Monday, March 28, 2016

Where is God when your heart is broken?

What is God doing? Has He abandoned me? Does He even care or have an idea of how hard this is?

Sound familiar? I admit, yes. This is all familiar to me. If she wanted to, the churched girl inside of me could feel shame.  I’ve been a student of God’s Word since I was 12 (At that age a “student” really means I was sitting through many church services where the Bible was preached and preached hard). Twelve years old is also when I began to discover His wondrous love for me. An all-powerful and all-knowing creator has taken time to love me. To carefully draw myself to Him. Wow.

I’ve steered a boat maybe a handful of times in a straight line over the course of my life. So of course I was qualified to steer the ship of my own life. I did my best to change directions when I saw danger lurking or try my best to ride the waves in my own power, grasping frantically at the wheel when my grip became sweaty and feeble. It was tiring but I was making it.

I had been a Christian for 14 years when the storm and waves finally took the wheel out of my control. Those questions I mentioned plagued me. Not just in my mind but deep in my gut. My mind is what tried to bring me back to reality by recalling what the Bible says and all I’ve been taught. Through tears I would lift my head to ask God if He was still there. As if looking up, I might see him better.

I was searching for Him as though He was distant but I didn’t find him until I looked up close. When I quit talking to God as though He was on the other side of the planet with His face turned to me then I could feel His nearness. I then sensed His presence through some of the smallest details. Details that would not even be note-worthy to a single other soul, but at that time they were the breath in my lungs.

For 3 ½ years I combated the throes of warfare in my heart, and all that ugliness I told you about in my last post.  I know God loves me. “I’m His child” I would remind myself. But with anger and resentment the question would well up inside of me, “Why did He let this happen to someone He loves”?

Satan’s lies are the loudest when your heart is the coldest.

After all these years I FINALLY see with the most clarity that God’s grace and provision were most evident in my life through the tragedy that I was so angry about Him not preventing.

Where would I be today if God had met my carnal wishes and prevented my son’s death? Who am I to decide what’s best for my life? Is not the Creator more brilliant than the creation?

A self-controlled and shallow life. Complacency toward the hurts and needs of others. Only a partial view of God’s love, provision, and Grace... 
 A life more fully surrendered to His perfect will, a driving passion for the rest of His creation, and an engulfing sense and reality of His presence in my life.

I choose B.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

This verse would make me mad. I knew it. I was told it. But I was angry because I didn’t feel it or see it.

My faith was lacking. Only by faith can we trust in what we don’t see or feel. Isn’t that what faith is? I see now that God truly did have my best interest in mind through all the mess. He really was walking right next to me the whole way.

“Having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” Colossians 2:7

This is where I’m living today and I am SO thankful for it. I have been built up in that faith. Hindsight is 20/20 right? If only I could’ve truly walked in faith rather than anger. Little by little though, as I watched God work one small thing out after another my faith did become more established. Today as I look at the whole picture I can see it was much more than just little details that carried me through. My vision was so blurred that all I could see was little bits here and there. Now I see the amazing work of God as He carried me in one hand and moved barriers out of the way with the other.

Of course I would have preferred a different mode of transportation to arrive at this point. But I’m not steering my own ship. I’m simply riding along, enjoying the sun or clouds, watching the waves crash, and most importantly knowing firmly that my Master is at the wheel, taking care to perfectly navigate me through the smooth seas as well as the rough ones.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A light in dark places

It was a warm, sunny day last spring. One perfect for staring at the black stone with my son’s name engraved on it. It was an impromptu trip as usual. Holidays are typical and planned but every other trip is made because of a reason I don’t know or feel until right before I put my shoes on and tug on the door handle.

