on pursuing…

Sitting by her hospital bed, I stroked her hair.  She was my miracle; the one that I had pursued with and for over the last 9 years. I looked over at the medicine pumps on the poles that we had drug around the Intensive Care Unit over the past 3 months.


Fifteen pumps on 3 poles.  I put my hand on  her chest, and felt it rhythmically going up and down with the help of a machine.   I remember what I told her the day she was born, “I will fight for you for as long as you fight.”

I whispered those exact words into her ear while I pressed my head against her cheek.

I remember the scripture that was heavy on my heart those four and a half months that she spent in NICU, waiting for a heart transplant:

Pursue: for you shall surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.”  ~1 Samuel 30:8b

Sitting In ICU, 9 years later, I wondered what that verse meant now.  I wondered what I had pursued for and what to do with all that “pursuing”.  I didn’t “recover all” because I knew she wouldn’t be coming home this time..

Emma Grace passed away on Good Friday.  April 22, 2011.

She had recovered all.

She had pursued all that she could.

Which meant that my pursuing with her was over.

Yet, my pursuing with my Savior was far from that.

I thought I was prepared for that day.

so was not.

I didn’t know what to do with myself.  One day I was sitting by her bed, stroking her hair; the next day she just wasn’t there.  I really struggled with what to “be” with out her here.  I was always “Emma’s Mom”.

I was lost without her.

I still am.

I knew of Gods grace because He allowed her to be born. I knew of Gods mercy because he always brought her home.

I am learning His sovereignty, because this last time He didn’t…

5+ months later, I am still learning about His sovereignty.  I am still learning what “pursuing” truly means.  Not a day goes by that I do not miss my little girl, but I can pursue through this pain because I know that this life is just a speck in time.  I know that I will see her and touch her again.  I know that my ways are not His ways, even though that is so hard to understand.

And I know that she is looking down, saying “Mom, if you could only see what I see…”

And that makes the “pursuing” so very worth it….

{if you haven’t read the  book “Choosing to See” by Mary Beth Chapman or listened to  the CD “Beauty Will Rise” by Steven Curtis Chapman, I highly recommend you do so.  Also if you have lost a child, I highly recommend the book “Praying through Sorrows” by Christ Jackson and Dutch Sheets. I also recommend “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn, which gives a very biblical  description of what Heaven looks like.}
  • http://MSN Beverly

    Hello Heather, You and your daughter are so beautiful.
    Your story was an inspiration to me. I lost my georgeous
    daughter, Jacquelynn on July 18th, of this year. She was 31.
    The pain is still with me and our family, and I so appreciate your words
    and information on the book and CD. Thank you,
    All of Gods’ Love to you and your family. Yours in Christ,

  • Pingback: {in}courage today…()

  • http://www.especiallyheather.com Especially Heather

    I am so very sorry for your loss… I understand the pain. I am so glad you stopped by today and were encouraged by our story. God is still good, even through the dark times, He is still so very good…
    Much Love,

  • http://www.thepaperbagprincesses.blogspot.com Christy

    Beautiful words Heather. Thank you so much for sharing. Bless you. Praying God continues to wrap his arms of comfort around you, just as you did for your sweet Emma.

    • http://www.especiallyheather.com Especially Heather

      Thank you Christy :) Grief is a hard journey but there are moments that the light shines in and sorrow dissipates for a moment .. Thank you for stopping by today!

  • http://www.thebuentes.blogspot.com Erin

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I can relate to it all. I lost my son Christian 4 days after you lost your daughter. We were blessed with two and a half hours with him, hours I cling to daily! I really needed to hear your words today so thank you.

    • http://www.especiallyheather.com Especially Heather

      I am so very sorry for your loss, Erin. We both have the knowledge that death is not the end, yet it doesn’t make the living without them on earth any easier. Thank you for stopping by and encouraging me through your story!

  • http://makingajoyfulhome.blogspot.com Amy

    I’m sorry for your loss. Such beautiful words and what an encouraging perspective. As Christy said, I pray that God will wrap His arms of comfort around you and your family.

    • http://www.especiallyheather.com Especially Heather

      Thank you, Amy!

  • http://www.queenieslittlekingdom.com wanda

    What a gift for you to share the journey–you are traveling. Thank you. It reminds me to cherish every moment (even the stressful ones) and to love with wild abandon. No one or thing can squelch the love of a mama, not even death. Praying for you and your new normal.

    What a beautiful girl….God shared with you.

  • http://www.especiallyheather.com Especially Heather

    New Normal. Powerful words with such deep meaning. You are right, nothing can squelch the love of a mama, not even death. She truly was a gift…

    Thank you, Wanda, for stopping by and leaving your encouragement!

  • http://www.triciawit@blogspot.com Tricia

    I am so sorry for your loss. We lost our oldest daughter to cancer almost 5 years ago and it’s still so very very hard. But it never fails that in some of the toughest times God sends special people or special blessings just when we need it the most. Praying for you as you travel this journey.

  • http://www.especiallyheather.com Especially Heather

    Tricia, thank you for stopping by and sharing your story! You are right, the Lord does send special people in our times of trials. For me, that person is my husband, he understands me more than I understand myself at times!
    I am so very sorry for your loss….

  • http://www.chasingblueskies.net Kristen

    I love you, Heather. Thank you for gifting us with your words and heart as you walk these difficult roads. Your faith shines, and you are beautiful.

  • http://www.especiallyheather.com Especially Heather

    Thank you Kristen! It was so very nice to meet you in September… You always make me smile :)

  • joan

    You story touched my heart. Thank you for sharing the intimate recesses of your heart. God always meets us in the darkest places. He reaches in and provides us comfort in His grace place. He mends the broken pieces of our heart.

