Stella's Story: Part 1

Here is the beginning of Stella's Story: Stella's Story: Part 1
The rest is coming soon!

Letting Go

"I've walked the valley of death's shadow
So deep and dark I could hardly breathe
I've had to let go of more than I could bear
And questioned everything that I believe
But still even here in this great darkness
A comfort and hope come breaking through
As I can say in life or death, God we belong to you."

Steven Curtis Chapman and Jonas Myrin

Psalm 131:1-2 "My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty. I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul..."

Today, on my way home from the doctor, I began contemplating one of my biggest fears: the fear of the unknown. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a bit of a control freak. I like to know what is going on and when. Like my dad, I love to research, plan, organize, and execute, then start the process all over again. I'm a designer, an artist, and for me, beauty is in the details. I love details. It drives me crazy when details are elusive. The unknown-the lack of details-scares the crap out of me, in all honesty, although at least now I can say it scares me a little bit less.

Although I've always struggled with the fear of the unknown, this year has been the year when my fear would rear its ugly head in a way it never has before.

After two years of trying for a third child and the unknown of whether it would ever happen, I accepted the fact that our family was complete, only to be overjoyed in February when I discovered I was pregnant. Pregnancy is naturally filled with unknowns and worries. When will this nausea and fatigue fade? Will something go wrong before the thirteen-week sigh of relief? Will I have a boy or girl? How will we make it financially after the baby arrives? and the most important one..."Is my baby healthy?" No one is ever prepared for a negative answer to this one; I know I wasn't. The unknowns of pregnancy proved far worse for me than I had imagined they would be.

At nineteen weeks pregnant, during the routine anatomical ultrasound, the doctors began to suspect that something wasn't quite right. We were told that our daughter was measuring small, that they couldn't get all the views they needed, and to come back in a few weeks so they could look again. What was normally a day to celebrate the news of the baby's gender and health began, for us, a plunge into twenty weeks of very frightening unknowns. Each week, as I visited multiple doctors to learn more about my baby girl's condition, additional problems were discovered. Every problem the doctors uncovered led to more unknowns until we were left with the ultimate unknown: will our baby survive?

And if she doesn't, how will we?

Now I'm standing on the other side of the unknown. Now I know how it feels to be "held when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive" (Natalie Grant's Held). Now I know that God will give the grace and the strength and the peace that is completely impossible to believe in or understand when you're not yet faced with a horrific situation.

Being on the other side of this year's unknowns has changed me. I fear the unknown a little less now. God tells us we will have times in the valleys and times on the mountains. Sometimes the valleys are huge chasms with no visible way out. Losing Stella was (and still is at times) a huge chasm for me, but God has been giving me mountaintop experiences with him, showing me how to let go.

I remember how "Let Go and Let God" was a catch phrase in college, and it was so cliche to me until just recently when I realized that the key is to add a "fill in the blank" to this expression. Let go of ________________ and Let God. The blank changes depending on where I am in my own spiritual wallk. For me, this year, not only is it "Stella Rose," it's also " my fear of the unknown."

Believe me, there is still plenty of the unknown out there. I don't know if God will bless us with another healthy baby or if he will add to our family in some other way. I don't how Stella's life will change others. I don't know what she'll look like when I see her in heaven. I don't know some days how I will make it through the day. I don't know. But, I do know that God is greater than the unknown. And that I need to worry less and trust a lot more. Life isn't as scary as it used to be. "As I can say in life or death, God we belong to you."


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About This Blog

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This is the story of our daughter, Stella Rose, who went to be with Jesus after five days here on this earth. Stella was born with multiple birth defects due to a severe case of Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome. Although Stella is no longer with us in person, she has changed us forever. Stella's legacy is my journey on a new road without my daughter, and how God is working in our hearts.

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