Jul 9, 2014

when oceans rise

I'm just going to start by saying this is not a post I want to write and have been dreading writing.

This is going to be long. And there aren't pictures. Just a bunch of rambled words, most written with tears streaming down. Have a made you want to grab a coffee and pull up your chair? Haha.

So here goes.

Do you ever watch a movie you've seen a hundred times and hope something different happens to change it somehow? Like the hard stuff when something goes wrong or unexpected and I think to myself, what if it didn't. I know in my head the plot will continue the way it always does and maybe I'm weird for hoping that it might change but I can't help it. But then, if there wasn't a twist, turn or some crazy surprise, not many movies would be made.

And I guess that's how I feel about this post. I know the ending. Well, maybe not the ending but I do know the couple of plot twists that I'd kind of like to change so "my" movie is more of how I imagined it to go.

Sorry I'm being cryptic. I'll stop. I guess I have to get it out at some point. So bear with me as I try to sort through this. This is a very hard post for me to write. One because it's just hard but two because I would normally not share something so personal across the interwebs for all to see.

So where do I start?

Well, my last post was about the Ghana auction I hosted on instagram to help raise money to pay for my trip. You can read more about it here and how God led me to say yes here.

I was blown away by the support and generous bids. Totally blown away. My entire trip was funded and then some! God is so much bigger than I could dream up. The final numbers were still being worked out as far as air fair and some travel stuff but I knew I was going and that we were going to be able to provide some other funding for the people over there. I was so excited.

The "Oceans" lyrics have been running through my head for a while,

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Especially the trust without borders part. So good.

Am actually supposed to be packing today because the plane leaves for Ghana tomorrow. But I'm not.

I scheduled my vaccinations, made a doctor appointment to check my records to see what I needed and the day of the appointment found out I was pregnant!

We were so excited. I'd never had terrible morning sickness and I'd had pretty easy pregnancies so I wasn't too concerned with being pregnant in Africa. I thought it would be so much fun to tell my little one on the way how we went to Ghana when it was just a tiny little thing.

Then my doctor told me I couldn't get my vaccines for the trip because I was pregnant.

Huh? I did not see that coming and it never crossed my mind. Turns out yellow fever is a major no no shot to have when you're pregnant because it could cause birth defects and all sorts of other problems.

No vaccines meant no Africa.

I was crushed.

I cried many tears over not being able to go to Africa. I knew I was supposed to go. How did this happen. I mean, I know how it happened... but the timing!? What?

I felt irresponsible for not knowing about the shots and what it meant for my trip. I worried about the money that was already given so that I could go. A lot of money was raised. Deposits were made. The air fair was bought. What would happen to it? And the rest of it? What would people think about me not being able to go? I was a mess.

Thankfully my friend, Denise, the founder of EverDay Ministry, was very understanding and enthusiastic about the baby. She assured me that everything would work out and was able to get the flight money refunded. I felt so much relief. Since the money was given directly to the ministry, we had options. She could hold the money for when I would be able to go again although it wouldn't be for another year or more or we could fund a pole barn. Since I didn't know when I'd be able to make the trip and I didn't want the money just sitting for a couple of years, I thought it would best be used to give kids an education and place to worship by funding a pole barn.

Instead of being worried about the money raised, I was happy to now be able to give children hope. They were going to get an education and have a place to worship. How great is that? And I'll be able to go to Ghana one day, see that pole barn and smile about this crazy time.

With the relief of knowing the money from the fundraiser would be used for amazing things and the acceptance that I was not going on the trip - I was able to focus on the baby again.

We were having a baby! The name game began as did the questions of if were would find out the gender of this one or wait. I was back to taking those horse-pill-sized prenatal vitamins. And let's be honest, I was already enjoying a little more ice cream than usual because of the baby and all. And it's a shocker I gained 50 lbs. with my first! haha

We were headed to Montana for a family reunion and I was planning different ideas on how to tell our family. I was just over five weeks along and typically wouldn't tell people until after the first ultrasound at 8 weeks but my family would need to know why I wasn't going to Ghana so what better place to tell everyone than when they're all together?!

