On This episode, I sit down with Jenifer Ramirez as she tells us her story. Jenifer is a wife and mother, and has a beautiful story of trusting in the Lord even when things are hard.
Jenifer lost her 10 year old Maggie in 2018 and comes on the show today to talk about her journey after her daughter’s death. She shares about the struggles she went through and the beautiful love that the Lord poured upon her. We talk about the meaning of joy and how joy is possible even in your hardest moments.
She now runs a blog and a podcast, Joyful like Maggie, where she spreads the message of how to be joyful even in suffering.
If you are on a grief journey you will want to listen to this episode.
Ann Losinski 0:03
Hey everybody, and welcome back to the Catholic brides podcast today I am joined by a special guest, Jennifer Ramirez. She is a light fit she is a mother and he is a co founder of a blog, so I feel like Maggie, and she is coming on the show today to share a little bit about her story. Thanks so much for joining us, Jennifer.
Thank you so much for having me on. It’s it’s really an honor to be able to share my story, and hopefully encourage other wives and moms to, to be able to find that supernatural joy that Christ offers us even in the midst of our suffering. Awesome.
Ann Losinski 0:43
Why don’t we start off with you just sharing a little bit about yourself and about your story.
Absolutely. So, like you said, my name is Jennifer Maris. I have been married, let’s see, it’ll be 18, years, this July. So, not a new bride. But I remember what that was like, we have seven children we have five children living here on earth and she went heaven, and I’m a Catholic convert so my husband and I both converted from the Baptist Church in 2001. I was raised Baptist most of my life I went to a Baptist Bible College in Dallas, Texas, where I got my associates degree in biblical studies, and it was during that time that I met my husband and we were only 17 and 18 when we met each other. So it was we were very very young, I was actually turning 19 that fall. And it was
really my husband who started us on the journey towards Catholicism I was actually raised in a very anti Catholic home, and we were you know we were taught, things like you know Catholics worship the saints and Mary. They, you know, believe in the pope for their salvation and they don’t believe in grace, you know, you don’t need grace from Jesus to be saved and things like that. So it was a very extreme position of anti Catholicism that I was raised with. And so when my husband came to me and he was again he’s very young, he was about to turn 18 years old and he had, he had been baptized Catholic but not really raised anything and he said you know I want to know more about the Catholic Church and I’m like oh boy red flag and. And so he started researching and studying he started reading the Catechism he read the Bible from cover to cover, read, I don’t know, I can’t remember if you read the entire catechism or most of it but he was very determined to figure this out. And so he really just brought me along for that journey when he started when he started his RCA classes when he was just going just to check it out, he said. He asked me to go with him and I was really really hesitant. But I’ll never forget that first class. Steve was a teacher’s name, and just a very, very wonderful faithful Catholic man, and he and his wife really took us under their wings, but I’ll never forget the first class and he said, All right, we all sat down he said okay we’re going to open the class up with the Hail Mary and I was like, oh no. And so he but he started, he started praying to hail mary and he said everything like this normal voice normal prayer voice. And when he got to the part where he said Jesus’s name, he, his voice dropped to a whisper and he bowed his head very very low. And it hit me right in the heart and I thought to myself, This man doesn’t worship Mary he worships Jesus and and as basic as that sounds, I had no idea I really thought he worship Mary, but I realized that even just the way he said he said Mary’s name in this prayer versus the name of Christ that there was this massive difference in how he and how he viewed them and how he loves them. And so that was really the beginning of my journey into Catholicism, and then it was through the readings of St. Ignatius that I was able to really fall in love with the Eucharist, and it was the Eucharist they ended up bringing me home to the Catholic, to the Catholic Church. So that’s, you know, my conversion story in a nutshell. My husband and I you know we we started having children and we lost our daughter Magdalene Torres, two and a half years ago it was May 6 2018 when she died.
