Sinking Sand, Lifting Praise

I’m stuck in a pit of mud, the dark thick kind that keeps sucking me in deeper and fuller into its abyss.  My hands can’t move, my legs can’t kick.  My mind is racing for a rational way out, to race to the top and surge my way up.  I’m sucked in like a storm surrounding me without a name, no prediction of its force, only a gale force wind and black clouds closing in faster, my breath is gasping.

I move without motion.

Emancipated in a silenced fear that races through my inner mind that rages with a blank stare, I lie in silence.

I see her.

Her long blonde hair and gypsy green eyes tell me it’s ok.  A small hand reaches out to my sinking appendage that can’t move from the blackness I’m covered in.  “Help me!”  My voice is but a sound of no accord as my throat is parched past the shadows that are covering my shoulders now.

Light will come, just hold on.  Her song sings, loud and like honey to my ears.

Yet, I can’t.

I’m sinking fast and far, dark and smothered by the stretch my body is capable but that isn’t there.  My muscles tense as I wage the war against the black smoldering slithering mess I’m in yet again.

I turn my eyes down as the love is undone.  I’m not worthy, my life has surely become what it deserves to be-swallowed. 

Light will come, just hold on!  Her voice is getting more panicked.  I know she needs me and my teeth push together making a sound that growls with the wind.  Howling is coming as the breath of the sky shakes the leaves and makes ripples in the mud bath I’m lying in.

I’m sinking deeper into me.  Faster into the demons of my past and the fear of my future that the weakness will always hunt me down and eat me up, piece by bitter piece.

My mouth is close to the murky substance that collides with me every night.  The sick taste fills my buds before I can even feel it touch my palate.

You’re closer than you know.  Her voice is a shrill now.  Calling to the wind, begging for my mercy.

Closer than you know, she cries.  Fight your way out!

My lower lip feels the cold taste of the earth as it starts its wage against me slowly etching its way toward my lungs, to fill them deep so I can no longer taste air and slowly drown in my own demise.

Fight, fight FIGHT!  She is screaming now which is coming out in a singalong sonnet of her hope.  Her voice rises with each octave that raises its plea.  FIGHT, Mommy, FIGHT!  

My lids close, my lips are covered and I dip my face in head first.  I open my mouth and let it all in, the sin, the darkness, the feel of the rocks and debris fill my senses as the last thing I see before my eyes fill completely with the mud of my life is her long hair and gypsy eyes.

Lift up your eyes and see, Heaven is closer than you know!  I hear in a symphony before my ears are filled with the murky death that is calling me to fall into.  It’s not just a singular sweet honey voice anymore, it’s the orchestra of many.  Five voices sing out in unison.

Come back!  Fight!  You’re closer than you know!

I succumb to it, fall forward and backward and wayward and deeply into what the demons in my head say I deserve.  The last thing my ears penetrate is all of them; singing praises and a plea to God.

I know you’re there, come back!  They bellow to the storm above, the shadows that are taking me away.

My lungs collapse.  My body shakes with the faint air that’s left in me.  My mind goes blank and all I see is the mud I’m encased in.

God are you here, I calmly ask?  I let the mud in and then I’m nothing but motionless.

It’s dark here, silent.  The fear is gone and the sleep is deep.  Peace is on me and I’m walking on the mud now, yet it is a sea of blue not brown disparaging bleakness.  I am still.  And I am quiet.

But He is there reaching out to touch my hand and He grabs my heart to heal it from all my pain.

I’m there, where I thought I wanted to be.  To be rid of it all, the torture, the fear, the sinking sand I was falling deeper into every night, even as I smiled and tucked them into bed, wasn’t this what I fell asleep to after night fall?  The thought of it all ending here, me in quicksand, them okay without me being the burden I know I am.


I hear her, him and him and him and him.  My head turns and my eyes open in the black of death and I shake with a fervor I haven’t felt in months.  For, I don’t really want to be in this sinking mud, this really isn’t what I desire, for them to be at the top and me at the bottom of a deep grave I’ve dug myself into.

I’ve got to find a way out.  To lift up.

By your spirit I will rise, from the ashes of defeat.

In your name I come alive.  The resurrecting King, is resurrecting me.

By your spirit I will rise. 

They are all signing praise songs.  In my imminent death, they are closer now to what God needs of them, singing out a symphony of a pardon for my life.

My arms find their lift and I fight with every muscle in my body to find a way to the top, to fill my lungs with the air that He gave me forty four years ago.  My legs kick, my torsor begs to rob my grave and give me another chance at Victory.