And then there were some complications. Nothing major but I talked to my doctor and they wanted me to get additional blood work over the next week. The counts came back and weren't as high as they'd like to see but it could have been for a number of reasons so they wanted to check them in two days. Those counts came back better, not optimal but things were moving in the right direction. We were full of hope. But just to make sure things were happening the way they should, they wanted me to do one more round of blood work to check those levels. We were going to be somewhere near Colorado on the way to Montana so the nurse (amazing and so helpful by the way) found a spot along our trip for me to stop and get tests done.

We stopped, had some donuts, waited for the lab to open and had more blood drawn. Later that day I got the call from the nurse telling me things did not look good. My levels had dropped a lot. Instead of doubling, they were falling. And given the other complications, the pregnancy would not last and I would soon miscarry.

We were devastated. We were hurting and on the road. I just wanted to be home in my bed and cry it all out.

And then my thoughts went back to Africa but it was too late to get those vaccines as you have to have them 10 days before you leave the country. So that's where we are right now.

No trip to Africa.

No baby on the way.

No details I can change or outcome I can alter.

There has been a lot of hurting. There will be a lot of healing. We've been down this road before with losing a baby and it doesn't get easier.

But I do know that I have faith and hope in things to come. My family and I will pull through this with the strength from God. The children of Africa are getting a pole barn so that's something to excited about.

And you know, none of this may ever make sense and that's okay. I don't need to know the ending or be able to change the story even though I really wish I could sometimes. Avoid the hurt. Avoid the pain and wondering why.

But it's not my story after all.

It's His.

It's always been His and always will be. His plans are far better than anything I could ever imagine. And though I'm not saying He planned this, I am saying He will bring glory out of it and bring peace so that I don't even need to try to understand the whys.  I'm just trusting that His ending will be worth the twists and turns because His endings are usually pretty epic.

So now I hear that Oceans song differently and have new lyrics running through my head,

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

He's never failed and He won't stop now.


  1. I'm so sorry for your loss and pray for healing for you and your family.

  2. I read through your post, the song "It Is Well" by Bethel Worship came to my mind.

    "Through it all, through it all
    My eyes are on You
    Through it all, through it all
    It is well."

    You are made strong in His unfailing power. Praying for you and your family.

  3. SO sorry about your loss on both ends. Thinking of you!!!!

  4. I'm so sorry. Praying for strength in the days to come.

  5. This is so brave of you to share. I can imagine the sense of "loss" that you are feeling right now, but you are right, you must have faith that He will make sense of it all for you and you just need to trust and Let God. Amongst the days of pondering of what all has happened in the last few weeks, remember that something magical still happened from the planned trip to Ghana. You managed to bring a community together and help through social media and now we have all made a difference in this world, which was the biggest goal and picture anyway right? The people of Ghana are still reaping all the benefits of your hard work and effort and the generous funds of those who helped. I'm sure I can speak on behalf of all of your readers that we couldn't be more proud of you.
    I wish you lots of healing and positive energy your way xx

  6. God bless you sweet girl. So sorry. Prayers for peace that surpasses understanding. {{{HUGS}}} and donuts!

  7. Heart broken for you, interweb friend. I am so sorry, and can only imagine how hard it was for you to share this. I'm praying that you and your family will be overwhelmed with God's love and comfort right now. Wish I could give you a hug and make you some cookies with iced coffee!

  8. I cried reading your story. This sucks. I'm so sorry that you've lost so much over the past few weeks. Most people would have hid in a corner and kept the money but you were honest, despite how much you were hurting. You are clearly a good person and this world is better because of you.

