10.17.2012

Praising Jesus.

First of all, thank you to my blogging friends and community for the silent auction and the cards & comments you have written to me. I really have no other words than I appreciate them more than you will ever know!

I know at some point in the grieving process that I may be angry for what has happened but at this time, I just keep thinking of all the blessings that God has given me and I also keep seeing how God's plan has been in place and working towards this day for a long time without me realizing.

My number one blessing and the reason I get out of bed every day is Preslee. I stopped to think this week that maybe God had me go through infertility for the amount of time that I did because he knew that I needed this particular child and at this particular age to keep me going. I even wonder if he gave me a girl, even though he knew how badly Matt "thought" he wanted a boy. She obviously changed his heart the minute she was born but maybe he knew that I needed a lifelong friend. She is my buddy today and I know that she always will be and I am forever grateful for her!

I learned through my struggle with infertility that there are good days and bad days and that you need support any way you can get it. Right now prayers are getting me through this. During part of my infertility journey, I found comfort that others had walked down the same road as I was, had felt some of the same emotions and came out on the other side and survived. I have had some women already reach out to me that share this same tragedy and I know at some point down the road, they will give me much support and comfort knowing that I am not alone. During the middle of the fertility struggle, I would never have thought that I would be finding any good from the pain I went through but today I am praising the Lord for the lessons I learned from that time in my life.

My family has been extremely supportive of me. I have always been aware of how truly blessed I am by my having my mom and dad. I was fortunate to have parents that would do just about anything to make sure I was happy and taken care of and that has never stopped. I hope that I can give Preslee the same comfort in knowing that I am always on her side and will love and support her for the rest of my life.

Matt's family has always been graciously loving to me. I could not ask for a better family to call my own. They are have been wonderful to me for the 12 years that we have been together. Matt would even tell me that they loved me more than him which I don't think was possible but it did make me feel good knowing I was welcomed into such a great family!

I think that I might have the best friends that anyone could ever want, need or hope for. I have so much love and support from people I have become friends with throughout my life. They all have text, called, emailed and visited me this week and are willing to do absolutely anything I need from them. I hope that I can repay them some day by being as kind to them as they have been to me.

My hometown of Arkadelphia has just opened their arms around me and has shown me more love and support than I even know how to accept. I lived here for 23 years and have been gone almost 6 but I almost feel as though I never left. There is just something to be said about small towns and I would not be anywhere else but here right now!

I ache with my entire being to just talk to Matt and feel his warm body. I don't know how I am even living right now without him. We were extremely close and talked all throughout the day. I miss our daily life together. I miss texting him about things Preslee is doing, I miss making sure I had dinner ready when he got home, I miss saving shows on the dvr so we could watch them late at night. I miss buying all his many snacks at the grocery store, I miss seeing Romeo and Preslee get excited to see him when he walked through the back door, I just miss him! I can't get over the fact that I will never see or talk to him again.

BUT...I am extremely thankful that I know that Matt is in Heaven and he is healed. Not many people really knew how bad he was feeling. He had many days that were just by a miracle that he was able to get out of bed and go to work. It was a daily struggle for him to try to live a normal life but the physical pain was always there. He was a great actor when he needed to be. He didn't want to burden everyone else with his illness and apologized to me frequently that I was "stuck" with a sickly husband. I would tell him to stop saying things like that and that I loved him no matter what and I truly meant that! Don't get me wrong, life was not easy taking care of someone who didn't feel good and then got harder once I had Preslee to take care of too, but I am thankful for the life we had together. I will always be sad there wasn't more of it.

In the note he left me on his phone, he asked me to "Please remember me for the good times and not the years when I became frail, sick, weak and moody. Please remember me as a man who would do anything for his family and who cared about them more than anything else."

So I am going to try to honor his wish and I am going to praise Jesus for the good times we had together and I am going to share all of our good memories with Preslee so that she knows how wonderful of a man her daddy was!

Thank you again for all your prayers. I feel them all day and I truly believe they are the reason I can put one foot in front of the other and make it another day without my sweet Matt!




140 comments:

Casey Collyar said...

Julee, you are an amazing person. I am so glad God put me through infertility as well b/c of infertility we have been friends. I am here for you anytime. You are in my prayers daily. God's timing is not something I always like and for sure do not understand, but he says it is perfect. To me perfect does not cause sorrow or pain but you are right all we can do is trust that it is perfect. Love you girl.

Melissa said...

You are AMAZING Julee! You are the BEST mom and Preslee is luck to have you. Matt is looking down at you right now and is saying Julee I am so proud of you.
I just wish you were still in NWA so I could give you a BIG hug and sit with you and talk while Preslee and Crew play. What a blessing you are to so many as well as Matt. Love you girl!

Jess :) said...

Oh sweet friend...

Tears. The tears just still seem to flow reading this. I pray that you continue to hold onto ALL of the BLESSINGS that the Lord has given to you and also the many, MANY memories you will ALWAYS keep so very close in your heart. I know you will, but on those days in which pain and sorrow try to take over - my prayer is that you will cling to His promise ... that one day, ALL those who BELIEVE will be together again. :)

You are loved beyond words and so is little Miss P! Such a gift and daily reminder of the incredible LOVE you and Matt shared!!

Loving you and faithfully praying for you from here.

xoxo

E said...

I am so thankful you have the hope and peace of our sweet Jesus. While you still will have pain, you have his grace. Nothing can take that away. Nothing.

We continue to pray for you in Washington state.

Nancy said...

I seriously think about & pray for you & Preslee every hour of the day!! I just wish we lived in the same state so I could help you anyway that I could!
I will continue to pray every day & I am so sad you have to be without your man, but you will ALL be together in Heaven one day & that is COMFORT!!!
Praying you feel loved & supported all the days to come!
Nancy Hudspeth

. said...

