Brandon & Kristin

Brandon & Kristin

Saturday, May 10, 2008

One year ago

One year ago today was our first day in Riverside as residents. We moved on the 9th with the help of some ASU students. On May 10th, we woke up to start our new life here. I was 34 weeks pregnant and we were eagerly anticipating Addie's arrival. We were excited to discover and explore all of Riverside and UCR. We looked forward to meeting students, making new friends, finding a church and hopefully buying a great home near campus. It was a new adventure.

It's a little sad for me to remember moving here. This morning in bed, we talked about how God's wisdom means that we don't know the future. We look ahead and we must look to Him. We didn't know that we would face such deep and life-altering loss in the coming months when we moved. We are different people now than one year ago. We are more acquainted with grief. We are more used to living in this strangeness of God's goodness alongside suffering and sorrow. Our souls have expanded to be able to encompass more.

We also look at this last year in amazement and thankfulness. We drive around Riverside and know (sometimes) where we're going. We have good friends who even live near us. We live in a great home that God provided just a half mile from UCR. We have good connections at UCR and have solid friendships with students there. God has given us a deep love and burden for this university and city. We have been cared for by people here in Southern CA during this past year in tangible ways. We have connected into a wonderful little church in our neighborhood. People from around the country and even world have continued to love and pray and hold us up. And we know God in deeper and new ways.

I apologize that I haven't continued writing on this blog. I know it connected many of you that are far away to us. I have continued journalling personally and I should have kept it up here on this blog. Time passed and I didn't know where to start again. This grief is so deep and multi-leveled. Many times, I can express what is going on at the moment. But I felt as though I had to summarize on the blog and I didn't know how. So I'm going to restart. Thank you for your hearts that are for us. and that have continued to be with us.

So how am I? Hmmm... Well, I sometimes still sob with heartache in missing my little sweet girl. It's strange to see and experience others around me with their children who are growing - it of course makes me wonder what Addie would be like right now. And I feel like that ache, in some measure, will always remain. Even with more children in our home, there will always be an ache inside me for Addie. But other times, I feel stronger and accepting of what has happened and I feel fairly normal. I feel like I have experienced and lived through great loss but am okay. I know I have a very good life and I appreciate things more. Some days, I am hopeful and look with anticipation for what is to come. And other days, I feel very pessimistic. Generally, I feel different. changed. older. "weathered." wiser. deeper. like I understand others' grief more. more compassionate. And I can hardly believe that I carried a second little baby for only 6 weeks. That just feels like a strange and random wrenching dream. I am also sometimes honestly thankful for this pain. not that I'd ever choose or wish that Addie had died or for the miscarriage. But I realize that God has done deeper things within me than I could have believed. He's also connected me to people in ways that would have only been done through this sorrow.

This is probably long enough. I can write more soon... But one more thing to tell you all - I'm pregnant. And as I laid in bed this morning and thought about this day one year ago, it was strange to imagine that I hold a new little one growing inside me. I'm both excited and sometimes fearful. I'm 17 weeks along and looking forward to find out if this little bundle is a boy or girl. Please pray for me, for Brandon and for this one still inside. Love, me


Grandma G said...

I'm so glad to see you back posting again... I've missed you!! I'm thankful for your growth, even though it's come about in such difficult ways. And I'm especially delighted to hear your news!! No doubt it's kinda scary for you... but God will be with you every step of the way. I'll be looking forward to your progress reports... and keeping you in my prayers.

"Grandma G"

Anonymous said...

God bless you both. I am so happy to hear your news. Best wishes.

Jerry said...

thank you for sharing your heart and all these weighty thoughts. i feel like i get to peek into an intimate struggle with a man and his maker.. (or woman in this case.) beautiful. heart wrenching. honest. hopeful.

joelnjen said...

i'm so glad that you are posting again! i check back to your blog every now and again and was so excited to see a new post today. you have such a wonderful way of putting your thoughts into words and i am always so blessed to read them. God still brings you and Brandon to mind so often and I pray... I am SO EXCITED for this new little life within you. Praise the Lord for His provision...and the fact that we can trust in His plan. Thank you for being such an amazing model of trusting God and His goodness, even in the midst of great pain and loss. You guys are truly an inspiration to me. love, jen

Hannah said...

I have checked your blog periodically to see how you are doing. I am so excited for you and will continue to uphold you in prayer. I don't know what it's like to experience the pain you have, but I do know after miscarring twice that fear was difficult to overcome. I had to hold fast to the word..."God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind." That is my prayer for you.
Much love to you,
Hannah (Fritz) VanGilder

Becky said...

Thanks for opening up your heart and life to this community again. I pray for you and Brandon often, and reading how you guys are allowing God to move in your lives encourages my heart!
It was great seeing you back in January at Hallie's birthday party! I would love to hang out some time and celebrate this amazing gift He's given you! (Oh, and I'm pregnant, too!)
Praying with you,
Becky (Picket) Keife

Ben & Melissa said...

I'm glad you're posting again. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul with us all. I can't wait to see you in a week. I love you. ~Melissa

Anonymous said...

kristin and brandon, thank you for sharing what's been going on in your world. we celebrate in the news of your pregnancy and delight in what God continues to do. He is so good and in prayer we will be lifting up the journey that lies ahead. yay God... love to you from appleton. carrie, nick and owen

The Whites said...


I am so glad that you are blogging agian!! I check the blog every so often in hopes of hearing about you guys. Thanks for sharing your story with us. It is such a blessing. Sam & I pray for you and the baby regularly & Josh is praying for you and Brandon as you minister on campus. We miss you guys. Love, Shannon

Ben and Kristy Carlson said...

You are SO often on my heart. Glad to see this fantastic post, and so excited about your pregnancy! Luv, Kristy

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing your thoughts again! though I have not experienced the same situation I can easily identify with the "weathered", wiser, changed feelings you described. When God takes you through something hard and you see how much you've grown in your walk, though painful, is, really, awesome! To God be the glory! Michelle L.