The Refiner’s Fire – Our Story

My husband and I met on a blind date.

We have been married for 25 years, and now have ten children.  Ten here and seven with the Lord.

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Young and full of an eager desire to start a family, we were excited to find out we were expecting a few months after we were married.

This pregnancy ended with a miscarriage after 6 weeks, with the pain that a young mothers heart endures at this stage was something new to me, and it was raw.

Our marriage was built on a Biblical Foundation, and so the Lord gave me comfort thru this time of loss.

Hope renewed, we discovered we were expecting again 6 months later, and the excitement turned to severe morning sickness, that led to medical treatment . The Dr.’s prescribed medicine to combat the sickness, and at 16 weeks, we returned to the Dr. for the scheduled ultrasound.

It was here that we were told to come back 4 weeks later to follow up on a few concerns.  Those were four very long weeks.

My husband was not able to return with me to this appt. and so a close friend of mine came along for support. She sat patiently in the waiting room, not knowing that just down the hall, the worst news a mommy could hear were being given to me.

The Dr. asked me to sit down in his office while he told me that our baby had no kidneys, that they could see, and that she would not be born alive, if she made it far into the pregnancy at all.

He referred us to a specialist, and that was all he had to say.

I remember walking out of the office, completely drowning in sadness, and not even able to speak to my friend, or look at the rest of the expecting moms in the waiting room.

They gave us a choice – jump start labor, and “save ourselves” from unnecessary grief,, OR, carry her to term and “hope” for the best.

The drive home was as if I was outside of my body. I can remember looking at all of the people in the cars driving past me,, with what seemed that had no care in the world, and I was alone – mentally checking out of this pregnancy.

We chose to carry our little girl to term. We had many prayers surrounding us the entire time. I received numerous cards of encouragement, and phone calls from many that said they were praying.

But, the grief was deep. Deeper than I ever thought I could feel,, far away from God’s love and comfort. I was keeping Him at arm’s length.

As her birth drew near, a particular Hymn became dear to my Heart – Nearer, Still Nearer.

She was born on October 10, 1990, after a long and painful labor. Breech position, no fluid – but a perfectly formed, beautiful little baby girl,, who spent 30minutes alive in our arms – granting me the largest blessing for that day. She was perfect. We felt the Lord’s presence,, the Holy Spirit standing there beside us every bit of those 30 minutes. I was at such peace. We took sweet pictures of her,,prayed, and sang, and will always thank the Lord for those precious moments with our Elisabeth.

Her funeral came shortly after, and I will never forget that day. There was such an outpouring of love from those we knew,, and even strangers we had never met.

The song, Nearer Still Nearer became a larger part of who I am today.

That day, as we buried our little baby girl to rest, my heart broke into a million pieces. I could not walk away from her grave. I felt as if I was abandoning her – it was all so wrong. A mommy is suppose to comfort and nurture her baby. How can this be?

The Lord had His plans.. and I was being molded into a new creation.

Then, why did we again, after this, experience another miscarriage? Only He has the answers, and I have learned His plans are best. He only wants what is good for me. Did I find it through these times?

It is now 1992, and a healthy baby boy was born into our arms. This pregnancy brought its own set of complications, but our Benjamin came home with us. Vibrant, and bringing a JOY that I can never explain. Every moment with a long awaited baby seems to be tri-fold emotion. Thank you Lord.

In 1993, we were again given another baby, a healthy baby girl.

And then in 1995 – another healthy baby boy.

It was in 1996, that we were surprised to find out that we were expecting identical twin boys. My nervousness quickly gave way to excitement. It was strange to me though, that after 16 weeks, my measurements were way off, and I was growing faster than normal. We quickly found out that I was experiencing something called Twin to Twin Transfusion, and our lives were in danger. The twins and mine. I was measuring 40 weeks at 16 weeks, and had to make the trip to the Dr. 2 -3 times a week for quarts of fluid to be drawn off ( amniocentesis).

