Well, let me introduce you.
Audrey Caroline lived less than three hours in this world. And yet she has impacted thousands of lives. Her story is absolutely heart-breaking, and you may as well know right now that if you dive any further into this, you may need a box of tissues. (Don't say I didn't warn you.)
Audrey's story, in a nutshell, is that her parents found out midway through the pregnancy that she had some physical conditions that were fatal. The best case scenario is that she would live for two minutes after her birth. Yes, you read that right - the best case scenario is that she would be born and live for two minutes.
Of course her parents were encouraged to "terminate" the pregnancy, but they knew they couldn't do that. They had to carry her to term and then leave the rest to God. Audrey was born on April 7, and she lived for about two hours and fifteen minutes.
Her mom, Angie, blogged this entire journey. I found her blog yesterday and was compelled to read the entire thing. (Enter the box of tissues.) The story is amazing, horrible, beautiful, maddening, and uplifting. I encourage you to visit the blog and read it from the beginning.
You can also watch this video, produced by a church in Nashville, that summarizes this family's experience. It is about 25 minutes long, but I promise you it is worth watching. If you are anything like me, it will change the way you look at things.
Also, Audrey's dad, Todd Smith, is in the group Selah. Their next album will include a song, called "I Will Carry You", that was written (and recorded) in the midst of this. You can hear it while watching this slideshow of the Smith family. (Again, you'll need to pull out the tissues.)
If you know anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one, and especially if they have suffered the loss of a baby, they might be interested in reading Angie's blog. She is very transparent about her pain, her anger, and her deeping trust in Jesus.
And please remember Todd and Angie and their family in your prayers, since just last night their family experienced another tragedy. Todd's sister, Nicol (who used to sing in Selah), went to check on her two-month-old baby last night and discovered that he was not breathing. The paramedics could not revive him. How much grief can one family take?
In one of her posts, Angie mentions the hymn "It Is Well with My Soul." I never knew the story behind this hymn until she gave the background. Here is the story, as posted on Wikipedia:
This hymn was written after several traumatic events in Spafford’s life. The first was the death of his only son in 1871, shortly followed by the great Chicago Fire which ruined him financially (he had been a successful lawyer). Then in 1873, he had planned to travel to Europe with his family on the S.S. Ville Du Havre, but sent the family ahead while he was delayed on business. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with another ship, and all four of Spafford's daughters died. His wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, "Saved alone." Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died.Here are the words to the hymn: