Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wednesday


Today is Wednesday. This was the day we had planned to spend in preparation for Poppy’s birth, but instead Nathan and I find ourselves getting ready for a busy day of planning for her visitation tonight and the memorial service that will follow tomorrow. The vast disparity between the day I envisioned and the reality we are living in is jarring. It’s still so hard to believe that it’s over. I know the journey isn’t complete, but her precious life that we have anticipated for so many months has already played out its time on this earth.

I was thinking again this morning on her time here with us. So many things about it were lacking: I never had the opportunity to change her diaper, to feed her, or to give her a bath. I didn't ever get the chance to hold her as she drifted off to sleep and then watch as her chest rose and fell with each deep breath. There wasn't time to hold both of my girls together-to cuddle them together and sing some of Marianna's favorite songs. In fact, if I thought about it for awhile, I could probably come up with a list a thousand items long of things that I wish I could have experienced with Poppy, yet I know there isn’t a lot of good that comes from dwelling on what is not to be. I don’t want to travel down that path and live in the world of what wasn’t, because in the end, that road does not bring the things I want. Not that I'm saying I know exactly what I want right now, because I don't. I'm confused, and my mind feels muddled and bogged down in many respects. I can't tell you what I want next week or next month to hold because right now I can't see past today. Yet, despite my current state of comparative mental upheaval, there are still some things that I know that I long for. I want life, joy, and hope. These things are what Jesus wants for me, so I know it is always going to be right to pursue them. But in order for these things to become a reality, I must make a choice. I must choose to remember what was—the unbelievable blessing of the three hours that were given to us. I know with everything in me that the time that was given was a gift. Something inside me is convinced that her body was not physically meant to survive for one minute outside of my womb, yet God graciously breathed supernatural breath into her tiny body to allow the things we had prayed and cried out for to be granted to us.

I want to focus on the list of things that I was able to do with my beautiful little Poppy. I was able to hold her and tell her how much I loved her. Nathan and I got the chance to pour out our hearts to her in the operating room, telling her that she was the answer to our prayers, and that she was a living, breathing sign of God’s faithfulness to us. I was able to smile and be the proud parent as our closest friends and family gathered around her, lifting her up in prayer and blanketing her with overwhelming love. I experienced the purest joy from getting to see my first little miracle hold the second one in her arms and kiss her. Finally, I had the unique opportunity to hold Poppy in my arms as she left this earth and went to heaven. Not many mothers get the chance to know that that their babies went straight from their arms to the arms of Jesus. It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful picture, and it is one I will treasure my entire life.

These are the things I want to cling to over the next days, weeks, and months. I know it’s okay to be sad about the loss, but I never want to forget the unbelievable blessing, joy, and privilege we received from God in getting to be Poppy’s parents. Someone wrote and said that they looked up Poppy’s name in a book they have, and the verse that was next to her name was from Isaiah 35:2. It says, "It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing...They shall see the glory of the Lord, the excellency of our God." I don't have words for a better tribute for her life.

Tonight we will have a visitation, followed by her memorial service tomorrow. I won’t say that I am looking forward to it, but I will say that I am excited about the service because I believe it is our opportunity to express our thanks to God for the beautiful work He did through His daughter Poppy. Please be in prayer for us as we walk through this uncharted territory. Pray that the days ahead will be a time of rejoicing, remembrance, and thanks. We love each of you so dearly. Thank you for your faithfulness to us.

50 comments:

connie said...

I love you so much, Angie. I wish I could be there, but you know I will continue with prayer. I know and can see that God continues to give you everything you need. You are such a blessing to me, daily.
connie

pipsylou said...

I love you too, Angie. You and I have never met but we are sisters in Christ and for that I am so thankful!

Holding you up in prayer today,
Rachel

Anonymous said...

Hi,
You guys don't know me, but I was told of your story and you have been in my prayers. I found your blog randomly today... and I believe that God had a purpose in that. Your strength in the Lord is amazing. I lost a baby a few years ago and at the time, I could not fathom why. But, God has since glorified himself through the situation, in ways that I could not have imagine. What a blessing it is to know that the greatest parent - God our Father is the one taking care of Poppy in a perfect, free from sin place.

Your family is in my prayers,
Amy

Crystal said...

I am glad that I found your blog, as the Lord has put you on my heart since I saw you and Target several months ago, and more frequently the last couple weeks as I remembered you were due sometime in December. I will continue to keep you in my prayers as you face the upcoming days. What a wonderful testimony of God's faithfulness and goodness is your blog of your little girl's life.
May the Lord bless you; may his face shine upon you and give you peace forever.
Crystal Floyd Barnes

Anonymous said...

praying!

