The Audacity of Hope

I realize I do not do these near enough, so I wanted to take a second to let you all know how the Smith’s are doing! First off, if you don’t follow me on instagram (I’m angelac519…i don’t know how to hyperlink that since its on my phone, but I bet you can find me!) you are missing lots of really fun photos like this one of Charlotte.

I know, right?!?!?! She is so delicious. And a total talker. She says things like, “Ina bine beh” (I want brown bear) and “I gonna getchu!” while running around the house in her nudie-tudies. She also sings a multitude of songs (think Adele, not Barney) and insists on wearing shoes All. The. Time. She also says, “Tank U Maaaach” for thank you, and her newest phrase has something to do with greeting a sea bass but we haven’t figured out the details just yet.

In other family related news, we got a call a few weeks ago to see if Todd would like to be a part of an Easter service at Sea World, and we talked it over but really wanted to be together so he talked with the radio station and asked if he could bring his family. We have wanted to go back to Disneyworld since we were pregnant with Audrey but just haven’t been able to. If you have read my blog for any length of time, you will understand why we knew God was giving us a gift with this new trip. The radio station agreed to the adventure and long story short, we are all going back to Disney. And you’ll never, never guess what day we are flying out?

Or maybe you would :)

April 7th. On what would have been Audrey’s fourth Birthday here with us.

I cried. Hard. And as grateful as I am, it is very bittersweet. The last time we went we still had her with us, so I have so many memories tucked away about the way I hoped that she would survive. For me, the trip happened at a time when I didn’t know the way it would turn out, and it breaks my heart to remember the hidden prayers that followed me to bed.

Last night Todd and I were watching the Duggars and Michelle was talking about her pregnancy and how she was so happy and wanting to get past a milestone (because her daughter Josie had been born prematurely before that). I started crying as I watched it because I know what she didn’t at that point. The sweet daughter she was carrying would not survive. I watched as my eyes grew hot and red because she had such hope. And I can’t help but see myself in her face, praying that our earthly desires will come to fruition…praying to the God Who knows what will and what will not.

When I think about Disney, I can’t help but imagine that the Lord was watching us as we hoped, and knowing we would be devastated soon. That’s a difficult thought, and I wonder if you have ever been there. It would be easy to allow the world to tell us that it wasn’t worth the risk. Why bother to hope at all?

May I dare to answer that for your heart {and mine} today?

In my life, hope has led me to pray. It has led me to believe Him. To have the boldness to say that I trust Him above the hurt. It has given me a reason to lift my head, to stake my claim, and to dismiss the shadows that whisper, “it will not be redeemed.” We do not know the ways of the Lord, of course. I’ve heard it said a thousand times and I agree. But there is more to say, isn’t there?

We might not know His ways, but we can know Him. 

My life didn’t get tied up in a neat bow when we had this crooked-ponytailed miracle you see above. And it didn’t answer the questions or silence the hurt.

What it did give me was a reminder of the power of hope. Not just in tomorrow. Not just in this life, actually.

But the hope that demands a response in the way we live our lives.

She is with Him.

She is with Him.

So while my feet reach one in front of the other, for all the years to come, I will remain steadfast in this:

I have hope because I have Him.

Disney will be great. I’m sure we’ll get sick on loads of ice-cream and lack of sleep. But there is no amount of adventure that can compare to the time I have ahead of me. I need that reminder a lot, and maybe you do as well.

This isn’t it, friends. Do you believe that more than the curve ball life is throwing you right now? I hope you do.

And hope?

Is a beautiful thing.

Eyes on Him, friends. Eyes only on Him…

Here’s to the audacity of hope.

Angie

p.s. We have been told that the song “I Will Carry You” has ministered to the Duggars as they have walked through the loss of their sweet Jubilee. I believe it will be featured on their season finale this month. It is an incredible honor to be able to share in their loss this way. Audrey still testifies to the power of hope, doesn’t she?


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  • http://www.passingitontoyou.blogspot.com/ Sarah

    Beautiful Angie – simply beautiful! thank you for that post!  Your line about, “I can’t help but imagine that the Lord was watching us as we hoped, and knowing we would be devastated soon.”  I have, I am feeling that now – or so I believe….i feel a breakthrough coming in my personal journey that may leave me hurting in the midst of healing!  

    Anyway – this was a very touching and encouraging post….and I am thankful for it, and you! 

    • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

      praying for you, sarah…and the breakthrough :)

  • http://twitter.com/KrisinVermont Kristin Murner

    Yes Angie– she still testifies.  She has weight in this world.  Thank you for reminding me to keep my eyes on Him.  We recently found out our 7 y/o son Eli has an incurable eye disease that has robbed him of his center-field vision.  I know that it will keep him from some things, but not from fulfilling God’s purpose in his life.  Thankful that our Savior DOESN’T need to be seen with the eyes to be seen, felt and known.  That He allowed this to pass into our lives for (some sort) of good and to give Him the glory.  The only way I will know this with my heart is to focus on Him and hope.  Thank you for writing this.  I am a long, long time reader (since there was only a blurb on the Selah page.)  We’re going to Disney next month too <3

    • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

      praying for eli right now!

