love, hugs, tears, prayers flooding your way. I don't know what it's like, what your going through... I'm so sorry. just know you are in my thoughts, prayers, emotions.
#1 Krista on 2014-03-23 23:21
Heart-wrenching grief may be the only words that can pass your lips for the moment, but no matter the words, language or emotion, please continue to let the overflow of your heart smear itself here. And as you pour out the truth of your moments, let us, your friends and family, be the intercessors, crying out to God for life, for strength, for healing. Praying for you and all involved! And I'm always willing to lend an ear or a shoulder whatever continent your on. Hugs!
#2 Heather (Homepage) on 2014-03-24 00:58
Thank you for your honest words that share how we cannot explain and understand the why. We want to help carry your burden - we love you and Phil so much, and want to take some of your pain into our hearts for you.
Hugs to you!
#3 Nicky on 2014-03-24 01:42
Ali dear,

I thought of you in Church Saturday night and prayed for you when Pastor taught from Daniel on the King throwing the three boys into the fiery furnace... "16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

I stand with you on verse 18.

I'm praying for you and wish I could just hold you with our Lord's loving arms and just let you cry and continue to reveal the anguish you now feel. I say all this with the love of a brother for his broken sister. Please continue to speak...speak to us through this blog. I...we all...will continue to lift you and your entire family before the throne of our God. We all love you so much.
#4 Michael G. Halpern on 2014-03-24 02:18
Dear Ali and Phil
No words just a promise that I will pray.

Love Lesley-Ann (Ben Calvert's mum)
#5 Lesley-Ann Calvert on 2014-03-24 06:43
Holding you up, and crying through your heart wrenching words. Your words ring of David's word throughout Psalms...40:8/11-13/17....41:1-3...42:All! However Ps 46:5 He wrote especially for you..."God is within her, she will not fail; God will help her at break of day." I know He will bring you through this...refining with fire. You will shine bright, He has a plan for Ethan, Phil and Zoe...he will not fail any of them...He is in His hand...John 10..."No one is able to snatch them from my Father's hand...I and my Father are one..." Trust and Rest dear little one...Love you mama..
#6 Karen A on 2014-03-24 07:27
Thank you for allowing us to join you on this part of your journey as well. Ethan is a joy! Much as James (1:2) calls all of us to joy. I will hold you up dear friend [one sided, I know but I feel as if you are a friend] to Him that can bring comfort.
#7 Ruthanne on 2014-03-24 08:31
Thank you for your transparency and please know that in Belize, Randy & I are praying for you and the family. We love you so much!
#8 Deniece on 2014-03-24 08:44
Please don't be harsh with yourself. You don't need to be the good Christian right now. Scream and cry and shake your fist. We'll all do the praying while you grieve.
#9 Nancy B. Kennedy (Homepage) on 2014-03-24 09:57
Hugs & prayers!
#10 Carla on 2014-03-24 10:31
Ali, I always enjoy reading of faith. Your commentors pray and hold their faith close to their heart.
I'm going to be that one commentor that freely admits...I'm not a blind believer. I question so many things and it's hard not to when you're dealt with such a tragic and heartbreaking challenge. An innocent child involved, no less. And I know you've seen tragedies and deformities and congenital anomalies that have wreaked havoc on the bodies of those in countries without access to proper care. I'm sure, even still, you have to question The Plan.
Your writing is moving and honest. It is open and vulnerable and I appreciate you sharing such gut wrenching, swirling thoughts with candor.
I cannot say I know what you are feeling. I can say that you are inspiring. And there will be hills, mountains and oceans of clarity and confusion while questioning the meaning, purpose and reasoning for all of this.

