Thursday, August 20, 2009

Today

Even though Reese's due date is August 28th, my doctor had scheduled my C-section for today. August 20th was "supposed" to be her birthday, yet GOD had a much different plan.


"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9


I want to share the words I spoke at Reese's memorial service. GOD overwhelmed me (and still does) with His peace as I spoke, then I fell apart before I could even reach my seat. He is good.


We think of Reese constantly, and at certain times our loss just washes over me. Then the emotions pass for a moment.


We feel your prayers, tears, and love for us. Thank you!


Reese Catherine Rowe

August 11, 2009 ~ August 13, 2009

Thank you for being here today to support Jason, me, and our families. It means so much to see your faces and know that you care this much to be here for us.

*We are thankful for the time that GOD gave us with Reese. We were so blessed to have her on earth with us for two days. Today is about honoring her and giving glory to GOD for her sweet little life.

*As difficult as it was for us to leave the hospital Thursday night, I will never forget the comfort of going to see Reese, touch her, hold her whenever I wanted – what a gift!

Several verses have gone through my mind this week as I have thought and felt so many things.

I will always treasure our mother ~ daughter moments. Especially late at night or early in the morning.

At night around midnight after everyone went home, I would go up to her room and spend time with Reese. I had so much I wanted to say to her.

I would wake up early around 5 and go up to her room. What a privilege it was for me. The LORD would whisper to my heart Psalm 139:18, "…when I awake I am still with You."

*As the reality of Reese’s situation began to sink in, and my mind drifted to planning her funeral, I thought of how different this would be from mourning a loved one who had lived a full life.

As hard as it is to lose anyone you love, with Reese there are many of what will never be. What I will never have with my daughter. What Jason and Zach will never have with her. Hopes lost, plans unfinished, and dreams unfulfilled.

I want you to stay with me, because if this is all there was and all I believed, I could not be standing here before you now speaking at my own daughter’s funeral.

*Most of you know I was diagnosed with meningitis and encephalitis in May. Throughout my illness, even though I was in the worst pain I’d ever been in, I never questioned GOD, never got angry. I wasn’t bitter. Overall, I accepted it – thankful that Reese was ok, Zach was in good hands, and by leaning on my family’s and friends’ love, prayers, and support GOD carried me through.

With each passing day after she was born Reese showed no improvement, and we knew there was very little hope. It was then that I began to feel my anger rising. I prayed, "GOD, do anything to me – I can handle it. It’s my body. Take away my health, but GOD NOW, you have touched a big nerve. Don’t go there. Don’t take away my baby girl. Do not touch my daughter."

I know we are not immune to any suffering, but I wanted answers. My heart cried, "GOD, you’ve stirred me so. What are we going to do without her?"

In a way I challenged GOD, believing He called me to – not pridefully (I don’t have any pride left) or defiantly. I believe GOD led me to a "match" because He wanted to meet with me in a way He never had before.

The LORD replied, "Katie, give Me what you’ve got. I can handle it."

So I did. Some of the things I said to Him were serious, some on a lighter note. Yet He answered. Through my family, friends, His Word, many of you.

I cried out, "GOD, I have a baby book with blank pages waiting for me to fill!" He said, "All of Reese’s days were ordained in My book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:16

One night I went to see Reese, and the nurse had lovingly given her a bath. This meant the world to me. Such a sweet detail. But I said, "GOD, I’m the one who is supposed to bathe her." He answered, "The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away. Blessed be the name of the LORD." Job 1:21

This same nurse put a tiny bow in her hair. I said, "GOD, I’m the one who is supposed to fix her hair." He replied, "I will you quiet you with My love." Zeph. 1:17

One night I said to Reese, "This is not how it should be. Dad and Zach are supposed to hang out doing guy things and you and me have fun doing girly things." GOD answered, "I will restore the years the locusts have eaten." Joel 2:25

I said, "GOD, I have this precious diaper bag that I picked out especially for Reese. I searched for weeks to find it." He said, "My mercies are new every morning." Lamentations 3:23

As we were preparing to say goodbye to Reese, the nurse helped me dress her. I thought, "LORD, I should be able to have more chances to dress my sweet baby girl in pretty outfits." He answered, "Reese has already obtained an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away…" 1 Peter 1:4

The first morning Jason and I were home we were lying in bed talking about Reese. Jason said, "She should be right here in between us." GOD said, "I hem you in behind and before." Psalm 139:5

I pleaded, "GOD, but I already have a girls’ trip planned with Reese and my friends with their daughters. We were going to stay up late and giggle and paint each other’s toenails." He replied, "The joy of the LORD is your strength and stronghold." Nehemiah 8:10

These are just a few things that will never be with Reese.