  • http://3dlessons4life.wordpress.com/ Lyli

    Wow!  “To have the boldness to say that I trust Him above the hurt”  — and then ask Him for the strength to really live it out…. thanks for “living it out” openly and allowing us to see you and Todd work through it step by step.  It gives us all hope that we will be able to make it, too. 

    I hope your girls have a sweet time at Disney. 

    Charlotte is adorable!!!

  • http://www.taylor-elaine.blogspot.com Taylor

    Oh man, loved this. You have a way with words like no other and you give me goosebumps every time you write!!! Have so much fun in Disney!

  • Anonymous

    thank you for your words, here.

  • Heather Ingrum

    I have leaned on “I Will Carry You” many times since the loss of my first two pregnancies.  Even as my twin boys turned one yesterday, my other two babies were on my heart.  Thank you for writing a song for OUR babies:)

    http://www.doubletroublebng.blogspot.com 

  • http://twitter.com/felicitywhite Felicity White

    So fun for you all! We’ve shared a similar emotional journey when one of our twin daughters, Ellery Blythe, only lived 9 hours after her premature birth 9 years ago. Her life with Jesus is a reminder to us everyday of the wonderful hope of Eternity. Her sister Claire is our fighter and our other reminder that this life isn’t about perfection but about relationship. Thanks for sharing your life here.

  • Marije

     ”To have the boldness to say that I trust Him above the hurt. It has given
    me a reason to lift my head, to stake my claim, and to dismiss the
    shadows that whisper, “it will not be redeemed.”

    Perfect. Perfect…
    This is what I needed to read and has given me the courage to go on in my CRAZY circumstances.
    Thank you for using your hurt and pain in such a beautiful way, Angie.

  • Anonymous

    HOPE … my word for this year. Trying so hard to constantly be in a state of HOPE. To always remember that I have HIM and HE is enough.  Just wish it wasn’t such a hard thing for me to grasp sometimes.

  • Cynthia Penn

    Thank you for sharing this.  It’s amazing how God can use your words to speak to so many in so many different ways.  I’m struggling right now in my own walk to stay focused on the FACT that in spite of what I see or understand or even “feel”, there is a loving God with me always who is working everything out just right.

  • http://www.athankfullheart.blogspot.com/ Miranda @ A ThankFULL Heart

    Wow. Wow. Just yesterday I saw your book in my bookshelf again and skimmed through the pages. I read that book so fast the first time I read it. What a powerful, yet tough journey you guys have been on. God bless you for what you’ve shared with the world.

    P.S. Just ordered your second book from amazon. Woot, woot :) .

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502637856 Tiffany Wise Fortney

    Thank you for sharing your heart.  I hope your wonderful family as a great time at Disney!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502637856 Tiffany Wise Fortney

    Thank you for sharing your heart.  I hope your wonderful family as a great time at Disney!

  • JULIE PRICE

    Angie, I truly believe Audrey has touched people in ways no one will ever know. Your sweet tiny baby girl fulfilled what God chose for her and ministered to people all over the globe! Most of us will never come close to being the TESTIMONY OF GOD like PRECIOUS Audrey . . . you and your family. God Bless You!

  • http://profiles.google.com/csigler7 Michelle Sigler

    that photo of Charlotte is PURE JOY!  I have downloaded the instagram ap on my phone but haven’t explored using it yet, you may have just inspired me to do so, because just look at the cuteness that I am missing out on. I’m afraid I’ll be addicted though, sharing my own piece of pure joy cuteness on there.  So thank you for the inspiration for THAT….

    but also thank you so much for sharing your heart. The audacity of hope is so so so very beautiful. Audrey has touched my heart and soul through you and I can’t wait to meet both (actually all) of you someday. That’s really awesome to think about meeting that beautiful little girl of yours who has given so much hope to so many people. I have three little ones with Jesus that I look forward to meeting again as well.

    Audrey has always, and will always, testify to the power of hope. And Love.

  • http://profiles.google.com/csigler7 Michelle Sigler

    ps – please enjoy a Dole whip float for me at Magic Kingdom. They’re my fave, and a slight obsession of mine as I dream about them even. ;-)

  • Anonymous

    Audrey will ALWAYS testify to the power of hope, Angie. Without hope, some of us would have no reason to live. No reason to get up every morning. No reason to survive. Without hope, there’s simply nothing to look forward to. Hope is everything. 

  • http://simplysimonsisters.blogspot.com/ desiree

    Audrey’s story always brings hope….and your little daughter is beautiful.  And I am excited to follow you on instagram….that fun little app!

  • Brooke

    Angie – What a beautiful post and words I truly needed to hear. I do wish, however, that I hadn’t read it while at work as I now am a blubbering mess. :)

  • Traci

    oh yes she does!  Oh if not for HOPE!  Love, Traci http://www.ordinaryinspirations.blogspot.com

  • http://memyselfandmercy.blogspot.com/ Mary Bonner

    Angie, not only has Audrey touched many lives, so have you.  I can relate in some ways.  I have a daughter in heaven with Audrey that was 4 days old when she went to be with Him.  If anyone would have told me that one day I would be able to smile through the tears, I would not have believed them…but eventually I got there.  I found your blog on my Amy’s birthday one year.  It was an incredibly blessing to me to read Audrey’s story.  Thank you for being brave enough to share your life with the rest of us.