I don't know my point in writing any of this, other than to say, I think you are an amazing person. You are a wonderful mother. And you must hold onto hope, as challening as that may seem.
#11 GottaGet on 2014-03-24 10:50
He knows your heart, he understands your pain. He will put back together the pieces that have come apart. There is no fear to be found at the alter, no judgement to be cast for those who suffer before The Lord. The grace of heaven covers all. He knows your heart and understands. He hears and sees all. And he loves you all the more. Lean on him. He will hold you up. Your faith was never built on the things of this world but on the power and promise of the one who made it all. He's not left or forsaken or even stepped away. He shadows your every movement and remains with you for every moment. Even now his spirit fills you and his presence comforts you. He calls on his children, your brothers and sisters in the faith, to surround you and your family in prayer. You don't know us but we are here for you. We are bound to you by his spirit.
#12 Mike Sullivan on 2014-03-24 10:58
I do know how you feel. Our son, Billy, died in a car accident on his way to school, September 15, 1997. Almost 17 years ago now. I still feel, when I think of that day, as if it were yesterday. My heart was broken that day and although it is healed now, carries the scars of sorrow that will never disappear. I have never understood why God would take my son. I am so sorry this is happening to you. You may not sense his presence right now but that will not make him leave you. He is there. Praying for his hand of healing on Ethan and comfort for you.
#13 Janis Taylor on 2014-03-24 11:10
Just continuing to pray, and feeling helpless. My heart breaks for you and Phil.
#14 Cyndi on 2014-03-24 11:19
I am praying , i am Hoping and believing God for a miracle FOR YOU. This might sound clashing to you but our God is still sovereign, He reigns .you have mention some of the stuff He took you through, if He hadn't loved you enough He would have left you there and then. I see God in your life, I see His beauty in you , I see His power at work in you ....
Don't lose hope ... In as much as it seem dull and grim, HOPE IS THE ANCHOR OF OUR SOUL..... You cannot afford to lose that, I am praying that this omnipotent, omniscient, all together powerful God that you and I know and love will visite you in your situation that this disparation will turn into a testimony of His power , goodness and grace...
#15 Nicole on 2014-03-24 14:32
My dear Ali,

You will take this trial the way all trials are taken. One second at a time. And know this, you are not alone. We are all here praying for you and Phil, crying with you, and while it may not seem like it at times, never forget God is there sustaining you. God will supply the daily bread that you need to get through each and every day.

I have always wondered, how did Job go through what he did without becoming like his wife and just saying, "Curse God and die?" He lost so much in just one day, and yet he could say, "For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; 26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God."

I know that going through really difficult times in our life will make us stronger or totally break us down. Someone once said, "The same sun that melts wax, hardens clay." The attitude with which we approach a problem will determine the effect it will have on us. Similar experiences can impact people differently. Problems will either soften you and help conform you to God’s will or they will harden you with bitterness and anger. A difficult experience will either make you more appreciative of God or more hostile to Him. We all know of people who are bitter and angry with God because of something that has happened in their life. Yet, there are other people who have gone through similar experiences and are very happy and appreciative of God.

The basic difference is the person’s attitude. They can either blame God (which will result in bitterness) or they can keep their eyes focused on Jesus. Focusing on Jesus does not make your troubles go away nor does it help you "make sense" of the confusion. It does, however, help you maintain a proper perspective of eternity and keep you heading in the right direction.

I well remember after our beloved Maddie died, someone asked Linda in front of us how we were able to get up each morning and face life. Linda picked up a pen and paper a put one dot on the paper. She then said that this dot is our life. And in lite of eternity this brief moment will soon be gone.

Paul said in II Corinthians 4:16-18,
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Does this mean we didn't grieve? Oh no, we went through all of the stages of grief. Sometimes we would think we were out of one only to slide back into it again. And even today, more than four years later, we still remember and ache. There is no time when pain and grief are completed; you grieve because you love and love is part of you. Love changes, but does not end.

And praise God we have assurance to see our loved ones in glory. It is only a little while and we will be with them and with our Lord in glory. And then, and only then will we truly understand how this was for our good. For now, we can only trust that He does want to mold us and make us like His Son, and He wants what is best for us.