This was so painful. Physically and emotionally. The pain of every day was almost unbearable. The extra ultrasounds gave us a rare view of our babies growing daily. What a hidden blessing to see them so often. The Dr. informed us that if we were able to carry them to 26 weeks, we would do an early C-Section, and hopefully stabilize them in ICU. Each of our baby boys had their own personality. The little window we had to see them grow allowed us to bond, beyond the movement in the womb. They were so active. The Dr.’s defined them as Baby A and Baby B.. but we named them Luke and Aaron.

Why do I fight the Will of God , when I KNOW He loves me beyond compare? I “fought” this plan daily , as I carried the twins each day. I knew that if my life was in danger, then I might leave my three precious babies without a mommy,, and then if I was ok, then the twins might not make it? Where did my Faith go?

He was refining me.

At week 24, I awoke in the middle of the night to the twins movement, and a battle raged within my heart. “God,, WHY?” I surrendered on my knees that night, asking Him to Have His Will, and give Him the Glory. I love you Lord,, please give me the strength to endure this.”

The next night, something different woke me up. The twins had stopped moving. I knew. I would never see my babies alive. They were resting in His arms. Safe.

After a long and emotionally trying birth, our baby boys were placed in our hands, and we bathed them and gave them our good-byes. It was an exceptionally difficult moment ,, handing them over to be taken from us. So unnatural.

Their funeral was numbing. We were treading water,, waiting for a rescue of time alone.

The healing came slow. Very slow. We both felt as if we had just been through a storm and were weathered beyond repair.

But it came.. by His Grace,, and Mercy.

He had never left us,, and if we didn’t know His love personally, then would have completely drowned in waves of grief.

He carried us through.

After the twins were born, we had three little girls,, one year apart each.

And then we experienced another miscarriage.

There is something about a loss after such grief – it is almost as if you know what your heart is going to feel, and because we knew that God had never left us before, and so we were able to rest on His promises.

Our baby boy , Sam was born after this miscarriage. Beautiful, and healthy.

Then another Miscarriage.

And then 2 more girls. Oh,, how precious they are to us. Sweet. They bring us so much Joy.

The Lord refined me through the 20 years that we have shared in marriage, and I know he will continue to.

But, I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I never thought that I would say that.

I am only the person that I am today, because of what He brought us through, and How I could find Hope in the Midst of the Storm.

Praise Him with me! He is a Mighty Saving God, and Loves us enough to have the very best.

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  • Reply
    Lynnette Kraft
    March 18, 2009 at 11:14 am

    September, I knew your story – but I had forgotten the details of it through the years…so I was grateful to have the opportunity to read it like this. I forgot that Elisabeth was your first baby.

    The most beautiful part of your story is that you depended on the Lord for his peace, healing and hope. What does a person do through times like this without the Savior? It breaks my heart to think of it.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

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    March 20, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    September, wow – what an amazing story of dependence on God and faith in Him, knowing that He has a plan for everything. I found your blog through MckMama’s, and reading it has touched me. Thank you for sharing your story.

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    March 24, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    wow, this is a very emotional, and touching blog. My heart breaks for your losses, but your strength in God to overcome such loss is heartwarming. Your story brings tear to my eye and joy to my heart, thank you so much. THIS IS FAITH! -DP101#1FAN

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    April 15, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    I’m just now reading your story. I got pregnant only a few months after getting married and suffered a miscarriage at 8 weeks. It was devastating. I can’t imagine dealing with that over and over and the losses of your other children. What a blessing that you were able to lean on your faith and praise God!

    Thank you for sharing your story.

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    May 2, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Thank you for sharing this. It touched me. Bless you!

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    May 8, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    I stopped over today to read your story. Isn’t God amazing? He can carry us through. Thanks for encouraging me today with your words. God Bless your precious family.

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    May 9, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    You stopped by my blog and I appreciate it.

