Share Your Story Saturday {Holly’s Story}

Back in the Summer of 2015, my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our third child. By October, we had traded in my sedan for a minivan. Early on in the pregnancy, I had a subchorinoic hemmorage and had significant bleeding. My HGC numbers were lower than expected, and combined with the bleeding, I was certain I had miscarried. My husband and I were shocked and thrilled when we found out I was carrying a healthy baby. The pregnancy was moving along like my previous healthy pregnancies, and I even began to feel regular movement around 15 weeks. In October, I found out that I was having another little boy! Dreams of brothers wrestling, playing catch in the backyard, and sharing bunk beds filled my mind. The week before Thanksgiving I had a perfect anatomy scan—everything looked great, and there were no concerns.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving I was 22 weeks pregnant and I lay in bed at night awaiting my son’s nightly kicking session, but there were no flutters, no movement.  I rationalized that he must have changed positions or that he was just sleepy. That following week while we were visiting family, I tried every trick I knew to get the baby to move—but there was no response. When we got home on Monday I made an appointment with my OB and, because we couldn’t find a babysitter, my 2 kids (ages 3 and 1) accompanied us for the appointment. I still am overcome with emotions when I recall sitting in the ultrasound room with my husband and kids. I remember seeing my son’s lifeless body and instantly knowing he was gone. I remember crying so hard I couldn’t breathe while my daughter cried in anguish because she wouldn’t get to hold her baby. I remember my tough, emotionally steady husband being completely broken over our loss.  In the days and the months to follow, I would experience devastating grief, but I would also experience God’s peace, presence, and grace like I never had before. I would learn that what the enemy means for destruction, God can redeem and make beautiful.

On December 1, 2015, after 12 hours of labor, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy—Hudson David. In the middle of that tragic moment, God’s peace flooded that hospital room. The hurt and the aching feeling of loss were still there, but God was there too, bringing hope and light in the middle of one of my darkest moments. My husband and I invited family and close friends to meet and hold our baby. We doted on him and studied his tiny features. Even though so tiny, it was apparent that he looked just like his big brother! God’s grace was written on every moment that day— the tender nurse who stayed well past her shift to be with me during delivery, the compassionate tears in my doctor’s eyes as she handed me my baby, the family that surrounded us and prayed for us, and my best friend who made it just in time to hold Hudson and my hand.

Four days later, we had a service for Hudson at our church and over 100 people came to remember our son and celebrate his short, yet very significant life. My husband and our friend led us in singing “10,000 Reasons,” by Matt Redman, and we chose to praise God in that moment. For the next few months, I didn’t have to cook once. The people in our church community flooded us with meals and babysitting so that I would have space to grieve. I set aside the housework and the to do lists, and I gave myself some time off. I spent long hours crying, praying, and flooding my heart with God’s word. In these spaces of grief, the Father God met me and healed my broken heart. I would close my eyes and dream of heaven and of Jesus holding my baby boy, and in that moment Jesus was holding me. In the dark storm of grief, Jesus never left me, He didn’t mock my questions or belittle my hurt.  Jesus was with me.  When the tears came as I looked at the empty seat in my rearview mirror, Jesus was with me. The hurt was still there, but I was never alone. Because of Jesus I knew that death did not have the final say with my son. I have great hope, and even joy, in knowing that my baby boy is spending eternity in heaven with Jesus—never knowing pain or suffering or loss.

“‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of the sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:54b-57

 Psalm 116 became worn with wear in my Bible as the truths flooded my heart. As I cried out to the Lord and as I felt the pain of death and brokenness, God heard my cries. Just as the psalmist describes God inclining his ear to him, God was leaning into me and entering into my hurt. In this time of suffering and grief, all the head knowledge I had of God moved to my heart. I experienced for myself the vast and immeasurable goodness of my God. I learned that He is tender and near to the brokenhearted, and I learned that He is all that I need. Because He met me in my grief and healed my heart, I will call on Him as long as I live—I will worship Him! He delivered me from my grief and brought me to a place of beauty and life.  God restored my life and made my broken heart whole again.

“I love the Lord, because He has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because He inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will call on Him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me;
The pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
‘O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!’
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
Our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
When I was brought low, He saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest,
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
My feet from stumbling;
I will walk before the Lord
In the Land of the living.”
Psalm 116:1-8 (emphasis added)

 The death of my son was not the end of the story—his life has been used to draw grieving moms to the Father, and he has inspired a Hope Box gathering of 28 boxes!  Hudson’s life and death gave me a deep longing for heaven and gave me eyes for the eternal. In my grief I was challenged to live for what lasts, for what is eternal. This was a catalyst for my and my husband’s move to Colorado to plant a church—to tell others about the God who restored our lives and is the hope of the world.

Two weeks shy of Hudson’s first birthday, we welcomed our fourth child and third son—Josiah. Hudson’s little brother was a beautiful reminder that God saw me in my grief and that He is the giver of beautiful gifts. Now when I look in the rearview mirror of my van I see three precious faces, and I smile with hope knowing that I will see that fourth precious face again in heaven.

- Holly

Hope Mom to Hudson

A Texas native and a lover of warm weather, tex-mex, Aggie football, coffee, and all things summer, Holly and her pastor husband, AJ, now live in Northern Colorado where they are planting Keystone Church. She is mom to three spirited kids who keep her busy and laughing, and she is a Hope Mommy to her heaven baby–Hudson David who was born on December 1, 2015.

We would be honored to share your story as a Hope Mom on our blog. Every Saturday we feature a Hope Mom’s story in order to showcase God’s faithfulness even in the midst of such deep sorrow. If you would like to have your story shared on our blog for this purpose, learn more and submit here.

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1 Reply to "Share Your Story Saturday {Holly's Story}"

  • Casey
    November 13, 2017 (8:43 am)

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful story of Hudson and our King. It amazes me how what we feel as a tragedy God can comfort and show His glory through.

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