Tears well up in my eyes and my heart aches for your loss. Many thoughts and prayers to you and Preslee. God Bless you both.

Christy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adrienne said...

Julee, I remember when Matt told us at work that you were having a girl. Matt was crazy about Preslee long before she was even born. When I told him I thought Lorelai was going to be a boy, he was all "I'll have to clean my shotgun before they ever meet."

Of course, Lorelai ended up being a girl, so he didn't have to worry about that. However, the Matt I knew at work embraced and took joy in being Preslee's dad. I felt like I knew that little girl, and I left the station two weeks before she was born!

Our family continues to remember you all in our prayers.

Alli said...

Your strength is such an amazing thing to see! I have read your blog for a while now, and have never commented, but after reading this post, I am truly blown away by how strong you are on a daily basis! It is such a testament to your faith and your love that you are still praising Jesus through all the you have been through. You have constantly been in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to be in the coming days, weeks, months, and years. You're truly such a strong example of amazing women. Continue to trust that God's timing will always be perfect! As I was reading this post, tears just started flowing! Preslee is so lucky to have been blessed with such an amazing, strong mother, and there is never any doubt that you will always keep Matt's memory alive to her!

Christy said...

Julee, you are such an amazing woman! Preslee is so lucky to have a mom like you to walk this life with her. I'm so sorry you are having to go through this. I pray that the days and nights are getting easier for you. I follow you on twitter so I know you have been having trouble sleeping. You and Preslee are in my thoughts and prayers all day long.

My dad died when I was 5. My sister was 4 and my brother was 16 months old. He walked out the front door one morning to never return. My mom always showed us pictures and talked about him. I can still meet someone for the first time and when they find out who my dad was, they will go on and on about what a wonderful man he was. 26 years later, people still talk about my dad like he was here on earth yesterday. It makes me so proud that he was my dad.

Take Care!

Lauren said...

Julee, I didn't know Matt personally but Matt's story, your story, and the testament of the life he lived, I only wish I could have personally known him. I don't think any of us will every be the same after witnessing God's hand in all this and the way people have supported and rallied behind you in your time of need. Continuing to pray and think of you all daily. Love you!! Xo

Leanne said...

Julee...you are still strongly on my heart.

What a wonderful post this was!

You can count on my family's prayers for you.

I just noticed that at least one other person in Washington State is praying for you, so way up here, we have you covered!

Randi said...

Julee you are a strong woman! Sending you hugs today and every day!! xoxo

Lacy said...

Continuing to pray for you and Preslee.

You are such a strong woman. This had me in tears.

You are such a blessing to so many and Preslee is so lucky to have you.

Kaysie said...

In tears!
Julee, you are such a strong, amazing person. I have no doubt your husband would be so proud of you during this difficult time; being such a great momma to Preslee and Romeo and keeping the memory of your husband alive.
My thoughts and prayers are always with you and your family.

Fran said...

I think about you often Julee. Only Jesus. Only Him. I'm just so sorry and am thankful for all the people who surround you. I pray for them too.

Lean into Him sister. I know you are.

Blessings,
Fran
TN

Jennifer said...

I've said this so many times in the last week, but you are so incredibly strong and I'm so proud of you! I am continually praying that the Lord gives you grace and strength as you face each new day. Love you and P so very much!

Brandi said...

I am constantly praying and thinking of you and Preslee. Sending you hugs your way!!!!

Darlene E said...

Hi Julee,

I have read your blog for a long time but never commented. I just wanted you to know that you are in my prayers. From what I can tell from your posts and tweets you have been incredibly brave and strong through this. Keeping you in my prayers.

Darlene

Kimberly said...

Sending strength and prayers you way to get thru this. Your an amazing woman.

Kristen said...

You are so loved! I have been praying for you. Although I will probably never meet you, please know that you will be COVERED in prayer!

Lauren said...

Julee, you are an inspiration. As tears are flowing down my face, I can see your faith is so evident and it amazes me. I have read your blog for a couple years now and followed your journey to get the beautiful daughter you have now, so I sort of feel like I know you. You two girls flood my thoughts constantly for this reason, and I guess because we're about the same age and my husband and I have a 1.5 year old. I am so amazed by your strength and faith, although I know your heart is absolutely broken into. Please know that I am consistently praying for you both and wrapping my arms around you from Alabama. Thank you for sharing this with us. It's raw, painful, and beautiful. Preslee is one blessed little girl because she has an amazing set of parents. And I know she will know her Daddy through you, through all the memories, pictures, and stories you share with her. Praying for continued comfort and strength for you.

Love,
Lauren

Heather said...

Julee, I continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I'm so proud of you for your continued strength and faith! You are such an amazing person, and a wonderful, beautiful mother! If you need anything I am more than happy to be there!!! -Heather

megantree said...

I know, without a doubt, in the years ahead you will be an inspriation and help to other women who need it. God is pulling you through and it is so evident through your attitude and outlook.

Amber in South Carolina said...

I'm a new reader but I wanted to let you know that I am praying for you and your family. I can't imagine the pain you are going through, but I am so glad you have Jesus and an amazing community surrounding you now.

Karen At Home said...

You have been on my mind and heart ever since I heard the news Julee. Praying for your strength as you get through this!

What a beautiful post, I know Matt is hearing these words and knows your heart although he is with God.

Will continue to pray for your strength and healing.

Crystal said...

You are such an amaizing person! Preslee is so lucky to have you in her life! You girls are in my prayers daily. I pray every day for God to wrap his arms around you and provide you with strength to get through this!

Amber Maddux said...

tears :'( - i know exactly what you are going through & 7 months later it isn't any easier...

Apryl Kilgo said...

