...bailey's story...

Our story is a story about a MIRACLE. It is not the kind of miracle that is so often shared in Christian circles. We have heard stories about untreatable cancer that disappeared and of a child that was never supposed to walk or talk and is now a healthy adult. These are often the kinds of stories people share with you when you are experiencing difficult circumstances. Stories about the TRAGEDY that was avoided or the near miss that is now in the rear view mirror of life. We value these types of stories and we CELEBRATE them!

Ours was not that kind of story. Our daughter Bailey Hope was born on February 20, 2009. She died on August 13, 2010. The eighteen months in between were horrible and heart wrenching as we experienced our worst fears coming true. We were not rescued FROM heartache and tragedy.

Our miracle was that we were joined IN this journey by friends and family that gave of themselves and by our GOD who held us in unexplainable ways. This is our story. We do not share it to garner pity. There are others who have similar stories. There are so many others who have more tragic stories.

We share our story because it is impossible to talk about our beautiful daughter, without talking about our beautiful God. We must talk about our daughter. We must talk about our God. It is the MIRACLE behind the MIRACLE.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Grief and Celebration.....

Today we grieve....the life and death of our daughter, Bailey.
Today we grieve....her suffering.
Today we grieve....our suffering, and the suffering of so many who hurt with us, and for us.
Today we grieve....two years of missing her.
Today we grieve....living in a fallen world.

Praise God it doesn't end there!!!!!

Today we celebrate....that Bailey is healed, and will never hurt again.
Today we celebrate....that Bailey is in the arms of Jesus.
Today we celebrate....the gift of community, and the body of Christ.  It is beautiful how so many continue to surround us, and be God's hands and feet. 
Today we celebrate....that God has been, and continues to be present.
Today we celebrate....Jesus' promise, that he is coming back soon. 

Saturday, 14 July 2012


I came across this prayer that Matt had written last year.  As we approach the two year marker of Bailey being in Heaven, I am finding I need to read this on a continual basis.  This has been such a gift for my grieving heart.

Faithful Father,

We come to you today with sorrow and gratitude, with joy and with pain.  We thank you for the gift of Bailey's life, and we thank you for the gift of her death.  Help us to resist the impulse to try to resolve this paradox.

Thank you for answering our desperate cries and for rescuing our beautiful daughter.  Thank you that she is free and no longer suffers.  Thank you for reminding us even as we grieve the loss of witnessing her first steps, first words, and first day of school, that she has experienced other beautiful firsts.  Thank you for the image of her experiencing the first glimpse of your face and entering your perfect embrace.

Thank you for your faithfulness.  We now know by experience what we have always believed by faith. You are our hope, our rescuer, our protector, our provider, and our peace.  You are enough in all things and at all times.  Thank you for your unspeakable sacrifice so that death does not win.  Father help us to remember and be comforted by your constancy.  Give us peace in knowing that you will give us the "daily bread" of grace and hope that we need for today.  Thank you for your promise, that you will bring that same grace, and hope tomorrow.

Thank you for the gift of family and friends who are willing to journey along side us and enter into the pain and messiness of life.  Thank you for giving them patience and understanding.  

Father we beg that you would keep us from being consumed by the trivial and the temporary and instead would continue to give us glimpses of life as you meant it to be lived.  We long that you would use Bailey's life and her story to do beautiful things.

Monday, 20 February 2012

living in the hallways

i know a man who has two sons.
Both of his sons are married, and both their wives became pregnant in the same year.  Out of the two pregnancies, ONE ENDED IN A MISCARRIAGE, THE OTHER IN A HEALTHY BABY BOY. 

And so twice in that year this man I know went to the same hospital, walked down the same hallways with his same family members. 

The first time to grieve and mourn, the second time to rejoice and celebrate.

excerpt from Rob Bell's, Drops like stars.

Living in the hallway!

We can't "just celebrate" today, we must grieve, but we also can't "just grieve" because we have so much to celebrate. 

Happy Birthday Bailey and Alexis - you are so sacred and special!!

Monday, 6 February 2012


 Today our beautiful daughter has been in heaven as long as she was here with us.   I had planned to write more, but I'm just not able too.  We love you, and we miss you Bailey.  So glad you are free.

Thank you to my sisters who captured some of these beautiful pictures at Bailey's one-year memorial. 

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


I have learned many things from my children, when I have been willing to listen and have a teachable spirit.  They see the world so clearly - it's not clouded by past hurts, bioses, etc - there hearts are pure and beautiful, and they are willing to take emotional risks.   My daughter McKenzie has taught me, and reminded me on several occasions about the importance and beauty of "joining." 

A few short months after Bailey had died, the kids and I were watching her video.  I was crying so McKenzie came over and just sat beside me.  Without saying a word, she reached over and placed her hand over my heart, and pressed firmly.  After a few moments of silence she looked up at me with tears in her eyes and said, "Mommy, I'm just going to hold your heart so it doesn't hurt so bad."  I was speechless - my five year old understood that nothing - no actions or words - could fix this kind of hurt,  she knew that sometimes the best thing is to simply offer our presence.  She "joined" me in the pain of that moment, and in her joining me she opened herself up to feel my pain, and also acknowledge her own.  It was beautiful.

