Saturday, May 2, 2009

Our Angel





Dear Friends,

Following an unexpected emergency induction, at 5pm yesterday (May 1st) we welcomed into the world Elizabeth Ann Stafford (3lb, 11oz, 14"). She was beautiful and perfect when she arrived, and even more so when we said goodbye. We knew her time on earth would be short, and we are so thankful for every moment we were given. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers over the coming weeks.

We will hold a family graveside service on Monday but would like to invite friends and family to join us for a memorial visitation on Tuesday, May 5th from 5-7pm at First Baptist Church of Pelham (http://www.fbcpelham.org/).

Thank you for your love and prayers over the past 4 months. Our journey with Elizabeth Ann is not over and we would appreciate your continued thoughts and prayers as we try to grieve and heal. Please continue to check our blog. We will try to post a few pictures of our beautiful Lizzy Ann in the coming days.

We would like to express our gratitude to Dr. Stutts and the wonderful nursing staff of Helen Keller Hospital. They were the blessings we needed during a difficult time. Thank you all for your professionalism but more so for your love and compassion.

Much love,
Jeremy & Johnna

59 comments:

  1. Jeremy & Johnna, my heart grieves with you and your family. I am so sorry! Elizabeth Ann is beautiful! You and your sweet family will continue to be in our prayers. **HUGS** to each of you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so proud of your strength thru all this guys! I Love you both so much and know that my heart is breaking with yours, but know that now in Heaven, Sweet little Elizabeth is whole and very happy with our Heavenly father, waiting patiently for the day she will meet her mommie and daddy again in heaven. Oh what a Wonderful Day that will be! I will see you Tuesday evening! Love Steph

    ReplyDelete
  3. Johnna and Jeremy...our family is thinking of yours at this very hard time. I am so sorry for your loss. You will be in my prayers!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing your journey, and for your example of faith. Prayers going up for comfort, strength, and healing...

    ReplyDelete
  5. Johnna and Jeremy, praying you are feeling God's loving arms tight around you right now! What a beautiful picture you have shared of your precious family. You will be in my thoughts and prayers as you celebrate Elizabeth Ann's life, and as you grieve and then move toward healing in the days to come.

    Charlotte C Phil 4:13

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dear Jeremy and Johnna,
    I just happened upon your blog several months ago, and have keeping up with your journey. Just want you to know that I'm praying for you and your family. Your Elizabeth Ann is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  7. We are so sorry, but we rejoice in knowing where your precious Elizabeth Ann rests, in the loving arms of Jesus. Please know that you and the family are in our constant prayers and thoughts. She is beautiful and the pictures, you will cherish until she is in your arms again.
    We love you,
    Mrs. Sheila

    "The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace." Psalms 29:11

    ReplyDelete
  8. Jeremy and Johnna, you are in my heart and in my prayers. I realize that this is a difficult time. Witness the strength and courage God bestows upon you as time continues to pass.
    Sue Calloway

    ReplyDelete
  9. Johnna and Jeremy,
    Thank you for allowing us to see Elizabeth Ann. Your family picture is beautiful! She is beautiful! You are in my prayers!

    Love,
    Wendy

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dear Jeremy & Johnna, my heartfelt sympothy and prayers are with you. May you have God's peace during this time. Thank you for sharing your journey and for your testimony of faith and courage. Your little Elizabeth Ann is beautiful and what a wonderful time it will be when you join her in heaven! I am praying for God's comfort and his healing touch be with you in the coming days.
    Tobitha Bousman
    Florence, AL

    ReplyDelete
  11. Dear Jeremy & Johnna,

    I happened upon your blog a few months ago through my niece. Thank you for sharing your story. Elizabeth Ann is absolutely beautiful. You have been in my prayers & will continue to be. I am so sorry for your loss. You have been such an example of strength & faith. God bless you & continue to give you strength.

    Marsha

    ReplyDelete
  12. Johnna and Jeremy, thank you for sharing such an emotional and painful experience with us. You have been on my heart and prayers daily since I first heard the news and will continue to be for many months and years to come. While it's true we never know what God's perfect plan is for us, it has been so humbling to see a family with such steadfast faith and hope in that plan. I pray that he scoops you up into his perfect arms and comforts you through this storm. "There will be a day with no more tears" is a song that I heard for the first time on the radio the other day and cried for you both.
    Please take care and comfort in the prayers of my friends and family of faith that have been following this story and will continue to follow.
    Love,
    Heather Armstrong

    ReplyDelete
  13. We have you, Jeremy and your family members in our thoughts and prayers during this time of loss. Elizabeth Ann was so beautiful and such a blessing to all of us even though her time on earth was shortened. We may never understand why things happen like they do..but we do know this that Elizabeth Ann is in heaven with God and what better place could anyone be.
    Love and Prayers,
    Klegg, Corrina and Kelsie Jeffreys