This time it happened to be the pounding of my heart just right after one thought led to another which led me to realize I had business to do. This trip wasn’t for Hudson though. It was for me and God. I had been texting a friend and something in our conversation came up that made me realize I had work to do.
I guess I’ll be super transparent since I don’t know how else to write…
Ever since September 10th, 2012 there has been a corner in my heart where a light turned off. With time that dim space grew a little cold with no activity or abiding company. With a little more time, that dark, cold space grew a few cobwebs. Being such an unpleasant place I inadvertently didn’t go there. Nor did anything or anyone else. When I would get a glimpse of that dreaded space I learned to put up a wall and close the door. I was ashamed of it and my pride certainly wasn’t wanting anyone else to see the mess.
It’s like a great neighborhood with one abandoned piece of property. The grass grows up and the house falls down and it begins to affect the value of the properties around it. My heart was the same way. The dark, empty, cold corner began affecting the surrounding areas that were lively, full of light, and active.
This went on until I became so disgusted with the effects of that negative space on what should be all the positives of the condition of my mind, attitudes, and ultimately my heart. It’s like the light places in me were being overshadowed by the growth of what started out to be just a small, dark corner tucked safely away. Like an impending thunderstorm on a bright and sunny summer day, the cloud cover became more than I could bear.
For months and months before visiting Hudson’s grave that day I questioned myself, my close family, and God on what was wrong with me. I was seeing a whole lot of not so pretty habits and attitudes that I had developed and I hated them. I didn’t know where they came from or how I even invited them to take up residence inside of me.
My mom, sister, and husband were playing a timely role by being brutally honest when I would ask their opinions on my condition. I’ve always been one to embrace constructive criticism and I was ready for it. I needed help to figure out why I had changed so much and how my heart became such a foreign inhabitant in my very familiar body.
With time, prayer, brutal honesty, and ultimately a simple texting conversation with a good friend, I was putting pieces together. The puzzle was yet a little blurry but I knew enough and my heart was racing with nervousness, excitement, and anticipation of how to handle this revelation.
So there I was, standing in that well-known bed of grass, staring at the lower engraving on the stone that read, “Infant son of Brady & Misty.” Of everything engraved on the headstone that’s the line that makes me furious. I’ve always looked at it with great contempt and disbelief. MY infant son. Misty’s.
On that day, though, I purposefully looked at those words and said aloud, “God, I forgive you.” At first I said it with my head, so again, I said, “God I forgive you”. I repeated those words until my heart believed what my lips were uttering. As I became more bold and emphatic in my repetition the tears began to fall and I felt a warmth in my heart like never before. I drove home with a refreshed sense of joy and closeness with the creator of that child whose absence I had been so angry about.
It wasn’t until that day that the revelation hit me.  The nasty dark and ever growing corner in my heart was the absence of God. I drove Him out of that space because I was mad at Him and in that specific place of my heart I made a decision that I could no longer trust God.
Thankfully I was raised in a church where I was taught enough to firmly know that God would never leave me nor forsake me, as His word says, but that basic knowledge battled fiercely with Hudson’s loss and in ways that knowledge was replaced with anger and distrust toward my Maker.
Now, please let me state the truth outside of this detailed and lengthy description of my heart’s downfall.
God had done NOTHING wrong. He didn’t need to be forgiven because He was not at fault. I needed those words to come out of my mouth and settle into my heart because all that time I had blamed Him for the whole ordeal. This was a Misty issue, NOT a God issue. When I allowed His light to reclaim residence of my ENTIRE heart I then had victory over the struggles I was so weary of fighting.
Now, let’s be real some more. It’s not been all smooth sailing. That little place in my heart is thankfully cleaned out and restored, however, it’s more prone than any other to have the light switch flipped and begin filling with cobwebs and dust once again. It’s the space in my heart that requires the most attention and housekeeping. It’s also the one with the greatest testimony!

As I said earlier, I don’t know how to write unless I’m transparent. Possibly even too transparent! I also don’t know how to write unless the topic is one that I know well and feel strongly. I stand a little faulty with my overuse of mundane detail, but for me, it’s what makes a story real and my hope is that in the long description and miniscule minute-by-minute replay, just one small word or thought can sink deeply in your heart or mind.

I pray that something I said resonates with a struggle you’ve faced, or a victory you’ve won. I pray that this post is an invitation to inspect your own heart, or to praise God for the work He has done in it! It is vital for me to constantly remind myself that God is good and He desires nothing but good for me… and YOU! God is our light in dark places, even those of our heart, if we just invite him there and are willing to do a little housekeeping!