  • Boydenjanet

    Yes my Dear sweet Blog Friend, Your sweet Audrey still speaks in amazing ways on hope. Janet

  • Stacy Royal

    Thank you for you post. Just what I needed today! Life seems to be throwing me a curve ball but your post reminds me that He is all I need!

  • http://gitterfamily.wordpress.com/ Patty

    What a beautiful post about hope and triumph. 

  • davepshaffer

    I haven’t commented for a long time Angie but I’ve been here reading and praying for your whole family. And hoping to run into you in Franklin sometime so I can hug your neck. :)

    We have traveled a long road over the past year with my husband having 2 back surgeries, having a new baby and myself having my gallbladder removed. I was just thinking today, as we celebrate my husband’s last physical therapy appointment, how we need to remember this time as the Israelites did with the 12 stones from the Jordan river. A symbol of the hope we have in Him and His faithfulness to always make a way for us, even if it is not our way. Praying you have a wonderful, joyful trip. Hugs. -Amy

  • Deb Martell

    Beautifully said.  After the unexpected loss of 2 of my daughters high school classmates this month, your words ring true and help with the hurt.  We must keep our eyes fixed on the Only One who carries the hope.

  • http://www.theroadhomewv.blogspot.com Rebecca @ The Road Home

    It’s so nice to hear how you are all doing :) .

    And this is such a beautiful reflection on the Hope we are called to have. So often our hope does rest in Earthly desires, but it is the promise of a deeper Hope that we must fix our eyes on. Thank-you for sharing this reflection and your heart.

    You will be in my prayers as you all head back to Disney.

  • Liz

    I’ll be thinking of you as you guys take your trip.  Such a wonderful opportunity for some fun and for memories and, maybe, some more healing.

  • Connie L Amato-Mahle

    My oh my.  Miss Charlotte is a cutie-pah-tootie!  Love her gorgeous smile!
     
    I really enjoy these posts, Angie.   Very humbling.
     
    I’ll be thinking of you as you make your bittersweet journey back to Disney on the 7th of April.
     
    Here’s to hope, my friend!

  • Leanne Gilchrist

    Angie~

    I SO needed to hear your words today, in this bleak season of my life. I think this is my first time leaving a comment for you. I am a Mama who has 8 children, but I have had 12 pregnancies.  We had our first stillborn baby on May 13, 2004. Her name is Janie Rose. We were devastated, and I know you know that feeling! I won’t go into a looong story here…..after Janie we endured three miscarriages.  With my last pregnancy, at almost 5 months pregnant, we found out that identical twin girls would grace our lives!! We had been praying for twins for 6 years, just because we thought it would be a huge blessing…….two identical girls to be born in February 2011!!! We named them Pennie Jane and Olivia Caroline.  Well…..at 5.5 months, Olivia died.  I carried both of them to term, since Pennie was Baby A.  Let me make a long story short and just tell you that Selah’s songs express my deepest thoughts and feelings to perfection.  I finally, finally read your book about Audrey just a few months ago.  I had been avoiding reading it because I knew that that old scar from Janie’s death would bust wide open reading about your journey that is so familiar to me…….

    Thank you so much, Angie, for never holding back and being so honest here.  I dearly needed to hear these words.  Hope is something that seems to allude me these days.  I’m trying so hard to hold on to what I know the Lord says to me.  Thanks for letting me leave such a long comment! We’d love to see Selah here in Washington State…..I wish I had more of their albums and Amy is just about one of my favorite singers EVER! God bless you as you continue on your journey, and thank you for allowing the Lord to bless me through you.

  • http://candelierious.blogspot.com Lis

    What an amazingly beautiful post.  So happy you will go to Disney again; especially as someone who “traveled” with you to that first Disney trip even if just through a computer screen.  What a great reminder–the power of hope, no matter the outcome, if a great gift and one that should be used mightily. 

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  • Anna

    The audacity of hope. So beautiful. We’ve clung to our hope in God’s goodness through years of infertility, a journey to adopt internationally, and now the completely unexpected news that this precious child we’ve waited for has Cerebral Palsy. I do not regret the hopes I’ve had or the prayers I prayed that were answered no. I was right all along. God’s goodness is never failing even when in my human-ness I am hoping for things that will never be. Thanks for sharing!

  • Samantha

    I Will Carry You has really spoken to me the past few months. After losing a 2 year old 4 years ago and then a stillbirth at 39 weeks just 5 short months ago. We played that song at her funeral!! Thank you for all of your words of encouragement!!

