So What Happens at Two Years and a Day?


“Almost two years ago”. I feel like everything in my life is relative to what happened to my Sadiebug “almost two years ago”. In some ways, I’m like, “Let’s do this–let’s plow right through the next six weeks–we’re doing okay”, and in other ways, I’m like, “Waaaaaaahhhhhhh–this still hurts–a lot.” People want us to be better. But we’re not better–we’re just learning to live with the constant ache of extreme loss. There is something about hitting (and passing milestones) that seem like an accomplishment in a sense. So, in that respect, I am looking forward to some key dates coming and going this year.

But then again, how am I going to feel at two years and a day? That’s the thing–the passage of time doesn’t minimize the loss. It just makes you further removed from being used to what you had. I don’t want to be “further removed” from Sadie. I carry her in my heart, but miss carrying her in my arms. I see the effect her life is having, but I also feel the effects of her closed bedroom door every single day. I am torn between accepting His will and the fact that He makes all things work together for my good, and all the while thinking, “but HOW could THIS be for MY good”?!? It’s a tug of the spirit and a tug on my heart and soul.

Losing Sadie to cancer has cut deeper than words can express. I want to be able to put this at the foot of the cross and not pick it back up, but this is a part of ME that is missing here. A part of who I am, and who I am becoming. I want “who I am becoming” to be someone who can give God the glory in ALL circumstance, but I think part of that requires vulnerability and admitting that HIS strength is made perfect in MY weakness.

Please pray for our family when you think of us. Pray for God’s wisdom, direction, peace, and strength. Pray for steps of faith. Pray for tears of JOY to enter our lives.

(I should know better than to post my heart on days that I am sleep-deprived–that’s when my emotions run raw. But you’ve said you like my honest heart, so there it is, splattered all over your computer screen. Love you all so much, and thank you for loving us the same.)

Jaw Dropping Joy


The poverty is greater than my words can articulate.  It is greater than the story behind a thousand pictures.  It is deeper than the stirring in my soul could ever describe.  I just finished spending 9 days in several different villages/cities in Haiti, and they all shared this same common theme.  But as my eyes turned from their makeshift homes and the chaos of what they call the “market”, and turned to meet a lot of their eyes, I saw joy and hope.  Yes–JOY and HOPE.  How is this possible?  How can people who have so little have a reason to have joy and hope?  How are they able to see beyond their present circumstances, let alone smile about it?

The truth of the matter is, they have no option but to acknowledge their blessings as the love of Christ.  They have had to actually exercise the faith that we speak of (I’m not saying that none of us have gone through difficult circumstances–we have–I’m really just referring to seeing Christ clearly, without so much “clutter”).  They’ve seen God come through.  They recognize provision after provision because they honestly can’t attribute it to anything else.  And us, although we consider ourselves blessed (and we definitely are), we have to sift through our own accomplishments and victories and hard work and our piles and piles of THINGS to even see God’s hand.  We have life handed to us on a silver platter, and then we live as if it’s something that WE have done to deserve it.  But we could have just as easily been born a little further south, and our life would be very different.

What I saw was that there are many people who, despite how much they have or don’t have, they still rejoice in their blessings.  I met people who I will consider lifelong friends there who I have learned more from in 9 days than I ever would have imagined.  I have new friends who I would love to learn so much more from.  We went to try to bless others and to share the love of Christ with them, but the reality was that we were the ones who were blessed, and we saw the love of Christ demonstrated.  I’ll never forget the way they worshipped.  Erik Reed said it perfectly when he said that they worship like they have everything, while often we worship like we have nothing.  Maybe the truth is that they are the ones who have “everything”, while a lot of the things that we have are very temporary.  They have all they need (although a little more shelter, food, and clothing would probably be a good thing), and they aren’t too busy or covered up to recognize it.  This is not meant to be a knock on Americans.  I was so happy to walk through my middle-class door on Saturday evening.  I was so glad to take a shower and not be sweating before I could even get dried off.  I was thrilled to be able to do my laundry, go to Publix, and use a real toilet.  This is the place that God has me, and this is the life that He has for me.  I just want to make sure that I remember to be thankful for it, and to leave a little time, energy, money, and love to share with the people who have invested so much in my heart and soul over the past week.  They deserve the love.

