Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What's in a name?






It is also the post that I have been unable to write.
But I knew it was coming as soon as I opened myself up for questions.

So I will try.
It will be hard, and it won't be all at once.

Little by little I will share the story of how the name Joy's Hope came to be.

It all started on a youth group trip to Yosemite in 2001. Jason was driving, I was riding shotgun and the van was filled with nine high school boys and one sweet high school girl, named Alyssa.

I was 14 weeks pregnant and convinced that we were having a boy. I always imagined that I would be the mom to a bunch of boys. Surfing, snowboarding, soccer playing boys. Alyssa asked us what we would name our baby if it was a girl. I had started a list of boy names and had not given a single thought to girl ones. We had 6 hours to go on the drive and poor Alyssa was tiring quickly of the guys in the van.

So we began brainstorming.
I rejected name after name. She was patient and kept trying.

"How about Joy?" she asked.

Instantly I knew that it was perfect. That was it. No more brainstorming, no more discussion. In Fresno we had decided on what we would name a girl.

I loved it's simplicity, yet uniqueness. How it started with J, just like Jason and I. How it would honor my dearest friend, Joy who is pretty much my sister, and how it would bless Jesus, being a Fruit of the Spirit.

For the first time I could possibly imagine having a girl and was even a bit excited.
But I still thought we were having a boy.

Fast forward six weeks to our ultrasound.
"Do you want to know what you are having? It's a girl!"

Joy.




It began as most normal Tuesdays do.

I had been having intermittent contractions all weekend and was really looking forward to my appointment that afternoon.
I was 39 1/2 weeks pregnant.
At bible study each woman had her own version of tricks to start labor. We chatted and laughed about them, some normal, some ridiculous, and the fact that within days I would meet our new daughter, Joy.

Jason and I went to lunch excitedly anticipating what the doctor might say. Wondering if she might even send us right over to the hospital.
Our appointment was routine. All of the standard questions, nothing out of the ordinary. She measured me and then got out the doppler to listen to the heartbeat.
She checked in the usual place. Then kept checking in other areas. The baby had always been rather active and was often hard to locate. I just waited patiently, not sensing any need to worry.
"Perhaps she has flipped and is breech. I am going to send you across the hall to have an ultrasound." She told us calmly.

Another patient was currently using the ultrasound machine, so we were instructed to sit tight in the waiting room.
About 30 minutes passed. Not once did a thought cross my mind that there was anything wrong. I was just scared at the possibility of a C-section. I tried to distract myself with a People magazine.

Our name was called and we entered the dimly lit room.
The ultrasound tech quietly scanned me. This was only my second time receiving one, and the images didn't make much sense to me. I asked her if the baby was breech.
"No. She's head down. I am going to let your doctor know."
Good. No C-section, I thought. All of this trouble for nothing.

My doctor came in, the tech began scanning me again. They whispered quietly to each other. I began to wonder what was happening. I strained to hear what they were talking about.

Awkwardly my doctor took my hand.

"She's gone." was all she said as she quickly left the room.

Her words made no sense to me.

"What do you mean she's gone?" I pleaded, through tears and panic.
"Your doctor will explain everything in her office. I'll walk you over there."






Dumbfounded, we entered the office.
Each of us took a seat and stared at our doctor. Waiting for answers.

She had none to give.

Perhaps she missed the week at medical school where they teach you what to do in situations such as this. But I suppose as an OB, she was much more accustomed to welcoming life than seeing it end.

Suddenly the C-section that I so feared became what I wanted the most. Combined with lots of drugs. Immediately.

But it did not work like that. In retrospect I am glad that she refused my request.... but at the time it seemed so unnecessarily cruel.

"Sometimes this just happens. You may never know why..."

was the only encouragement she gave us as we left the office. Her work day was ending and she promised to call us in the morning with more information.

They let us leave through the back door. Probably to spare the innocent patients in the waiting room our tears and bewilderment.

Jason immediately began making calls as soon as we exited the elevator. Because of my contractions, our friends and family were anticipating news of imminent labor. No one was prepared to hear what he was about to tell them.

Numbly I heard him explain to the best of his ability over and over. I sat silently in the car attempting to process and absorb this devastating turn of events.

By the time we got home, flowers and dinner were on our porch.
Pastors came over from church to pray with us.
Our families came over to sit with us.
My sweet friend Tara came over with her guitar to sing worship songs with us.

God gave us the grace to navigate those first few hours.

But then everyone left, the house was dark and quiet, and we broke down.

I sat in the rocking chair in her nursery crying out to the Lord.

Sadly realizing that in the next few days I would deliver my firstborn and then plan her funeral, when at this point in my life I had never even been to one.

She would never sleep in the crib.
She would never wear the closet full of clothes.
She would never take a ride in her carseat.
She would never take her first steps.

I would never see her smile.
I would never hear her laugh.
I would never hear her say "Mommy."

Until I meet her in Heaven.

"Then call on me when you are in trouble,
and I will rescue you,
and you will give me glory."
Psalm 50:15



It took two days for my doctor to schedule my induction.
It also happened to fall on her day off. I think it was too much for her to handle. But ultimately God knew that we needed another more caring and compassionate doctor to care for us.

I never imagined that I would be walking to the Labor and Delivery floor under these circumstances.

They put a rainbow on my door to alert all staff that entered the room that things weren't well inside.

We were assigned the most amazing nurse who had a heart bigger than anyone I have ever met. She made the most difficult of situations a tiny bit more bearable. She even stayed two and a half hours past her shift so she could be there for us when Joy was born.

All through out the day our family, friends and church came to see us.

No one had words to help or heal, they just wanted to be there for us in our pain. Many stayed for hours waiting to meet our daughter. I cannot imagine what that would have felt like for them. But I am forever grateful that they were part of our day, praying and pleading to God to give us strength.

Our room was filled with an unusual peace and sense of calm that I know was directly attributed to the presence of Jesus with us each and every minute.

My labor was easy.
I am so thankful to the Lord for that.

When she arrived the nurses weighed, measured, bathed and dressed her. They gently brought her over to us, swaddled in a hospital receiving blanket.

She was perfect.

Beautiful.

Exactly how I imagined our daughter would look.

We spent time holding her, crying over her, wishing she could stay.

Time was frozen.

I will never forget what it felt like to hold her.

They came back to bring her to our waiting family and friends. There, she was loved and held, and my sweet friends did her hand and footprints.

Our doctor came in and explained to us that her umbilical cord was knotted and wrapped around her neck. As painful as that was to hear, we were thankful to know the reason. Many parents never know why.

They brought her back so we could say our last goodbye.

I didn't want her to leave.

"The joy of the Lord is your strength."
Nehemiah 8:10

The next few days were a blur.
Visitors.
Planning the memorial.
Choosing a grave site, marker and casket.
Tears.
Disbelief.
Clinging to Jesus.
Surviving.
Numbness.

Her memorial service was emotional, amazing and overwhelming.
Hundreds and hundreds of people came.
All showing love and support when we were so desperate for it.
Our friends Amy and Nathan sang Glory Baby by Watermark.  
I don't know how they got through it.
Our Children's Pastor, Papa Larry read the book Mommy, Please Don't Cry by Linda deYmaz.  
I don't know how he got through it.
(Both by the way are great to have on hand to give to a family grieving the loss of a child.)

But most of all, the theme for the night was HOPE.

Joy felt no pain on this earth.
She suffered no sadness.
She cried no tears.
She faced no trials.
Her heart was never broken.

She woke up in the arms of Jesus.
All she knows is Heaven.

Our life here might seem long, but to her it is merely a blink of an eye before we are home in Heaven too.

We live in a broken and painful world.
Where bad things happen.
To good people.
For seemingly no reason.
But this is not our home.

We cling to the HOPE of Heaven.

Where there is no pain, sadness, brokenness, disappointment, trials or heartbreak.

Just the perfect glory of the Lord.

At her memorial
people were saved,
hearts were healed,
marriages were restored,
parents were encouraged,
and all were focused on Jesus.

Not too bad of an accomplishment for her short life here on earth.

"I can't imagine Heaven's lullabies
And what they must sound like
But I will rest in knowing
Heaven is your home
And it's all you'll ever know"




I needed to do something.
To take care of something.
I needed a break, a distraction from my grief.

My sweet husband caved in and we got this little guy, Charlie.

I still remember the look of sadness on his mother's face as yet another one of her puppies was leaving home.

Charlie became a shield between the world and I.

People who were scared to talk to the "scary grieving mother" could pet him, play with him and feel safer around me.

I wish I could say that my days were filled with hope and trusting in the Lord.
Many weren't.
I was at times intolerable.  Inconsolable.
Many a friend was scared off.  I am so thankful for the strong ones who stayed committed to me, despite how difficult I made it for them.

I didn't go to baby showers.
I couldn't visit new babies in the hospital.
I missed out on the first years of many of my friends children.

I really regret that.
But, I was doing what I could to just survive.

Seven months after Joy died I got pregnant.
11 weeks later we lost that baby.

Just when I felt like I was getting better, I got much worse.

Seven months after that miscarriage, I had another one.

I began to believe that I might never have children.  But it still remained all that I wanted.

I am not ashamed to admit that it took a lot of counseling to keep me out of the deep, bottomless pit that I wanted to disappear into.

I started Joy's Hope during that year of darkness.  I rented a space at a local craft mall and began to makeover garage sale finds.  From there I taught myself how to sew and began selling baby blankets and burp cloths.  With each stitch I prayed for the day that I could wrap our own baby in something that I made.

Joy's Hope is a reminder of our daughter, her life, and the hope we have in Jesus.

Thanks for taking this journey with me.

