♪ Music, Personal Stories, Words of Hope

Angie & Todd’s Story

Wow.  I just got back from this year’s Women of Faith Conference.  I always come back emotionally drained, but spiritually recharged.  This year is no different, except that the flow of tears was even greater than usual.  Today I listened to a lady who I felt was a prettier, funnier and much-more-effective-in-ministry version of myself (although I got in trouble from my friends and husband for that comment).  It was like looking in a mirror and walking down a road of memories that were every bit as real as the day they happened.  Today I heard Angie Smith speak.

Angie Smith
Angie Smith

Her story is similar to ours, we both have blogs in hopes of turning the grief of tragedy into the joy of healing for someone else, we’re both redheads, and we’re both married to bald guys.  Weird.  I knew tears would be coming as soon as I read her bio and knew she was going to speak.  Since I was prepared, I held it together pretty well – I think – until she got to the part that resonated all too well with me.  She spoke about the moment when she had to let go of her precious baby, turning her over to the hospital staff for the last time.  She said she had to call the nurses back to let her hold Audrey one more time.  I can’t tell you how much I can relate to that.  I remember so vividly holding Grace in my arms.  Though I knew her spirit was already with Jesus and I was only cradling her physical body, it was so hard to let go.  I wish I had been like Angie and called the nurses back that day because I have wished every moment since that I could hold her one more time.  But I doubt that would have been enough either.  I think my arms will always feel a sense of emptiness.  At that point in Angie’s story, I couldn’t hold it together anymore.  I sat in my seat and sobbed, which I’m sure made those around me feel very uncomfortable, but it was good.  As I described in the posting about birthdays, I think a good cleansing cry is healthy.  It is as if the pain is always there, living behind my day-to-day life, and sometimes it just needs an outlet.

Angie’s talk was wonderful despite the memories it stirred.  She is doing effectively for thousands what I hope God will let me be part of for a few – to give hope and to let people know that in their deepest fear and darkest hour they can cry out to God and He will hear them.  She spoke of the moment when Peter walked on water (Matt 14:22-36).  When Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and began to sink, he cried out “Lord, save me!”  I learned much from her breakdown of the Greek term used in this passage for “Lord”, but what I really took away from it was just he fact that when we cry out to God to save us, when we realize that we really need him, he will catch us.  We can trust that.  My experiences have proven that over and over.

My favorite account of this story is from Mark.  Although it doesn’t include the story of Peter walking on the water, it gives some amazing details that I think our important.  I learned this from a chapel message given by president Jay Kesler while I was a student at Taylor University.   It’s about the timing.  The Bible says that Jesus sent the disciples ahead of him in the boat immediately after the feeding of the five thousand.  We don’t know exactly what time that was, but as we keep reading we get some actual reference points that teach us something.  In Mark 6:47-48, we read that is was evening when Jesus “saw the disciples straining at the oars because the wind was against them”.  But it wasn’t until the “fourth watch of the night” that he went out to them and calmed the storm.  A study of the clock in Jesus’ day will find that the “fourth watch” would have been between 3 and 6 A.M.  So Jesus saw them struggling and terrified in the evening, but waited several hours before he walked out and ended their fear and struggle?  Yes.  How often have you been in the middle of a storm, praying to God and wondering how long He is going to let you suffer?  The answer is in the last part of verse 51 and in verse 52.  “The were completely amazed, for they had no understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.”  I think that if Jesus had walked out to them immediately and calmed the storm, they wouldn’t have gotten the miracle.  They would have missed it.  They wouldn’t have been amazed.  God sees us.  He hears our cries before we even utter them – but He waits.  He knows that is what it takes to teach us and to reveal who He is because our hearts are hardened.

I worry sometimes about the things I’m writing because it probably isn’t very encouraging for someone who is just experiencing this to know that six years later I still cry.  So I hope I bring this point to light even more – the Love of God and the beauty He brings from ashes is so far greater than the pain.

You can read all the story of baby Audrey on Angie’s amazing blog, Bring the Rain.

Angie is married to the lead singer of the Christian Group Selah, and together they wrote a beautiful song for their daughter.  More tears.  I think I have more music posts on here than anything else.  I hope this song speaks to you too.

I Will Carry You by Selah
from the album "You Deliver Me"

There were photographs i wanted to take
Things i wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?people say that i am brave but i`m not
Truth is i`m barely hanging on
But there`s a greater story
Written long before me
Because he loves you like this

So i will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And i will praise the one who`s chosen me
To carry you

Such a short time
Such a long road
All this madness
But i know
That the silence
Has brought me to his voice
And he says

I`ve shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted seas
Angel lullabies no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?

I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All your life
And i will praise the one who`s chosen me
To carry you

1 thought on “Angie & Todd’s Story”

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