charlie's song

What We Cannot See


Dear Friends,

I can’t believe its only been a day since I last wrote.  It’s been quite the day.

I keep looking down at the the calendar and seeing “February 19th.”  To most people it’s just another day…but to me it will always be the day I had thought we would be meeting and holding and kissing and loving baby Charlie.  The day I had thought we would be celebrating a lifetime of birthdays.  Charlie’s “due date” was exactly one year ago today, and February 19th will never be the same. He isn’t here.  He just isn’t here.  No matter how badly I had wished for a different story.  And there have been many times during this last year of deep and catastrophic suffering, when I have wondered “Is God even really here either?” 

And then…two significant things happened this week.

First, I wrote a blog post about our life, and it was like waking a sleeping giant…so great has been the outpouring of love from the body of Christ.  I had no idea that thousands upon thousands of people would read our blog today.  Honestly, if I had known…I would have tried to make it an especially good one. Really impressed you with my eloquence, and the absolute enormity of our suffering.  But that was the farthest thing from my mind at the time.  I wrote yesterday’s blog post on my smart phone.  While brushing my teeth.  I wrote it while waiting for the cancer doctor to call me back.  And while Clorox-wiping down our new couch for like the ten billionth time.  I wrote it while in fear.  Fear of mycotoxins.  Fear of cancer.  Fear of liver failure.  Fear of bankruptcy.  Fear of losing my faith.  Fear of losing everything.

And then…it went viral.  And all of a sudden, this thing I had quickly typed out to my family and friends…turned into something else entirely.  The only picture I have to adequately describe what we are feeling…is that scene from the movie Pearl Harbor, when the Japanese general Isoroku Yamaoto says, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant.”

It’s like God has immobilized a thousand warriors who love Him and fear His name, and everyone is reaching out to us like a living, moving, breathing, loving Body of Christ.  There are so many times that we have felt deeply loved by the body of Christ both before, and especially after baby Charlie died.  But this is an entirely different thing.  This, makes me stop and say to myself…“Do I know God at all actually?”  I am astonished by the outpouring of His Body.  His hands.  His feet.  His elbows.  His voice.  And it makes me wonder how well I really do know the One to whom I have given my life.

I have known Him deeply through suffering.  I have known His comfort.  I have known His sovereignty.   I have known that He gets right down on the floor next to you and weeps with you every time you lay on the floor and weep.  But I’m not sure I knew this about Him.  This whole, “I’ve got all the money in the world and a million warriors who fight when I say “Fight!” …I’m not sure I’ve ever really known that about the one who is my King.

Which reminds me of the second thing that happened this week.  I had taken the kids to our neighborhood park by the beach.  Three kids packed on a very old Bob stroller is always an amusing sight.  But as we passed by the local shipyard, the owner called out to me, “Hey there!  Just let me know if you decide to have a fourth and I can custom make you room for another on that thing!”  

He of course, had no idea how much those words would wound my heart.  But what most made me ache, was when my sweet Freddo turned and quietly whispered to me, “He doesn’t know that there’s six of us Mommy.  He just doesn’t really see.”

It was a significant moment for me.  Here’s Fred. Four.  Years.  Old.  So new to this planet, let alone to what it’s like to journey through this planet trying to love and worship a God whom you can’t even see.

And yet, he can see.

Fred sees and knows and loves baby Charlie.   He doesn’t need Charlie to be in the stroller…in order to see that he’s a part of our family.  He still comes up to me every time we’re in Trader Joe’s with a lollypop he’s picked out of the barrel to give to Charlie.  The other day he came to me with yet another sucker and said, “Mommy, I got one for Charlie…we can give it to him when he comes back with Jesus someday.”  My precious boy.  Waiting for the return of Christ.  Waiting to finally meet the baby brother whom he knows only from one ultrasound visit and way too many visits to a grave.  Waiting for the whole world to see what we who know Christ are so undeservedly privileged to see.  Waiting for things that he can clearly see…a Father in heaven, and a real baby brother he will someday know and love for eternity.

Waiting for someone that the shipyard owner simply couldn’t see.

As we walked away from the docks, I remember having the strangest thought (especially considering our week), “I wonder what can’t see?”  Our sight is so very limited.  About…well, everything.  About our own lives.  About other people’s lives as they suffer around us in ways we cannot see.  About eternity, and the heart of God, and the incredible world we will someday see on the new earth with our new eyes.

