O Come All Ye Faithful?

Life has been tough lately.  I can hardly find time to shower, much less update the blog.  The last couple times I’ve tried there seems to be nothing of much value to share.   I’m not a good pretender and it isn’t easy to talk about interiors and pretty things when your heart is hurting.   

On Wednesday, I went to a memorial service for a friend who lost her daughter.  There are not words to express the feelings in my heart.  Brittany and Joe are amazing people.  They have faith and strength unlike anything I have seen.  I know God will continue to give them the strength to rejoice in the time they had with their precious baby and perservere through the mourning process.  If you want to pray for my friends I know they would appreciate it. 

Do you have a sister?  I do.  So does my sister-in-law Leah.  Her sister is Misty… here she is below with her family @ Disney World. 

misty

Misty is 32 years old with 3 precious daughters.  This summer she was diagnosed with Colorectal cancer.  And just a couple of weeks ago she found out that the cancer has spread to her lungs and lymph nodes.  She is now battling Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer.  Misty candidly shares her journey in her blog HERE.  Want to know how you can help?  There are all sorts of opportunities: check out the Fight For Misty website HERE.  Please keep Misty in your prayers.

The holidays are here.  This is a season of hope.  And earlier this week I almost decided to not put up a Christmas tree.  Bah humbug, right?  I haven’t been feeling very festive and just didn’t to mess with it.  But yesterday I was reminded that God is good, even in the hard times.  I know that even in these hardships He has great things in store for my friends.

I put up the Christmas tree yesterday.  I’m glad I did.  I even strung colored lights up in our kitchen.  It looks like something straight out of my college dorm room, but I kinda like it.  Sloane does too! 

Thanks for praying for my friends!

Comments

  1. My heart is aching for you right now and i don’t even know you other than your blog. I admire that even in the tough times, are you able to understand that God is good. It can be hard to understand why some things happen the way that they do, and still be faithful.

    I will keep you and yours in my thoughts and prayers through this difficult time. Just remember to enjoy the times you have now and make wonderful memories.

    Rebecca

  2. Our family also buried a loved one this week. While it is never easy, it does help to know that you are only saying goodbye for now and that one day we will be reunited and what a reunion it will be. I also take comfort in knowing that when a person passes, they are not done. They are just beginning their explorations.

    My thoughts are with you all at this time.

  3. Julia Hougland says:

    Erika,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you all the way! In the last month I have lost two loved ones myself; my brother, and a close family friend. Going to school for interior design, I know how hard it is to think creativly and stay inspired when things feel so dark. People keep telling me that they both are in a better place, but I feel that they would be better here with us. I know how hard it is to keep positive in these tough times, but remember that you are loved. The greatest thing that I have learned in the last couple of weeks is to constantly embrace my familiy and friends, and remind them how much I care and love them. ~Julia

  4. Sounds like you are going through what I call a Jeremiah 29:11 week. We have friends (too many) struggling with cancer right now, and I find that Jeremiah 29:11 is my go-to verse when I am feeling blue and adrift. God IS good!

    I hope your spirit benefits from an uptick of joy this weekend!

  5. Praying for your friends and for you Erika. The place you are at is a familiar place for me, especially lately. I too was reminded last week that Father is with me and He is good, so good.

  6. Hi Erika. Several years ago when my mom told me that my sister had just been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, one of my first reactions was anger. At the time she had 3 young kids and a husband – while I was single, no kids and no prospects. Why does SHE have to have to be the one with cancer instead of me?!! Anyway, after a tough battle and lots of love, she has been in remission for almost 10 yrs and has even had another baby since then. All things happen for a reason (even though it doesn’t seem fair). Hang in there.
    ******
    Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

  7. You’re right, God is good – even when times are hard. I know when my kids are sad or ill,I hurt for them. Knowing that, I can only imagine what our Heavenly Father feels for us when we are hurting. I hope you feel His comfort and peace. Praying in PA for your friends.
    Thanks,
    LL

  8. I don’t know if it just FEELS like this year more than any other, but I, too, feel like it’s a really hard time. Thankfully, it’s not as difficult for me personally, but I have watched many people close to me battling demons, burying parents and children, and in general going through things the things that nightmares are made of. I will pray for Brittany, Joe and Misty. There are indeed many things for which to be thankful, but also a multitude of things that are so tragic …

  9. Erika: sending wishes of peace, strength, hope, and love to you and yours.

  10. After I had my little baby three months ago I didn’t feel like doing anything but sleeping. I had no motivation. Christmas decorating brings a lot of stress but also a little bit of happiness. Putting out my nativity always reminds me the real reason for the season.