It’s always going to be a struggle for me, to find my way out of the sinking sand, but relying on the wrong crutches to help me walk is never going to bring me back to the top.  I have to hold on to my King, who can defeat the ashes of depression and suicidal thoughts.  He declares that as the mud doesn’t quite touch the fullness of my soul, it only delights in my demise.  Loves me giving up, cheers me on as I give up.

Yet..God hears the voices of my army.

They are signing now.

And somehow I can hear them.  Their tearstained echos find their way into the pit.  I can hear them now.

I fight.  I climb my way out and my head emerges from the pit, filled with debris and sticky mud that covers my milky white face.

She’s going to be okay! I see her long hair and gypsy eyes come dancing towards me.

His and his and his strong presence come running behind her.  “Yes she is, baby, yes she is.”  He says; my husband and the love that needs me

I grab their hands as they slowly lift me out with all of their might, pulling me from the trenches of a thousand pounds of mud.


Darling!  My voice dances with hers as I know I belong with her and him and him and him.

It’s all I hear as I lift my voice in praise for a God who doesn’t want me to hide my face from Him as he has surely come for me-sent my family-my friends-and the sounds of Heaven to Praise a God that wants me here.  Even when I cried out to fall into the sinking sand, He was lifting their voices in praise because I couldn’t.

They dry me clean and I hug her, and him and him and him over and over again, promising that I won’t fall so deep again.  I may struggle, I may succumb to pain and call out in the depths of the night where I only hear their rhythmic breathing, but I vow to never fall into the quicksand again, but to lift my praise in times of despair.

Just as they have done for me, I will do for Him, for He loves me and needs me here to lift up the heavens and tell my tale of being an overcomer.  A fighter, even when the quicksand of life beckons me to fall into it, I won’t for I have seen the cost is deep and my life is worth light and praising even in the despair of quicksand.






His Body, My Choice

Nine years ago I found out that I was twenty three weeks pregnant with a sick and dying baby.

“Not compatible with life.”

“Even if you  make it to term, he won’t survive the trauma of labor.”

“Your baby is going to die.”

The echoes of voices breathed into my bones as I laid on the hospital table shortly after having the level two ultrasound that followed an amniocentesis confirming that my baby boy had a chromosomal abnormality called Trisomy 18.

A hole in his heart.

Thick tumors on his brain.

Sick, deformed hands.

My child who I had dreams and hopes for, a life growing deep within me that I wanted more than my life itself was given a death sentence.  My heart was plunged into a grave that at times I still believe resides in with him.  Dark, deep and barren.

“What do you want to do?”  The White Coat asked me.

My head spun, my muscles tensed and my baby kicked.

“What do you mean, what do I want to do?”  Perplexed by his question I sat holding the hole in my stomach where they had just pierced out fluid to tell me the fate of my life growing inside me, I sat tearstained wondering what in the world did I want to do?  Die.  Yes, in that moment I wanted to die.  For him.  Let him have my life.  Oh, by the way, his name is Zachary and I wanted Zachary to have my life.  A soul for a soul.  I’d easily jump off that cliff for him.

“I want this nightmare to be over.”  I gasped staring deeply into the deadpanned doctors eyes.

“Ami, do you want to interrupt the pregnancy, or carry him to term where he won’t survive?  Where you risk your own health.  What do you want to do?”

Immediately my husband bellowed into the darkness of the blinding room, “We want to interrupt.  I can’t lose her too.”

I gasped.  Lose me too?  The doctors in a synonymous state shook their heads up and down.  Yes, lose me too.

Pro-life my whole existence, I agreed.  Besides, the doctor didn’t say “abortion”.  He clearly said “interrupt.”  A much nicer term. Something I could live with, right?  The overhead dim lights took the brightness away of the gravity of the words of it all, the smell of hospital made knew by hope that I wouldn’t have to live another moment with gushing women wanting to touch my swelling belly with a non-thriving baby that was sentenced to death.  Interrupt.  We prelude our thoughts all the time, the shadows in our mind that overcome them with what we think they should be.  I blocked out the convictions of my youth and stared blankly into my sonographers eyes that crystalised the ocean, that brought life in the face of death.  Her head moved up and down in a synchronized dance telling me no matter what I chose it was okay.  In my mind’s eyes I interrupted her and trembled out the words; “I just can’t.”

“Well, some people don’t want their babies if they aren’t perfect.”  The main White Coat Doctor said and hastily left the dark yet bright small, stale, sickly smelling room.  Brutal.  You have never lived this moment, I thought.  You arrogant, judgemental man.