Having said all this, know that we also went through the questioning and brutal honesty with God about how we really felt. God is God and He knows our human failings. He can handle our anger better than we think. Never be afraid to tell God how you really feel. Just know this, you need to move past that anger. If you find yourselves stuck in the miry clay for too long, ask for help to drag yourself out of it.

We are here for you if you ever want to talk. Love you lots.

Because He lives I can face tomorrow,
#16 Erna on 2014-03-24 15:07
No words except these He so graciously left us: "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words...the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God...Christ Jesus...indeed is interceding for us...[Nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."
#17 Violet on 2014-03-24 15:49
Dear sweet wonderful Ali. My heart aches for you (O that it would be enough to take a little of your ache) We will pray for you...for your anguish! You are loved XOXOXXOXOXXOXOX
#18 Peggy Reznicek on 2014-03-24 16:26
no words....I will pray...
#19 judy Ramella on 2014-03-24 17:20
I will hold your broken hearts very gently as indeed Father does. There are people here in England who are also surrounding you all gently and asking Father to comfort you. He loves you with an intensity that you can neither imagine or feel at present.....
#20 Ali Herbert on 2014-03-24 18:06
Psalm 84:9
GOD'S WORD® Translation
Look at our shield, O God. Look with favor on the face of your anointed one.
#21 Christian on 2014-03-24 19:14

I am not a mama and cannot pretend to know the depth of your grief. . .and although I cannot square the circle, a voice inside me says that God is as tender over you, his daughter, as you are your son.
#22 Talitha on 2014-03-24 20:02
So sorry, Ali! There's nothing to say, no answers. Just know you're not hurting alone. As I see here, so many (including me) are praying for you!
#23 Tobi Magill on 2014-03-24 20:03
Ali - we've been thinking of you all non-stop since we first heard the news. First of all, I keep thinking that dear, little Ethan's soul has been waiting for eternity for just the right parents and our Lord found them in you. You are strong, courageous, smart, resourceful and brave. He picked YOU. There are probably other reasons why He did but those are the ones that come to my mind immediately.

Secondly, I've often been not a real fan of the new medical ways where we learn everything that we can to be prepared - just in case. I think God gives us what we need just when we need it. I think that's the reason mom's bond with their babies no matter what they look like because there is so much to love. Since you don't have Ethan to hold and nuture and get that flood of oxytocin to bind you together I think the tragedy gets to be overwhelming.

I pray that every minute of every day you find rest in Him, His promises and the knowledge that He loves you and your little one as he dances inside.
#24 Ann Secord and Peter Linz (Homepage) on 2014-03-24 20:23
Still praying.
#25 Shelly on 2014-03-24 21:01
One minute at a time. One second at a time. With love and prayers I stand with you. In the gap for you. You are a great mama. God loves you so much! He won't leave you alone for a second!
#26 Michelle Anderson on 2014-03-24 21:18
Ali, there are no words. My heart is breaking for you. I'm praying for you, and asking the God Who heals to heal your son.

