Somedays I wonder how I can keep going. I wonder how I can keep moving forward without Cora and with this huge hole in my heart. It makes me so sad to think it has been six almost seven months that we have continued through life without Cora alongside us. I hate that time is moving forward without her here. But then I marvel at the fact that it has been six almost seven months that I have lived through this dark storm and I am still standing.
Yesterday as we worshipped in church, the words of these songs seemed to jump off the screen at me. I think I needed a reminder of why I am still standing. A reminder that Christ alone is my solid ground through this fierce storm. And because of this living hope, He gives me a reason to keep moving forward.
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
’til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand
(In Christ Alone)
Jesus You’re my firm foundation
I know I can stand secure
Jesus You’re my firm foundation
I put my hope in Your holy Word
I put my hope in Your holy Word
I have a living hope
I have a future
God has a plan for me
Of this I’m sure
Of this I’m sure
I pray that whatever you are facing today, that you too would find your feet standing secure–
in Jesus, our firm foundation.
I just love how Cora’s Playground is coming together.
Check out the new flooring.
DuraPlay installed the flooring. They even donated some of the cost so that we could have the colorful design–which I love!
We are so thankful for all these talented, generous people who are helping make Cora’s Playground possible.
Today has been an emotional roller coaster.
But I think it is a perfect picture of how our lives feel right now.
Constantly going back and forth from joy to sadness…
and trying to function amidst it all.
The day started off with our sonogram. That’s right! I am half-way through this pregnancy and we are getting closer to meeting this sweet little baby that will be joining our family. We can’t wait!
My doctor sent us to a specialist for the sonogram. As far as we know neuroblastoma is not hereditary. They are not treating this as a high-risk pregnancy. But, after everything we went through with Cora my doctor wanted to do everything possible to give us peace of mind right now.
The doctor’s office we went to today was right across the street from the hospital where we spent 17 days with our sweet Cora. It was so hard to even see that hospital building again. We were thankful the sonogram wasn’t actually in the hospital. I don’t think we could have handled walking through those doors again.
Today we are thankful for good news. We were so thankful to find out that Baby Mac is healthy. Everything looked great! What a relief. But then it was back to reality as we had to answer tons of medical history questions and explain to the specialist Cora’s brief battle with cancer.
The doctor was so kind as we struggled through all the answers. The tears were coming. After talking with the specialist we feel pretty confident that there isn’t too much to worry about. I will have two more sonograms throughout this pregnancy with the specialist. Again, just to take every precaution and for our own peace of mind. We are thankful for proactive doctors who are trying to make this as easy as possible on us.
And in case you are wondering–which I’m sure none of you are…
We are not finding out if Baby Mac is a boy or girl.
It will be a surprise to us all.
Cora was a surprise too and we loved it that way.
Well, if that wasn’t enough to handle in one day, there was more.
Joel and I still have not purchased a gravestone for Cora. I don’t even know if gravestone is the “correct” word. I just know that I hate even saying gravestone or anything like it.
We should have done this a long time ago. But it has been too hard. It is just one more thing we have to do to make Cora’s being gone all the more real. But today since Joel was already gone from work–which is hard when you are a farmer–we decided we needed to just go and do it.
It was just as horrible as I expected. I wasn’t sure if I could even walk into the place without falling apart. But, I made it through without even a tear (I fell apart when I got home instead). I don’t think I could cry because I was just so mad that we were even there.
I was mad that the salesman was showing us clipart pictures to put on the stone to represent our daughter’s precious life. How can we choose a clipart picture to represent how much Cora’s life meant? I was mad that we were trying to decided how to write Cora’s name on a gravestone instead of writing her name on nursery name tags, birthday invitations, and play group lists like my friends are doing with their kids. And I was mad that my daughter’s name was going to be in a cemetery–even though technically it is already there. It just seems so wrong. So final.
We were there a little over an hour and that was all we could handle. We probably will have to go back to make the final decision, but at least we made the first step.
Maybe it was a mistake to do all that in one day. But really, our days are filled with those extremes of emotions quite often. It is just our reality right now. And although we often don’t know how to deal with these emotions all at once, the Lord knows every little thing that we are feeling. And He cares about us more than I can even comprehend.
I am so thankful that Cora’s life does have meaning. I am thankful that we can look beyond her gravestone and see the hope of eternity. And although walking this road really stinks, I am thankful for this new eternal perspective the Lord is giving to me.
Now we live with a wonderful expectation because Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for His children. It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.
1 Peter 1:3-4
Driving through the Canadian Rockies and seeing the falls and lakes was definitely my favorite part of the trip. The scenery is amazing. The lakes are beautiful colors–blue, green, turquoise–and so clear. The pictures really don’t do it justice. You will just have to go see for yourself!
As you see all these beautiful places you just can’t help but be amazed by our Creator.
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.
How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
find refuge in the shadow of your wings.
I am so thankful that the God who created all of these beautiful places is the same God who is walking beside me through this storm.
He is the same God who I can take refuge in and find strength to make it through another day.
He is the same God who loves me unconditionally.
And He is the same God who is completing his good and perfect plan in my life–even when I don’t understand.
What a mighty God we serve!
We left early the next morning.
I was really struggling to stay awake in the car. I was so tired. Joel kept asking me how I could sleep when we were traveling on Canada’s most scenic highway. Somehow I managed to. Truthfully, I was a pretty lousy driving partner. Sorry Joel!
But, by the time we got there I was rested and ready to do some exploring.
Our destination was the Columbia Icefield. We wanted to see a glacier up close. Thanks to this huge ice explorer (bus) we did just that.
You might not be able to tell from the picture but we were driving straight down. It felt like we were falling off a cliff–very slowly.
See all the people holding on to the backs of their seat? I wasn’t so sure about my safety. Joel thought it was great.
The tour guide said it was dangerous. There were holes that you could fall into (they had a special name, but I can’t remember).
Apparently these people didn’t hear the warning–or didn’t care. And I am not sure what the crazy Hawaiian man was doing. He was even wearing a lei.
Lots of people were collecting the glacial water in their water bottles. Joel decided to test it out. I wouldn’t taste it–I wasn’t so sure. I told Joel he was going to get sick.
When we got back on our bus and the tour guide informed us that drinking glacial water is supposed to be very good for you and keep you healthy. Once again I was too cautious and Joel was right. We’ll see how that keeping you healthy part works out for him.