  • heather

    your story, your daughter’s story, has spoken to me so deeply. i lost my triplets in august of 2011. August 28th to be exact. it was sudden, and devastating. we were only 22 weeks pregnant, and i couldn’t hang on because i had an infection that was close to going septic. so we delivered. my first son was born still. my daugther and second son were born alive, and lived for just over an hour. audrey’s song speaks to me, and still brings tears to my eyes, hopes i had and hopes i do have. hope is a wonderful, terrible thing. i emailed you, but got the auto response. and i do understand that. so i thought i would let you hear it here. and i’m thankful you wrote this post today. so thank you. 

    heather 
    hmsd.blogspot.com

    • Robin in New Jersey

       Heather,
      I am so sorry about your precious children. 
      Keep the faith, dear one.  The Lord knows your pain.  Praying He will comfort you and give you peace.

  • amanda_beck

    Angie, you make me want to know our Jesus better. Thank you for that gift.

    • http://www.audreycaroline.blogspot.com angelac519

      There could be no higher compliment…thank you .

  • http://www.thenashvillegrants.blogspot.com/ The Hairbow Chronicles

    Disney really is magical–I can’t wait to go back! hope it’s an amazing trip. On Twitter you mentioned a Tutorial school your girls go to? We are moving to Brentwood in May and I’m (scared to death) considering homeschooling. Dont know anyone in the area really…do you have any direction you would point me? Thanks :)

  • Brittnirowland

    Thank you for this sweet reminder, praying for you and the next few weeks to come, blessings to you and your lovely family

  • asjmkjones

    Love you Angie. The cherry trees are starting to bloom here in Oregon and every time I see those “Audrey Blossoms”, I think of your sweet Audrey and your family. Thank you for sharing her with us. You are right that she still testifies. For the rest of my life I will never see a cherry blossom without thinking about Audrey. 

  • http://profiles.google.com/jprice11 Jennifer Price

    You have really got to post more pics of your family…when did Charlotte get so big??!! You, Audrey, and your entire family have been a blessing to me and will continue to be a blessing for so many.

    While I’m here, would you pray for me and my family? Both my husband and I may be going thru changes with our jobs and we just want to know God’s will and follow it. We don’t want to mess up and make a decision that WE think is best, ya know? Thank you.

    Enjoy your time in Disney!

  • Jeacarter

    Thank you, Angie. I’m currently on bed rest after going into pre-term labor at 25w5d with my husband’s and my first baby-a girl. This has been such a challenge for me: to try not to worry and instead rely on God at this time, to learn to accept the help of others, and then just remembering that His plan isn’t always our plan. It’s been a challenging 2.5 weeks so far, but I’m SO thankful and in awe of this little life inside of me.
    Thank you for this post!

  • Robyn

    Brought to tears by this – thank you for the reminder.  I hope that beautiful memories are made in Disney – seeing the awe and wonder on the faces of your daughters HAS to be a little like the awe and wonder we should live with every day!

  • Amy Tennant

    Oh, how I needed to hear these words this morning. We lost our three day old son in 2010 and here I am two days away from having our next son. Fear has definitely been the #1 emotion. I just got done reading What Women Fear and it has taken me on a journey I’ve desperately needed. Thank you for listening and being faithful to God. And for sharing this truth with us. What a blessing it truly is.

  • Laura

    Angie, first of all, Charlotte is so adorable. I can’t believe how big she is! She looks so much like the twins :-)
    Second, this post had me in tears for many reasons, but most of all because I can’t believe you will be in Disney when we will! We are going for the very specific reason that it’ll be the first year anniversary of our daughter’s earthly and heavenly birthday on April 7. We wanted to be home to plant a tree for her (also a cherry blossom because I love the history and spiritual correlations behind it and because they are SO gorgeous – every pink flowering tree has always reminded me of my sweet baby), but then we knew we just had to go and do something. Disney seemed perfect because we love going there and this will be the first time for our 2-year-old boy to get to go too! What better way to family vacation?

    So we were leaving April 8 (driving and staying overnight in the city our plane leaves on the 7th), but now I’m so disappointed we didn’t decide to leave on her birthday so we could be there for that service at seaworld :-(

    All that being said I REALLY hope we cross paths at Disney at some point, although I’d probably be too nervous and “star struck” to say hi :-)

  • Anonymous

    Oh Angie, I needed that so much today…you have no idea, well actually, you do. We lost our sweet, Elias five weeks ago. He had fluid throughout his body, and doctors were convinced of syndrome after syndrome. This morning I learned…there was nothing wrong. No answers. Just a perfectly, normal baby boy, with a perfectly normal heart, with perfectly normal chromosomes, who is with our Jesus now. He is with Jesus now… I have pored over your words in your book for Audrey, and read and reread your blogs during that time…and I want to say thank you. I was taken by your story long before Ihad a personal reason to be, and now…I know….God was preparing me for my own journey of loss.  I really can’t say thank you enough.

  • EG

    I have been listening to “I will carry you” since coming across it about a week ago, on Michelle Duggars blog, as she talked about loosing Jubilee. After loosing nine babies, and having no living children, ive been searching for a song that is perfect for reminding me of our sweet babies, and this one is just that. My husband and I have been in those shoes, nine times, becoming pregnant, and praying each time that, that baby would be the one we would get to hold in our arms, even knowing how many losses we have had, we know God can do all things, and we believe and trust in him and miracles. Each time I would start spotting and we would Pray that we would have a good outcome, despite what the spotting meant all the times before. We long deeply to hold a miracle in our arms. We Pray for guidance, because after nine losses we really have no clue where to go from here. Do we continue trying? Should we start the adoption process? Are we not meant to have a child? There are so many questions, so many unknowns, but God knows all these things and so we continue to be patient and trust in him. It is hard, it is scary. We want to continue trying, but the thought of another loss is too much, then I think, but what if the next one will be ok. We are at a crossroads with not knowing which road to take, and we have been at this crossroads for some time now, since our last loss, but I dont feel like I can move forward without knowing which road to take. I appreciate your blog, thank you!

