EDIT: (9:05am) Please pray for my friend Amy and her husband Billy. They found out at their 20-week ultrasound (in Nov.) that their baby, Abigail, would not live. She has triploidy and stopped growing around 16 weeks. Amy has carried her almost full-term. Abigail’s heart stopped beating this week, and she’s with Jesus. Amy is being induced tonight at 7:00 to deliver Abigail. I doubt she’ll even get to hold her. Please pray for Amy and Billy. They are trusting so sweetly in God, but their hearts are breaking.

I desperately need to get the focus off myself and back where it belongs. My face is healing, my children are recovering, and I’m trying to pick up the pieces of our “normal” life. I don’t exactly feel up to the task. I was envisioning the Lenten season as a calm, happy, reflective time.

Seems God had a different sort of time in mind.

I’m asking you to pray for some sweet people today. First of all, many of you have followed Baby Cora’s story. She was 10 months old in January and battling an ear infection when she was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma (cancer). She died a couple weeks later, just 11 months old. Her first birthday is today, March 5th, and I can barely see through my tears to type these words. I don’t know Cora’s family personally, but I’ve fallen in love with them, and my heart hurts so badly for them. Please pray for them today, and let them know you are. Their strength in the midst of their pain is unreal. God’s grace is so evident in their lives. I can’t imagine how much they miss their darling girl.

And while you’re praying for Cora, please pray for Kara. We met Kara when we worked at a church camp a few years ago. She’s a beautiful 20-year-old girl who was in a terrible car accident one month ago today and just came home from the hospital. She has a long, long road ahead of her. She was supposed to be in Mexico on a missions trip this week, but instead, she’s confined to bed with broken bones and all kinds of injuries. Please pray for God to give her some extra-special encouragement today.

I feel overwhelmed. By my own little pitiful pain. By the pain and suffering I see all around me. By getting our taxes in order and my house cleaned for an out-of-town guest tomorrow, writing, getting the girls caught up on their schoolwork, wanting to make a difference, wanting to be less self-absorbed and more giving. Too overwhelmed to even list the rest. Too overwhelmed to even know what all is overwhelming me.

Some days I’m just plumb ready for Jesus to return.

19 thoughts on “drowning

  1. Lauren

    I have had the pain on the side of my face. First thought to be a toothache, but after 2 doc appts and LOTS of drugs, the diagnosis was changed to trigeminal neuralgia. The doctor prescribed an anti-seizure medicine that I elected to not take. I couldn’t see myself taking that medicine indefinately. (Although the pain was worse than both of my natural childbirth experiences.) Instead, I went to a Reflexologist. Within the hour, my pain was gone and hasn’t returned. It has been 4 months since the flare-up. I have basically been pain-free without meds. I refer to this ailment as “nerves gone wild”. I wish you the best of luck and I will pray for you. I do understand your pain.

  2. Colleen

    Marla, I’ve been feeling the same lately…that feeling like I can’t get done what I need or want to accomplish and yet don’t even know what THAT all entails either…it’s just a big pile of stuff in my head that I can’t even begin to categorize…thanks for being real and keeping it in perspective!

  3. Kori (PrincessSpider)

    Overwhelmed… with hurts, with commitments, with problems and with questions… they just all seem to hit at once. Satan is a sneaky, sneaky guy and I think he is working triple time right now. I really needed to be reminded to take my focus off of what is going wrong right now and remember who is in control and who has THE plan.

    I had been following Cora’s story on their blog when I was contacted through a previous customer on Etsy, she had read the story and wanted to do something to help. She started the Etsy movement to raise money to help build Cora’s Playground… the last I heard Etsy sellers had raised over $15,000 for this sweet family, we all donated today, on what would have been Cora’s 1st birthday.

  4. Emily

    Marla – Thank you for being so candid and so real. It’s so easy to become wrapped up in frustration and discontentment, isn’t it? In those times, I must force myself to quiet my mind and remember what the truth is – that God has not forgotten me, he knows my pain and my hurt, and that He is full of overflowing love and mercy. I’ll be praying for your heart to comforted during this time.

