Emma was in a little crib in the PICU, she was the only child there that night. My mom found a flight out of San Diego that night and she and my dad were in their way down there. Corey’s mom was in a car on her way from Conroe and her husband was an hour behind her. My brother was on the road from Nashville and his girlfriend was book on a flight the next day. Michelle, Emma’s Godmother, was booked on a plane graciously paid for by her classmates. And I didn’t know what else to do.
I did the only thing I could do, I begged for prayers! I’m part of a few larger groups on Facebook- doggy groups, a running group and a few mom groups. I didn’t know what else to do so I begged anyone and everyone of my groups to pray for my child. I sent messages to the church I grew up in in California and our church in Texas. I also put a pubic post on Facebook and begged people to share. Thousands of people responded, commented and shared. Our pastor came to visit, pray and sit with us. I prayed and sang Amazing Grace to my baby girl.
I felt helpless. When Emma was five days old, we took her to church for the first time. I gave her to God that day and many times over the course of her short life. Every time I felt anxious cause she was at day care, wouldn’t sleep or she wouldn’t stop crying- I prayed for peace and Gods protection. I knew he was with her and with us, but I couldn’t understand why this was happening. I couldn’t understand why- We were faithful, we prayed, we tithed, we trusted. I still don’t understand.
I know my God is big enough to do anything, but I also know that God sees the larger plan. He has given us free will, and he has given us the ability to make mistakes. I do not believe that it was God’s plan for my child to die but I also know that we live in a broke world and sometime, for us to keep our free will, God must allow bad things to happen. I also know that this was not our fault, this was not our mistake. This is the worst thing that could have happened, and I hate it. I wish my God would have taken away our free will to save my daughter, but I know that is also not the plan. I do not know why this happened, there is a lot I don’t know. But there is a few things I do know- I know I will see Emma again someday, I know she is safe, I know she is loved, I know she waiting for me and I know God will use this for good. Romans 8: 28 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
Support and prayer have come from all corners of the world. Many people just simply say “I’m sorry” or “we are praying for you.” But I also have had many women who reached out to say “I’ve been where you are and I’m here if you need to talk.” These women became a life line to know I could get through this and I am thankful for each and ever one of them. My running group was amazing. They encouraged me to get back out there and keeping running. These beautiful women started the #lovemilesforemma (one of them ran the route below, impressive, right?) and got me back on my feet in a very tangible way. My daughter and her stroller were my running partners and my first run without her was more difficult than I thought it would be. We were training for my first 10k, unfortunately, I missed it but some day I will run it for her.
Each prayer, each message, each stranger is like a little piece of scotch tape holding a little piece of me together. The stranger and flight attendants who allowed me to cry and talk to them on my flight back from family in California held me together. My friends are always there when I need to cry or complain or yell or just need a distraction keep me together. My family who will never allow me to forget the good times and remember the hope protect the fragile bonds that are holding the pieces.
Thank you for your support, your love and above all your prayers. They truly are keeping me together and giving me hope.
My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. -Psalm 119:28