And that’s really I think the bulk of my story because that’s really when my real conversion I think began to take place. I was a faithful Catholic, and I went to mass every Sunday and you know I tried to read the readings and you know I tried to spend time in prayer and things like that, but you know it’s you know it’s very difficult in those early years as a mom and it’s still difficult for me now I mean my youngest is. She’s only seven months old is actually going on, eight months. And so it’s very difficult to find the time to pray the time to like really just sit down with God and just be and listen to what he has to tell you, because we’re so busy and things are so so crazy. You know, and I even I struggled with that, even before children’s because I was, you know, at that time I was working full time and I had a lot going on and I did a lot of mission trips and I was really actively involved like as far as sitting down and listening to what God had told me I had never learned how to do that or even seen it really as very important. So anyway, fast forward to 2018, and we we all got sick, we had a virus that came to the home. I had a vendor table at Earth Day event and my husband had a men’s retreat. At our parish. And so he was not with us that weekend we were, we were all at this Earth Day event I had my vendor table the kids were helping me out they were really happy.
Maggie and Elizabeth my oldest and my co who’s two years, two years younger than Maggie, actually three years younger. They all went and got their faces painted so I remember Maggie had like this Tiger Fey like her whole face was painted like a tiger, and she insisted on sleeping in her with all the paint on that night because she was actually in classes to not yet received the Eucharist, and she was in classes to be able to do that. And so she went to class every Monday evening and she insisted on wearing that Tiger paint, so that she could. She could show her teacher. So that night when we got home. Around midnight the baby. She’s not four but she was one at the time she woke up with a fever and I was like, oh boy we picked something up somewhere and you know with a larger family that’s just what happens, you, you expect it to run through everybody it might take a week maybe two weeks to get over it and then you’re back on your feet moving forward. So, that Wednesday. Maggie and Elizabeth my oldest both woke up sick. The only difference so everybody got sick over that week, the only difference was that Maggie, threw up a few times. And she was she didn’t have a fever. And I thought that was just really strange I was a little bit worried about that because I knew that a fever was needed to help fight everything off but I just kept an eye on her. She wasn’t vomiting consistently or anything like that, but we won’t get into all the details like that but anyway. We, it was that Friday. And I remember like we were I drove my oldest to school. And I remember looking at Maddie, and I said, Hey, as I have up today this is about two o’clock in the afternoon. She’s like, No, I haven’t. And I said, Oh, that doesn’t sound good baby I said I think you’re really dehydrated from being sick and everybody else was better at this point had been about a week since we’ve gotten sick. And I said, I think we need to go to the ER and have them rehydrate you and she said okay, you know like she’s like do I have to get a shot and I’m like well you may need an IV so we walked through all that I took her to dropped all the kids off with my oldest who was old enough to babysit them called my husband at work, let him know that I was taking her to the ER and he actually met us up there, and they looked her over I gave them all her symptoms, and they said you know it sort of sounds like she’s just having trouble getting over the virus. Here’s some anti nausea medication and they sent us home. So all that week it felt like she was getting better she wasn’t vomiting she was able to hold food down. And we, but she just continued to continue to lose weight, and she continued to. She started sleeping a lot in the afternoons, so we were, we were beginning to get really worried about her and when we left the first hospital. The nurse grabbed my arm all the way out he said hey you said if she’s not better in a few days Why don’t you just run over to children’s, they have other tests that they can run that we don’t have here. And I remember thinking that was a really rude statement like if she just has a virus and she’s fine as long as she can hold food delvin Why didn’t you say that.
So, I’m just, I guess it was six days after I took her to the ER she comes into my into my room she had started getting these really bad headaches. And again, the doctor told us that the headaches were from being dehydrated. So she said My head hurts really really bad, and she started crying. She said, Why does this keep happening to me I said I don’t know, grab your shoes, we’re going to go to children’s I don’t know what’s wrong. And so we put her in the car and start driving nobody said goodbye to her nobody, you know we didn’t think that anything was going to happen. The drive was if I remember correctly was about 14 minutes. And on the way there. Maggie started blacking out hyperventilating, she told me that she couldn’t see anything. And within about 10 minutes of arriving to the hospital she had a massive seizure. She cried out mommy and she grabbed for me, and I held her hands and just talked to her while the seizure went on, and of course they rushed her to the bat. You know within probably 30 minutes. My husband was at the hospital with us, and you know it was very interesting because my husband and as he was driving to the hospital. You know I called him to let him know I was like look something’s really really wrong with maybe I don’t know what it is, but you need to get up here. And as he drove to the hospital he just felt he told me he said he just felt this overwhelming urge to just cry out to go to the end. And really what he was doing was telling the devil something and he said out loud, and you go with a system in the air and he said, Whatever happens to my daughter I will not lose my faith, I will not give my faith up. And as he said that, that’s when my daughter started having a seizure. And of course he didn’t know that that’s what was going on as he was crying that out to God. So we, he gets to the hospital, and they of course have a CAT scan over her they’re trying to get images, and the doctor just comes out and tells us look he said there’s a massive membrane, it’s bleeding we don’t know what it is but we need to get her to Dallas right away to the Children’s Hospital there because we absolutely cannot help her here. So they careflight me and her. And it was really, it was really on