  • Guest

    Thank you, so much for this, Angie. I so needed to hear this.

  • Kimberly Oldfather

    I have appreciated reading your blogs and your book. I lost a daughter our 4th to Hydrocephulus and Spinia Bifida about 4 months ago. She was born on the 3rd of November and God graced us to have her for 2 glorious weeks till the 17th. When I read your book it brought emotions out in me that i did not know that I had.
    I have read your beloved Audreys’ story and I can relate on so much. We found out she would have complications when i was preganant with her. The doctors told us on June 29th of last yr.. I feel like I have a huge hole that Satan just pounds on constantly b/c he knows that is where he can get me the most. I feel like I constantly am on guard and quite frankly it gets exhausting.
    She was born at Riley in Indianapolis. We have a been asked to attend a memorial service of all the babies that have died. I would like for you to pray for my husband and myself. B/c we have not been back to Indy or Riley since we picked up her memory box.
    Angie, I know you don’t know me but you have been such an inspiration to me. I hope we as mothers can hold each other up.

    I found this quote and thought i would share with you…

    When a mother has a baby her instints are to nuture and protect. When a mother has a child die her instincts are to perserve the memories. – author unknown

    I will be praying for you when you return to Disney as well as the day by day life!! God bless you
    Kimberly Oldfather

    Oh also my husband is buying tickets to see Todd at Fort Wayne at a concert in September b/c my birthday is the 6th and they appear on the 8th!!!

    He has been truely blessed with an awesome voice… Thanks again for sharing struggles, life and just everything.

  • Melody Johnson

    Angie,

    I needed to read your post about the power of hope yesterday…and today I reread it.  Thank you for sharing these thoughts.  I greatly miss my little daughter Solveig, who was still born due to the umbilical cord being wrapped around her and knotted on February 29th, almost two weeks ago.  At 33.5 weeks gestation, we were so excited to welcome our daughter into the world. And when we received the devastating news of her loss, we weren’t sure what to do.  I’m so glad that I’ve been following your blog and have read your books…and especially now.  For I can relate very much to what you have gone through as I’m on a similar journey today.  

    Hope in Heaven – that is literally what is getting me through some of these difficult moments.  Thanks for the reminder.  And what a blessing to see your adorable crooked ponytailed Charlotte.  What a wonderful miracle.

    Thanks Angie for sharing your heart and His truth.
    Love,
    Melody (your MN friend)

  • Melody Johnson

    Also wanted to say that some of our friends sang “I Will Carry You” at our Solveig’s funeral and it was incredibly moving…I listen to it all the time…thanks.

  • Megan

    That was so beautiful Angie.  You’re words are so thoughtful – thank you.

  • Laura

    Your daughter’s story and your steadfast faith in God do continue to touch so many lives, Angie.  Would you please pray for my friends, Bethany and Eric?  They received a terminal diagnosis yesterday on their precious unborn baby.  As someone who has walked in those shoes, you truly know how to lift them to our Father.  I will share your book and Audrey’s song with them.  I can’t imagine the many long months ahead.  How do I minister to their broken hearts?

  • http://www.itcouldabeenworse.blogspot.com Bella

    Audrey testifies to me still, everyday. I think of her little face. I think of your courage. And I think of her and my Joshua, living in the sweetness and light, being held by Him, until we can hold them again.

  • Casey

    I love the new look of the blog! 
    I will pray that  Disney will hold sweet blessings for you and you get to make some new memories. 
    I am dealing with many of the same issues with putting one foot in front of the other.
     Love to you all!

  • Coby

    Charlotte IS delicious, as in, I might gobble her up!  I love the crooked pigtails!

    How wonderful that you get to go to Disneyworld on Audrey’s birthday!  Praying that it’s a sweet time with your family, and the Lord uses it to bless you and minister to you in ways unexpected!

  • Adinda

    Angie, I have come back to your blog to read this post numerous times over the course of the last week. My word I was wanting to clinge onto this year is “Hope.”  I know I have said before but last October I was only 7 weeks along when I found out that I wouldn’t be welcoming our first child into the world this coming May 13.  I have gone through several different phases of grief over the course of the last 6 months.  Some days are better then others.  My husband along with my faith has been what has gotten me through but I won’t lie, it’s been a huge struggle.  Right now I am in a pretty deep valley of a new phase of grief that I didn’t think would happen or was possible.  I am now only 8 weeks away from when I was supposed to meeting my son or daughter but instead I am still mourning a child I won’t get to meet this side of Heaven. I can’t stop my mind from wondering about what would be if I was still getting to feel the little kicks of a new life forming inside of me.  I wonder how the nursery would be painted, what names we would have picked out, and how our child would look like.  Would they have my husband’s nose and my lips?  I try to push the thoughts aside but it’s as if I can’t.  All I can do is to hold onto hope that it will be redeemed.  Thank you for your words.  You are blessing people even if we are sometimes silent.

