Hello from the crazy world of running a nonprofit. We have loved every second of having the nonprofit and everything that comes with it. We are SO busy. And that’s an understatement. My only complaint so far has been it is totally keeping me from writing. My evenings now are more checking emails, fine details of events and sleeping.
Our little Jolie is 5 months now. And a complete joy in our lives. Chase is on cloud 9. Every morning he yells from his room for us to bring Jolie in to wake him up. He loves a good snuggle first thing in the morning. JoJo is an early riser so getting good sleep at night is key for me to have functional days. She is just so much fun and such a shining light in our lives.
We recently just had her dedicated. It was a beautiful evening on the grounds of our church where us and two other families dedicated our children. We promised to raise them in faith and love them unconditionally. It was really special. Although, grief always plays some kind of a role in absolutely everything we do so after committing to the celebration a couple months ago, I began going back and forth on going through with the evening.
This may sound completely crazy, but I had a hard time saying out loud that I was giving Jolie to God. After the birth of all three of my children, I knew in my heart they were His. But I never imagined he’d actually ask for one back. And He did. On March 23rd, 2018 I was in the very real and unimaginable situation of having to hand my child back to him. It’s easy to say we would do this, actually having to do it, a whole different thing.
So now having gone through that and knowing every part of what that means, I do not take lightly this act of making promises to raise my child in faith or giving them back to God when he asks. I do not take it lightly at all. And for a second, this dedication seemed like maybe He was going to ask for another one of my children and it made me so incredibly fearful. I have sat in my grief, wrestling these thoughts the last couple of weeks. Replaying all of Hunters life and imagining Chase and Jolie’s. I am so conflicted in this part of my grief journey.
It was realizing that no matter if I went through with the dedication or not, Gods plans will always prevail. This is something that I truly believe so when I am craving control I can remember this belief and let go of my tight grip just a little bit. I have no control over most events that will take place in my children’s lives. What I do have control over is how I raise them and how they watch me live. Proclaiming that they are Gods does not mean he’s telling me he wants them back right now. I was able to set aside these fears because more importantly I want my kids to see my hope. And my hope is that they watch Atom and I live in faith and they hear the words we tell them every day and live them out.
We hope they don’t always try to find this perfect picture of life but rather find the joy in the devastation that will most likely find a place in their lives. We hope they know faith is not a promise that trials will never come but something that they can always rely on to find their way through the storms. We hope they can look at this broken world and always remember that it is not the end and their brother in heaven is proof of that. We have so many hopes and going to the dedication for Jolie was such a beautiful way to express those hopes with a church that has become our family.
Atom and I were reminded through the evening that the church we belong to holds precious times. We sat in the back corner many Sunday’s while Hunter worshiped and then right when the music stopped said “oh-tay let’s go home.” He would run down the hill to the main gathering building and we would hold our breath that his wobbly self didn’t stumble and fall. Now they tend to Chase and his broken heart. They never stop talking about Hunter with us. They have never left us. What a beautiful place Jolie is growing up in. A church that loves us deeply and will help us keep Hunter in Chase and Jolie’s life.
I will always proclaim that Jesus is the only reason we have been able to do what we needed to do in losing Hunter. But also, the only reason we are able to live a life that includes joy. Never could we do any of this with out faith. And church is big part of that. We have had many reminders over the last couple of years that on Sunday’s, we’re right where we are supposed to be.
Jolie’s baby dedication was just one more.
I’m so glad we dedicated Jolie. I’m glad I didn’t let my fears hold me back from yet another beautiful moment God wanted us to have.
We are so thankful for our precious Jolie Hunter Coffman, she is just the sweetest little thing.