that careflight that I really felt that that’s when a different type of conversion took place in me. So you know, you know, remember I was saying it’s really hard to find that time to pray that you really truly worship. But it’s in these moments that we need to be prepared to worship and prepare to pray and not to beg God but to worship God. And I couldn’t think of any words to say to say to him, I was just, I didn’t beg for her live I didn’t ask him to save her and I don’t know why, but I was just overcome with this real sense that I needed to worship God. And I remember the paramedic signaling to me Of course we couldn’t hear each other because the helicopter so loud and he tells me to put my hand on Maggie’s on Maggie’s body so that I can feel her. And so I remember putting my hand on her leg I remember how warm her skin felt. And I just put I just thought to myself, well what are they going to think about me if I start like really praying out loud here and I just thought Why does that matter. And so I close my eyes and I put my other hand like I actually put my hands up in the air and my other hand was on her leg, and I just started worshiping God and I just started telling him that I loved him that I was, I was grateful. I was grateful to have him in my life that that whatever happened here I wanted to worship Him in the midst of everything that was going on. And so, you know, there was of course many, many things that happened in between there and the hospital. There’s a lot that happened throughout that day. They told us they weren’t sure they were going to be able to keep her alive all night which was news to us and when we got there we found out that she actually had a massive brain tumor. There had been no signs of this tumor, other than the previous two weeks or so, when she had the same symptoms that most of the same symptoms that we were having with this virus. So it was very easy to miss the symptoms and believe that they were symptom of the virus that we had all had. So there was unfortunately there was just there was nothing that could be done for her and we were really grateful because her godfather is actually a Catholic doctor and he knows most of the doctors at this hospital, and we were not aware of that when we asked him to become her godfather. So he was actually able to sit down and he was like, Look, I have kids like this all the time that I have to take care of. He’s like this is what I would do if I were you. And so, he was able to walk us through all the medical jargon, he was able to show us what you know why nothing could be done for her and so we were very very comfortable knowing that we were making the right decision for her that that it was okay to let her go because there was truly nothing that can be done for her. And so that was the decision that we made, and she died at 731. Sunday May sips. You know my husband was really just an incredibly powerful example of what it means when people you know people always say like, oh well Christians mourn differently Catholics mourn differently I’m like yeah but what does that really mean. No, my husband stood over her body in the hospital room and he looked around at everybody and he said, the double waves of gun that has no bullets. And he
told them he said a double has no victory in this room today all of the victory and all of the glory belongs to Jesus Christ. And, and that’s how we’ve tried to handle her death since then. Now that’s not to say that we have not suffered this has been an immense suffering, it is an immense cross to bear. And it is. I will say, hands down the worst thing that we’ve ever been through in our entire lives and watching our children suffer through this loss has probably been the most painful and the most difficult to reconcile. But what we have found is that there is a joy that can be found, even in the midst of deep darkness even when you feel that maybe it doesn’t even feel like God is there. But there is this joy that can still be found, we can see joy is a choice, while happiness is based on circumstance, so I tell people you know I love coffee. And when I sit down and drink a really good cup of coffee. It makes me feel really happy like I feel peaceful I feel happy. I love the taste of it. That’s not the same thing as Joy. Joy is something. Joy is something that is that can be permanent. It is not fleeting It is not something that is based on your circumstance or the situation that you’re in. And so, I think that when I finally realized that joy was different than happiness because I think in our society. A lot of the times we talk about joy and happiness. No, talk about them simultaneously as though they’re the same thing. And so when I realized that they were actually very different from each other. That was when I realized that even in the midst of this route true suffering is true darkness, and it’s true crucifixion, that I could still have joy and I could still find that joy in Christ, and that that led me to be able to to pray more to worship or to to really see God and everything that I was doing and saying and thinking, you know, and of course losing a child, and it just really makes you stop and realize that you can lose anyone at any time and like we all know that I mean, we all know that we all die at some point. Nobody escaped stuff. But we don’t always stop to think about that in the day to day because we’re so busy. And I don’t think that we need to be overwhelmed by or fearful of it it is, it can be a very scary thing, but I think it just needs to be like hey, you know, am I going to yell at my child in this moment or am I going to find out what’s really going on with them and really try to meet them on their level where they are and really show them the love of Christ and really see Jesus in them like if that was Jesus standing in front of me, you know, needing help, would I yell at him or would I be become angry or impatient. And I still, you know, the thing is I still struggle with all of these things as a mom and as a wife I’m not a perfect mother and I’m not a perfect spouse she just asked my family. But it has really Maggie’s death has really helped to refocus me. And just to really show me that, that there is this joy that is found and that the way I raise my family and the way I talk to my children like these are all these all have lifetime impacts on them. And so it has really helped me I think to become a better mother and it’s been a difficult journey and it still is. But I’m I dare say I’m also grateful for the changes that have that have taken place in me. I wish my daughter didn’t have to die for those changes to happen in my heart and in my life but that was the pathway before me and so that’s the path I’ve had to walk in order to, to have those changes come about, if that makes sense.