GOD was gracious enough to answer me with His comforting words. But really He alone is the answer. Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still and know that I AM GOD." As my Mom reminded me, GOD is everything He says He is or He is nothing at all. I cannot believe He is nothing. He must be enough.

*Before Reese was born I began praying for her. What an honor to already be praying for Reese! Deuteronomy 30:20 says, "For He is their life and the length of their days." I prayed the day before she was born that GOD would be her life and the length of her days.

GOD used these specific words through me, as Reese’s Mom, to pray over her short life before she was even born. Of course, I had no idea her life would be cut so very short, but GOD did. He knew the length of her days would only be two on earth with us. Yet I also prayed He would be her life, and He is. I believe Reese is with Jesus.

My prayer for us now is Ephesians 3:13 – 21. Ephesians 3:20 – 21 have always been my favorite verses. The following is a summary of these eight verses.

"When I think of the wisdom and scope of Your plan for us, GOD, I fall down on my knees and pray…that out of Your glorious unlimited resources You will give us the mighty inner strengthening of Your Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in our hearts, living within us as we trust in You. May our roots go down deep into the soil of GOD’s marvelous love, and may we be able to feel and understand, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high GOD’s love really is and to experience this love for ourselves, though it is so great that we will never see the end of it or fully know or understand it. Amen."



72 comments:

dg darling said...

Beautiful...

Amber said...

I check on you every day via your blog and am praying for you my sweet sister in Christ.

Laura aka Mama Ham said...

You are an amazing woman and true daughter of Christ. I want you to know that from your reading your words - I saw God today. Blessings to you my sweet sister in Christ.

Michelle said...

Beautiful and powerful! Your friends' blogs all talked about how amazing you are and how amazingly you spoke for Reese at her funeral. I see now how right they are! What a wonderful example you are of Christ's love. God is Awesome and He IS everything!

Colleen said...

You are so strong and so faithful. I am so happy that you had two days with Reese. So glad you had the mother-daughter talks. I did not have that same opportunity but still, I thank God for my precious Melissa every single day.

You are being prayed for everyday.

Laurie said...

Sweet Katie-
Thank you so much for sharing this. WOW! Kelly had told me a lot of what you said. I loved how you tied in all that scripture. It is beautiful. Yes, you are going to know the Lord in a way that many of us will never know Him.
Love and prayers!

Brandi said...

Absolutely beautiful!!! I lift you up in prayers!! You are amazing!!!

aggiekmurphy said...

You are truly amazing! You are inspiring...

Casi said...

Absolutely amazing, Katie. Beautiful beyond compare.

The Morris Family said...

A bit ahead of you on the grieving journey and I am so thankful that your Source of peace and strength is in the Living Words of Jesus. The resurrection has broadened and deepened within my heart as this is where our hope lies, He is alive, and so are our little ones and WE WILL be with them again!! Stay in the Word....

(our little Joel with the Lord at age 3)

Caroline said...

I am so humbled by your sweet spirit. Your speeach was moving and so heartfelt. You and your family are in my prayers.

Mindy said...

So amazing. I am keeping you close in my prayers.

Kelly said...

Katie:
I'm so glad you posted this. I had tried to tell Laurie what you had said because it was all so wonderful but I couldn't remember much because I was just so overwhelmed as you spoke.
Thinking of you every day!
Kelly

the adams4family said...

Absolutely amazing and so true about our God...thank-you for allowing so many to see that we as believers "don't grieve like other men, who have no hope." In your grief, there is a hope and peace that only God can give. You have such a beautiful heart...may God continue to comfort you in the days to come!

Alex and Jill said...

I sit here in tears. My friend who was at the funeral told me about you speaking and how strong you were...truly a God-given strength. I'm so thankful that God gave you those 2 days with Reese. I pray for you guys daily.

Blessings on your precious family.

walkers said...

we have been praying for you and your guys every night and throughout the day. your words were perfect, a sweet fragrance. praying comfort, peace and hope for you. all my love.

His Doorkeeper said...

Katie, what you spoke was amazing.