And today, over these last 24 hours and your incredible outpouring of love and support…you have reminded me that for each one of us who make up the many parts of Christ’s earthly Body…there is still so much of Him we have yet to truly see.

Thank you for showing us such a beautiful picture of the Lord’s heart for us today.  For being willing to take a moment from your day and to see a small part of our messy, broken, God-ordained lives.  They have been filled with far more sorrow and suffering than I ever could have comprehended…and also far more goodness and beauty.

He really is the same God today in every way, as He has been to us on every one of our darkest days.  He is not more God, or more good than yesterday, just because we have seen Him in new ways.  But at the same time, I am grateful for this moment when we get to see yet another part of the Lord’s immeasurable beauty.

I have this picture in my mind of the hundreds of times I have laid on the floor and wept over this last year of suffering.  And I’m beginning to wonder if maybe just maybe the angels weren’t standing around me and quietly whispering just like Freddo the other day, “She just doesn’t know…she just can’t see.”

Thank you doesn’t begin to describe our gratitude to God as you- His body- have made our faith in His goodness…tangible sight in so many ways.

With love,



18 thoughts on “What We Cannot See

  1. Praying for you and your family. Praying for your health and strength, emotionally and physically. Praying for complete recovery of your body. I am thankful that you have such a great church family.
    My first baby was a stillborn 8 years ago. But through God and church I felt great healing. Even though there will always be a little ache in my heart for my little girl. But having hope of seeing her again is comforting.

  2. Misty! I went to Moody at the same time as you. I remember seeing you there, but we didn’t know each other. My heart breaks for you and your family. I have prayed for you all day since I read your last blog post this morning. God is so good and it’s incredible to see how He is providing for you through this time. Thanks for letting so many strangers gather around and love on you!

  3. Dear Misty,

    I found your blog through a FB link and have been spending time reading your lovely words this morning. Today, 19 years and two hours ago, our sweet son passed from this life to the next. Your reflections during this first year of Charlie’s absence have brought so many memories back for me. I know that this suffering is one of the crosses that God has prepared for me. Like you, it is not what I would have chosen for myself. But it has allowed me a glimpse into the life of our suffering Lord and for that I am grateful. And to be counted worthy to suffer with Him, that is a blessed gift and a joy that is not of this world. For some of us, to follow in Christ’s footsteps is to embrace a life of suffering (as His life was full of suffering). What we do and what we become in the face of that suffering is our response to God’s call for love and faith. The greater heartache and pain requires the greater acts of love and faith. And God provides the grace for me to do that. And surely He will give you the grace needed to go on loving as well.

    After 19 years, I am still not “OK” and not back to “normal”. I know that I will never be. But as the years go on, the pain becomes easier to bear and the fruit of the suffering is evident everywhere in our family. I would gladly have Joshua back and give up all that we have gained through the suffering! But it is not for me to decide. I place my life and the lives of all my children in His hands which are strong, merciful, always good, never idle, and sure to hold us up when we are in need.

    For me, trusting God again was a sheer act of my will. Thanks be to God for giving me the grace to do that 19 years ago!

    I have found great comfort in looking to Mary who knew the pain of loosing her Son, the perfect Son whom she loved with all of her heart! The agony she bore while He was on the cross… living her life without him until her death… His absence from the earth must have been unbearable for her! But I imagine that she bore it all with great love, thankful to be given the greatest gift a woman could be given – to bear, to nurse, to nurture, to love so intimately the Holy Babe!

    I will pray for you today as I remember my own dear son. His grave marker says “in the arms of Jesus” – what deep, unchanging joy to think that our precious boys are living in the love of the Holy Trinity. We weep for them, but we rejoice for them!!

    In the love and peace and joy of Christ,

  4. I saw your story on facebook and felt led to share two things. One thing I might suggest would be to watch Joni Eareckson Tada’s testimony from the Strange Fire conference, you can find it on YouTube. The other is a article from Shoshanna Easling who lived in a house infested with black mold and shares how she detoxed
    I pay God’s comfort and the love of fellow believers surround you.

  5. My wife and I had three miscarriages. I wonder how those children will look when I see them. I believe God’s grace has them cared for until my wife and I come home.

  6. Hi, I came here via an instagram I follow.just to say I’m holding you in my prayers. My screen saver at the moment is ‘the Lord will fight for you and you have only to be still’ ex 14v14. I thought of it when I read your last two posts.