Laurie said...

Angie,

My heart is so blessed to know that Jesus holds you high up on the solid rock as you get through this time. I
love you and your post is so beautiful and true, exposing your heart. Poppy Joy has left footprints all over my heart and I will always remember her. It has been an honor and huge blessing to pray for you these months and I will continue to do so always. May tonight and tomorrow be a blessing so huge that you cannot contain it.
Praying for your physical healing to be complete and for your hearts to be sheltered in Gods Love for you and your faithfulness to Him.
May your joy be complete in your sadness and His grace be sufficient.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

Anonymous said...

I will be praying for all of you....

Kenzie Stanfield said...

Angie-

You just amaze me with your wonderful outlook and your faithfulness in what will hopefully be some of the darkest days of your life. Continue to keep the Lord right where you have him, and please know that we continue to pray for you! Thank you for updating us that can't share this service with you and keeping ALL of our eyes fixed on the Creator of Life. We will specifically be praying for peace, thankfulness and rejoicing over her life, and also a time for your hearts to begin the healing process.

Love and blessings,
Kenzie

susan said...

I cannot even begin to imagine the anguish and heart ache you are experiencing. Just know that I am crying out to the Father on your behalf from my heart. Susan in Amarillo, TX

Sandi said...

Praying for you right now.

Rebecca said...

Angie,

I've been thinking about you and Nathan all day -- for the last several days, really.

I will be praying tonight. I wish I could be there, but prayers are good, too. :)

I love you.

Rebecca

P.S. Someone else asked "who is the baby?" today. (I have Poppy's picture on my computer at work.) I was so glad to to be able to tell them just a little about her and your faith and faithfulness.

Cindy said...

Nathan and Angie,
My Dad,Charles Carver,works with Nathan. I have been reading your story since he told me about it yesterday. He always has wonderful things to say about Nathan but yesterday he told me you were both "very special people". After reading this I can say I agree with him.
I have no idea what you are going through but my thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family.
Love in Christ,
Cindy Waltman

Emily said...

Sweet Angie,

I am nearly inclined to "welcome" you to this side of the mountain... but it's the last thing I want to do. Here, the presence of God will be so tangible at times you won't believe it. Here, there will also be times when you cannot find His face, though you know He has never moved. Here, you will hunger for your Father as you never have. Here, you will know deeper peace than you ever have. But with it, you will likely find the heaviest burden of heartache you've ever known. Keep choosing to lay it down. Keep choosing to crush the enemy beneath your feet as you stand firm in the truth that you know. Keep fighting to see your God right in the midst of your despair. He is there. He always has been and He will always be... You just have to fight a little harder now.

Keep choosing to seek God, to stand firm, to remember the blessings and to shed the burden of your grief. Let Christ be your rock. Smile because of the time you were given with precious Poppy. Your God's yoke is easy and His burden is light. If you have to trade loads with Him a million times, that's okay. He's your Daddy.

He weeps with you and gives you space try to grieve, but He never leaves you or forsakes you. Take it from a momma who knows. My girl went straight from my chest to her God's and you're right... there is no greater honor or life changing moment. I promise, your joy will always, always outweigh your heartache. And you will never, ever forget a thing about that miracle girl.

Be blessed and know that I am praying you through these, the most difficult days of your life. I pray you find the joy of the Lord in the faces of so many who love you and that He will be your strength. Smile and proclaim to all the world how faithful your God is and how amazing His girl was... and forevermore shall be. :)


In Christ alone,

Emily

Mandy said...

I am sorry for your loss and know how badly you want to rejoice in all the good, but at the same time, mourn all that was lost. I am so inspired by your faith and will continue to think of you as you go through the difficult days ahead.

I will check on you each day here. Please know that I am praying.

Mandy
GA
www.madelinegracehopkins.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you today.
Jennifer

the brown's said...

praying for you all tonight and tomorrow...

So Blessed said...

I am praying for your precious family during this time of grief and loss. Our loving Father will hold you, sustain you and strengthen you in the days ahead...of that you can be assured. Trust in Him and His many precious promises. Your faith is an amazing testimony and I pray that you will be blessed by the outpouring of love and support of all the people who love and care for you.

Barb said...

My prayers continue for you and your family, truly you are a blessing to so many! Without even knowing most of us you continue to minister to us ~ thank you for each of you just being you and serving as missionaries to all of us.

I am lifting your names to the Lord in this time of sadness with the physical loss of Poppy Joy, but rejoicing that she is preparing a place for each of us with her wisdom gained in 3 hours with us!

Her beauty is a glow in the pictures you have shared, she truly is a *beautiful* angel! Barb from PA

jena baker said...