I never expected it to be such a saga, yet each day as the words poured out I knew that I needed to keep writing.
For my heart.
For anyone who might need hope in the midst of darkness.

Your comments and encouragement are so precious to me.  It is confirmation that Joy's life still continues to matter, and my willingness to delve back into those feelings of loss were worth it.

I am not brave.

I am just me, a sinner saved by grace, and I could not have written this before.

I have walked this road for  nearly seven years, and am finally in a much different and peaceful place.

This little girl sure helps.

Halley Jae came into our life two and a half years after Joy left.
Her name comes from the word Hallelujah and her middle name is in honor of her big sister's initial.
The day she was born was the first day in years that I could truly breathe and genuinely smile.



This cutie helps too.

Lucy Jae was born two years after Halley.  
Her name means "light" and she brings so much of it into our every day life.

I love to tell my girls about Heaven, and how their sister sees Jesus.
I love that my girls wear the clothes and play with the toys that once belonged to their big sister.
I love that each time they get a balloon they let it fly "up to baby Joy in heaven."
I love that their middle name honors her.
I love the fact that this little one on the way will share that same middle name.
I love being Joy's mommy.

"Yet I am confident I will see the Lord's 
goodness while I am in the land of the living."
Psalm 27:13

222 comments:

  1. Very sweet. I love the name I have a cousin named Joy. It is sure a fun name to have around Christmas.

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  2. I can only imagine your heartache as you begin to let the words spill out of your mind and onto the computer.

    All I can say is you have an amazing group of support here on the world wide web and we will be here every step of the way as you begin to share your story.

    Thank you for letting us in on such a huge part of you who you are today.

    Sending you hugs!

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  3. A beautiful story...thank you for sharing. Bless you and your sweet family.

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  4. i knew the day would come when you would share this. i wish i could say something that magically gave you the strength to write everything out but i don't think those kinds of words exist on this side of Heaven.

    what i can say is that i agree with bethany. you have support here. you have allies who are willing to empathize and continue to pray for you and Jason, especially as you prepare for another child.

    you are loved and appreciated beyond words.

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  5. Beautiful! It gave me chills reading that.

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  6. I'm in a big puddle of tears, just read your whole story. thank you for sharing with such beautiful, simple, touching words. I am blessed tonight by this hour on your blog! :)

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  7. I've read your story a few times. Every time I read it, your story is so touching. I can't even imagine the pain that you and your husband went through. We have been blessed with 2 pregnancies and 2 wonderful children. My brother and sister-in-law didn't have it so easy. Four miscarriages finally resulted in Hanna then four years later Patrick. Not once did my sister-in-law complain about the typical pregnancy swelling, weight gain or the daily shots she endured to keep each baby. I pray that your Joy is watching over you and your family each day protecting y'all.

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  8. i am not one to cry at reading blog posts, but still, here i sit tears streaming down my face. this is the first post i've read on your blog. i clicked on the link from ashley ann's site. thank you for sharing your life. ok, i'm off to get my sweet baby up from his nap!

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  9. I lost my little girl, Hadley Grace at 17 weeks. I admire your strength and honor.

    Your story is beautiful and encouraging. Made me cry and miss my baby even more.

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  10. just landed on your blog, some how through the Mac's blog..... totally love all of your creativity!!

    Then I found this story.......... I just lost my little baby this summer @ 10 weeks, and finding this was just another reminder of Gods great love! I have been overwhelmed with love and support and even more overwhelmed by the amount of women who have lost babies. Thank you for sharing your story and your heart and just being able to relate and connect with women who are hurting. What a testimony Joy's life was! Can't wait to read more of your blog and hear your journey!

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  11. Wow. Thank you. How unselfish of you to share this story and allow it to bless the lives of others. I never know what to say to someone who has lost a loved one... especially a child. No religious perspective in the world takes away how much you miss that soul in your life but knowing that God lives and Jesus is the Christ, who has already born the burden of that pain, sure feels a lot better than not believing in HIM. I know that you will be with Joy again. My husband and I want to have children very badly and haven't been blessed with them yet (it's been 6 years) your story is not only humbling to our situation but it also give me hope. Thank you again. What a wonderful blog I was blessed to come across on stumbleupon.

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  12. I sobbed my way through this. Your faith is beautiful, as are your children.

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  13. A friend introduced me to your blog because of Joy's story. Thank you for sharing your heart so openly. I just lost our daughter Eisley on September 14th and hearing that you've been able to pick yourself back up is incredibly encouraging. Thank you for sharing.

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  14. You are an amazing woman. Thank you for sharing this story as I'm sure that its hard. Bless you!

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  15. Thank you for sharing your story- with it you help so many women that have gone through the same thing- or their own particular grief. Your honesty is such a gift, and your love for your baby girl is so very evident.

    I stopped halfway through reading it- to go hug on my toddler before I came back and finished your story. Will hug her ever tighter today and always for reading your story. Thank you.

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  16. wow. what a tremendous blessing Joy is. and will be forever! I have experienced the pain of losing a baby as well and it's one you don't ever forget. I know it was hard to share this! But somehow Jesus turns our pain into something beautiful and that is what He has done for you! Much love to you!

    I've only just found your blog and I am absolutely loving it!!!

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  17. You are an amazing woman. Honestly, that is the only thing that I can say, your faith in God is astoundingly inspiring to all of us. I am so thankful that you shared your story.

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  18. Thank you for your heart. Praise God as He is glorified through all your suffering and stretching. I know this story was written some time ago, but it still touches me and therefore so many others. What a blessing.

    Our son underwent a liver transplant just one year ago and we have travailed those valleys and sung from the mountain tops as well.

    God richly bless you each & every day.

    Sam

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  19. Thank you for your bravery, all the more real because you recognize your human frailty and persevere anyway. Your and Joy's story was touchng and inspiring. God bless you and your family.

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  20. Hi there,
    I honestly cannot remember how I found your blog or where I linked over from, but reading this post really moved me. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and your story here. Your faith is beautiful, as is your family.
    -Angie

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  21. Beautiful Story, I lost my daughter at 37 weeks and as I read much of your story, I felt the same. I get through knowing Ashlyn gets a life without all the suffering and pain. And what got me through those hard days was Grace. Much love to you!

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  22. Thank you for sharing your story, Joy's story. I am sure that God will continue to use her tiny life to change the lives of so many. As the mom of a little girl who may get to meet Jesus earlier than I would wish for her from a selfish earthly place in my heart, I can identify with some of those low places you speak of, as well as the mountaintops of praise for all the God has done and is doing, every day.
    That's all - just thank you. And hugs.
    terra
    www.terratlking.com

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  23. Thank you for sharing your story. I cried for you and for my little boys, who came and left in July this year. I love the thought that Joy may be playing with them right now, in the loving care of Jesus

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  24. I sit here this morning thankful to God for all that I have. My beautiful daughter, my only daughter, is snuggled up next to me on the couch. She has fallen back to sleep. I am thankful that she is here.

    I have been blessed with 3 children on this earth, but I have 5 waiting for me in heaven. I understand the grief and the sadness that swallows you up. I still am aware of their birthdays and where they would be in our family pictures, but God has given me three lives here to celebrate and I am thankful.

    I know that my babies are with Jesus but I had never thought of the fact that they know nothing else, only the beauty and love of their Creator. Thank you for reminding me. Thank you for sharing your love and your grief.

    God Bless!

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  25. Although I met you at Betty Crocker, this is my first time reading your entire story.

    Oh the tears and the heartaches, and even blessings along this journey. I'm so thankful for your willingness to share this with so many, and offer healing and mercy from our Savior.

    <3
    Jen

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  26. You told your story amazingly. I am so impressed with your strength.
    You have 3 beautiful girls. I am convinced you will have the opportunity to raise your baby and will be reunited.

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  27. I am only 12 and that made me cry!
    you stay strong in God and he will bless you!!! my mom had many miscariges and she is preganet with a little boy right now, please pray it goes well!!!

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  28. God bless you and your family. My son, Christopher, died in utero 38 years ago. The nurse advised me not to see him; I hate that I didn't hold him. I only remember how he kicked and moved inside of me until the day he decided to go back to the Lord. I've always thought of him as my angel in Heaven, as is your Joy and so many other angels who decided to watch us from Heaven. I am Christopher's mother just as you are Joy's.

    Merry Christmas and thanks for sharing.

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  29. Thank you for sharing a painful past, you had me bawling thinking about what I would do being in that situation. I call myself a follower of Christ but I admire your strength and faith through the dark times.

    You are an inspiration.

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  30. The tears are still wet on my face from reading your precious story. My daughter lost the baby she had so hoped for... my grandchild...last year.
    We trust Jesus in everything...but it is so hard to understand. Your words were anointed and comforting. My sister's name is Joy...it is a beautiful name. And it seems a bit prophetic that you chose that name...as His promise is to turn our mourning and sorrow into "Joy" and dancing ...and that He will, when He wipes away every tear. Blessings...Kate

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  31. Thank you for posting this! I remember my first pregnancy and thinking that after I got through the first trimester everything was smooth sailing. NO ONE ever talks about what can still happen. My son passed between 22 and 23 weeks. I can't still remember the naive feelings that I had when the doctor told me that she couldn't hear the heartbeat on the monitor so we were going to do a quick ultrasound. I NEVER in a million years would have thought that the next words out of her mouth were going to be "This is baby that is no longer living."

    No one ever told me that could happen!

    Then...like you said, they still make you deliver....and you have to wait to schedule it and all. We were living about 4 hours away from our family at the time and did not know what to do. They came to be with us for a few days, but I can remember all of going out to lunch and it was so awkward. And then coming home and picking up my mail and having a "We just heard that it is going to be a boy" card, right next to "So sorry for your lose". It was surreal!