  11. Lifting them all up and will continue to do so. This life is SO short, the other side is forever and death in this life, although it hurts so badly for those left behind, is a new beginning for those who go to their true home in heaven with their loving maker.

    I’m thinking about you.
    xx

  12. Earlier this week a wise old soul reminded me of this truth:
    GOD IS GOOD-ALL THE TIME.
    And even though my husband just lost his job yesterday, I am at peace….
    The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; you support my lot (Psalm 16:5).
    Have a blessed Christmas Erika. And enjoy sharing the love of our sweet Savior with your new baby!

  13. Really appreciate how candidly you share your heart. This side of heaven, even times like Christmas are still so clearly marred by sin and death. I need the constant reminder that my hope is in Christ, the one who has already overcome death and suffering for our sake.

  14. I truly feel your pain. I just lost my mother unexpectedly in July and it has been so difficult, she was only 64. We would always talk at least once a day, if not more, and the holidays don’t seem the same without her. I too was not going to put up a tree and was also going to cancel my annual Christmas party. I decided yesterday that I would do both, since I know she would want it that way. I know she is looking down on me from heaven with a big smile. I wish you and your family much peace, love and joy this holiday season.

  15. Erica, I will be praying for your friend and her family. Back in March 2007 my mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer, they did surgery to remove a good bit of her colon and then started her on chemo and radiation. After months of chemo and radiation they did another PetScan and it had spread to her lungs, they did surgery to remove the spots in her lungs and started chemo again. She is still battling it today and still on chemo. Since the very beginning my mom decided to give it all to GOD! In times like this that is all you can do. Give it to GOD, HE is in control.

    I just wanted to share that with you and let you know that HE has a plan for everyone, just give it to HIM.
    I read your blog just about everyday. I know that you and your sister Darby were Chi O’s at Auburn and I was a Chi O also. I was in the year 2000 pledge class. I love keeping up with ya’ll and your beautiful families.

  16. “He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
    he will gather the lambs in his arms;
    he will carry them in his bosom,
    and gently lead those that are with young.”

    Isaiah 40:11

    I will pray for your friends, Erika. And for you :)

    Warmly,
    Jacci

  17. Erika – my heart breaks for you. My beloved Dad passed away last year at only 71, and I still have no idea what sort of sense that makes. It still seems like the most insane thing. I agree with Julia about when people tell you they are in a better place. The week of Dad’s funeral, if one more person had told me that, I might have slugged them. Better was right here with us. Better was sitting on the deck sipping coffee on a lazy Saturday morning. Better was dancing in the kitchen while we cooked Sunday brunch. Better was laughing as we worked on our latest renovation project. Better was hearing him fill in all the added history as we watched war movies. Better was seeing him excited about his grandchildren coming to visit. Better wasn’t never getting to see him again. Somehow we go on. It’s not easy, but we have to. Love the ones we have while we can, because we really have no idea what tomorrow will bring. Cuddle that little doll of yours. She is love. (((Erika)))

  18. Mommy’s shouldn’t be allowed to get sick any kind of sick. Praying God’s grace and healing on her!

  19. I’m sorry to hear about your friends and that your heart is hurting. When I’m feeling that way I have a good cry and listen to Matt Redman’s “Blessed Be Your Name.” PTL that usually does the trick :)

  20. My prayers go out to this family…thank you for sharing – prayer is a poweful thing…it can change any circumstance!

  21. ann hooker says:

    Thank you for hitting life straight on with unflinching faith. God hears your prayers. May God be with your friend in their loss and with your other friend and her health. Those are some intense issues and you did right by posting from the heart. Many gloss over the bad and only speak of the good, but life does not work that way.

  22. I am sorry to hear that you are sad and your heart is hurting. Two dear family friends of mine,(two different families) suffered devastating, unexpected losses in their families the same week. I understand how it can be hard to be happy when surrounded my so much sadness. I will pray for your friends and that your heart heals as well.

