They KNOW HOPE! As she shares her journey with you here today, don’t focus on the grief and pain, focus on the eternal hope!
Read part 1 of Heather's Story: I Will Hope in Him here, and part 2 here.
March 30 at 7:33 AM
God’s mercies are new every day. Thankful for a good night’s sleep! Peace and hope fill my heart this morning. We planned a spring break trip before Riley passed away so we have decided to still go. Time to pack some suitcase.
March 30 at 8:35 PM
Today was much better! There is, and always will be, a sadness in our hearts but we are doing our best to move forward. We are working on creating new family memories. We had some silly laughs, a few cries together, but all in all just enjoyed each other today. We push each other to choose joy even when we don’t feel like it. We routinely ask each other "are you okay?" Truly the Lord gives us exactly what we need daily. We are learning to keep our eyes on Him despite the heartbreak.
Being surrounded by so many who are praying, encouraging, calling, texting, sending cards, emailing, etc. reminds us that we are not alone. I absolutely know God is and will continue to use this for His glory. I believe we will also find joy again. We are learning to love Riley enough to let her go. She is home in Heaven and we will see her again. But in our time here on earth we must keep living. Step by step. Day by day.
March 31 at 9:45 PM
This morning, after a good cry and morning devotions, we felt a very calming peace in our hearts. Truly something we have never experienced before, and we believe it is simply God’s grace to us for today.
We enjoyed some good seafood and shopping. The weather is cold and rainy. While shopping today we walked into a store where I frequently shop for the girls. My eyes fell on two particular sets of pajamas Riley had. I completely lost it. I miss her so much! Needless to say, we left there quickly. I got myself back together.
Riley's big sister is really missing her too! She talks often of the things they did together. They really loved each other so much. She wanted to look through pictures of Riley, and we did. I honestly have no idea how to help her with her grief because I am just trying to process my own.
My husband seems to have the hardest time in the mornings. We all continue to trust the Lord in our heartbreak. When we are struggling during the day, we each find comfort in reading the Bible and reminding ourselves of God’s promises. We sincerely appreciate your prayers and words of encouragement. Despite our sorrow, Jesus has not left us and has provided for every one of our needs. We are clinging to Him and He is carrying us, day by day!
April 1 at 11:28 AM
Our morning devotions today remind us that every single person alive is facing some sort of battle. I hope this helps your heart today. (I Peter 1:8)
"Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory," I Peter 1:8
April 1 at 10:04 PM
Today was a good day. We are very thankful that both of our parents have come to the beach to spend time with us. It helps to have people with us as we face so many firsts and figure out how to live again. We miss Riley so very much. It is hard to not feel guilty when we have a good day. I do believe that it is God’s mercy that allows us a good day and honestly, we need good days! We are daily focusing on choosing joy, trusting God, and pushing on. We encourage anyone who is facing a battle (let’s face it, we all have battles to face) to truly trust Jesus. He has been our anchor and hope in this heartbreak.
“Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes are wasted from grief; my soul and my body also.” Psalm 31:9
April 3 at 10:13 AM
I miss Riley! This morning, I could hear her calling over and over in my mind “mommy, mommy.” BUT I rest knowing she is with Jesus. We have hope! Our separation from her is not forever. I am promised that we will be reunited in Heaven one day. What a day that will be!
My devotions this morning focused on Isaiah 55:8-11, and it reminds me that His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts higher than my thoughts.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.
I absolutely do not understand His ways in this situation. Trusting Jesus is hard, but oh how I feel His presence! Jesus is so near. My faith has strengthened. I desperately want to reflect Jesus and His goodness, hope, and peace. I want others to know Jesus and His kindness. I pray that He will continue to restore my soul.
We are doing well. Many tears, many memories, many questions, but we are strengthened as a family in a number of ways. We plan to soak up the sun on the beach today. We are praying specifically that my credentialing process will be complete very soon so that I can start training at the end of this month. Idleness is a challenge for me and going back to work will absolutely help. We want to grieve in a heathy manner. We don’t want to run from it, but having a new normal schedule we believe will help the healing process. We love each of you and are so thankful for your support!
April 4 at 11:40 AM (from my husband)
An excerpt from "Safe in the Arms of God" by John MacArthur, it was written by a father who lost his infant son:
"God's will in suffering is often veiled in mystery. We rejoice that He allowed us to perceive the good that was wrought through Ryan's brief life. I came face-to-face with these unalterable truths:
Forth, the gospel was advanced because of Ryan's life. God's love and 'His peace which surpasses all understanding' were real and on display. This gave us comfort as Ryan's death provided a platform to share God's truth and love. The gospel message was clearly presented at Ryan's memorial service and in many intimate conversations.
While this father was a couple of years removed from his son's death when he wrote this, we can say that we are experiencing these same truths.
Safe in the Arms of God
"'Is my baby in heaven?' This is the most important question a grieving parent can ask. And even if the little one is someone else's child, the issue remains: What happens to children, those unborn, stillborn, or youngsters, when they die? Can you hope to see them again? Can you let go of your fear and guilt? Can God's love soothe a wound so jagged?