  9. Oh I am just so sorry! My heart breaks for you and your family. I know that probably doesn't help much. Know you are not alone. Lots of prayers are being said for you, for your little one, for your family! And you are so right, He has never failed and He won't stop now! xoxo

  10. Oh my heart just breaks for you. Prayers for continued peace and healing from His embrace

  11. My heart aches for you and your husband. Prayers!

  12. I am so very sorry for your loss and the pain you are going through right now. I admire your faith and your courage. Thanks for sharing your story.

  13. wow, what a rollercoaster you've been on. I always think that writing it down, things just become more real. I can imagine all of that being very hard to write. Sorry for all of your heartaches this month. Hugs and thoughts are with you.

  14. Hurting for you. Praying for you.

  15. Oh Lesley, I am so sorry. Thank you for telling us so that we can pray for you and love on you. I wish I was closer so that I could bring donuts and guacamole and margaritas.

  16. Lesley, I'm so so sorry for your loss. I just want to say that I'm praying for you and your family. I'm so blessed by your faithfulness through this and I rejoice in knowing that God is your God HE NEVER FAILS!

  17. I have felt that loss more than I would like to share or talk about most of the time. Thank you for sharing your heart. Your faith and strength are so encouraging. I'm so sorry you're not able to make your trip to Africa. But thank goodness The Lord is there to lead you on. What would we do without him?? Extra prayers going out to you this week!

  18. Thank you for your beautiful testimony. You are loved.
    Please continue reading the Psalms and let the Holy Words wash over you. Your intercessory prayers for your fellow missionaries are powerful. Psalms 51.

  19. Gah, Lesley, I started reading your post earlier and started crying early so I stopped. I just read the whole thing and I'm weeping with you. It's so crazy how this world of blogging brings total strangers together. I can't imagine your roller coaster of emotion. Praying with you and your husband and family. Your perspective is beautiful. Healing takes time and is a process. I'm so so sorry.

  20. Oh Lesley, I am so so sorry for your loss. This post made me cry multiple times...
    I'm in such admiration of your faithfulness and strength in the sharing of your story.
    I will pray for peace and healing and understanding for you all.
    Such a beautiful, perfect song:)

  21. You don't know me but I go to Midtown. I have lost a baby too a long time ago. My heart breaks for you and I am praying for you and your family.

  22. I'm so sorry Lesley! I've been following you on instagram for a while and I do feel like you are my friend and I care for you! I read your post few hours ago while sitting in my classroom and I had tears in my eyes and goosebumps all over. I had to try real hard to not cry out loud! I just like I'm reading my own story! I lost a baby almost two months ago. I was 6 weeks pregnant, we tried for a while so we were so happy when we found out I'm pregnant! And then my numbers went down, and after fews days they went all they way to zero. No warning, no explanation. My doctor said that nobody could do anything, sometimes it just happens. We had a big family get together week before it happened so we told the closest family and friends that we are expecting. And then we had to tell them the bad news. My heart was breaking every time I had to talk about it. And it hurts so much, even few weeks after. It hurts to not be pregnant. It hurts to see all the happy pregnant mamas around. It hurts to think about January 23rd, the day the baby would be born. So I prayed for you in my classroom, and I pray for you now, and I will pray tomorrow. Because I kind of know how you feel, and I do know that only prayers can help! Thank you for sharing your story and I hope you dont mind I shared mine, it helped me a lot. Love you!

  23. I'm so sorry for you loss. I had a miscarriage the week before Mother's Day (at 10 weeks) and it was such a sad and lonely experience. Writing about it was very therapeutic for me and made me feel less alone. I'm glad you were brave enough to share and I pray God gives you comfort through this difficult experience.

  24. Thank you for writing and sharing this. I can't imagine how you must feel. Your words have touched me so much and I wish you peace during this time.

  25. So sorry! Praying for you and your family <3

  26. I am so very sorry for your loss.....praying for you. Thank you for reminding us that when oceans rise our soul can rest in His embrace. Even though I don't know you, we have a mutual friend in Denise. Someday I hope to go with Denise to Ghana....maybe we will be on the same mission trip and can testify to the saving power of our God.