I’ll have to write more about specific things we experienced while in Haiti.  I honestly am not sure even where to start.  What an amazing, eye-opening, love-provoking week.  Thank you to those who prayed for our team.  We have several stories that would prove that your prayers for protection and health and opportunity were answered.  We loved, and we were loved on.  We met some of the most wonderful men, women, and children we could ever hope to share a little sliver of life with.  What a treasure that I will not soon forget.

What if We Had a Choice?


I may never fully understand this side of Heaven why my girl had to leave us so early, but something weird and profound keeps pounding through my head that helps me to understand that there IS a reason.  It doesn’t matter if I like that reason or not.  What matters is that there IS a reason.

What if God Himself sat you down at the table and said this to you, in regard to your 16 month old “healthy” babygirl:

God:  “Okay, I have a decision that I need you to make.  This is going to be a tough one, but I’m going to let you make this decision.  I see you like to have control and prefer for all of your prayers to be answered according to your own will, so this time I’m going to let you choose.  Here are your options…

1.  I will allow your baby girl to live to a very old age.  She will be healthy, happy, and will have a lot of love to give.  She will have lots of friends, and will do good things for others.  She will have a great husband, great children, and beautiful grandchildren.  She will be successful in whatever she decides to pursue in life, and will be present at every family gathering and every holiday for a very long time.  You will have lots of wonderful memories together.  She will travel the world, helping children in need, and she will put forth effort to feed the hungry.  But, she will not ever come to truly know Me and accept the gift of salvation that I have to offer her.  She will be so busy doing good, but will never take that step of faith that will enable her to have eternal life in Heaven.  In other words, you will have a great time with her here on Earth, but after that, your time with her will be gone forever.


2.  You will have to let her go now.  She’s too young to understand how to make a choice to follow me.  Her future in Heaven is sealed, because she will leave us before she is old enough to be held accountable for her choice whether or not to follow Me.  You will miss her every minute of every day here on Earth.  You will cry more tears over losing her than you ever imagined possible.  You will be saddened all the days of your life over broken dreams and missed memories.  You will not get to see her go off to kindergarten.  You won’t get to see her bring home her first report card.  You won’t get to see her in dance recital.  You won’t get to see her graduate high school.  You will miss watching her fall in love.  You will not get to watch her walk down the wedding aisle.  You will not get to cry as you watch her hold her newborn baby.  She won’t be sitting across the table from you at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  But, you will have the assurance of knowing where her soul is, and because you, too, are a follower of Christ, you will one day get to see your girl again.  In fact, you will get to spend as much time with her as you want on the other side of Heaven.  But you have to say goodbye to her for now.

Can you imagine having to make a choice like that?  The proper Christian response would be “okay, God, take her now”, but who could make a decision like that?  Who could stare something like that in the face and be able to make any kind of logical decision, and then feel good about it?  Who could kiss their daughter goodbye on this side of Heaven, knowing that you were given an option to keep her here with you much longer?

I have had to kiss my daughter goodbye, but it wasn’t because I chose to let her go.  I wasn’t given the option.  I didn’t have the control that I once thought I possessed.  But would I have wanted to make a choice like that?  No.  How terrible.

I miss Sadie with every ounce of my being.  I would have died in her place if I was allowed that opportunity.  We went to great measure to try to save her life here on Earth.  We wanted her here with us, for Christmas, for birthdays, for weddings.  We wanted to do life here with her.  But one way in which I can rest assured is that I know where my girl is.  I know I will see her again, and I know we will get to make lots of pretty amazing memories.  I just have to wait a while before that happens.  For that I am hopeful and grateful.