    So I hopped on over to read your story. My heart goes out to you.
    But we serve an awesome God. And tho we cannot always know why he does things the way he does, he is always right there by our side.

    Have a wonderful Mother’s Day.!

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    May 13, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    My Goodness. I am glad to have read your story. I am in awe at the trials you and your family have experienced. I know it was God who pulled you through over the years – you have experience so much pain and heartache and yet you are standing up today! My heart breaks to learn your story. My mother lost a baby to CDH in 1988 and I only recent was able to open up with her about how she made it through. I just had my own little boy 6 months ago and becoming a mother opened my eyes to many things. You inspire me to know that we ARE able – with the help of God alone. Thank you for visiting my blog.

    Something else we have in common – met our husbands on a blind date 🙂

  • Reply
    May 14, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. It is evident how strong your faith is. I have lost two babies and it’s truly something you never get over. However, it does make me appreciate and love on the four precious boys I do have here with me.
    P.S. My husband and I were also engaged within months after meeting… and nineteen years later, still madly in love!

  • Reply
    June 26, 2009 at 2:35 am

    I don't think I've ever been here before, which is why I read "your story." It is beautiful. I am always heartbroken to read about others in this "club" that no one really wants to be a part of, but I rejoice in what the Lord has done through your sorrow.

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    Mom Putnam
    July 22, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    My oh my, you have endured more than any one woman should but in the midst of it all what strength and faith you have shown. This is something that I long to have and work at it every day and you have given me hope and something to cling too. Thank you. We never know how much we touch others lives.
    Linda (Holly's mom and Carleigh's grandma)

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    September 25, 2009 at 1:45 am

    Wow! I am an awe! Thanks for sharing your story. I will be thankful for the trials I have gone through that have refined me to the person I am today. Thanks for that reminder.

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    September 30, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Your blog is so incredibly encouraging! Please keep writing!!

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    October 16, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Wow. I had to stop reading this often…just to get through. And this IS your life. Oh my oh my. What an amazing woman, mother, child of God you truly are. I don't know how you could ever have kept on…except that I know you gave it all to God. There is special place in Heaven for people like you…I'd like to think it's right in the midst of all the little ones….It was very nice to visit your blog and see the beautiful faces on it…I will definitely keep coming back!

  • Reply
    October 21, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Wow! I was so moved by your story. You have been through so much! Only God's grace could have carried you through all of this! I realize anew how blessed I have been to have TEN healthy children!

    I am really looking forward to reading more of your blog!!


  • Reply
    inadvertent farmer
    October 30, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Thanks you for sharing…you are an inspiration for what God can do to heal our hearts. I lost twin girls to TTTS and have never had to lean on God as much as I have concerning faith, forgiveness, and healing…

    Again, thank you. Kim

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    March 9, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Oh September, what a lot to go through. Where would we be without our awesome God!


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    May 24, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story with others and reminding us that God will carry us through any storm that comes our way.

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    Teresa @ ♥ TOO MANY HEARTBEATS ♥
    June 7, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Hi, September! (What a beautiful name!)

    I happened upon the link to your blog over on Blog Frog and I have spent A LOT of time reading your posts, including this one that tells your story. What an amazing testimony and incredible strength you have! I can not begin to imagine the depth of pain that you (and your husband) have been through. I think it is so amazing how you have continued to stand firm in your faith and trust in the Lord. I honestly don't know how people get through great trials and tribulation without leaning on Him.

    I really love your blog and I can't wait to read more. I just became your newest Follower. I love meeting new bloggers, especially fellow sisters in Christ. I would be really honored if you would take a minute to come check out my blog, too.

    I hope you and your precious family have a really wonderful week!

