The Macs » Blog

a year of letting go

How do you feel about the coming of a new year? Sometimes I hate that time keeps moving forward. It is painful. I want to rewind my life back to the time when we were holding our baby girl, to the days when we were still laughing and playing with Cora. A time when we didn’t know the heartache of losing a child. But I also love the fresh start that a new year brings. I love looking back on how the Lord has worked in my life over the past year. I love the excitement of thinking about what God is going to do in the year to come. I love thinking about growing closer to Him in the days ahead. I like to think of it as moving further away from a very dark time in my life and moving closer to eternity with Jesus (and seeing my baby girl again)!

2010 coming to a close is something that I am still trying to grasp. When I really stop and think about it, I am amazed that we have even made it to where we are today. Honestly, there were some days that I didn’t even know if I could make it through the day, let alone through a whole year. Looking back, I would describe 2009 as a year of grief. It was a year of unexpected tragedy. A year of saying goodbye. A year that we would have never imagined would be part of our story. A year that we wish we could erase. A year of learning to continue on this journey God has called us to without Cora. A year that we never could have made it through without clinging to the Lord and finding strength in Him. A year that is a testimony of His strength being made perfect through our weaknesses.

When I look back on this past year, I would describe 2010 as a year of letting go. 2010 was met with much joy as we welcomed Levi into our family and much heartache as we continued to work through losing Cora. And with all of those mixed emotions there was, and continues to be, a lot of letting go. Letting go of our dreams for Cora, letting go of Levi growing up with his big sister, letting go of Cora’s room as it became Levi’s room, letting go of our family of four as we sent out our Christmas card with only three family members pictured, and letting go of places and things that held such precious memories of Cora. Just when we think we are done letting go it seems that something else comes up that we are forced to let go of and grieve again. I read recently that we will face letting go in some form our whole lives and eventually we will have to let go of everything. But with the pain of letting go also comes the joy and freedom of holding loosely to the things that ultimately belong to God. It means holding with an open hand the things and people here on earth that we love and holding on to the HOPE that we have of eternity with Jesus…a HOPE that we never have to let go of.

I don’t know what 2011 will hold for my family or for yours, but I do know that each day of this year is a gift. I want to be intentional with each day that the Lord gives me. And I can be confident that whatever this year brings, I can trust Him. He is trustworthy.

I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, “You are my God!” My future is in your hands.
Psalm 31:14-15
  • Chelsy - What a beautiful post. I needed to hear this today. Trusting in Him and letting go of things I cannot control is proving very challenging for me these days.ReplyCancel

  • Sadie - Amazing post. Well said. I hope this year brings many joys for you. God can do so much. I am new to your blog (been reading it for about 2months) and I truly enjoy reading it and hearing you discuss God. God is so big and so great.ReplyCancel

  • Sue - Beautifully written. I have chill bumps.ReplyCancel

  • Stef - God bless you guys, Jess. You’re in my prayers daily.
    Thank you for keeping this blog and taking us on a glimpse of your journey with you.ReplyCancel

  • Mandi - That was such a beautiful, heartfelt post. I pray that God will bless you immensely in 2011. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.ReplyCancel

  • The Moffats - Beautiful, Jess. I’m continually amazed, encouraged, and challenged when I see your faithfulness and God’s plan for you, joel, levi, and cora. I pray God’s richest blessings for you all this new year and thank God for you. Cora has impacted so many people and will be remembered…even as time ticks on. The ripples will continue for many, many years.ReplyCancel

  • Diane - I don’t normally comment but I love reading your blog everyday. Not only for the adorable pictures of the cutest baby boy but for the sharing of what is going on in your life and your heart. You always get me thinking or at least smiling. You are a blessing. Everyday. And I just wanted to thank you for that.ReplyCancel

  • Bethany - Thanks for sharing your heart. This post was a blessing to me as there has been much loss and loss my family knows is coming without a miracle. “Holding loosely to the things that belong to God” is a perfect phrase for this time in my life. I think it’s going up on my bathroom mirror. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Ruth Abel - I want to second what everyone else has already said. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. Your example is a challenging one, and your testimony is an encouragement. God bless you!ReplyCancel

  • Bev - WOW, what an absolutely beautiful testimony of God’s faithfulness and the power of His love through the greatest heartache in the world! Thank you so much for sharing and God bless you for your strong testimony of faithReplyCancel

  • meg duerksen - wise woman.
    love reading your thoughts jess.ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany - very moving. thank you for this message. it’s one that i really needed to hear today.ReplyCancel

  • lauren haddox - jess, you are an amazing individual!!! thank you for sharing with us! i continue to pray for your sweet family.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - wow this is so beautiful. i love reading your blog, you’re so honest. your faith in God is unbelievable, may He bless all your family.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - You are amazing! Thank you for sharing your heart and encouraging others in the process!!ReplyCancel

  • Marla Taviano - This is just beautiful, Jess. My heart aches for you and yet rejoices as God heals your hearts bit by bit. I, too, can’t wait to meet Cora in heaven!ReplyCancel

  • A Family of Love - Beautiful! I needed to hear this today! I am always encouraged by your posts. Thank You!ReplyCancel

  • Julie - Love you, Jess!ReplyCancel

  • Trisha Larson - I can relate…to it all. Except I am one year ahead on the grief cycle.