  • http://twitter.com/queenoftheclick Queen of the Click

    Angie – you have no idea how much I needed your message today and I think God for bringing me to your blog tonight. Please pray for me. 

    Marlene

  • hallesmom

    Crying big hot tears.  I needed this as well.  March 3 was to be the due date of my fourth baby.  The only one I carried for longer than 8 weeks.  Our son Elliott, went to be with Jesus at 19 weeks gestation.  I too, watch the Duggars and started crying as Michelle said that.  These past weeks have been super rough.  I’m clinging to Him.  Thank you for ministering to me.  Sweet Audrey will NEVER be forgotten.

    Blessings to you, 
    April

  • Denise

    Tears sprung to my eyes as I read this. Thank you for sharing your heart. My curve ball? I miscarried in December just a few weeks before finding out I have breast cancer. I remember hoping and praying that everything would be fine in both situations. And, then needing to accept that my path has taken a turn I didn’t expect, but must embrace. And, so I continue to trust in Jesus, and I continue to hope, against all the odds.

  • http://ajoyfulchaos.blogspot.com/ Mary Ann {A Joyful Chaos}

    Wiping tears as you have reminded me once again how God’s grace is sufficient.

    Blessings~

  • Cathie Quillet

    I’m not sure how you always seem to seek right to my season…but you do! So thankful for how God uses you! Also, love your new blog header!

  • http://www.differentparent.com/ Wick Anderson

    So very thankful for the solid Hope we have in Jesus Christ.  May we continue to share it with a world that is thirsty for more than optimism. :)   Good reminders here.

  • Robin in New Jersey

    Hi Angie. 

    So good to see an update.  Charlotte is adorable!

    Have a blast on your trip in April.

  • http://aimymichelle.blogspot.com/ aimymichelle

    gosh charlotte is cute.

  • Rebecca Malich

    Angie,

         I just finished reading “I will carry you” and it spoke to me in so many ways.  There is no doubt that God has used Audrey, you and your family to reach out to those who desperately need to grasp onto something in their time of loss and grief.  I read of your family just weeks ago after hearing Michelle Duggar say that your husband’s song helped her through her grieving process.  I googled it and wept like I never had before.  It captured what I too have felt for my own loss.  The words in the song and the words in your book spoke mountains to me.  I was not fortunate enough to get harldy anytime with my child.  They were gone before I even knew they were there but I loved them just as if I had got to spend a lifetime with them. 

         I do have one daughter, Amelia who lights up the room with her infectious smile.  She has everyone’s attention and has her own way about her that I wish I could capture in a bottle.  My Amelia was born on April 7, 2008.  When I read your story at first I noticed in one story or another that Audrey was born in 2008.  It wasn’t until later, in another story that I read her actual birthday.  I was in awe.  I didn’t think of it right at that second, but I have come to realize that just about the time your Audrey was going back to Jesus, my Amelia was entering this world.  At that moment of meeting her, it would have never crossed my mind, that someone where else in the country, someone else was having to say good bye to their daughter.  If ever in that moment, death had crossed my mind, it would have most likely been an assumption of a man or woman who lived a full life of about 90 years, who passed away from a stroke or just simply old age.  Never did it enter my mind that my joyful experience wasn’t the only emotion being expressed that day. 

         I can’t think of another word than beautiful to describe everything about your daughter and how you as a mother and wife dealt with it each day.  It is wonderful to know that you are truthful about each time your struggled and questioned and cried.  Too many times we are expected to deal with it behind closed doors.  But when it comes time to face the world, our happy faces must be showing.  You are absolutely right when you say that people grieve differently and come through in their own time.  I have shared every single emotion that you have.  I felt as though you were writing my story. 

    Thank you to you and your husband and to Audrey.  May God continue to bless His work for your life.  He has prepared you in ways that are only known to Him.  May He continue to give you the words and opportunites to share Audrey’s story, in ways that will glorify and praise Him!!

    God Bless you and your family,
    Rebecca

    by the way, a big congratulations on your daughter Charlotte.  I was curious about the family picture to the right.  Have you had another child since Charlotte?  You have such a beautiful family!!

  • Guestemail

    Angie, I have been meaning to email you for two years and share with you how Audrey changed my life. I had been struggling with infertility for two years. I had been atheist for around fifteen years.

    One day, I was catching up on an acquaintance’s blog who had lost a child and someone had referenced your blog in a comment. Lot even a link, just a comment. For some reason, I googled your blog name and started to read. I read for days and days, following your story. The day I got to the hardest part was actually ON April 7th, 2010. Something inside of me just opened up a little as I read of Audrey’s few precious moments on this earth and I allowed God into my heart again.

    And I would need Him. Shortly afterward, I was pregnant and it was glorious. I began to read scripture and prayed everyday. I lost my baby at 12 weeks and it was the hardest thing I had ever been through. Some of my family made it harder and I leaned heavily on my new faith.

