Yesterday Colby and I celebrated our 3 year anniversary. Lately, celebrating isn’t something that has happened much around here. Instead of celebrating, it’s been a month of mourning and grieving. It’s hard to celebrate when your heart is so heavy.

It’s crazy how even though our world completely stopped for a few weeks, everyone around us was still celebrating. My sweet friend celebrated her wedding that I was supposed to be a bridesmaid in, my other friend celebrated her 30th birthday that I was supposed to attend, and my other friend celebrated at her baby shower that I was supposed to host. Even though our world stopped, it was evident the rest of the world just kept on celebrating. While we had the complete worst day of our whole lives some of those most dear to me were having the best day of theirs. It boggles my mind that God is sovereign over every detail of every day including weddings, baby showers, birthdays, and death.

So how do you go about celebrating special occasions just like the rest of the world has been and you always have in the past all while you are in a time of grieving?

It’s so easy to skip over the celebrating. It’s so easy to withdraw and roll up in a ball and cry. It’s so easy to throw in the towel and give up on my ministry and desire to become a mom. It’s so easy to stop communicating with Colby and dismiss the fact that another year of marriage is upon us. Isn’t that just what the enemy wants – to continue to destroy us and make us miserable? But, then I think of how amazing Shawn and Aki are and their desire to seek love. I remind myself that every day is a choice and we can redirect our thoughts and choose to make the most of the day (while grieving) or throw a pity party and not get out of bed. And, because of that we still celebrated. Just as Kai would have wanted. Just as Jesus would have wanted.

We chose to find the joy in the mourning.

We had a quiet evening, made dinner at home, and watched a movie. My heart remained heavy, but we still thanked the Lord for His blessings. Because although on the outside it might seem like he is not doing anything good, that is far from the truth. He remains by our side and continues to spoil us with his love.

The past 3 years haven’t been what I thought they would be. I didn’t think that 70% of our marriage we would be going through this trial of infertility. But, even though it’s not how I would have written the story, it’s SO much better. I’m thankful for Colby and his heart for Jesus. He smothers me with love every day. He serves me and spoils me and because of his amazingness he makes our marriage so much easy. I’m so thankful for every day we have had together including the basic things like cooking together and our favorite things like traveling the world together.

Although our celebration yesterday isn’t how I envisioned, 2014 isn’t how envisioned, and our 3 years of marriage aren’t how I envisioned them to be I still realize how blessed we are. As we start our 4th year of marriage I’m excited to pursue the Lord and see what He has in store for us. We are trusting that He will restore a double blessing to everything that has been taken away from us. Deuteronomy 30:3


P.S. Please continue to pray for Shawn and Aki – that God would heal their tender hearts.

  • Megan Davis
    Posted at 09:09h, 10 April Reply

    Absolutely beautiful! Happy anniversary to you and Colby! Love you!
    “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5

  • Erika B.
    Posted at 09:51h, 10 April Reply

    Yall are still in my thoughts and prayers. Happy Anniversary to yall…praying that joy comes in the morning.

  • Erika B.
    Posted at 09:51h, 10 April Reply

    Yall are still in my thoughts and prayers. Happy Anniversary to yall…praying that joy comes in the morning.

  • Katie
    Posted at 09:52h, 10 April Reply

    Yes, you are right – the enemy doesn’t want you to celebrate. Thank you for that reminder and for sharing your feelings during this grieving process. Love and miss you! Lamentations 3:22-23 always brought me comfort while grieving

  • Cheryl Smith
    Posted at 10:16h, 10 April Reply

    CONGRATULATIONS to you and Colby! May God grant you many more happy years together. I know it is hard to celebrate right now. Sometimes, while going through deep grief, we can even feel guilty for moments of happiness. We feel like we are being untrue to the memory of our loved one if we smile, laugh, or feel joy….like we “shouldn’t” be happy, in light of all they have gone through. But, if we could see their faces…over on the other side! We would know that THEY are joyful beyond any joy we will ever feel in this life, and we would choose to go on and allow ourselves to breathe…and live…and laugh until our sides ache. They would want us to go on…living…to the full. My heart aches for you when I think of all you have had to go through, and I know deep in my heart that somehow God is using all of this to better equip you to comfort others. One day you will look back upon this darkness and see the way God has used it all to enhance your ministry. Sending big hugs and much love and prayers your way. Love you, dear friend.