"Joining" can be risky business.  It opens you up, you become vulnerable.   

This past week some very dear friends of ours, watched their mother die.  In "joining" them it was painful.  I hated knowing that they watched someone they loved die.  In entering their pain, I also had to acknowledge my own.  -- I hated watching our daughter slowly die. I hated watching my husband carry her broken body out to the hurst knowing that I would never hold her, feel her, or smell her body again this side of eternity. -- These friends fully entered into our pain, holding our hearts and acknowledging the pain of living in a fallen world.  They could have easily chosen to not "join" us, but we are so grateful they didn't.  Because they were willing to feel our pain they lessened it by letting us know we were not alone.  They also blessed us greatly when they allowed us to "join" them in their pain and grieve for them and with them.

So sometimes joining hurts, it really hurts; but it also carries the potential for tremendous blessings.   I think of so many who "joined" us in our walk with Bailey.  If they would have protected themselves and not allowed themselves to really enter into our story they would have missed out on knowing one of the most beautiful treasures, Bailey Hope.  She was truly beautiful and reflected God in a way I had never seen or experienced.   

I can't imagine how empty  life would be if I didn't allow myself to "join" others, and if others didn't ask or allow us to "join" them.  We would have missed out on so much. 

When we are willing to live life with others and "join" them and allow them to "join" us, we experience true community, and I believe in those moments we get a glimpse of Heaven. 

Thank you McKenzie for the beautiful picture of "joining."   Thank you Ben and Jaren for allowing us, and entrusting us to "join" you, we love you and grieve for you.  Finally, thank you to our family and friends, and even strangers  who were courageous enough to "join" us when we needed you most.  We are  truly grateful.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Bottle of Tears

I have, and continue to be amazed by God's love for us.  I was especially feeling God's overwhelming love on Monday.   

For no particular reason it was a very difficult grieving day for me, but I'm learning that's just the nature of grief - it comes when it comes, without warning, with overwhelming strength. 

 Later that day, a dear friend sent me an email of a blog entry that she had read earlier that made her think of me. (Coincidence - I think not!)  I was so grateful for these words, they were truly a gift from God and came on the most perfect day. 

My Bottle of Tears by Kristi Huseby (http://brokenandredeemed-kristi.blogspot.com/)

I confess I’m a crier. I cry at movies, at baseball games when the National Anthem is played, at graduations, weddings, funerals. I cry when I hear a sad story, when someone else cries, when I share what God has done in my life, when I’m angry and when I laugh hard enough.

I hate the fact that I cry so easily. It can be incredibly embarrassing for one thing. And for another, it puts people in an awkward position. But crying can be a good thing!

God created tears. It is in His design that we cry.

I love the Psalms! Because they give us beautiful pictures of what our intimate relationship with God is like. And Psalm 57:8 (NLV) gives us one of those snapshots of God’s tenderness with us when we are experiencing incredible sorrow in our life.

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”

(Yes, I’m sure I have a very BIG bottle!)

God not only keeps track of all our sorrows, hurts and heartaches – He has recorded them in His book and every tear we’ve cried He has stored in our bottle, the one He keeps just for us.

I wonder, does my bottle have my name on it? Is it a special color? Does God, my Father look at my bottle full of tears and say? “Aaah, that one is my daughter Kristi’s. See her bottle of tears, they are so precious to me, I treasure each one. I am intimately acquainted with all her ways and I love her. When she has cried tears that no one sees, I have seen, I know and cherish each one because I cherish her.”

What a beautiful gentle picture this is of our God! - a Father who tenderly collects our tears and holds them close to His heart.

Have you ever stopped to consider that God is keeping track of all your sorrows? That He knows each one of them. He has seen you cry until you can’t cry any more. He has witnessed your heartache over a difficult child, a wayward spouse, a broken friendship, or the death of a loved one. He has seen your tears when you have cried all alone in the dark, not sure of where to turn or where to go. He has recorded each one in His book and collected your tears in the bottle He has just for you. How precious you are to Him!

So let the tears flow and know that your God cares for you intimately and with great passion!
Thank You God for loving me just as I am, IMPERFECT.

Sunday, 14 August 2011


As a parent you dream about all kinds of firsts.  First smiles, first words, first steps, first birthdays, and first days of school.  A few days ago, I came across Bailey's baby book, and I was confronted once again with the harsh reality of all the firsts we never had, or ever will have with our precious daughter. 
Through my tears, I was reflecting on this past year of firsts.  The kind you pray that you will never experience.  The first birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and family photos without your precious loved one present.  After lots of tears (and believe me there were a lot) I called my best friend.  First he just listened and then he said, "Heather, our beautiful daughter is the first to experience pure joy, she is the first to sit at Jesus' feet, she has experienced the best kind of firsts."  I was so grateful for Matt's words, they brought me such comfort, and a much needed perspective.  
 We have lived through a lot of our firsts without Bailey, and while we desperately miss her presence, her sweet coos, and delicate curls.  We praise God daily that he rescued our beautiful daughter from her suffering. 
We miss you Bailey, and we can't wait to experience "firsts" with you in Heaven.