...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.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

drops like stars...

*i wrote this entry in my own blog a couple of weeks ago and asked
heather if i could post it here...thank you for your authentic selves.  -ben & jaren

i have been profoundly impacted by my dear friend, 
heather and her story.  
her life.  her authentic self.
she and her husband have 4 children under the age of 4.  
one of her twin daughters suffered significant brain damage at birth.
life has significantly changed in their home.

i was able to sit across from her this morning at panera 
and listen to new parts of her story.  
not pretty parts.
indescribably difficult, painful parts.  
the kind of parts where
the words that start to describe it 
can do nothing else but take your
breath away.  

as i listened and grieved these new parts with her...in my mind i wanted
to insulate her...protect her from feeling any more of this ache.  and it 
hit me that if that was even possible, it would keep her from experiencing
some of the most intimate moments that she has had with her Savior.

i saw the most beautiful in her.  
she, in the midst of her sorrow was shining.
{and not the kind that is trying to be -optimistic, positive--blah!}  
it was a true shining all the way through. 
it permeated her.  
and i realized it was because i was seeing the Most High.  
i saw that He was meeting her where she was at...and she was letting Him.
i saw the genuine and the real alongside
seeing the most painful parts that she and her husband are now walking through. 
i guess that is why i am up writing this at 4:00 in the morning.  
i couldn't sleep-not without doing something
about my experience today...i couldn't let it go unnoted. 

she lent me this book...drops like stars by rob bell.  she mentioned that it was like a coffee table-kind-of-book and it would take no less than 30 minutes to read.
as soon as i got home, i opened it and read it.  
i couldn't put it down.  i gave it to ben and he said the same thing.
we could relate to it on so many different
it is the most accurate to placing words and 
experiences to suffering and loss that i have ever come across.
if you are finding yourself in a place of suffering, or know someone else who is..this book may be a great gift for
you or someone you care about.