    ReplyDelete
  14. My heart is breaking for you all right now. I can't imagaine your pain but I do know that God will get you through this. You have the most amazing strength and faith I have ever witneseed. I have learned so much through your journey and my faith has been strengthened. I will continue to lift you all up in prayer. My church at FBC Florence is praying for you as well. Thanks for sharing the picture of your beautiful baby girl...she looks like a perfect angel. Love to you all,
    Laura Hillhouse

    ReplyDelete
  15. Johnna and Jeremy,
    Our lives have been enriched through your journey. Johnna you are a pillar of strength and understanding and a true light of the Holy Spirit. Your passion for life and God's plan shines through you and affects all who hear your story. Much love to you and your family!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey Johnna and Jeremy,
    I have sat and reread the entire blog. I am amazed and encouraged by your faith, but even more amazed at God's grace. I cannot imagine the thoughts and feelings you've been through. I pray God will continue to hold you both to his breast and provide the deepest comfort for you.
    Much love,

    Daniel J

    ReplyDelete
  17. Jeremy and Johnna,

    You are in our thoughts and prayers. May God comfort you during this difficult time. Thanks for sharing pictures of your beautiful Elizabeth Ann.

    Stuart and Melissa Clark

    ReplyDelete
  18. Just wanted to let you know that you will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. I am inspired at what strength and faithfulness you both have...I love you so much! Thanks for posting the pics of Elizabeth Ann. She's precious.
    Love, Danielle Gray

    ReplyDelete
  19. Johnna and Jeremy,
    Our hearts grieve with yours. How beautiful is this picture of your family~ Your strength is amazing. I'm sure that the knowledge that you will see her again is hopeful; yet it doesn't lessen the loss of her here on this earth! You and your families will continue to be in our prayers and we look forward to more pictures (and updates from you) of your beautiful Angel!

    Peter and Angel Duke
    (Your Dad's SS class)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Jeremy and Johnna,
    Thanks for sharing your journey and so many private moments with all of us. I am so glad I know such wonderful people of faith. You are a blessing. My prayers are with all of you.
    Love,
    Cindy Morris

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh, Jeremy and Johnna...I was away on a ladies retreat with my church this weekend and God continually was bringing yall to my heart and mind and I would stop and pray! Now I know why! I am so proud for you that you have some sweet memories of Lizzy Ann's life and some precious photos! My heart breaks for you in your loss and I will continue to pray for you in the coming days, weeks, years as you celebrate that you are now a Mommy and Daddy forever! Take time to be sad, but remember to be jealous too, for Lizzy Ann has seen our Saviour FACE TO FACE!
    Until you are all together forever, my prayers are with you! May the God of peace and comfort bestow REST upon you all that can only come from Him and may many come to know Him through your precious daughter's legacy!
    Much love,
    Amanda Sanford (Eric's wife)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Jeremy & Johnna,

    Our prayers for you now are for you to feel the loving arms of our God with you in the coming days. We've been where you are - it's not easy, and it's something you are never prepared for, but you WILL look back and realize how much our Lord is carrying you over the next few days. I pray that tomorrow's service brings you that sweet closure and a REAL sense of the all mighty God we serve. I remember wanting to feel some kind of earthly peace that I knew God was giving us during Olivia's service. Out of no where, my sweet Daddy said he felt like singing and he started "Jesus Loves Me". Our friends and family started singing along, and it was like the Lord himself stood there with His arms around us. I pray you will have that moment of real, earthly peace even if it is for just a moment.

    We are praying. She is your beautiful angel!

    Stewart and Stephanie

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have been following your blog for a few months now. I am so sorry for the pain and anguish that you and your families are going through. May God bless you and comfort you now, and in the difficult days, weeks, and months ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Jeremy and Johnna,

    What a source of strength you too are. I still sit here in awe of it all. My heart aches for you and your precious families. Know as many others have said that precious angel, Lizzy Ann is resting safe and secure in the arms of Jesus. All of you will be in my prayers for the days ahead.

    Kathy Pratt

    ReplyDelete
  25. What you have expierienced is only for special people. God only chooses those who are strong enough to get through such a tragedy. What someone once told me when my dad passed was that when someone passes it's because they are such a special person that god is eager to also spend time with that person and you will always have your own special Angel in heaven. You both are such an insperation to me. I don't think I would have been able to be as faithful and strong as you both were. God bless the three of you and I have made a special place in my heart for the three of you. Your little Lizzy is a beautiful little girl and a miracle from God. God only gives special people such hard times in life and though it is very difficult to understand at times, eventually you will know the reason for such a time. God Bless the three of you and I think of your family always!!
    angi

