"Welcome to my blog space. I believe that God has carefully placed gems in our paths to fill our days with joy. The challenge for us is to take the time to notice them. My desire is to share the gems in my life so that, hopefully, you will see the ones He's placed in yours. I hope what you read here will be worth your time and you'll want to return often." - Cathy

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day Before Yesterday, Forty-One Years Ago

             Day before yesterday, forty-one years ago, our firstborn child died. Our beautiful Stacie Anne was born on April 23, 1971, with a heart defect. The picture of health at nine pounds, six and a half ounces, she lived one day. 

            My husband, Larry, received orders for an Army tour of duty in Germany two months before my due date. My doctors would not allow me to travel overseas with him, saying it wasn’t safe. I planned to stay at my mother’s house until I delivered the baby and we could join my husband.
The hospital contacted the Red Cross in Germany when I went into labor and entered the hospital at Fort Gordon, Georgia. When Stacie died, they did a wonderful job of getting Larry home.
He arrived just in time to pick me up at the hospital. I was discharged and we drove directly to the Funeral Home and then on to the cemetery for the graveside service.
There is something about burying your child that goes against the natural order of the universe. Children are supposed to bury their parents, not the other way around. Some days it feels like it happened yesterday. Some days it feels like it was all a horrible nightmare I dreamed in another lifetime.
Given the premise of this blog, you are probably asking yourself, “How could there possibly be any joy in this situation?” A young friend and her husband delivered a baby daughter last week. Born at twenty-three weeks, AddieRaye Elisabeth didn’t survive. I offered to talk to my friend when she is ready. The thought of helping someone through the valley of the shadow of death, makes Stacie’s life count and that makes my heart sing.
I have been thinking about the lessons I’ve learned throughout these forty-one years.  In retrospect, I see that I have been a good student, absorbing the lessons that God had for me. It’s been quite a process and it would take numerous blog posts to cover it all.
I learned that God is God and I am not. He is in control and I am not. This was a hard one for a perfectionist. In the six years I had been a Christian, this was the first time my faith had been tested, and it was a huge test. In the healing process, I came to strongly believe God continually has my best interests at heart and is working out thousands of tiny details to make sure all things work together for my good.
In those periods when my heart ached and I couldn’t understand, I clung to the promises in I Corinthians 13:12 NCV, “Now we see a dim reflection, as if we were looking into a mirror, but then we shall see clearly. Now I know only a part, but then I will know fully, as God has known me.” 
I looked forward to Heaven so I could get the answers to all my questions. I steadied myself for the wait, and it was enough to calm my hurting heart. God loved me enough to allow me to hold on to those verses for as long as I needed them.
It has only been in the last ten years that I have come to realize that once I get to Heaven and see Jesus, nothing that occurred here on earth will matter. There will be no questions needing answers.
            God has proven himself faithful to me by providing what I need each day. All of my physical, emotional and spiritual needs have been and will continue to be met.
            And that gives me joy!
Be blessed today and don’t miss the joy-moments along the way, even in the hard times-


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for your encouragement and support. You bless me and bring me joy.

  2. Cathy:
    We all have events that cause us to question God's intentions. I believe that our journey with God acts as eyeglasses sitting upon our nose. These glasses help us to see a clearer view of His purpose. Genesis 50:20 "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Thanks for being one of my optometrists. :)

    1. I love your perspective. God blesses me through you. Thanks for being a good friend.

  3. Cathy - This touched my heart because I have a baby in heaven too. I agree with you. God works it all for good. Sometimes we are able to see Him at work through our sorrows. Our experiences allow us to minister to others who are going through something similar.

    I recommend the book, "I'll Hold You in Heaven," to anyone who has experienced the death of a child. It is a Christian book of comfort and hope.

    1. Thank you, Sally, for visiting and for your tender comments. I may try to find a copy of the book for my friend. I appreciate the suggestion. Blessings on you and your family. Cathy

  4. Cathy this is beautiful... I love you and thank you so much..

    1. Thanks, Tiffany! This is an experience you will never be totally over, but with time and faith in God's plan you will be able to survive it and, hopefully, some day you can help someone else through their rough patch. I love you and am praying for peace and comfort for you and Chad. Cathy