I am so happy that you have such a strong support system and such loving friends and family. You are so strong and such an amazing woman and Matt is looking down and smiling every single minute of the day. I have been praying for strength, peace, and comfort for you, Preslee, your family and friends and will continue to do so.

Mandy said...

My heart aches for you and I just cannot get over how much of an inspiration you are through this terrible time! Continued prayers for you and Preslee in the upcoming days, months and years.

Take Care!
xoxo

sltawtmom said...

I continue to pray for you and Preslee during this time of challenge and change.

The Anglin Family said...

I just want to tell you that although I know your pain is beyond most of our comprehension, you have more grace and poise in you than any other 29 year old I know. Your faith shines in your life and I have honestly been envious before when you have blogged about your families, yours and Matt's. I'm thankful for you that you have that amazing support system. I think the amount of people that not only Matt's life, but yours as well, have touched is beyond comprehension! Preslee will know without a doubt the love her daddy had for her as well as you. Matt is an example of a hard working man reaching his dreams even while so sick is an amazing testimony! My husband is very sick too and takes chemo and steroids and more drugs than I could handle and he still works but I know he hurts. He survived heart and lung surgery and I know that sometimes I feel bad that I get irritated because he is so sick. It's very hard sometimes living with someone so sick, especially when they try to act like it doesnt exist. I miss watching Matt on the news! I switched to THV from KATV when you moved back:-) I am constantly praying for you sweet girl! And I'm glad you are back home-you're right! The people here are amazing caring people. Lots of love and prayers!

Betsy said...

Love you Julee. Praying for you everyday. I can't imagine what you are going through, but I'm so thankful you have your sweet baby girl and so many friends and a wonderful family, and most of all--the Lord. You will get through this with all the love that is surrounding you! xoxo

Melinda Lillis said...

I have followed your blog for awhile, since I have gone through infertility and IVF myself and now on the "other side". My heart aches for you and with you and you are in my prayers constantly. I am blessed by your testimony and strength.... which can only come from our heavenly father.

Tiffany said...

Continuing to pray for you and Preslee. May God see you through this hard time.

Jill said...

Julee - you truly are beautiful inside and out! I a still praying for you!!

Sara said...

Julee, you are a beautiful, strong person! Your post holds so much meaning and love...Preslee is so lucky to have such a strong momma.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Tonya said...

Julee, what a testimony you are to so many reading your blog! Jesus shines right through you! :) I know you don't know me, but you and Preslee come to mind so often, and when you do, I lift you up in prayer.

Jen said...

Julee, You are an inspiration to me. I was so moved by your words. I wish I could meet you in person and give you and Preslee big hugs. I am glad that you have an amazing support system. Don't be afraid to ask for help or to break down when you need to. I will be keeping you and Preslee in my prayers for many days, years to come. Jen

Taylor said...

Praying for you endlessly, sweet girl. You are a true testament of faith and I know that sweet hubby of yours is smiling down on you and baby girl.

The Burgess Family said...

Julee - I have been praying for you and your precious girl and will continue to do so. Take good care of yourself.

Katherine from South Carolina

Lindsay Ledgerwood said...

Julee, I am just without words. Even as a complete stranger, which I am, I can see how the angels are lifting you up just like it talks about in the Psalms. You are such a strong, amazing woman. I will continually keep you and Preslee in my prayers. Sending love from Conway!!

sarah @ life {sweet} life said...

Julee, you truly are one of the most amazing people I know. You are such a witness and encouragement to SO many people. You are such a wonderful mommy to Preslee, and I think it's so neat the way you are honoring Matt's legacy. The way that the Lord has used you, and will continue to use you in the days and years to come, is such a testament to your faith and the woman of God you are. Continuing to pray for you friend! xo

Julie B. said...

Julie,
I haven't been through what you are experiencing; but I have been through what Preslee will experience...growing up never knowing the man who was my daddy because he died in a car accident when I was three years old. Preslee will miss out on some daddy/daughter things and she will wonder why she feels so sad because she doesn't remember him. BUT, you WILL make sure she knows how much he loved her. My family has always done that for me and it helps so much!! And her heavenly Father will comfort her and stand in each and every day with her as her daddy as well.

I'm so sorry you are going through this. Keep your head up, good things are coming for you and Preslee. And from everything I've heard about Matt, with him as your guardian angel, you and Preslee will be looked over by one of the best angels Heaven has!

Prayers and love to you both!
-Julie B.

Beth said...

Praising Jesus and crying with you! You are loved!

Blessings from Beth in Michigan

glenda said...

Praying for peace and strength. My heart aches for you, Preslee and your families. May peace and comfort surround you during the difficult times.

Prayers from AZ

Natasha said...

Julee --

Thank you for this post. Your strong faith in God shines through and is an inspiration for me. I am so glad you have Preslee with you for you to love on, take care of, and keep you going.

Know that my prayers are joining with all the others, helping to hold you up during this time.

Aishlea and Brandon said...

Praying for you and your sweet baby girl. Your strength and grace is so evident, as well as HIS light shining through you.

Aubree's Momma said...

Lots of love to you from West Virginia. Im started following your blog after a friend of mine posted on Facebook about your husbands accident. My heart goes out to you & your beautiful baby girl<3

Me and My Boyz said...

You truly are inspiring. My heart aches for you and Preslee and not a day goes by that I don't think about you. Preslee is one lucky lady to have you as a mom. Hugs

Mallory said...

Your strength amazes me! You have so much to live for, but regardless it has to be incredibly, incredibly hard. I pray for you all the time and hope you and Preslee are doing ok. Know you are being prayed for!

Ashley said...

Julee, you are one very special woman! Preslee is so blessed to have a mother like you. Thank you for sharing such a tender piece of your heart. Matt seemed like such a wonderful father and husband. Prayers! I think of you and Preslee everyday!

Linds said...

This is so incredible. I love how everyone else says you are an amazing person, because I think they are right. But I also think we serve an amazing God, and He is shining through you so brightly through this tragedy. You are bringing honor to not only Matt, but to the Lord. I pray that if tragedy strikes my family that I will be able to mirror Jesus like you are doing. Praying continually for you and Preslee!

Cassie said...

I can't imagine the pain, hurt and sadness you are going through! I know this is a rude question and maybe I missed it somewhere in your blog, but what was Matt's illness?

I also read another blog of a woman with a very similar situation - http://www.blogger.com/profile/20847068

Let the blog community know if there is ANYTHING we can do!!

Gardiner Family said...

Your words are such a testimony to God's faithfulness, even in incredibly hard times. God has surrounded you with great love and support...what a blessing. I have prayed for you daily, and can't imagine the weight of grief you are feeling. I will pray for you specifically over the holidays, Preslee's birthday, Matt's birthday, and your anniversary. It seems like there you have some big days on the calendar back-to-back that you will feel the void without Matt there. God will carry you through each of those days. On a side note, you and I were born the exact same day- 7/29/83. I will think of you each birthday from now on, especially next year on your milestone birthday. Much love to you- Rachel G

Jessica K said...

Julie I know I dont know you or your precious baby girl Preslee very well, but I wanted to share in my condolences to the both of you. You are such a strong woman who I know can get through anything. Thanks for keeping your blog community updated and we wish you nothing but love and happiness.

~Jessica

www.bettertogetherandforever.blogspot.com

Ashley said...

Julee, You are truly an inspiration of a wife and Mommy! I just got the chills reading your post! I can't imagine how much you miss Matt, but you are a strong woman of faith and I know the Lord and Matt are so proud of you! Praying for you!

Savannah said...

Julee - You are such an inspiration and SO strong! My heart has been heavy for you since learning of Matt's death and I admire your trust in God's plan. Keeping you and sweet Preslee in my thoughts and prayers!

Dana said...

Julee--I found your blog while you were pregnant with Preslee and I was struggling with infertility. It was comforting to read about someone else who had struggled but had succeeded and was so excited about her pregnancy! And someone who loves exclamation points as much as I do! :).
When I heard of Matt's accident and passing, I began to feel this incredible pain as I knew you would be struggling again. Thank God for your family and friends and Preslee as they are your rock and strength. God has blessed you with them AND with Matt!!!! There are so many who have never found true love and pray for it daily. You lived it with Matt!!!
I hope that one day I can be an inspiration to others as you have been to me (and you didn't even know it)! :).
Love, Hugs, and Prayers from an Arkansa girl living in Virginia!!
Dana

Brittney said...

Julee,
I am in awe of you just reading this. Your faith and your love for Matt just shine through. You are so strong, and Preslee is so lucky to have you! Continuing to pray for you and your sweet girl!

Cara Beth said...

Wow. I am blown away by this post. God has truly given you the strength you need to survive. I too am so thankful for your little buddy, Preslee. I don't even want to think about your life if you had not been able to get pregnant. God definitely knew what he was doing. I pray for you everyday Julee. I pray for you happiness, for strength to wake up every day to take care of that little angel. We love you, Julee!

Mel Tales said...

You are such an amazing woman! So inspiring! Your faith in our amazing God is shinning through! I am lifting you and sweet Preslee up throughout each day!

Momofgirls said...

You sweet girl. I am lifting you and Preslee up in prayer every few minutes of the day. You pop into my head so often. GOD, the planner of your life, will take care of you both. Preslee is so blessed to have a Mama who is praising Him in the midst of her own deep sorrow. OH the plans He must have for HER! Keep looking to the One who loves you most....xoxo

Mama J said...

I think you are amazing! How lucky Preslee is to have you as her mom and how lucky Matt was too! Rely on the Lord's strength to get you through this. He is always faithful!
Praying for your heart.

Laura said...

Praying for God's strength & peace through the coming year! What a beautiful post of God's faithfulness in the midst of suffering.

Anna said...

Your strength is amazing and inspiring! You daily cross my mind and serves as a reminder to lift you up in prayer. There are not many words that can be said, but know that you are loved by the King. Thank you for being so faithful to give God all of the glory even in such a tragic situation.

Jennifer T said...

still think of and pray for you and Preslee daily. love to you both.
The Tschepikow's

Sarah @Newlywed and Decorating said...

My heart aches with you. I think about you and Preslee a lot. I am so glad that prayers are carrying you through this right now. What a sweet man you married. What a gift to have that letter. Thanks for the reminder that the little things (like making dinner and grocery shopping) are really the big things in life when you do them for someone you love. So glad you have such a big support network to carry you through. I'll keep praying too!

Erin @ Sassin' Southern Style said...

Julee, you are such a bright beacon for God's love. Even when you feel that you can barely lift your arms, our gracious God will be there to lift them for you. I have prayed for you every day and am so thankful you have such an amazing support system of people who love you and Preslee so much. Many more prayers to follow!

Sitesx6 said...

Julee- You don't know me at all- but I've been following your blog for many years. I too, had infertility for 4 years, so I always am attracted to others who go through that too.

You are FANTASTIC and so strong. I am in awe of how Jesus is bringing you the comfort so many are praying for you. I know it is the hardest thing you have ever had to go through- but I also know (and so do you) that Jesus will walk every step with you. I've been praying for you and will continue. I'm 100% in awe of how you are able to praise Jesus for the good things, during this most difficult time.

God be with you and bring you abundant comfort and grace each and every minute of each and every day.

Kelly in Michigan

Superchikk said...

Julee, you are such a blessing to so many of us. I count it a privilege to pray for you daily. I know The Lord is using this and you to draw others to Himself.

meg said...

