Katie Sutter
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katie day sutter

im not a big fan of sharing everything on social media for all to see but as this year ends i feel like ive been a bit convicted to share a bit of josh and i's lives and hopefully be an encouragement.   ive been reflecting on 2016 for the last month or so. just thinking of all that has happened and all that hasnt happened, the growth and healing and grace ive experienced is unreal and still at times i find myself selfishly ungrateful for the blessings ive been so graciously given.  this has been my busiest photo year ever and im so grateful for everyone who has entrusted me to capture a special part of their lives, there is nothing i love to do more.  josh and i were able to buy our first house!! and while at times we dont know what were doing, like when we flushed an upstairs toilet and all the water emptied onto our kitchen table and floor, we're figuring it out and loving that this place is our home.  i never in my life could have pictured this is where i would be and what i would be doing at my age. i am blessed with immeasurably more than i could have ever dreamed of.  and even in the midst of so many blessings from the lord and so many wonderful moments and gifts he's given us, there is still so much heartbreak and pain.  on October 10 of this year, josh and i lost the love our lives through miscarriage.  despite how early it happened, as i was only 5 weeks pregnant, It has broken my heart in ways i didnt know were possible and left a hole that only the lord can fill. from feeling butterflies in my stomach and knowing before the test could even detect, to reading "pregnant" and laughing with tears in my eyes with josh and us saying, wait what do we do now? to my body then so easily forgetting and letting go of this thing i had dreamed of happening for as long as i can remember. making our parents grandparents, our siblings aunts and uncles, and becoming a parent with my best friend and love -shattered in an instant.  at least to us it happened in an instant. the lord knew. he knew before i ever existed what i would face and who he had for me and what would bring us joy and what would hurt us and grow us, even this one thing that did both. he knew that in the midst of our unexplained excitement and joy would come an unbearable blanket of sorrow.  one that i didnt know how to get out of. as i was suppose to wake up and call the doctor to make an appointment i was actually waking up and telling josh to come back home from work and i was pacing and praying that his wasnt what i thought.  i had began reading a psalm a day earlier this year and waking up on this morning and trying to think in the midst of so many emotions and so much pain, i opened my bible to the next psalm to read and just read it while in so much pain and tears ran down my face and covered my shirt.  it was Psalm 91. 

"Those who live in the shelter of the Most High

    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 This I declare about the Lord:

He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;

    he is my God, and I trust him.

3 For he will rescue you from every trap

    and protect you from deadly disease.

4 He will cover you with his feathers.

    He will shelter you with his wings.

    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,

    nor the arrow that flies in the day.

6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,

    nor the disaster that strikes at midday.

7 Though a thousand fall at your side,

    though ten thousand are dying around you,

    these evils will not touch you.

8 Just open your eyes,

    and see how the wicked are punished.

9 If you make the Lord your refuge,

    if you make the Most High your shelter,

10 no evil will conquer you;

    no plague will come near your home.

11 For he will order his angels

    to protect you wherever you go.

12 They will hold you up with their hands

    so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.

13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;

    you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.

    I will protect those who trust in my name.

15 When they call on me, I will answer;

    I will be with them in trouble.

    I will rescue and honor them.

16 I will reward them with a long life

    and give them my salvation.”

in the midst of the worst day of my life, i was reminded that he is with me and he is for me.  that i dont have to be afraid of the disaster that strikes at midday because his faithful promises are my protection. miscarriage isnt a word that i ever planned to identified myself with. but it think sometimes thats exactly how the Lord works. in ways and with things we never saw coming.  the week and weeks following october 10th 2016 have been weird and hard and long and sad but at the same time, somehow, full of grace and love and growth and goodness.  this has grown our marriage more than we could have hoped for and given us a new love for eachother. from laughing at the sight of a positive pregnancy test, setting up a tripod and taking photos of us with our positive test and writing "we're having a baby!" to crying in the walmart parking lot as we got the call confirming what we already knew but dreaded hearing, "miscarriage" and sitting down with family to explain our new reality. then to josh losing a coworker to cancer and my great grandmother being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and 3 weeks later, while on our trip west and on the way to the grand canyon getting to talk to my sweet granny one last time on the phone the day before she passed.  she could hardly whisper but she said, im ready katie i love you.  and i was able to tell her that she was almost a GREAT GREAT grandmother. and when she gets to heaven she'll be with jesus and able to meet our sweet baby. most of the time you arent aware that youre talking to someone for the last time on earth, but as i said see you soon to her, i was so comforted. looking out my window and seeing absolutely beautiful mountains and open land and then later that day looking at the grand canyon just in awe.  this all has renewed my vision of who God is and made me extremely thankful to have josh as my husband and given us a new since of the word friend. marriage and love are both so fun and happy but at the end of the day, he is the greatest friend ive ever known and never knew i needed. crying, laughing, hurting, and reminding me of my identity in christ and consistently showing me grace.  we never planned on this being part of who we are but the lord did and i am so glad he saw me fit to be josh's wife, to walk through the best and worst times with him.  its given me a new yearning for heaven in a way that i cant really explain.  to know that the baby we had prayed and hoped for is looking into the eyes of Jesus, comforts me.  we've somehow made it 76 days since and sometimes i wonder how.  i think my recurring thought through this has been why us, what could i have done differently, did i move something too heavy, did i eat the wrong thing? and what a prideful thought, as if i am even in the slightest bit of control and even capable of knowing the lords plans for me and how and why he works the way he does.  im constantly fighting to remind myself that there is nothing i could have done and that he is for me and with me and keeping me. not a single day goes by that i dont think about that day or what could have been. what our baby would have looked like or sounded like.  its like something is missing. and i constantly have to fill that missing place in my heart with jesus. not many people talk about miscarriages despite how common they are, and i get that.  some days i tell josh that i just dont want this. i dont want it to be part of our story and i dont want to accept that this is reality. but it is.  you can never plan on tragic things happening in your life or marriage. but when they do, you can always turn to the lord as your only hope. he is with you and for you and waiting with open arms for you to lean on him. something that has really encouraged me in the last few months is a song called when i lost my heart to you by hillsong. words of a song have never touched me so deeply in my life.  

not sure how to end a post like this other than by saying we really are okay. not because time has passed and healed us, and not because we'll hopefully get pregnant again one day and have a healthy baby and not because we've filled the empty space in our hearts with something new. but because jesus is good, he is for us, with us, and keeping us. he delights in us. he rejoices with us. he mourns with us. we are more than okay because psalm 94:17-19 is true,

"Unless the Lord had helped me,

    I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave.

18 I cried out, “I am slipping!”

    but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.

19 When doubts filled my mind,

    your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer."