I haven’t finished the book yet, but….

April 22, 2008 at 8:37 am 19 comments

To give a little context for the quote I posted last night:

Elizabeth Prentiss was the wife of a pastor in the mid-1800s. They lived primarily in New England and New York City during their ministry years. Anyway, the most interesting part of the story for me has been the loss of her two children. She had two children, Annie & Eddy. When Eddy was 3 years old, his health took a downward turn and he died. This was when Elizabeth was already 6 months pregnant with the next child. So in the midst of her grieving Eddy, Bessie was born. Bessie lived for one month and died. And for most of that month, Elizabeth was struggling with an infection and wasn’t allowed to hold her baby. So within months they went from thinking they were going to have a family of five to having a family of three again.

The accounts of the pain she lived through are incredible. I felt like I was barely breathing, and there was this all-too-familiar tightness in my chest as I sped through the pages.

Eventually she had three more children. I really admire her for that. I’ve been so torn since losing Felicity between having as many children as God will give us, realizing their preciousness, but also thinking “I can’t do this” because it hurts too much.

One thing the author continues to point out, is that she always struggled with the loss of Eddy & Bessie. They were never forgotten or replaced.

Felicity, my seven-month-old girl—I will never forget or replace you.


Entry filed under: Felicity, Grief, Life.

Just one green grave is mine. What’s the phobia when you’re afraid of balloons and biscuits?

19 Comments Add your own

  • 1. shawnda  |  April 22, 2008 at 9:36 am

    These are the same reasons Elizabeth’s biography was so powerful for me! Her love for God and her realness and struggles through it all are incredibly powerful! A testiony of God’s sufficient grace in our weakness, indeed! I thought of you over and over as I read through her book – and prayed for you more prayers than I can recount! I just can’t imagine, sister. But reading her book gave me a little bit of insight into your heart and your struggles that perhaps I wouldn’t have had. For that, I was incredibly thankful. I cried through that whole section of the book. It’s so REAL and God is SO REAL through it!

    Molly, you are walking through the loss of Felicity with the same sweet grace, my friend. You are a testimony of God’s suffiicient grace in weakness!!!! He is using your powerfully to bring glory to His Name in grief that seems almost unbearable at times, but His faithfulness STILL somehow upholds you, and there you are…..still trusting Hiim (though it is NOT easy – there’s faith, and it’s beautiful!). Thank YOU for all your honesty through this season. It has encouraged my heart time and time again that His grace is sufficient!!!

    I love you!!!!

  • 2. Mrs. MK  |  April 22, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Thank you for reminding me of this book—-I have read it and “Stepping Heavenward”, but it has been such a long time.

  • 3. Bethany  |  April 22, 2008 at 10:41 am

    I too was given this book after losing my baby Elijah…I pray that my life will somehow reflect a testimony of God’s grace and peace like Elisabeth’s did…you are not alone in your pain…the song blessed be your name has been a comfort to me…”Though I walk through the wilderness…The LORD gave…the LORD taketh away…blessed be the name of the LORD.”

  • 4. Tina  |  April 22, 2008 at 10:57 am

    Dear Molly, I hope the Lord blesses you with many more healthy children. You and Abraham are amazing parents.

    I just cannot imagine the pain you continue to go through. I love what your father in law has said…. There is no wasted pain.

    Stepping Heavenward is my all time FAVORITE book, but I haven’t read the other one yet. I really want to!!

  • 5. jennapants  |  April 22, 2008 at 11:57 am

    You are a wonderful mother.
    I love to read your words about Felicity…and to Felicity. You are overflowing with love for Felicity and Orison. Your children are blessed.

  • 6. robyn  |  April 22, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    that is so true, felicity will never be forgot or replaced by any other child God gives you. What a blessing to read how other saints went through what you are going through. this must help bring healing to your heart.

  • 7. Melanie  |  April 22, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    I know that feeling. I had twins my first pregnancy; they were born at 28 weeks, one of them stillborn. She died after my water broke several hours earlier. That was 7 years ago.
    My second pregnancy, I was tempted alot to walk through the stages of the first and to fear for similar outcomes. Instead I was blessed with a full term healthy baby. Since then I have had two more good pregnancies. God is so good and gracious. May I suggest that Felicity’s death, like my Anna’s was not a result of your own deficientcy or physical failure. It was God’s soveriegn design for your life. Cling to the grace he has poured out over you through this time and KNOW that it is sufficient for whatever valleys and mountaintops HE may bring you to in the future. He is GOOD though our circumstances may not be.
    Your blog has blessed me, thank you for sharing your heart here.

  • 8. Amy  |  April 23, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Going from 5 children to 4 children has been the most difficult transition I have ever had to make. For a long time, I felt as though I had no purpose. No one really needed me (or so I thought). And talk of 15 passenger vans and 3 children under 3 sent me reeling. I have a child no one can see and that pains me more than I can ever express.

    I recently posted an entry entitled “A Beautiful Mess” on my blog (http://raising-arrows.blogspot.com) Please stop by if you are able to. It puts into words what I wanted to say to you here.

    And I wanted to tell you that I am pregnant! I know that in the months to come there will be a myriad of emotions that I cannot possibly prepare myself for. But, I am blessed.


  • 9. Jennifer Partin  |  April 23, 2008 at 11:00 am

    Hi Molly,

    I really appreciate your transparency. We lost our 2 year old son almost 8 years ago and we have gone on to have 4 more children since our loss. And you are right, you will never forget them nor replace them.

    I am reminded of the verse that says, weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning. And unfortunately, God is NOT bound by time like we are. But, I can say He is faithful.

    After Matthew’s death the laughter from our home was gone—-sure we laughed and we had our moments but it wasn’t the same. Here it is, almost 8 years later the joy has returned and baby number 7 has restored the joy and laughter to our family!