In the meantime, Sadie is right here in my heart.  She is in lots of other people’s hearts, too, from what I am hearing and seeing.  Her life is giving us an opportunity to realize close-up that there are needs, and we can help meet them.  Her joy while she was here helps give us reason to spread joy to others.  The fact that we know where she’s at gives us hope for the future, and a reason to push forward with confidence that the One who protects us knows far better than we do what is best for us.  There are just some decisions that we have to let God make.  And then we have to choose to trust Him.  That will be reflected not by our words, but by the way we live our lives.  That will be reflected by the condition of our hearts.  And that will be reflected by our desire to help other people have the same peace that has filled our own hearts.

This doesn’t mean we are superhuman and will never shed a tear when our hearts have been torn into a million pieces.  But it does mean that when we finish crying, we can stand up, speak up, and look up and know that He has us safely in His hands.  That is, if we choose to put our faith in Him, through the good times AND the bad.  He is there.  He is able.  He is good.


Seventeen Months and Counting


Sadie was 17 months old when childhood cancer took her from us, and today it has been 17 months since we said goodbye to her.  Goodness, in some ways it seems like all of this happened yesterday, and in other ways, it seems like it’s been 50 years.  It’s no wonder we miss her so much.  We had 17 months to love on her, play with her, watch her grow, and see her personality start to take shape.  She was a part of us, and a part of our family.

I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with Sadie.  It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving, 2010.  Tim preached that morning, and I just KNEW I was pregnant.  Eli and I left after the first service and, believe it or not, I took him to Gymboree to get a “big brother” t-shirt before I even took the pregancy test.  I could just tell that there was a precious baby inside of me.  Sure enough, the test was positive, and when Tim walked in the door, instead of, “Hey, let’s talk about how preaching went today”, it was, “Hey Eli, show Daddy your new shirt that we bought after church”.  I remember exactly where we were standing, and I remember exactly what Tim’s face looked like.  He had this deer in the headlights look, like, “what are we going to do with another one?!?!”…

Well, it didn’t take long for us to embrace the fact that we had a baby coming, and we were thrilled when we heard we were going to be blessed with a little girl.  We had considered the name Sadie when we were considering names during my first pregancy, so it didn’t take much thought for us to settle on her name–Sadie Caroline. 

I also remember the day I delivered Sadie.  Everything went incredibly smooth.  Much easier than when I had Eli.  She was healthy, beautiful, and perfect.  I remember thanking God for this healthy little girl.

For the next 16 months, Sadie was a picture of health.  She was beautiful, fun, and was the perfect addition to our family.  I remember getting her out of her crib one morning, soon before she got sick, and saying out loud, “What would I ever do without you?”.  Needless to say, I found out, and I will never ask that question ever again.  I didn’t really want to know the answer.  It was my way of saying how much I loved, treasured, and valued the life of my beautiful daughter.

When I reflect on the past 17 months, much of it is a blur.  I think back to our days in the hospital and think, “HOW did we not fall completely apart?  How did we survive that?”.  The answer is, we didn’t have a choice.  No one in their right mind can picture something like this happening, and react by saying, oh yeah I could handle that.  But we didn’t get to choose.  We were along for a ride that we never wanted to be on.  Then to try to soak in the fact that this sifted through the permissive hand of God was even more baffling.  WHY would He let this happen to Sadie?  To us?  Why didn’t He just fix it?