    After nearly two more years of trying, we are thankfully pregnant again and I thank God every day for this gift. I know finding your blog that day was no accident. I know you’d probably give up every story like mine to have your child back and that’s completely understandable. I just wanted to share with you today, on this post, how much she did for me.

    ~A reader

    • Robin in New Jersey

       Amazing!  God’s ways are not ours ways, and his ways are amazing!  Congratulations on your pregnancy.  I pray that all goes well for you this time.

  • bekaloo

    Can we go to Disney with y’all? I sure could use some of the happiest place on earth right now =)
    Not to mention I think it’s time that Haden & Charolette met ;)

  • Lisa

    I saw the Duggars  finale preview and heard “I Will Carry You” playing in the background.  Audrey’s legacy lives on.  Thank you for being so transparent in your life so that others can also grow and heal. 

  • Harvesting Joy

    Great post.  I know exactly what you mean, too.  We lost our 3 yr old son over a year ago and just had baby 3.  She doesn’t make his loss okay, but she sure does give us a lot of happiness and love and more to look forward to here and in heaven.  

  • jenn :)

    Angie,  I lost my sweet angel, Bridget Elizabeth, on March 2, 2010, born still at 29 weeks.  A friend sent me a link to your blog, and I devoured it, I read and cried and read some more.  I somehow figured out how to email you back then and you were so kind to reply back despite the overwhelming amounts of email I am sure you receive.  I just wanted to thank you, once again for your blog and sharing your story with all of us.  Despite being two years ago, sometimes the pain of the loss doesn’t recede like everyone thinks it should, it still is very much at the surface.  I thank you for this post and the words “She is with Him.”  These four little words have reminded me that there is much to be hopeful for, not just in this life, but in the next.  Thank you.

    p.s.  I was pregnant with Bridget during my family’s Fall 2009 trip, I just didn’t know it.  We have a family photo from WDW, and I treasure it because that is our “complete” family photo.  We are all there :)  Enjoy your trip!  Disney does make it all better.  Well, sort of.  It ain’t called the Happiest Place on Earth for nothin’ ;-p

  • Jen P.

    Just heard the song on the 19 Kids & Counting episode…such a special song & a special episode. 

    Jen P.

  • theottmars

    I’ve not lost a child, in fact the children I have raised are my step children, but I can tell you this… I have suffered in other ways and questioned… and your story has ministered to me on more than one occasion, I’ve been surprised by hope and allowed myself to Hope again…. and God has met me and has reminded me. He is there. He was there. He is here.

  • Johanne

    My heart goes out to you. This is a special time for you and your family but at the same time, it will bring back so many emotions. I think it is one way to show that your precious little girl is still with you. The Lord shines in mysterious ways :) Looking forward to hearing all about your trip. God Bless you and your amazing Family.
    Love & Hugs,
    Johanne
    Canada

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  • Cat Moore

    I just love this post.  It made my stomach turn when I read about Disney because I’ve been reading since the start and I had this feeling that’s where you were headed with your words.  I will be thinking of you and your family this Easter and praying you have a good trip.  It gives me chills to think about being there (if it were my daughter/story) because it seems just the right time.  On her birthday.  What a way to spend celebrating HER, her life and how she’s touched so many.  Blessing to you, Ang, and love you bunches!!!!!  PS, that Charlotte….um…..I could eat.her.up.  :)   xoxo, cat

  • http://tatuuayiera.blogspot.com/ Tatuu

    Hey Angie,

    I followed your blog from (in) courage. I am a new subscriber from Kenya. I read this post and went ahead to read about Audrey…I have read an excerpt of your book from Amazon and I just can’t stop crying. What amazes me is how strong you were. God really bless you girl. He is faithful…looking how far He has brought you.

    Tatuu

  • Bogi

    Dear Angie,
    I am writing from Hungary, from Europe. I lost my baby boy in February this year. He was born preterm, and lived for 4 months and 4 days. We miss him so much! He was our fourth child. I am struggling to cope with the rude comments of strangers on our pain, as his life doesn’t matter, our pain is not too huge as we have three living children. “At least you have three to be happy for”. “He would be ill, it is better this way”.
    Thank you for your blog, where I can feel that I have the right to mourn, although I have three living children. I listened your song several times and cried a lot for your precious Audrey and my precious baby Vilmos (William).

    Bogi

  • guest

    This is a post I come back to as a reminder… eight years ago, we lost a baby to miscarriage and struggled for a bit with infertility until we gave up.  In January, we found out we were having the surprise I had always hoped for… only to miscarry a few weeks later.  Right now my life is a decision to believe in God’s goodness, one arduous step at a time.  As you know, it is not always an easy decision.  Some days it is pleasant; others, it is not.  But when I read this post, I know that my experience is not unique.  Thank you for comforting me with the comfort God has given to you.

