We’ve lost eight beloved babies. We tried to fake fine at first, but were dying inside. Every one lost ripped our heart out. We know birthdays, smell their baby smells, picture milestones. Family demanded we not burden them with grief; so we kept it private & fake. But our miraculous God surrounded us with new family: friends in the weeds of our grief, sharing sorrows & joys, lifting us from despair, to adopt us, lament with us; so now, losing our eighth, we know we’re more surrounded in love than ever. God invites us to lament so He can bring that sweet morning joy. Laments call God to transform us, to work miracles. Jesus joins us in mourning, says Ann Weems, and “in the godforsaken, obscene quicksand of life, there is a deafening alleluia rising from the souls of those who weep”. God catches our every tear…puts stars in our skies…& we’ll take this purposeful, messy, lament-filled, loss-stricken, beautiful, overflowing life of love & intimacy with God over anything fake. Alleluia!

8 years ago, we were on a flight to Africa to bring home our 3 new daughters, sisters who were 3, 10 and 13. We already had 6 children, ranging in age between 18 months and 15 years. Many thought we were crazy, but we had felt a clear call from God to adopt and had seen Him miraculously provide. We were experienced adoptive parents, doing the “right thing”, little did we know that our soon to be 13 year old daughter would take all the trauma she had endured, and turn it into hatred for me. For 8 years, I have been the target of her anger, manipulation, lies and threats. Attachment and bipolar disorder, added to her psychosis. Now an adult, she no longer lives with us and chooses not to speak to me. I’m left suffering PTSD and grieving what could have been and all we lost, including my sense of hope and my health. Hardly anyone believed me, so, I faked being fine, while dying inside. I never knew I could cry out to God in lament. This book has been so eye opening! Thank you!

I lost my mother at the awkward age of 14. My last image of my mother is of her smiling and waving goodbye as she pulled out of my best friend’s driveway after dropping me off for a birthday party. She would die in a car wreck the next day. Teenagers are not by nature empathetic creatures. No one around me understood the language of grief. I was told to just “Move on?”As if grief had an address and I could just relocate. I learned then how to fake happiness. I learned how to bury emotion deep inside of me, while simultaneously appearing strong on the outside. In the midst of my grief, I heard a sermon on Lamentations 3 that was a game changer. I knew that if a person in Scripture could be that honest, that God wanted my story too! I now write open and honest blogs about getting real before the Lord.

I was 33 and very tired of dealing with a health issue I was told could be solved by surgery.  I had high hopes for healing when I was admitted to the hospital.  But there were complications.  I returned home racked in uncontrollable pain.  I saw doctor after doctor but nobody offered an explanation. The days became even darker when I discovered my husband was having an affair with my best friend.  I lost them both, and became a single mom.  I found myself prostrate before God, wondering how I would ever lift my head again. God did not take the pain away, instead, he walked through it with me.  20 years later another man came into my life.   We committed to a dating relationship, and the very next morning I suffered an unexplainable heart attack.  I looked at him from my hospital bed in the emergency room and said, “You didn’t sign up for this. Please feel free to go.”  He responded with words that floored me.  “I am right where God wants me to be.”  Could it be…he was willing to walk through this chaos and share the pain with me? My health is still a mystery, and I often feel God is, too.  But I know that He and the new husband He’s blessed me with will walk with me.

I thought I had it all. A husband that loved me, a job that I loved, and living in beautiful Colorado. But I was wrong. After battling for six months with an illness and being in and out of the hospital, I found out that my husband had been having an affair for the entire six months. Being so far away from my family I felt lost. I took over fifty pills, while my husband watched, and wanted my life to end. I didn’t want to live without my husband. As I recovered in a room full of strangers, I felt so alone. Left alone to figure out the next step in my life, I felt as if a warm blanket were being wrapped around me. I was experiencing the love of God. God was with me. It was then that I knew I wasn’t alone in this battle. I had my family, my friends, and most importantly, my Lord and Savior. I knew that I would be okay. I was given a second chance, and I decided that I wouldn’t waste it. I have reestablished my faith. That’s what matters most!