Well, I am learning the answer a little more every day.  I will never in a million years be happy about the fact that we lost our daughter to cancer.  I will, however, walk with my eyes open to God’s grace.  To His mercy.  To His love.  I have had to (very reluctantly) grab on to the concept that God’s plan for Sadie’s life journey is just different than I had expected.  And, His plan for MY life journey is different than I expected.  I thought it was okay to coast along, like people, have friends, raise a family, enjoy my job, go to church, etc., etc., etc.  Normal stuff.  What I didn’t realize is that the purpose of our time here runs far deeper than that.  There is something about this place that is supposed to prepare us for what lies ahead.  So, what can I do while I am here to make a difference, and to accomplish whatever that purpose is?  I’m not asking that to see how busy I can get (I do that naturally).  I mean what am I REALLY here for?  To pursue holiness and live it out.  To pursue Christ-likeness and live it out.  Not to watch others do this, but to do it myself.

Another thing that I am realizing is that oh yes, I do have the time.  I am not too busy.  If there is a desire in my heart, I’ll find the time and energy to get it done.  That doesn’t mean that I think we should over commit and do every little thing that comes up.  No–sometimes rest is what we need to spend our time doing.  But it does mean stop using time as my excuse.  I am embarrassed when I see the difference having the “want to” can make in my life, and in the lives of so many others.  What if we all lived with the “want to”?  It took my daughter’s death for me to realize how self-serving I had become.  How much I was full of talk about how much I cared, but lacked the ooomph to get up and do something besides watch other people make a difference.

I remember at one point during our hospital stay with Sadie–it was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving 2012 (interesting how all of this happened all around Thanksgiving).  Sadie was already in the hospital, but had some sort of seizure episode.  25-30 doctors and nurses rushed down the hall toward us.  She was nonresponsive.  Her oncologist turned to me and said, “Amber, I am not sure what’s happening, but I don’t like it.  You may want to call Tim to get over here asap”.  I saw his face when he said that to me.  It translated to, “Amber, I think your daughter is dying”.  Well, we didn’t lose her that day, but I think that was the moment that I realized how serious all of this was.  It dawned on me that we may really not get to keep her.  But we did get to keep her a whole month longer.  To me, that was eternity.  I treasured every single second with Sadie, until she breathed her last.  I remember vividly where I was that day, too.  It replays in my mind a lot.  I remember people that we interracted with that day, I remember talking to her, singing to her, reading to her, praying for her.  I remember when we got in the elevator to leave the hospital–a couple with their newborn got in the elevator to take their baby home, and I was just stoic.  I was like, “I cannot BELIEVE this is happening to us”.

What I’ve realized since then was that yes, it did in fact happen to us, and it happens to far too many others.  I just had no idea.  Or maybe I just wasn’t capable of realizing the emotions to go along with the statistics.  What was once words and numbers became feelings and emotions.

All this to say, I feel like I reside on a different planet now.  I don’t need Mother’s Day to remind me to miss my child.  I miss my child every second of every day.  I think of Sadie all the time.  But I carry it differently now.  I still cry almost every day, but I am doing much better.  I don’t care less about what happened, but I care more about what to do from here.  How can we move forward in a healthy way, always carrying Sadie Davis right in our hearts?

My child has changed me.  She changed a lot of people from what I hear.  I am and forever will be SO INCREDIBLY PROUD of Sadie’s part in this world.  I don’t like the pain, and I miss her so much, but this child is making a difference.  I couldn’t ask for more.  I am honored and will always be so grateful to be her mommy, and for the precious time we got to have her here with us.

Charging through the Puddle


I haven’t blogged my emotions in a while, so this may seem a little willy-nilly (is that how you spell that word, Tennessee?), and I know it will be a little “rambly”, but here goes.  (Many of you have told me that you appreciate that I am “real” when I write, so thank you for allowing me the freedom to be “real” today.)