…I want him…Yet can’t have him…I yelled out with a voice that had no voice.  Yet, at that time I did.  Abortion still existed in my state after 20 weeks at this time and the choice was in my hands, in my heart and completely up to me.  It was my body after all.  My choice, his sick broken body to do what with I willed it so.

Nights turned into days, appointments confirmed the amnio over and over.  Pictures on the screen echoed the tumors, holes in his heart and his hands, over and over we saw the pictures that justified it all.  The bad hands were what made our doctors in Kenosha worried enough to send us to the big city hospital in the first place.

Zachary was dying.  He really was.  Nothing was bringing him into the perfection that we dreamed he’d live in.  A child that can run, play and actually thrive in.  Not one that will die any day in my body, or in my arms shortly after birth.  I thought in my youth I was one of those women who could do so, but at 34 I realized I wasn’t that woman.  I just couldn’t.  I needed interruption of this torment, this flood of grief and a longing to be free of being pregnant with a dying child who was in fact suffering inside me, not thriving and growing, one who was waiting for the moment.  The breath of non existence.

I was resolved, after doctor after doctor told me that I risked my own health.  Hypertension, heart failure; the list went on and on.  Alan’s skin paled when the risks were made aware again and again and I held Zachary in my arms through my stomach, coupling him with my love as my body was the cavern he lived within.  He would die, but today he was alive, kicking inside me.  His existence at that moment was life, yet,  his terptidude was death.  But isn’t that the case of us all?  Who are we to decide when that time comes?  That thought still haunts me today.

I wasn’t a Christian then, but I was raised one.  Deeply demonstrative in my youth about my faith, especially when it came to abortion.  I breathed pro-life and argued the right to a babies life no matter the circumstances, well maybe not in rape or incest, but I was pretty dead set on babies getting to live.  I even told a friend of mine once who thought she was pregnant that I would take her baby so she wouldn’t have an abortion.  We were sixteen.

My husband and I decided to interrupt Zachary’s life.  For me, for them, Caleb, Cameron and Trasen, our three other children who needed me to be here.  I mean, Zachary was going to die any way and they couldn’t lose me too while I carried a sick baby that could suck the life right out of me as he continued his voyage towards what I somehow hoped would be the gates of heaven.  Hoped.

I had lost a baby 17 months earlier who had died in my stomach, no choice to make, no idea of interruption, just a death.  It was much, much easier.  I promise you this, it was much easier.  At least they’d have each other, dancing as brothers should in the sunlit clouds in the sky, overlooking the oceans I’m sure that there are in Heaven.

The day of interruption came and I slowly throughout the day became encased in labor without interruption.  Contractions cradled my stomach so tight I felt it so deep that I had no choice but to give into the fortune in the stars that a God I didn’t believe in was giving me a piece of heaven.  My heart beating in the throws of labor as a form of upward falling.  The gift of freedom I was being given was a trade of decision versus fate.  My spirit accepted the gift, my body caved and I ventured into a force of producing a lifeless body fast and hard.

Zachary was born still at 8:04 am on a Tuesday morning in a form of surrender in a sweep of love that God gave me, knowing that the youth of my belief and truth would always be there and the future me couldn’t live with the reality that I chose interruption even if it was the best choice for me and my family in that moment.  That time stamp on my life slowly began my voyage back to my love of God again.  Of Forever, of Truth.  My knees hit the ground that day as my baby slithered out of me, sick, dead and with all the presentations the doctors told me he had, of Trisomy 18, a sickness not compatible with life.

When God placed it on my heart to write this blog in the climate we live in now with new abortion laws, I have lived with tremendous guilt.  Even though I didn’t have to do it,  empires of reflection have caught me half way between grace and guilt.  9 years later, I wouldn’t have that choice as the laws changed.  After 20 weeks gestation a woman has no choice to interrupt now.  But would that have saved me the blinding ravage I still face each and every day that I was going to do it?  I think so.  If I didn’t have a choice but to wait for Zachary to come on his own, the choice would have not been on me, the decision of interruption wouldn’t reside and I could live guilt free.  I have fallen back into my Savior’s arms, entrenched in my faith once again but with much more fervor than ever.  Since then, with the thought that I  had decided to do it, I have faced depression, addiction and severe anxiety.

It is a huge issue in our nation at this time.  Laws are being made that call to the truth of life.  No matter your stance, it isn’t just your body.  It is her’s and his and your partner’s who really has no say as they say it is your body, your choice.  If it were today I wouldn’t have been given the choice I had then.  I would have given birth to a broken baby who had died in childbirth, I would have had no choice to do so.  And is that such a bad thing?  Society and famous people say yes.  But, I would have held him with no guilt that held a crown of thorns in my head so deep  and bloody I’d have to dig them out for the rest of my life.

This isn’t a political blog.  I’ve never been a controversial author, this is just my story.  I realize I may lose friends and family over it but it is my story to tell.  Zachary was mine, life was in my hands and I know that it was his body, yet my choice.  And the echo was made for me by the God that loves me and knew I just couldn’t have lived with it all, yet I still have a hard time to this day existing in a world where I thought I could.  I love you all and understand we have different views on this one, but this is my tale.  My  Zachary is in heaven with his brother and I’m on a earth that I have found a place I can live in because the choice of it all was taken away from me, because God took him before I could.










I had a dream.  Of telling my story in front of Journey Church.  I would pour my soul out about losing my two babies and many women would relate and run up to me and say “me too!”  I would hug them and say, “I know.  It’s so sad.”  We would cry, I would hug them and the story goes on.  I wrote a book, I told my story in front of hundreds and I would feel better at the end of the day.

The dream seemed to have come true.  I was asked to speak in front of Journey Church to tell my story of losing my two babies, Jaden and Zac.  But I couldn’t meet the requirements of the venue, I was going on vacation and wouldn’t be able to speak in front of who I thought needed to hear my story.  I was devastated.  I cried.  My ego was called out by God, He said, you aren’t on the course I want you on.  I called back, “but God, I want to tell my story.”  He said, “You already have, you wrote a book.”  I yelled back, “but I want to speak!”  He cried, “Your ego is too big.  I am bigger.”

It broke me, my heart, my story seemed insignificant.  I wanted to tell it at Journey Women, because I was certain that women needed to hear my story, that they would befriend my story and take my loss into their hearts as their own.  I knew I needed to tell it on a stage.  But God had another plan and I was too wrapped up in my own idea of how He wanted my story to be told.  I buried my need and held my dream in my heart.  I would tell my story on a stage…someday, right?

I lead a table at Journey Women Gather and only two women showed up.  They disappeared before I had a chance to gather them up and take them into the stadium where the other women were telling their stories, the ones I was supposed to be with.  I wandered into the sanctuary and found a single woman.  Alone, sitting by herself.  I asked if I could sit by her and she said yes.  I said ok.  We sat alone, together, listening to the ladies talk and the Lord work.  God nudged me and said, “ask her if she’s a mother.”  Um, ok. I don’t know this girl but ok.  “Are you a mother?”  I whispered in her ear.


Then He brushed against my ear hard, “ask her if she’s had a miscarriage.”  WHAT?????  Are you sure God?  I don’t know this woman!  Are you SURE?  Yes, He said in my minds eye louder than I’ve ever heard Him.

“Have you ever had a miscarriage?”  I obey.

Eyes meet.  Tears collide.  She holds up two fingers.  Yeah well, me too, I think.  Me too, side by side burials.  Two.  Me too.

God says, ask her if she wants to talk outside.  The volume of the speakers blare, the sound of their words override what I’m afraid to ask.  But somehow I do.  “Do you want to talk?”  She nods.  We walk hand in hand outside to the vestibule that God had waiting for us from the moment she walked into Journey Church tonight.

We sat, we cried, we listened, we wept.  For our babies.  For our loss.  God didn’t want me to speak to a huge audience that my ego would have loved.  God needed me to speak to a singular person who I had no idea existed.  He needed me to tell my story to allow another to cry, to hear her tears that the world tells her that are not good enough.  For a world that says that miscarriage isn’t a loss that needs to be heard.  It’s a silent loss.  It’s a secret for us to keep. 

God told us that we are not alone.  That the anniversary I celebrate yet mourn on Sunday, the 10 year loss of my Jaden Hope, is a forever loss that needs to be heard.  But God wanted it to be intimate, to be between me and a stranger this year.  I listened, she told me her story, I cried, she spoke and we are forever bonded together.

Ego is strong, I am a victim of it, but God had other plans for me tonight.  He had a picture of me sitting with a grieving mother who has suffered as I have, one who needed to be heard, one who needed to tell her story more than I needed to be up on a stage beaming my story as I pridefully told my tale.  God said, “No”!  I have other plans.  I have a single person who needs you and you need her.

Because, God plus me equals trust.  God plus me equals truth.  God plus me equals a story that was meant for one  not many.  Because ego is strong, but God is Truth if we listen.  If we follow, if we hear the story we are meant to tell, to whom we are meant to tell it to in the moment it is meant to be told.  In that we are met with the breath of God, the Holy Spirit and the truth that is meant for us to live in the moment we are meant to live in it.