  27. I'm just popping over from your sisters' blog, but gosh, my heart just goes out to you and aches for you. We miscarried, and then husband lost his job within weeks....felt a similar "double pain" as you are dealing with and I just want you to know that I ache with you and for you. I am so, so sorry..

  28. Your faith and hope is inspiring -- God is already using this to inspire others to a deeper faith and walk with him. You've touched my heart! I am sorry for your loss and hurt. Thank you for sharing.

  29. I'm so very sorry for your deep loss.....Thanking the Lord that your faith is secure and praying for His comfort to be felt and very dear to you, especially now.

  30. So very sorry. My heart goes out to you.

  31. Dear Leslie.... I'm so sorry you are having to go through this. I had a miscarriage between the girls. I wish I could just hug you in person. I know that deep heartache. Lots of love, and prayers your way. Miss you!

  32. Oh goodness, I'm so sorry for everything. I've experienced two miscarriages myself and I know first-hand how much easier it is to wallow in your sadness than to stand up straight and declare your faith. What an amazing testimony you have and I'm in awe of your words. Praying for you and so grateful I got a glimpse into such inspiring faith ... Amazing.

  33. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your story, as hard as it sounds, blessed me this morning. I love that lyric...You've never failed and you won't stop now. Thank you for sharing how God is using you for His story.

  34. Oh Lesley. Thank you for sharing your story. Sending love and prayers your way.

  35. That really sucks :( I'm so sorry.

  36. Just found your blog from reading your sister's. I, too, have experienced a miscarriage. It is the single-most heartbreaking thing I have ever experienced. I'm so, SO sorry for your loss. Just remember that your precious baby is dancing for joy in heaven... right beside mine.

  37. So much love to you right now. <3

  38. Lesley, I am so very sorry. I would say that the Lord works in mysterious ways and that we may never know this side of heaven the purpose of it all, but you already know that. I am just so so sorry. Praying for you.

  39. I ended up here from Ashley Ann'a blog and I want to share my story with a glimmer of hope. Two years ago I was in a not quite similar situation - found myself pregnant completely unplanned. A week after finding out I experienced a gush of blood. my family doctor at the time also thought my counts were low. After another similar gushing another doctor also thought the same and even after two days the counts were on the decline. bother doctors told me to prepare for a miscarriage. When one didn't have in the next few days I was sent for an ultrasound which showed a healthy heartbeat and a blood clot next to the placenta
    I thought I was in the clear. but for the next month I bled a little bit everyday and sometimes more than a little bit. I was sure the baby couldn't have survived but she did and there she was at the next ultrasound growing like she should. She's turning 16 months old this month.

    So if there is still a glimmer or sliver of a chance left, I hope that the doctors are wrong about your pregnancy as two of mine both were.

  40. Praying for you Leslie, and sharing tears over your loss of both of these beautiful things.

  41. Precious friend. The Lord has your days each appointed for His glory. My prayers are with you during this time of grieving. Bless you!

  42. I am crying for you. I'm in the middle of my first post partum period (26 months after my last period) and the hormones are crushing me. It's dredging up memories of my miscarriages, thoughts on pregnancy, fertility, pain, the future, frustration and what we can and can't have. My husband blessed me with some time to myself to rest this afternoon (an hour of quiet thought goes a long way). I chose to check in on your blog to unwind. And this is what I found. So I just wanted to let you know that across this fascinating, varied world, across the mountain range of human emotion, across the spectrum of joy and pain that women endure in the pursuit of motherhood and family - another sister of yours is crying for your loss. For the bizarre twists. For your frustration and the unfairness. I'm so sorry. I'm deeply sad for you, and hope you can feel this squeeze of your hand from so far away.