Angie,

As I watched you tonight greet and talk with friends at the visitation, I was so inspired. You are handling Poppy's passing with such grace. I will continue to pray for you and Nathan through out the days ahead.

Lifting you up,
Jena Baker

Jessica said...

Angie,
I wasn't able to attend tonight due to childcare and church. I did not make it through handbell practice without messing the whole group up and shedding a few tears. I am constantly in prayer for you. I will be there tomorrow if at all possible.

Love,
Jessica

Devin said...

For you to find such beauty in a such a seemingly dark place is miraculous.

Aunt_Nette said...

I am at work again tonight. So I will be praying that you find comfort and rest tonight. Tomorrow is another tough day.

I travel in your direction around the 4th of July time. I will try to swing by and visit with Poppy Joy then.



HUGS AND PRAYERS FROM TEXAS

Anonymous said...

Dear Angie,
You say that Poppy was in your arms when Jesus took her into His arms.
I pray that when you remember that moment, you'll remember the feel of His hands.

When He took Poppy, He touched you. Wow!

I pray that you will find Joy in unexpected places. I praise God for the family, friends and church that God has placed around y'all.

Laura D. said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Angie. The beauty of the heart in you continues to move my own heart. We are praying. We will continue. with love,
Laura Dawkins

Elizabeth S said...

I am praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Angie,
David and I are praying for you and your sweet family so much during these days. We love you all very much and I am so blessed and encouraged to see how God has strengthened you and continues to do so. We will continue to pray for you to feel His loving embrace and praise Him that you all got to spend precious time with Poppy.
In Him - Gina Smith

Jessica said...

Angie and Nathan,
I have had a request from an internet friend of yours that those who have been praying for you and are not closeby might do something for you.
I have spoken with our church staff, and they have ok'd people sending cards, monetary gifts, etc. to the church office, with your family's name at the top of the address line. They will get you anything that comes there.

If anyone would like to send something, our church address is on my page, at the righthand side, or in my newest post.

http://5ashFamily.blogspot.com

In Him.
Jessica Fiveash

Anonymous said...

Nathan and Angie:

Your entire family is precious to me. Your grandfather baptised me as a teenager...I am now a grandmother. I have followed your story only a short time.

In the midst of your worse tragedy, our Heavenly Father has brought such grace into your lives and you have remained faithful to Him. Poppy will forever be a reminder of that faithfulness. What a blessed testimony of her precious life.

My prayers will be with you today during her memorial service as well as the days ahead.

May God continue to give you the grace that you need for each moment of each day.

Lisa Crawford,
Hanover, Indiana

Anonymous said...

I found your blog on boothe farley's blog and i just wanted to say I will be praying for you guys. Your little girl was too cute.

Moriah from PA

DandelionSeeds said...

Praying... and there are many others. I have posted a MOTHER'S TREK on my blog in honor of you and we are lifting you in prayer. I know this isn't what you choose... but know that there are many who have been blessed by your testimony to God's faithfulness and sweet Poppy's life.

Still Seeking,
Amy

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/DandelionSeeds/438964/

8hatchers said...

Nathan & Angie- our family is praying for you. We have lifted you up everyday this week.
--the hatchers--

Robin said...

I believe that when Jesus received Poppy Joy unto Himself, it was a very Holy moment. Just as Holy as when we are born, when we get married, when we accept Jesus in our hearts. I'm so happy for you that you shared that Holy moment with her and I am praying that it will be a catalyst of healing in your heart. I am praying for you.

Kim (marygracesummons.blogspot.com) said...

Dear Angie,
I am thinking of you and praying for you every day. I wish I could be there with you as my heart aches for you. I will rejoice in the good things that Poppy brought to you and what you were able to share with her in those 3 hours. I will rejoice in the fact that she is perfectly whole today and sitting in Jesus' lap. Poppy Joy has touched so many more lives than we could ever dream for our children! I am so thankful for you and for her. God will carry you through the next days and weeks and he will never let you go.
Thank you for all that you share and for all that you have given.
With love and prayers,
Kim

Laura Young said...

micah and angie,
Micah i don't know if you remember me, Laura Pensak? I've been keeping up with your sweet daughter and just wanted you to know you, angie, and your family are in my prayers today. My brother Joey lost his daughter the day she was born just last year, so we've been through a similar funeral, but i truly can't imagine the pain the two of you are in. thank you for sharing all of this and for choosing to praise God through the pain...

Anonymous said...

