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Jan 7, 2010

Even Though...

My Children ~ Christmas 2008

Though my heart is broken because Andrew is no longer in our presence, I still believe it is God's will to heal. He is a good God and I do not doubt that His thoughts and plans for us are good.

Though we did not get our heart's desire...100% recovery HERE ON EARTH, my faith in my God is not shaken.

Though sometimes my husband has to remind me to breathe and I force a smile on my face for the sake of others, down deep I have joy that Andrew is cancer free forever!

Though there are moments when my mind tricks me and I think that Andrew is just playing outside, God lovingly whispers to me Andrew is playing "upside."

Though my mother's heart longs to go to heaven NOW - this very moment, the same heart also understands my family still needs me here.

Though everywhere I look in our home, I ache when I see "Andrew" in the things he did, touched, wore...I am grateful that he was here in our family for 12 1/2 years. Now he is in our future!

Though I feel lost and undone, I trust God will gently lead me in His perfect timing and I plan to follow, knowing His path is the only One that leads to Life on the "upside."

"...though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me..."


  1. Your faith is a blessing to me and I'm sure to many others, as well.

  2. Beautiful sharing of your tender heart for your precious Andrew. Your words drip with the love of a Mother and the heart of a child of GOD.

    My heart and prayers remain with you dear friend and your precious family.

    Much love...

  3. Now I know how you are doing ...

  4. Melanie--as I have scrolled down, looking, reading, eyes watering, remembering my own journey just in 2008 of losing my sister and best friend rolled into one, I know in a small way (though Wanda was not my child--so that makes our heartache different) what you feel when you look around you at things that instantly remind you of Andrew.

    I believe that Andrew may being seeing sites in heaven today that remind him of YOU. And of your love and care.

    Being in heaven, he would be without tears--being with our Father--he's without fears--but I believe, with my own mother's heart---that Andrew reminds the LORD what a great "mama" he has on earth...and I believe that the LORD tells Andrew..."It won't be much longer until they "all" come Home. And I believe Andrew smiles at that.

    Melanie-I'm still praying.

  5. Oh Melanie, what a post full of love. :) I am still praying for you and your family. ((HUGS))

  6. Powerful, powerful. You are a living testimony of a Christ follower. It's beautiful and touching to read your heart. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Andrew's life too. I appreciate every time you post.

    I love the "upside." What hope!

    I can't even imagine your pain, Melanie. I'm sorry for your loss. I have a dear friend who lost her daughter at age 2 and she continues to believe God through it all. Her story and faith over the past 14 years since Kasey died has blessed me more than words can say. Her suffering has built my faith. Weird to say, but true. God continues to use her story and Kasey's life for His good. Lives are changed as she speaks and teaches women. She's a Bible study leader and speaker today.

    Thank you again for opening up your heart here. You'll never know the difference you are making for Jesus. Your rewards in heaven are many. I have no doubt you will be shocked at how the little things you've shared have changed lives.

    Yes, we are in a similar place. Similar and yet different.

    Walking with you with our God.

    Peace, friend,


  7. Your undaunting faith, hope and insight is such an encouragement...thanks for being transparent and real..I pray you will find that indescribable peace each day when your heart aches, and that God's very Being will fill you when you feel empty, and the Spirit will hold you up and intercede for you when you've got nothing. Keep looking up, my friend. You are pointing others to Christ.


  8. Melanie, your thoughts are so tender and sweet, what a precious way to say them.
    Love to you, dear Melanie.

  9. Melanie,
    Thank you for sharing with us your heart during this extremely difficult time.

    I love "upside". Thank you for sharing sweet one.

    Love you so,

  10. Melanie:

    I've been eagerly awaiting the day when you would post your next step. I see that the Lord has a hold of your hand tightly as He has brought you up from the depths - to bring Him glory - once

    Your world has been 'rocked' but your FAITH has not been shaken.
    I am so glad to hear and read this post to see what God is doing and will do to bring Him praise and glory THROUGH this most difficult trial. You have been purified! And you will come forth like gold, dear one.

    Andrew is never more than a breath away - UNTIL you see Jesus walking with him face to Face!

    Baby steps - tears and more baby steps - God is holding you tightly - His grip never letting you go!

    I'm praying for you often!

