Last Sunday, exactly a week ago today was the 6 year anniversary of our son Barron’s passing. The weeks prior to his passing and the months after were the most difficult times in my life. This past Tuesday I shared with the Southlake MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) my personal life story, in particular this story of loss and survival. It is a special, once a year, MOPS meeting called “Tea and Testimony”. In sharing my story I wanted my fellow MOPS friends to understand that even when loss occurs you can survive and you can still have joy in your life afterwards. What got me through was God. Plain and simple. I leaned heavily on my faith and the strength that God provided, because I certainly didn’t have it on my own. I have a wonderful husband and he was an amazing support through it all, but even he can’t provide strength that God can provide.

My Mother-In-Law, Carol Battles, who is now in heaven, told Justin and I that “we could chose to either be mad and angry at God or we can chose to lean into God for the support and encouragement we need”. She told us this while we were at the Marshfield Clinic Hospital in Wisconsin and our we were told our son more than likely had SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy). Learning that the disease was fatal for infants and the average lifespan was 5 months, could have shattered our lives forever. We could have succumb to statistics and ended up divorced, as most parents who lose a child end up divorced. We could have wallowed in our sorrow and never move past the loss. However, we had God on our side. He wanted to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). We trusted in him every day, every hour, and sometimes every minute during that difficult time. God got us through.

While at the hospital in Marshfield my Mother-in-Law wrote out scripture for us on index cards. She gave us a different verse each day and sometimes multiple verses in a day. These verses have stuck with me and have become mediations of my heart and mind in other difficult times in recent years. God can help us through anything, but we need to seek him. Prayer and scripture are the best ways to find God and get his strength. I wanted to share some of these verses with my MOPS ladies, so I made a print out for each of them. I wanted to share the verses here too, so others can use these verses when they go through difficult times. None of us is immune to hardships, difficulties, and death. However, it is up to each of us how we handle the situation. Seeking God and leaning on him during tough times is the best advice I can give. Read scriptures of encouragement and pray often, asking God for strength, courage, and guidance.