Thursday, April 21, 2011

Coming to an End

The end of a great Spring Break, that is.  What a wonderful, refreshing time we have had this week.  The constant sound of giggling children running around the house has been music to my ears.  I have to be honest.  Most of the time when we are all together I am usually ready to go home by the end of the week.  I've usually had my fill and am ready for my own life back.  But tonight as we said goodbye to one sister and her 3 children, I fought back tears and longed for the days when we used to live 1 block from each other.  That was a long, long time ago and I am quite sure we took for granted just how lucky we were.  We'd all give anything to be that close now. 

I have such wonderful pictures to share, but that would require me to keep track of my camera cord to upload my pictures.  Seriously.  Can you say a bit distracted these days??  I'll find it tomorrow and share them then.  Erik's other sister leaves Saturday morning and I'm sure there will be more tears then. 



I have felt safe this week.  At times, for even a brief moment, watching Lucy play with her cousins-laughing, joking, smiling--I forgot she was sick.  Granted, reality would slap me in the face very quickly, but those brief moments of denial were wonderful.  It is maddening trying to make sense of Lucy's cancer.  I know I have to stop trying to understand it, but I just can't.  Even last night I was videoing Lucy dying Easter eggs with her cousins and I got so choked up I had to leave the room.  I cried my eyes out with a broken heart and angry spirit.

I rocked Jack to sleep tonight and prayed my little heart out.  Tonight's prayer was asking forgiveness more than anything.  I am so utterly full of doubt and despair right now that I feel so guilty.  I feel as if I am at an all time low in my faith.  Tomorrow Lucy will finish her 4th week of RT.  I know I should be counting down the days until we are done, but I'm honestly a nervous wreck.  4 weeks after her last RT, she will have an MRI that will determine how effective the radiation was.  It makes my stomach turn in knots just thinking about it.  The "what ifs" have invaded my mind and have completely taken over.  I just can't seem to shake it. 

Anyone reading this blog that has felt I was such a "woman of faith" before is surely disappointed to see the real me tonight.  The me that is terrified that all this hell I have allowed my baby to go through will be in vain.  The me that is scared to death I may lose her.  The me that wants to shout at God for allowing this to happen.  And the me that is so conflicted in her emotions that one minute I am literally crying thanks to God for every second I have with my sweet Lucy and then torn apart with sadness the next.  I'm a wreck to be honest with you.  Actually what I am is a mother who loves her child so much it literally hurts.  My mind hearts, my heart hurts and my whole body aches from desire to see her whole again. 

I keep reminding God that He can't blame me for my feelings. He should have never given Lucy to me if he did not want me to love her so much. He should have never made her so perfect in the first place if he did not want me to fall madly in love with her and cling to very being. I just can't help it. She is an angel sent to me-an absolute undeserved blessing. And I'm not the only one who loves her.  She is surrounded by family, friends and strangers alike who are all pouring their all on the altar of God asking for his mercy and miraculous healing grace. 



And I should probably give you all a heads up, too.  Since Lucy was diagnosed, I've been pleading for Jesus to return.  Just come on back, Lord, and take away all this hurt from us all.  I have lived nothing short of a sinful life, but I do know that I am a child of God.  My husband is a Christian, our families are, my oldest daughter now is and my two youngest are covered by God's understanding and sweet mercies.  So...yep.  We're ready.  Come on and get us sweet Jesus.  No healing on this earth will even begin to match the healing that we will experience in heaven. 

I am still just dumbfounded by the number of people who have read and still continue to read this blog.  In a way it is a blessing and a curse.  A total blessing because of the number of people who are praying for Lucy's healing every day.  I could have never reached this many people without this outlet.  And even though I spend a lot of time in the valleys these days I know for sure that your prayers are working.  I covet those prayers and ask that you please don't stop.

