"And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live." Deuteronomy 30:6

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The First Steps~ May You Be Glorified


Sufficient Grace Ministries has a section called Walking With You. It is for bereaved mothers to support each other. For the next 10 wks every Monday there will be a new topic to blog about in the babyloss journey. I feel that God is calling me to participate this time, and I pray that it will draw me closer to Him and encourage someone else.

Walking With You wk 1 ~ The First Steps
As I look back 2 years later November 19, 2009 is still so clear in my mind. Typing the date and seeing the date still make my heart jump. The cry in my heart that day was "God, I don't know what you are doing, but I pray that You be glorified." That is still the cry of my heart today as I continue Janie Beth's journey. The first steps were so scary and so alone feeling. I clung to God as I have never clung to Him before!

It all really started on November 16, 2009 and to read that you can go here.

Here is what I wrote about November 19, 2009, Our trip to UAB:

November 19, 2009 I went to UAB to see a specialist about Janie Beth's legs. That was one of the hardest days I have ever lived through. I think I remember things about that day better than my memories from Janie's day here with us.

I had Joey snap this picture before we left. I was 28.5 wks.

I do not remember a thing about the drive down there, but I am sure that we talked... a lot. :) Once we got to B'ham, we were early so we went to a thrift store. I remember looking around the store, but not really finding anything of note. I think we bought a couple little things; books if I am not mistaken.

Then, we went to the doctor's office. The waiting room had quite a few ladies in it, plus the people that came with them. I sat there and wondered why they were there. I had brought some things to read, but I never really read. I think I may have had a book out at one point, but it didn't really accomplish much. Joey had a cough, but he wasn't contagious. He actually went into the stairwell at one point to cough. We joked that everyone probably thought he was infecting them. (He really sounded bad!)

After waiting for quite some time, we were called back to an ultrasound room. The tech said that she was helping out the people we were going to see, and would take most of the measurements and then they would do an u/s as well. She was really nice!! She printed tons of pictures for us. (Once again, I wish I had a video tape!) She told us that Janie Beth was definitely a dwarf. She said her profile matched perfectly. She told us that the main concern would be if her chest cavity was big enough to allow her lungs to grow.

Janie Beth was so darn cute!!! One of my main prayers since our last ultrasound was that she be in the perfect position for them to get measurements. God answered the many prayers that were sent up. She behaved wonderfully for this ultrasound technician. When she was done with all of her measurements she brought us to a room to wait for the doctor to be ready.

They stuck us in a room. I remember that we sat in some chairs and there were a lot of boxes in there. We didn't talk much as we waited. My heart was already hurting.

Then the doctor came and got us. There was a doctor, a resident, and a student, plus the u/s tech came in too. The resident did the ultrasound. I do not remember much talking; maybe some between the doctor and resident, but that was about it. The ultrasound tech pulled a book out and looked up what percentile Janie Beth was in for the size of her chest cavity. Two and a half percent! I will remember that forever. Janie Beth wasn't behaving as well for these docs, and the resident had trouble getting a couple measurements so the doctor took over.

When they were done, the doctor talked to us. I do not remember exactly what he said, but I know he started with telling us the names of 2 different types of dwarfism and that Janie Beth had one of them. I know that he told us she would not live, but how he phrased it I do not know. He did say at one point that she could surprise us. (In our language, that is God might do a miracle. :) ) I had tears streaming down my face, but I didn't lose it completely. The ultrasound tech was crying, as were the resident and student (all of which were female). He asked us if we had any questions. Are you serious!?! You just told me my daughter is going to die and you expect me to know what questions to ask! Of course, we didn't have any at that point. The resident was kind enough to get me the kleenex.

We left that little room forever changed. I handed over my paperwork to the check out lady with a red face and tear stained cheeks. She didn't ask. As we were walking out, I told Joey I needed to go to the bathroom before we left. It was in that one person bathroom that I looked in the mirror and said those words. I gave it all to God in that moment. He was in control.

What do you say when you get in the car after you are told your daughter is not going to live? I don't remember. I do remember that we went to McDonald's drive-thru. I remember thinking about calling people and having to tell the kids. It was a long, sad drive home. Very quickly many were praying on our behalf! A sweet lady even called me as we were driving and told me not to give up hope.

The kids stayed at my mom's with Poppa that day. My parents knew, but we were going to tell the kids when we got home. The doctor had given us a picture of her chest and belly, and Joey used that to explain to the kids that her chest wasn't big enough for her lungs to grow and be able to breathe. Katie Jo cried; a very hard moment. We told them we would be praying for a miracle, but that it was ok if Janie Beth went to Heaven. We know God loves us and He is going to do what is best for us and Janie Beth. And so began The Journey of the Karr's, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.

God is still doing what is best for us, even when it doesn't feel like it. There is always someone missing. She is the missing puzzle piece, but the colors from her piece of the puzzle are woven into every other piece!!


  1. My heart aches with you as you relived that day through this post. Oh...the heartache of telling others, telling the children...and the agony of that moment when life changed...forever changed. I think the first steps of the journey, and the telling of them...those are some of the hardest moments. Moments when we see a glimpse of life before those days, the people we were before we knew that loss of this magnitude was possible. Beauty has been born from those early days...we know this now. But, then...those days...we were just held, desperate, broken, not knowing what was next.

    I am astounded by the God we serve...and the restoring power He works through everything in our lives. By His love, His grace, His faithfulness...His mercy, even in the face of grief and sorrow. His comfort...the kind He gives us so that we will give it to others. Amazing. The ways He works...ways we don't always understand, but we learn to trust and surrender to...knowing that He is the only One big enough to heal hurts this big.

    Love and continued prayers for you, Michelle...looking forward to reading more in the coming weeks....

  2. So sorry to have to share this journey with you but I'm here and will always be praying for all of us.

  3. Thank you for joining WWY with us. I remember I didn't talk much on the way home. My bff drove me. There really isn't any words to say. No words to adequately describe what you're feeling in that moment.