolen from us and that we will be blessed with a beautiful baby…we just have to be patient enough to wait for our reward to come. However, last night my best friend came to me, and through tears announced that she was pregnant. She was so humble and so afraid to hurt me with her excitement. I was and still am very happy for her- but it hurts. I have fought and fought the emotions that the enemy is trying to brew- the anger and frustration of it all.

    Somewhere along the way of this journey- I stopped holding other peoples babies. I hated that about myself, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it…the pain was so raw. It was physically painful to hold a baby knowing how many of mine had slipped through my grasp and knowing I would never get to hold them.

    Ever since I heard my friend announce her pregnancy last night I have struggled with a lot of emotions. And I went to bed thinking about whether or not I’d be able to hold her baby. And I committed to myself that I would try with all of my might. That I will not let the enemy steal that joy from me any longer. I knew it would be difficult, but that I would have to overcome this.

    I saw this post a few days ago, but didn’t have enough time to sit and read it in it’s entirety at that time. So, here I sit this morning sobbing as I read. And I realize that if you had the strength to hold Luke after what you’ve been through- then certainly I could hold my sweet friends little one when he or she makes it into this world.

    Thank you for sharing your life and your story with us. It has ministered to me more than once, but especially today…I needed to hear this.

  • Amanda

    I tried commenting on this a few days ago and was unable. What a touching post. And what a precious gift God gave you that night with Luke…precious moments with that little boy…

    0
    I wanted to let you know that I’ve passed along a blogging award to you…visit my site if you want to check it out. :)

  • lori

    I already posted that I love this post, but wanted to come back and say I just watched you on you tube from the cross point church. Thank you for sharing and for lovin God the way you to, thank you for understanding what Audrey is to this world, what her work is for God. Thank you for your heart and your love for Gods children, you are selfless and inspiring. And tell Todd thank you too

  • meldoy

    todd and angie,

    please know that i am thinking of and praying for you and nicole and greg right now as the service for luke is going on. i can only imagine what you all are going through and what lies ahead for each of you. God will be with you and we will all be beside you to help carry the load when it gets too heavy!!

  • Jamie

    “And because I know Who, I am willfully unconcerned with why.”

    Says it all.

  • Stephanie

    Angie,
    Wow. What you wrote is exactly some of the same feelings I have at this season of my life. My name is Stephanie. My sweet husband, Jason went to be with Jesus just over a month ago. You wrote on our caringbridge site not long ago and oh how it thrilled my soul! Anyway, God is teaching me so much and has been for the last 7months. I just heard a Beth Moore study of JOB and something she said hit me to the core. She spoke of how even Job wanted his “5 minutes with God”. However, as she said if we could have our 5 minutes we’d simply be in awe of who He is! How true! Though I hurt like crazy most days, I am still in awe of who He is! Thank you for being so real! I so enjoy reading your heart.
    Love and prayers,
    Stephanie

  • lorelai03

    I just spent literally all day reading every word on your blog. It captivated me beyond words. I lost a baby at 11 weeks in June and I have not known how to put the grief into words. I thank God for you and your family and for you to be able to share your heart like this. I especially thank God for you husband, Selah’s music has blessed me for so long.

    In Him,
    Karie

  • Melanie, Who am I ?

    Angie,
    I again come to your blog and am filled with the spirit. Your words have a way of pointing me towards heaven and reminding me of the God who LOVES me. It is so easy to get lost in our daily life and let him slip to the background. I praise him for the beautiful way he has used your sweet Audrey’s life and the voice he has given you to proclaim his glory! I have put off reading this post for several days, so that I would have a moment of quiet to really be able to read it and feel it. As I read your words I cried, even before you mentioned holding Luke, I knew and it showed me how good God is. He will sustain us, strengthen us and above all LOVE us. All we have to do is accept it! Thank you so much for willing being vulnerable and obedient to God.
    Melanie

  • theweaver

    I need help… If you, or anyone reading this comment knows of a family who has gone through the birth of a child with Edwards Syndrom, Trisomy 18, could you please contact me. A friend of ours has found out with almost certainty that her 14-week baby will have/does have this. She is struggling with what to do and is under a doctor’s care that is not very supportive of life. Anything would be wonderful…

  • Amie

    Wow… this one really spoke to my heart. Thanks for reminding us that we need to recognize when the enemy is trying to conquer us and to seek God even harder in those times. I can think of a few times(cough*last Sunday* cough), when I let the enemy talk me out of church. Not gonna happen this week.

    Thanks for sharing Angie!

    Lots of Love~
    :)
    Amie

  • Gena

    Angie,
    I don’t rememeber when or how I stumbled upon your blog but I anxiously await your new entries. I have 2 teenagers. I have been blest beyond words to watch my children grow. I do not know your pain but I know you touch my heart with every word you write and I pray for you and your young, beautiful family. Thank you for sharing your life with so many people. Gena form East Tn.

  • Katie C

    Angie
    I have been reading for blog for some time now. I am very sorry for your loss. I admire the way you have been strong and able to keep going in the face of grief – but also how you have been able to bow down and be weak before the Lord.
    There is another blog you might be interested in – about Sweet Baby James. He is a little guy who was born with a serious brain malformation, and he died yesterday after nearly 16 months.
    http://www.sweetbabyjames.info/wordpress/

    Thank you for everything you do!
    Katie

  • donarbk

    Reading your latest comments gives me yet another quote (or 6)to use with my bereaved clients….Thank you for redeeming your pain

  • Mrs. Walker

    Thank you for this, Angie. The Lord knows I desperately needed this reminder right now.

    I will continue to pray for you all.

  • Sherri

    I have only stumbled upon your blog in the last two days but I have been mesmerized by your words. I have read it from beginning to end and, although deeply saddened at your loss, I have also been reminded of how good our Lord is. He can help us when no one else can and I pray for you and your family in the coming days, weeks, months, and years. I know that no words I can say could take away your pain but I pray that God will. I have believed all of my life but don’t always rely on him for the small stuff like I am inspired to do now after reading your words/thoughts/feelings. You are a remarkable woman and I admire you greatly. I am greatly blessed to have three wonderful children, 2 step daughters, and three beautiful, healthy grandchildren who I adore. I never want to take a day for granted with them…..
    Love
    Sherri

  • Erin

    I have been in prayer and had you and your family on my mind today. I know that today was tremendously hard as you and your family buried sweet Luke beside your precious Audrey. I weeped as I prayed, overwhelmed with what you must be going through and what Nicol and her family are also going through. I pray that you felt God’s hands wrapped tightly around you today. God bless.

  • Sarah

    You are a true insperation to me. I am a Christian who has “strayed” away from the Lord. I am trying to get my life right with him and trying to find a good Christian Church. With a husband who is a nonbeliever it is tough. I now have a daughter and see it is time to get my life back on track. Your faith is the faith I so desire.

  • Blog Stalker

    Dont know if you will get to see this comment. My heart is full and I know the strength and understanding of your spirit. You are remarkably strong and intuitive. Satan IS real and So is our Heavenly Father. What a wonderful rejoicing there most certainly be when we join our loved ones after our trials on this earth. I pray for continued comfort from Him who can give it, to you, your sister and the rest of your family.

  • Ami

    Angie, I just came across your blog, I don’t even know how. But I think it was God sending me for a purpose. Today a little boy named Joseph was called to the Lord after battling a brain tumor for a year. I think that his Mother and Father could greatly benefit from your courage and strength and love of the Lord. I feel like I would be doing an injustice if I didn’t pass their information along to you. http://www.prayforjoseph.blogspot.com
    You are in my thoughts and prayers…what a wonderful writer and a true inspiration you are. You and Audrey both- simply amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story.

  • Lisa

    Thank you for sharing the piece about the young piano prodigy. It spoke directly to my heart and this time in my life of feeling broken. Thank you, thank you. God is using you and your family to bless others.

  • Ang

    Angie,
    Just wanted you to know I continue to read your blog and it was awesome today!! (my name too is Angie..just a connection also besides the loss of our wonderful children that we share) I know you don’t know me but I feel as I know you just thru your readings!! I need to share Christ so much more than I do and I am thankful with the encouragement as I read yours today. If you need a smile sometime check out my blog ( I know you are extremely busy and go to the VERY first post I made a couple of years ago and also read the one above it..(they are short not as long as my normal ones)maybe just maybe it will make you smile to visualize this happening..Thanks for your words!!

  • Joy of Frugal Living

    I’ll be praying for your family.

    You captured the pain and the blessings very well. It’ll make me too sad to write more, but thanks for it.