April 4 at 10:24 PM
Today has been an incredibly difficult day for all three of us. We absolutely know Jesus is carrying us and has not left us. We continue to be ministered to in a variety of different ways. We are both humbled and grateful. However, grief is intensely painful and must be sorted through. We must grieve to heal. We are learning so much. Trusting and clinging to Jesus when we are so broken. We are choosing joy even when it feels fake. “Through this storm He is Lord, Lord of all!”
April 5 at 9:21 PM
We are home! Coming home was sad but comforting at the same time. We both agree we have moved from being in complete shock to a deep sadness. Our sadness is not a desperate sadness. We just miss our Riley and our earthly separation from her is painful. We will see her again.
We came home to beautiful flowers from the girl’s dentist, a huge stack of cards, several frozen meals, and the list goes on.... We have been loved on by so many! We are so thankful for your kind words of encouragement and sweet reminders from the Bible. We have so many sweet cards that we have decided to pick one card out of the basket every day and reflect on the verses and thoughts in each of them. Riley's big sister is doing okay. She was overjoyed to be able to spend the night with her cousins. We are so thankful for our family and friends and what you all mean to us. We love you all!
April 7 at 12:07 PM
"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." II Corinthians 4:8-9
These verses describe us perfectly! They remind me that the battle is not ours.
My husband developed a fever yesterday. I took him to urgent care and they sent us to the ER for dehydration and pneumonia. He was a pretty sick guy! We are back home and he is feeling much better today. I am not sure how much more we can take. I am praying that we can all begin healing physically and emotionally starting today. I am so thankful for friends who help calm my fearful heart. I promise I won’t always panic when one of us gets sick. It was hard going back to the ER so soon after having to take our sweet Riley there. Thank you for understanding and being so very, very kind to us!
“O give thanks to the Lord for He is good!” Psalm 136:1
I love this idea that Heather has. "We have so many sweet cards that we have decided to pick one card out of the basket every day and reflect on the verses and thoughts in each of them."
I also love the John MacArthur book, Safe in the Arms of God, that her husband introduced us to in this part of their story.
Do you know someone who is grieving? Send a card. Send a book. Share this post with them.
5/7/2019 09:44:32 am
What a beautiful post! Sharing this with my cousin who's facing some very trying times.
4/25/2021 03:49:30 pm
Thank you so much for sharing, Veronica. I hope it is a help to her!
5/7/2019 10:16:37 am
The church has a long way to go in our learning process for helping those who grieve. Thank you for leading the way.
4/25/2021 03:58:28 pm
Sometimes, Michele, I think people just don't know how to respond. They are afraid of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Unless you have traveled the road of grief, it's difficult to understand. Those who have, get it.
5/7/2019 12:40:22 pm
Thank you for sharing your moving story with us. Praying for your family!
4/25/2021 04:02:12 pm
Thank you for your prayers, Laurie! :)
5/7/2019 02:33:55 pm
What a gripping story... I'm so glad you are sharing her story as it can only give hope to those in the depths. God is sovereign, in all things He is good--as hard as it may be to recognize I applaud Heather for her recognition of this during that time!
4/25/2021 04:05:15 pm
"God is sovereign, in all things He is good--as hard as it may be to recognize." <— I love that, Becca. Such a beautiful truth! I'm very much appreciative of Heather for being so transparent and willing to share. I know this "hope" that she shares will be a help to many in the days to come!
5/7/2019 03:23:56 pm
Thank you for reminding us to press in to God no matter what battle we are weary from.
4/25/2021 04:08:07 pm
Beautiful, Rebecca! —> "press in to God no matter what battle we are weary from." Our battles come in all shapes and sizes, but God is always there, no matter how big or how small the battle is or how long it wages on!
4/25/2021 04:11:52 pm
And that is exactly what we wanted to convey, April. I too have been encouraged and feel the presence of God pouring out through these posts. Although it has been difficult to read, it is as you write, "clearly evident the supernatural strength and peace of our Lord Jesus that is carrying your family!" PRAISE THE LORD!!!
5/7/2019 06:31:01 pm
Thank you for reminding us all to not take our eyes off Jesus. He is our hope and anchor in every situation. Praying for you and your family tonight.
4/25/2021 04:16:03 pm
Thank you for your prayers, Joanne!
5/7/2019 06:52:00 pm
Thank you so much, Heather, for sharing your journey. It helps me understand how to come alongside friends who grieve.
4/25/2021 04:17:58 pm
That is helpful, Anita! Unless we've been down that path, it's difficult to know how to help someone who is traveling it!
5/8/2019 12:13:05 pm
What a beautiful and touching testament of the grace and faithfulness of God. His promises are true, especially when needed the most, we just have to stand firm on His Word. Thanks so much for sharing your story. Sending prayers that you all will know that God is the God of all comfort.
4/25/2021 04:23:37 pm
A "testament of the grace and faithfulness of God" <— that's exactly what Heather is exemplifying here, Debra. And I am so thankful that she allowed us to share this with our readers! It's been hard, but I know it is going to be a blessing to many! Thank you for your prayers!
5/8/2019 05:10:28 pm
This series has been so important and beautiful. laurensparks.net
4/25/2021 04:24:04 pm
Thank you, Lauren!
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