Some days I look at what lies ahead and think, “We can do this”, and other days, it’s more like, “HOW are we supposed to do this?!?!”  How are we supposed to be not just okay, but be productive, joyful, and victorious, despite the fact that certain horrific events replay in our heads time and time again?  How are we supposed to make sense of this?  How can we convince ourselves that everything is going to be “okay” when we just saw that really, it’s not always okay–life does not always deal a happy ending (on this side of Heaven).  Just because we pray, beg, and plead, God is not obligated to do whatever we ask of Him, and that has now been proven to us.  How can we celebrate with others when good things come their way, when our very heartbeat has been crushed?  How do we remove the filter of our reality that has covered our eyes, just for a moment, to be excited about the good around us?  You see, we once held our newborn baby girl in our arms for the first time.  We were all smiles as we thought about all of the good times that were ahead of us.  So what do we do when all of that is shattered?  How do we enjoy our life that we have here, in light of what happened to Sadie–how do we maintain a healthy marriage…love on our son…enjoy our friends and family…excel in our careers…and do good in whatever opportunity comes our way?

We trust God.  That’s how.  With tear-stained cheeks, we look up and trust God.  He gave us our precious babygirl for a reason, and He allowed her to leave this Earth prematurely for a reason, too.  He knew it would break our hearts, yet He knew it was what had to happen.  I don’t believe that it was an act of hatred toward us by God.  But I do believe that it went through His permissive hands.  In fact, it was probably an act of love that we may never understand.

But why?  That’s the big mystery.  Yes, good things are happening that would not have happened otherwise, but anyone who is a parent out there–would you be okay with giving up your child for any or all of this good?  I am so torn between wanting to charge ahead with my head held high, and wanting to just collapse in a puddle.  So today, I am making a very conscious decision to charge through this giant puddle.  All I have to do is keep my head above water and my eyes fixed on Him, and I will ultimately make it to the other side.  This has been a rough week (obviously), and I honestly can’t pinpoint why, but I have my eyes wide open to the redemption that only God can bring.  He has a purpose in allowing our Sadie to come here just for a short period of time.  He has a purpose for allowing us to be here today.  I don’t want to stand in the way.  I want to be present for that purpose.  And I want to do my part to make that purpose a reality.

I have thought a lot lately about this question, “Why is this life a prerequisite to Heaven?”.  What is it that we are supposed to learn and do here that will make Heaven a better place?  Since that’s where we all want to spend eternity, and since we already know that it’s a perfect place–what about it will be better as a result of the things we experience and do here?  I know that the church answer is that we are here to point others to God–to share the love of Christ with others and lead them to a personal relationship Him.  I agree with that answer, but if God wanted to, He could have had us all there with Him in the first place.  So there is something about life on this place called Earth that He finds worthwhile for us to experience before we head to our eternal home, if we choose to accept Him as our Lord and Savior, and follow Him with all of our heart, walking in faith the path that He has chosen for us.  I suppose the experiences of this life–especially the tough ones–make us long even more desperately for what is ahead.  Not to wish our lives away, but to long even more for a place that we innately have a desire to be in the first place.  If Heaven is our “home”, then isn’t it natural to long for it, and to feel a little out of place here?

I can honestly say that I like life here on Earth.  I’ve always been “happygal”.  I like to see the positive and be joyful.  I love to laugh and have fun.  I love to meet new people.  Yet sometimes the storm clouds seem to take over.  So, how do I step forward in light of life-experiences with a even a hint of a smile on my face?  For me, today, it’s because God is making it very clear to me that His purpose for my life is very different than I thought it was two years ago.  I kind of liked the “normalcy”, but it seems He has much more than normal in store over here.  And perhaps He has called some of you to be a part of this not-normal world of ours.  Or maybe He’s calling you to a not-normal world of your very own.  Something that He can only give you a passion for through your own life-experiences.  Something that He wants you to do that you would not otherwise be prepared for.  That part of all of this is what is keeping me wide-eyed and expectant as we “charge through the puddle”.

So, thanks for hanging with me today.  This is a couple months of thoughts all rolled into a few paragraphs.  I love you guys.

The Shape of this Year


It’s amazing how something so painful can also reveal some of the things that I wish I knew all along.  Like how much more important people are than things.  How much more valuable time is than gifts.  How much better it feels to give than to receive.  How many of our daily complaints may in fact be our biggest blessings.