  23. My heart goes out to your friend. I lost a daughter 31 years ago on December 31. For a long time, I did not want to deal with Christmas but then, I realized the greatest tribute I could give to her was to live my life to the fullest. I know that one day we will be reunited. I will also pray for your sister-in-law’s sister. I pray that God heals her and through her that others be brought to Him. God gave you a big heart and that is why it is hurting. Praying for you!

  24. I’m sorry you are having to watch your friend’s suffer. I will definatly pray for them. I have been feeling the same way about Christmas this year, but today God reminded me that he is faithful and he does love us. I’m getting out the tree tonight!

  25. Erika, Misty and her family are going to be on our prayer list. It does seem so unfair when something like this happens to someone. I am glad you didn’t give up on the Christmas Tree. You seem to be a “light” in all those around you.

    Thank you for sharing this, I am sure Misty will start feeling a surge of strength with all the prayers that are going to come her way through your caring enough to ask for all your readers’ help!

    Have a Blessed Weekend!

  26. I am so sorry!! To lose a baby must be devastating and at Christmas seems extra cruel. I will keep your friends in my prayers and Misty too. What an adorable family!!

  27. Sister, I love you and your baby!

    I am praying and will continue to pray for Brittany and Joe!! And I am also praying for Misty and her precious family!! Thank you for bringing this before “everyone”!! Prayer is powerful and I anticipate the Lord working in a mighty way!!!

  28. Sometimes joy just comes, and sometimes you have to fight for it a little bit. That tree and those lights should help cut through the fog of grief, if only a tiny amount. Kiss that baby for me.

  29. Definitely remembering both families…

  30. Oh Erika, This just breaks my heart. I will totally lift your friends up in prayer.

  31. This can be such a bittersweet season, too. But have faith…have strength…have peace.

    Just know.

    The best to you…to yours…may Misty and her family fight the battle before them. May they win.

    May Brittany and Joe find peace. Find Grace.

    And may your huge heart allow the beauty of the season…and what you now have…envelop you.

  32. Please remember your friendship is so important to your friends and their families. A smile and a cheerful heart go a long way in dealing with grief. I’m glad you put up the tree and strung those lights. The passage from John 14:27 is so good. May you all have peace.

  33. My heart is heavy also for a student of mine who was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma a year and a half ago. She is back in ICU battling septic shock for the second time this year. I can sympathize with your feelings this week in some ways, and I to felt that my hope and peace of the season were being sucked out of me. But, praise God he reminds us daily that his grace is sufficient for all our needs!

    I will pray for you and your family, as well as your friends during these most difficult days! Have a good weekend! And love on that sweet baby!

  34. Sending thoughts and prayers for you, your friends, and their families.

  35. Erika,
    Thank you for blessing my family with addition to your blog. I know your new addition is precious and your world does seem so upside down right now (I can relate!) Please push yourself to get into the holiday spirit! This is Sloane’s first Christmas and you will want it to be perfect. God Bless you all….

  36. I will keep your friends in my prayers if you will keep my friend in yours, also cancer.
    pve

  37. There’s always a purpose, even in the sadness. Even when it seems there is not, God always has his hand in our lives, and we are always in God’s hands. I pray for strength and comfort for your friends and family.

  38. And I forgot to say I’m praying for you, too, Erika. You are in the very hardest part of things right now– the excitement has worn off, you are very tired, your hormones are bottoming out–hang in there. It gets easier (and happier.) Enjoy your lights!

  39. I am so, so sorry for your friends who lost their child. And I am very sorry for what your sister-in-law’s sister is going through. She and her husband have a DARLING family and I will add them to my prayers.

  40. Thanks for honestly sharing where your heart is. God IS good. All the time. I think in burying people I love waaay before their time, I have been able to have a glimpse at his sufficient grace, oceans deep love, and care for us in a way I could never see if things were swell. Praise God we were made for so much more than this world. Praying for your friends!

  41. I am always amazed at what is going on in the lives of other people. It causes me to ponder. And be thankful. And pray. Thank you. And may God Bless your sister-in-law and her family.

  42. Erika…I am envious of your unfailing belief in God. For whatever reasons, that kind of strength/faith eludes me. I am so sorry for the pain you have been feeling. I will think of you and your friends and pray for your continued strength.

