About Me

South Africa
My husband, Brett and I live in beautiful South Africa and have been blessed with the most precious family. We have 2 very beautiful and brave daughters, Tianna and Angelee and a very precious little boy called Zac who touched our hearts forever in his 1 day here on earth. We never would have imagined that we would have to live this side of Heaven without our sweet boy who was born with half a heart, but every day Jesus carries us through and is teaching us more than ever how to live, laugh and love fully. A year and a half later, our faithful Great Restorer graciously blessed us once again with another son ... our beloved Gabriel ... a ray of sunshine in all our lives! This blog has been a place where I have been able to journal my journey through loss, hope and choosing to live a life rich in love.

Blog Archive

09 October 2011

The Hours that Changed our Hearts Forever

I am writing to you today, finally being home. What a surreal few weeks we have just lived through. It feels to us like time stood still as everything in our hearts and lives would be changed forever.
Brett and I are finally ready to begin sharing some of the deep things that have forever changed our hearts and shown us Jesus more clearly than we have ever seen Him. Let me start by showing you the precious son who Jesus hand picked to give to us to shape our hearts forever with Love ... our precious Zac David.
These are our most treasured memories as a family. A little boy who was only given to us to hold in our arms for 21 and a half hours taught us and filled our hearts more than a lifetime may have brought, on how to love more deeply than we have ever known. This little man pointed us to Jesus and showed us how to believe. The gifts our son gave us are eternal gifts that hold more value than any earthly treasure ever could. He showed us what true "heart peace" is, even in the midst of the deepest storm and pain of loss. While we prayed for a heart miracle for him ... it was he who gave to all who came to know his life and story, the gift of a heart miracle. He showed people what true heart peace really is ... seeing Jesus as the loving God that He is - a God who stands closest to the broken hearted. While we never got the full miracle of his heart being healed this side of Heaven, God gave to us and him so many miracles along the way. Eternal gifts of everlasting life. For a little boy who only had half a heart - only the right side of his heart ... in our eyes, he had the biggest heart we have ever known. As a family we called him our "lion heart. Jesus somehow gave physical peace and no pain to him in the hours that Zac graciously gave us as his family. We got to hold him and hear his precious baby cries. He even suckled at his mommy's breasts. He was rocked to sleep in his daddy's arms (who adores him more than words could ever say) ... hearing songs of love, worship, prayers and blessings.
He was sung countless songs by his two big sisters who in my eyes are the 2 proudest and bravest big sisters, handpicked from God. I'm so blessed by the love they lavished on their little brother throughout my pregnancy and all the hours they had with him. They each held him and kissed him countless times. 
I will forever be thankful for the kisses I got to lavish on my little boy. He just is the sweetest little love boy I ever held. 
Oh my goodness ... we were given so many amazing memories and moments with our love boy and ultimately the gift of seeing him entering Glory while being in the arms of his mommy as his daddy prayed blessings and lavished all our love over him. These are moments that define and change your life forever. Encountering the presence of God in your highest and lowest moments and being carried by the same arms that received our son into glory. These are just some of the moments that have shaped us as a family together.  
So many have reached out to us along this road that we have and are busy walking. To each of you we thank you for believing with us for the gift Jesus gave us in Zac. We thank you for the love, encouragement, prayers and gifts of love you have sent us. People ask us all the time how our faith is. We want you to know that we believe more fully now than we ever had. Zac's life showed us the heart of Jesus. We know that God has used this little boys life to bring healing to so many and the value is of Eternal value. 
In the midst of our greatest pain, God has given us the greatest love. May you today feel those Everlasting arms and see His eyes of love and continue to discover "heart peace" even as we continue to.
All our love and gratitude,
Janine & Brett 


Susan A said...

Zac looks so beautiful.

When we are with Him, He will wipe away our tears.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.(Rev 21:4,5)

"Because of Christ, we will meet again."

Mama to 4 said...

Mama -
I am so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you and your family. I am praying for your family. You are amazing - I have been a believer since 2002 and I do not think I have the faith like you - praise God. Thank you for sharing your story, when my 4 kids wake up this morning I will hug and kiss them and never take them for granted again after reading your story. Hugs mama

pglm said...

thank you for sharing your faith in the midst of such great pain....I am holding you all in my prayers...I am so sorry. p

Anonymous said...