2013 has been a salt in the wound kind of year.  I have never cried so much, hurt so deeply, asked why with such passion.  I have never beat the ground in such agony, sobbed so desperately over something that used to bring me such joy.  I have never asked “why” so many times, knowing that I probably won’t get the answer this side of Heaven.  I have never questioned my God’s motive so much as I have this year.  Before this year, I honestly thought happiness in life was mind over matter.  If I ACT positive, then everything will BE positive.  I learned that there are some things that can happen in life that, although we will stand again, just completely knock us down and leave us in the most helpless place we have ever been.  There are things that can happen that keep you from seeing a silver lining because of the well of tears that cloud your eyes.

I have also never seen such compassion.  Such love.  Such encouragement from others.  I have never read such heartfelt stories.  Testimonies of how lives have been changed.  I have never seen one little life stir the hearts and souls of so many.  I have never seen God’s hand so literally reach down and grab a hold of me and so many others.

Losing the opportunity to experience life with Sadie (alive and in the flesh) was so up close and personal.  It’s much easier to absorb these things happening to somebody else’s family…not ours.  I’d much rather learn by reading about someone else’s story—I didn’t want the story to be my own.  Selfish?  Maybe.  But wouldn’t you agree?  Tim and I have actually laughed because, although many have told us over the past few months that they admire us—no one actually wants to BE us.  You’d have to be crazy to desire such heartache.

But we are stronger as a couple.  We are stronger as a family.  We may cry more, but we are learning and living with each tear that falls.  We are learning when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’.  We are learning what ‘love one another’ truly means, and that it sometimes has to be a very conscious decision.  We have learned that we really did mean the vow we gave to one another on our wedding day–“in good times and in bad…in sickness and in health”.  We are learning that it is more important to follow God’s will than man’s will for us.

All of these things really do describe how I have felt over the past year—it has been an absolute emotional roller coaster.  I can honestly say that, although I will never, ever, ever be happy about losing my precious daughter to childhood cancer, I have learned so much through this journey.  And the journey is far from over.  I have a strong feeling that this will be a life of learning to live by faith.  I mean REALLY living by faith.  Not just saying it, but acting on it.  God has shown me more of Himself than ever before…or is it that I have sought Him more than ever before?


And so our faith and hope is summed up in the words of my new favorite song, “Oceans” (this is not to downplay scripture, because there are so many words that have spoken to me through the verses of the Bible this year).  Anyways, I have quoted it before, but I think it’s worth another listen…here it is:

“Oceans” (listen to it here)

You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail.

And there I find You in the mystery.  In oceans deep my faith will stand.

And I will call upon Your name, and keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace.

For I am Yours and You are mine.

Your grace abounds in deepest waters, Your sovereign hand will be my guide.
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me, You’ve never failed and You won’t start now.

So I will call upon Your name, and keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace.

For I am Yours and You are mine.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.
Let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander.
And my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.

I will call upon Your Name, and keep my eyes above the waves.

My soul will rest in Your embrace.

I am Yours and You are mine.



2013 has been one for the books.  Nevermind the latter part of 2012, which is one big blur.  I joke about kissing it goodbye, but there have been some valuable truths learned.  So, here’s to 2014.  Let’s taste and see that the Lord is good.  Let’s find some more redemption in this story.  We need it.  We long for it.  We know it is there.

