As she shares her journey with you here today, don’t focus on the grief and pain, focus on the eternal hope!
March 13 at 5:07 AM
Please, please pray for my Riley. She is being flown to Children’s Healthcare right now!
March 13 at 7:10 AM
Riley was diagnosed with the flu yesterday. She has developed pneumonia and is septic. She is very critical. This all happened over the past 24 hours. Please, please pray for baby she is so sick and we are so scared.
March 13 at 3:32 PM
We are hanging in. The next few days are critical. Riley is in multiple organ failure. She is on dialysis and has had multiple blood transfusion. Liver failure is most concerning now. She is having a heart catheterization tomorrow to place a stent between the right and left atrium for better profusion. She has myocarditis. The flu virus attacked the myocardium. We have been prepared for the worst but fighting for a recovery. Primary MD is cautiously optimistic this afternoon. We have a very long road ahead of us but are taking it one hour at a time. Truly a parent’s worst nightmare.
March 14 at 3:49 AM
We were able to rest a few hours and shower this morning. Riley has had a relatively decent night. Some of her critical labs are stabilizing. All her ultrasounds for peripheral blood flow, liver, and kidneys were normal—meaning those organs are getting good blood flow! Her heart is doing more of its own work. The entire medical team will gather in a few hours and we will find out what today’s goals are. We are still critical, but we know God is hearing our cries for a miracle!
March 14 at 8:42 AM
Our news from the medical team is very grim. Despite the improved labs her heart is very, very weak. She started having seizures today. Everything that can possible be done for her is being done. We need a miracle. Please pray for us. We are just so heartbroken.
March 14 at 12:00 PM
A new set of doctors have been in (infectious disease doctors). The cause of her sepsis has been determined as Group A strep. The flu is not the primary problem, the strep is. However, the combination of flu and strep may have compounded and this is why she became septic so fast. Her antibiotics have been adjusted to fight the strep.
She doesn’t need the heart catheterization procedure today. The ECHO did not show myocarditis. So, we are now being told to give this a few days and let ECMO, dialysis, antibiotics, and plasmapheresis work for her body. Her numbers are stabilizing with machine supports. This will allow her to rest and heal. We are praying that this will strengthen her heart and make it possible to wean her off some of the machines next week. We are clinging to that hope.
March 14 at 3:06 PM
Awaiting a CT of Riley’s head. They have to make sure she has no bleeding on her brain. Please, please, please pray for no bleeding. Thank you. It will be several hours until we know the results.
March 14 at 6:10 PM
THERE IS NO BRAIN BLEED!!! Thank you, Jesus! We can stay on ECMO and continue to heal!
March 15 at 12:16 PM
The hardest update a mom can make—Riley has had a dramatic decline in her condition. We have made the incredibly difficult decision to prepare her to meet Jesus. We are heartbroken. Please pray for us.
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
March 15 at 2:16 PM
Sweet Riley is safe in the arms of Jesus!
March 15 at 11:22 PM
I want to express thank you to everyone who prayed for my Riley this week! We stand amazed at the mass number of people who called out to Jesus on her behalf. Jesus heard all of our prayers and healed her. I am shattered, devastated, numb, and heartbroken to say the least. But I am not without HOPE because the same God who is now loving on my Riley is my Savior! He, in His sovereign grace, chose me to be His child and He promises to never leave me. So, in my weakest and darkest hour, I will trust Him.
I am not going to lie and tell you that I haven’t questioned why, been angry at the loss of my baby, or even tempted to be faithless. I have done each of those things. I have been so blessed and have not experienced this depth of sorrow, ever before. A piece of me died today and I am hollow. I don’t know what to do next or how we will ever return to normal. However, I will keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and put one foot in front of the other. He will give me what I need for the next moment. Your posts, texts, messages, gifts, meals, snacks, and outpouring of genuine acts of love mean so much to me. They have brought me much comfort during this terrible time in my life. Please continue to pray for us as we try to process this horrible loss. We have some very hard days ahead of us. Hug your kids because life is just so very, very fragile!
March 16 at 10:49 PM
In my darkest hours, I am determined to praise God in this storm! Today was so very, very hard. The agony of planning each of the details of sweet Riley’s service was terribly painful. Yet, they were lined with sweet reminders that Jesus is carrying us through. I have HOPE because Jesus will hold me fast. I don’t know how I will face tomorrow and Monday please continue to pray for us!
“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4
March 18 at 12:44 PM
It is a beautiful day! We had a beautiful service for Riley and Jesus was glorified! Jesus is our anchor in this storm!