    You are not alone!


  • Kylie and crew. - Jess….those are beautiful words. Your dependence on Jesus is powerful. I love your grace and humility. I know that Jesus is so blessed by you and your heart. You truly are amazing.ReplyCancel

  • k and c's mom - Oh, thank you for putting my journey into words: grief followed by letting go. How do people walk this journey without the love and comfort of God? I have no idea.
    You inspire me with your honesty, bravery and faith that God is/will be enough.ReplyCancel

  • AshleyAnn - You have gift for writing…your blog is real, inspiring, and has Jesus all over it.ReplyCancel

  • Isaac and Mommy - Beautiful words. They melted into my heart and lifted my soul. Thank you for having the courage to write them.ReplyCancel

  • Elisabeth - As usual you’ve brought me to tears. My son went to heaven in 2009 too. You’ve been such a help for me I can’t even tell you. I am so very thankful for your blog.

    I wish I could go back and have a different OB so that my son would’ve had a chance of being born alive.

    We can’t wait to one day be parents again.

    The book of hope has been such a comfort. I recommended it to a blogging friend who lost two of her kids in an accident and I am so happy to say she loves it.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Jess you amaze me. I read you blog and check often for a new posts with snapshots of your life and what you have to say. I pray and think of you often. I cant imagine what I would do if I were dealing with what you have dealt with. I just wanted to share that Cora can still be with you in your family photos, or at least in some of them. Just bring a framed picture of her with you. I came across a friend from high school I lost touch with who lost her daughter at the age of 3. they always have her picture with them in her pictures. I was heart warming to see the pictures of her kids holding the picture of her. She will always be a part of their family even though she isn’t with them anymore, as will Cora be a part of yours. Hugs!ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Dear Jess

    What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it.

    I am the Mum of a gorgeous daughter. And she has multiple disabilties. And although she looks ‘normal’ she has many, many health and behavioural issues. And although she is only 7, it is getting to the stage that we are finding daily life a major challenge.

    I often think about the hopes and dreams we had for her. Whilst I carried her, whilst she was a baby and up until the time of her diagnosis at age 2. And life seemed so simple then but now it is anything but simple.

    I know God has a plan. I know God sent her to us for a reason. I try so hard to be the Mum HE would want me to be. And I know what you mean about forever letting go.

    You inspire me enormously. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - Jess, I love this post. I love all your posts, really, but when you write about navigating through the joy and the grief…oh it’s like you put into words how I feel. I am thankful for your words, your heart and your willingness to share.ReplyCancel

  • Tricia - May God continue to richly bless your beautiful family. Thank you for continuing to share your heart.


  • Jane's In The Jungle - Thank you for this Jess. I needed to hear it.ReplyCancel

  • The Schilling's from Cimarron - Jess,

    Once again I am sitting here with tears in my eyes, you are sooooo STRONG! BLess you ALWAYS and thank you again for reminding me that no matter what we endure He is there for us and we can trust in him.

    Thanks for the card the pictures were ADORABLE!

    Love to you all!


  • The Mershawn's - When I read your title to this post, it felt heavy. How do you let go? But, you are so right. Really that’s what our lives are about. Letting go. Nothing here BELONGS to us. It’s all a gift that can be taken away. He gives & takes away. What matters is trust. Trust in a God who never fails. Letting go is so hard in most areas of life, however I can I would think you’re living one of the hardest. Thanks for sharing that. Gave me new perspective as I let go of 2010 myself. Everyday is such a gift. Thanks for reminding us all of that…ReplyCancel

  • Jenni Lynn - Thank you for writing this…. It has been an honor to read about your journey, even now as it continues. Your words, and strength in Christ have been a great example! Little did I know that many of your words would be so encouraging for my family as we are now walking through a sudden tragedy. Thank youReplyCancel

  • Mikaela - Amazing. You always say it so well. I don’t know you but I have followed your blog since Cora has gone to be with Jesus (so I feel like I know you :O)) I can honestly say weekly, if not daily, Cora and your family pop in my head. I will remember her and forever be changed by her story for my lifetime. I’m thankful that you have chosen to live your journey in the “public eye”. I know the journey doesn’t always look or feel wonderful but you have so humbly and kindly shined the greatness of Jesus through it all. I am a better mom, wife, sister, friend and daughter because of your story. Keep shining your light for all to see. God is using you. I’m proud of you for pressing in to Him.ReplyCancel