  43. I don’t usually donate to strangers. I didn’t’ even need to read all of Misty’s story. All I had to do was see the beautiful faces of her children (The reason she is fighting). It pulled on my heart and I felt the desire to donate. I also know how it feels to battle an illness. Thank you for posting :)

  44. Becky Brodbeck says:

    So heartbreaking! I will be praying for both families! Thanks for the reminder that God is faithful even during difficult times! Love ya and Merry Christmas from Louisville:-)

  45. Prayers for you and your friends. We live in a fallen world, but thank God there is hope in His Son!! When I had my first baby at the beginning of this year, it put Heaven in prespective. If Earth can produce this type of joy, I cannot imagine how wonderful Heaven will be! Keep the faith.

  46. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend.

  47. Wow, this is the first time I’ve visited your blog (found yours on Material Girls) and wasn’t expecting to see a post like this. I a also a 32-year-old mother of three and this just breaks my heart. I will stop and pray for her and your other sweet friends right now. It certainly puts things in perspective quickly, doesn’t it? The real blessings in life are far greater than a pretty room. Praying for you.

  48. Thanks so much for the honesty in this post. I think its harder during the holidays to admit that were not 100 percent ok. I know with my own family now I am finding it hard to make myself joyful when there are sad things going on that are out of my control. I’m glad to know everyone experiences times like this.

  49. Just as it is tough to put up pretty images when your heart hurts, it’s difficult to write a comment that doesn’t seem trite or overly sappy to express how we share in your sadness. I too have been feeling less-than-festive, but have Hope of The Season.
    Just know we take it all to heart (your posts).

    Blessings to Misty and her family, and as always, to yours.

  50. Mary Frances says:

    I know how early motherhood takes all your energy, but you must remember what gives YOU joy…and that taking care of Erika IS taking care of Sloane! You feel even more for your fellow mothers now that you are one…it is an empathy like no other. Share your sadness as well as your joy with us out here, and know that Darby is right…you have set a mighty power in motion when you request prayer and goodwill from all who have a heart out in humanity. Joy would not be as sweet if we never experien ced grief…and neither lasts…but both are always remembered. Praying for you daily!
    Mary Frances

  51. When my niece died, the minister said something that comforts me when I am feeling especially low. He said that when our neice died, God shed the first tears. He is there for us before we even call his name. Your friends are in my prayers.

  52. So sorry about your friend’s daughter and Misty. We are going through a season of grief too, but so thankful there is hope in Jesus!

    Blessings to you and your family this Christmas season. – Allyson

  53. Oh sweet Erika…I can totally relate. This week a friend of mim with 3 little girls died of cancer. The funeral was horrible. But God is good and he has a plan for our lives and those whom we love. i will pray for your friends and their families. Blessings,
    Kim

  54. Oh Erika..I’m so sorry. Sending lots of love, hugs and cosy blankets xxx

  55. Yes, I will pray for your friends. A friend of mine discovered she had colorectal cancer through a routine colonoscopy (fine now) but it was just the push I needed to get one too….5 years after I should have. I have a sense that Faith is what will pull all of us through. One of the nicest things about the holidays (it should happen all year)is that we seem more attuned to the needs of others. and if I may ask, could anyone who is reading this stop and say a quick prayer for our men & women in uniform who serve our country daily? My daughter just got engaged to a wonderful guy, who is an Army Special Forces Green Beret. He has served 2 tours in Afghanistan already, and we pray he does not have to go back…which would mean someone elses loved one, would. Please pray for all of them. I will continue to pray for your friends

  56. kelly rainer says:

    Oh sweet Erika…… I can feel your heart and soul through your words. So sorry about your sister in law. Price’s mom was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer 7 years ago. We have been blessed beyond words by her fight so God is good and will do amazing things. We never thought we would have all this time so hold onto to HOPE.
    Your tree makes us smile every evening we drive by, Christian says mommy that is the tallest tree.
    Thank you for being a light in the world!

  57. It’s ironic how we can be so fragile yet amazingly not. It’s an especially poignant thing to contemplate when you are a new mother. I’m so sorry for what they are going through.

  58. Elizabeth says:

    Ericka, love and follow your blog regularly. I wanted to know if you have an update on Misty? I keep checking her website and blog and wondering how she’s doing?

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  1. [...] I aim to inspire.  prayers needed Monday, April 5, 2010 Posted in Family, friendsRemember my post about Misty?  She is in the hospital and needs LOTS of prayer.  Will you please pray for this precious [...]

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