    I remember feeling like a failure and being afraid that I would not be able to have children and constantly asking " Why the hell does it have to be me?" and "Why didn't anyone every tell me it could end like this?"

    I know that people still have questions that they want to ask...but out of politeness they do not. One that I WISH people would ask me, and that I am going to ask of you is to see pictures of your baby Joy. I have pictures of my son, Matthew, but no one has ever wanted to see them. I feel like by not seeing them they are just acting like he never existed... I still hate that.

    I am glad that your children have brought your heart so much happiness. I got pregnant about 3 months after my stillbirth and have another beautiful baby boy. Our first was going to be Matthew Andrew, because we just loved the name Matthew and Andrew is my husband's middle name. Our two year old's name is Matthew Scott, Scott being my husband's name.

    I want to add...in the days after leaving the hospital, I had to come up with some justification or something to make it okay. I tell myself this, I remember my appointment at 22 weeks and they said my fluids were a little low and they wanted me to go on modified bedrest. They said that I might need to deliver early at 24 weeks. I spent the next 4 days telling myself that I could get to 24 in no time! Had I gotten to 24 weeks though, he may have been considered "viable" (I hate that label) and they would have delivered him. But it would have been so hard. He would have had a rough life right from the start and probably for his whole life long. As much as I wish I didn't have to suffer what I did, I am more grateful that my son did not have to suffer though a life of who knows what....heart problems, development issues, months in an incubator, surgery after surgery....I take my suffering over his any day.

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  32. Bless you, Bless you, Bless you! Thank you for sharing this story. I got chills when I saw your daughters' middle names. My whole name is JaeAna, but I go by Jae.
    Anyway, what a beautiful story.
    I will follow your blog. *hugs*

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  33. Just read your story here. It is heart-wrenching. Thank you for your honesty. God has used you this evening to give me hope in my own fertility struggle.

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  34. I was just browsing some crafting sites when I linked onto your blog. As I read your story about your journey with Joy I was consumed with sadness and loss for my daughter Gabriella. We lost Gabriella at 38 weeks - I know the nightmare you lived. No one knows the anguish and grief of a mother but another Mom who has lost a child. My husband and I spend many days and nights sitting in Gabriella's nursery, holding a teddy bear instead of our baby. It has been 12 years since Gabriella left us, and we now have 4 living children, but we still feel the loss and the hole in our hearts. Thank you so much for writing your story, it means so much to me to have found someone who knows what I have gone through. I look forward to following your blog!

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  35. That you for sharing this. I bawled all the way through it but nevertheless was drawn to your story. You are an amazing person with such strength. That strength can only come from one source and it is beautful that you know where.

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  36. Thank you so much for sharing this part of your life... May GOD bless your family until the day He comes back to fetch us all!

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  37. Oh my gosh...I have your blog linked to mine as one I follow. I have always read it, but just finished the story of Joy. I am crying...my 4 kids are grown and I have 9 little blessed grandchildren. You write so beautifully and so spirit-filled. We all know when we have children that they are gifts from God and not ours at all...we seem to forget that in the cycle of life. Your writing gave such purpose to Joy's life and I am a better person for having read your journal. Thank you! My blog is www.crlodge.blogspot.com if you ever get time to read it..

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  38. Dear Friend,

    I don't know you and you don't know me. At the moment I cannot even remember how I stumbled across your blog. All I know is that I was inspired to click on your story and now I sit in tears. Tears of grief and sadness and tears of gratitude for a loving Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. I can't imagine your journey, your heartache or your strength to survive. All I can say is thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for reminding me how incredibly blessed I am to have 4 beautiful children. How blessed I am to have to have them all here with me. Thank you for giving me the desire to reach out to others and be the best person I can be, for the Lord has given me so much. I hope to meet you someday, perhaps in the next life where you will be rejoicing with your sweet Joy. Thank you for touching my life.

    All my love, condolences and blessing of peace,

    Val

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  39. I never knew why your blog was called Joy's Hope since you are clearly a JULIE...and now that I know, I understand what a hard post that must have been for you to write. Know this - you're stuck with me. I'm not going anywhere and I will gladly read whatever you want to post on here. Thank you for sharing such a big part of your life with us readers. *BIG HUGS*

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  40. beautiful. i've been following your blog for a few months now & just read this. like many, i experienced an unexpected loss in pregnancy, so i appreciate your willingness to share your experience. joy. hope. God's redemptive love. where would we be without it?

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  41. I have been following, but I just now read this. Wow. I am awed by your story (actually sitting here sobbing). I am at the end of my second miscarriage (the first was at the end of October). It is so good to see that you have your two little girls with you now, and your others watching over them.

    I do have a 16 month old, and having him has helped me through these miscarriages. I hope that I will be strong enough to share my story one day. Thanks for sharing yours.

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  42. You say you're not brave but I think you're wrong - you're very brave and very strong. You endured hardship and through it you looked to Christ's comfort in your life. You delivered a baby that had already gone to Jesus. You started a business in the year you were the most down in life. You continued to try to have children even when it was a struggle. You have persevered and now you are brave enough to share your story of healing and love with the world. You moved me to tears. Thank you for telling your story. And thank you for not leaving out the most important parts - what God did in your life.

    -A sister in Christ.-

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  43. BAwling at my Computer. Wow. Nice to meet you, you brave brave girl.

    Hope. What we all need and few have anf faith..

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  44. WOW! AMAZING! Your story touched my heart in a big way, thank you so much for sharing.

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  45. I found you today via Sweetsugarbelle..I am so blessed to know you. I have been where you are, I had to have a termination at 22 weeks, in 1998. It was a horrifying time, the doctors were not sympathetic at all. If it were not for the love, support & prayers of my family I would not have been able to come through it. Unlike you, we did not see the baby or name him, or have a memorial. Since then, we have been blessed with 2 amazing boys, who are now 11 and 4, and I always tell them they have an older brother watching over them in heaven. Thank you, and bless you and your family.

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  46. Thank you for sharing this part of your life, for sharing Joy, with all of us.
    I can't pretend that I can understand how one would feel in this situation, and I pray to the Lord that I never will know this feeling.

    But I DO know how it feels to lose a loved one so young. My mother had three children, but nobody knows about the first of them. Christopher. He would have been in his early twenties now, I'm eighteen. I never even met my own brother. He passed on two weeks into his life. He only had fourteen days on this Earth and then, after the doctors noticed something wrong with his heart, he was gone faster than he'd come.

    It's nice to think that Christopher and Joy are both up there with Jesus, waiting for their parents and siblings to join them some day.

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  47. I'm moved to tears. I'm floored by what you've been through, and your light that you're still carrying and passing on. Wow. Thank you.

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  48. I found your site through the 30days site. So glad I did. I had a daughter when I was only 19yo. Her Dad didn't stick around. I'm married to a wonderful Christian man who I've tried for years to have children with. God has other plans and I am okay with that. We have 60 kids now through our ministry with AWANA at our church. God is good all the time.

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  49. Your heart-wrenching story has touched me to the core! Thank you for sharing such a personal journey in such a public venue. You no doubt have and will be an encouragement to many who are in similar circumstances, and likely the Lord is using your story to bring others to faith in Him. I have a dear young friend who is unable to conceive due to a medical disorder. She and her husband have been trying for over a year to adopt a baby and have had many, many ups and downs in the process. They are strong believers, but as you know the ache in their hearts is very real and only someone who has been there knows and understands. Though they have not physically "lost" any children (except for the hundreds of possibilities lost when her eggs had to be removed ~ she definitely grieved then) I can see that some of what my friend endures must be similar to what a mother who miscarries feels. I am going to share your story with her. And to think I came across your blog because of your adorable baby crinkle square tutorial! The Lord knew...blessings on you & your family today!

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  50. Such a moving story - thank you so much for sharing. While delivering our nearly 5 month old(http://www.paisleyjade.com/2010/09/ones-we-never-knew.html) all I could think of was those like you who had to endure a full term stillborn.

    Isn't heaven going to be amazing!!

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  51. Oh my goodness! Julie, I just read your blog and the story of Joy's Hope. You are an amazing woman for enduring what you have. I found myself sobbing as I read each section of the story to my husband. You wrote your story beautifully, and Joy will always be with you and your family, in your hearts forever. Thank you for sharing that! Wow.

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  52. joy thank you so much for sharing your story with us!!! I have followed you for the last 2 years and not once have I read this post. At times that I think my life is hard or was hard it helps me know that others might had experience hard trials as well and that I am not alone. Thank you for your beautiful reminder that having jesus in your life makes things more better.

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  53. I just discovered your blog today, and I cried as I read your story. I'm so sorry for the loss you went through. Yet I am so thankful that you know Jesus and had Him holding you through it. And I am so very thankful that we have the awesome promise of heaven to look forward to! God bless you and your family!!

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  54. My baby, Angel, died on July 31, 2010. Much like little Joy, Angel came into this world silently. Your story has inspired and supported me. The pain can be unbearable, but I too rely on God and the love that can be found all around me. Thank you so very much for your bravery. It is difficult for people to share their stories of baby loss. I am not alone. I cannot thank you enough.

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  55. I am so glad I came upon your blog. Yours and my story are similer. I lost my son, Gavin, at six months of pregnancy. The most difficult day of my life. Your description as to what you felt was me exactly. I lost my second little one seven months later at 11 weeks, and I lost my third child five months later at 6 weeks. A year and a month after I lost Gavin, I got pregnant with my now three and a half year old Allison. She is my joy. I imagine our little ones running together in heaven. That is my hope as well. I am a Christian, and I know I will see my little ones again someday. Allie talks about her siblings in heaven all of the time, and it is so bittersweet. God is awesome. Even in difficult times, he can use it for great. He has in my life. I have had the honor of helping and encouraging many others through this horrible journey. God is doing that with you as well. I look forward to reading more of your blog. God Bless. You can visit me at www.creatingmemorieswithallieroo.blogspot.com.

