Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Divine Encounter

When we had found out that Isaac was given a fatal prenatal diagnosis, a good friend of mine recommended that I take a look at Angie Smith's blog. I jumped in to her family's story shortly after their sweet daughter, Audrey, had been born and passed away. For those of you who may be new to reading, Angie's husband, Todd, sings in Selah, and I have mentioned on here several times what an encouragement Angie has been to me through reading her blog and corresponding with her over email. I felt like I connected with Angie in so many ways, and that she was able to put into words precisely what I have often thought or felt. I was so encouraged by Angie's authenticity, her desire to seek God in the face of unspeakable heartache... and I often thought to myself, "I wish I could just sit down with her over coffee and talk." Being that she's in Tennessee and I am in Maryland, the fact that we even connected over email was pretty awesome.

So, fast forward about a year later to this past spring. A sweet woman who reads my blog emailed me to tell me that Angie would be speaking at their church's women's retreat this fall. This woman's church isn't terribly far from us, nor was the location of the retreat. As the next several months passed, we continued to dialogue about this retreat, and this past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting this incredibly thoughtful and generous blog reader, as well as Angie herself.

I could only attend the retreat for the day yesterday, but after the morning session at which Angie spoke, she and I sat down for quite a while and talked... talked about Audrey, talked about Isaac as Angie poured over my pictures of him on my camera, talked about some of the hardest and most painful moments of losing a child that only two mothers who have walked that road would even think to discuss, talked about the emotions that come with losing a child, and talked about the Lord's faithfulness in how He has met each of us so personally in the midst of each of our journeys. Not that the journeys are over; there is no "over." But there was something that was just so refreshing about sitting down with someone who really wanted to hear about your child who is no longer with you, knowing that she really knows what it's like.



As if that hour and a half wasn't enough, I also got to eat lunch and dinner with Angie, as well as Todd and their sweet daughters Abby, Ellie, and Kate (sorry... no pictures!). It was such an incredible opportunity to get to know Angie in person, and to spend some time getting to know their girls and talking with Todd as well. They are the real deal, that's for sure.

That evening Todd did a concert featuring several songs of Selah's new album "You Deliver Me," including "I Will Carry You" which was written for their daughter Audrey, and that Spencer and I used as the song for Isaac's slideshow at his memorial service. It is an incredible album... one you seriously should go out and buy. I know you'll be blessed by it.

If you had asked be back then... in the late spring of 2008... if I ever thought I would be given the opportunity to actually talk with Angie in person, I would have laughed. I am just so thankful that I did, and that God used a complete stranger (who is thankfully no longer a stranger!) to help orchestrate such a divine encounter. And thankfully, Angie is also no longer a stranger :)

20 comments:

Seraphim said...

That's a beautiful story! You are both two truly beautiful, inspirational ladies. Sending my love, as always xxxx

Kristin (kekis) said...

Reading this made my heart smile. Yes, I asked you for a photo, and I'm glad you took one!

I imagine that it must be difficult to find many women who have experienced the loss of a child who are also beautiful, strong, Christian women like yourself. How thankful you both must be to have met one another and had time to share. I know that I'm thankful for you both.

Jenn@the loves of jenn said...

How wonderful that you were able to meet Angie. She is such an inspiration!

My husband and I recently got to see Selah in concert and I was so blessed by it. Their new album is amazing! So happy for you that you got to meet them!

Jenn said...

I follow both of your blogs, so this is wonderful to hear.

Erika said...

Stacy, such a beautiful story. I am so glad that you two had the chance to meet in person!!!

Rachel E. said...

That is so cool that you got to meet Angie!

Jus and Kat said...

Both of your blogs have been an encouragement in my journey. What a great story!

kat

The Writer Chic said...

Still jealous, but more than that, thankful. =)

April said...

A beautiful encounter with someone you respect and admire, is something so cherished.

How wonderful that God brought you two together after a year of connecting.

Trisha Larson said...

Oh my goodness that is so cool!!!! I just love how that worked out. I wish that all of us mommies that are walking this difficult path could get together for the weekend. It would be so nice to just "be understood"!!!

Hugs,
Trisha

Melissa said...

Two amazing women.......It's funny I see her face and it brings comfort. Although I have not ever been in either of your shoes, her words are still encouraging and comforting.

And you, of all the blogs I have ever read, always stand out to me the most. Maybe it's the fact that we both have sons, or the simple fact that we are both mothers, your words of loving your child whether he is here on Earth or not, are the same as mine. We love them regardless and because he is not here doesn't mean you are still not his mother. You have the most beautiful baby boy waiting for you. I will always think of him, stranger or not. I could never forget that sweet little face. Your faith has also been so inspiring.

Agh! What a great reunion, so well deserved. Every mother who has ever felt the pain of losing a child deserves to share your pain with someone who truly, truly understands. I am so glad to hear you have these people in your life.

God bless,
Melissa

Misty Rice said...

That is WAY, WAY, WAY cool... I have goosebumps all over me. I know that was a special greeting for you. Angie is great and so kind.

She spoke to my BFF on the phone one day, I have no idea how she and my BFF know each other.

Angies daughter Audrey and my Morgan had the same due dates. My BFF Lisa Hughes, would allow me to read Angies blog while pregnant and so close to my due date.

When I had Morgan and was home with her, Lisa allowed me to know Angies blog and read it. I felt instant connection with her and my heart broke as I sat there and read her blog beginning to end multiple times, in pain for her as a mother, while I looked over at my Morgan who was and would have been the same age is Audrey. Two girls, one went to be with Jesus, and one stayed here.

One day while on the phone with my BFF, Lisa begin to tell Angie about me....and before Lisa was finished, Angie asked "does she have really long blonde hair?" Lisa had mentioned my name and right away Angie knew who I was. I was completely shocked, and in away felt sadden and happy that she knew who I was out of the thousands followers and commenters on her blog. I knew then, no matter if we ever meet or not.... we will always have a connection, and I will ALWAYS think of Audrey every mile stone Morgan takes, knowing there is Angie who doesn't get to see this with Audrey.

There was rumor that Angie at that time was going to come to FL for something, and I was so hoping to meet her.

I don't know if she ever came or not, but I think it would be great to meet her as well.

What a great story you shared.

Hugs

Holly said...

I think that is so awesome that you got to meet Angie. She really is an inspiration and is one of the places I turned to when we got our fatal prenatal diagnosis. I listened to "I Will Carry You" so much those days and cried and Angie let me use the song for Carleigh's slideshow. It would be so awesome to meet her.

Lauren said...

How great! I am really happy that you were able to personally connect with Angie and spend time together talking about your babes!

Love ya!

Cheryl said...

Out of all the blogs that I read, your's and Angie's are the two that I am always current on. Your love for your children and your hearts for the Lord inspire me. At times you both challenge me as well, and I thank you for that.

Hugs and prayers from IL,

Cheryl

Sonya said...

that is great Stacy. I am so glad that you got to meet. I also read Angie's blog and she is so inspiring!

Sarah said...

That's so awesome, Stacy. I bet it was such an encouragement to get to chat with her in person. Praising God for that awesome time of fellowship you guys had together!

Pretty Hills said...

This was such an awesome post to read. It is amazing how God has done so many works just through blogs. It just warms my heart when I read your blog, and Angie's.

Connor's Mom said...

I am so glad you both got to meet. I've kept up with her blog after you'd mentioned it in a previous post. She is a truly beautiful person AS WELL.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Amazing...what a beautiful picture of the two of you. Such beautiful women inside and out! Love you both...

Angie's is the first blog I ever read...and part of what led me to this blogland. You both are such inspirations to many...