    ReplyDelete
  26. May you be surrounded with the love and light of God. May peace be in heart as you heal. Know with unwavering faith that your daughter is in the arms of Jesus in paradise, and when your time here is done know what a heavenly reunion there will be. Most of all, may you be filled with gratitude for the opportunity to experience unconditional love. What a blessing and a gift only God can give. Amen. So it is

    ReplyDelete
  27. You were on my mind all weekend. I am so sorry for your loss and I will continue to remember your family in my prayers. Elizabeth Ann is so beautiful.
    Blessings, Ranee

    ReplyDelete
  28. David and Christy WatersMay 4, 2009 at 9:05 AM

    She is so beautiful! I wish we could have all gotten to meet her. You guys know how much we are thinking and praying for you. David and I understand your pain and will always be here for you. Remember what I said about being angry, upset, etc...just don't ever let go of His hand. The Lord supplies all our needs!
    Much love,
    David and Christy Waters

    ReplyDelete
  29. I worked with your dad for many years, and he always bragged about you on many occasions. Also, Dr. Stutts delivered both of our children and also comforted us in the loss of our twins. I will pray for your family today. God bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Jeremy and Johnna, my heart is grieved for you. Elizabeth Ann is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing her with us. I have been blessed and my faith strengthened through the sharing of your journey. I know that many other hearts have been touched by your faithful witness as well.
    Jennifer White

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thank you for sharing the precious pictures of your sweet family! God is using you guys in ways you will never know! Steph

    ReplyDelete
  32. Absolutely beautiful. May the Lord give you strength and uplift you during the next couple of days.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I am so sorry for the hurt you are going through right now. My heart is just broken for you and Jeremy. You have brought so much honor and glory to God through this entire journey. Your reward awaits for you heaven! I will be praying for you and Jeremy in the coming days and weeks.
    Love,
    Abbie Greer

    ReplyDelete
  34. Jeremy and Johnna,

    I'm praying for you through this difficult time. We love you!

    Mary Davis Jones

    ReplyDelete
  35. Jeremy and Johnna,
    Just a note to let you know that your in my prayers. In the days ahead, love each other, cry with each other, walk alongside each other, hold close to each other and to your faith.

    ReplyDelete
  36. What a beautiful picture! I thank God that you were able to see and hold your sweet Elizabeth. We love you and will continue to be lifting all of you up in prayers.
    Norma K

    ReplyDelete
  37. Just wanted to add that the Bible promises that we are whole and perfect in Heaven! Smile today, knowing that because of God's awesome love and power, Elizabeth Ann Stafford is complete in Christ, with a perfect body, worshiping our Lord TODAY!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Jeremy, Johnna & Family,

    My heart completely breaks for you all as you all mourn the loss of your sweet Elizabeth Ann. She is so beautiful and I can only imagine the void you all must feel without her. I can imagine the comfort you all feel knowing that Jesus welcomed her to Heaven, but I will continue to pray that Jesus will comfort you all in the days, weeks, and years to come as your hearts miss Elizabeth. Your little girl is very lucky to have you all as parents and have such a loving circle of family and friends.

    I look forward to seeing you tonight and you all will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Lindsey Stryker

    ReplyDelete
  39. Johnna and Jeremy,
    I'm praying for you and keeping you in my thoughts every day. The pictures are beautiful. Just wanted to send my hugs your way in this difficult time.

    Rachel Sweeney

    ReplyDelete
  40. I'm so pround of you Mrs.Stafford and your husband. You have handled this very well at times I could see it in your eyes the pain that you had, you hid it very well. I admire you for the strenght you have i would have gave up, but you kept going and for that you are my hero. I love you Mrs. Stafford stay strong, you'll always be in my heart and prays. Love, Miranda Landers

    ReplyDelete
  41. Jeremy and Johnna, I don't know you, but I feel like I do after reading several entries on your blog last week and the latest one about Elizabeth Ann's birth. I'm a friend of Alexis Clark and just wanted to let you know my heart goes out to you, dear brother and sister in Christ. Your unshakable faith in the midst of such a painful time will surely honor the Lord and draw others to know Him. Love, Corrie Harris

    ReplyDelete
  42. Jeremy and Johnna from the beginning you have been such an encouragement of faith. I would read your blog for updates and feel closer to God just from your faith. Thank you for that. Our family has been and will continue to pray for you for the strength you need physically, emotionally and spirituality. MSHS Band was out of town but when we recieved the news, students shared in your grief with tears and lifted you up in prayer. Just remember He promised to be with us alway. Lisa Quinn and family

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hey Mrs.Stafford this is tanner from band and i was just gonna let you know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and i hope yall will be okay and that me and the whole band will miss you in your absents I LOVE YOU Mrs.Stafford hope you have a great summer...BYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =)

    ReplyDelete
  44. Your family is beautiful!! I'm so sad that Elizabeth Ann couldn't stay here with us. My family and I have you in our prayers and hope you and Mr. Stafford come through such a difficult time.
    WE LOVE YOU!!