    Many blessings,

    Teresa <><

    ♥ Too Many Heartbeats ♥

  • Reply
    September 23, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    I am visiting from Lynette's blog-and all I can say is wow what an amazing story you have to share.
    I have not walked through the grief of losing a baby after it was born just two in the womb to miscarriages and that was hard enough. I shouldn't be but I am always amazed at God-His plans-what He uses to refine us into gold. My heart ache while reading this as a mama one of the hardest things to endure I think is the lose of a child-even that God knows and understands our pain-He himself has been there too.
    Thank you for sharing your story and for blessing so many through it-for helping reach so many struggling with a loss of a child and for bringing Him glory through it all. I can't wait to read more and to follow your blog.

  • Reply
    September 24, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    What an emotional roller coaster. I now know why you an Lynette have found friendship. I am a little over half your age and have only been married for 4 yrs, but our stories are similar. Through it all I have learned to praise Him through the storm.

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    September 28, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    What a bittersweet story. so much loss and yet so much love. I too had a miscarriage and I cannot imagine the pain of carrying full-term only to say goodbye. Your story of trust and love is inspiring and not only are you changed, but so are the people you share your story with. Rejoicing with you for His blessings. Kelly

  • Reply
    Hannah's Wings
    October 12, 2010 at 5:49 am

    September, I just stumbled across your blog, and I have to say it was a definate God thing!!! You have encouraged me so much today!!! Sometimes, I feel as if I'm of a select few that know the heartache of God rocking my children to sleep at night instead of me. Thank you for your beautiful story!!!

  • Reply
    Mary Kaisand
    November 18, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I found your blog from someone else. Your story is incredible. To God be the glory! Wow, your story will be able to touch so many lives. Thank you!

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    January 7, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I just found your blog from Lynette Kraft's. Thank you for sharing your story. I have experienced the loss of our son almost 2 years ago so I know a little of what you have gone through. But to have lost 3 children plus the ones from your miscarriages…I cannot imagine. Your story and testimony has helped so many I am sure. You are a blessing…I'm so glad I found your blog.

  • Reply
    January 28, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    What an incredible testimony of God's goodness in your lives!! I appreciate it that you continue to point your reader to the LORD all throughout it…so precious!! How much you have suffered and how deep your faith must be because of it. May the LORD continue to give you grace and strength to follow HIM no matter what…for HIS glory! It's lovely to *meet* you.

    Many blessings,

  • Reply
    January 31, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    You have an amazing story! Thank you for sharing it! I look forward to returning to your blog in the future!

    Madeleine Bonin

  • Reply
    May 10, 2011 at 9:44 am


    I "stumbled" upon your blog this morning but we both know there aren't any "stumbles" in His Kingdom 🙂 I read your story and was touched so deeply by your perseverance. God is so amazing! He takes all our broken pieces and creates magnificent beauty. Thank you for being so open about your loss and struggle. I was blessed today because of it. My faith has been renewed and my heart is full. Blessings!


  • Reply
    August 7, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    so glad i "stumbled" upon your blog….God is good like that 😉

    I really enjoyed reading what our mighty Lord has done in your life.

    now following….


  • Reply
    Trina Holden
    November 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    September, I just heard your interview regarding Random Acts of Kindness on FLN. I couldn’t resist connecting with another mommy blogger from our area.
    What an amazing journey you’ve been on – thank you for sharing honestly and authentically.
    I’m curious whether we have ‘nearly’ met – were you at a Selah Concert at FLN in Bath sometime last year? A young man at that concert had bought his mom tickets to the concert and she (you?) went up to sing during the African song Selah always does. I tried to meet the lady after the concert but it was too crowded…
    Would love to connect with you – I’m a mommy blogger with three kids in the fingerlakes area.

    • Reply
      November 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm


      Thank you so much for leaving a comment! You guessed right! That was my son, daughter and I at the Selah concert! And…. I am excited to be in contact with you! Hope you will be able to join in the 12 Days of Random Acts of Kindness!
      (I am emailing you now also. ) 🙂

      • Reply
        Trina Holden
        November 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm

        September, that is so cool! I had such an urge to meet you that day, and now the Lord has connected us again. Looking forward to getting to know you better through your blog. 🙂

  • Reply
    Rhonda @ Abide at Home
    December 6, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    This is my first visit – and I am astounded at your story. It is so encouraging to hear about the comfort that the Lord gave you during so many, and such difficult trials. I just can’t imagine….and frankly, don’t want to imagine – but your story reminds me that no matter what I may face, He is there. And He is enough. But still… God bless you and your family.