Ann Losinski 16:35
For sure. I really like how you said that joy is a choice, and it’s different from happiness because you can still find like you can still choose joy, even in the midst of something so terrible that’s happening to you but it’s like choosing joy and choosing Christ. Within that, can you can find hope in within that, yes, absolutely,
you know, and there was a time I would say during that first year because I didn’t realize that joy and happiness were different, and I would tell people I can’t feel joy right now I don’t, I don’t feel it. So all I do is claim to hope. And I remember, I remember writing in my journal I journal a lot that first year, excuse me, and I remember writing in my journal that I felt like I was in this raging flood, and the waters were just tossing me everywhere and there was nothing so all I could do. I remember seeing my journal All I can do is clean to the foot of the cross, so I just, I always saw myself as holding on to the foot of the cross where, where the Mary’s stood and where st john stood and where Mother Mary stood and she clung to the foot of the cross as her son died in front of her. You know, and it was just, it, it was just such a beautiful example in my mind of what it means to just still find that joy you know what Christ and Mary went through was not happy, you know they were not happy about suffering, Mary was not happy that this sword was piercing her heart Jesus was not happy that he was dying on the cross, but that joy was different, there was a certain joy that existed within them. That it I honestly I find it hard to describe for myself because I think again because we always view them as this, this joy and happiness is the same thing. joy doesn’t mean that I will feel happy. I can feel depressed or anxious or really really sad or be on the floor weeping. And yet there is still joy that exists within me, and that joy comes from knowledge of Christ, it comes from knowing that that I am loved, and that you know Christ died on that cross so that I could be saved. And maybe that’s the you know the old Protestant part of me coming out, I don’t know, but I think it’s just such a it’s just such a beautiful reminder of what Jesus did for us on that cross and what his mother sacrificed for us. So that, so that we could have a way to get to heaven. We needed that perfect sacrifice and he was it. And so I think we find in Christ, we find such a beautiful example of Christ and Mary of what it means to to walk in this life. You know Jesus, when we’re suffering, and we’re we’re having, and it doesn’t have to be child loss and we make that clear it can be, you know what I have, you know, look children who are little and I am really struggling I’m not getting enough sleep, maybe I have postpartum depression, maybe I don’t and I’m just saying I’m just struggling. That is a type of suffering. It does not have to be this deep and intimate loss like mine wasn’t ordered to be real suffering. There are all sorts of different types of suffering. And I think when we realize that that Christ, we don’t wait let me put it this way, we don’t serve a God or love of God, who doesn’t know what it means to suffer. That’s what makes our religion so different from so many other religions, our God suffers with us. And he suffers with us, not because he’s up on some high throne in heaven looking down and being like oh I don’t know what that feels like, no, his
Jesus is God and he came to earth and he suffered as a true God, true man, and everything, every part of him suffered with us and so when we are suffering and we’re walking in darkness he extends to us, a pierced hand, not a hand that that doesn’t understand what we’re going through, but the hand that he extends to us to walk with him is a hand that, that is that is still pierced he still bears his wounds, those wounds have not just disappeared. And so that, to me that’s just, it’s just such a beautiful thing. Now I would never walk up to someone who’s suffering and be like oh look at Marian you like her because that doesn’t really help when you’re often in the middle of it, but I think that if we can stop and walk with each other and suffering and be Christ to each other and be the blood similar to each other. Yeah, we can begin to be open to what it is that Mary and Jesus have walked through, and what it is that they both offer to us as we walk through our own sufferings,
Ann Losinski 20:53
for sure. So I wanted to touch a little bit about on the like after effects so after your daughter had passed, and the grief process that you had to go through. Because we all, we talked a lot about going through our own grief journeys, but in the context of marriage. We’re also walking with our spouse through that. Can we talk a little bit about what that process was like for you and things that helped you to support each other during my brief journey.