    Choosing JOY, Stephanie
    JESUS ONLY in 2010

  11. Hello Melanie - you don't know me but I have been following your blog and Andrews progress. I want to encourage you that people like me who you don't even know are praying for you and your family. God is faithful and His grace abounds. Your post proves that He is doing His work in your broken heart. I cant even imagine the pain, but He can and that's what matters. I suspect there are many moments for you when it hurts just to breathe. And why wouldn't it - there is such a special bond between a mom and her son.

    I almost didn't write to you because I know that there are really no words that can comfort other than Gods word and the work of the Holy Spirit in your heart. But I do want you to know He has put it in my heart to pray for you and your family - and I look forward to meeting Andrew in heaven on that great day when we are all reunited with our loved ones.

    A Sister in Christ,

  12. Melanie,

    I know you don't know me but I found your blog months ago one day when I saw Andrews prayer button. I put it on my blog immediately and then You see, my dad was diagnosed with Lung Cancer and Edie made him a prayer button as well. So everytime I saw Dads ~ it was always right beside Andrews and I always prayed for them together.

    I am so sorry for you loss. I heard about Andrews passing in the midst of knowing my Dad had only hours left and my heart was broken. I CANNOT imagine losing a child, your precious son. They are our heart and I know yours must be beating at a different rate these days.

    I, too am grieving the loss of my Dad. He went to be with Jesus on the 18th and it is painful in so many ways.

    I know the Holy Spirit is comforting you ~ I see it in your words, your heart if full of Jesus and HIS HOPE dwells in you. I will continue to keep you in my prayers and am so happy to know you are right in the palm of the Lords hand....HE IS YOUR STRONG TOWER....

    With much love and prayers to you and yours

  13. Thank you Melanie for continuing to share your heart through the unfathomable ache. Keep holding tightly to the Lord. With continuing prayers...


  15. Melanie when my husband passed then my son 5 years later I have to say I felt (only for a moment) angry that they had been taken from me but I never once lost my faith or belief in a kind, good and loving God....I also realized God understood my anger and being who He is ...... could handle my emotions at the time. I would not be here today if it weren't for his love for me. We can loose so much in our lifetime, including loved ones but no one can take your faith if you live it each day, our faith will be with us always and guide us to our loved ones in his time....be strong my friend and as your husband says....breathe, it really helps when one is feeling anxious or overhwhelmed.....:-) Hugs

  16. Oh Melanie, this is beautiful. You are a walking signpost for the Lord, even through an unimagineable loss. May He grant you and your family peace in the midst of your sorrow.

    I'm still praying for you, my friend.


  17. Hi Melanie,
    It is so good to hear from you - you and the family are never far from our thoughts and prayers.

    May our lord continue to hold you in the palm of his hand as he walks with you through this time.


  18. Thank you for this heartfelt post. It ministered to me in so many ways. May God ease the pain of your loss as only He can.

  19. Beautifully written and from deep within your heart, Melanie. I am in awe of your faith, your trust in God, and your strength.
    You are an inspiration to all of us. Thank you.

  20. Your unshakeable faith in the midst of great sorrow is more inspiring and encouraging than you could ever know. It is so obvious to see that the Lord has you by His hand and is walking you through this valley. My heart is still just so burdened for you. How happy I am to see that you are being comforted by Him. Still praying, Debbie

  21. God is holding you and loving you... praying for you.

  22. love this post- your strength and love for God is never ending and never failing. You are an amazing person. I know he is holding you up and surrounding you with his love and Grace

  23. That was so precious, Melanie. You are such an inspiration and encourager in the faith. Love and Hugs, my sister in Christ ~

  24. I was so glad to see a post from you today. I think of you and your family often, ever since I found your blog. You are an inspiration to me. God Bless you all.

  25. Good to hear from you Melanie....and yes God is Good even though....

  26. I'm so thankful to God for placing you in my life everytime I read your posts! Out of tragedy, our God will still triumph!
    Your family is beautiful.

  27. Oh Melanie,

    Last night the Lord woke me up to pray for you. I could not go back to sleep.

    I prayed you would literally feel the great out-pouring of love and prayers that surround your family now.

    Once again, you minister to all of us, even in you deepest pain.