My heart just ached for you as I read the "normal" things you are missing ... buying his snacks, watching Romeo be excited when he came home, texting pictures throughout the day. When I think of you at random times I often think of the little things (like what you mentioned) that I think would be so hard for me. I have even prayed multiple times for you with sweet Romeo, which I know he's "just a dog" but I think my dogs would be totally lost without my husband here and I think that'd break my heart in a whole different way to watch them wait for him to come home every evening. I'm so happy you feel Jesus and love and are getting through day by day, sometimes hour by hour I'm sure! I know hard times are still ahead, but I pray at the end of every day your blessings will always outweigh your grief. I will pray faithfully for you, and I think of you at the most random times and it always prompts me to pray. Thanks so much for the update and for showing your heart and feelings. I also thought you made such an amazing point about how you struggled to have Preslee for so long but now you're so grateful that she's the age she is at this exact time. That's amazing perspective!! I pray in my struggle to get pregnant that I'll look back on this year and see the treasures that I can't see in the moments that feel so hard!

Carrie said...

Julee, you are incredible. I only know you from your blog, but you helped me so much during my time of infertility. When I heard Matt passed away, I just kept hoping you would be o.k. After reading this, it seems like you are doing "well." I can only imagine the hurt you must feel, but you are doing exactly what God and Matt would want you to do...having faith in God and continuing to be the wonderful mother Preslee needs and deserves. Matt would be so proud of you. This just reminds me to let go of all the silly things that annoy me about my husband or life in general. The simple things you mentioned...cooking dinner for Matt, watching tv together, sending pics to each other...those things I will never take for granted again. Praying for you daily.

Laurie said...

You are an amazing woman! I am still praying for you!!!!!

Kristen said...

Thank you for allowing us to share this with you and to better learn how to pray you through this! I don't know you, but I pray for you and your precious Preslee everyday! Today, I am praying Psalm 126:5 am believing that if you will continue to sow your tears in God's garden, they will yeild an amazing harvest of joy in your life! Praying joy for you today!

Becca said...

Julee, you are amazing! I know you only from your blog and the journey you have shared through it. The love you have for Jesus and your family has helped me grow deeper in my own relationship with Jesus and my husband. I long to be a better Christian, wife, friend, and mother because of examples like you.

Praying for you and Preslee.

Tiffany said...

Julee, you and your family have not left my thoughts & prayers. May your heart be comforted by all your wonderful memories of Matt and in times of sorry little Preslee make you smile.

Tiffany
http://stmerrick.blogspot.com

Jennifer said...

Julee, I've been a follower of your blog for some time. You don't know me at all, but I want you to know that your beautiful family is a blessing to me. I am touched deeply by the love I have witnessed over the past several years as I followed your journey through infertility and then watched as you fell in love with your little daughter. I admired your transparency as you shared some of your struggles through early motherhood. I want you to know that God is honored in the way that you have shared your life with so many. I am praying for you as you walk another leg of the journey, one that was unexpected by you but not a surprise at all to your gracious Father. I pray that you will find Him to be ENOUGH ALWAYS. I am blessed to follow your story and to see what a beautiful testimony of God's grace, mercy, and love you and Matt are to so many. Blessings, Jennifer

JazzerMomma said...

Julee - Your strength is truly amazing and such a beautiful witness of our loving savior. You and sweet Preslee are in my prayers each day. I've even kept Romeo in my prayers. We are HUGE dog lovers and I remember how my brother-in-law's dog grieved when he passed. I pray that sweet Romeo will bring you and Preslee some comfort and smiles. May God continue to hold you all closely.

Susan in Indiana

Katherine Grant said...

You are such an inspiration to so many, Julee! Hearing the stories told at Matt's funereal have really encouraged me to be more focused on others and more concious of how I treat them. And seeing how strong your faith has been during such a difficult time has caused me to examine my faith and think about how I would react if I was put in your position. I'm living each day with a new mindset, never missing an opportunity to show and tell Gary and Elliott how much I love them! I know it's hard for you to imagine how any good can come from this tragedy, but the Lord is using it abundantly! I have talked to countless people who have told me how much your story has impacted their life. Please know you are on my mind daily and in our prayers each night!

Lindsay said...

Dear Julee, I have read your blog since your pregnancy with Preslee and although I do not know you in person you are on my heart many times a day! I can not imagine the heart ache but I will continue to pray that God will heal your broken heart in a way that only our loving Savior can!

Erin said...

Julee,
You are a true inspiration! Your faith gives me something to strive for! I appreciate you opening up to the blog world with your story.

Jennifer said...

oh sweet Julee! I so much of what you are saying is what I said those first few weeks after my Jason died. I can see the Lord working in and through you! I too was able to see how God was preparing me/us for Jason's death and I am still in awe at how God protected me in so many ways. I won't lie......the road of grief is hard and unpredictable. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. But I can honestly say that God has and continues to bless me even in times of darkness. He is the light! I agree about still breathing.....I often wondered how in the world I managed to survive but you just do. You don't realize just how strong you are until you are forced to live it. Children are such a blessing during times like this. My boys were for sure the reason I got out of bed those first few months.

I know I don't know you personally...but I've followed your blog for a long time and I think I even commented once long time about because we struggled with infertility too. I'm sure you have so many people around you that are loving and supporting you but if you do ever need a young widow's opinion or advice or just a listening ear then I'd love to be that for you. I pray for you often!

Oct 2011 is when my husband died so if you ever want some real/honest/raw posts about death and being a widow then feel free to read. I have tried to be so honest - I have faith and peace about Jason and heaven but I also have days where I selfishly want him back!

Kenzie said...

You are absolutely amazing Julee. What the Lord is doing in your heart and life right now is SO evident. Your faith is beyond inspiring. Love you so much friend. I haven't stopped praying for you and absolutely won't!

2 Corinthians 12:9~ But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO!

Shannon Griggs said...

Praying for you and your family, Julee. I can see that you are wrapped in love right now, and that is the best gift we can send your way. (hug)
Shannon Griggs

Susan A said...

I came across your blog right after Matt's passing. I am so sorry for your loss and pain. Although I do not know you, I can see from your most recent writing that you are an amazing, strong person. God bless you and your beautiful daughter!

Susan A. in Illinois

emccalis said...

It sounds to me like not only is Preslee the perfect child for you but you were the perfect wife for Matt. God Bless You as you travel this journey now without him physically. I KNOW he is with you and Preslee every day in spirit and I hope you take some comfort knowing that. I will pray for you and your beautiful daughter.

Lauren Mattiza said...

I am in tears. I don't even know what to say! Julee, WOW! God is SO GOOD, isn't he? He DOES have a perfect plan for us. He really does, no matter what happens to us or our loved ones. God loves you so much, and I know he is SO proud of you and how you have handled this incredibly difficult situation. I read in my bible the other day that God gives great honor to those who thank him during difficult times and circumstances. You have DEFINITELY thanked him, and he is giving you great honor. I know Matt is up there running around fully healed and playing football with Jesus and his dad. How awesome! Thank you for continuing to show us the light, and how to gracefully trust Jesus during the storm. Love you and sweet Preslee!

The McGreeveys said...

Julee -
I am honored to read your blog!

This post made me think of a quote from a preacher we listened to in my small group on Monday: "God allows us to go through trials and tragedy so it will increase our platform. The greater the tragedy, the greater the influence He is preparing us for."

God is working a miracle through you during this time, and you are destined to touch lives through your faith and strength!

I am praying for you daily.

Brandi

Holly said...

Thinking of you in Christchurch, New Zealand. I'm glad this blog and other bloggers are helping you.

Kaylee114 said...

Julee dear, You and Preslee are so loved and prayed for by so many people. I am so thankful that you have so many supportive and loving friends and family to surround you during this heartbreaking time.
Your strength inspires me. Just the fact that you can get online and still blog and think of others is a true testament to your faith and strength. You mentioned that Matt was very ill, did the doctors ever say what it was that made him so sick? I have donated to the Preslee college fund, but would also like to donate in memory of Matt to the research of whatever disease Matt was struggling with if you can let me know.
God bless you and Preslee.

Tracee said...

Julee,
I think of you each day, and include you in my prayers. Keep doing what you're doing. Every day put one foot in front of the other, and know that we are praying for strength and peace for you and Preslee.

lnipaver said...

You are such a strong woman. As many other readers do I think of you and Preslee often and pray. Continue to feel the love that each of us,no matter if we have ever met you are not feel for you. I pray for continued strength and peace.

Cory said...

Continued prayers. Since you have had Preslee, and sort of slowed down in the blogging sphere I have for some reason worried or had a sense that something was coming. I couldn't have imagined this. :( But I am so glad for the support you have around you.

Kelly said...

Julee,
Your strength is inspirational. You are walking this road with such amazing grace. Continued prayers to you and Preslee and your families!
Kelly

Unknown said...

Your faithful walk with Jesus is an amazing example for all of us.... Thank you for sharing with your heart, and allowing God to use you to reach so many lost and broken people. I pray that you will continue to find strength in the arms of Jesus!

Haley Nelson said...

Beautiful.

Maryellen said...

Julee, you are a class act!!!
A virtuous women and so very clearly a women of God !
Your post was just beautful.

Matt is proud of you. A real tribute to your love.

I aspire to be the kind of women you so clearly are.

We will keep lifting you and sweet Preslee in prayer - it is our honor.

Love and Blessings from NJ

Joyce Nabors said...

Julee, you are a pillar of strength! You are also an inspiration to us all. I know that God will definitely be using you in the future to help other women who will have to go through a tragedy such as this.

Prayers are with you and sweet Preslee everyday! I know that Matt would be very proud of you!!

The Wallace Family said...

Julee your strength and outlook on life is so inspirational. You have touched so many lives including mine. Although I don't know you personally, I have read your blog for a few years and feel like I know you.

I think about you and sweet Preslee everyday, and I pray that you can keep the strength and outlook you have today.

I will continue to pray for you in the weeks and months to come.

Sending hugs from Kentucky!

LuLu said...

My heart aches for you and Preslee. I am praying for you and your family!

Julie said...

You are simply amazing. May God continue to lay His hands on you.

Sara said...

Julee

Continuing to pray each and every day for you, Preslee, and your families.

Kari said...

<3 hugs <3

Leslie Ball said...

Julee, I don't even know what to say but WOW! Tears wept in my eyes as I read your post and it continues to remind me of the Godly person you have shown and proven to be. I know days will be tough but with faith as strong as you have, you can move mountains!!! Such a nice post to read and I want you to know that through your terrible tragedy, you have been an inspiration to me and I'm sure to so many others. God is using you and your experience in more ways than you will probably ever know. Don't ever change-we need people like you to inspire and encourage us! really!! And to think that you are the one who has suffered. Know that we think about you often and will continue to pray for you and your family. Hugs ;)

Kelly said...

Julee - you have always been one of my favorite people but you have just been so amazing and so strong. I know this is hard but I know God is carrying you.
I do think your infertility was a way He was trying to show you to trust Him. I know it was a hard lesson but you know that after that dark, horrible time - you got a wonderful blessing in that beautiful baby. And one day I know you will feel happiness again.
I'm so inspired to me more like you. And to be more like Matt.

Auntie Mip said...

Julee,

Courage

: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty
Merrimack-Webster.com

You are courage personified! I continue with my prayer that you feel that warm, waterfall of peace in the moments you need it the most. That you find joy in the many beautiful memories of yur sweet Matt. That Preslee be blessed with a lifethat is rich in tales of a her father who loved her so much and with men who will love her as her father would in her uncles and grandfathers and beyond.

With prayers for peace, comfort and sleep.

Stacy F. from Arkansas said...

Julee,
What an inspiration and AMAZING woman of God that you are...truly. I pray for you to be surrounded by people who love and adore you that can be the hands and feet of Jesus. You are a blessing to so many people and I know that through all of this that many have come to know Jesus as their Saviour.

In Christ,
Stacy Featherston
Searcy, AR

Amber said...

Julee, I just love you and Preslee. I only know you through your blog, but God brings you to my mind several times a day and I"m praying for you. My heart aches for you. Love and prayers, Amber

The Bryan Family said...

I personally don't know you (read your blog), but know I am praying for you, your precious baby girl, & fur baby. God will carry you through this storm. Praying for you daily in NC. Amanda

Kristin said...

The strength you have in your heart is something I truly admire. God only deals you a hand that he thinks you can handle. While it was Matt's time when it should not have been, you and Preslee now have a special guardian angel in heaven. I know he will be proud of the woman you raise Preslee to be. My mother went through a similar situation to you losing my father in a car accident when it was unexpected and was forced to raise 5 kids (she didn't know she was pregnant with her 5th, aka me) on her own. Days will be tough but I have faith you will be able to handle it all.

Your faith is something to admire. God bless you and sweet little Preslee!

Alyssa said...

Julee, you and Preslee are thought of so often and prayed for so much. Your faith is inspiring. Thank you for allowing so many to join in your memories. You two are so loved!

Tricia Fontenot said...

Julee, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and Preslee. I know how you feel. I too lost my husband in an accident at a very young age almost 14 years ago. I was left to raise our only child, a daughter, alone. That time was the most difficult time of my life. With faith in God and devotion to my daughter, I was able to survive. My daughter is now 18 years old and we are doing well. Her dad would be so proud of the young woman she has become! May God wrap his arms around you in this most difficult time.

Tricia

Tamara said...

Julee,my heart hurts for you and your sweet baby girl but I know God has His loving arms wrapped around you and will carry you through. Praying for you both. With love from Texas.

terrimatthews said...

74Hi Julee,my name is Terri Matthews. I read about you husband on Kellys blog. My husband passed away in July 2010. I tried emailing you but the email address I got off your blog did not work. I would like to write to you so if you would like me to you can give me your email. Keeping you in my prayers.
Terri
terrimatthews@comcast.net

The Trombly's said...

Julee,

I continue to keep you and Preslee in my prayers and think about you daily. My heart still aches that you have to experience this. I am simply brought to tears by each of your posts. Continue to remain strong and trust in the Lord. He has you wrapped in his arms on this journey.

Hugs, Nicole

Mere said...

Your strength and outlook are amazing. There is no doubt that God has His hand on you and Preslee. I think about you often and continue to pray for you.

lindsay said...

Julee you and Preslee are so so loved. both you and Matt are such an example to me - your perseverance, your joy, your positive attitude, your grace and strength in trials. i have followed your blog for a while since i also went to obu and i think and pray for you daily. one of my favorite bands (A Fine Frenzy) has a song that you might like right now. It's called Last of Days - one of the main lines says "the world carries on without you but nothing remains the same" - i am praying for you as you miss everything about Matt and your life together. you are doing such an amazing job and i know the Lord and Matt are so proud of you.

Jen said...

God has prepared you for this, no doubt! Brad and I also struggled with infertility, and I, too, felt it was a stepping stone preparing me for the loss of Brad. It is so comforting to read that you know God is in control. Anger is really not an emotion that I have dealt with, so don't be surprised if you never do, or it's a passing thing. My advice, as someone who is just a couple of years down the road in a similar journey, is to remember this is YOUR journey, and your grieving. Don't let anyone put a timetable on your grief. It is not a journey anyone would choose, but God will be with you every step...there will be days that are racer than others, but you have a tremendous advantage in that you know Matt is with Jesus (maybe he and Brad have met and are playing golf or talking about the Hogs!)
You are in my prayers, sweet sister, and if I can ever do anything for you, please do not hesitate to contact me! {{hugs}}}
Jennifer Mooney
(Ps, I am Shea Deimel's aunt...)

Elizabeth said...

You are so amazing! Praise Jesus that He has overcome tomb and we can have no fear in death! Lifting ya'll up often!

Erin Friedman said...

Continuing to pray for you and sweet Preslee everyday!!!

asrubin10 said...

Thinking of you often....

Kelley said...

Julee,

You have been in so many of my thoughts and each time the Lord brings you to my mind and heart, I pray. Know that many are praying for you so often. Though I don't actually know you and didn't know Matt, I have been reading your blog for a few years and feel like I know you. His passing has really impacted my life in seeing what an impact he made on people every day. It makes us all want to strive to be the person God wants us to be. Your strength and hope are amazing. Keep clinging to God.He's our only hope.

jxv said...

Julie I can not even begin to understand what you are going through but know Matt is ALWAYS with you and P. Not only will God and prayer pull through, Matt will too. You and P have the most special angel seeing you through life.
Although I never had the pleasure of meeting you or Matt I feel like I am one of your friends. I watched Matt on the news nightly for years and have read your blog for years. I love how open and honest you are:)
Prior to this, I did not know Matt was sick. One day in the future would you please share his struggles.
I pray in the future you can find comfort in life and remember your angel is watching you, forever and always.

MD said...