At the same time, however, the blog has been a bit of a curse.  While I always try to be as honest as I can with my emotions and feelings, there are times I probably hold back as to not truly convey my anger and frustrations with God.  I would never want to be a stumbling block to anyone.  Tonight, though, I had some things I needed to get out.  My tears were just not doing the job.  It was time to put fingers to keyboard.  My desire, however, is that you will understand my fear and anger but also realize that I have full faith in a God who never fails.  I view my relationship with God like I do my own family.  There are times when I want to yell at them or not talk to them but I always love them no matter what.  I never turn my back on them and in the end we are still family.  That's how it is with God.  He knows my heart, so I might has well speak the words.  He reads my mind, so I might has well verbalize my hateful thoughts.  And after I do, I feel these wonderful, loving arms wrap tight around me and reassure me that he still loves me.  I'm still his child and he wants nothing but the best for me and Lucy. 

One day I hope to understand the depths of how greatly my faith has been solidified through this trial.  It actually doesn't even make sense.  I know that today I am running a little low, but in general this whole ordeal has brought me to my knees, every day a little closer to God.  That in itself has been a blessing.  I am grateful for my salvation and grateful for a loving God who loves my Lucy even more than I do. 


Last week Erik and I spent some time in the meditation garden at St. Jude and I wanted to share this picture.  We have a long, long journey ahead of us and I look forward to spending more time in this quite sanctuary talking with God.  


Sorry if this post has been all of the board, but that's what happens when you are utterly exhasuted and its 11:00 at night.




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51 comments:

  1. I'm glad you feel safe enough to use the blog as a place to share your true feelings and the experience you are going through. Never apologize for being real. Do not worry about what others think, as you said in your post, God knows your heart. When you're real, the security you have from your faith shines through. I think a non-believer or new Christian reading this post would be encouraged to know that we don't have to put on a mask when we're going through times of fear, discouragement, or a crisis of faith. Thank you for your courage in writing this post.

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  2. Continuing to send prayers up for you all! And I deeply appreciate you being humble and honest on your blog. It just shows that you are human and that you love the Lord so much to lean on Him to provide you with comfort and peace that passes understanding.

    I'm so glad that you had a wonderful time with your family. What a breath of fresh air that must have been!

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  3. Oh Kate,
    I am so so sorry that you are struggling so. But DON'T beat yourself up. Just as God made Lucy human, He made you human. In our darkest hours of doubt and anger and grief, He is right there, and He understands our human nature. He wants to carry all our burdens but sometimes as humans we screw up. I truly commend you for your honesty on this blog, it is hard to be an open book in front of people you don't know. Your faith is growing, and God is with you through this trial. It is ok to be angry, God doesn't say we have to LIKE what we go through, but as long as we continue to trust Him that is all that matters.
    As a mom of a child with medical problems, who has had some really scary times, I can remember those times in the night when I was so angry and questioning Him, and He was there to help me through.
    Have you heard the song "Blessings" by Laura Story? If not I highly recommend you listen to it. IT is unbelievable.
    Tonight know that I am praying for YOU and for Lucy. Knowing that God will sustain you and carry you through....

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  4. I am a parent of an infant that was very ill and then my son had cancer at age 22. I can relate to your fears for the future. Each time I did something with my son, I would fear that it would be the last time we would do that particular thing together. I was very afraid to be angry at God because it was HE that I was praying to and asking for help. What I learned (in hindsight) is that he can handle our anger, fears, our anything. Please be honest with your feelings and let your blog be your outlet. Unless someone has walked in your shoes, they cannot possibly understand the emotions one goes through. So, I will continue to pray for your family, for you as a mom and for Lucy's care team because that is what makes a difference.

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  5. Thank you for your honesty... for sharing your heart with us. God didn't sugar coat things when Jesus asked why He was forsaken, he set that example of being honest with the Father when He was like us.

    My friend's dad finished all his treatments and has clean scans. Praying for the same end result for your sweet girl.

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  6. Today many years ago Jesus took on our sins for us and on Sunday he gives us our salavation! I love this weekend. Enjoy with your family.

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  7. Kate,
    I have been reading your blog about your sweet Lucy for a few weeks now. My son was diagnosed with cancer at age 2. Everything you are experiencing - your fears, questions, emotions - is a normal part of the path you are walking with Lucy. Life with a child with cancer has phases to it, much like the different phases of grief. Stay strong, don't worry when you aren't, and remember God is big enough to handle all of our fears, emotions, and even our questions. My son is 6 now and cancer free, hopefully that offers some encouragement.

