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faith like a child

My sister-in-law posted this picture on Instagram yesterday. That sweet little girl is my niece, Ellie. She had made a special birthday card for Cora and took it out to the cemetery with her mom and brother. When we went to release our balloons last night the card and a bracelet were carefully arranged by Cora’s memorial stone. Joel and I both fell apart when we saw it. I really wanted to take the card and keep it but I felt guilty because I knew that Ellie would want it there for Cora. I went back today to see if it was still there but the crazy Kansas wind had already blown it away. I was bummed. I emailed my sister-in-law to see if she remembered what the card said…because I wanted to be able to remember. I’m so glad that I asked because I love knowing the story behind this picture. I thought you might like to know the story too.

We hadn’t been to see Cora’s grave since the funeral. I kept thinking it would be sweet for us all to go, but I just couldn’t make myself do it yet. I think it was a perfect time to go yesterday. Ellie seems to show me continually how deep child-like faith is. As we walked back and forth remembering sweet things about Cora, it was almost like talking to an adult. She’s so aware of how happy Cora is in heaven, but how sad it makes us sometimes to not be able to be with her. Ellie asked to have some alone time with Cora, so her brother and I wondered off to look for some treasures. That’s when I took this picture.Β 

She wore her black and white flower dress too. She remembered Cora used to have one when she was little and now it’s considered her special Cora dress. She thought Cora would like to know she had one now too. πŸ™‚ It’s definitely such a bittersweet picture. It makes me ache to know what could have been…but also so grateful and full of hope to know they are probably going to be the best little cousins in all of heaven someday!

I wish I would have written the card down. She picked the colors because she was certain they were Cora’s favorites. The picture inside was of balloons because we didn’t have any to send up to her in heaven. I think the words were:

Dear Cora,
We miss you so much. You are the most special-est cousin, and Levi and Griffin too. I was so sad when you died. I hope you are having fun in heaven. I love you.
Love, Ellie

I am so thankful my sister-in-law shared this with me. Ellie is a little girl who loves fiercly. She loved Cora so much and I hate that I can’t watch them grow up together. But I too am thankful for the child-like faith that Ellie displays. She is not afraid to talk about Cora…or remember…or share her heart. And she looks forward to heaven, holding onto hope even as a five year old.

You are a pretty special cousin too, Ellie. And your faith is challenging even to me.

  • Amanda - oh my goodness, this is so so precious! When Rachel posted that picture it broke me heart, but I love hearing the story behind it! thanks for sharing this!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - This is beautiful, Jess. I love that God allowed the card to still be there when you went to release the balloons.ReplyCancel

  • Mum2twopreciousgifts - What a lesson to us all. I needed Ellie’s lesson today. Thank you Jess.

    I am thinking of you over on this side of the planet.

    M xReplyCancel

  • Breeann - What a beautiful heart she has πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing this story xoxoReplyCancel

  • Miss Harriet. - Oh what we learn from children. This is so precious. Beautiful story.ReplyCancel

  • Maria - Thank you so much for sharing this.ReplyCancel

  • Toni :O) - Pure sweetness…gotta special little lady in that precious niece of yours!ReplyCancel

  • EricaG - So powerful.ReplyCancel

  • The Mershawn's - I love that. So, so beautiful. Thanks for sharing. What a precious little girl. So amazing that she remembers her sweet cousin & so awesome that she gets to look forward to heaven already. I love it.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - WOW!! The faith of a little child! This picture is so humbling! I have read your blog ever since Cora got sick. You and your families faith are such an example to all. May the LORD continue to watch over you and your precious family!ReplyCancel

  • Erin - Sending up so many prayers for you and your family. That sweet Ellie can make us all stronger in our faith.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - The photo is breath taking and such a beautiful picture of God’s tenderness. Much love. CarrieReplyCancel

  • Brandie - What a beautiful post. My heart aches for you and your family but your faith really is an example for everyone.ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly - The picture gave me goosebumps & reminded me exactly why we’re supposed to come to Him like a child. Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Kristine Hanson - that is so sweet. My in-laws both passed away in 2008; every valentines my kids and I would bring a heart balloon to my MIL and put it on her wheelchair. Since then on valentines I get the kids each a balloon and 1 for my in-laws. The kids and this year my hubs write a little note to them and we let it go to heaven. think it is so sweet to watch the balloon go up, up, up to grandma and grandpa πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - The tenderness and truth of this post left me in tears. Thank you for continually sharing your journey with us, all of it. What a sweet little niece Ellie must be! Praying for joy for you this week, even as you continue to feel the ache of your grief. You are a beautiful mom, Jess, with a beautiful spirit.ReplyCancel

  • LauraD - Maybe someone else needed to read Ellie’s sweet card to Cora, which is why God created the wind to blow it away…

    What a beautiful and moving story!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - SO beautiful.

    I’m sitting at my desk, at work reading this post…my eyes full of tears…my heart heavy. Truly a beautiful post…such loving words.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - What a beautiful post. The picture of Ellie talking to Cora moved me to tears. Thank you for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing and reminding me what real faith is. Believing and hoping! I am so glad we have the hope of heaven and Christ. We will one day see our loved ones again + for the rest of eternity. What an amazing thing!ReplyCancel

  • Melinda - Beautiful! Ellie sounds like such a special girl.ReplyCancel

  • Alicia - So sweet, made me cry! I’m glad you got to see the card before it was blown away.ReplyCancel

  • Missy - So precious. And what a gift to us all. May we all have faith like a child.ReplyCancel

  • sthanlon - Break out the tissues, yet again! Just so you know, I think even those of us who never knew Cora think of her on a daily basis and our hearts ache that you miss her so much and pray for you all daily! Much love and thanks for this sweet precious post!ReplyCancel

  • Lissa - What a sweet little girl and a bittersweet moment. I think like so many things, when you teach a child about faith, it forces you to develop an even better understanding and it helps you to see how that child interprets it themselves.ReplyCancel

  • Katie Smith - Beautiful photo and story. What treasures you have in your life.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Wow! Precious!

    Sarah @ This Farm Family’s LifeReplyCancel

  • Jenni Lynn - oh my word……actually no words.
    this photo is priceless and the story tooReplyCancel

  • Pamela - Hi Jessica!
    My name is Pamela and I have been following your blog since someone sent me a link asking for prayer for sweet Cora. My son’s birthday is March 4th. He turned 4 this year. They were just 1 day apart in age. So when I read your blog and began praying for Cora I became so attached and I had never even met her. Then, they were just 11 months old.
    Each year on Murphy’s birthday, I can’t help but think of sweet Cora.
    Your Levi and my second child, Macy Kate are also the same age!
    I love keeping up with your sweet family! You are an inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Oh this post just made me cry…..its so beautiful and bittersweet…my heart is breaking yet is so full. Thank you for sharing that special moment and card with us.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - Makes me cry so hard! Bless that little girl’s heart!!! What a doll!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - So sweet. I love that Rachel shared the story with you and love that you shared it with us!ReplyCancel

  • brandonlk - This is so sweet..breaks my heart. Thanks for sharing.ReplyCancel

  • The Schilling's from Cimarron - No words….. just sweet tears running down my face.
    So precious! Thank you for sharing this with us πŸ™‚
    Love and prayers!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren - Such a sweet way to remember your Cora! And so thankful for family who continues to remember and display our Blessed Hope.ReplyCancel

  • Sadie - Oh my….brought me to tears. Child like faith is EXACTLY what He wants from us. What a precious niece. I know her and Cora would have been close. Beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Gail - Tears… thanks for sharing this special moment with us all! Love you! GailReplyCancel

  • Emily Hinkle - I love being able to see into this moment. What sweet loving cousins!ReplyCancel

  • Natasha - Amazing. What a special story and little girl!ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - You have a gift for writing, really showing your feelings in a vulnerable and honest way. You truly share your pain with your readers, and I mean that in a supportive way. I think we all ache for you, cry with you, and in turn pray for you because you are so “real.” Like many, I’ve been following your blog since Cora was sick and I feel like I’ve been on a journey with you. Your faith amazes me. It’s inspiring. God has not only used Cora to do His work, he is also continually using you.

    Your sister in-law’s photo is absolutely beautiful and should be in some magazine!!

    Happy birthday to your sweet baby girl in Heaven.ReplyCancel

  • autumn23 - That picture brought tears to my eyes. What an incredible little girl! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • our story - beautiful, just beautiful. Thanks for sharing it with us.ReplyCancel

  • Stef - oh, goodness. This gave me such a good cry.
    God is SO good to show us what child like faith looks like IN our kids.

    After our 3 miscarriages, my older two kids often shock me with their faith. It sometimes takes my breath away.ReplyCancel

  • Faith - oh my goodness how seriously so sweet and precious this is… it so brought tears to my eyes. thank you for sharing this with us!ReplyCancel

  • Lexie Loo, Lily Boo, and Dylan Too! - Oh my goodness, that made me tear up.ReplyCancel