    Shelly

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  56. I didn't know your story until today. I am a follower of your blog and I loved the pics of your family on the beach and followed the link to the photographers site.

    The comments people left there let me know that something sad had happened to you and so I came back to your blog to find out what I had missed.

    What an amazing story. What amazing friends and family you have. I am so glad that you shared your story.

    I have 3 beautiful children. I never suffered a miscarriage or lost a child. About an hour ago I got mad at my daughter and told her to let me be and go into the other room before she got into trouble.

    I think it's easy to forget that our children are such blessings that God has given us. Easy to take them for granted.

    Reading your story softened my heart and reminded me to be grateful and not so quick to be annoyed or angered at the things they do. Thank you again for sharing.

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  57. if i wasn't already crying by the time i got to
    "She woke up in the arms of Jesus.
    All she knows is Heaven." the tears would have been coming for sure my then. loved how you put that. sorry for your loss. what an amazing story and love for your sweet baby girl

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  58. Wow, i am definitely moved. Might have cried multiple times... I am inspired by your joy in such a painful situation. I am inspired that you always leaned on the Lord as your strength. Today was my first time to read your blog and I'm sure its not the last :)

    Thank you for sharing!

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  59. A friend of mine introduced me to your blog because I too lost my first child, a daughter at birth. Thank you so much for sharing your story, and especially for how God sustained you! What a blessing her little life was to so many!

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  60. You dont know me, and I dont know you (though I feel like I know you after reading that story). I just wanted to tell you that I chose your site to explore, found that story, read it, and cried my heart out. You have such a great attitude about life and such optimism that it shocked me! Thank for giving me that. Though I feel so SO saddened by your story, I needed that cry today. Thank you for giving me that encouragement.

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  61. God bless you and your fantastic family for sharring His love and support with us!!!

    I´m a 35 years old mommy of 2 little precious (a boy and a girl) and... I´m a widow. I´ve been that for one year now. And I still cant believe it!

    I started a blog after my husband´s accident with an urgency of let my kids know their story with their father, with the world, with myself. Just in case...

    When you face the death like this, so close to you, so unbelievable, you have 2 choices: waiting in Jesus and keep moving OR get down on despair. It´s not really a "choice"... but YOU GOTTA DO SOMETHING!!!

    God will not take my husband and "forget about a little detail": me and 2 kids (5yo and 3yo). No! He had a plan! Not just for my Fernando, but for me and my children as well.

    Like you, I believe that someday we will all meet again... in heaven! Untill than, I´m trying to do my best around here, to honor Him.

    Best wishes!
    Mirys from Brazil

    PS: if you wanna know more of our story, will can stop by www.diariodos3mosqueteiros.blogspot.com. It has a translation button. Be our guest!

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  62. Julie, I am so touched by your story and I admire your strength. Thank you for sharing - it makes us thankful for God's blessings.

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  63. Thank you for sharing the story of Joy. I had my first loss at 16 weeks, then it took me forever and IVF to get pregnant again. I lost that baby at 21 weeks. She was born early but unlike Joy, we knew weeks before that even had she made it full term, she never would have lived. I had peace of mind knowing she would never suffer from all her medical issues, and the pain would never consume her.

    I am now pregnant again with my 4th attempt at motherhood. I am 29 weeks, I have a little boy who moves and kicks (I'd never felt that before), and I cried so deeply for you last night as I started to read Joys story.

    I can honestly say I understand.

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  64. Hi Julie...I just read your whole story and was crying. Thank you for sharing your heart. What a journey you and Jason have had. Love to you, Lisa Shore

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  65. Hi I'm Kelly I ended up here from Take Heart.
    I admire your strength & I am encouraged by it. We have had 4 miscarriages and I hope to someday talk about it.
    In God's perfect timing.
    Have a blessed day.

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  66. Oh Julie, I am just so touched by your beauty and your light. Your gorg gorg girls just melted my heart in seeing your pictures on Drew's blog.
    I clicked on your story of Joy and my melted heart just broke. I am so very, very sorry for your loss of sweet Joy. And for your miscarriages afterwards when you were so destroyed. I can't even imagine.
    Thank you for your stength and your example. You have reminded me to kiss and hug my 3 girls and little boy. The 3 girls were once little and a few years apart, and they are now elem. school, middle school and hi school. It has gone too fast, and it will for you too.
    Count our blessings. Thank you for your story. I will continue to come here often.

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  67. my friend just told me to check out your blog and i can honestly say....i've been there. its been 7 1/2 years since my angel went to her home. and exactly 7 months after i realized i was pregnant. i find your story very touching and close to home!

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  68. oh my, my, my.

    this was a beautiful way to spend a few moments this evening.

    who knew a recipe for baked ziti could lead me to this level of holy.

    thank you for sharing this bit of you.

    the pain of miscarriage widened the mystery of god for us too.

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  69. Hello, I have just found your blog and am reading from Australia. I will be praying you babe is safe and well and that you too will be well for this pregnancy.

    So lovely to meet you,
    God Bless
    Rachael

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  71. This is one of the most touching stories I have heard. Your heartfelt honesty and especially your willingness to cling to the Savior is so refreshing! What a wonderful day it will be when your family is finally reunited in heaven! "Hold fast till I come..." Rev. 2:25
    May God bless your beautiful family!

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  72. That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing. My little sister is up there for Joy. And I can only imagine how wonderful heaven is.

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  73. A hop, skip, and a url jump from pinterest landed me here at your site.

    I was not expecting this story.

    We lost our second son, Duncan, as a stillborn on May 2009, so reading Joy's story struck such a chord.

    I look forward to navigating through more of your posts.

    You are indeed a tribute to beauty from ashes.

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  74. I just recently came across your blog and am confident it was no accident. God is sooo BIG. Thank you for your transparency and trust in sharing your heart. I can't say I can relate to what you have experienced, but I know my heart broke when I read your testimony. However, my heart smiled because you had the courage to tell how the Lord brought you through it. You are a stranger, but I can only hope and pray that one day I will have just an ounce of the light you shine for Jesus. You and your family will remain in my prayers and thank you for brightening my day and giving me hope!

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  75. Thanks for writing out your story. My second son, Jack, was born with a heart defect and only lived a short while. I will be thinking of you as Mother's Day approaches. I never know how to feel when reading stories of others loss. IT is comforting to hear of others experiencing what I have, making it seem less hopeless. But it is so sad how many people have suffered the loss of a baby. We have 2 other children and one on the way, but even 3 years later it is astonishing to me how much I can miss someone who I never really got the chance to know.

    May Easter bless you with the comforting fact that God is infinitely more powerful than death and pain.

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  76. I don't know where to begin, but to say that I can identify with so many of the words that you wrote. I too was a parent without a child twice before I gave birth to my beautiful healthy full term baby boy Elijah on January 14th, 2010. My husband and I continue to feel so blessed for him, as he brings so much joy to our life. But then sadly I had another miscarriage 2 months ago. As we long to have a big family, we are trusting in God's plan for our life, whatever that looks like. Thanks for sharing your story. I had tears flowing from my eyes the entire time I was reading. Why do these tears flow so easily....I ask myself. Im thinking about my little ones that I will never get to hold here on earth...Im thinking about the women that I have cared for when I was a labor and delivery nurse...Im thinking about those women that I will encounter in the future that will experience a loss now working as a midwife. So many thoughts and emotions race through my body. I pray for God's will in my family's life and that I can provide compassionate care to those I serve.

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  77. Incredible story. I am drenched in tears, but not out of sadness, but rather praise to our Heavenly Father who has Joy in His loving arms. You are an inspiration to us all. May God bless you and I will be praying for your current pregnancy.

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  78. May your healing continue, may your love ever flow, may you help others heal in ways only you will know.

    Thank you for sharing a part of your heart.

    Blessings, Donna
    grandma4five

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  79. A friend sent me the link to your story. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing your faith and strength. Our son, Caleb lived for a short hour and a half. I recently started a blog for him: http://joy-cometh-in-the-morning.blogspot.com

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  80. Wow. What a powerful and beautiful story. I am thankful that God is in the details and that He makes good from bad. Thank you for sharing this.

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  81. I found your blog by chance, I was googling "cupcakes in a jar" and yours popped up and I am so glad it did. What a beautiful story and you tell it so well. I can't imagine the heartbreak you felt at that moment.

    Thank you for sharing, and thank you for an amazing blog. You are wonderful!

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  82. Wow, I have read many blogs on women who have lost babies, but yours describes how I feel the best. Thank you for sharing. I don't know if you get a chance to read all of your blog posts, but if you do- thank you. Thank you so much for giving me hope. Hope that even in despair, God is good and gives us the desires of our hearts. Thank you for reminding me of that. I have had one miscarriage and lost my little girl a few months ago at 21 weeks. My heart still hurts tremendously but you just allowed a little spark of hope to reignite.

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  83. ooooooohhhhh.

    My Sammy was born to Jesus arms 10/7/10.

    Love your blog, sorry it exists, but glad you write.

    Psalm 27:13 is my hope these days...