One Year Ago Today…

The day is here.  December 21st.  A day that will forever wreak havoc in my heart and soul.  One year ago today, I held my precious babygirl, rocking her with tears streaming down my cheeks.  Tim read her toddler Bible to her from head to toe.  We sang precious hymns to her.  We prayed over her.  And while sitting in that room in the PICU at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, we ushered our sweet Sadie to the gates of Heaven.  She breathed her last breath here, and her first breath in that place we all long to be.  She is home, while we are not.  And, although the pain of losing Sadie to childhood cancer is excruciating, I am also filled with hope for our future.  It has been absolutely overwhelming to see what I have seen, and to hear what I have heard from so many people over the past year.  I have never seen Jesus work through the life of a child so vividly.  I have never witnessed the changes in people from such a close vantage point.  I never imagined that Sadie would change my own life in the way she has.  It’s amazing.
Despite our pain, we are better people because of what happened “last year this time”.  We are more compassionate, more loving, more appreciative, more aware.  We seek God more, trust God more, thank God more, and love God more.  We reach out more.  We reach in more.  We are more aware of the needs around us.  We pray more, love more, and live more.  Funny how that works.
I will always treasure the time we had with Sadie here on Earth, and I will always long to see her again.  I will always be sad about what happened to her, and how her sweet and beautiful life was taken by a monster of a disease.  I will always wish we could have kept her here with us for a long, long time.  But, we have chosen to trust in God, and to trust that He had a very specific purpose for her sweet little life, and that that purpose is being accomplished.  And, that He has a purpose for our lives, in light of what has happened.  Our purpose and testimony are being revealed to us little by little, with each person that we meet.
One of the things that really ate at me in the early days and months of mourning over Sadie was that I just could not believe that my sweet child’s story ended in such a tragic way.  No parent wants their child’s story to end like that.  BUT what I have seen, and continue to see, is that Sadie’s story has only just begun.  Her life, smiles, light, and love are impacting people every single day.  She has stolen numerous hearts, and people are better because of it.
I want to thank each and every one of you for taking this journey with us.  Thank you for inserting your hearts into our lives in so many ways.  Thank you for sharing stories of how this has changed your lives.  It helps us.  Thank you for allowing me to be “real”.  To cry, to laugh, to live, and to love.  And thank you for loving with me. Thank you for helping me see that Sadie’s life has a big purpose.  And thank you for helping me remember that each of our lives have big purpose.  We all have an opportunity to make a difference.  We don’t have to have a tragedy in our lives to initiate love.  We can all make a difference and leave our own legacy.  We are all here for big purposes.
Thank you for intertwining your hearts and lives with ours.  It is a treasure that I will hold onto forever.  I love you all so much.

She IS and She DOES

Sadie Caroline Davis has smiled and shined her way into the hearts and lives of so many people over  the past year.  I honestly am more and more proud of Sadie with each passing day.  Her life IS making a difference.  Her life DOES have purpose.  Her smile IS radiant.  And God’s purpose for her life (and ours) IS big.  She doesn’t have to be here physically to make her mark on us every day.  She is making a lasting impression, and many lives have been changed because of what God is doing through Sadie’s life journey.  As we near the dreaded one year mark of watching her breathe her last breath here on Earth, I am encouraged by the “breath” that her life has given so any of us over the past year.  God will not, cannot, and has not let our loss go unredeemed.  Though pain comes in the night, joy comes in the morning.  God has a purpose that far exceeds the pain that we have felt since November of last year.  He is at work, and although our hearts ache because we miss our sweet girl so much, we know that He will not forsake us.  We’ve been real honest with God about our struggles as we try to wrap our arms around what has happened to our family, and He has reached down with His arms of strength and His heart of comfort.  I am not left questioning why God didn’t answer our begging prayers the way we wanted Him to last year this time–instead, I am thanking Him for walking with us through the grief of the past year, and somehow, by His grace, we are still standing!  I will never be happy about losing Sadie to cancer, but I am thankful for the way God has revealed Himself in a very personal way to so many of us.  I have Sadie heavy on my mind today, but I would rather have her on my mind and heart with tears streaming down my cheek than to not have her at all.  I am honestly so blessed.