Little Zac 'The Lion Heart of Jesus!
xx Love, Debra xx

Tracy said...

Janine - you and your family are an awesome testimony and I will continue to pray for you guys for strength for each day and for your 'heart peace' to remain firm.
God bless

Cynthia said...

We had a baby daughter who passed away prior to birth. As heartwrenching as the experience was, I agree with every word that you say in terms of growth and spiritual understanding. It allows for an education that you cannot put into words and an awareness that the little baby that you hold in your arms is so cherished and loved by our Heavenly Father. My heart is both heavy for your family and inspired by your love of the Lord and clarity of life's purpose. Prayers will be said for your family today....

Niqui said...

My Precious Jan,
What a wonderful post. Our little Zac taught me so much too :) I am grateful for those precious moments we shared together.

I love you my treasure sis with all my heart xx

Beth said...

Thank you for sharing. I pray God gives all of you peace that passes all understanding Looking forward to meeting your Zac one day!

Dardi said...

Thank you for allowing us to be part of your life so intimately. Your family is precious & it is an honor to be able to come alongside you. Sending hugs from Ohio.

Janine said...

Dear Brett and Janine,
I'm praying God will continue to encourage and comfort your beautiful family. Thank you for sharing your story,
Love Janine H.

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Sobbing. But so in awe of your most remarkable outlook and strength. You are such an inspiration!


Jedidja said...

Thank you for sharing this all with us.

Hansina said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart and how the Lord has brought you through this great loss. What a beautiful testimony of God's love. Praying for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful testimony! Praying for you as you continue to walk this road.
(One of Adeye's blog fans)

Sandryte said...

What a beautiful beautiful boy! Such a short life, such a big impact on all of us!

Shelby said...

Praying for your precious family. These pictures bring me to tears, as does your amazing testimony. May God continue to carry you. Much love in Christ, Shelby

Judy Glasgo said...

Oh Janine,
My heart goes out to you & your beautiful family. Zac and his sisters are beautiful. Only God could give the heart peace you describe, and I'm so glad your family's love and faith in Him are strong. Sending prayers and love from San Diego~Judy

Team Bedzyk said...

Beautiful family, beautiful hearts. So touched by your journey and your faith. Continued prayers for healing for your family.

Renata said...

Praying for you all. Thank you for sharing your amazing witness ~ your son is beautiful.
Renata XO

Lorraine, AKA Forever Blessed said...

There's a book called Have Heart that is a fabulous book written by a grieving dad/pastor. It brought so much healing to our hurting hurts as we learned to live without our daughter on earth. The book is available on Amazon, but I'm not sure about shipping to South Africa! HaveHeart.net is the website of the family who wrote the book, and that site is in memory of their son. There's some amazing Truth taught through that book that really helps us to know more about heaven and our children there. Since heaven suddenly has an address for those with a loved one living there, I highly recommmend this book.

Also, there's a site specifically for parents who have lost babies called Baby Lost.

There's another amazing mom who lost her son at birth who started a ministry to write heaven-children's names in the sand and photograph them...BEAUTIFUL work. She does it for free, and her photography is just beautiful. The site is: http://carlymarieprojectheal.com/

We will keep you in our prayers. This path is so hard, but Jesus triumphs and He is so very faithful. He will carry you when you cannot walk, He will comfort you when you cannot stop crying, He will hold you when you cannot sit alone.

gracefullyHis said...

Thank you for so openly sharing the struggle you and your family are facing. What a gorgeous baby boy. Praising God for His faithfulness in comforting you and your family. Your faith is a beautiful gift. May God make His face to shine upon you and allow you to feel His love surrounding you.

Psalm 143:8
Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning,
for I am trusting you.
Show me where to walk,
for I give myself to you.

Trisha said...

God bless you for the beautiful way you've glorified Him in this hard providence. Your son is so precious! I rejoice with you in the truth that you'll be with him again one day.

Susan said...

I am so pleased that you were able to spend time with him as a family, that he wasn't in pain, that he got to know the love of his family. This is the most beautiful post I have ever read. With tears streaming down my face I passed the computer to my husband, who also was deeply touched. In the midst of your loss, thank you for sharing the story of the love within your family.

God's peace be with you.