with love,
~ Jean Marie
#27 Jean Marie on 2014-03-24 21:31
Ali, I lift up your special family, that The Lord in his kindness and mercy may grant peace to your loving family. The He will wrap is gentle arms around you, that you find comfort in His tenderness.
#28 Mark on 2014-03-24 21:45
I can feel with you somewhat of your grief. It is a grieving process as we realize the dream we had for our child is gone forever. I felt that when Joel was born. George always wanted a boy and we had 4 girls when I got pregnant the fifth time and we had an ultrasound and told it was a boy we were so excited we were just laughing and smiling all the way home. I'll never forget that day. Then the day he was born and the sad faced doctor came into my room - and I was alone - and he told me that Joel had DS. He told me all kind of dire consequences. First of all, the doctors do not always know the outcome and usually give you the worst news. Although Joel had DS - he has never had any health problems that the doctor has said. I love Joel with all my heart and I can see God has had a purpose for giving him to us. I am much more sensitive to others who have handicapped children now. It has opened doors for me to talk to women I would have never talked to. I thought in the beginning like you. WHY ME GOD? I had devoted everything to God. We were heading to ALBANIA after the collapse of commuunism, where there would be little food, and no medical care. I had trusted God with planning our family. I never imagined he would give me a child with DS. Yet, Joel is the best evangelist our family has, although he doesn't communicate at all with people. He communicates God's love through his smiles and through his hugs and he has such a sensitive and loving heart. Even here in NK - where they might eliminate children such as Joel, he is being a testimony for God. I think we bring more sorrow upon ourselves worrying about tomorrow when God asks us to "Not worry about tomorrow, because you do not know what a day may bring" Hope in God. He can do a miracle and heal your baby if He wants. He might take him home; or if He allows your little boy to go through surgery after surgery and suffer; He will be there and give you grace to go though that too. Give it up to the Lord and say, whatever Lord,,, may YOU be glorified. I ask for grace for this trial. He will see you through it. You must give up the your dream for now and submit to His sovereign witll. I still cannot say how God allows this to happen when we know Ps. 139 so well... but I do know He has a purpose in allowing it. I will be praying for you my dear sister. My heart hurts for you too. Try to enjoy your baby's kicks and movements as you would a normal pregnancy. talk to him, sing to him (the hardest time ever to sing is right now I know. I listened to Michael Cards lullibye for babies. It was such a comfort to me at that time. I cried and cried. It is a grieving process. First you are sad, then you are mad, and then you start to heal. God will bring the healing. Love you. Nancy
#29 nancy sturm on 2014-03-25 01:36
We are praying Ali!
#30 Herma on 2014-03-25 03:17
Praying for you continually.
#31 Nikki (Homepage) on 2014-03-25 14:30
Ali I am praying for God's healing power to reign over you and your family. Keep the faith - He loves you and will never forsake you...
#32 Lora on 2014-03-25 15:32
Praying for you, reaching out to you as you've reached out to us with this post.
#33 Laura (Homepage) on 2014-03-25 16:49
I have no words, Ali, only prayers.
#34 Patricia on 2014-03-25 18:22
Ali - You are reacting just as any mom would. ANY believer would. You are frightened and filled with grief. God understands. He loves you and He is right there with you.

I understand your words, your thoughts. Not from experiencing the same circumstance, for me it was the sudden death of our teenage son. I have the luxury of time though. He died almost eight years ago.

It is hard and rotten and hurts like you think it may kill you - and go ahead and vent. The Lord can take it. Read the psalms. Pray the psalms.

I'm praying for you. I'm so sorry.
#35 Lori (Homepage) on 2014-03-26 02:33
Oh, Ali, I'm so sorry. You and I were on the same BBC board - we both have August 2012 daughters. I am linking to my old blog because I HAVE BEEN WHERE YOU ARE. Before my August daughter I got horrible, horrible news, just as you have. Read if you feel like it, and contact me if you like. I have been there and I found a wonderful group of women who had also been there who helped me profoundly and help me still, to this day. Whatever you decide, know that I'm thinking of you and praying for your family and I am so so so so so sorry that you are going through this.
#36 Cheryl (Homepage) on 2014-03-26 09:47
Dearest Ali,
There are no words for me to say that will make the hurt feel better. But I just want to say, I am so so sorry! Thank you for allowing us to come alongside you and hold your bleeding heart. You, my sister, are close in heart and I will be lifting you to our Father. May you feel Him carrying you in the hollow of His hands.
Love n hugs,
#37 Sara Martin (Homepage) on 2014-03-28 16:52
Ali, in the moments when you are thinking why me, why this, why us, or even feeling angry, remember that Job also asked those questions and went through those emotions. Even Christ himself asked to "let this cup pass."

It's ok to feel all of those things, and to go through that process. Don't feel guilty for those feelings, as long as you don't let them take over.
#38 Candez on 2014-04-13 23:41
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