  • dspence
    Posted at 10:17h, 10 April Reply

    Beautiful post. In the devastatingly hard times, God is Good. In the wonderful precious times, God is Good. Praying for all. And Happy Anniversary!

  • Amanda
    Posted at 10:32h, 10 April Reply

    Happy belated Anniversary! Hoping with you that the Lord will redeem and bless you and Colby this year!

  • Kelli B
    Posted at 10:55h, 10 April Reply

    Happy anniversary, Caroline and Colby! I think it’s ok to celebrate in times of sadness and grief…like you said, Kai would have wanted it. My life has turned out very differently than I always pictured it, but like you’ve said before, God’s plan is much bigger and better than our own. Even just your honesty about this is part of your ministry. You are an encouragement to others in your faithfulness!

  • Amie
    Posted at 10:58h, 10 April Reply

    Happy anniversary to you too! It sounds like the Lord has truly blessed each of you with the other 🙂 So true that there is always celebrating and mourning going on at the same time and we just have to remind ourselves that the Lord will work it out for the good! Keeping you Shawn and Aki in my prayers.

  • Amie
    Posted at 10:58h, 10 April Reply

    To you two that is.

  • Crystal
    Posted at 11:03h, 10 April Reply

    Happy Anniversary to y’all and keeping you in my prayers!

  • Emily
    Posted at 11:26h, 10 April Reply

    You’re an amazing woman of God!

  • Elisha
    Posted at 12:12h, 10 April Reply

    Happy Anniversary! I’m so glad you still celebrated and didn’t give the devil the satisfaction of not celebrating. Remember, the devil only hates us because he hates God and he knows God loves us soooo incredibly much. He steals, kills and destroys because he is hoping that when he does…it will steal, kill and destroy the relationship and beliefs we have in God. You are an overcomer! LOVE YOU SOO MUCH! xoxoxo

  • Amy
    Posted at 13:02h, 10 April Reply

    Happy Anniversary! I love your heart. It is hard to feel happiness during a time of grief. I also love your observations about how everything keeps moving even when it feels like your life is on pause. I know that feeling! Keep up your trust and faith, God will reward it on this earth or in Heaven!

  • Mrs. Lost
    Posted at 13:38h, 10 April Reply

    Happy Anniversary…

    I will continue to pray for them, and for you friend.

  • Mrs. Lost
    Posted at 13:38h, 10 April Reply

    Happy Anniversary…

    I will continue to pray for them, and for you friend.

  • Mel @ there is a higher hope
    Posted at 14:58h, 10 April Reply

    I’m so sorry you had to celebrate with such a heavy heart. But so grateful that you are choosing to seek the good in all of the trials. That is so hard. I know God is going to use everything for good and your faithfulness will be rewarded.

  • Kara
    Posted at 15:43h, 10 April Reply

    Happy Anniversary dear friend! Thankful that you have not allowed the devil to win in this time. Celebrate as Kai would have wanted.

  • jenna
    Posted at 15:56h, 10 April Reply

    I’m so happy you guys were able to celebrate your anniversary. I’m still so sorry for what you and your family are going through. You all remain in my prayers!

  • Charity
    Posted at 17:41h, 10 April Reply

    Happy Anniversary! I am so glad you too celebrated, I believe it’s hard but so glad you chose to have joy.

  • Evangeline
    Posted at 18:10h, 10 April Reply

    Caroline, thanks for continuing to encourage others in the midst of your pain by setting the example of looking for the joy. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! 🙂

  • Elena
    Posted at 18:40h, 10 April Reply

    So unbelievably sorry for your family and your loss! So many hugs and prayers to you! And also, happy anniversary!

  • Jojo
    Posted at 18:52h, 10 April Reply

    Happy Anniversary! I know your going through a hard time right now and my heart aches so much for you. I will pray for some comfort and peace for you and ur family.

    Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

  • Lisa {Amateur Nester}
    Posted at 19:31h, 10 April Reply

    Gorgeous photo. And yes, here’s to believing God for a double portion. May your fourth year be full of His blessings.

  • Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom
    Posted at 19:52h, 10 April Reply

    Awww, Happy Anniversary you two. I will still continue to pray and lift all of you up in prayer. Your strength, grace, and faith are staggering Caroline. I admire you so much.

    Sending you love and blessings.

  • Isabelle
    Posted at 23:39h, 10 April Reply

    Happy anniversary! Our 3 years is coming up at the end of the month. I know what you mean by how you didn’t envision what you have gone through in the 3 years. But like you said, God has also poured tremendous blessings into our lives as well. I will continue to pray for you and your family for healing. Enjoy your time with your groom, lovely lady. 🙂

  • Kim Adams Morgan
    Posted at 06:03h, 11 April Reply

    Caroline, I am sending my love, prayers, and strength your way. I’m so sorry to hear about Kai. Your own strength and faith; your heart to serve Christ is so inspiring. God will use this sadness and loss (loss that was never supposed to be in His world) to do wonderful things, and Kai’s name will live on as he lives on with Christ.

    Happy 3rd Anniversary to you and Colby. Have a wonderful weekend celebrating your love and commitment to one another. It’s fun to look back at where God has taken you and also look ahead at what is to come. Maybe start an Anniversary Book to write in each year (one of my cool things). It will be a great keepsake when you are older and a wonderful legacy of love for your children/grandchildren to have.

  • Becky
    Posted at 11:22h, 11 April Reply

    Happy anniversary! I hope the rest of 2014 is a little kinder as you work through your grief. Continuing to pray for you and your family!

  • Lindsay
    Posted at 12:51h, 11 April Reply

    Happy Anniversary! I just wanted to thank you for being so open and honest in your struggles and how God is holding you through these. You are such an amazing example of how we can fight the enemy and still show God’s glory and praise through some of the hardest trials. Thank you for sharing your hope and joy through the tears. I know the He has such big plans for you and Colby in the many many years to come!!! Love you!

  • Jen
    Posted at 19:48h, 11 April Reply

    Happy anniversary, Caroline! I’m glad that y’all were able to celebrate some during such a difficult time. I’m just getting caught up on your blog since Kai was going to the hospital. I am beyond sorry for your family’s loss. There are no words that can help during such a tough time. It’s situations like this where I’m thankful for Jesus’ sacrifice, which will allow y’all to spend eternity with Kai. I’m praying for each of you.

  • Stacy Ricci
    Posted at 21:05h, 11 April Reply

    I’m so so sorry for your loss. 🙁 I can’t even imagine and I wish I knew comforting words. Praying for and thinking of you. And even though it’s a tough time, Happy Anniversary! xoxox <3

  • Aubrey
    Posted at 21:08h, 11 April Reply

    Happy belated anniversary pretty girl! I am still praying for you and your family and am so happy you were able to celebrate the other night with your sweet husband. XOXO

  • jennifer prod
    Posted at 13:20h, 12 April Reply

    aw caroline, my heart went out to you as i read through this, and i wish i could do something to help. it’s a sign of your great big heart that you’re able to recognize and celebrate the joy that others have while still tending to your own pain and trying/hoping/wishing to move forward with some of your own plans <3

  • Síochána Arandomhan
    Posted at 13:39h, 12 April Reply

    One thing that has really hit home for me over the past few years is how the good and the bad, the joyful and tragic, are always so mixed up together. And how those dichotomies are not even real sometimes. It’s trite to say “good can come from bad,” and too simplistic perhaps. But all our experiences make who we are and as they are reshaped in the forge of values and choices and relationships, the tapestry of life becomes even more miraculous. Carry on your path of courage and healing. xo

  • Amy
    Posted at 01:57h, 14 April Reply

    You, my friend, were a stunning bride! Happy Anniversary to a wonderful couple and I’m hoping you are blessed with many more!

  • Meredith
    Posted at 11:08h, 14 April Reply

    I’ve been checking your blog for a while now, and it has always been a comfort to me. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog on our journey. Please check it out! http://theoddsareneverinmyfavor.wordpress.com/

  • Dani
    Posted at 12:07h, 14 April Reply

    This was a lovely post!

    Blessings to you and your heart.

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