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There are absolutely no words to express the whirlwind of emotions I faced this past week and how my life will forever be altered and transformed. It was a week of being on my knees, pleading and begging before the Lord and it was a week I was in constant and continuos prayer. It was a week of faith, hope and pressing into the love of Jesus and it was a week of great heartache, devastation and tragic loss. My heart was broken and shattered and felt an unbelievable amount of sorrow as I walked with, prayed for and watched my precious neighbors say goodbye to their six month old little angel.

Sophia woke up Tuesday morning laughing and giggling with her twin sister Evelyn around 5am. When her grandma went in to get the girls at 7am she noticed that Sophia was sick. They brought her to the doctor and she tested positive for the flu. She was sent home with meds and by Wednesday morning Sophia had taken a turn for the worse. Her mother Megan rushed Sophia to the local ER where the doctor immediately recognized that she had meningitis and started her on the appropriate meds. She was then transferred to Children’s Hospital where she was placed in ICU and after many tests were ran, it was confirmed Sophia had bacterial meningitis.

Sophia suffered a tremendous amount of swelling on her brain, which caused profound and devastating brain damage. Due to the severity of the brain damage, little Sophia’s brain went into constant seizures, which were not able to be controlled or stopped. Evelyn and Sophia were baptized in the hospital room together on Sunday afternoon and hours later Sophia, while her mommy and daddy, Megan and Marcus were holding their little angel, kissing her and hugging on her, peacefully went home to be with the Lord.

Words cannot even express to you how deeply saddened I am by the loss of Sophia, Not only from the standpoint of a mothers heart, but to see the pain and heartache my good friends, my neighbors are suffering, just breaks me down to the core.

When I got the text message from Megan Sunday afternoon saying that the doctors told them their little girl was not going to make it through the night, my heart sank. I prayed for the peace and comfort of the Lord to infiltrate every morsel of their bodies and that the right people would surround them, love on them and come alongside of them as they were preparing for what NO ONE should have to go through, they were preparing their goodbyes.

To be honest with you, from that moment on, I held my phone close to my side, awaiting that dreaded call or text and when I received it I just became undone. John and I sobbed and sobbed, we cried out to God saying WHY, this isn’t fair. We wept, we held each other and we wept some more. My heart was shattered and I could not even imagine the pain and agony my precious friends were facing. The thought of them holding, cuddling and kissing on their precious baby as she peacefully went home to be with the Lord stripped me of everything. To think of them leaving the hospital, which they had just spent five days at without their daughter, ROCKED me. How do you wake up, move forward? How do you function or get out of bed? I was undone, broken and was facing a new faith journey with Jesus.

You see, I realized right then and there that I have taken life for granted. I have allowed the little things to irritate me. I have allowed the small things to get me bent out of shape and I allowed technology to take away precious time with those I love most. I realized how quickly life can be taken and I realized as much as I love on and hug my kids, its not nearly enough. I realized how precious and short life really is.

There are many things I do not understand about the events that took place and why such a precious little soul was taken from her family so soon but I do know there is Hope in Christ. I know he is a merciful God. I know he is a God of love and grace and I know he is a God who does not cause these things to happen. I know here on earth we will face many heartaches, trials and sufferings that we cannot wrap our heads around and many to which we think are unfathomable and we are just left BROKEN over. I know in our darkest hour HE shows up and brings us a glimpse of light and of hope to keep us pressing forward. I know that in our darkest hour HE sends his angels, the right people to come alongside of us to help us stand when all we are doing is falling. He sends people to encourage us, speak truth into our lives and his sends people to hold our hands, wipe our tears and make our souls smile for even just a moment in time. I know that the God we serve is faithful and just. I know with his power and strength that no matter what we face, He will be there to guide us, leads us and direct us to healing. I know that with HIM all things are possible and I know that even though things might not sense to us, He knows all things and He knows how broken and devastated Megan and Marcus are and I know HIS heart is breaking with theirs.

So what do we do from here? Grieving sets in , people move on with life and Megan and Marcus will have to somehow someway figure out a “new normal” for their family because on Sunday March 8, 2015 their lives were forever changed.

So this is what we do. We are called together for such a time as this. We are called to come alongside our fellow brethren, weep with them, hold them up, pray for them and show an exuberant amount of love to them. We are called to be Jesus in the flesh and we are called to hold their hands and show them the love and hope of Jesus. We are called to take on one another burdens and we are called to be the church outside of the “church walls.”

Because HE is alive, we can face another day. Because HE is alive we will find strength and hope and because HE is alive we shall not fear but find peace, comfort and rest. Because HE is alive we are able to run the race set before us with our heads held high persevering looking towards HIM. There are not many things I know in life, but I do know this as ABSOLUTE truth. God is hope and God is love. There really is NO other way.

My prayer for Marcus and Megan, for their families and all those who have been deeply impacted by this tragic loss is that God would lavish you with his Love. That you would find peace and comfort in HIM and that as you move forward from this unfathomable loss, that you would press into and lean on Him. That you would allow HIM to lead you in this grieving process and allow the people he has placed in your life to help you, encourage you and give you strength on the days you are the weakest. I will continue to pray for you and do whatever whenever for you all. Know you are DEEPLY loved by many and that you are DEEPLY covered in prayer.

Please go to and donate to the Memorial of Sophia Valentine Burke as your heart feels led. No amount of money will ease their pain nor will i bring back their precious baby girl. My prayer is that they will be freed from their financial burdens and that they will see the mighty power, love, grace and mercy of God through this. That we will gather as a community and bless this precious family. I ask that you continue to pray for them and reach out to them and feel free to drop a note in a month or two or even six months from now. Your love, prayers and support for this family has been tremendous and I am beyond appreciative.