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Re-entering the girl world…

A few weeks before we found out the gender of our baby I started writing a post sharing some of my thoughts as our sonogram approached. It was entitled “#lifewithoutpink” as I referred to a few years back when someone tagged me on Instagram asking if I would add the hashtag #lifewithoutpink to a photo I had posted of my boys. It was a fun boy-mom thing and I’m sure this person didn’t even know I had lost a daughter but it kind of felt like a punch in the gut. A reminder of loss and what I can often talk myself into believing is a big gaping whole in my life. A life without pink.

I could never find the right words to finish that post.

As you know, sonogram day came and went and all of a sudden pink is entering my life again. In fact, pink is entering my life very soon as my due date quickly approaches.

Maybe the words for the post never came for a reason. Ever since losing Cora I have tried so hard to make sense of God’s plan for my family. I was sure that Levi, Griffin, AND Jake were all girls. SURE. Not because I have great motherly instinct–obviously I don’t–but because I thought that surely we were ready for another girl. I remember when we got pregnant with Jake up until the day he was born thinking that two boys and a girl sounded like a pretty perfect plan. And if I am really honest with you I thought we deserved another girl after losing Cora. That feels really embarrassing to admit but it’s true. I have done a lot of wrestling with God over the past almost nine years. I have poured out my heart and spoken my desires. I have cried out both in confusion and with a completely broken heart. I miss Cora like crazy and sometimes I still fight so hard to try to understand.

Last fall we actually thought we’d be welcoming our fifth baby in May 2017. I went in for my 10-week appointment and was shocked to find out that I was only measuring at six weeks. I had either miscalculated something or I was miscarrying–I knew that day that I would miscarry. A May baby had seemed so perfect for our family and we were heartbroken. We weren’t even sure we wanted to try to get pregnant again. Going through more loss sounded too hard.

I don’t know why I always try to take the reigns and figure things out on my own. While we were preparing our hearts to be done having babies, God had other plans. Early this past summer we found out we were expecting again. We trudged through those weeks before the appointment very timidly trying not to get our hopes up. We made it to the 10-week appointment and everything looked great. Praise the Lord! I was thinking all along we would not find out gender but the Mac boys (including daddy) all wanted to know, so we decided to find out. Boys usually win around here. Haha! The gender vote was 5-0. We all thought it had to be another boy. This time even I thought it was a boy for sure. I heard Levi tell one of our friends, “We all are kind of hoping for a girl but we all think its probably a boy!” Isn’t that the cutest?! And honestly, while I would have loved to have another daughter, I thought four boys sounded pretty awesome too. I hope you know me well enough by now to know that I am crazy about my boys. I can’t imagine life any other way. Each one has been the perfect addition to our family. God’s plans are always better and I love being a boy mom!

We walked into that sonogram room ready to hear “Boy!” and instead found ourselves saying, “For real?! Are you sure it’s a girl?” I was so excited and so shocked…and I have to admit a little confused. I had tried so hard to figure out for myself why it just made sense for us to have another boy; even convincing myself that God could use our story in a more powerful way if we didn’t have a “happy ending” of a girl. I was taking the reigns of my life again. Putting myself on the the throne and trying to figure things out in my own way and my own timing.

I just finished studying Romans 8 in Bible study and was reminded again that whatever situation I find myself in God has placed me there for my good and His glory,

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Those can be hard words to swallow when we find ourselves in the middle of tragedy and difficulty, I know. But as believers these words offer us great security. A promise we can live by. We may not always feel or see that God is working for our good, but we know with certainty that He is. What do we know? God is working in all things–He has all things covered. As we continue reading this verse in context (read all of chapter 8!) we see that God’s “good” doesn’t mean getting what we want and it doesn’t mean that the things he uses for good in our life are always good in themselves. Verse 29 tells us that the “good” is being conformed into the likeness of His Son. He is changing us from the inside out. Even when our plans seem good to us, God often has something better in mind. We can be confident that God is at work in the center of our very worst times, our very best times, and even the very mundane times in our lives. He was working for the good of my family when Cora died and continues to work for the good of my family as we are just weeks away from holding our second daughter. I don’t have to understand, but it is my prayer that I would always give my heart and mind to trust His perfect purposes.

All God’s gifts are good, but, oh my goodness, this little girl feels like a very special gift from the Lord. We have had our seasons of mourning, and as a friend so sweetly reminded me, this season is definitely a season for rejoicing. We are praising God for the life he continues to bring to our family. We are so undeserving of His kindness to us. It is my prayer that as we continue to share parts of our grief as well as our joy, that you would see that God is both completely good and completely sovereign all the time. The end of Romans 8 reminds us that nothing can separate us from God’s love for us. Will you trust God’s perfect purposes with your circumstances today?

So here we go. Our family’s story has looked so different than anything I could have planned or imagined. I am thankful for God’s patience with me as He continues to gently remind me that He is on the throne. He is so good. Just a few more weeks until we re-enter the girl world. This boy family may not know what hit us as the pink starts to find its way into our home but we are so ready to love on this little lady like crazy!

