Hi everyone! My name is Halie. For those that don’t know me, I’m 31 years old and an elementary school teacher, a mother to a wild one-year-old (Ella), and a wife to an awesome husband(Garrett).
This past year brought a whirlwind of emotions. Our sweet daughter entered our
lives at the end of 2020, and I spent the first half of 2021 learning how to be a
mother. Unfortunately, in September, I lost my mom, and spent the remainder of
the year learning how to live without her. 

I grew up with a very strong mother. She had this patience that was almost too
good to be true. She knew everything it seemed, and she was the first to tell you
if you weren’t doing it right. She always offered up her two cents, especially when it came to being a mom. I didn’t always appreciate that growing up, but once I became pregnant, I didn’t mind it so much. I can remember asking her a million questions while I was preparing to have Ella. She always seemed to have an answer, whether you wanted it or not. Things were not always the best or easiest growing up, but we got through because of the resilience of my mom, and God, of course. She was the backbone of our family. 

When we had our daughter, COVID was in full swing, so no one was allowed in. I can remember being really nervous to not have my mama in there, but she
reassured me that I was tough and I’d be fine. “Don’t be a baby, Halie,” she’d
said. And of course, she was right. Everything was fine. My mama was my
babysitter once we had Ella. I was super grateful that she wasn’t working and in
a place to watch my daughter. She would’ve been one of my first picks, and I
knew Ella was in good hands. That summer, my mama got a lot sicker than she
had been. She was put on oxygen full time, and in true Christie fashion, tried to
play it off like she was fine. I don’t think we really knew how bad it was. In
August, I quit going by her house because school had started and I got busy. I
also didn’t want to chance getting her sick. The last time I saw my mama in
person was the first week of August. At the very end of August, she got Covid,
the flu and pneumonia. She refused to go to the hospital because she was
convinced if she went in, she was never coming out. When her oxygen got below 70, I begged her to go, and she gave in. Those 3 weeks were the worst. I spent every day begging God to heal her. I went from being completely discouraged to being full of hope, all in a day’s time, over and over. We were only able to talk to her over the phone, and eventually, we couldn’t even do that. She was so weak and could barely talk. I was able to FaceTime her a couple of times, but it was mostly just waiting and praying. She eventually gave in and let them intubate her. She never woke back up. The night before she passed, there was a rainbow on the ICU floor window. I can remember feeling such a peace, like God was promising me He was going to see her through. I shared Red Rocks Worship’s song, “Breakthrough”, and I knew without a doubt that Mama was going to be healed. I went to sleep that night not feeling that overwhelming sense of worry that I had felt the past few nights. I woke up in the middle of the night to the news of her passing, and I was in complete shock. All I could ask God was “Why? Why did you not heal her like I thought you were going to?” 
I have to back up and say that during this time, I was praying for salvation for my
family. I felt like I heard God say He was going to use this in the weeks leading
up to this moment. So when I had that peace the night before, I just knew He was going to heal her. In my head, everyone was going to know that God healed her, and they would get saved because of this miracle. So when it didn’t happen, I questioned God. I was angry. I can remember saying, “This was Your opportunity to reach them and You didn’t use it.” Isn’t it funny that we think we know better than God? That the God of the universe should listen to US?

The night of her funeral, my brother stayed up all night reading a Bible he found in her room. The same brother that prior to that, didn’t believe in God and was adamant about it...that said he wouldn’t survive without my mother. My prayers have not been fully answered yet, but I feel like that little thing was God saying, “Trust me. I’ve got this.” I’m still in the process of trusting Him to see this through. It hasn’t been easy, but He makes it bearable. 

Grief is hard. It changes us. It causes us to question everything we’ve ever
believed and to ask God why. But in the last four months, I’ve learned quite a few things:
God has a reason for everything He does. His ways are always better than
ours. Even when it doesn’t seem like it, He is working things out for our
good. (Romans 8:28)
He doesn’t always give us what we want, no matter how much we pray for
it. He isn’t a genie. And while He’s no respecter of persons, He is only
going to do what is in His will. Our Christian culture seems to lean towards
the idea that if we want something bad enough, and speak it, we’ll receive
it. But trust me, if that was the case, I’d still have my mama here with me. 
God is always with us. I hold onto my Grandma’s favorite verse, Isaiah
41:10: “So do not fear, for I am with you; Do not be dismayed, for I am your
God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous
right hand.” Things may get tough, but God is always with you. 

If you’re struggling with grief, reach out to someone you trust.
Pray and ask God to comfort you and give you strength.
Ask Him those hard questions. He isn’t afraid of our questions. He's listening with open ears and open arms.
And when you’re able to, share about your loved ones. Tell their stories. They live on in our hearts and minds, and our babies deserve to know about them. 

Until next time...