    Emily

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  8. Kate - you are human, warts and all, and doubts and all. And God loves you no matter what. Praying for you today, and all days.

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  9. I am praying daily for Lucy, but today I pray especially for you for God to help you cope. You have no reason to feel guilty for your feelings. Any one of us would be angry, frustrated, and question why God would let this happen to our child. I imagine EVERY parent with a sick child has these same feelings, and you SHOULD share your feelings if that is what helps.....use this as your outlet to vent your feelings. You have to get them out so that you can continue on your journey. I am sure most everyone who reads your blog fully supports you. This is like your diary, use it as such. And like you said, God already knows your feelings, so you may as well say it. Love, hugs, and prayers coming your way.

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  10. Do not beat yourself up! No one on this earth is perfect, and no one should be expected to handle such an awful, emotional journey with complete grace. You are doing a fantastic job every single day, and Lucy, Ella, and Jack all know it. Keep your head up, you have SO many people pulling for you...

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  11. Thanks for your honesty....I have a daughter-in-law that has a brain tumor and I, too, get so anxious when she has a scan. She will be having another one at Duke the first of May. I can only imagine the anxiety when it is your child. Praying for your sweet Lucy every day when I lift up my Courtney! God will see us both through this journey. I'm so thankful for His love and remember the pain He endured on this Good Friday, just for us! May He hold you closely!

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  12. No one in the world would blame you for having the feelings that you are having. I can't even imagine what your family is going through. I will keep praying for you and the entire family. Just know that you have many that are praying for all of you. I pray that Jesus will wrap his arms around you and give you everything that you need to get through this journey.

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  13. Kate,
    You are not wrong for how you are feeling. My neice was a patient at St. Jude and I remember all too well what we went through and what my sister went through. Like you said God knows your heart. You are going to have bad days, bad moments and we all know that. That is why when we pray for Lucy we also pray for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings and love for your family with us.

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  14. Kate,
    Even Christ prayed "let this cup pass from me, nevertheless, not my will but your will". He begged his Father for relief and not to make him go through what was to come, yet He did accept his Father's will..... he still asked....
    You are human and those feelings you are experiencing are pure and true that ONLY God can totally understand.....He loves you and will carry you through this. If you try to ignore your feelings and hide from them they will only hurt you more.... it is so very healthy to speak your mind and voice what God already knows as you said.
    I am just a random person in Germantown who prays daily for your family and Lucy..... so thankful you share your thoughts so our prayers can be real....

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  15. You are human. We all are. You are a mother who loves her children. You are safe with us. Let it out. We'll continue to pray for you and Lucy and your family.

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  16. Kate,
    I think of you every single day. You and your family are still in our prayers! Today, when I first read your blog, I wanted to post something to you so bad but I was at a loss of words. But then, I read a blog post from a girl that I have been following in Uganda. She is from Brentwood, Tenn. She is like you, an amazing person! If you have time, I would LOVE for you to read her new post. I know that your time is limited but I think you will find a blessing in it. While I was reading it, I was thinking about you. You both have somethings in common. Her blog is www.kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com or you can get on my blog and click on The Journey under blogs I like. What she says about Courage is great!
    With MUCH love, thoughts, and prayers,
    Steph

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  17. Kate,

    Emily and I want you to know that we have not forgotten about Lucy and you all. We continue to lift you up in fervent prayer daily and we rejoice with you in your victories and hurt with you in your pain and frustrations. My prayer for you this Easter weekend is that He reminds you of His gracious love that He showed when He endured the wrath of God on the cross and the victory that we have in Him as He overcame death, hell, and the grave. God is gracious and merciful and we have One who can empathize with our griefs so cast your cares upon Him and wait expectantly for His return! "For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:15-16
    We love you guys!
    Zach and Emily Cook

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  18. Oh yea...I meant to include just a couple of details about Katie. She left the US when she was 18 for Uganda for 6 months. In that time, God revealed to her that she was needed there. She is raising 13 little girls! But everyday she is seeing suffering....Her feelings, questions, and emotions made me think of you.