Something to Smile About

I received some pretty amazing news from my friend Kelli Shannon today!  Her husband, Ryan, got on the bone marrow registry as a result of the drive that took place last year when Sadie was sick.  He was contacted today and told that he is a match for a lady that is in need of a transplant!  Once he completes a physical, and assuming the patient is in good enough health, Ryan will be donat…ing bone marrow in mid-January!  It is absolutely overwhelming to me to think that someone’s life may be saved because of Ryan’s willingness, and as a result of my sweet Sadie’s journey.  I think about the person who is sick and in need of a transplant hearing that they found a match for her–a stranger willing to help save her life.  I think of her family and how they are probably clinging to this little bit of good news right now.  This all just brings me to tears.  Good tears.  Please pray for God’s perfect will in this.  Pray for the lady’s health who is in need of a transplant.  Pray for Ryan’s physical to come back good.  Pray for the family of this lady, and for Ryan and Kelli to be showered with blessings because of their willingness and sacrifice.  I know them, and they will give God the glory. 

A Recurring Theme–“Last Year This Time”…


The “last year this time”s are flooding my mind like crazy.  Last year this time was the last day that my sweet Sadie woke up in the safety of our home.  It was the last time I got to get her ready for a “normal” day.  It was her last day at day care.  I was on my way to a Thanksgiving celebration at work, where I proclaimed how thankful I was that God miraculously healed my baby from meningitis.  I had no idea that later that evening, we would be rushing her back to the ER at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.  I thought we were in the clear, when in reality the nightmare had only just begun.  We were allowed a short reprieve and a few sweet days with our babygirl at home.  I miss her so much.  A year later, the pain is still so deep.  We are starting to come to grips with our new reality, and we actually have some “good” days, but the thought of our sweet Sadie is never more than an instant away.  I long desperately for the day I can think of my precious child and want to do something besides cry.  She was pure joy.  She was one of God’s greatest gifts in my life, yet I cry.  I cry because I love her so much, and I am so disappointed in how her sweet life was cut short.  At least in my mind.  I have to constantly remind myself that God knew the number of her days before one of them came to be.  That He had, and HAS, a plan for her life, and for our lives, too.  In light of all that we have endured over the past year, I am changed.  I am still Amber, but not the same Amber as before.  It’s been a hard reality, because I kind of liked being happy, perky, fun-loving Amber.  Those things don’t come as naturally these days…they’re still in there, but are immediately met with the heartache that permeates in our lives these days.  I have had to rediscover myself and meet the new me.  I want to be someone I can live with.  Someone who can still find joy in the day.  Someone who can laugh, be happy, and be an encouragement to others, despite the pains of this life.  Oftentimes, I have questioned why this life has to be a prerequisite to what is ahead.  If Heaven is all about joy and happiness, then why does pain and heartache have to be a part of our life experience here on Earth?  I am coming to the realization that, as painful and hard as it is, the pains of this life have the ability to shape us into better people.  To make us stronger.  To make us realize that our strength is not our own, but comes from God.  To remind me that no, I don’t have everything under control.  And to remember that God will give me the strength and endurance to make it through anything.  His power and love are revealed through our weaknesses.  And if we are transparent enough to let others see that we are not superheroes, then maybe they will be encouraged to lean in to the Lord as well.  Realizing that He can do the same for them.  I never knew what it was like to REALLY have to trust the Lord until the past year.  I lost not only my sweet Sadie, but I had to say goodbye to my Daddy, too.  Cancer is a beast, and has changed the face of our family.  Yet we still wake up each day, searching for purpose and meaning to all of this.  I truly believe that, because I am still here, and still have the privilege of breathing in and out, that God has a purpose for me here…today…right now.  May I be the Amber He wants me to be…here…today…right now.  I love you all.  Thank you for all of your words of encouragement.  For your love.  And for walking this journey with us.  I have never experienced outstretched arms like I have over the past year.  We feel your prayers.  We know that you hurt with us.  Thank you all for inserting yourselves into our lives and for growing, loving, and living with us.