Yeah, absolutely. So, it’s so true that men and women grieve differently, we think differently, we feel differently we grieve differently and even the way that our brains are formed like the way that our brains have been created by God is very, very different. So I think it’s I think it’s announcing his name right Dr. Gregory potaro over at Catholic psych and I might be putting a Texas accent on the on the end of his name, I don’t know, I haven’t actually heard it said out loud, but he’s over I believe it’s Catholic site he actually has some really good thoughts and information on this. But one of the things that he talks about is how men’s brains are compartmentalized. And so what they do with all of the emotions and feelings that they have it’s not that they don’t have emotions and feelings it’s that their brain has compartments. So when they go to work, they’re able to take that grief, those emotions those feelings, and they take it it’s in a little box and they set it to the side, and then they they open up their work box, and they work, and then they close that box and they open the neck so they’re able to do that. A woman’s brain is like I think it’s like noodles and I’m like well that’s not very attractive, but it’s it’s really it’s interesting like if you look at a bowl of spaghetti noodles, all the noodles are interwoven with each other, that’s how our brains have been created as women. So we are not able to compartmentalize like men can we don’t open up the grief box and then cry and think about it and feel it and then close it and set it aside. It is all mixed in with.
Unknown Speaker 22:48
Okay, I’ve got to take care of the kids, I’ve got to wash the dishes, I have to clean this, I have to run this business I have to go to work, I have to, and all of this stuff is just jumbled in our brains, all at the same time. And part of it is we have, especially as women, I think that we have to multitask, more often than men do. And so this is, this is just how our brains are created, it’s not our fault it’s not their fault. And so the reason that I bring this up is because I’m a really big proponent of, if I can understand the science behind something, and have the knowledge then that really helps me to understand that other person better. So I can easily become angry with my husband, or frustrated or bitter towards him because he’s not breathing, right, because that’s what it could look like. It looks like he’s not grieving he gets up, he goes to work he comes home he helps with the kids. We make dinner, he helps me put the kids to bed. He reaches books, and that’s, that’s how it goes. I, on the other hand I’m in tears. I am crying waffle in a baby who’s nursing, I you know and it’s like there’s no separating it for me. But if I can understand the science and what it is that’s going on behind all of this, then that really helps me to be gracious towards Him and to understand, actually he is grieving. It’s just a very it’s just very different than the way that I agree. And so, when you understand that, I think that’s when communication can begin to open with each other. And, you know, one of the big things is, and I know it’s cliche oh you have to communicate, but man that is so, so true if you do not communicate with each other, then you don’t know what’s going on in the other person’s mind. And, you know, and sometimes we need to say that to our husbands it needs to be Listen, I need you to be open with me, and it’s okay if I see you cry, it’s not going to hurt me any more than I’m already hurt because sometimes men feel especially I think in our society you know they’re taught that men don’t cry boys don’t cry a lot of men hear this from the time that they’re little boys. So then when something devastating happens. They’re like, and, and also even if they’ve never heard that they want to be strong to their families and there’s nothing wrong with that, but men need to know they I think they need to be given permission, that it’s okay to cry, it’s okay for your children and your wife to see your tears because it reminds them that you too are suffering with them, it’s not just them by themselves, because I think oftentimes we can feelm Isolated from what it is that our husbands are going through because they’re not as inclined to share their feelings or their emotions or to express them. So I do believe men need to really be given that permission, like, Look, I need you to talk about these things with me I need you to cry with me, and I need you to allow me that expression of my emotion, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable because you’re not used to that or whatever it might be. So really, is that open line of communication and really just working through these things, you know i mean I’ll never forget I think one of the moments that stands out the most to me is my husband and I, we had this at the house we were living in at the time we had this big walk in closet.