  7. Hi Misty, i just found out about you today and your story, your family, is so heavy on my heart. I assure you i am joining with the many prayer warriors that i know are learning of you as we speak. I would like to make a special sign for your wall if you like, I’m not sure if you have a special scripture or saying that could encourage you. Or maybe something to replace something you lost? I know you’re inundated with outreach right now but my email is if i could get a mailing address as well.

  8. Praying for you Misty and Reid. We used to attend Lansing Bible Church and prayed for you then.

  9. A blog that may in some way comfort you is”Remembering Anne Reece”. A mother lost her two year old in a tragic swing accident and she wrote every day. May God hold you and keep you close and may you feel each day His love for you.

  10. Praying for hope and healing for you and your precious family. Your words are beautiful and your life is a testimony of motivation to all of those you reach, near and far. Spreading the word and gathering prayer warriors in South Carolina.

  11. Hi Misty, I was at Moody the same time as you, but I don’t think we ever met (looks like we have lots of mutual friends though). I’ve been praying for your family since I heard about your situation yesterday – specifically that you would know the love of Jesus more because you experience it tangibly through your brothers and sisters. I love what you wrote here and agree – Your King is fighting on your behalf. And so are we. My friends and I (in Southern CA) are pretty broke, but we have stuff. So we are selling stuff and sending the cash your way because that is what the Church does. We sell and give to those that have need. My prayer is also that the world will know by our love for you that we are disciples of Christ. I love you, sister!

  12. this post reminded me of steven curtis chapman’s song ‘see’ that he wrote after his daughter died. i would love to send you the whole album ‘beauty will rise’ if you don’t have it already!

  13. Hey Misty, Your family has been weighing heavy on my mind and heart since I read your blog a few days ago. We went to Moody together. I remember you well. I cannot even imagine what you all are facing, and I really have no words. You are in our minds, hearts and prayers. May your mind, body and soul find rest these days in our Creator and Sustainer.

  14. I heard of your story through Katy at Katygirl Designs yesterday & just cannot stop thinking of you all. My family is praying for you guys & are so fighting with you. You are not alone! We are your brothers & sisters in Christ & we love you very much! We are praying for you to stand firm by the mighty power of His hand. We know He loves you- but we are praying He makes that so undeniable in the darkest moments of this suffering,

    You are loved.

  15. We are praying for all of you through this difficult journey. Praise God for the cancer-free news! Praying the kids are healthy and your immune system is strengthened daily. “…that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Chris may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” -Eph. 3:16-19

  16. Hi misty, I haven’t met you but heard of your story through some mutual friends. I’m on staff out in NC. This post. Just beautiful. So sweet to hear how The Lord encouraged your heart today. Praying for many more of the glimpses of how he’s working- to boost you in this unimaginable time. We are praying for you and your family.

  17. Misty, has anyone talked to you yet, about trying out essential oils to help get rid of the systemic mold?
    There are quite a few really good companies out there to choose from, with different business plans and price points.
    If you want simplicity and help using them at any given time, DoTerra might be a good choice to check on.
    From everything oils have done to help chronic and life threatening issues, even eliminating the bad molds in homes and bodies, it would be well worth a trial run.

  18. Hi Misty, I heard about your family’s story through Michelle Butlig’s FB post, an old Crusade friend of mine with whom I served overseas one summer many years ago. I’m praying for you all. But wanted to share this with you and thank you for this post. This morning, in my time with the Lord, I read about Jesus explaining to the disciples about people’s blindness and why He speaks in parables. Out on errands, I happened upon a sermon on the radio speaking of Jesus healing a man’s vision and the symbol that is for us in our spiritual blindness. Now I’m reading this, your wise words along the same lines. The topic of our blindness coming to me three times today and it’s barely lunchtime. And funny, I just got home from meeting with a woman at my new church. I have a burden and vision for greatly expanding a ministry there and she is involved. She was all kinds of cautious and even negative at times, and I came home feeling grieved in my spirit. Now I understand why. She is blind to what God can do, who He is. She sees impossibilities, giants in the promised land, and fortified cities. Not the power of the living God. Your humble words remind me to have a fear of falling into those kinds of narrow beliefs. When the giants come, I want to be like Caleb and Joshua, seeing the obstacles, but having no doubt that they are no match for our God. Fighting with you, sister, to learn how to truly see.

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