March 19 at 3:37 AM
How do I describe yesterday? It was a beautiful day! From sun up to sun down (a magnificent sunset last night). Riley’s service was perfect. It was a wonderful reflection of who she was and where our HOPE is found! We were surrounded by hundreds of people. Many who drove long distances to love on us. Many who we met for the first time. Many who we will see much in the days and weeks ahead. Riley’s life on earth was not cut short, her life on earth has been fulfilled. We did a good job loving her, parenting her, and enjoying her. Thank you, Lord! We miss her! No parent should ever have to feel this deep, vast hole in our hearts. We are experiencing a peace and comfort that only Jesus can give! He is literally carrying us. We will cry often but please don’t avoid us or be afraid to see our tears. We are confident that we will be okay. Jesus is holding us fast!
March 20 at 3:35 AM
Yesterday, we did our best to begin a new a normal. We had a few things that needed to be done, made some phone calls that had to be made. So many people supporting us. Our pastor preached a beautiful sermon Sunday on God’s goodness in desperate times and we were able to listen to it. The three of us went and ate lunch together. It was a sweet time. We went back to the cemetery and reflected for just a few minutes. Sweet friends and family brought tacos for dinner. The cousins played and the family mingled, but we were all physically tired!
After everyone left, the reality of where I am at hit me very, very hard. This void is indescribable and does not go away. It is paralyzing and overwhelming. I cried and cried and cried. But then we gathered as a family of three and had a time of family devotions and prayer. We were granted that continued grace and peace only Jesus can give. We recognized our own physical fatigue and how that compounds our ability to think clearly. We all went to sleep and slept well. I miss my Riley, but moment by moment, day by day, Jesus will get me through. Thank you again for your love, support, prayers, meals, etc. They mean so much to us. We are broken but we are okay.
March 20 at 7:27 PM
I am shattered and broken. Evenings and bedtime hit me the very hardest. When the pain is too great, we gather as a family of three and have devotions. We then take turns praying. It brings us comfort but our sadness is intense. Reality is setting in. I know God makes no mistakes so I am trusting even though I cannot see or understand His plan. Your constant kind words and encouragement bring us comfort. Thank you!
You can read more of Heather's Story: I Will Hope in Him next Tuesday.
I've been reading It's Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered by Lysa Terkeurst and I cannot recommend this book enough! Heather has been reading it too. If you know someone in the deep, deep well of grief, this is a great book for them.
“These seasons of suffering are not for nothing. They will grow you. They will shape you. They will soften you. They will allow you to experience God's comfort and compassion. But you will find life-giving purpose and meaning when you allow God to take your painful experiences and comfort others. You will be able to share a unique hope because you know exactly what it feels like to be them.” ―Lysa TerKeurst, It's Not Supposed to Be This Way
In her book It's Not Supposed to Be This Way Lysa TerKeurst unveils her heart amid shattering circumstances and shows readers how to live assured when life doesn't turn out like they expected.
"What do you do when God’s timing seems questionable, His lack of intervention hurtful, and His promises doubtful?
Life often looks so very different than we hoped or expected. Some events may simply catch us off guard for a moment, but others shatter us completely. We feel disappointed and disillusioned, and we quietly start to wonder about the reality of God’s goodness.
Lysa TerKeurst understands this deeply. But she's also discovered that our disappointments can be the divine appointments our souls need to radically encounter God. In It's Not Supposed to Be This Way, Lysa invites us into her own journey of faith and, with grit, vulnerability, and honest humor, helps us to:
I think my biggest takeaway from this post is where Heather writes, "We will cry often but please don’t avoid us or be afraid to see our tears." So often, I feel like I don't know how to relate to or help people who are grieving, even though I've grieved myself. At the same time though, I remember being that grieving one and feeling like people were avoiding me because of my grief. I love Heather's advice here, "...don’t avoid us or be afraid to see our tears."
If you know someone who is grieving today, who is searching for HOPE, please share this post with them!
Hi friend, welcome to InstaEncouragements. I am so glad you are here. You’re among friends and you belong here.
How would you like access to our online library of helpful eBooks, devotionals, printables, lock screens and more? You’re going to love this library— all kinds of exclusive content, just for you!
Join the movement by signing up below and I'll send you the link today. And no worries, We don’t spam. Promise! We don’t like spam either.
After you've joined the movement, hop on over to the contact form and introduce yourself so we can be on a first-name basis. I'd like that!
Places we Love