    I too live in sunny Florida. It’s great to meet you.

    You and your family are in my prayers….


  • http://www.especiallyheather.com Especially Heather

    It is so nice to meet you too, Joan! Thank you for taking a moment to comment… it has been a long journey, yet in an odd way – a good one.

  • http://iftheresonethingiknow.blogspot.com/ Kerry A.

    I think of you daily,Heather, and say a prayer for you and your family. Your words as always touch me very deeply. God is good..always.

    • http://www.especiallyheather.com Especially Heather

      Yes He is, Kerry… Thank you for praying for me. You will never know now much the prayers have meant.

  • http://booker115@cableone.net ToniaBooker

    I am overwhelmed at your beautiful honesty. “I thought I was prepared for that day. And I so was not”
    We do think we will learn and pray ourselves into being okay when the “thing” comes, we may not know what “it” will be but we know “it” will occur. Then we truly realize we were never meant to be ready but to be dependent.
    How transparent you are to state what we all know to be true, that we struggle between what we know about the love of the Father and where our loved one is but, each moment we live here without them and it’s hard and it hurts.
    I just loved your words today.
    I know Father God is blessing your “pursuit” and thank you for letting us in.
    Rich Love and prayers….tonia booker

  • http://www.especiallyheather.com Especially Heather

    simply thank you, Tonya. I am so amazed at what people say about my journey…

  • http://shellywildman.net Shelly Wildman

    How nice to see you here, Heather. I was just thinking about you last week, wondering how God was working through your loss . . . because I know He is. Thanks for the update and for the good reminder to look up.

  • http://amotherlostblog.blogspot.com/ Stephanie

    Heather, there are no words, this I know. I have heard the word “sorry” many times over the last four months and I every time I hear that word, I think “no one is more sorry than me.” There are no words to adequately express someone’s sorrow concerning your own. So, what I am left with for you is, I’m sorry. So incredibly sorry for what you are going through. I lost my identical twin girls the same day I gave them life. It is hard, it is ugly, it is just plain awful. I seek hard everyday for answers, for healing, for my savior. I may never receive any answers but I always find my savior. I hope you do as well…

  • http://www.jumptandem.net Deidra

    You know, I was thinking about you and Emma Grace this weekend. I was thanking God for the way you’ve shared yourself and Emma Grace with us all. I was thanking God for you. For Emma Grace. And for grace. Love you, Heather.

  • http://easilyamusedmommy.blogspot.com Jamie

    My heart is broken for you… Thank God we have hope in Him.

  • http://cantelmofamily.blogspot.com Melanie

    Thank you for sharing, Heather. You and your daughter are so beautiful. My heart just aches and breaks for you. Being a mom, I couldn’t imagine what you are going through. And praising Jesus that Emma Grace is so happy with Him in heaven. I just want to cry for you. I will be praying and thank you for writing such a beautiful post.
    Sending you lots of love and a big hug,

  • http://www.pensieve.me Robin Dance


    {{Hugs}} to my taller-than-me friend. I marvel at the way you share the impact of Emma Grace’s life and death in your own life; raw, honest, achingly beautiful.

    I can only imagine how your experience ministers to others who share a similar journey. Your faithfulness in telling your story matters greatly.


  • heidi

    Thank you, Heather, for sharing. You are truly in my prayers


  • http://writingcanvas.wordpress.com Loni

    Heather ~ I’ve read your blog many years now, rejoiced with you and wept with you, and while your daughter was so ill, I prayed you’d not walk the same road we have. We have buried two children (stillborn daughter -14 years ago & 16 year old son- almost 8 years ago). It’s heartache that never completely heals, and no you will never “get over” it, but you will grow through it. And, you will find your “new normal” but will always miss. What I find as I grow through this, our children did not miss out – our dreams of what should have been miss. Our oldest son just married a few months ago, and my heart hurt, thinking he should have been standing next to him, yet God knew even before the worlds were created. He knew the number of days for each of our children. Their time was finished. It’s hard to grasp. But someday our tears will forever be wiped away and the reunion a glorious that will last eternity! Blessings of peace Heather.

  • http://www.passionateperseverance.blogspot.com Mary

    Heather – I have read your blog for years and have prayed over and over that time for you and your sweet Emma Grace. My daughter Courtney has a seizure disorder and is profoundly disabled. Every time we enter the hospital, I don’t know if we will leave with her or without her. I have been so encouraged by your faithfulness to God throughout this journey He has you walking. I just want to thank you for your hopeful and honest words that rise up through your pain. I wrote down the verse you shared and have posted it by my daughters bed. She and I will continue to pursue together, taking each day as it comes. God is good, no matter what. You and Emma have showed us this. Blessings and Grace to you…

  • http://juliesunne.com Julie Sunne

    I concur, Heather, Choosing to See and the CD Beauty Will Rise are fabulous resources for any of us going through struggles (and who isn’t?)! Thank you so much for sharing your wounded heart with us. You and Emma stand as a testament to the faithfulness and mercy of God.
    Praying continued healing and blessings on you and your family.

  • Jamie

    I have a little boy born with Alagille Syndrome that nearly always comes with a liver with too few bile ducts that causes itchy skin and an inability to absorb fats and fat-soluable vitamins. His case also came with particularly difficult heart situation. Multiple surgeries and procedures and predictions of death at 2 weeks, 2 years, 5 years and now, most likely sometime in his teens…he’ll be turning 9 very soon. As such, I’ve prepared myself for his death over and over. Yet we continue to celebrate his life day after day. I’m thankful for every day I get. Your story struck a cord with me. My heart breaks for you and my soul rejoices with you. God is good, but it can be so hard to see if you don’t know him and trust him. I’m so thankful he’s given you the faith it takes to see his goodness in the loss of your sweet daughter.