  • Reply
    Jessica W.
    January 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Hi September,
    I found you today through the Mod Squad Blog. Wow, what a story. I am amazed and inspired by the perseverance you and your husband carried through your journey. What a blessing to have 10 beautiful children and what peace to know the babies that you are not able to hold today are in heaven with Jesus. I’ve lost 4 babies to miscarriage and I rest in knowing they are with their creator. So good to have discovered your blog and read your story. Blessings!

  • Reply
    Courtney F.
    February 16, 2012 at 10:29 am

    September, I have never known the grief you speak of in this post, I have never been in your shoes, but I am so thankful to have stumbled upon your blog via (in)courage, because today, as I read your story, I was reminded that there isn’t anything He can’t bring us through as long as we lay it all at His feet and trust in His will for us. Thank you for sharing a very personal part of your lives with us. I know you are an inspiration to many who visit here. God bless you!

  • Reply
    April 10, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    oh my september i did not know any of those detailes that i just read about you and your family. i am so thankful for you and your willness to bare your heart and soul. i am going through a refineing period right now myself and you have encouraged me greatly. you are right He never leaves me, He loves and care enough about me to want the very best. His arms are holding me right now as i struggle. i love you lady and like i said i am thankful for you.

  • Reply
    April 24, 2012 at 9:21 am

    I’m finally getting around to perusing your blog.  Thank you for sharing this story. I recently watched dear friends go through the birth of their stillborn son at 8 1/2 months. And I have experienced my own taste of loss. It’s so wonderful to be reminded, again, that God uses everything to mold and refine us. 


  • Reply
    The Protecter Of My Heart – My Mother’s Day Gift
    May 10, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    […] Loss, Grief and Hope […]

  • Reply
    July 2, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    September, I never knew the full story until now. Oh my, God is an ever present help in time of trouble. You bless me.

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    Sonya Schroeder
    July 5, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    WOW ! God is good isnt He September? I dont know how anyone could go through something like this without Christ. Thank you for sharing your story it truly has blessed me in seeing Gods hands through it all! Blessings

  • Reply
    September 17, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Such a beautiful and touching retelling of your story.  Thank you for sharing it so openly.  What beautiful faith that you could still glorify God after enduring so much pain.  Your life is a beautiful reflection of Him.

  • Reply
    Mary Bonner
    November 1, 2012 at 7:33 am

    September, we smiled at each other this past weekend.  We spoke in the elevator, but we didn’t really “connect.”  It wasn’t until Saturday night when Jacque Watkins briefly mentioned that you have lost several children that I knew we had that in common.

    I can relate to so much of this story, especially this line: “But, I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I never thought that I would say that.”  It is exactly how I feel.
    Thank you for sharing.


  • Reply
    November 10, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. It helps. And I cried for you, for me, and all the women who have walked this road with different stories and a common thread. God is sovereign and He loves us and walks with us every step of the way.

  • Reply
    Donna S
    November 29, 2012 at 12:14 am

    I needed to read this tonight.   We have experienced so much loss in the last 2 years, dear friends have lost children to cancer, stillbirth, miscarriage and sudden illness. It is so hard to comprehend the “why” but so comforting  to read: “because we knew that God had never left us before, and so we were able to rest on His promises.”

  • Reply
    Elisa Pulliam
    January 8, 2013 at 10:49 am

    September, the joy in your voice is a true testimony of the grace of God upon your life and the beauty that comes from a full surrender to His will.  Yes, I will praise Him through…the storms…with you!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I cried when I read your story, I experienced miscarriage last December and I was just searching on how to cope up during this times, when the Lord lead me to your blog. Very inspiring and heartwarming. Truly the Lord heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wound. God bless you and more power!