  5. Sarah

    Thanks for putting things into perspective for me today. I sometimes get overwhelmed with the things going on in my life and then you hear the stories of people like you mentioned and WOW – it really really puts things into perspective. I just prayed for all of them.

  6. Shelly

    FWIW, I would imagine Amy and Billy would get to hold Abigail if they want to. Hospital staff usually do all they can to accomodate the parents and take care of them in cases like this, giving them all the time they need to be with the baby. Of course, I’m sure there are exceptions, but there’s hope.

  7. Laurie

    AMEN! Come, Lord Jesus Come! I’m right there with you – dropping off tax stuff this morning, have a Girls Night Out here at my house tomorrow night to clean and prepare for, a trip to Wally-World (if that doesn’t completely stress you out I don’t know what will!!), etc., etc. Then as I was working out this morning, Casting Crowns was singing “In Me” and the line “I’ll never get by living on my own ability…it’s the power of Christ IN ME.” When I am weak, He is Strong. During this Lent season, I’ve chosen the same as you to be more intentional with my time with the Lord and give back to Him, focus on Him. Through hearing about the sufferings of others, I’ve spent more time in prayer before Him and praising Him for WHO He is, so although I definitely feel overwhelmed, I’ve also experienced being still and knowing Him a little more. So glad you are feeling better and making baby steps back to normal life. I just know if I lived near you we’d be friends!

  8. Sarah S

    I heard about Kara’s accident from a friend in the Cedarville Fire Dept. I’m so glad to hear she is home and making progress in her recovery!

  9. Denise

    i will certainly be praying! I can’t imagine what Amy and Billy are going through, it breaks my heart…I just want to hug them the next time I see them!

    Praying for the rest too! Praying for you!

  10. Kaye

    Amen on your last statement!
    I will be sure to visit the sites of those hurting today to let them know they will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Blessings to you and yours today and always,
    Matthew 21:22

  11. Megan @ Hold it UP to the Light

    My heart is breaking for Cora, too, and for so many others. I have a sweet friend named Mary (9 years old) who may be facing her fourth brain surgery this month later today. She was born with hydrocephalus and they can’t seem to get her shunt working properly. Her pain is hurting me….

    I’m with you on the Jesus thing. I think that maybe these times are here to remind us how sweet it’s going to be on the other side! I’m praying for you today!

  12. Missy

    So glad that you are finally feeling some relief! I think I missed something somewhere. I remember about the TMJ and the neuralgia, but are you doing or taking anything to ease the pain, or is it clearing up without? Praise God!!!

    I hear you on the Jesus returning thing…I think that a lot. Your sufferings don’t need to be of the same nature as or worse than someone else’s to matter to us or to God. And feelings certainly aren’t reserved for only the tragic moments in our lives. Praying for Cora, and Kara, and YOU, my dear. 🙂

  13. ginger

    I am with you on the overwhelmed thing. I have been burdened to pray for you as often as I think of you. Mothering while sick is one of the hardest things I have ever done. But God is faithful & full of grace.

  14. Marla


    I love reading your blog, it makes me feel like I’m not the only one that is going through struggles. Just today I was feeling overwhelmed with struggles in our life, feeling regretful over things that I shared and said to others, by mistakes I made in mothering. I had to just stop and pray, “God…please help me not to be so hard on myself.” I think sometimes as mothers we work so hard and struggle so much but also litterately mentally abuse ourselves. We would never dare speak to our children the way that we speak to ourselves and put them under the same amount of pressure we but on us. Anyway, just know I understand the feeling of being overwhelmed (don’t we all) but you are in my prayers and hope all those pieces get put together beautifully again. Kara and Cora’s family are in my prayers.

  15. Jen

    Amen sister….I am right there with you. At times, it’s overwhelming to witness all that is around me. Thanks for sharing your heart.

  16. sarah gillard

    i have been praying for you consistently. for your pain, for your sweet heart that is too soft for this world. for your fascinating way that you are able to put into words things that i think. please know that there are people that you hardly know thinking of you. btw, you can be overwhelmed, you can be underwhelmed, can you ever just be whelmed? something to think about….: )

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