And you were trying to get away from the kids we were sitting in that closet talking. And we both just ended up just just breaking down like at the same time and we had not done that yet. And that was probably, you know, three or four weeks after he died. And I remember at one point we cried so hard that I finally said we have to stop and we’re gonna have a heart attack like that’s what it felt like because it was that type of gut wrenching agonizing weeping. And so we both collected ourselves, and we didn’t really say much about it but it was like we both needed that to really just clear our systems to, you know, again, there’s science behind crying. You know, it’s like you have to be able to cry. You have to be able to express your feelings and your emotions, but there also has to be a way to rein that in so that that’s not all that you’re doing. And so I think for me and my husband, it was really important that we had that moment, it was important for me, you know I would wake up sometimes in the middle of the night and I wouldn’t be able to sleep and I would look over and he would be knowing by the bed and praying, and sometimes I still wake up and he’s doing that. And so he spent a lot of time as, as, you know, the husband that head of our home, praying over his family, you know, walking, our home at night and afraid to work from home and everyone in it and thinking about Maggie and that’s when he would do his crying and things like that and he didn’t want to do that in front of everyone. But again, like our husbands need that permission to be able to feel what they’re feeling and that it doesn’t make them less of a man and it doesn’t mean that they’re not strong for our families, for sure,
Ann Losinski 27:11
yeah I like how you could have touched on the fact that men and women are so different and that it is okay to like grieve differently but it’s also very very important that we’re in communication with each other about it so that we can still be able to grieve together. Right.
Yeah, exactly. And you know, communication, obviously it’s important in anything I mean it’s, you know, if you have if you have a good friend, you know, and something devastating happens you want to be able to sit down and talk with your friend we should do the same thing with our husbands. You know, it’s just there’s just so much good that comes out of men and women husbands and wives sitting down and talking about these things. And even crying with each other you know it’s, and I know that you know you probably have people listening who have experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth or infant loss or maybe even child loss, you know it’s not it’s not as common to experience child and infant loss but there are definitely many, many people out there who have. And so hopefully this encourages them that you know these feelings that they’re having and these emotions they’re having It’s okay. You know what we’re talking about communication, one of the things that I think is also important is this communication with God. So I had someone tell me, I actually helped to put on a Catholic brief conference. It was the first one of its kind, we launched it in December I launched it with Redbird ministries. Ryan and Kelly bro actually lost three of their children. And so, we want we launched this brief conference with a special emphasis on child loss from miscarriage to adult child loss because there’s really nothing. There’s no, I won’t say no. But anyway, so in this conference one of the, one of the speakers told me something very interesting and I just never thought about it this way, but she told me that she said you know she said, if your friend hurt you. She said was something that she did or said she said in a good friendship, you should be able to go to that friend and say look, you really hurt me. I’m really not sure how to handle this, but I’m, I’m just really really hurt by what you did. And she said, oftentimes we view God in that light we view it like he allowed something to happen, and I am hurt by this. And she said it is okay to tell God that he has hurt you. And I thought man you know I have just never stopped to think about it like that and she said if you can sit down on the edge of your bed with your friend and talk to them, you should be able to talk to God about it. And I just thought that’s so beautiful because I can talk to God and it’s not in this. It doesn’t have to be in a disrespectful angry way and I do believe that it’s okay to be angry and grief I believe that it’s okay.
And that God can God understands because he created our feelings and emotions and, and he’ll walk he’ll meet us where we are and he’ll walk through it with us, and he’ll help us come out on the other side and learn how to heal. But one of the things I just imagined sitting on my bed and talking to God and just saying look, you really hurt me you let this happen to me and you could have stopped it. And I don’t understand it and I don’t really know what to do with that but I just need to tell me how I feel. And you know when I did that God met me where I was. And it wasn’t this angry judgmental God, or this vengeful God or anything like that it is God is such a loving father, and he’s so willing and so ready to meet us where we are. And I think sometimes for for people who don’t have loving fathers, it can be really hard to you got in that light, so we really if we don’t, if you don’t have a loving father you really have to work hard, I think, to, to understand what a loving father does, and a loving father does not come to you in your grief and your current and your anger and your frustration and yell at you or get you, or abuse you or speak angry words to you. He comes to you where you are and he puts his arms around you and he holds you until you’re ready. And then you can talk about it and then you can work through it and then you can figure out why am I feeling this way. How can I work through this and how can I get back on my feet, and in my case, how can I live again. and that’s where God has met me and that’s that I think that’s so beautiful and it’s so perfect because that’s what a real loving father is supposed to do.