*photos taken by my sweet friend Ashley of Ashley Opliger Photography

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  • Dena - Praying for continued blessings on your family, your delivery and your sweet new little “pink” one πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

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  • k&c's mom - Yours was the first blog I read, and I’ve followed and prayed for you since your loss. I know that God used your journey to prepare me for the loss of my husband. I know that ALL of your readers are more than thrilled for you and this upcoming pink bundle of joy! Blessings on you!ReplyCancel

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  • Cat - I needed this today, for a situation that is very different. However, God’s word is always true. Thank you.ReplyCancel

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  • Michelle - Beautifully spoken Jess. The leadership you show with your faithfulness in understanding God’s plan is so inspiring to me. Thank you for the timely reminder that we aren’t in control and need to wait for Him to show us the way.ReplyCancel

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  • Toni Dreist - I really think this is one of my most favorite posts you’ve ever done. I weeped with you when you lost your precious Cora and I am rejoicing over your new daughter that is soon to arrive. I trust Him completely and it has been you that has helped to lead me to continue having that trust. Faith plays such a huge role in our lives. Your family continues to be in my prayers and my thoughts of a smooth delivery will be right there with you. Much love and hugs and we all can’t wait β€œmeet” your newest Princess Mac. πŸ’œπŸ™πŸ»πŸ‘ΆπŸΌReplyCancel

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  • Kimberly Oyler - so excited for you, jess!! it’s going to be amazing! I can’t wait to hear her name and see her sweet face! love you friend!ReplyCancel

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  • Heather - I love this story Jess! Thanks for sharing your heart! You ministered to me today! πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸŒΈπŸ’•ReplyCancel

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  • Sue - Thank you so much for this beautiful post. You have been such a witness and inspiration to me since you lost Cora. I read your blog and rejoiced for God’s goodness every time you had one of your beautiful boys but I was especially moved and so grateful to hear that He is giving you another daughter. Thank you for always pointing us to Him even after the most unspeakable loss. I will be praying for joy, peace and good health for the Mac family.ReplyCancel

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  • Elizabeth Kelly - Thanks for sharing and for the encouragement! You look beautiful and I’m so excited that your family will include a bit of pink again. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

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  • Claire - I’ve been praying for your family since little Cora got sick and the link was sent to me in a prayer chain. So, I’ve watched your pregnancies and babies being born, and each time, I have prayed for a girl for you. I love this post. It really shows God’s perfect plan. He knew you weren’t yet ready for a girl. I am so happy you will have another baby girl to love very soon. Cora can never be replaced, but she is probably so excited to see you with another girl.ReplyCancel

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  • Susan - Aaaah – I am so excited to see all the pink again. I have followed your journey since Cora and what a journey it’s been! You (and Joel) are such a testament and an inspiration. Your baby girl is going to be so loved and so protected by all those boys. Isn’t it amazing how our hearts just find space for more love??? Can’t wait for the newborn pics – please don’t leave us hanging for long!!
    Sending much love to you all, Sue xxxReplyCancel

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  • Angie - J-
    I came home from a disappointing appointment for our oldest son today (likely another surgery in his future). I sat down w/my devotional book, but opted to first do a computer search for reassuring words about our current circumstances. I’ve followed your story since Cora’s illness as our youngest child (a daughter after two boys) was 6 months older than Cora; and for some reason checked in on your Instagram before opening my devotional book. I followed your most recent post to read further on the blog.
    I am thanking God for using you and your thoughts as precisely what I needed to read today and at this moment. God *is* good and sovereign.
    Too…I recall taking a picture of our laundry basket one evening as I folded laundry b/c it was a new kind of joy to see pink and sparkly items mixed in for the first time. We had a miscarriage prior to having our daughter in the mix of what turned out to be 3.5 years of unexplained (humanly speaking) infertility. I am empathizing with so much of what you typed in this post…so much familiarity of a past time for us and our boys.
    Best wishes navigating through times of grief and joy this month; and thanks to God for using you in my life today.
    ~AngieReplyCancel

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  • Amie - Ohhhhh how I love your faithful loving heart! I think and pray for you often and miss u❀️ May your next few weeks be filled with love and peace! So excited to meet Miss Mac! Thank you for always being such a sweet reminder of God’s love and family for me!!!!Hugs to you all! Love uπŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—ReplyCancel

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  • Meghan - This is so beautiful, Jess. I love your honesty and how you use this space to glorify our Heavenly Father so authentically. Rejoicing for your family as you await the arrival of your newest little one.ReplyCancel

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  • Carolyn Dewey - Hi Jess! I haven’t kept up with Newton blogs, except for Debby’s, which is where I just read your exciting news. We are so happy to hear about your growing family and look forward to hear when baby girl arrives. Your boys are so handsome!!! God bless the Macs!!!ReplyCancel

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  • Wendy Harmon - Hello Jess – I have written before, I have followed your blog since Cora was sick – we had daughters the same age and my heart broke for you all and my heart has rejoiced for you with every new birth and your boys are SO adorable. I’m sure you are human to the core, like all of us, but I follow your story through the years from a far (Atlanta GA) and am amazed at your faith and your openness to share not only your high points but your low ones too – and you are so right, God is still he same God through it all, and still holding us close! I could not be more thrilled to see PINK back in your home soon – those cutie pie boys will be so amazing with her!! PLEASE keep sharing, and thank you!! Prayers from Atlanta!ReplyCancel

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  • Linda - I’m so happy for you and family. I have read your post for about the whole 9 years. I have seen your pain and your joys. Your faith in the Lord has always been there. Your story has a new chapter. Thank You so much for sharing and blessing us, your readers.ReplyCancel

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  • Muriel Siadak - Jess I to have followed you and your family since Cora was ill. Although far from Kansas your words of gods live is so true. Sending pink stars and joyous prayers to all of you as you wait for Miss Mac to arrive.
    Your post was exactly what I needed todayReplyCancel

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  • andrea siebert - oh Jess-can’t wait to see you hold that sweet little girl in your arms!ReplyCancel

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  • Amy - So glad that God has sent you another little girl. Prayers at this time of year and as this little girl makes her way into your family.ReplyCancel

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  • Joyce - Wishing you all the best as you welcome this new little life into your family. Thank you for sharing your faith and encouraging each one of us to keep trusting God for His perfect plan for our lives.ReplyCancel

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