Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Fellowship of Sufferers

I am incredibly blessed.

As I listen to the radio broadcasts this week about Molly's life and death a year ago, I am struck with the amazing opportunity we have been given to share the love of Christ to so many. Because my dad heads up FamilyLife, I am reaping the benefits of being able to share our sweet daughter's story with so many people.

In the wake of Molly's book and the radio broadcast I have received multiple comments here, emails, and friend requests on Facebook. Some of them come from fellow mommies and daddies who are going through the pain of the death of a child. It is encouraging to know that we are not alone in our journey of pain and tears over losing Molly and now Micah. But I must tell you that it is equally discouraging to hear of more and more losses. I am so heartbroken for the parents who struggle to conceive only to lose their baby before he is born. The ones who have great hearts and just want to be parents and long to fill their home with children, why should they not be given this blessing? It makes me sad and it makes me angry. It is so not fair. And it's because the world we live in isn't fair and if it were, I'm not sure we would even deserve the kids we have had or the life we do live.

There is an excellent book on loss, and how our souls grow as a result, that I've been reading off and on since Molly died. The book is: A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sittser. It's such a great book. My favorite chapter has to do with this very struggle. I didn't deserve to watch Molly die or lose Micah in my womb!! But... the question in response is, did I even deserve to have them in the first place? No, we didn't deserve them. They were, and still are, a gift. If I have the attitude that I deserve life to be a certain way, then I am certain to be disappointed with each letdown. We are not guaranteed a life without suffering, no matter the form.

I'm thankful that God does not deal with us on a fairness basis. If that were so I'm not sure I would have been given Jacob, let alone my precious kids. I am thankful that I not only have a daughter, but also a son! Do I wish they were here with me? Absolutely!! But God saw fit for us to grow as a result of losing them. I do not believe He caused them to die, but I do believe He is in control and allowed it to happen. Do I like these things? Not at all. But I don't get to chose the outcome of my baby's lives. I do get to chose how I respond to their lives and deaths. And I hope and pray that I continue to be honest with myself, Jake, and my Lord in the process. And ultimately, that I might honor and glorify God as that is my ULTIMATE goal and purpose in life.

To the many parents in this unfair world that experience the disappointment of never having children, losing a child, or losing multiple children, I am praying for you and loving you even though we might never meet. I consider you to be someone who understands my heart and the pain I experience better than anyone else. My prayer continues to be that we might use our pain for the glory of God and allow it to be used for good. May we share our pain with others and engage in loss and, for a time, the death of a dream. We will continue to experience pain in this life. This is not our only time of trial and suffering. I do not expect this to be the last time I lose someone I love, but I do expect that in the midst of loss that God will bless us richly. I don't know how He plans to do that, but I do expect blessings upon blessings. I pray blessings for you as well as for me.

Thank you so much for the prayers of so many and for supporting our book. I pray not for huge sales, but for God to use it mightily as He has Molly.

To God be the Glory

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A birthday gift for Molly





Here's a birthday story written for Molly by her Aunt Stephanie.

Happy Birthday, Molly!

The kingdom was a buzz. It was the week leading up to princess Molly’s birthday, she kept dropping hints to the King about what she was wishing for: cupcakes, a parasail, a new puppy. The list was endless along with the mounds of questions. Because this was Molly’s first birthday she really didn’t know what to expect, so anytime the King was around He was bombarded with inquisitive questions.

Molly finally decided exactly what she wanted and wouldn’t take no for an answer. (She gets that from her earthly father.:) She marched right up to the King and whispered in His ear her request. He smiled, rustled her hair, and said, “You know that is very costly.” She said no she didn’t know it was very costly she just knew it was exactly what she wanted. With that He nodded and went off to prepare for her birthday celebration.

Molly waited with anticipation as the King prepared to enter the banquet hall. Everyone was waiting eagerly to see what the princess had wished. As the King entered the hall, a hush fell across the room the King presented princess Molly with her gift. She beamed. "A baby brother just what I asked for." The King smiled with tears in His eyes. “Yes, Molly just what you asked for but the cost was great.” She grabbed Micah’s hand and ran and said, “the best part is yet to come...come catch the balloons with me. Mommy and Daddy always send enough to share."

Love, tears, and a heavy heart,
Steph

Friday, June 12, 2009

It's Official

This morning, around 10:30, I just received my first copy of Molly's book. I could not contain my excitement as I shared it with both Jake and my sister, Laura, who is in town for Molly's first birthday. We browsed through the pages and oohed and aahed over the pictures of Molly and her sweet hand and footprints scattered throughout.

It's a beautiful book. I am so proud of myself for such a great accomplishment. I've always wanted to write a book but I had no idea what to write about. Writing about Molly was both beautiful and heart-wrenching at the same time. I loved it and cried over it countless times. It is a treasure.

Thank you so much Mom, for helping me write this book, for all the hours you put into it and helping me get on paper the story of my daughter, Molly Ann. I am so grateful. This is such a gift and blessing to my heart!

And also, a huge thank you to the many people at FamilyLife Publishing who also put in many hours, tears, and hard work to make this book happen in four and a half months. What an accomplishment for us all!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Molly's Book, Broadcast, and Birthday


I am so excited!! I cannot fully express the joy of finally releasing Molly's book to so many! It's available! I can't stand to wait any longer to share with everyone the story of Molly Ann Mutz. I know that many already know her story but the book shares so much more. It's incredibly heartfelt and shares the depth of our love for her and the struggle of our grief over letting her go be with Jesus.

Click HERE to order your copy of A Symphony in the Dark by Barbara Rainey and yours truly. I can't wait to hear what you think of it!! Please write me after you've had a chance to read it.

A note for friends and family in Colorado: We are throwing a book release party on Father's Day, June 21st where you can buy a copy of the book signed by both authors. We will be selling the book for the same price as online but you won't have to pay shipping and handling costs. The party will be like an open house where you can drop in anytime. Be on the lookout for an evite in your email inbox for more details.

Molly's story will also be shared on the Family Life Today broadcast for the week of June 15-19. Click HERE to find a station near you and for times to listen to the broadcast. OR, click HERE to listen online. Her broadcast isn't online yet, but will be starting that week.

On another note, I can hardly believe it's almost been a year. I am struggling with her impending birthday and home-going celebrations. I want so much to honor her life and celebrate our daughter, but I am not sure how we will do that. We will make her a birthday cake and sing her Happy Birthday, sending balloons with love notes from Mommy and Daddy, and spending some time at her doorway. I want to buy her something. A cute dress, or a fun clip to put in her hair. I want to do something for her like I would if she were here, except I feel that buying her something that will only sit on a shelf in her room is silly and pointless.

So much to think about when approaching such an important day and week of celebrating Molly's life. Pray for us as we walk through these anniversaries and remember the sweet and sad memories of that week. We are extremely grateful for Molly, her life and impact on ours and the gift of having her with us for seven days. What a joy, what an honor. We love you, Molly Ann.