For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. - Psalm 139:13-14


Hand in Hand

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
  and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

But I trust in your unfailing love;
  my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the LORD’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
- Psalm 13: 2, 5-6 (NIV)

I'm trying to do my best not to write only on the rough days. We really have had a lot of sunshine (literally and figuratively) in the last four weeks. Each day brings a bit of goodness and difficulty with it. I'm doing my best to embrace both, for they are both part of this journey.

And really...I think they are both honoring to Carter.

Yesterday, I think Ben described our hurting as "raw," and I really couldn't have chosen a better word for where our emotions are most days. But this feeling of being raw, with open sores for all to see, is just a testimony to how Carter's short life was such a big one and how much we love that little boy. (Yes, I use the present tense "love" here. I still love the socks off of him, even if I can't hold him and tell him that face to face.) So while I may burst into tears without warning, it's because of the intense love between a momma and her boy. You just can't heal without some pain along the way.

And when we have less-painful days, when our home is filled with the laughter of visiting friends or when Cohen's toddler antics and attempts to talk keep us quite busy, these days are also a testament to Carter's life. These lighter days show how joy will always overtake the suffering, even though they often come hand in hand. We are able to laugh and have fun because we know Carter's short life was filled with a lifetime of love.

God's presence was never as evident to us than the hour and three minutes we had with Carter in that delivery room. The peace and overwhelming joy we had during our time with our son bleeds over into our daily lives, and we just have to cling to the God who gives such comfort. I think I am really just beginning to understand what it means to have joy in the suffering, to rest assure that while my heart anguishes over my loss, my soul is still at rest.

I'm so glad that joy (not happiness, mind you) transcends the good and the bad days. That something as quiet as night but as strong as iron keeps track of my broken heart, silently taking each piece and creating something beautiful out of each shard.

It may take quite a while, and I'm not always the most complicit with God's attempts to redeem this difficult situation. However, I find I have to cling to God's goodness and faithfulness. Nothing else gives me something to hold on to, to face both the good and the bad as they often walk hand in hand. Belief in God, even in circumstances like this, is not an option for me. It's essential to my daily survival.

And for a moment, let me just say to others who may find themselves aching in their own loss: I'm so sorry. From the depths of me, I feel your pain. In the quiet of the night, when you feel alone or like you can barely breathe, I'm right there with you. But, please, don't stop believing in God's goodness or His ability to turn our brokenness into beauty. If you are struggling to believe, tell Him. May we not allow the pain of our loss to turn our souls bitter.

With gusto and with tears, I cry out: God is good. All the time.


  1. thank you, sarah, for be so willing to share. many here in our england world have heard and read your and Carter's story. they have prayed and continue to do so for the entire family. we love you all so very much and are so looking forward to special time and hugs with you this summer. in Him, keeley

  2. Nicole Reichard3/02/2011 3:33 PM

    I can already sense a deeper maturity that God is building in you through all of this. Just remember that when you keep walking forward in faith, knowing God has your best in mind He will count it as righteousness! See James 2 and Hebrews 11. It is definitely an encouragement to me that perseverance does have a reward! My heart is still aching for your great loss and I will continue to lift you up in my prayers as you walk through this!

  3. Andrea Morris3/02/2011 5:50 PM

    I just thought about you this morning on my way to work. I was driving along and God brought you to my mind. I prayed for more peace and comfort to come your way. Hope this week is filled with peace, joy, and comfort!

  4. Dodi Timbrook3/05/2011 12:23 PM

    Sarah and Ben,

    While I still do not talk about my own history with this issue, may the following verses be helpful to you as they have been to me ...and help you to know that you are right, God is good. God restores the brokenhearted. Your words show you're on the right track to healing in the way God wants us too.

    Whereas my verse was once Job 3:23-26
    Why is life given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in?
    For sighing has become my daily food; my groans pour out like water.
    What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.
    I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.”

    My verse today is Job 5: 17-18
    “Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.
    For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal.”

  5. God is using you. Please know that.