Welcome to He Makes All Things New

            My name is Mary Elizabeth, and I am truly humbled to have you join my family in our journey or, more accurately, our pilgrimage home.  Ours is an honest story of faith, hope, and restoration as we navigate a life imprinted with the deep pains and indescribable joys spurred from having one son in heaven (Warren) and four sons on earth, one with special needs (John, Warren’s identical twin) and the other sons typically developing (Daniel, Andrew and Michael). I am privileged to be Mama to these five boys, which I consider to be the best job and calling in the world.
            I am wife to Meade, my incredibly loving husband, whose support makes my life’s clear purpose possible. He is my rock, bestowing grace daily and serving our family with joy and patience.  He is one of those people whose zest for life is simply contagious, and his love for the Lord is even more inspiring.  We are far from perfect but feel blessed that we have been called to be a team in this one life we have been given on earth.
            This site had its beginnings in early 2009 as a dear friend developed a Caringbrige site for our family as our life was turned upside down. After a difficult pregnancy including hemorrhaging and 5 months of bed rest, we thought the worst was over as we delivered full-term and seemingly healthy identical twin boys in January of 2009. However, on their second day of life, both Warren and John began suffering from inexplicable and relentless seizures. Our world crashed around us as we were introduced to our children on January 21st only to have them ripped away from us on January 22nd by incubators, wires, ventilators, and heavily sedating medication. When we thought it could not get any worse, Warren died and went to heaven on February 8th at 19 days old. Through the autopsy that we had ordered in hopes of getting answers that might help John survive, we learned that Warren's death was not due to his underlying condition.  Instead, he died due to a tragic medical error in which his nurse accidentally placed his oral medication into his IV.  This clotted in his lungs and shut off the oxygen to the rest of his body.
            The crisis continued as John remained in the intensive care unit (including a two week stint at Children's Hospital Boston) until he finally came home at 3 months of age.  Doctors told us he was going to die soon, never smile or develop at all and need a G-Tube to receive nourishment.  John has done so much better than anyone imagined or predicted.  In fact, he is thriving.  We believe the Lord is healing John one day at a time, from what his sodium channel gene mutation which has currently caused global delays typically recognized as cerebral palsy.  We feel privileged to be stewards of this precious and joyful child, along with his amazing brothers.  We miss Warren every single day, but his life continues in heaven and on earth as we celebrate the gift God has given us through these precious twins and now additionally through their three additional brothers.
            Through our losses and joys, I have come to resonate with Paul who proclaimed, “To live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).  I have no doubt that it will be a monumental “gain” to die and join my Lord and my firstborn son in heaven where He will fully and finally make all things new.  But I also am confident that while we are planted on this earth, we are called to live for Christ – participating in His redemptive work and displaying His splendor (Isaiah 61:3).

            Before my life took these unexpected turns (or more accurately, became completely derailed), I earned my undergraduate degree in foreign affairs and religious studies and my Masters in clinical counseling.  Now outside of the classroom, writing has found me once again – this time as a personal outlet and companion to this difficult but rich pilgrimage through life and toward my true home in heaven. As I write, God gives me renewed vision as my doubts find a safe place and my faith is solidified. Although the joys and pains in our lives may look different, I know we are all attempting to navigate life and loss and to find a solid place to land.

For updates prior to the start of this blog in December of 2011, please visit our Caringbridge site.

**Click here to watch and listen to "The Hope of Spring in the Dead of Winter," the talk I gave for the Changing Seasons Speaker Series.  I share more of our story and how I have both wrestled with God and been upheld by Him throughout our journey.    -January 25, 2012   -Virginia Beach, Virginia

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