    Blessings,
    Jennifer

  • Sheila

    Angie, Thank you so much for writing this. I was linked to your blog through my babycenter board. I love Jesus and just reecently, in the last 3 weeks lost my first pregnancy. It was wanted, waited for, cherished and all to short. I have been very confused, angry, sad, and questioning. Somehow you put it just the way Our Lord wanted me to hear it tonight! Thank you God! I don’t need to analyze why it happened, even in the sorry it was for the Glory of God. I have listened to “jesus bring the rain” so many times and I just keep doing my best to Glorify God though this sad rainy time! God bless you and your family and thank you so much for being an instrument of the Holy Spirit and typing what you did!

  • annb

    What an awesome post! Your faith is so apparent in your words. I pray for that kind of faith! I, too, believe in satan and know that he is trying to tear me from my God! This post touched me deeply and I thank you for sharing your story. When I learn of people who have such heartbreak in their lives and still remain faithful and loving to our Heavenly Father, I am in awe!
    In His Love and Blessings,
    annb

  • wendy

    Hi, Angie! I cherish this post. I had emailed you some weeks ago (knowing all too well you get too many to answer:) ) asking if you had ever had the chance to meet baby Luke. I have such a peace about this now. I had hoped for a quiet meeting with that little man just as you described. I thank God for it, and for His obvious hand in it. Thank You, Lord for a plan we have no idea how to know, yet You can guide us in the downpour (with confused GPS, even!). Thank you for continuing to share your heart with us. My words cannot possibly describe how grateful I am for you and your words and your family and you testimony…I’ll stop here, borrowing some of your previous words…a fine line between great admiration and a restraining order:).
    Keep casting your burdens. Throw them. Fling them. Hurl them. Our God can handle it. He promises to.
    Wendy

  • Gail Lynn

    My dear Angie: I have not had time to read your latest 3 blogs until early this morning. I agree with you 100% – about Satan and what he can and cannot take; and what God allows and us not understanding “why”.

    I have had some of those incredible experiences as you had the night you were trying to get to where Nicol was singing. I, too, KNOW GOD IS REAL!

    I have known Him in my sorrow; and yes, I completely agree – it changes you. I remember saying those exact words to my sister one day, “We are forever changed”. And I am. I know my life has a depth it never had before my most recent Valley of Grief – losing both parents in 101 days; and losing my Christian husband in-between to my Christian girlfriend… sorrow upon sorrow. But, yes, it changes you.

    I decided long ago in my life to let God use the valleys in my life for His glory and not for my pity. He began to build a bridge that continued with each episode. He knew when I would need that bridge to hold me up as I walked – so I would not sink. What a wonderful Heavenly Father we have.

    I continue to pray for you and your family as well as Sarah’s family and Nichol and Greg and Summer. May you feel God’s blessing today, and His arms holding you very close at this time. He loves you all so much!

    (I especially remember when it had been 4 months from each parent’s death…Mama’s was also in August, like your sweet Audrey.)

  • Brooke B

    Angie,
    Thank you for sharing everything. You are the strongest person I know. I don’t “know” you but feel like I do from reading your blogs. You are an amazing person and I just want to thank you for sharing your life stories and experiences. I don’t go to church as often as I should but reading these I just know that I need the lord in my life. Thank you god bless you and your family. I have told many people about your blog and i will wlaways continue to read.
    :)
    Love, Brooke (utah)

  • Rose’s Books

    I’m new to your blog (this is the first time I have stumbled across it) and you’ve already changed me a little. I”m not really sure how because as a single college student I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child. I can’t imagine the pain of losing a nephew. But somehow you’ve changed me. Thank you for your honesty. And I thank God that you decided to create this blog.

    In Christ
    Rose

  • Hannah

    Angie,

    I thought I would write this later tonight, but God told me to stop right now and do it. He and I both know I’ll get distracted. I am writing from the depths of the valley, and I just want you to know how much this post touched me almost 4 years after you wrote it. I believe and agree with everything you said. A little over 5 weeks ago, I delivered my first child, my baby boy, Jacob stillborn. I was 25 weeks pregnant when we learned he didn’t have a heartbeat. You know this overwhelming place I am in. The words you spoke to Luke are almost identical to the words I said to my sweet Jacob baby when the nurse first placed him in my arms. Reading those same words rocked me.

    You are right. God is real. It isn’t just a big book. In my sorrow and at no other time have I understood God less, but loved Him more. You, your sweet Audrey, your book, and your blog have blessed me more than I can say. Thank you.

    Love & Blessings,
    Hannah