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  84. My first daughter, Hannah, passed away at 5 months old. My husband and I were only 21. We had a miscarraige after her and it took us a while for her to (I think) pick us out the most perfect and wonderful little sister in the world... who's name is Kayla Joy. :) Kayla is now 11 and we have two younger children as well. Your story touches me very deeply because I can relate to so much of it. I am glad you shared your story- even though I only just found this blog- it's still good to know- and let other moms like us know- that I am not alone and do not have to be isolated in my grief. Hannah would have been 13 now. It is so hard for me to imagine what her life- and my family in general- would be like had she been able to stay. But I know she's happy and well loved (we have a lot of family there to take care of her) and waiting or me when it's my time. And even though I'm not necessarily in a hurry... I really can't wait. :)

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  85. Hi, just found your blog. I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story, brought tears to my eyes and somehow helps to heal my heart too. Your girls are beautiful.

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  86. I wish with all my heart that I didn't know your story. . . but I too have lived it. My daughter Amelia was stillborn, under different circumstances, but none the less. . . Still Born. Sharing my daughter with the baby loss world has been healing and I want to thank you for sharing Joy with me. No parent should ever have to live through this horror, but we will see our babies again.

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  87. I cried and cried reading Joy's story. Thank you for being so brave in simply sharing it - and so beautifully and heartfelt.

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  88. Thank you so much for sharing your story! What a testimony your sweet Joy is!

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  89. What a beautiful story. I have tears in my eyes and can't even imagine what you went through. How horrible that the Doctor wasn't more consoling to you at the beginning.

    God Bless You and your family! Your all so beautiful ♥

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  90. Thank you for sharing your story. I came to your website while searching for some sewing ideas, I left with a new appreciation for my children. I have 3. My youngest just turned 4 and she is the only girl. Her name? Ava Jae. I gave her the name "Jae" as a tribute to my father who passed away before she was born. His name was James. Now I feel there is even more meaning to her name.

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  91. What a testimony you and your husband have. Thank you for sharing your story. The Lord will continue to bless your family! I can't wait until you get to see your Joy again, and we all get to see "ours".

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  92. What an amazing woman you are to share Joy's story. I read it through tears. Thank you :)

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  93. Thank you so much for this. Having just gone through a miscarriage myself, it's hard to express yourself sometimes. We are blessed with 2 wonderful handfuls already and will take what we're given from here on. Thank you.

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  94. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing and beautiful story, I can only imagine how tough that was. I need to wipe my tears and go snuggle my little girl now :)

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  95. I am in tears as I read your story. How perfectly beautiful. Your site and your story are so uplifting.

    Look how beautiful your family is!

    Thanks for Sharing!

    ~KS

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  96. Thank you for sharing your story. My mother's name is Joy. She became pregnant at 17 and gave the baby up for adoption... A few years later she married my father and shortly after became pregnant. She lost their little girl minutes after giving birth due to a wrapped cord. She was 9 months along as well. She had no idea the cord was wrapped until after she delivered... Shannon, my sister, lived only minutes before she went to heaven... I never realized my mother's loss until after I delivered my oldest daughter... I remember nursing my daughter as a newborn when it hit me that mother had went home w/ all of the signs of having a newborn, but no baby. She had the physical pain of birthing a child, her milk had come in, a baby room, diapers, baby clothes, but no baby. It was at that moment that my heart broke for her... A pain that I cannot even begin to imagine. That was over 40 years ago. Only twice has she ever spoken about it. She mentioned that she knew God wasn't punishing her for giving up a healthy little girl years earlier, but she couldn't help but let those thoughts invade her mind. Through a lot of prayer and studying the Bible she has healed as well as I suppose one heals when they go through this type of loss. Again, thank you for sharing this. I know that your words will help others who know your loss. Your verses you posted speak volumes as well.

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  97. I was googling "cupcakes in a jar" and it led me to your site. I just finished reading Joy's story and am still wiping away the tears. I can't imagine the pain you went through, and I'm sure still go through. What an amazing testimony though, of Jesus' love and the hope we can find in Him. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  98. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I want to start up a blog about my upcoming heart surgery (I can only imagine what my parents' hearts are going through) and in the "research" process I came across your blog and your precious story of Joy.

    I am so thankful to listen to your journey and be reminded that Jesus is King in all circumstances. He is always transforming the most painful things to bring glory to him and good to us.

    Thank you so much, and praise to Jesus.

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  99. I came here for painted trays and went away with so much more. Thank you for sharing your story. God bless you!

    Jamie

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  100. Joy is a beautiful example that no footstep is too small to leave an imprint upon the world.

    You're daughters' have an amazing mother!

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  101. what an amazing story,I was in tears It is so touching and your a wonderful mom.
    Best wishes to you and your family!

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  102. I just found your blog and I'm so amazed that you have the strength to share yours and Joy's story. I'm so sorry for your loss, I can't imagine what that must have been like. Thank you, thank you for sharing such an intense and amazing journey.

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  103. Just found your blog and read about baby Joy. I was so touched by your honesty and story. I am SO happy that God has blessed you with 2 beautiful girls who honor Joy, how special. May God bless you and your family. I am your newest follower. Thank you for sharing. Warmly, Michelle.

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  104. I found your blog from a friend's post on facebook. I have a very similar story except we knew from 14 week pregnancy that she probably wouldn't make it. I carried her to 32 1/2 weeks. It was so hard showing and having to answer or explain to well wishers.

    We prayed that God would give us what we needed to get through this or to heal her. He gave us Hope. Hope is what we felt they whole way. To the point that most thought we were in denial. Hope would have been 16 years old next month. I can't believe how hard it is this year. Some years pass with out even remembering the date but not this year.

    I'm so happy to have found your story. Thank you for being brave enough to share it.

    16 months after Hope's coming and going, Josiah arrived and has grown into an unbelievably handsome young man. 16 months after that Caleb joined us and is starting his teenage years. 2 years after Caleb, Hope's little sister came. Her name is JOY.

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  105. I, like the previous comment-er, found your blog through a friend's post on facebook.
    I read the story about your dear, sweet baby Joy and was deeply moved.
    I miscarried about 9 years ago. I was so young and immature at the time that I didn't even know I was pregnant. My (now) husband, was so wonderful and supportive.
    Today we have 3 beautiful daughters. Whenever I think about the loss of my baby all those years ago, I realize how truly blessed I am to have the three living angels that I have today.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story and your testimony!
    Much love and may God continue to bless you!

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  106. I could not read through all the comments....I could barely make it through your post. What a blessing of God's grace for your family. I am deeply touched by what you shared. i can relate, albeit on a different level. I found your web page while searching for a way to make a baby safe 'noisy' toy. I am blessed far beyond what I was seeking. I am a new follower. Thank you

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  107. I just found your blog. I loved reading Joy's story. My own story is very similar. In 2009 our son was stillborn at 38 weeks. Also a cord accident. Some days the pain is still so sharp. Some days I think I've learned to live with the grief.

    His story is written here: StoryofSullivan.blogspot.com

    Thanks for sharing your family with us.

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  108. Thank you for sharing this. I had a very difficult pregnancy and almost lost my life. My concern was never for myself but for her. Your story helped me to realize just how blessed I am to have her and to raise her myself. God bless you and your beautiful family.

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  109. You have so much grace. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  110. I found your blog from TomKat. I read your story and I am holding back my tears. You are an amazing woman. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  111. I don't really know how I end up in your blog, but some how I am here, reading, in tears.
    I am having a baby,so I am very hormonal, her name will be Emma, God's will.
    Your faith in God is amazing! and your story is so moving.
    Hugs

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  112. Thanks for sharing your story. We are currently expecting our first baby in April. The names you gave your daughters are rich in meaning indeed. God bless you and your family & thank-you for the encouragement today and always... <3

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  113. I stumbled upon your blog while searching for an easy way to make cupcakes in a jar. I decided to read your story and am so glad that I did. What an amazing story of hope and love. May God continue to show you His wonderful plans for you and your girls.

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  114. Wow. Your story was just so beautiful and I just sit here amazed as the tears stream down my face. Thank you so much for sharing, you are such a blessing to me. I had 5 miscarriages myself before I had my 2 beautiful boys... They are miracles as well. Thank you again for sharing your heartache and I know God will continue to bless you.

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  115. I just wanted to let you know that I am SO glad you and your husband were and are children of God. I worked a a local hospital and saw parents have to face this type of grief day after day and it tore most of them apart because they didn't have 'God Glue' holding them together. I have two babies up in heaven too so I know how difficult that is. You can't even begin to explain to someone who hasn't experienced it or at least I can't seem to. BUT... now I am blessed with three beautiful children all of which are 16 months apart. God is SO good... all the time. All of the time... God is SO good. You are an encouragement to me. To see you choose to cling to Christ and your husband instead of pushing them away, which is SO easy to do. I'm sure you had your moments, but you stood the test of faith... and were victorious in Christ. Blessings to you, your husband, and dear precious children. *hugs*

    Until that glorious day when we shall meet our LORD face to face and see our babies living in GLORY...

    Sarah M.

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  116. I cried as I read this... I have been through it. January 2010. Leah Elisabeth, my third and most-looked-forward to little sister...was born, and died two weeks later. I never knew why (I think the doctors told my parents, however). I was eleven, my brother twelve, and my sisters four and two. I can't help thinking about all the things that WOULD have been...such as, we WOULD have been a family of seven, nine if my other two siblings had lived... my youngest sister Emily WOULD have been an older sister.

    I don't know. It's hard, to think about, write about, talk about. But on a different subject, I'm really enjoying your blog and you write very well.

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  117. Your compassion, hurt, sorrow, and love is felt with each word I read. I haven't shared any of these experiences with you, but my heart is with you. I'm glad you're in a better place, and I'm glad you have a guardian angel making sure you're heart is full.

    <3

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  118. I wept as I read this. The love of Jesus in the midst of our trials is a beautiful thing. Thank you for being brave enough to share.