I am not sure how I found your blog, but I have read your blog for about a year now. When I heard the news of what had happened to Matt, I was devestated. I watched the funeral and cried with everyone who had the honor of knowing him. He was truly an inspiration, and so are you Julee. Preslee is one lucky little lady, and even though she won't grow up with her Daddy, I know that she will know what a wonderful Father and man he was, and how much he loved her. I am so sorry for your loss, but grateful for the fact that you all will be united again one day in Heaven. Keep the faith that God is in control, and even though you don't understand right now why this happpened, you will understand one day when God's plan is revealed. I am praying for you daily. - Megan

Kathryn said...

Julee ~ you and Preslee are constantly in my thoughts and my prayers for you both continue.

Lindsay said...

you are such an incredibly strong woman! you have been in my prayers sweet girl.

Sam Dowdy Jr said...

Julee,
My name is Sam Dowdy and we dont know each other. I know in the near future you will be getting alot of messages from different people that are in your shoes right now. I want let you know that a friend of mine that reads your blogs told me about you and your situation. I read your blog this morning and it is just amazing to see your stength in your time of darkness. I lost my wife in a car accident 3 months, along with my 3 children, all boys. Liz was the love of my life and my boys were the light of my life. Fischer (3) Ben (2) and Hayes was unborn. It hurts deeply yo just talk about them beacause I miss them so much.

I have put all my trust in God and am thankfull for the gifts that he has given me for the last 7 years. I miss them with every part of me. I want to let you know that I am here to just listen if you need someone to talk to. I also know that I am a total stranger but sometimes its just easier to talk to someone that doesnt really know you and your past. You will be writing a new chapter in your book of life. I will be praying for you and your family. If you want to talk you can find me on facebook under Sam Dowdy Jr, not Sr or I can just send you my #.

Becky said...

Julee - Grief has so many stages, and you will find all of them. You are so very blessed to have such an amazeing support group. I can understand Matt's health frustrations. When I was 10 my parents had to bring me back to the US from overseas for tests because of health issues. They were never determined, and never resolved and I still struggle all these years later. My symptoms are what I hate most about myself. One thing I really love about your family is your love for pets! :) I watched my bff bid her daughter good-bye as her body rejected a heart/lung transplant. They talked openly with her about how she would never go on to college, get married, have children. God had other plans for her. So did He with Matt. One thing I do know - you can always trust His heart. Always. Even when answers He does not impart. I am praying for you, Preslee, and Matt's family.

Jessica OnlineParentDeals said...

Hi Julee I ran across your blog from a lady that posted a blog in tribute to your husband. I just wanted to say God is watching over you and your family. And remember keep your head up through all life trials and never give up on life and always remember God has his angels covering you and they are right now holding you and your baby girl! Keep your head up. -Jessyka from Atlanta Georgia

~Shelly~ said...

I dont even know you and I am crying some big tears right now. My heart hurts for you and Preslee! Bless you and your sweet family. You can do this. One day at a time.

doo-dah said...

What a wonderful post Julee. I only "know" you from reading your blog the last several years, still I have been lifting you and Preslee up in prayer. It blesses me so much that you are willing to glorify God in these extremely hard times in your life. May you feel God's nearness in a special way today.

Lindsey @ Let the Light Shine said...

You are TRULY an inspiration! So thankful that you see Jesus through all of this. This is the first time I have ever read your blog, but I will pray that the Lord will be with you and sweet Preslee. God bless you!

Love Being A Nonny said...

Julee, Please save all your posts and comments for your precious Preslee. She has an amazing mommy. Her daddy is proud. Love from North Carolina.

Rory said...

Your strength and grace are an inspiration. I was listening to a cd in my car and the song "It is well with my soul" came in and I just started crying and thinking I how you are handling all this. That song was written by a man that had experienced heartbreak and loss over and over and still said, "whatever my lot, you have taught me to say, it is well with my soul.". Stay strong!

Jenny said...

Your strength continues to amaze me every day. You don't know me, but I have read your blog for several years. I can not imagine the heartbreak that you are going through. I am so glad that you have such wonderful friends, family and precious Preslee to get you through this very difficult time. I will continue to pray for your family.

Brooke said...

Dear Julee - your blog friends are here for you and praying for you daily. It is so wonderful to "hear" from you during this difficult time, but I hope it helps you to talk about Matt and how you're feeling. Love to you and Preslee.

Maurie said...

I continue to pray for you and your family as you walk through this valley. You are not alone.

Jordyn Nadler said...

Julee,

I have been a silent observer, reading your blog since you started your battle with infertility. Even though I didn't know you, I could see in your pictures and posts how happy you were with Matt and when Preslee was born, that love grew beyond your own belief.

You are an absolutely amazing person and Matt was lucky to have a woman like you in his life and Preslee is beyond blessed to have you as a mother.

We may never meet in life, but i just wanted to let you know that the blog community is here for you right now, as am I. Don't be afraid to hold anything back! All we want is for our love to be shared with you.

Praying for you, your family and friends, and of course, your beautiful baby girl!

Love,
Jordyn

Kaye A said...

Julee, although I have never met you I can tell you are an amazing person. It is nice to see someone actually living thier faith rather than just talking about it. I did not know Matt well, but did know his father very well. He was my pastor for many years. I e-mailed Matt at KNWA a few years back and told him I was so happy to be watching him on the sports. The next week he came out to our high school football game so we could get re-aquainted. He knew that I was on the sidelines as well.He had a way of making eveyone feel significant.Being from Arkadelphia, I was so glad to watch Matt here in NWA for so many years. It was like having a little bit of home for me. My heart aches for you, Preslee, Lisa, Andy and the rest of the family. I am glad to know Matt is with his eathly Dad and they are both now healed and are both with thier Heavenly Father. You and Preslee are in my prayers.Stay strong in the Lord.HE will help you through.