Beauty to bless the world, Part 2 (Through My Husband’s Eyes)

A few weeks ago, Tom and Keith (his boss/partner in crime) were asked to give the sermon on February 20 and 23. There aren’t too many things that scare my husband, but this freaked him out. No matter how comfortable you are with communicating to others, preaching for a large church is daunting. There are a lot of people in the pews and bright lights on your face, and it can be overwhelming. 

I wrote last week about partnering with God to bring beauty out of pain. It is really special when you find ways to do it. However, practicing it isn’t always the easiest thing. So when Tom came home and asked me if he could share our story as part of the sermon, including the video of our baby’s heartbeat, it was hard to know how to respond. It is terrifying to be vulnerable, but even more so with a story that you don’t particularly like. I loved the story when it ended with a miracle heartbeat. This would have made for a great sermon! But our miracle was stolen from us. How can something like that be used for good?

But I told Tom “yes” for the same reason I have been blogging about our infertility and loss: because I know I am not the only one who suffers. It is scary to take off our masks on Sunday morning, scary to be vulnerable and authentic with people. We put on our best face, because we think that is the only way to receive love. But Jesus didn’t preach to the satisfied, he preached to those who were suffering. They were the ones to whom he offered hope. And I wanted Tom to do the same.

Miracles are great, but the more shocking stories are the ones in which the very worst happens and yet all is not lost.  And that is our story, the story of being crushed to the point of despair and yet finding that we are anchored to something stronger than our pain. It’s the realization that suffering does not mean we have been abandoned by God; if anything, it means he is nearer and the comfort is greater. That’s where we have found hope along our journey.

So Tom shared about our infertility and the loss of our baby, and as he did, something miraculous happened. He not only got through it, but he was the most comfortable and confident I have ever seen him while speaking. I could only sit through one of the sermons, and I can only re-watch snippets of the first 10 minutes, so I don’t really know how he did it three times. But he was so brave and there was so much grace upon him. It is a picture of partnership; Tom’s willingness to share and God’s willingness to uphold him while he did it. 

So enjoy these words from my meat-loving husband (vegetarians, know that I get you, even if Tom does not) and our brilliant spiritual formation pastor, Keith.

Whole-Hearted: Making Space for God and Others from White River Christian Church on Vimeo.


  1. Ginger says

    Hi Rebecca! We have mutual friends but we have never met. Thank you and Tom for sharing your story with the church. You opened doors for others to take of their masks and share their stories, whatever they maybe. Our family will continue praying for you and Tom!
    Ginger Jimenez

  2. JoshJessica Brown says

    Rebecca, we love you and Tom so much. I know it’s been years since we’ve seen each other but I feel like we are able to still keep up so well on social media these days. When we lost our 5th pregnancy back in January, Jess and I had been trying to have children for over 4 1/2 years. We were so excited because Abby had a full blown heartbeat and growth. When we lost her, Jessica was at 19 weeks. The devastation of loss is indescribable but the nearness of Jesus has never felt closer than He is to us now. One thing I have learned in the last month is the amazing power of vulnerability and letting people in. Letting the church be the church to you for once instead of serving them. It takes a dose of humility to let yourself be broken in front of others but that’s exactly how our Father wants us, in desperate need of a Hope that does not disappoint. I’m proud of you and Tom for being so open and vulnerable, it really is a brave thing to do. -Josh

    • says

      Thanks for commenting, Josh. You guys have been so close to my heart, especially since we lost our babies around the same time. Abby WAS such a miracle, so it’s hard for me to comprehend how you could have lost her; it feels so very unfair. I have been brokenhearted for you and yet glad that you have a community that is surrounding you with love and care throughout this. We don’t have any answers for why these things happen, but we know that he is so near to the brokenhearted and blesses those who mourn. Thanks for being part of our journey and letting us be a part of yours 🙂

  3. says

    I wanted to leave a comment here, just in case you don’t see my reply to the one you left on my blog . I am so moved by you and your husband’s courage to talk about the story, and ESPECIALLY to show the video of the miraculous heartbeat and then the subsequent loss. Thank you so much for stepping out in bravery.

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