I am thinking of you and praying for you tonight as you say goodbye to your sweet baby girl. I know that our Heavenly Father is with you tonight as you face this unimaginable evening. Your strength is an inspiration to me and I have been so blessed by your story. I have never met you but I think you must be an incredible woman with an incredible family. I will continue to pray for all of as you face the next days, weeks & months.
Emily

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you.
Jennifer

Anonymous said...

I found your blog through my cousins. I have been reading & praying for a while. I am continuly praying.

Aunt_Nette said...

I am lifting you up again tonight with my prayers. I pray that you will be able to rest and not keep waking up through out the night. I pray for you to have strength to talk and pray with friends and family. And I am praying for you when you attend your first Sunday service. That seemed to be the toughest day for me. Just to go and be embraced by church family in our Fathers home.

Five Musgraves at Ten Oaks said...

Precious Angie and Nathan. We love you and are so grateful for what God is teaching you, and then how you in turn, are sharing that with so many others! We cannot even imagine the emotions that you are experiencing . . . our Abba is so faithful to sustain you through this dark time. I wish we could have been there tonight . . . , but we will continue to pray!

In Jesus' love, Beth

Emily said...

Lifting you up to the Only one who can put all the pieces back together....

Kourtni Knobel said...

I'm so sorry for your loss and wish that there was something I could do to lessen your pain! I know it's not much but I have a brother who died of the samething Poppy did and we are part of a support group called S.O.F.T (support organization for trisomy 18, 13 and related disorders.) Please feel free to email me if you would like any more info.. (whatablonde2000@yahoo.com)

God Bless you and your beautiful family!

Kourtni

Eric C said...

Nathan & Angie,

While I don't know you personally, as a member of Faith I obviously became aware of your most difficult journey. Tonight, I was in the A/V booth, falling in love with your sweet famly and admiring your courage and faith.

It is very clear that your perspective and strength are from Him and Him alone. Angie, to hear you say that you count it a privilege to be the 'host' of God's gift was simply amazing.

Certainly these days will never be forgotten. As others have said, I can't imagine what you're going through. But I'm guessing that Poppy just might be in the arms of her great-grandfather, who always said, "Come to Jesus." Your little girl now knows how very magnificent His presence is.

Laurie said...

Nathan and Angie,

I am standing in the gap for you tonight, praying that your last two days were bearable for you and a blessing to your hurting hearts. I pray for you so often, hoping you are being carried in the shelter of His wings. This is your time to catch your breath, and cement in your heart all the wonders this little miracle Poppy Joy has shown you. You have my heart and my love.
May He carry you for as long as you need until you can gently put your feet back on the ground. He loves you so dearly and you have been so faithful in all He has asked you to do. May you be richly blessed now and have the most rest filled peace in your home tonight.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

Anonymous said...

Phil and I will be especially praying for you. We love you so much. So glad Tyler and Leslianne could be there for Poppy's arrival.

Jeanne

Karen said...

I prayed for you today and thought of you often. I am sharing Poppy with many friends and family who are also praying.
I believe God chose YOU to be Poppy's mother! He knew YOU would love and nurture her the way she needed. His ways are intentional and good.

happy gram said...

i started with my friend andrea's ella then on to heather and on to copeland and on to poppy and jonathan and miller and.....why, over the months was i drawn to these stories of incredible sadness and devastating loss? was God preparing me for my own family's story? unknown to me. always to Him. as i pray for all these families, i selfishly ask that you pray for my sweet daughter. liambyrd.blogspot.com
she needs all of you right now.

Fern said...

Still praying for you, all the time. Wishing all of us who love you could spread this burden of grief evenly over all our shoulders, so you two could rest and experience just the joy of your lovely daughter's life. I am praying for you to have peace, and to keep the heavenly perspective you have had throughout this journey -- that it will not be long until you hold Poppy again -- it's like you dropped her off at a fantastic babysitter's house and are running a few happy and mundane errands before you and Nathan and Marianna pick her up again. God is with you.

MomtoAPKMGJL said...

Poppy is just beautiful thank you for sharing her with us.
I too, lost a daughter to Trisomy 18.

I will pray for you often.

Emily said...

You're on my heart, so I'm lifting you up. Just thought you'd like to know....

Wrights said...

I found your link on Boothe Farley's blog a few weeks ago and have been praying for your family. Then I recieved an e-mail today from my aunt, Mary Rimer, who was one of your nurses. She described a family who lost a baby girl to trisomy 18 and spoke of the tremendous faith that her parents have and the way they gave such glory to the Lord through this tragic time. It turned out to be your family she was talking about. Your precious Poppy has reached so many people all over the globe for Jesus. Our hearts break for you and we will continue to pray for you. Jesus had a mighty plan for Poppy's life and He is surely glorified.
Rebekah Wright (in TN)