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  119. I accidentally came across your blog while looking at cakestands on pinterest. I decided to read Joy's Story without even thinking anything of it. And then I sobbed the entire length of it. I am so sorry you had to go through that... but thank you for sharing. It makes me appreciate my daughter(4months old tomorrow) just that much more. I can't even begin to imagine the pain you endured.

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  121. Thank you for sharing your story of Joy with us. I can't even imagine how painful that was and still is. I was sobbing reading this post and am going to go home and hug my boys extra tight tonight.

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  122. I don't know how I ended up on your blog, but your story of sweet, sweet Joy broke my heart. Lord bless you and I thank him for blessing you with two more sweet angels! Now I'm going to go wake my baby girl up so I can hold her! Thank you for sharing your story!
    Abbye

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  123. I love that last line...."I love being Joy's mommy!" It reminded me of one of Elisabeth Elliot's quotes I've treasured for years...."all that was ever ours is ours forever."

    :)

    RubberChickenGirl

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  124. I came across your stoy whike searching for kitchen clothes. I´m so glad I read your story! My first daughter was born with her umbilical cord knotted and around her neck (twice) too. I had a C-section made just at the right tie, and it saved her live. I didn´t even know that could happen then, but I´ve heard it a few times aferwards. Fortunately, it´s very uncommon. I am glad to hear that you lived through your daughter´s loss and that you are a happy mother now. Congratulations and thanks for sharing your story.

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  126. Wow..
    I accidently stumbled across your blog following a spray paint post from Pinterest. I'm still wiping the tears away from my keyboard since I was clearly not prepared for this! I was just looking to do some cute DIY!
    I read this relating your story to pieces of my own life...I was born with my cord wrapped around my neck, my middle name is Joy, I had difficult deliveries with both of my girls..1 not breathing but thankfully survived with no lasting effects (her middle name is Joy as well).
    You have an amazing story and I'm so encouraged by your faith and trust in the Lord that there is a purpose and a beautiful outcome through all of this. Bless you and your beautiful family! God is always faithful to those that believe. Thank you for sharing.

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  127. Your story is absolutely heartrending and powerfully touching altogether. I can only imagine the valley you went through and praise God for the joy He has given you. May you continued to be blessed in our Lord! Many blessings to you!

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  128. This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read... Thank you so much for sharing a piece of your heart with the rest of us!

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  129. Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing your beautiful story.

    On one hand, I love reading stories like yours, where the Lord's glory triumphs in the end and we can see how beauty came from ashes.

    But on the other hand, I hate reading stories like these because it's awful knowing there are so many of us in this terrible "club." My baby boy, Joshua Dale, was stillborn also, in August 2007. I carried him to 22 weeks and delivered him. Like you, we saw that the cord was wrapped around his neck. "Joshua" means "the Lord is my salvation" and "Dale" means "valley" - we wanted his life to be testimony to the Lord sustaining us through the dark valley during that time. Just like little Joy, his brief life had a huge impact on many people. And that's my prayer for my other four kids - that their lives would impact others for His glory. Is there anything greater to hope for for our children?

    Anyway, (this got much lengthier than I intended!), I'm grateful for you, and your courage to recount such a tough story. My heart breaks for you, but it also rejoices with you and the blessings Joy's life brought and the blessings God has given you since. I know you will continue to encourage others! Love to you today!

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  130. Just WOW to your testimony of love and loss.

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  131. God bless you and your entire family!

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  132. Firstly I want to say God bless you to you and your family on earth and in Heaven. And well done for sharing; I know that it is hard to do but also a help, not only to yourself but to others in the same situation. I too lost 4 babies: 1 ectopic, 1 early miscarriage and delivered our beautiful angel twins at 17 weeks. I wrote my story on my blog too http://thelibertytreeandus.blogspot.com/2011/07/why-we-are-called-liberty-tree.html I wanted others to know that although painful to our hearts, we were blessed by God in being able to receive our dear twins, Otis and Willow, into our family. Your story of Joy was sent to me by my friend, it making her think of what we went through, but that we truly feel we can look back on that time as precious and God given and that so many positive things were experienced and learned. I thank God for that, we will always miss the getting to know them here on earth, but their belonging is etched on our hearts and we know we shall meet them in heaven one day. You have told Joy's story so beautifully and eloquently. Thank you for sharing, it means a lot to me too. x

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  133. Thank-you for sharing. I don't know you, but I've had my own rough road in having children. My husband and I will be married 11 years this December, and we have an 18 month old and another one on the way. For the first few years of trying and failing, I was able to busy myself in schooling and my music (bachelor's and master's in piano performing and teaching). But once that was completed and we were a long way from family while my husband finished medical school, I fell apart. It wasn't until I held my little boy for the first time that I felt joy once again! And what a sweet, beautiful joy it was!

    I'm sorry for the pain and sorrow you had to endure, and yet, I'm grateful for the strength it has given you and the hope it has given to others. I believe that is one of the main reasons we have trials in this life - is to help others through their own. I'm glad I found your blog. Thank-you for sharing this tender part of your life.

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  134. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story. I too lost my baby boy Damon at 35 weeks. So heartbreaking. But praise our God that he has given us other children on this earth to hold and love. One day we will meet our little babies in heaven.
    D
    X

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  135. This is beautiful. Heartbreaking, and beautiful. I happened upon your blog looking for women who both blog and have an online shop where people might buy holiday gifts, but feel gifted to read your story. I have lost babies, too, and it has shaped the woman and parent I am today. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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  136. I just found your blog and as I was going through each page, I found this post. My sister and her husband had a similar experience and I was with her through it. I am thankful we believe and have HOPE in Jesus as well otherwise her experience would have been tremendously HOPELESS.
    My sister was 28 1/2 weeks pregant when her baby girl died before she was born. My sister's case was due to HELP Syndrome, the extreme version of Pre-eclampsia. Her baby girl, Moya Rose, was so beautiful, but small. If she had been born alive (at about 1 pound) she would not have lived long. I know she is whole and beautiful in Heaven with my grandparents and my dad but I wanted her here with us. My sister avoided children for a very long time as well. She grieved in many ways and so did the rest of us. She and her husband have had 3 beautiful and healthy children since then and I give GOD the Glory for all of the experiences our family has had. Thanks for sharing your story. I am sure it will help someone else who is dealing with the same loss.

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  137. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story. Blogger dumped me onto your site while I was clicking through "next" and am glad to have found your site. You are an amazing woman.

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  138. God is amazing isn't He? I have walked much the same path. I am so thankful that God has brought you out of the lonely hopelessness into a full a wonderful life:)
    Jennifer

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  139. I can understand why this post was the one ou wanted to write and why it was the one that was impossible to start. I think telling your story is incredibly brave and I hope that others are as inspired by it as I have been.

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  140. I loved reading your story. I just came across your blog while I was looking for sewing patterns. We lost our firstborn also. A little boy named Aiden Samuel; he had something called potter's syndrome. We were able two see him born alive, but he never opened his eyes. I can't imagine how tough it was for you guys to lose her in such a way. I am glad you were blessed with more children. The Lord truly works in mysterious ways. Great blog, and thank you for sharing your story. -Niki

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  141. I loved reading your story. I just came across your blog while I was looking for sewing patterns. We lost our firstborn also. A little boy named Aiden Samuel; he had something called potter's syndrome. We were able two see him born alive, but he never opened his eyes. I can't imagine how tough it was for you guys to lose her in such a way. I am glad you were blessed with more children. The Lord truly works in mysterious ways. Great blog, and thank you for sharing your story. -Niki

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  142. My Mother & Father lost their first child who lived only a few hours. I was their next. They say they named me "Joy" because they were so happy to have a healthy child after such a horrible experience. My mother is 82 & still mentions him. I'm now a Grandmother & I thank God often I wasn't the one that lived hours. I see you have a wonderful blog. Please keep sharing. Thanks, JOY from http://joysjotsshots.blogspot.com/

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  143. So many trials and blessings in your story. Thank you for sharing it with me. It reminded me that I have so much to be appreciative for. And it makes me heart smile.

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  144. So many trials and blessings in your story. Thank you for sharing it with me. It reminded me that I have so much to be appreciative for. And it makes me heart smile.

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  145. I just now came across your blog and I had the same thing happen to us... My son had passed away .. Was still birth at 38 weeks after a problem free pregnancy. I remember being in that room and seeing the look on their faces when they realized what happened. Luckily my doctor was more sensitive than yours but I remember thinking, they should warn people about this! All you hear about is everyone having problem free pregnancies, and the worse part is delivery.. http://www.diannacapco.com/decastro/ << that was our story. And like you, I found peace in knowing the lord had better things to come for our family. What a blessing you one have. Can't wait to read more on your blog, I am just now beginning on a path of creative journey.

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  146. wow, your story touched me as it is my story as well!! Although I do not know the cause of our first born Ruby to be a stillborn. The heartache to go through labor, full term, hold your baby, and to leave the hospital you must hand your baby to the funeral man. I see you have 3 beautiful girls! I was blessed with 2 beautiful girls too.

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  147. It was very brave of you to share your story. My husband and I suffered a loss at 21 weeks, my second pregnancy. I still remember the routine 5 month visit to find out the gender of our child. The visit lasted for hours as we were told our child's condition was "not compatible with life". After an amnio, genetic counseling and 5 days in the hospital for an induction, we said our hellos and goodbyes to our second son Austin. It was such a tough journey because no one else around us could relate to what we were going through. Many people chose to avoid the topic or us in person because they didn't know what to say. We've been blessed with 3 beautiful healthy children and they are the light of our lives. It doesn't erase the pain, but it does give you hope.