Suffering is a compulsory part of human existence. The difference for believers is that suffering need never be in vain. Nothing is "untimely" to God. He is the Creator and Sustainer of time. Reese is with her loving Father and there is joy in heaven!

Praying for you and your family.

julie & joe said...

Thank you for sharing with us. You are a beautiful, strong person. I am praying for you and your families.

amy said...

I want you to know that I have been following your blog since the birth of Reese. A friend had told me to pray for you and about your blog. What you just wrote was beautiful and no doubt ordained by God.
I too, lost a child 4 years ago and I remember telling my husband when we were leaving the hospital that it wasn't right to leave without my baby...that's what you are supposed to do. But I know God in more of a way now than I ever did. Through my pain others were ministerd. I know there are probaly lots of people who are reading your blog and you are touching them and through Reese's life others are making decisions...like coming to Jesus, or holding the children they have closer. or realizing the true important things in life.
We have been praying for you. I am a pastor's wife and lead a bible study group, and we have others praying for you. God bless you!
In His Arms,
Amy

Charity said...

Beautful beyond words...
You and your family are in my daily thoughts and prayers.

Christa said...

Just Beautiful!

the osbornes said...

Katie, your strength and faith is just incredible and inspirational. We're praying for you all continuously.

Becky said...

Katie -

My BFF had a daughter who underwent a heart/lung transplant when she was 17. Soon after, her body began to reject the transplant. They realized that Sheena would not survive and each night her Dad would stay in the hospital with her. He talked with her about the fact that God's plans for her did not include college, or marriage. He had other plans for her. Although they did not understand them, they knew that His plans were ultimately best and that they could trust His heart.

The same is true for you.

God gave us a choice - to choose Him or reject Him. That is a choice Reese will never have to make. He made it for her. You never have to wonder where Reese is spending eternity. You will be reunited one day.

When Sheena died, her family was allowed to have her service in the school gym. No restrictions were placed on what was said. There were several decisions to trust the Lord. You too are sharing what God is doing in your lives. Only eternity may reveal decisions made because of your story and testimony.

~Mrs. Guru~ said...

praying for you and your family.

Sarah said...

Thank you so much for sharing this Katie. I think about and pray for your family everyday. May God richly bless you! ♥

Linds said...

Katie you are such a strong, amazing person! I cannot imagine the angst that your heart feels. We pray and think about you and Jason often. Thank you for being such an example of strength and submission to God's ultimate plan. May He wrap His arms around you and your family.

Karen said...

Katie...I have read your blog before through following links. My sister lives in that area and has a baby in the same NICU. We rode the elevator with you during those first few days. I feel priveleged to say that I sat in the waiting room and covered that whole place in prayer. I paced and quoted scripture...not just for my nephew who I've yet to meet, but for you and your family and the many others. I feel honored that God has allowed me to journey with you from afar and see His hand, His glory, and pray for you. Still praying....

Tonya said...

Absolutely beautiful. God bless you for sharing with such candor and faith. God said some mighty things through you!

Amanda said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I am praying for you and want you to know that you are amazing! You are strong, faithful, and inspiring. Thank you again.

Melinda said...

Wow- you are such a strong and admirable woman and mother. thank you for your faith that is such an example. You truly shine!

Rennae said...

Katie, you are amazing.

Jennifer said...

Katie, Your simply amazing.

To know Reese is with our Lord is comforting. I will continue to pray for you every time I pray.

Thank you for showing my strength there is in Jesus and God.

Alison said...

Katie,
I am sorry for the circumstances in which we met, but I am so thankful we did. Now I know how you had such a peace in speaking at the funeral. WOW! What an amazing testimony.
Alison

The Niemeyer Nest said...

You are an amazing example for us all! Your words are perfect and I cannot imagine the strength it must have taken for you to speak of Reese. I am so sorry that Reese died but I am so happy you are able to be at peace with this although it must be the most difficult circumstance of your life. Each day, I think of you and pray for you! God has wrapped his loving arms around you and given you the peace that passes all understanding.

JulieandRyan said...

Your words are truly beautiful and inspiring! I am so glad I found your blog and will continue to pray for you and your family. Reese is just beautiful!

jamesaidansmom said...

Although I don't really know you, I am so touched by the things you have said and done since you lost sweet Reese. I know you are hurting and my heart hurts for you. Reese clearly had an amazing mother. You and Jason and Zach will continue to be in my prayers.

