Mary Amanda Stagg

March 22, 2012

As most of you probably already know, we welcomed our sweet Mary Amanda Stagg into the world last Friday, March 9, at 6:48 pm, and she went to be with her Savior Jesus at 8:50 pm the same night. I have sat down to write about everything several times, but never got very far because I really didn’t know what to write. SO much has happenend over the past 13 days that I can’t even begin to write it all down. We welcomed our baby into this world one day, and we had to bury her sweet, beautiful body only days later. As I’m sure you can imagine, this has been the darkest, most difficult time of our lives thus far.  And even as I sit here, I am overwhelmed by the weight of it all…And I want to be completely honest with you here. (And this is especially for those who have suffered through loss and grief, and for those of you with stories like ours, who are facing the terrible possibility of losing their child). There have been times since Mary was born when truly knowing and believing in a mighty and loving God has not come as a comfort to me. I have felt this way numerous times since March 9, but the first time I recognized feeling that way was the Wednesday evening after we buried Mary. Hayden and I went to visit her grave for the first time. It was AWFUL. Excruciating, really, and probably the most difficult time for me, apart from leaving her at the hospital with the funeral home. Hayden, who even in his own sadness, has been a constant comfort and rock for me, kept commenting on how beautiful her spot was, and how beautiful the sky was that evening, and that Mary was whole, with her heavenly Father (all things that I KNOW and absolutely BELIEVE). And before Mary died, the beauty of nature always served as a reminder to me of the greatness of God and his love for us… But all I could think was, “All I see is a sunset that Mary isn’t experiencing. All I see is an earth without her in it. I know God has used this to help others, but I don’t care. I’d trade it all. I just want my baby. I hate this! And I don’t understand, God.” It’s moments like these, when the grief is so deep and tangible, that I literally feel like my heart is being ripped from my chest, and that I will never smile again, that I might actually die from sadness, or at least I want to. There have been many times like that in the last several days, and I know that there will be times like that again.

BUT, please hear me even clearer now. What I really want you to know more than anything else at this point, is that I am learning, praise the Lord, that the way we feel does not negate the Truth. There is no emotion that God cannot handle. There is no anger, no question, no doubt, no sadness that his grace does not cover. As Paul reminds all believers in 2 Timothy 2, “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!…The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful–for he cannot deny himself.” (emphasis added). If you are his child, there is NOTHING that can take you from his hand (Romans 8:38-39). YES, our God is still the same (Hebrews 13:8)…He is still faithful, He is still good, He is still loving and tender, and He is still in control, even when I don’t feel it.  And I know that Jesus, who CHOSE death and the wrath of God on our behalf, sees the depth of our grief and pain and loss, and He not only grieves along side us, but He truly understands. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may recieve mercy and find grace to help in time of need,” Hebrews 4:15-16. And I am learning that He does not grieve like us, with the same sense of loss, because He wrote the end of the story. He sees what I believe but cannot see about my daughter-that she is whole and in his care. However, his heart breaks because our’s does, because he loves us. And he loves you. And it breaks because of sin and the spiritual and physical disease and death it causes in this world. It’s not supposed to be this way. And it won’t always be…

So, this has been terrible, but this has been so very sweet. God entrusted us with a precious, beautiful baby girl, and we had the privilege of loving and holding her as she passed from this life to the next…to true life. I am so thankful. And as Ruby, my three year old, told me as I held her and cried the Sunday night after Mary’s memorial service, “It’s okay, Mommy. Jesus will take your cry away.” She’s so right, he will. We anxiously await the day when our faith will be made sight, when we will meet our daughter in glory. When “he will wipe away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, niether shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things will have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4, paraphrased).

With love in Christ, and in honor of Mary,
The Stagg’s

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4 Responses to “Mary Amanda Stagg”

  1. Joey said

    You all are in my prayers. Much love!! Joey McLaughlin

  2. So very beautiful. Every word spoken in Truth. Thank you Father!!!

  3. Shanda said

    I’m so sorry for your loss! She is a beautiful angel from God! And you are exactly right God is in control and is with us every step of the way! I too am facing the loss of my baby boy! I’m 23 weeks pregnant and will one day be going through the same thing you are! Thank you for sharing you’r journey. When you are ready please email me at shandaclay81@yahoo.com! I would love to talk to you! Your an incredible strong women of faith and I am praying for you and your family!!

  4. Crystal Chandler said

    Amanda… I know we don’t know eachother that well, but I want you to know I’m praying for you and my heart is breaking for you. I praise God for you – you may never know what an incredible testimony and tremendous blessing you, Mary Amanda, and your family are to me and anyone who has heard about what you’re going through. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your journey. We continue to pray
    Love in Christ, Crystal Chandler

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