“You make known to me the path of life, you will fill me with joy in your presence…” Psalm 16:11

My Life Verses — Habakkuk 3:17-19

deer on heights

I wanted to share a little of my own story and how loss has affected my life.

I don’t say it proudly, but very humbly—God has repeatedly allowed me to go through some difficult losses and has taught me a lot about myself and Him through them.

I’ve mentioned a few of them in other blog entries before and on the pages with info about me.  I really do think that part of my calling in life has been to learn to rely on God through suffering and then use that to minister to others, bringing them hope and encouragement in the midst of their pain and confusion.

We lost three of our children.  Our first 3 pregnancies ended in death.  Seriously.  It was rather surreal.  The first time it was a miscarriage at 14 weeks.  Then I spent 10 weeks in the hospital with a twin pregnancy and almost lost my own life, as well as theirs, several times.  One night my heart rate was at 225 and they could not get it down.  The doctor took my husband into the hall to ask him whom he should save, me or the babies, if it came to that.  They were eventually born 2 months early and one of our sons died in our arms about 40 minutes later.  Our 3rd pregnancy was also complicated.  I was in and out of the hospital a few times and our daughter was stillborn at 29 weeks.

How do you deal with that?  We sat through 2 funerals and listened to the organist play “Jesus Loves Me” while her sobbing could be heard over the microphone.   With our daughter, we were finally at our first pregnancy class when she stopped moving.  None of the nurses wanted to tell us that she had died.  They sent us for an ultrasound and the poor technician was 9 months pregnant.  She was crying while we sat there in disbelief that it was happening again.

It’s tough.   No words can describe what it feels like when you need to push and you ask the nurse if the doctor is on his way to the room and her reply is, “Do whatever you want; she’s dead anyway”.  Or when people tell you that should should be glad your retarded baby died and all the other hurtful things people say.

But God has used all of that.  I can honestly say He has taught me to be joyful no matter what my circumstances are.    He has taught me that I do not have  peace and joy  because of my circumstances, but I can have them through  my circumstances because of my relationship with Christ.

When our son, David, died (one of the twins), our neighbor came up to our home yelling at me one day because I wasn’t upset enough.  She had also recently lost a child and was devastated.  She didn’t understand the peace and joy I could have, even in the midst of grief.  She didn’t know what it meant to have a relationship with Christ and the comfort He brings.

My life verses are Habakkuk 3:17-19.

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.

These verses have meant  so much to me through the years.  They encourage me and remind me that no matter what happens, I can rejoice in the Lord and be joyful.  God will strengthen me and enable me to go on.

Through the years we have faced many losses:  moving to various countries and states, losing parents, continuously making new friendships and then having to say goodbye, having cars stolen, dealing with illnesses, leaving our career as missionaries due to illness, surgeries for my husband, dealing with cancer in the family…….and these are just the tip of the iceberg as far as obvious losses go. The details of everything else aren’t really important right now.

What is important is that I share that God loves you very much and He truly gives that peace that passes all understanding.  I can’t explain it.  It really doesn’t make sense how you can go through such difficult trials, but feel so peaceful and joyful again.

I’m not trying to say it’s easy.  It’s definitely not easy, but there is hope and God can transform you through your situations.  It won’t necessarily take it away.  You still have to deal with it, but you can make it through.  With time, things were easier for me.  I can tell our story with a smile now.  It’s still painful, but I’ve learned to focus on the eternal.

Oh, and I can’t wait to get to Heaven one day and meet my children!  Wow, what a reunion that will be!  I’ve heard my side of the story; I look forward to hearing theirs….


  1. When I saw that your life verse came from Habakkuk I had to come comment over here and send you a virtual hug. Habakkuk 3:19 has literally saved my life. If you read it in the amplified it says “The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army” I finally got that He doesn’t give us strength or bravery or courage in the face of our tragedies, He wants to BE our strength. He wants us to lean fully on Him, not be given the strength to go off and do it on our own. I’m so glad you are willing to share your story. There are so many grieving parents who need to hear what you have to say.

    • Path of Life Christian Coaching says:

      Thank you for sharing, Susan. You made a beautiful application to the passage. I love the phrase “my personal bravery”. Wow! Powerful. He truly has been my Strength! Thank you for the hug.

  2. Kinsey Oglesby says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. We would say in the South that you are a true “Steel Magnolia.” Love your tenacious grip on Abba’s hand. I can’t wait to meet your children too! Of course you get first dibs. :)

    • Path of Life Christian Coaching says:

      Thank you, Kinsey! It’s going to be such an amazing reunion! I can’t even imagine!

  3. Pam Taylor says:

    Beautiful story of the Lord’s ever-present help in times of sorrow.
    Beautiful lady! Thank you for sharing this part of your story.

    • Path of Life Christian Coaching says:

      Thank you, Pam. God can take the most broken and difficult circumstances and turn them into a beautiful experience. Although I would not want anyone else to have to experience these losses, they have made me who I am, so I can honestly thank God for allowing me to grow through them.

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