He Redeems

He Redeems finalphoto credit

There are times in life that cause reflection…major life events seem to do that for me. (That also seems to be the only time I can manage to find the time…or words…to blog these days, too. Sorry. I promise I’m working on it!) 😉

Our family has been through something pretty important recently 😉 and I want to share it with all of you.

You see, even though pregnancy lasts just nine months (for which I am EX.TREME.LY. thankful…) our story is so much more than just that. It includes prayers and trust and some hard, hard days…and I know that many of you have prayed for us during this journey.

So while it’s ultimately God’s story, you are all a part of it.

So here we go. :)

I’m not even sure when it really started…years ago.

But for this piece of it, my heart goes back to July 22, 2014. That was the day we lost our baby, the one we named Carly Kristine.

Just a few weeks earlier I’d seen the faint line that told me my girl, Mae, was going to be a big sis. I was so, so excited…but cautious. I guess I’d just gotten used to living the paradox of holding on to and fighting hope.

And while I never wanted…or let myself expect…to lose our little one, the night the spotting started, that hope slipped. And the next day, I knew.

And that was the day…the day of the ER and the freezing cold room and the what-seemed-like-hours of tests and ultrasounds and the words,

No heartbeat.

And so we went home that day and fumbled through just trying to keep going. There was grief. There were tears and there still are today. There were ways we remembered and still do. But there was also a mark on the calendar day…and on my heart…of July 22nd, and I knew it would never be a day I welcomed.

It isn’t that I didn’t think God could heal my heart…I knew He could. And that He probably would.


But I didn’t expect full redemption…the kind where He says, See what I’ve done? And that I’d truly be able to stand back in awe.

It’s just that sometimes a loss is too great, and it can never be replaced…so we don’t even dare to hope for it.

The months that have made up the years since have been up and down…there’s been a lot of joy in the gifts that He’s given and some moments, too, of hurting and wishing for what can’t be anymore. But I can’t complain…His goodness has always been there.

And then came a day last November.

I honestly didn’t expect to see the positive on the test.

I’d had symptoms. I threw up during a longer run. My running pace had gotten slower. I was tired. And so…I peed on a stick. And I almost just threw it away after that without even looking because I thought I knew.

I didn’t.

It was there, and it wasn’t even faint. Full on. We. Were. Pregnant.

And there was a huge part of me that refused to let myself even go all the way to July 28, 2016…my due date. Because, how?

That was too much hope to let creep in.

But as the weeks went on (days, really, because I get so darn sick when I’m pregnant) there was no doubt. This baby was thriving and taking me down. (I can laugh about that now.) :)

And I fought with HG and puked my way through the almost-first-half of pregnancy, and as I was starting to feel just a bit better, we found out we were having a boy.

A boy I’d wished with all my heart to be a girl.

But there it was on the screen, and there was no mistaking that a son was on the way for us.

And as the weeks somehow flew and turned into months, I found myself ready to welcome this little one. I was full of fear, full of anxiety…but also a little bit full of hope, too.

Maybe finding that hope again was the first of many gifts this little boy gave to me.

And on Wednesday, July 20, 2016, we welcomed McClain Jonathan Schroeder to our family.

It was instant love.

He stole my heart. 😉

And I wondered with everything in me why I’d never wanted a boy.

There will always be a part of my heart that grieves the loss of a baby, just two years ago, who was just as wanted and loved.

But that Friday, just two days later…July 22nd…I was lying in my hospital bed, looking at a sweet little boy, feeling my heart almost-explode at the love I have for our new little one.

And I didn’t hate that day anymore.

This, friends, is redemption.

He can always, always redeem.

He can always, always take something that hurts and make it beautiful.

He can always, always give hope when hope feels impossible.

And I’d go through it all again…just to know and see and feel this much of His goodness.

Thank you, Father…You know better. Help me to remember that anytime I doubt it.

Welcome to the world and to our family, sweet Mac. We love you so, so much.

McClain 1 final



  1. Sweet Mac – you are so loved and my only regret is not meeting you in person {yet}…what a gift you are! Mel I am thrilled for you. He is perfect in so many ways and I am so glad that I got to walk with you through the difficult and celebrate with you in the miracle of redemption. God is so so good! Love to you all!!

    • I am so thankful for you, friend…for your prayers and love during the whole journey. Love you!!! :) (And we can’t wait for you to visit…you’re welcome anytime!)

  2. Kathy Johnson says:

    What wonderful words from an amazing writer/woman! Your son is perfectly adorable and I am so happy for you and your family.

  3. Oh, girl. I am bawling over here! What a beautiful thing God did. I am so very thrilled for you. I love seeing you so happy. I can’t wait to meet sweet Mac. Love you!

  4. Beckie Hopkins says:

    Mel, I’m so happy for your family! Thank you, again for sharing your heart. We just traveled a similar road with my son and daughter-in-law and on May 18 they had Wyatt. He’s such a blessing! God bless you all!

    • Congratulations to your family, too. So exciting! :) I love hearing others’ stories of redemption, too…we have a really, really Good Father. Blessings and hugs. :)

  5. What a beautiful gift you’ve been given I’m all teary eyed now. Congratulations!

  6. Hi Mel!

    This is incredible! I am psyched for you and your bouncing baby boy! And Mac suits him perfectly :)

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful news!

    It’s great to be back here in your blogging world again,


  7. Hello Mel.
    A couple years a go I used to keep
    Up with your blog
    I think thru a common blog we both posted on.
    Your icon popped up on a post from a few years ago and I decided to visit. I’m so glad I did.
    I remember reading about the struggles you were going thru and beautiful thoughts on life and your little girl.
    This is a beautiful post.
    So happy July 22nd is redeemed for you. I have a baby boy Mac as well. Love the name !

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