    I want to encourage you that His grace is sufficient and God is good—–the grief doesn’t go away overnight but joy does come. But, He’ll lovingly hold your hand and walk through it with you for His glory.

    I wept with you and Abraham over the loss of Felicity and I continue to pray for you. God was good in giving her to you and He is still good in taking her away. May His peace permeate your soul.

  • 10. kateortiz  |  April 23, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    hi molly. my mom guided me to your blog and i am truly enjoying it. your grieving series was so helpful. my husband is a pastor and we are always looking for guidance as to how to help people work through loss. thank you for your words!

    elizabeth prentiss made quite the impression on me as a high school girl. i’ll be sure to pick this one up.

    and your little one is quite the cutie.

  • 11. leanne gilchrist  |  April 23, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    I will never forget my babies either, and I don’t think God wants us to forget them.

    I too struggle with trusting God with allllllll of my heart, leaning not on my own understanding, acknowledging Him in all of my ways, and trusting His plan for my life. I struggle with trusting in His sovereignty. I do want to do what He wants me to do…..but I need Him to grow my faith and help me to trust.

    I will think about reading that book. I’m familiar with that feeling of barely breathing, and the pain almost eating you alive. I do want to read it but I want to protect my heart right now too!

    I really like your blog. Your posts hit deep.

    Leanne in Longview

  • 12. Shannon  |  April 23, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    I just want to say that I appreciate your honesty…and your faith. It brings me back to what your FIL said last week at T4G…that people need to be prepared for suffering before they suffer.

    I have suffered 3 miscarriages and it was my faith that grew stronger through the trial. I have continued to have children in the midst of my losses…though it has been hard getting through the early stages of pregnancy. I’m currently pregnant with my 5th (8th counting my losses), and I thank God every day for this child inside me…whether she is here until tomorrow or until she grows old. We are naming her Payson after Elizabeth Prentiss’ father…Edward Payson.

    I pray that you are blessed with more children…however daunting that might sound right now.

  • 13. April Swafford  |  April 23, 2008 at 9:49 pm

    Yes, my fellow sojourner. That is EXACTLY where I am as well. I can’t bear the thought of going through his pain again. But I also can’t bear the thought of Elijah being our last.

  • 14. melissa e  |  April 24, 2008 at 7:54 am

    I bounced over here from Abraham’s blog.

    I have never lost a child but want to encourage you. I have six children. Three we have adopted and three naturally born. Seeing them all together makes me see even more the truth of what my mother said, “the best gift you can give your child is/are sibling/s”!

    When they are older they still reap the blessings through Aunts and Uncles for their children and cousins and joyous family reunions.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that, while your grief is still fresh and painful (7 months isn’t very long!), I want to encourage you that it will be ok to brave your fears and press on. Not fearing that Felicity’s memory will fade, but for the son you still have and love so very much and would do anything for. And in the end, you will be blessed just as much as he will.

    I feel so sad when I try to put myself in your shoes and it makes me realize how hard it would be to BE in your shoes. It sounds like you are doing very well at moving through your grief. I imagine that you will never fully “get over it” but will just learn to live life despite it.

    I pray blessings for your family.

  • 15. deb t  |  April 24, 2008 at 7:57 am

    Oh, Molly! How I cried with you this morning! I’ve always told Courtney how I appreciate your families openness in suffering. You’ll never know just how much it has ministered to me and I pray that mine ministers only half as much. The body of Christ needs to be able to express it’s suffering openly and honestly and others need to come along side them and bear the load Not something done very often or very well. Sometimes we don’t want to share anymore, other times that’s what consumes us and we gush(I say this, because I’m condensing my comments into one response to previous posts. Sorry!) Thanks for continuiing to share. My heart just aches for all the women who are sharing about their pain. May your blog be a beginning for the church of Jesus Christ to become more compassionate and sensitive! May those who read your blog be encouraged. Sounds like a great book! You’re in my prayers.

  • 16. deb t  |  April 24, 2008 at 8:06 am

    One more thing, you never forget and you are all right, when you say that you think God doesn’t want you to forget. Even when you lose children in other ways, you never stop loving them or do you forget them. It’s what being a Mom is all about. God walks with you through the loss and He understands the difficulty.(Psalm 23:4) Oh how I wish I could give you all a huge hug(for those of you who like that kind of expression)

  • 17. Elizabeth  |  April 24, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Molly, He makes us beautiful through our suffering. Thank you for sharing.

  • 18. Alison  |  April 26, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Hi Molly,
    I have only just found your blog, because I found Abraham’s a while back. I’ve never had a child, or lost one, but I cried ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT, not once, but 3 times, reading Stepping Heavenward (and I am just not one of those melodramatic people). But I love that book – such a story of sanctification in progress. I want to read “More Love to Thee” too.
    (P.S. My father actually died when I was four and my Mum was 6 months pregnant. We’d take visits to the cemetery and I’d go and play in the corner with a statue that said “Our Little Lambs”, because I liked the little ornaments and toys on the graves over there, and I thought it was where they buried small sheep (my grandparents were sheep farmers so that wasn’t that outrageous for a four yeard old) – then I got older and I realised that they weren’t sheep buried over there, and that it was one of the saddest places on earth.)

  • 19. rachelchris  |  May 12, 2008 at 11:35 am

    I just found your blog and will keep reading. I could have written especially Amy’s comment above. We lost our 5th at age 1 1/2 a year ago. I posted your grieving series of posts on my Knoxmemories blog after seeing it on another blog. Anyway, I am due any day with #6 and yes grieving and expecting at the same time is hard, but God is merciful and as you know his blessings continue to abound. While I have read and was blessed by Stepping Heavenward I have not read More Love to Thee so I guess Amazon is my next stop.


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