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  19. Of all your post I have read this one honestly "got" to me the most..PLEASE do not doubt your faith because you are angry and questioning..We are allowed to ask "why" and honestly we do find our answers but sometimes it does take longer to find them. As I have been reading your blog I have ask "Why Lucy"..The only answer I have for you is that Lucy has touched so many people..she has more people praying for her that might not have prayed the day before reading her story. Lucy has brought God into a lot of homes and conversations.
    You are a AMAZING mom and you have a AMAZING beautiful little girl. Hugs to all of you.

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  20. Hi Kate,
    I promise I will not stop praying for Lucy and your family! God understands this emotional roller coaster you are on and I believe He wants you to express your feelings and get them out so you can heal. Like you said, He knows how you feel already so why not voice them and allow the healing process to take place.

    He is a good God and He loves Lucy more than you and I am sure this is hurting Him as well. The difference is He sees the bigger picture, one we cannot see, so He knows the outcome and that is why He is allowing this to happen. If only we could see, I believe we would not be able to comprehend the meaning until it comes to pass because we are not wired that way.

    Pour out your heart Kate we are here to listen and carry your concerns to God and intercede for you and your precious daughter.

    Praying and praying,
    <><

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  21. What you are feeling is so understandable and God can handle it! He wants us to tell Him exactly how we are feeling (remember He know anyway) and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Do not beat yourself up for how you are feeling...you're human and have those feelings for a reason! Just please know that so many people are lifting you and your family up in prayer and God loves you so much no matter what!!! I just felt I needed to write you and let you know how much your are loved by your Heavenly Father and He hurts with you!

    Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

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  22. You do not know me and I only know your family through this blog but I want you to know another person is praying for you, Kate and your family. I can't even begin to imagine what your family is going through but I think your feelings would be very normal for any parent facing what you are facing. I pray you hold tight to God's promise that he will never forsake or leave you and that he loves Kate so much he gave his life for her and all of us.

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  23. I began reading your blog after seeing a link from another blog. I have never had to deal with what you are going through. You being honest and real is the most uplifting to me that I have ever read. Oh that all Christians would be more like you. I struggle so much with Christians who just say what they think everyone wants to hear. I want you to know that I think more non-believers want to know that Christians are not immune to struggles and trials. Being a Christian does not guarantee that everything will be rosy. Thank you for being honest. It is refreshing. I am praying for your family and sweet Lucy. I know that somehow God will receive honor and glory. Just want you to know that your blog did that for me today.

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  24. There is no judgment by your many readers. We are only here to support you with our thoughts and prayers. Period. Please feel free to always say what is in your heart as you go down this long, hard road.

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  25. You're not the only one. I pray every day that Jesus will return. I hope I am who I think I am and that his return is in my favor. I don't understand or appreciate all the suffering but there is no way I could ever turn my back on God because of it. I love reading your words. They are so much the way I feel. I relate on a very similar level. Hearing about your love for God despite your trials is great encouragement for me. Thank you for sharing your feelings with us. I pray for your strength, along with Lucy's. Could I ask you to do the same for me?
    Love and prayers,
    Krystena

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  26. Kate, your post reminded me of what I read in my daily Bible reading today...Job 23...what you said sounds so much like how Job felt. Surely God ordained that book to be in the Bible for comfort in our lives, especially when in times as you are facing now. Take comfort in a God who is bigger than anything we humans can feel , and don't listen to false friends who may judge you for simply being human. Still praying until Lucy comes home whole.

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  27. I've been following your blog and story for a while now and just have to say, I'm not disappointed when I read your struggles...I'm encouraged! So many of us feel like we have to keep it all together, but really, when we share our struggles it encourages everyone around us. Thank you for being real, it encourages me as I struggle through my own faith journey!

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  28. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l3CEMWCxSk

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  29. I just discovered your blog and read this post. I am going to continue reading but before I do I wanted to comment. I appreciate your honesty on here and even admire it. Even though I am a firm believer in my faith and try my best to be the best Christian possible on my day to day walk with Christ I admit I have my faults as well......we all do. You should not feel bad for having doubts, worries, and even questioning why? In fact I think it is those moments of insecurity when we let God know we still very much need Him. God is resilient and will continue to love you!! Surrender your worries, doubts, heartache, and despair to him even if it means you cry it out, scream it out, or whisper it.....He will listen! I will be praying for strength for you, your family, and your sweet little girl. God Bless!

