Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

I’ve been thinking a lot about healing and how most times healing doesn’t happen the way I hope or pray. When I was in high school, God put it on my heart to begin praying for my future husband. It was so weird to pray for someone I didn’t know, but there I was praying in a field where only God alone could see me. Meanwhile, the man who’d be my husband was in a skiing accident and while they tried to save his leg and while he had an entire community praying for him, his leg wasn’t healed. It was amputated.

Later, I’d meet the man I was praying for in college and learn his dad had stage four lung cancer. Before we began dating, I began praying for his dad. Eventually, his dad would become my dad-in-love, hear he was going to be a grandpa, and say “It’s going to be a girl.” I think he said it so many times as if he knew something we didn’t know about having four little girls when his body was becoming too weak for this side. The following week he was unable to talk and within the month he left this earth.

I think about our middlest baby, who we don’t hold down here, but how I made it through 12 weeks of intense morning sickness, and we thought we had reached the smooth sailing of the second trimester.

Did I not have enough faith when all that’s needed is a mustard seed? I don’t think that’s it. God heard my prayers for my husband, for my father-in-love, and for a healthy pregnancy. He heard them. He didn’t bring the physical healing I prayed for, the way I would’ve wanted it, the way we all want it when we pray in desperation, our hearts aching.

RELATED: God Actually Does Give Us More Than We Can Handle

Instead, God brought healing His own way. He provided my husband with amazing surgeons and doctors who saved his life and a strong family who encouraged him to get back on his feet. He healed my husband’s heart of things that perhaps only I know about and set him on a path that would allow him to be the godly husband and father I prayed for.

Instead, God brought healing his own way. My father-in-love gave his life to Jesus and was baptized before he passed and some of the last words he said were, “I deserve this,” which threw us all off as we gathered around his bedside. Later Wes realized he was referring to a coin he kept with him that said, “Grace is when God gives you what you don’t deserve. Mercy is when God spares you what you do deserve” with this scripture reference: “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls ” (1 Peter 1:79).

Instead, God brought healing in his own way. The heartbeat stopped. The grief of losing a child hoped for is unparalleled by any other death, for children are not supposed to die before their parents, not even the smallest in the womb, tiny arms and legs and heartbeat in an 8-week sonogram, flicks of life as he or she moved within my womb seen right on a screen. But that child’s first breath was in Heaven, and I absolutely believe these sweet children we don’t hold down here are held in Heaven by loved ones. Maybe my father-in-love spends time at the river with our middlest one. I don’t know because my eyes see dimly, but what I do know is this:

Heaven is real. God is alive. Hope and faith aren’t always about what we see here on this side, in a broken world full of pain because of our human nature to go against God instead of staying with Him and all He has to offer. Grace and mercy are for all who call on His name, for all who will choose to walk by faith and not by sight. My eyes don’t see fully, but my heart holds to faith and hope.

RELATED: God is For Me

Father-in-love, I wish you could’ve been around to see your adult children now, to see them raising your grandchildren and being amazing spouses as well. I think you’d be so proud of who they are today. Your wife is doing double time being a grandma, and she’s amazing at it! I’m sure you already knew that about all of them though.

Love you. Miss you. Until we meet again,
Your daughter-in-love . . . because “in-law” just doesn’t cut it when you marry the one you love and enter their family too.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Shelby Hughes

Shelby is the author of the book Every Little Life: process your grief at your pace and in one place, a book for bereaved parents who've experienced miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility. She is married to her college sweetheart, and she's a homeschool mom to four beautiful daughters. You can find her writing here: and you can follow her on Instagram or watch her and her husband's Youtube Channel

Healing and a Horse Named Chadwick

In: Motherhood
Woman with horse, black-and-white photo

I am by no means a horsewoman. I am a regular person lucky enough to have had an extraordinary experience with a horse. My daughter asked to ride horses from the time she could talk. Having no horse experience myself, in the fall of 2019, I found a barn willing to give pony lessons to a small child. There was something waiting for me at the barn too . . . I just didn’t know it yet. I can’t remember when Chadwick started watching us from the fence. One day he was just there . . . and every day...

Keep Reading

Jesus Didn’t Heal My Body, But He’s Healed My Heart

In: Faith, Living
woman in wheelchair with dog at sunset

For several years now, I have had these recurring, vivid dreams. In these dreams, I am never in my wheelchair. I am walking unaided and free from any physical restriction. My Cerebral Palsy is non-existent, and I am anticipating the breathtaking view that waits for me upon reaching the summit of the mountain I am climbing. As I sit cross-legged at the edge of the summit, I look out to the utterly amazing, praise-worthy view before me, and without hesitation, I lift my hands in worship. It is after that moment, now etched in my memory, that I wake and...

Keep Reading

Suspended in Grace With Healing Hearts

In: Faith, Living, Marriage
Couple at sunset

My rule of thumb is to write from the scar, not from the wound. I’ve written little about my husband’s stroke these past couple of years; the wound has not yet healed. To have written about it too soon would be too vulnerable, too angry, too terrifying—like the world might swallow me whole. We quietly crossed the two-year anniversary of the stroke earlier this month. I thought it might be time to let the words out. To let my soul unburden itself. To catch you up to speed, my husband was on business in Mexico when he felt discomfort in...

Keep Reading