    As I read this beautiful post I could not help but think of this verse:

    "Blessed is the man whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the ways of them, who passing through the valley of Baca, make it a well; the rain also fills the pools. They go from strength to strength—every one of them in Zion appears before God." Psalm 84:5-7

    Thank you for already making that well for your fellow sojourners. You are a true pilgrim for the Lord!

    Love you so much~

  28. This is beautiful, sweetheart. Touched by God's very breath, I think. When you speak of Andrew being your future, I felt nudged to remind you that he is part of your inheritance now.

    Illustration: I had some close friends who were getting ready to sell their first home. The one all four of their children were born in, the first one they bought together, where the nursery was, etc. They were excited for the future but a little sad to say goodbye to that home, more sad than the usual seller I work with. Come to find out, the woman's father purchased the house and kept it as an investment to become part of her inheritance.

    That story came to mind that Andrew is now part of your future, the inheritance you will gain in Christ when you reach heaven!

    Thanks so much for your text today. I'm keeping on, sister, keeping on. love you!

  29. and I want to tell you that your children, your family is absolutely gorgeous! I have truly enjoyed getting to feast my eyes on them through all these pictures. I am praying that as the Lord's presence rests on ya'll your beauty increase. Evidence you serve a beautiful Lord.

  30. The upside is going to be REALLY good. Thank you for sharing your heart with us Melanie. It always overflows and fills ours. Your family is beautiful. b

  31. What a wonderful testimony this is to all who come here. I love the nudge of "upside" that God has whispered to your heart. It is such a boost to our own faith to hear you share of God's faithfulness and your trust in Him, in the midst of pain and loss. That hope is everything!

    Praying for you and your family.


  32. Gosh, Melanie you share from your heart. I cannot imagine what it's like to lose a child. In the midst of your pain, you are honest and yet still have your faith. Wha a wonderful example for us to see. May He comfort you during this time. Thank you for your email yesterday. I so appreciated the info about your church. I'll share it with my sister.


  33. Even thru your tears and pain, you continue to lift up Christ to the world around you....what a powerful testimony. We can not begin to feel your pain and your loss, but we can continue to pray for you and your family...only GOD can truly understand...but thru His Love, we reach out to your family in Love.

    May God fill the void you must be feeling and keep you in his arms during this time.

    Our hearts are with you......

  34. I am in awe...
    of the grace God has supplied...
    of the testimony of a mother's faith...
    and the way her child has touched so many near and far...
    we don't always understand the ways of the Lord, but it is wondrous to see the far reaching effects of His mighty hands...

    God bless you and your beautiful family!

  35. you touch my heart like no other blogger ever has. your words simply reach in and move my spirit to awe, wonder and tears. i sure wish i could hug you melanie!

    and that photo...oh those adorable cheeks. kissable cheeks. although he probably never wanted to hear someone say that, they are cute! and his smile is contagious

  36. Melanie: I want you to know that you are ministring to me, even in your sorrow. I thank God for you in my life. I will continue to pray for you and your family. Martha

  37. Your faith is a testimony to all. I feel your pain as I read this too. God brings you to mind often and I keep you in prayer when He does. He will make a way.

    Much love to you!

  38. A very beautiful,heartwrenching and inspiring post! We are learning so much from you. I can't tell you how many times my thoughts and prayers reach you and your family. My mother's heart aches for you when the prayers come.

    Love to you!

  39. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. You are covered in prayer. May God give you comfort and strength.

  40. Oh Melanie - I can't even express through words what the depths of my heart feels, and I'm not even going to try since it feels so trite.
    Just know there are so many who continue to uplift you in prayer because these days WILL be long.

  41. Melanie, my heart just breaks for you. I'm not sure I could make it through something like losing a child. Your unshaken faith is so amazing and inspiring. I loved your line about God saying that Andrew is playing upside. And as you mentioned, he is cancer free forever. I'm sure he's up there skateboarding around and having a ball.

  42. Thanks Melanie. Such a beautiful blog.

  43. Bless you, dear Melanie! You are a true gift from God and of faith, just as Andrew still IS also! Your testimony has touched so many, including myself! You may never know the legacy that Andrew leaves behind, because of your words, and your obedience for sharing them! You may never know how many were drawn closer in their walk to Christ, because of you and your family! I hope that this brings you some comfort and joy in the difficult days ahead! Love and prayers for you and your precious family, Rhonda :)

  44. Melanie - I see His strength in your 'weakness' and I am deeply touched. Your openness and honesty is ministering to more of us than you know. Yes, He heals - even when our dear ones aren't the ones healed, He still heals! And I can only imagine what Andrew is seeing and doing right now. Do you think their may be a big skate park in Heaven? Just for dear ones to enjoy? If so, my dear father is either joining Andrew - or he's on the sidelines cheering him on and asking him how he did that!
    Hugs to you, ~Adrienne~

  45. Thinking of you, you and your family are in my prayers. May His peace and comfort surround you.

  46. My heart breaks for you. But My heart is amazed at your faith. You are such a blessing and inspiration.
    God Bless you.

  47. Melanie,

    Oh, I love you so much.

    I am so sorry I missed your phone call last week.

    Please email your number when you can, and I will call you.


    Or call me again anytime.

    Much, much love and prayers.

    I think of you so often and whisper a prayer.

    Your family is beautiful by the way! Simply beautiful!


  48. Melanie, I think of you and your family often, and say prayers for you all of the time. I realize that I cannot possibly know the mountains you are facing as you grieve for Andrew, but I do know that you are facing them with grace and beauty thanks to your love of our maker. laurie

  49. Keep sharing and showing your great faith. My boys still pray for you all too and they miss Andrew from a distance. God Bless

  50. I don't know what to say to this except that God is using you, Melanie. In the depth of your pain, in the expression of your heart, and in your determination to keep yourself turned upside. May He strengthen and hold you today...

    with love and prayers~

  51. Dear Mel,
    I am so very sorry about Andrew's passing...
    Your loving words are beautiful...
    My heart aches for you...
    I will continue to pray for you and your family
    Kathleen Frangeskos at
    Jesus Knows You Best

  52. Yes, God is Good. Andrew has reached the goal. But it is so hard for those left on Earth who mourn him. Your strength and wisdom has been a true inspiration for me through this ordeal.

    Continuing to pray for you and your family.

  53. Melanie, thank you for sharing your heart. I've read this post several times and I've read the comments. You continue to minister to women - even through your grief. You have got to be one of the most unselfish people I've (never) met. Sending love to you and your family from Georgia.


  54. Melanie....I am so touched by you!
    I am moved to tears as I read how different your journey is now...who would have known a year ago what this year would look like for you?!
    I thought of this often through the holidays~none of us has the promise that those we love will be here tomorrow.
    Holding them today, that's what I want to do more of!
    You are such a testimony to me of walking through the fire with a confidence and faith in the great I AM.
    Does that mean you don't grieve? Obviously not...But I can hear your faith is strong even in your grief!
    I believe God is using your life to touch so many!I think this is just the a beginning for you my friend! God is stirring something new for 2010...May you continue to reach to him through your pain!
    Love you!!
    ps we just drove thru your city last night. I would love to meet you in person when we drive back down there in Feburary! Maybe we can set up a time?

  55. What beautiful thoughts - and truths! How blessed we are to have had our boys for those years we were given...and what joy it is that they "are in our future" - our eternity!

    Praying that God is giving you strength day by day....moment by moment!

  56. Melanie,
    My heart breaks for you and your family, as I look at the beautful pictures of your sweet boy. I can't begin to even remotely understand what you must be going through. Since I ran across your blog a few months ago and read about Andrew's struggle, I was often afraid to check back in for fear that the worst my happen. Andrew reminds me so much of my own son, 11 years old. I will keep you in my thoughts, and wish you peace in the days ahead.

  57. This is beautiful Melanie. Thank you for sharing your heart. Love you!

  58. This was so beautiful that I had to come back and leave another comment to tell you that I used your story and this post in my Sunday School lesson yesterday. It fit perfectly as we studied about trusting God even when He doesn't "act" the way we expect Him to.

    For what it's worth, Melanie, your faith in Him and your determination to continue pressing "in" during this time of life is ministering to a lot of people.

    With love~

  59. Melanie,

    I have been following your blog for a while...I so sorry sorry for your loss but am so happy that you have peace with Him.

    Your story has inspired me beyond words- may Gods peace continue to envelope you in the days and weeks ahead.

    And may God continue to use you in mighty mighty ways!

    God Bless,