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  30. Kate, you are amazing.

    I have felt the same way about my blog before too. I worry that people reading it will think certain things about me. But I have since decided that when I write, I write to my son who was stillborn...to no one else and that makes it better for me.

    If people say you shouldn't feel a certain way, don't worry about it. You feel what you feel and all you can do is pour out your soul and tell the God of the universe all about it. Your weakness is making you stronger. Your weakness is making the rest of us stronger too. Seeing how vulnerable you are is a blessing because the rest of us can learn that it is ok to beat on God's chest.

    THANK YOU FOR BEING A BLESSING TO ME!

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  31. Kate, Thank you for your honesty and sharing exactly what you are feeling! Our God is a BIG God and He can take you being upset...yell,scream,pour your heart out to Him...at times I think that is what He wants...He wants our whole heart..the good and the ugly! and then let His loving arms wrap around you and hold you and comfort you! Praying for you all! Donna Selman

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  32. It's interesting when you write a post with such honesty and transparency that there are so many responses of encouragement, mutual honesty and genuine sympathy and empathy.

    If you weren't going through all of this and just wrote of God's love and faithfulness (which is very true) but nothing of the trials and anguish, I know, I would be thinking she can't really be honest on this blog.

    Remember in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus' heart was full of sorrow and He fell face first on the ground, and begged His Father to take away "this cup". Our Christ went back 3 times and with anguish asked and begged for the same thing.

    He understands and He loves you.

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  33. Jesus himself prayed for the cup to pass. He was tempted in all manner as we are. He came into this world human. You cannot expect to do greater than He did. You must continue to know that He will see you through. A friend has shared with me these two thoughts, "Faith is not believing God can, but knowing He will..." and "If Christmas is the promise, Easter is the proof." Thank you for sharing your life with all of us who lift Lucy up again and again and again and will continue to do so. The prayer warriors are vigilant folks. God hears us and will answer. May His love embrace you and keep your heart from hurting, and may He pour out a blessing on Lucy that will call for Hallelujahs all over this world. Cynthia

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  34. I honestly think that in those moments when we are the most angry with God that He meets us where we are. He aleady knows our thoughts, so expressing them out loud can be healing and freeing at the same time. Thank you so much for sharing how you are really feeling. I think that in being transparent you have the greatest impact. I am praying for you and your family daily. May the Lord hold you in his arms and give you comfort.

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  35. Being truly honest - particularly about moments of doubt or dark spots within one's heart or soul - is a courageous act. I send my prayers to you and your family for strength and peace - and faith - as you travel this difficult path. May love carry you forward always.

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  36. Honey, You share every single feeling that goes through your mind no matter if you "run" all over the place. I promise God understands! Remember Jesus' words in the garden "My father, if it is possible, maye this cup be taken from me". If you don't feel comfortable putting all your feelings on the blog, keep a hand written journa. Whatever it takes for you to get all this off your chest. Take it from someone older who has run the gamut in her faith, YOU ARE A WOMAN OF GREAT FAITH!!!!!! Everyone has doubts, anger, confusion. You are going through a time that requires all of these emotions. God gave them to us for a reason. Know that so many are praying and holding you up when you can't hold yourself up. God bless you with more happy moments amidst this storm.
    Joan Hanks

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  37. I have no advice or wisdom to share. Just wanted to thank you for sharing Lucy's story and letting us all pray with you.