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  148. Praying for you today. {Hugs}

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  149. Joy's story is so much like my own first born daughter, Tatum. Almost identical. I delivered my sweet baby on Christmas Eve. And like you the peace and calm that surrounded us at the hospital and in the blur that followed could only be explained by the love of the Savior that surrounded us in our time of need. Reading Joy's story and shedding a tear reminds me that it's ok to grieve but also to remember to find hope and joy in each day I live. Joy's story reminds me that Tatum is also in heaven with our Savior Jesus Christ. And much like Joy's story I've seen how Tatum's short life saved and changed lives. You've been able to put into words exactly some of the same things I've experienced and felt.
    Thank you so much for sharing!!!

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  150. Thank you so much for sharing. The Lord has shown me that there is Hope through your story. Thank you for being strong enough to share with your readers. God bless.

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  151. I just found your blog from WHATEVER! And I watched your video you posted of "camp carson". I liked it. I wanted to learn more about you. I clicked on this tab. My husband and I are trying to get pregnant. Your story makes my heart ache, but it gives me HOPE and JOY to be reminded that no matter what, Jesus will always be with us. Be blessed.

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  152. I found your blog from an awesome recipe link on Pinterest and immediately loved your tagline, "Do something good everyday" since that's how I try to live my life. As I was reading other posts and realizing that I was quickly falling in love with you, I clicked on the "Joy's Story" link. My heart is breaking for you, while at the same time I am in awe of your strength. Thank you for sharing it. God bless you and your family.
    ~Cindy

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  153. I stumbled upon your blog from a quilt pin on pinterest...and I'm pretty sure God had something to do with it too. I wanted to thank you for sharing your story. My family is going through a pretty rough time and your strength in God is very inspiring. I was in tears as I read Joy's Hope and find comfort knowing all that her life has done for so many. God is good and I know we can get through anything down here on earth. Bless you and your family.

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  154. I had never seen this post until today, and it struck a chord with me, having had a similar experience. Not a day goes by when I don't think of our little baby boy who was stillborn. We were fortunate to have an 18-month-old son at that time, along with an outstanding support system of docs, nurses, friends and family. I still do what you do...imagine how his life and ours would be had he lived, and try to honor him every chance I get. It works!

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  155. Thank you for this reminder of God's grace through all that is good and bad.

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  156. Thank you for this reminder of God's grace through all that is good and bad.

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  157. Your story took me right back to the day my best friend delivered her first baby. She lost her daughter to anencephaly (they had known since the 20 week ultrasound). She and her husband lived in a new city, 18 hours away from family, however God brought them there purposefully for this moment in their life. It was an amazing and heartbreaking, sacred experience. I was so blessed to be there and experience the outpouring of love & support from their new church friends, who became their family away from home. Jesus was there in the midst. They were blessed with one very quiet and precious hour with her. I will never forget that beautiful experience. Such Grace. Such Love. She now has three beautiful boys.

    You are so very blessed and I can see that the Lord has used you in a beautiful, powerful way for His Glory.

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  158. GOD BLESS YOU...Your story touched my heart in the biggest way. I cannot imagine going thru what you have, but with the Grace of GOD and JESUS you will be strong, and find Peace. My mother's name was JOY and she too is in HEAVEN sharing the same light as your little JOY. May your life be filled with many BLESSINGS.

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  159. Somehow I stumbled upon this post. I think it was through Pinterest for some lovely painted cake stands. I was brought to tears reading your story. I have a 13 month old daughter. The love I have for her is unmeasurable. I think about having a second one, but I fear the worst would happen during a pregnancy. So part of me wants to just have the pleasure of one child. I don't know that i'd have the kind of strength you have. I'm so happy that you were able to find happiness again when you were finally blessed with your children. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  160. This is the second post that I have tried to send. My first post got lost in the Preview. We also have a sweet little girl, Melanie Dawn, who was called to her heavenly home on May 4, 1970. She is experiencing the joy of being in God's presence instead of suffering on earth. I was very touched by your story. I can definitely understand well your feelings. God has been faithful to our family. We have been blessed with a son in 1972 and a daughter in 1976. We also have six granddaughters (ranging in age from 26 to 9) and three great grands (1 boy -7, 2 girls, 3 and 3 months. God connects people in many different ways. I have found your page through a Pinterest post. Looking forward to following your post. I feel that I have found a friend who also F.R.O.G. Fully rely on God, In all things. Always. This is my mantra that I try to follow every day. I love that you use Joy's initial in your other children's names. May God continue to bless you along your life's journey.

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  161. Wow what an inspirational story.  I stumbled across your page from pinterest.  I know we are complete strangers, but your story is an amazing one.  I am so sorry for your loss, but am so happy to know that you were blessed with your beatuiful children.  My sister has had two miscarriges and has been trying for about 15 years to have a baby.  We never understand God's plan, but we know there always is one.  I am going to share your story with her.  There are so many people who have the trouble with wanting children so bad and never being able to experience it, but it's great to hear the stories of those who recieve the blessing.  Thank you so much for sharing your story and letting it be a light for those still searching in the darkness.  I wish you well in all that you do.

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  162. I can barely see as I type since I'm crying to much. SO much of what you said is the very same way I have been feeling! I just lost my 4 day old son Jackson 8 months ago...I thought things would be a lot better by now...and sometimes they are, but each month I'm not pregnant, my heart just breaks all over again. I desperately need a baby in my arms and I know His timing is perfect, but sometimes trusting that is just too hard. Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have a beautiful family! And through YOUR heartache, you are helping MINE. I find comfort in just knowing that someone knows how I feel...even if we don't know each other ;)

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  163. Hi There, 
    I was linked to your products via a Work At Home Mums ethical site  (Mamapacks forum) here in the UK - Mamapacks is a ethical pack that goes out to hospitals & homes to the Mums who know what they want in a pre birth / post birth pack, with great products! - not just leaflets and samples on things they don't want! like the "other packs" available. Your site was mentioned because of your crinkle taggies, then I read your story....never got to the products pages! I honour your courage and honesty over the loss of your little one Joy. Bless you. Pip x x  Boobie Buddies Ltd - educational breastfeeding resource dolls. A UK wahm.

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  164. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing Joy's story xxx

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  165. I have read your story before, but it's been a while.
    God is good, isn't he? He gives beauty for ashes.
    I lost my Mom in a car accident 16 years ago. I was the driver of the vehicle.
    It was truly a nightmare.
    It's taken 16 years for me to finally let God be in control and give my worries to Him.
    God Bless you and your beautiful family!

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  166. Hi, Thank you for sharing this. You will never know how much it has helped me reading this tonight. Intractable depression, for 4 years, so many medicines, no baby for me and now I am 40. Learning to accept. Hard to find a reason to exist. Not really needed anywhere and I just hang on out of fear maybe. Just thank you. I will imagine I'm hiding from it all in Jesus' arms because reading your story touched my heart. God bless you and say a prayer for me, Karen, please.
    Karen V

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  167. God Bless you and your family.

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  168. Wow, your story is so similar to my own except ours was with our twin girls. I went to my normal check up on a Thursday in July of 2002, the year that I wish I could forget, and the girls had been moving less but some days were like that. I was at 28 weeks and was just put on bed rest because they were small, but I was working so bed for us until they were due in October. I knew something wasn't right all along with the pregancy but no one would listen to me. I know my body very well but still they told me I was worried about having twins. I'd been a teacher for fifteen years and kids didn't scare me. I got the same talk your doctor gave.. you lost one but you still have the other one for now. I wanted to punch the doctor in her face. I went into labor that night and my husband had to decide who to save, me or our living daughter. He said both, not realizing what he had said. I almost died right along with her that night but here I am ten years later and not a day goes by that I don't think of my babies. Our little one lived for thirty-five days in the hosptial and then she was gone to be with her sister who she really needed to be with and feel no pain but just love and peace. I too was beyond sad. Words really can't explain how sad a mom is after a loss like this. My husband handled it in a different way and still tries to pretend like it didn't happen. He remembers a different experience really, but his body didn't go through what mine did and he wasn't there when I was told Trajon was gone. We didn't have names yet so we made a name using ours as one. The docotors made sure I was ashigh a a kite because my first words out of surgery, emergancy c-section, I said I wanted a lawyer. It took me almost a whole day before I was awake enough to see my tiny, tiny baby girl, Meredith Rose. I knew her name the second I saw her. The prayers and love we received during that time was amazing and at her funeral the same thing, but then it's over and you still hurt. Then God sends you the best gift of all..a blue line on a pregancy test and then a little man was put in my arms 11 months later and Adam Joseph saved my life. I didn't care if I had another child or not because I had this little man who was perfection. When he was old enough to talk he told me he saw angels! We've never told him about his sisters.. too young and not right yet, but he would over the next few years that two girls would ask him how he was doing and how his mom was doing. He would say fine and they said they knew but just wanted to check. Long story short.. health issues with me, raditation, no more kids.. and then a little brother came six years ago to our surprise. He is also a gift.. but my body couldn't take any more and that's okay. I tell people that I have four kids when they ask because it just doesn't seem right not to include the girls in our life. They changed me for the better and others too. I hated God but then came to realize that I needed to walk in sadness to know what a true gift life.. any life is. I will pray for you because I know that your heart is forever broken. It's nice to read that you turned sadness into a gift to share and help others.. thank you. T

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  169. Thank you for this. I needed it.

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  170. Thank you for reminding me that none of us are alone in our darkness and to not be afraid of the light.