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Together we're "2 in 8"

I was about 15 or 16 weeks pregnant with Hudson when I heard of two different and tragic stories of some ladies I know that discovered their babies were instantly gone. In a moment’s notice their hearts were crushed with the heaviness of losing a child. I distinctly remember telling someone, “I couldn’t imagine!” And truly, I couldn’t. I also recall the great feelings of pride and comfort as I rubbed my buldging belly. The one that safely carried the sweet child I too was about to say good-bye to.

It’s the, “wow, I’m glad that’s not me” feeling. Kind of like when you hear of someone’s house burning to the ground or another person being diagnosed with a life-changing disease. You never think that it would be or even could be you. Tragedies like that only happen to other people.
Other people….

And just like that, without warning or even a clue, I became one of those “other people”.
Suddenly I knew no one who had walked in my shoes. All of those “other people” left my memory for a while and I was certain I was the first to trek such a horrible journey.  And then the messages, emails, phone calls, and cards came flooding in. Many of which were sent by people who knew my pain because they had been there before. I didn’t feel so alone. I was one of those “other people” who had found some “other people” to make me feel a little more at home in my new shoes. My, was I thankful for them.

On October 15th 2012, my sister sent me this picture.
I was stunned to learn there was a day set a side just for us. Well, a whole month, rather. It was relieving to know that someone felt this grief was important enough to set a day aside to remember these babies and the suffering parents who miss them terribly.

Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

Can I just say that I wish I had no idea what this was. I wish it didn’t pull on my heartstrings so hard. I wish I could pass it up as completely irrelevant to my life. If only my heart didn’t have such a soft spot for such a hard topic. The only way that could happen is if Hudson’s trail of little boy mess, fingerprinted glass, and scampering little feet were decorating my home.
We’ve heard the phrase, “One in four”.  One in four pregnancies end in loss. I’ve always had mixed feelings with this statistic. My, “I’m the other person” brain thinks of how lonely I feel. How did I get picked to fit this statistic? Why me?? The other side of me says, “geesh, that’s a lot!” One in four is such a common occurrence! This is happening so much more than what it should. Every single minute an unsuspecting mom is becoming that “other person”.

I think there is a fairly decent chance that you are one of those “other people” too. If not, then I’m sure you know one.
Well, together we’re 2 in 8 and if you add the person that read this before you then we’re 3 in 12.

Now somehow I still fit the statistics but I’m not fitting them alone. I have you and you have me. We’re in this together.

Together our hearts will ache. Together we’ll wipe away tears. Together we’ll feel the passion to make this day even more well-known than it already is. Together we’ll be those “other people”. It’s not a fun club to be a part of but by the Grace of God we’ll get through it and help the “others” that cross our path.
I am so thankful for the “others” in my life who have made this side of statistics more livable and full of love!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Let's reach out together

It is a fact that every year in the U.S. there are about 2 million women who experience a pregnancy loss. An astounding number of these women have been left to suffer in silence. Too often the emotional distress, physical side-effects, loneliness, and grief must unfortunately be “managed” as they go about their work and personal life, just as though nothing has happened to them.

Often times when their “condition” is known by others it is treated as just that, a “condition”. One that must surely resolve with time, rest, and just not dwelling on it. They are advised by those closest to them not to be too sad because, “you could always try again”, or “it’s ok because at least you have other children”, or the worst, “God just needed your baby in Heaven”. Not only are these women left alone to deal with the trauma of their baby dying, they are left with feelings of guilt because, for a truly loving mother or father, there is no way to just get over it or move on.

If the baby that died at 8, 20, or 40 weeks in utero were to be born alive and then tragically die as a child or teenager the family would receive endless amounts of support (as they should). What’s the difference?
Should love, care, sadness, or grief be measured by age or size? Absolutely not. A parent’s love remains the same for their children no matter the age, size, or gestational age they may be. If you ask me, that’s nothing to feel guilty about. Nothing at all to be ashamed of. It’s definitely nothing to belittle.

Whether you were 6 weeks pregnant or 40 weeks pregnant, Hudson’s Bands of Hope wants you to know that your baby is worth crying over. They’re worth the pain, sadness, and suffering.
Have you received a bracelet before? Have you sent one to a loved one? It is more than just a piece of jewelry. It’s acceptance. It’s telling you that your baby matters and your grief is ok. It’s telling you that regardless of the number of alive children you have, that baby you carried could never be replaced. It’s a priceless and one-of-a-kind human being that deserves shameless love, and sometimes that shameless love means shameless tears.