  43. I am so sorry for your loss (I followed a link from your sister's blog today, although I have visited occasionally before). I have suffered the loss of two babies to miscarriage and one to stillbirth, so I deeply identify with your pain. And with things not always working out in a "oh, so that's why God planned it like that" kind of way. Some things are just hard mysteries forever, and there aren't easy answers. I am sorry. Thank you for sharing where you are right now.

  44. “Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.” Psalm 51:17

    “If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.” Psalm 34:18

    1. Thank you for posting these Bible verses. They are exactly what I needed to read right now. Even though you are ministering to someone else, the Holy Spirit uses it to minister to others. ��

  45. i'm so so so sorry. aching with you and praying that the Lord comforts you beyond comprehension.
    that song is still a song for you. trusting with no borders in this even as you mourn. he is still good. and he is taking you to the deep waters to see him more.

  46. The song " Oceans" is a beautiful song full of promise! My heart goes out to you! Found this off your sisters blog. Love to visit :)

  47. Sending you hugs. I'm so sorry for your loss & that you couldn't take this trip right now. You are in my thoughts & prayers.

  48. Psalm 23:1-3 God, my shepherd!
    I don’t need a thing.
    You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
    you find me quiet pools to drink from.
    True to your word,
    you let me catch my breath
    and send me in the right direction.
    4 Even when the way goes through
    Death Valley,
    I’m not afraid
    when you walk at my side.
    Your trusty shepherd’s crook
    makes me feel secure.
    5 You serve me a six-course dinner
    right in front of my enemies.
    You revive my drooping head;
    my cup brims with blessing.
    6 Your beauty and love chase after me
    every day of my life.
    I’m back home in the house of God
    for the rest of my life.

  49. Psalms 30 I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up
    and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
    2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
    and you have healed me.
    3 O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
    you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
    4 Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
    5 For his anger is but for a moment,
    and his favor is for a lifetime.
    Weeping may tarry for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.
    6 As for me, I said in my prosperity,
    “I shall never be moved.”
    7 By your favor, O Lord,
    you made my mountain stand strong;
    you hid your face;
    I was dismayed.
    8 To you, O Lord, I cry,
    and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
    9 “What profit is there in my death,
    if I go down to the pit?
    Will the dust praise you?
    Will it tell of your faithfulness?
    10 Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me!
    O Lord, be my helper!”
    11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    you have loosed my sackcloth
    and clothed me with gladness,
    12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
    O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

  50. Leslie,

    Yeah, so I was wondering where you've been since the last post and so now I know...

    i'm so sorry babe..I really am.

    God bless you,


  51. Hi, just want you to know that God often brings you to my mind so that I will remember you in prayer. He loves you and your family so much and He will never leave you or forsake you.
    Psalms 46 1-3 God is a safe place to hide,
    ready to help when we need him.
    We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
    courageous in sea storm and earthquake,
    Before the rush and roar of oceans,
    the tremors that shift mountains.

  52. Lesley, I'm sorry to hear of your family's loss and will pray for your peace and journey of healing.

  53. I hope all is well.

    Psalm 36:7
    How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

  54. Psalms 40:1-3

    I waited patiently for God to help me; then He listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, of praises to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things He did for me, and stand in awe before the Lord, and put their trust in Him.

  55. "Please run now to meet her and say to her, 'Is it well with you? Is it well with your husband? Is it well with the child?'" And she answered, "It is well." 2 Kings 4:26.

    God keeps bringing you to my heart to pray for you and send you His Word. He loves you with a deep and abiding love. He sees your struggles and knows that you are clinging to Him. Keep trusting Him.

  56. This is my first time on your blog, through a hyper-link that was on your sister's blog. So sorry for your loss, but God always knows what is best. They say when this happens to babies, (miscarriages, still births, leaving earth while young), means that the soul to the baby changed his or her mind about coming back to earth. I don't know if it makes sense to you, but God Bless You and Your Family.


I know it can be a little scary but go on, I'd love to hear from you!