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  171. Julie thank you so much for sharing! You are a wonderful mommy! Just wanted you to know joy's hope reached Carlsbad. One of my good friends here saw your family picture on my fridge and asked me how I knew you. She said she had been following your blog for years and that it was amazing! Hope to see you and your sweet family soon! Love. Tessa

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  172. Your story touched me so deeply, I don't even know where to start. I think I've cried harder tonight than I ever have. God is a mighty God, and is truly our strength in weakness. Reading this really makes it painfully obvious how extremely blessed I am. My 2nd daughter's name is Lilly Joy and she is almost 5 months old. She's all I could think about as I read your story. What a strong reminder this is of how much of a blessing and gift our children are from the Father. Praise God that HE had/has a plan to give you a HOPE and a future! God bless you, sister. You sure have blessed me!

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  173. Every time I read this I cry and am reminded of the Lord's goodness. His ways are so much bigger than ours. For some reason I just felt like I needed to re read this tonight and I'm so glad I did :)

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  174. I stumbled across this post after reading about the DIY Coloured Cake Stands, and now I'm sat here crying :( You are very brave and I don't think I've ever read something so honest and humble. Where you found the strength from I'll never know, but you did :) You've made me feel that we are all capable of so much more...so much more than we sometimes realise xxxx

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  175. After losing 2 babies of my own, reading your story shook me to my core! My husband and I, last night just read a devotional about godly grieving, and you did what you had to do and walk it out with God! Bless you and your amazing children you have now! Thank you for writing such a truthful and open post about loss. I am still coping with losing 1 boy 11 years ago and 1 boy 3 years ago. Thank God he blessed me with 4 beautiful children and I am thankful everyday for each one. I am living out everyday in God's grace, and blessed to know one day I will meet my boys in heaven and they are there with each other!

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  176. Beautiful story! I randomly found this story while googling a way to make bandana dresses! Your story stopped me in my tracks. Thank-you for sharing! God is a redeemer and a restorer! God bless you!

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  177. My heart goes out to you, we have lost 6 of our babies and our sweet Morgan was only 18 weeks so I cant imagine what you went through. I'm so happy your life is going better and you got to have your beautiful family.

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  178. Your story really ministered to me. Despite what you may think, you are brave. You are brave enough to tell the truth, to reveal your heartaches and be totally transparent about the difficulties of walking through this life. I admire your courage to be yourself. You are more than a conqueror.

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  179. From your story I cried, I smiled, I healed. Thanks so much for sharing. You, your husband, family and friends are amazing. God Bless you all.

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  180. I read your blog every day, but have never read Joy's story. I blubbed my way through all of this... Beautifully written - My heart goes out to you. So happy life has given you so many blessings in the last few years. Much Love & happiness to you all. Kerry xxx

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  181. Wow. I stumbled across your blog through Pinterest. Thank you for having the courage to share your story. I have never lost a child; my husband and I have been unable to get pregnant. I can't imagine the heartache you must have felt and still feel. I'm thankful that you had such an amazing support system and a God who would never leave you nor forsake you. May God continue to richly bless you and your precious family.

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  182. I cannot imagine going through this. I cried the whole time. It's beautiful to know that Jesus holds our loved ones even when we don't understand why we can't. Thanks for sharing your heart. Bless you and your beautiful family.

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  183. Ok. So. I knew something happened but I didn't know what and I didnt want to read about it til after I had cammie Jane. So I just read it. I'm sure you hear this all the time but this exact thing happened to my brother in law and his wife in 2007. They do not know the Lord and his heart has been so hard ever since. In fact, they are divorcing right now. I wish he would read this...to know this story and to have hope for little Emma....she is in the absolute BEST place. Thanks for sharing.

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  184. I really do not know what to say. I am so touched by your story. My son is 33 years old and living back home. He is trying to climb back up from a devastating divorce. After reading your post I feel like all the things that I have been worried about are so little and ridiculous to hold on to. I am also out of church right now and have been for some time. This is after going for years every time the door opened. Both my husband and myself taught Sunday school and served on the board. Now we don't even pray for God's leading anymore in finding a church. Reading your story makes me remember just how important a church family is. How other friends and family cannot take the place of your church family. For the first time in a long time I feel a yearning to get back in church. I suppose your story, that has left me in tears, has touched many people in different ways. I know for sure it was meant for me to read and was anointed by God. May God bless you and your precious family. Pam B.B.

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  185. WOW.
    I am so deeply moved by your story.
    I got online tonight to plan my youngest baby's 1st birthday party. My mind consumed with all the things I have to do before 3 days from now.
    I was searching for a cupcake tier...when I stumbled upon your site.
    Crazy how nothing much seems to matter after reading this. In a few minutes I will go check on and give kisses to three beautifully healthy children, ages 4.5, 3.5 and almost 1.
    I am blessed beyond what I deserve. Joy is blessed to call you mom. She is waiting for you up in Heaven. And one day...you will all be with her again.
    God bless you and your sweet family.

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  186. Julie,
    Like Allison, I was searching for the information on how to build the cupcake stand. After taking notes, I decided to read through the site. The more I read, the more I wanted to know more. After reading Joy's story, I burst into tears. All, I could think of was hugging my two boys! Children are truly blessings! Enjoy every moment with them! And, I must truly say, that YOU ARE brave. It takes alot of strength to go through all that you have been through. And, to even post and publish your story to world is even braver. Blessings to you and yours!!Brennon

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  187. I found you through a Pinterest craft and was drawn by the name of your blog. As a person named Joy, I always look for others. I'm so glad I came to your blog-- your story is one of love and resilience. Little Joy in heaven and your two at home with you are so fortunate to have you as their mother. Your story is beautiful and LOVE-filled. All my best- Joy

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  188. Just finished reading this...another reminder of many of God's blessings - I am so grateful for the 3 children that I have and sometimes I forget to thank God but God always shows us signs we need to see the most and at the right time too and I take your story of Joy's Hope as such a sign. Sitting here, crying and feeling God's blessings all around me :)Thank you for sharing your story with us.

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  189. I would like to write so many things to you but I just can't find the words to say how much I admire you and your faith. I was deeply moved by Joy's story and I am sure this beautiful legacy you made for her already touched a lot of people's heart!!! I thank God for finding people like you, we are truly blessed!
    I am so happy and glad because i found your blog! I will be a loyal follower and reader. Blogs like yours give me courage to keep on going no matter what .
    From Mexico I send you a BIG HUG!!!! and hope to stay in touch!!!!

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  190. Thank you for sharing your hope, through this story that breaks my heart but also lifts it so high when I read about all the wonderful God things that happened at your Joy's funeral, and to see all the lives touched through the comments above. You are a wonderful writer and a brave woman. God's very best to you and your family, and may your girls always be a double portion blessing, and just a taste of the joy we'll experience in Heaven! Thank you again.

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  191. Don't we see Him so much more clearly through our tears? What a wonderful Savior! Thank you for glorifying Him through your pain. The fellowship of His sufferings is truly a gift, even though it hurts. Praising Him with you for healing and heaven!!!

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  192. I know this is years old, but I'm still crying while reading this. I have been thought many times over recently that parents shouldn't have to bury their children. Much love, dear sister in Christ.

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  193. thank you for sharing your story -- i love how you shared with us the things that Joy will not know and that she just knows Jesus; such a powerful way to look at her. my heart is sad & my eyes are water-filled and i am thankful that you shared... perhaps now i know a bit more about what friends of mine have experienced with their losses.

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  194. What an incredibly moving story. You are a strong woman. Many prayers for your family.

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  195. I cried tears of both sadness and happiness. When I saw "Joy's Hope," while pinning something on Pinterest, of course I had to go to your site, since my name is Joy. I showed your homepage, "JOY'S HOPE" to my husband. He smiled! Then I read your story. I am so happy you have 3 sweet daughters, all who came for a purpose in this world!

    We have 3 grown daughters, ages 35, 32 and 27. My husband and I lost our firstborn at one month due to congenital heart disease, 36 years ago. We know he is in heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ, as is your Joy.

    I am a Breast Cancer Survivor of 3 years now. I have often said, "Joy's Hope," to my family and friends. They know I hope for a cure for this dreadful disease.

    Just last week I was on vacation, visiting with our youngest daughter, who is trying to become pregnant...having a very difficult time, but knowing the day will come when it is the right time. When I continued reading your story, I saw the baby block with your daughter's name on it. OMG! Our daughter told us that they want a girl, and if they can have one, they plan on naming her EMMA JOY!

    Although we have never met, my heart feels close to you. I pray for LOVE, HEALTH and HAPPINESS for you and your beautiful family. I can see the love in your face. Always carry JOY'S HOPE with you.

    With a Happy Heart,
    Joy

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  196. I hope you still read these posts because I just found your blog. Thank you for sharing your Joy with us. Praise be to God that you do know Him and that He is guiding your steps and holding your heart in His mighty hands. I will be praying for your family in my daily devotions and following this blog. I too have lost a daughter and maybe one day I can share her story with you. God's blessing be upon you and your family for you have ministered to a lot of people. You have shared a powerful picture of how God can take a very painful happening and bring His name and His hope to thousands of people all over the world. Did you ever imagine you would be speaking before an audience of thousands?
    Thank you again, tetaterri

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  197. Ur story brought on the waterworks! I admire Ur strength & faith. I have 5 children and their initials are JAE, we took my husband's initial, my initial & of course my husband's last name initial and came up with JAE. And when we had our last child (hoped!), we decided to name him JAEmison. :)

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  198. Thank you for sharing your story. I was touched by it. I am so blessed to have children, as well, and my life would have been so different if they weren't in it.
    Love and Blessings to you and your family.
    Jamie

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I love sunshine, happy people, and the power to delete. Sparkles! Rainbows! Unicorns!