Would you help me? Let’s make it our goal to let every parent of a stillborn or miscarried baby know that their child matters and they are not alone. I would love to reach them all and I can’t do it alone.

I’ve mentioned previously that we have a golf outing coming up soon. What If every golfer that was there were representing a baby in Heaven? Do you know a golfer who could represent yours? Or your sister’s, friend’s, neighbors, or co-workers? Could you tell them about our golf outing?

Not only could each golfer represent a baby but each one that is there represents about 5 women who will be touched by HBOH, monetarily speaking. Please, go tell everyone you know about the golf outing. Let them know how important this is.
For more information about the outing you can visit

Sincere thanks to you for your support and heart, along with mine, to put your arms around grieving mothers everywhere.

<3 Misty

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

It's that time again!

Time has slipped by so quickly in the last couple months and obviously I've struggled keeping in contact with you all. I've not failed to think of you, though. I promise you that.

As always, many questions, comments, thank-you's, and heart-wrenching stories have come through my phone, emails, and social media messages and my heart really goes out to all of you. Some are newly walking this horrible road of deep grief, some are helplessly watching a loved one's heartache and others are looking toward painful anniversaries. Whatever the case may be, you've been on my mind and in my prayers.

With each of those notes or messages my passion is rekindled and it makes me so excited about this time of year. I'm excited because we are preparing for our 2nd Annual Charity Golf Outing and Silent Auction for HBOH. Last year's golf outing was tremendously successful with about $7,000 raised! We had amazing support from the community, sponsors, and an outpouring of help from some wonderful volunteers.

The golf outings are pivotal for HBOH because such a large amount of money can keep us running for quite some time and it allows us so much freedom to easily expand to other hospitals. Not only is this charity event beneficial because it raises money, but it raises awareness on such an important topic that is often times overlooked.

This year's outing will be held on Saturday, September 19th. You can find all the details below or at Please make sure you check out our Facebook page too and share it with friends! Just search for 2nd Annual HBOH Golf Outing.

Everyone can be a part of this special event in one way or another. Whether it's signing up to golf, telling your husband, dad, uncle or neighbor to sign up, sharing the event with everyone you know, sharing with us if you know of a local business that may be interested in sponsoring, volunteering your time, or donating some items for our silent auction. There are so many options! If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.

It is people like you that keep this running and people like you that keep me motivated to continue on spreading a little hope to those who need it most.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

You're Still a Mom

I really believe it defies biological facts and current life situations. It’s more than what outsiders see looking in. It’s more than a diaper bag in tow, cheerios scattered on the floor, soccer mom vans, a box of teddy grahams in the shopping cart, and helping with homework.

It’s a lot more.

Before I became a mom I had the knowledge that mothers love their children. I also had the firm belief that a mother’s primary job was to make her kids behave in a certain manner. There was so much that I couldn’t see.

I didn’t see how a woman’s heart was literally transformed when she became a mother, nor could I begin to the fathom the capacity to which it could love and the power which that love could contain.

I didn’t know that being a mom changed every single thing about a woman. It makes her completely new in so many ways. A mother’s love changes the way she thinks and operates. It makes a mark on every small detail of her life.
All that any passerby can see is the physical. They see what’s right in front of them – or for the sake of this post – what’s right in front (or beside, or behind) of you. If they don’t see it then they don’t know it’s there.

That love. They don’t know it’s there but it is.
My heart hurts for each of you – especially on Mother’s Day. A day where women are celebrated because of who they are in a child’s life. There are so many of you out there whose heart beats to a new rhythm because of the baby you love. The one that has changed your life forever. But there’s little acknowledgement or celebration for those who don’t have the physical evidence of motherhood. And let me just say it – it’s not fair.

Don’t let the cashier, the Mother’s Day commercials, or Hallmark try to convince you for a moment that you aren’t a mom, because you are. You have that love and they just don’t see it.
I know this holiday isn’t an easy one for so many of you and I would love to hug each of you and tell you Happy Mother’s Day.

