Yesterday morning I woke to the knowledge that I was starting a new chapter in my life. It doesn’t mean I stopped missing Samantha. I still miss her every day, and I know I will for the rest of my life. And there will still be a healing process to go through up until the day I join her in heaven. That hasn’t changed.
In fact, nothing tangible has changed. Nothing outside of me or inside of me, but somehow I just know I’m beginning a new phase of my journey. Two years ago, we had just settled into our house and I learned I was pregnant. We spent a year focused on Samantha’s life, in the womb and out of it. Then this past year we spent in missing her, mourning her death. Now my steps are turning in a new direction, one I can’t see yet. God is guiding me along a new path, and I’m not sure yet if it will be a valley of sorrow or a mountain of joy. Or perhaps both, since that seems to be the pattern of my life. All I know is right now I can see a few feet in front of me, and the ground is unfamiliar territory.
I’m not scared by this. If nothing else, the past two years have taught me to trust God completely with my life. In His hands, I am safe.
So many of you continue to comment on my strength, but I have a secret: the strength is not mine. No, “this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned;struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:7b-9). Whether it’s the strength to breathe again after I sob my eyes out, or the strength to get up with a smile on my face and joy in my heart despite everything we’ve been through, I know that the power comes from God. For whatever reason, He chose us to tell this story, this story of Samantha and of God’s working in her life and ours. This is not the story I want to have to tell, but it is the story I have and I MUST tell it.
In the meantime, I would like to ask a favor of all of you prayer warriors out there. Please pray for Camille, Sasha, Kyler, and Ethan. Michael, who was husband to Camille, stepfather to Sasha and father to Kyler and Ethan, was killed in a car accident on Monday. This week, I have been praying for their whole family a great deal, acutely aware that they are going through a devastating loss. This family was a part of a previous congregation that Travis served, and though they moved away before we left we have stayed in touch via Facebook. They need prayers now as much as or more than we did last year.
God’s blessings to all of you out there. Thank you for praying for us this past year, from the bottom of my heart. You are all such a blessing in my life!
Christa Stec said:
What a beautiful post, Stephanie. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of this journey, and for continuing to share your story, with His Light permeating your lives even when you feel the darkest. I thank God for His faithfulness, and continually hold you and Travis in prayer as you walk with Him along this new path, step by unknown step. Hugs and love from Colorado.
Jim Riddle (@DrPuzzle) said:
Of course you know I had to rise to this one. It is significant to get you to talk about moving on and a new phase of your life. Oh, what kind of faith to step out of the boat and onto the crashing waves. Into the unknown where Jesus lives. Hey, go for it. This IS the great adventure, as Steven Curtis Chapman pointed out oh so many years ago. Enjoy it, you are supposed to, every minute of it. Hard as that is, trite as that is, unfeeling as it seems. Easiest way of knowing He is with you always even unto the ends of the earth!
Becky, Pastor Dave and Timothy Rubke said:
We will continue to pray for you and Travis. You are still going through a lot. I know a couple who are related to one of my niece in law’s sister who lost a baby girl when she was two years old. It was not totally unexpected because she was born with some very severe birth defects. I do know that she was deaf and was able to have one coclear implant but never gained enough strength to have the other one done. They had a precious two years with her which were mostly in the hospital. One was a breathing problem. She was on oxygen all the time. Anyway, I guess my point is that I followed both of your little girl’s stories and pictures at the same time. I think today would have been her third birthday.
Please tell the family of Michael that we are praying for them. That God would give them the strength to bear up under the strain of death, just he did your family and Emma’s family. Hope to hear from you again.
Blessings from Becky, Pastor Dave and Timothy Rubke
I am not good at writing how I feel. I just listen and like to empathize with people. Hopefully I didn’t say the wrong things. I just want to encourage you and your husband that God is still with you, as I know you believe.