Lauren Vinsant Kelley said...

To your post: Amen.
I am praying for you, Jason, and Zach; and I am praying for your families.

Wendy said...

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Still praying for you and yours in Ohio.

wendy said...

Katie,
I was connected to your blog through several links on other friends' blogs. I prayed for you when you were in the hospital and will continue to lift you and your family up before the Father. Thank you for sharing Reese's story with us in spite of your pain.

Michelle said...

Thank you for sharing. This was so beautiful.

Leslie said...

Katie you amaze me more with every single post. I can only imagine how difficult today must be along with every other day. You are the real deal and I am so inspired by you. Continuing to pray for your sweet family.

Jenifer said...

Amazing ,Beautiful ,Powerful are all the words I can say

2 little Boys said...

Today I knelt down to pray over my day and the boys, when I began to pray for you my eldest Davey (4) who was praying with me asked me who Katie was. I told him that Katie was a daughter of Christ who gave her baby duagher to Christ the other day. He seemed to accept that and yet I even have a hard time accepting that as a mother. I continue to be inspired by how strong in Christ you are being and how you are sharing your journey through this grief with us. Your testimony each day truly makes me feel His presence. Thank you for sharing your words and His answers. May the Father continue to wrap around you and your family right now.

Daily laying it at the Master's feet!
Laura Ann (aka 2 little boys)

Michelle said...

Speechless.

Follow The Stepps said...

Hello sweet family,
One of the most beautiful and sensitive things I have read. You have not been out of our family's prayers. I have shared your story with so many of my friends and with my bible study. We have prayed for peace and renewal for your family.
In His Love,
Kelly

Mary said...

I am praying for you. The Lord has used you to bring people to Himself many times over in these last few weeks. Bless you.

Candy Johnson said...

We've thought about you guys, especially today. When I dropped Kyle off at the airport on Sunday, I told him "details, Kyle! I want the details!" He tried to tell me some of the words you spoke, and I was amazed. Now that I've read this firsthand, I'm in awe.

We think the three of you should load up, and come here to hang out. We have the beach, the mountains, Duke, UNC, museums for Zach, parks, you name it! If you need a breather, tell Jason to pack up the car! We'd love to see you guys!

Becca said...

You are amazing. Reese was such a blessed little girl to have such a faithful Mommy. Love you Katie.

Stephanie said...

I am absolutely speechless and amazed at your strength.

My faith has always been difficult for me but you make me want to try and get back to where I was years ago before I questioned things and became further and further away from God.

I just want you to know that Reese is beautiful and she and you both have made me look further and believe alittle more!

Thank you!

Kelli said...

Only through God could you have had the strength to do this. I am never amazed by God's power. I will continue to lift you up in prayer!!

Belinda said...

Katie,
That was amazing! I read and cried the entire time! still thinking about you and your sweet family!
Belinda

nataliet said...

I have been reading your blog for a long time now, it's one of my favorites. Katie, you are an amazing person; you have such a sweet, sweet spirit. Your daughter is absolutely beautiful just like her mother. I have never met you, yet I will never forget you.

Janna said...

Amazing words spoken from the heart of an awesome Mother. You have shown us the beauty of Christ. I have witnessed your strength from reading your blog and I will never again be the same. You are a blessing!

Janna Warren

Robert/Karen said...

You continue to be a witness to me. Thank you for allowing us to pray for you and your family. I am astounded at your strength and am absolutely speechless.

Ann said...

Oh, Katie, only God can do in a heart what He is doing in yours. The SCC song is right, you truly can say good-bye with hope. Thank you for allowing us to weep with you. Thank you for reminding us of the sweet reunion. Afton is right; these things are true, and we must hold fast our faith.

I love you,
Miss B.

Jill said...

Katie,
I am a friend of Mandy's from Baylor. What beautiful words you wrote/spoke. Even in your time of terrible loss, God is using you and your precious baby girl for His Kingdom and His glory. However, I am sure you wish it could be some other way as we all do. Thank you for sharing your words and your emotions. You are challenging me to search after God in a new and fresh way. To seek Him and hear His words. You and your family are in my prayers.

Sarah Fries said...

Katie, It was so amazing the words you spoke and even more amazing how God covered you with an overwhelming peace. Thanks for sharing, it was an amazing thing to witness.

Jenna said...