Ann Losinski 31:31
For sure that’s super beautiful. One other question that I had for you that I asked to all of my guests that I have on the show that isn’t really related to this a whole lot is, what is your favorite Bible verse, and why.
Oh my goodness, that’s a good question. So, I don’t know, there’s a lot of people right now going through. Father Mike’s podcast father Mike Schmitz, the Bible in a year it is. If you’re not going through it, you must it’s actually. Now I’m behind because you know it’s hard for me to listen to podcasts like I was even trying to listen to yours before I came on, and I’m like, I’m not going to be able to do this podcast, so I’m, but I’m loving father Mike’s podcast and it’s been, you know, unfortunately I have not read scripture as I should again I do my readings and things like that but I really have been wanting to dive deep into scripture and this podcast is really renewing that that love of Scripture for me. And I will say I think that my, my favorite verse is from the book of Job. And when Joe gets the news that all of his children have died, they’ve all been killed. The Bible says that joke fall fell on his face. He tore his clothes he dumped ashes on his head and he said, The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. And I’ll tell you my priest called me as we were on our way to the hospital say goodbye to Maggie. And we had come home to get some things to collect the children, we broke the news to them. We’re on the way to the hospital.
This is he calls me he says he talks to my husband, and then our husband hands the phone to me. And I say Yes father and he says Jenny will say yes slaughter, he said. He said the Lord gives, and the Lord takes away he said, if a miracle happens bless it be God. And then he said, and if a miracle doesn’t happen and he just paused and I said bless it be God and he said exactly. And that’s exactly how I’ve tried to live since Maggie died bless it be God bless me God bless him to be God no matter what the situation is, and it’s in those moments if you can say that, that you can believe it.
Ann Losinski 33:37
Yeah, that’s such a powerful reminder, if people want to get in touch with you or see your blog market what, how can they best do that.
Okay, so just a disclaimer about my blog, so we have not been super consistent with our blog or podcast. So we’re working on changing things changing that up right now, we’re actually, we’re not probably not going to be blogging as often as we would like but we will be podcasting. I’m actually relaunching our podcast My husband is just not able to do it unfortunately with the amount of work that he has for our family, but I’m actually relaunching our podcast which is called in the midst. It was originally launched by my husband Not long after Maggie died so the first 12 or so episodes are just my husband’s grief journey throughout those first several months so they are very raw they are very real. But I definitely recommend listening to them just because they, they really give a sense on not just what, not just what we’ve been through or what my husband has been through. And I think it’s very important for men to have that, to have that audio to know like to be able to listen to and say look, I’m not the only guy that’s gone through this type of suffering, and it’s okay to talk about and work through it. So I highly recommend especially for men to listen to, at least the first several episodes of the podcast. And so what we’re doing. I’m actually relaunching I’ll be interviewing other mostly women as who’s reached out to me but I will be interviewing men as well. But what we’re doing is talking to people who have been through difficult times, who are still able to find joy in those times, and who are able to just really help to inspire and encourage us. We believe that our daughter is really a source of supernatural joy. So, Maggie is in heaven. We have already received many signs from her that she’s there. She has already performed miracles, all of her miracles have had to do with unborn babies, or newborn babies, we’re not really sure why, but she always loved babies, and I even have a video of her teaching are now four year old, she was one at the time how to pray. And so she, those are the miracles that she’s been performing for people. And so we had that we called her. Our what our ministry joyful like Maggie so you can find us at joyful like Maggie calm. And if you do, forward slash podcast you’ll find the podcast really easily, but we’re really working to bring that supernatural joy that Maggie brought to our family and still brings to it. And we’re really working to bring that to other people through the stories and witnesses of others who have gone before them on this path.
Ann Losinski 36:08
Beautiful. Well thank you so much for joining us today Jennifer it’s been a pleasure having you on the show.
Thank you so much for having me I’m really really grateful to be able to share our story and you know I just hope and pray that that those listening are able to find some hope, and be inspired through it.
Ann Losinski 36:25
Thank you so much. and thank you everybody for joining in today, and I will see you again on the next episode.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai