Friday, September 28, 2012

Suffering into Hope

When the tears of suffering meets the arms of hope, great things will happen.

My last personal blog post was on August 21st and admittedly, I am okay with that. My heart and mind have been somewhere else and consequently my thoughts have been far removed from this blog. I don’t know how many people read my blog, but the handful of people I know who do are well connected with my life. They know that almost one month ago some very dear friends, Katie and Justin, lost their five year old son Nate in a tragic drowning. I received the call on Labor Day morning. With the news came an unknown heaviness from within my chest that held me in my bed and in a zombie-like state for days. I screamed. I cried out to God. I questioned Him. I fell into my bed and onto my knees and cried for hours. This can’t be happening. Not to Katie.

I have sat down to write this post at least a half dozen times. Each time, a paragraph into the post, I would shut my laptop down and cry. I felt helpless and shattered. I could not do anything to honor Nate or comfort his family and my words seemed so insignificant.  You see, I didn’t know Nate as well as his family knew him. Yes, I was blessed with a few summer beach trips with our two families and a few photo shoots sprinkled here and there, but there weren’t enough memories to share or stories to tell that I could naturally recall.   Each time I have left this laptop broken-hearted and with the thought, I didn’t love him the way I know Katie loved him. This isn’t my story to tell.

Katie and I were texting back and forth one day a couple of weeks ago during one of my attempts to write again. I asked her for permission to blog about Nate, but told her it might not happen because I couldn’t form my thoughts.   She simply told me to write from my heart. And so, with that advice, I opened the laptop one more time today.

This is for Katie.

Katie is a great mother from whom I seek advice and encouragement. We have had countless conversations about motherhood; how tired we are, how we crave a beer and some chips with salsa after the kids go to bed, how quitting our jobs to be stay-at-home-moms was the best thing we could have ever done, how we can’t shake that last five pounds from delivering our babies, and how the personalities of our little ones are shining through each day.  I see myself in her and I know she sees herself in me. We wear the title “mommy” proudly and truly know it as one very important purpose we have on this earth. We both have been blessed to feel the waves of peace that come with the gift of motherhood and we connect on the mommy and friend level more than I can with a lot of other women. This is why when I began to write this post, as humbled and discouraged as I was, I realized that it didn’t have to be about Nate. It could be about Katie.  Amongst her suffering, Katie has given so many of us moms hope and motivation. You see, while her thoughts are consumed with great memories of Nate and plagued with unanswered questions, my thoughts are always on her. As a mother, I have questioned if I could go on after losing a child even for the sake of my other kids and husband. I have imagined countless moments in Katie’s new life where she will have to face this void. I have even shouted out at God on Katie’s behalf and yet, I know I am only feeling a fraction of her pain. So what must Katie be thinking about our Almighty Creator?  I look at Addisyn and I see Nate – not in personality or in physical traits, but in a child divinely created and given to me on purpose with no telling how many days she has. It scares the crap out of me to imagine being in the place where Katie is right now and all I have been able to do is pray for hope in a future with joy, peace, and Christ’s presence. It never occurred to me that while we are all praying for hope, Katie is living it. She has not only put one foot in front of the other every day, but she has publicly displayed her strength in Christ and in her will to move forward and find joy again. She has been intentional in her healing, knowing she must find peace again and never doubting her purpose as a mother, a wife, or a child of God. Here I am, tears hitting my keyboard, realizing that in the reflection of her suffering, Katie has shown so many of us how to live a life with true hope and faith.   

Nate being silly in one of my visits, putting grass in his momma's hair :-) 

Go Out. Be Great! 


To read more about Nate and the legacy he has left behind to "Go Out. Be Great!" visit his site at


  1. A great big hug to you and Katie! Thank you for your words, very much brings into light how little and unknown our time here on earth is! ♥

  2. Omgosh girl... got thru maybe 2 paragraphs and am bawling my eyes out!!! My husband works with Justin (many years now) and we are honored to call him and his family a friend.He proudly showed me the pics you took of his family , on his phone, mths ago when he was at our home with Nate fixing a plumbing problem. As a momma of a 21 yr old and friend of many young mommas, your post perfectly expressed what Katie and her INCREDIBLE strength and faith on our Savior has done. Thru Nate's tragic death comes HUGE hope and miracles!!!!!!!!


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