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  38. Nope... no disappointment. Just love. Just understanding - you are human just like the rest of us. Your times of strong faith would not be nearly so inspiring and powerful were you not honest about the valleys. Perhaps you don't, but I still see your strong faith beneath the doubt and anger.
    Praying for Lucy, praying for you, praying for the family. I've never met you but I love you and Lucy. I wish I could give you a huge hug and pray over you in person.
    xoxo - Alanna (friend of the Fencls)

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  39. I hope you ever feel the need to be anything but honest. I believe God brought some of us to your blog not only to pray for Lucy, but to pray for you too! God is amazing and he can make all things work together for good - even your fears, doubts and frustration. Hang in there and if I hear a trumpet blast, I'll look for you :)

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  40. So sorry you are having a rough time right now. That is COMPLETELY understandable with what you are going through and facing in the months ahead. I'd be very surprised if you weren't feeling the way you are. Everyone has times of doubt and fear--even great women of faith! It's our human nature. Praying for you all as you continue on your difficult journey to Lucy's healing.

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  41. Bless you. I can't imagine what it's like having to go through what you are with Lucy, but I know I would feel the same way.

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  42. praying for you and for a sweet day on Easter...my heart breaks for you

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  43. I wrote a comment a few months back. I don't know you or your family but I do read this blog every night. Just wanted to let you know that Lucy and your entire family are in my prayers each and every day! I hope you all have a wonderful Easter weekend! Could you post the address to send gifts to again. Also, is there anything in specific that y'all need?

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  44. Kate,
    Thanks for your honesty! We have all felt that way with different circumstances we face. God knows and understands!!! We watched The Passion tonight and was reminded that Jesus faced every emotion we have or will face on this earth. In the Garden He was fearful. On the Cross he felt pain. At the tomb He felt joy at being at the end of His journey. Kate, God knows!!!!! Without having met your sweet family we pray with you for miraculous healing and God's protection. God will be faithful!

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  45. I continue to pray for Lucy and your family! I will be thinking of your family as my daughter comes into her church this evening her and her husband to be!! God bless you!

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  46. Dear Kate, Your honesty and your words PERFECTLY convey what WE ALL feel in our faith -- do NOT apologize or feel that perhaps you should hold back. This is YOUR BLOG and you are entitled to ALL your words, feelings, and posts here.
    My prayer this Easter weekend is that you and your entire family feel God's loving arms around you and may the peace only HE can provide, envelope you all, especially your precious Lucy.

    Lisa in FLorida

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  47. What you are doing for your daughter is not in vain. I struggled with the very same thoughts with my son. He was in a different situation, but what he went through for the 6 1/2 months he lived allowed precious time with my son that many moms do not get when they have a very sick premature baby. I battled guilt when he died and thought that I allowed him to suffer in vain. I was on my knees begging for God to take the pain away from all of us. I never expected he would not make it. The comfort that came when left this world with no more tears or pain was undiscriable. I don't know how to explain it. I've never felt God so close. Without him holding me up when I could no longer stand I would not have been able to continue on. God drawls closer in those who are in need. I pray every day your Lucy will overcome this horrible monster and be a testimony to God's grace and healing. Though my son's healing did not come the way I wanted it to, God did heal him. My son reminds me every day of the love that God has for his children. I know that the painful aching love I feel for my children is not even as great as the love that God has for us. My heart aches for him every day, but every thought I have for my son reminds me of God's grace and the blessing he was to me. I am blessed that I got to be his mother. Stay strong. You will get through this.

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  48. The picture of Lucy resting in Eric's lap reminds me that in our hurt, weariness and sorrow we can crawl into the lap of our Heavenly Father and find rest and peace. Prayers continue for you, sweet Lucy and all your family as you walk this road.

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  49. Your candidness is what makes me want to read your blog, only the genuine words are what really matter...this is your safe place to fall, this is your blog, your words, your pain...this is where you should feel safe to share whatever is lying heavy in your heart and soul. No one is judging you.
    I have to believe that is these moments when your faith shines through.
    I hope sharing your thoughts gave you some peace.
    Thinking of you and your family,
    Kelly

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  50. You are human. I think God gave us that choice to be angry and upset and confused. But in the end He knows we will see it is much easier with Him. I follow another beautiful blog and the woman, who also is a "strong in her faith" woman..has had similar moments lately. She posted this which I truly believe is what God wants us to know....

    "Faith is not the absence of asking questions, but the ability to press on without all the answers."
    Jody Ferlaak "Nitty Gritty"

    Constantly praying for you guys.
    Allison

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  51. The picture of Lucy cuddled up with her daddy is beautiful!

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