You’re still a mom. The evidence is woven into every thread of your heart.


Friday, February 27, 2015

When your partner's sorrow looks different than yours

If you’ve read the title to this post then there is a good chance that you don’t need to read any more to know exactly what I am going to say. Maybe just reading the title sparked a familiar pang in your heart. One you aren’t completely comfortable with.

Being that I am on the female end of this two sided topic it is naturally really easy for me to speak from just one side. Probably the same one you are on, considering that I have pretty much all female readers. But let me give you a heads-up. I’m going to do my very best to present a fresh perspective – the one of the father – the other side, if you will. And please don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying there should actually be two sides, because mother and father should undoubtedly always be a team...
I remember being angry. I was mad that Brady had a job and could leave the house all day and I couldn’t. I was mad that he could smile and laugh. It hurt when he would say, “Can we just go one day without talking about this?” And my whole entire world was wrapped up in the “this” he was referring to.

I was in survival mode. I was doing all I could to remove myself from bed in the mornings and function as a normal human, and on top of that take care of the little human that I spent my days with. I had to be normal-ish for him and that was really my only motivation.

I was swimming in an ocean full of different feelings, thoughts, and emotions and it was all I could do to breathe and stay afloat. I was looking out for myself. I needed myself to make it through. I wanted to protect myself from any added pain. Myself...myself....myself

I had no clue that while I was swimming in the emotion ocean focused solely on my own survival I had a lifeguard on the side trying to throw in the lifesaver.

But I wouldn’t let him.

He was wounded too, but he was trying to take care of his family. He was doing what he knew to make it all better for us while at the same time reeling from the death of HIS son.
I just couldn’t see it. All I could see was how I felt. All I knew was that I wanted him to grieve with me and I felt so alone. The one and only person I wanted the most to cry with me was my husband.

Oh what I’ve learned since then! And I don’t mean like the next few days or weeks or months after it all. I mean like, just in the last year. Perhaps I’m slower than most, but I’ve just recently caught on to what was truly going on in those moments.

It took us a good year or two to start having open conversations about Hudson and how Brady felt about it. Let me tell you, these conversations weren’t pretty. After I figured out how to put away all my defenses and “but I” remarks I learned something, and to be honest, it cut me to the core.
I learned he was grieving just like me. Only it looked different. This is probably no surprise to you and you’re probably thinking I’ve lost my mind if I couldn’t see that then. The thing is, I think I did see it but I didn’t accept it. I saw his attempts to make me smile and change the course of my day but I wouldn’t accept them.

What changed it all for me was when Brady began to explain that he would have to go to work and hear, from his co-workers, “How is your wife?” He would hear from his friends, “How is your wife?” He would hear from his family, “How is Misty doing?” Rarely, very rarely, was he asked about himself.

He explained to me that there were many days he would leave work and go straight to Hudson’s grave to stare at the cold slab of concrete and weep. He would then come home and do his very best to hold the walls of our home together with whatever strength he could muster. He knew I would be a mess and he knew our 17 month old needed a happy daddy. So he did what every good man would do. He tried to keep me from getting messier and keep a smile on Dawson’s face and a laughter in his heart.

If I had it all to do over again now, I would try harder to remove myself from my own sorrow and look for my husband’s. I would share my appreciation with him for trying so hard as opposed to hiding under the blanket of hurt when he appeared to be so much better off than me.
I’ve come to terms with myself that I wasn’t a team player through that difficult journey.  I put up the armor around my heart and eyes and didn’t even know I was doing it. Thank God that I can now see Brady’s perspective in it all.
I’m taking a stab and guessing that potentially you’ve felt alone in your relationship with your spouse or partner even as you’ve both grieved over the same exact thing. Possibly you’ve felt like they don’t understand or care.

What if they do? What if they’re trying to stay strong for you? Could you see it?
I’m one of the lucky ones because my husband finally opened up to show me his perspective. Not all men are willing to do this and I’m hoping that sharing these insights with you could bring you a step closer to understanding your partner’s perspective as well.

Please, please feel free to share your own thoughts and insights with us all.