Sunday, November 10, 2013


If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I have been in San Diego for the past few days.  I've been having a blast with some dear friends, and it has truly been one of the best trips ever.  But, there has been some hard too.  In fact, there's a really hard reason that we came to California.

Let me tell you about the Murdocks.  Glenn and Kristin own a CFA here in the greater San Diego area.  Kristin and I met when she and Glenn were helping run a CFA in Little Rock, and she wanted to have friends.  So, she would go to lunch with me and my kiddos.  She would come over and do random stuff with me like build gingerbread houses around Christmas time.  We had a great time together.  It was amazing to watch them in the process of them getting a CFA of their own and be in on the secret of when it was going to be announced at Seminar.

At the beginning of June, she texted Keri and I (her Arkansas friends) to let us know that she was pregnant.  We rejoiced with the news that they were expecting their first child.  At the very end of June, we got another text - this time from one of Kristin's best friends.  They had had an ultrasound to find out the gender early at 16 weeks.  Instead of finding out the gender, they found out that the baby has anencephaly and will not be able to live outside of the womb.  Here's Kristin's blog post about the diagnosis, and you can read about how the pregnancy has been since then as she has continued to blog.

Many people with this diagnosis choose to terminate the pregnancy, but Glenn and Kristin knew they would carry the sweet boy they have named Branch Lionheart.  It is a hard road to have to walk and certainly not one that any person would choose for themselves or for their friend.  But, God has been so faithful.  What a gift it has been to watch them walk through this tragedy.

I've been reminded what a treasure each child is - no matter how long you get to enjoy them.  Children are a blessing from the Lord, and though I desperately wish that Branch could live a long and happy life, I am so thankful that God gave him to Glenn and Kristin for this time.  I've also been reminded at how closely God walks to those who are suffering.  He provides in unique ways through people.  He draws near and shows more of himself in ways that you would never expect or imagine.

Answering life's hard questions about why babies have to die or why bad things happen to good people is impossible without the Lord.  The reality is that all of life has God's grace peeking through it.  Any good or bad thing that happens to us can and will be made good by our loving God who knows our needs far better than we do.  Our lives, as believers, are intended for God's glory - not for our comfort or happiness.

And while all of that is true, and I believe it wholeheartedly, I mourn for Branch's short life.  I mourn for Glenn and Kristin's loss that will forever mark them.  I am wholeheartedly sad that this is the way it is, and I know that Branch has found his place in my own heart.  I'm so grateful.


These are the cookies that I gave to them on arrival.  Making them was bittersweet, but it allowed me to pray as I iced and gift something to celebrate Branch.  Keri and I knew we wanted to spend time with Kristin before the delivery to try to help lighten the load a tiny bit.  We had an amazing time hanging out in San Diego, and I will write a blog post with just our adventures later.  It was wonderful and worth every minute.


We love you, Murdock Family!

(Updated - here's how the fun weekend went!)


Kristin Murdock said...

What kind words, Carol. I'm so grateful for you, your visit, and that you got to spend time with Branch. Oh, and the cookies!! Duh! :)