  • Reply
    February 7, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    i read this to my family! what a testimony!!!!
    amazing god! amazing grace!!!

  • Reply
    Katrina Phillippi
    February 12, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Your testimony is such a strong reminder of how faithful God is, even in the darkest storms of our lives!!

  • Reply
    April 21, 2013 at 11:39 am

    i have shared this story- your story- with so many moms because it inspires me so much!

  • Reply
    Melissa D. SC
    April 29, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Thank you for sharing. I have 9 babies in heaven, one is my stillborn son Corban, one was a twin to my oldest son, the others are miscarriages that I cannot wait to see the day of my Homecoming. The Lord is indeed with us through each and every trial. God Bless~~

  • Reply
    Jeremiah Emily Wheeler
    April 29, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    September thank you for sharing your story….The first thing that popped into my mind after reading your story was Romans 8:28, my life verse. That must have been a very emotional / thought provoking time while you were writing everything down….
    After my husband and I were married we had 2 babies right off the bat, then after struggling for 4 years we had a beautiful baby boy. From after his birth till now (he is 2) We have lost 5 Babies due to miscarriage, and its VERY emotional to me, even to think about it…. (those are the ones that they know of, they think we might have lost some very early pregnancies between Rodney and Jed but they are not 100%) I can not imagine what life must have been like with burying your babies…. My heart goes out to you and your husband esp on their blessed birthdays 🙂

    I am so glad God planned for us to bump into each other in target over the Christmas break. If we hadn’t we would have never of found out about co-op or had the chance to get to talk on co-op Fridays, that was a HUGE encouragement esp w the last miscarriage this past spring! Thank you for being so open and sharing your story!!!

  • Reply
    June 8, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Thank you, September, for sharing your testimony! Just found your website. I am going thru my first miscarriage at the moment and I am heartbroken. Praise the Lord, He is in control and He is such a comfort to us! Thank you again for sharing and may the Lord bless you and keep you and your family in His loving care. With love in Him, Catalina x

  • Reply
    August 28, 2013 at 9:51 am

    You are beautiful…and your story of God’s faithfulness and grace is beautiful…and all of your children are beautiful! Love, Momma Linda

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    August 28, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    What a bitter sweet story you have to tell but a wonderful testimony. So thankful that we worship a wonderful Lord that does not allow us to go through our trials alone.

  • Reply
    November 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart-wrenching story. To come through so much with the faith you have is amazing! I’ve just popped over after reading your ebook, “hula hoop girl,” and I found it quite helpful. My husband and I have decided I am putting all my hula hoops down (except for him and the kids) for the next few months to regroup and rest. I am excited to follow your website in the future!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2015 at 6:53 am

    Thank you for allowing your heart to be broken open to reveal His glory this way. We lost our little baby boy the month before god first birthday. I have only now, years later, made it to a place that I surrendered to His plan for His glory. I so appreciate you sharing your story.

  • Reply
    Becky Keife
    March 9, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Sweet September,
    I want to weep reading this. Weep for your loss and the grief of losing seven precious babies, but even more, weep for the beauty of God’s goodness and your amazing-grace faith. Not that He healed you through the gift of 10 healthy children, but that He showed you His plan and purpose through each loss and taught you how to cling to Him through the fire. Refiner’s Fire. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Reply
    May 10, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    hello sweet sister,

    I am reading this on Mothers Day 2015. I was led to your blog for a more recent post… but then The Lord truly directed me to this one… I too suffered the loss of my infant son to Trisomy 13, on December 20, 2009. I also had 4 miscarriages along the way… with two beautiful children who walk and talk and breathe this earthy air, I am blessed and love when others share their story. Our losses are all real, but as the Lord manages to lift our faces to him, those stories are moments that somehow give life and blessing to the hearer.

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