{Jess McClenahan} trust

My brain struggles to find words to introduce Jess McClenahan.

Mainly because, honestly, the words she submitted for her guest post are so poignant and beautiful, that I don’t want to mar them in any way.

So, I’m going to make this intro short and let Jess speak for herself.

*  *  *  *

I don’t know about you, but there was a time when I thought I had this trusting God thing all figured out.

I trusted God with my marriage and I thought it was going pretty well. I married my high school sweetheart, Joel, who is an amazing husband and man of God. We are far from perfect, but we really were trying to honor God with our marriage.

Joel and I had trusted God as we made the decision to move back to the country and take over a farm. That was a BIG one for me. You see, I am a
city girl. I love the city, I love having neighbors, I love eating out, and I love shopping. I told everyone I knew that I would NEVER marry a
farmer. And here I was…soon to be a farmer’s wife. I thought God was
really funny, sticking me out in the middle of what felt like no-where
on a farm. I thought I was taking a big leap of faith by trusting God
with that one.

When we moved back, I trusted God to provide me with a teaching job. And
he did. I taught kindergarten for four years before becoming a
stay-at-home mom.

And then our first daughter was born. We dedicated her to the Lord,
trusting God to give us wisdom as we raised her.

Maybe you are beginning to see the pattern up to this point in my

Trusting God was fairly easy.

Trusting God was comfortable.

Our daughter Cora was born in March of 2008. We were instantly in love
with our baby girl. We loved being a new little family and having this
sweet girl to share our lives with. Cora meant the world to us. Life was

That winter Cora started having multiple ear infections along with a respiratory
infection. We were visiting the pediatrician quite frequently and she
seemed to keep getting sick. We were headed to the pediatrician for what
we thought would be a follow up appointment for her recurring ear
infections. But this particular day the pediatrician gave us the news
that would forever change our lives. Cora’s liver was very enlarged and
he was concerned that it could possibly be the result of some kind of

He sent us straight to the hospital where we would spend the next 17 days. We felt
like we were living out a horrible nightmare. The next morning we were
waiting to hand our precious little girl off for surgery to remove a
tumor, most likely the result of cancer. We never dreamed that those
moments before her surgery would be the last time we would get to laugh
and play with our little girl here on earth.

Cora was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma–a form of childhood cancer. She
had four surgeries and completed the first round of chemotherapy while
we were in the hospital. While she wasn’t progressively getting better,
we held on to the hopeful words of her doctors. We were shocked that
awful Sunday morning when the doctor told us that Cora’s little lungs
were failing and there just wasn’t anything else they could do. We
watched in shock as our little girl slipped away.

Cora went to be with Jesus on February 8, 2009.   She was 11 months old.

All of a sudden my world was turned upside down. My life was totally rearranged. My
little girl was gone.

And at that point I was forced to decide if I
really believed what I always said I believe.

You see, I had come to
grips with the fact that I could trust God through Cora’s cancer.
The chemotherapy and watching my little girl struggle with her life was
awful, but if Cora could make it through it was going to be okay. But
trusting God with Cora’s death was a whole different story.

How could I trust God with the death of my child?

Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in
the driver’s seat–I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me
and I’ll show you how.

-Luke 9:23-24

{For more on Cora’s story, click HERE.}

*  *  *  *

Jess has chosen to fundraise for Kate.

A sweet little girl who is currently fighting her own brain cancer.

As a mother myself, I have no words.

But plenty of tears.

And heartfelt prayers.

Please consider honoring sweet Cora and lifting up Jess’ willingness to open her heart in the deepest pain for the glory of God.

Do this not only in your prayers.

In the way you hug your own babies.

But also by DONATING to help another family in the middle of the pain.

In the midst of the glorifying journey.

Every dollar you donate, gives you one chance to win a Cora’s dress of your choice from Jess’ shop.

You can also enter to win by subscribing to my blog.  Be sure to leave me a comment in this post letting me know you subscribed.  {1 entry}

Again, that link to donate is HERE or you can donate directly through the brand spanking new GiveForward Widget below:

This fundraiser and giveaway will end on June 12th.

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I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.

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  1. 1
    Genevieve says:

    Happy to subscribe to your blog!

  2. 2

    I am completely moved and made totally speechless by this touching story…

  3. 3

    Jess, your strength as a mommy is amazing. you talked about how as parents it is important to remember God loves our children even more than we do. I think of those wrods every day. Really, every day. You have helped to make me a better mommy, thank you!

  4. 4
    Courtney Mayfield says:

    I have followed Cora and her family since they found out about her cancer. Jess ia an amazing mommy.

  5. 5

    Wow…thank you for sharing your story, Jess. While I *know* God is big enough to cover and comfort people with hurts like you, I still wonder how I’d react.
    .-= Ronnica´s last blog ..Smileys Anonymous =-.

  6. 6

    So happy to subscribe! Thank you!!

  7. 7

    Just subscribed. Glad to have found you!

  8. 8

    I subscribe to your blog!
    .-= Stephanie C.´s last blog ..Milo Loves to Color! =-.