My Story

~Kristen Elaine Eckels~

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-14,16


Friday, November 20, 2009 10:30 PM, CST

I’ve got so many things on my heart.  The emotions and feelings that I have experienced over the past several months encompass it all…from such tremendous joy at the safe arrival of our baby girl in May to the greatest sorrow I’ve ever known when she left us in August.  The days since have been filled with tears, anger, disbelief, wonder, gratitude, helplessness, love, but most importantly, trust.  I continue to trust that God is in control.  Even through the anger and the tears, I know God is there.  At times, I feel like I’m all alone, but I know differently.  I’ve discovered that there’s a chasm that often exists between what I feel and what I know.

Not long after Kristen’s death, I was in church listening to someone talk about miracles.  I remember feeling very “cheated” because I didn’t get my miracle.  As I sat there, becoming very angry, it was as if God whispered in my ear, “But you did get your miracle."  Reflecting on that, I couldn’t argue.  Kristen is my beautiful miracle.  She was the wonderful surprise gift that I never knew how much I wanted until she was given to me.  She changed my life in ways I never anticipated, and I will never be the same.

I’ve had some very honest conversations with God, asking “Why?” and even questioning His plan (“Surely, there was another way, God!”).  I’ve been at a place where I didn’t even know what to pray.  I’ve been hit with unexpected waves of grief that have completely knocked me down.  But through all of that, I still know that He loves me.  He knows my pain, my heartache.

Interestingly, my life today looks very much, from the outside, like it did about a year ago, Inside, however, I know it to be very, very different.  I’ve cried more tears than I ever thought humanly possible.  My heart has felt an ache like I never knew it could.  My arms have longed to hold that sweet baby again.  My ears have strained to hear her crying for me.  Even so, God has not abandoned me.  He has cared for me through the loving kindness of so many people.  I am truly blessed.

Kristen lived 102 days on this earth.  As Thanksgiving approaches, so does the 102nd day since she died.  After November 27th, she’ll have been gone longer than she was here.  As much as I wish they were different, things will never be the same for me or my family.  No one can change what happened.  All of us, however, can change what happens next.  If your relationship with God is not what you know it should be…if who you are is not the person you know God created you to be, then change.  Seek the One who created everything.  Seek the One who loved you enough to die for your sins.  Seek Him.  The first part of Isaiah 40:26 says, “Lift your eyes and look to the heavens.”  That’s what Kristen did so often, and I pray that we all will take her cue.


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