Katie, there are just no words to describe how much this touched me and how grateful I am that you shared this. Just amazing. God gave Reese such a beautiful, Godly, faithful mama -and I am praying for that sweet mama (and the rest of her crew) ALL the time.

Shelly (Hastings) Rowe said...

I AM PRAYING FOR YOU FAMILY.

Rachel H. said...

This is beautiful, and I can't believe that you had the strength to speak these words at the funeral. I fell apart just reading your blog. We are thinking of you and continuing to pray for you and your family.

Katy said...

I am truly amazed by your strength & faith. Your family is in my prayers.

Robyn said...

Katie,

Thank you for sharing those words. I can't stop thinking about how God so lovingly spoke so many healing words to you, and how you have let Him draw near to be with you. I am so unbelievably sorry that you are going through this. I am also amazed at how beautifully you are shining through it - with love, peace, and strength from God. You are such a treasure. Love you,
Robyn

The Wades said...

This is beautiful and so perfect! I am so sure that God spoke through you to so many mothers and fathers! Your strength is amazing, you can tell that God walks every step by your side.
In Him-
Evelyn Wade

Summer said...

How beautiful! You amaze me with your strength during this difficult time and are a true daughter of Christ. A dear friend of mine who had three boys had a little girl last year. She was overjoyed and the baby seemed so healthy. When she was three months old she layed her down for a nap, with no bedding or anything to get tangled in, and when she went in to wake her the baby wouldn't wake. She had suffered from sids. Your strength reminds me of hers and what she went through during that difficult time. I myself have suffered from two miscarriages one in my second trimester with ultrasound pics and everything... This verse got me through and my friend also... you probably already know it but I just would like to share "My grace is sufficien for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Your family is in our prayers.

The Lewis's said...

Your faith astounds me and humbles me like nothing else right now! You are truly a wonderful example of Christ!! May the LORD bless you and your family! Praying for you, my sister in Christ, in Michigan.

At the Beach with Dave and Alicia said...

Katie, through tears I have to thank you so much for your strength. I had a miscarriage a couple of years ago and thought I had "dealt" with it and that I was "over it." After reading what you said at Reese's memorial, I see that there is still a very raw and unsettled sadness in my heart about my loss. I ask the same questions of God, "why couldn't I have held the baby? why didn't I get the chance to swing the baby around and giggle with her? who does she look like, me or her daddy?... for the first time, after reading your speech, I see that there is much more healing the Lord wants to do in me. The scriptures you read, the Word He settled your heart with; they bring me hope; they bring me peace. I have to thank you again for you strength, your wisdom and your ability to be real during such an unimaginable tragedy. You are in my prayers. It is so hard to let go, but you are right, His grace has to be enough.

Momofgirls said...

I was hoping you would share this. What a blessed peace you must have had in order to even utter one word. Praise God that He (was)is there to sustain you.

My prayers for you continue...

ddmull1987 said...

Katie and Jason, I don't know if you will remember me but I taught Chemistry and Physics the year you graduated ABHS. In fact, my daughter was born in the spring of 1998. I cannot imagine the loss you are feeling now. But I am not surprised at how strong and dedicated you are in your walk with Christ. You are ministering to others as you are being ministered to. Your words are encouraging others and are being spread. You are in my prayers. Mrs. Mull

Tammy said...

I have wondered how you and your family have been doing. I think of you often. You are amazing and an inspiration. The pictures and the video are a beautiful tribute to Reese. I will never forget taking care of Reese in the NICU.
Tammy

Melody said...

Although I have never met you, I have continued to pray for you and your precious family since hearing of your news. My heart was stirred just reading those words and I know God is going to use you in so many wonderful ways. May God bless you and keep you.

Melody

Kristy Krouse said...

You are so strong to share such a story. A mother of two girls I can only feel a portion of your pain. What a wonderful gift you have to be so close to GOD. I pray all the time to be that close. Thank you for sharing.

NennysPage said...

You don't know me. I found your blog through a blog of a blog! But this post is what I needed today. My heart goes out to your family and my prayers are with you even though we don't know each other we are sisters in Christ. I feel so ashamed to say I was reading this feeling sorry that I was going to have to go back to work and leave my daughter but your verses that you quoted touched me and made me stop and just THANK GOD for answering prayers of even giving me a chance to be a mother. Thank you for your courage and strong stand with God....you don't know how much it helped me today! Blessings, Jennifer

 
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