  • Carrie

    Oh my dearest sweet sister in the Lord…you do not know what a great blessing this post is…I am walking another hard road…completely different from yours and yet still the same…I have a boy who is doing stupid on a stick and rejecting the God who made him and LOVES him because he is a wounded spirit…we have had a rough 5 years or so, but a REALLY TOUGH year…and I keep crying out to God for that miracle, and yet we keep walking the hard road.  When all of this started coming down a dear and precious friend pointed me to the song Unredeemed and that has been a great blessing…an anchor in the hard times and I was listening to that this morning…and one thing led to another…and I ended up here…and I find that as I walk each painful step…that I am watching expectantly for God to do His perfect work in my boy, in me, in my family and as hard as it is, where else would I rather be.  He has not forgotten me…I am inscribed on the palms of His hands…my walls are CONTINUALLY before Him…and He is nothing but good….He IS in control…He has a purpose for everything and it is for my good and His glory…and while I don’t like it…I know it is working in me things I need…and He has been ever so gracious and sweet!

    I will pray for you…as this trip comes up…that God would have something so precious JUST FOR YOU…Love, C~

  • Wbpace

    I have read your blog many times over the past few years but have never commented.  I know your pain as I lost my daughter Sarah on Valentine’s day to the very same condition as your daughter.  She lived for just over two hours.  My biggest fear when we were carrying her was that I would forget.  Oh, how I realized that would never be the case.  She taught me so much in such a short period of time.  I know for certain that God gave me Sarah.  He hand picked my family to love her and to fight for her.  We planted a tree for her and spread her ashes the Easter after her birth so I know how you are feeling.  We were not able to have another biological child and after a 2nd trimester miscarriage, my husband and I decided we would be content with the child that we already had.  God had other ideas.  Just a few weeks later, we were asked to adopt new born.  We had just a few week to prepare for her birth.  She has been such a blessing and another confirmation that God works all things for my good.  I will certainly keep you and your family in my prayers in the days ahead.

  • Julies72

    Audrey and Hope….they go hand in hand.
    —-
    Angie, do you have a favorite Bible verse you’d be willing to share?
    If you could give women today one piece of advice what would it be?
    Thanks. Little Miss Eg

  • http://mormonwoman.org/ Michelle

    Wow.  I love this: “We might not know His ways, but we can know Him.”

    Hope seems to be the topic of today for me, although you wrote this a month or so ago, I only found it today. Thought you might enjoy this woman’s essay on hope as well.

    You’ve blessed my day today. Thank you.

  • Adinda

    Commenting again to say that although we don’t know each other irl, I woke up this morning thinking about you sweet friend.  May the Lord be with you today as you remember your sweet Audrey and as you travel to Disney.  I am sure this is a special time for your family and I pray that each of you have a beautifully blessed time.  Love to you and your family from Indiana, Adinda

  • Nicki D

    Love it! Thank you so much for sharing your heart…spoke right to mine today. I love you and your family and your story and your love for our Savior. Today you are on your way to Disney and I hope that it is a time filled with joy and memories of your sweet Audrey. Thank you and God Bless!

    Nicki

  • guest

    Wow! I read you story several years ago and watched the Duggar special. I was really touched by “I Will Carry You” and just happened across your blog again today. Thanks for taking the time to share you song :)

  • Mariah McGinnis

    Angie– when I first lost my son, Noah, your book helped me to seek God out! I have a couple of your quotes highlighted and read them when I am really struggling!! Like knowing that God is right beside me weeping! How powerful and exactly what I need!! Thank you so much for your words! My little boy lived for 49 beautiful minutes!! Check out my blog (if you want) at http://www.49minutesofrest.blogspot.com! Thank you!

  • JULIE PRICE

    Beautiful Angie!

  • Debbie

    So blessed by this message x

  • April Gunderson

    Angie, I love reading your blog. Your words and your spirit are so uplifting Thank you for sharing that with the world. It seems I am always pulled to read your blog at a time in my life when the words on it will really affect me and my life at that moment. Funny how that words isn’t it ;)

    In this post you said that Audrey is still touching peoples lives, I am sure you know this but she is many people, many days of the week. My sister and her husband were told they would never be able to have another child. They had given up hope. After I had read your book I gave it to my sister to read. At first she hesitated, because of the obvious heart ache she was suffering but she read it, and you want to know the miracle!? Her mind was at ease, she stopped stressing and she let God happen. My nephew was born 2 days again. How amazing is that? SO AMAZING. God is great!

    I have been bless with the opportunity to see Selah in concert twice, and was able to meet your husband, Amy, and Allan. You can feel the Lord radiating off of them, and it is so amazing to be around such great people/Christians. During the show both times Audrey’s story was told and each time a beautiful smile came across your husbands face when he spoke of Audrey and how she blessed your lives, and where she is now and it is just such an inspiring story and to hear it told by the ones affected by it was very powerful. The words in which you wrote for the song and powerful, and then to put Amy’s heartfelt belting voice behind it just makes the song that much more uplifting.

    In this post you said that Audrey is still touching people’s lives, and I know you know this is true, but I want you to really know that it is. Once my sister read the book, she had friends who had been struggling just like she had and my book has been passed around to those couples and it continues to be. She/your family really brings light to those who may be in the dark for a while.

    May God be with you and your family! Thank you for your words.