    ♥Charquitta Horton

    ReplyDelete
  45. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. You have touched my heart.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Jeremy and Johnna my heart is breaking for you and your family. I want you to know your journey has brought me back to the lord and my prayer life has been great. You are so amazing with your faith. I pray for Jesus to wrap his arms around you and supply you with all of your needs during this time of grieving.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Jeremy and Johnna,
    Your strength has been an inspiration to countless individuals. Your faith has been contagious.
    Elizabeth Ann is eternally beautiful.
    Thank you for your courage and for sharing your most precious moments with us and allowing us the blessing of prayer on your behalf.

    ReplyDelete
  48. You don't know me, but I found your blog through another I read.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful Elizabeth Ann. She is precious.

    I pray that God's peace and love surrounds you in the coming weeks, months and years to come.

    Love in Christ,
    Anita

    ReplyDelete
  49. Johnna, Jeremey and Family

    I have been praying for you since I heard about your pregnancy from Trista Brom and Rachel Olis... I go to church with them and we are in a Bible Study group together. Our entire Bible Study group has been praying for you guys and we will continue to lift you up.

    I am so sorry for your loss and this struggle you have been through for the past few months. You are very strong and God will bless you, I know He has blessed us through your family and the faith that you have had in Him.

    I want to praise you on being a faithful servant for God and pray that during this hard time you continue to be strong in his word.

    You both are already wonderful parents, better than most!

    I am teaching sunday school on sunday and I am planning on using the verse Psalm 139:16... now I am not sure I can make it through reading that verse without thinking of you and crying.

    Know that you are surrounded with the prayer warriors all accross the country.

    God Bless

    Amanda Moore

    ReplyDelete
  50. Johnna and Jeremy,

    There are no words to truly express how sorry I am at your loss of Elizabeth. She is a beautiful, perfect angel.

    Hold on to each other tightly as you make your way down the difficult path to healing and never let your faith falter. Sending many prayers of peace to you and your family.

    Sherry O.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I was in a prayer group at UNA and we have prayed for you and your child every Friday morning for months. I had a special burden for you. Perhaps it was because I lost my firstborn 38 years ago to spina bifida. He lived for 14 months. Today they could probably do in utero surgery and correct the problem before he was born. I wish there had been something like that for Elizabeth and probably someday there will be. Isn't it a strange world we live in? Our group does not meet in the summer, but I will have a prayer burden for you for awhile as you grieve this loss. God bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Mrs. Stafford,

    I just wanted to let you know that all of us kids in the band are missing you and thinking about you all the time. Summer, Becca, and I went to solo and ensemble and made all 1's. We wanted to do our best for you !! and to show everyone that we have the BEST band teacher. We love you and miss you !!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Johnna, I'm thinking of you especially today. "Happy Mother's Day" isn't the right sentiment, but know that you are honored today. Hallmark hasn't invented yet the card praising the kind of mother-love you've shown over the last few months. Praying still for comfort and healing for all of your family.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hi Johnna! Your story has touched my heart! I will be praying for comfort for you and your family!
    Nina Chandler
    Forest Hills Elementary

    ReplyDelete
  55. I was thinking of you yesterday (Mother's Day) and hoping that God was holding you especially close. You're still in my prayers.

    Kathy (Boaz)

    ReplyDelete
  56. She's is an angel....take comfort in knowing that people everywhere (even those you might think aren't) are wrapping your family in a large hug daily with their prayers and thoughts.

    Johnna,
    Know that the way you have stuck to your faith and clung to your God through this has been an inspiration for many woman in many different situations.

    ReplyDelete
  57. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Your beautiful angel Elizabeth is just precious. My prayer is for comfort and peace for you and your family. God Bless you all.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I do not pretend to know the depth of your grief. I have followed you story via Facebook and this blog for several months. I have even posted once before. We have never met yet I consider you, Jeremy, and Elizabeth friends! I prayed for you frequently. Sometimes, you would just pop into my thoughts and I knew it was the Holy Spirit intervening for you.

    Through this grief and struggle I know great things will come. You have been an incredible example of faith and endurance and strength and grace. Thank you for letting us share this time with you.

    I know Elizabeth Ann is finally perfected and that one day, you will her giggle around the throne! But, for now, I pray for God's presence to surround you. I pray that you can enjoy the lilies while still in the valley. You can enjoy their beauty when looking back on a situation but you can only enjoy the fragance while you are near them.

    Don't quit inspiring others! Take time to grieve and to heal. Let the legacy of Elizabeth Ann continue to propel you to greatness for God's glory.

    Another Sister in Christ!

    KC in Madison, AL

    ReplyDelete
  59. My husband and I were both "2nd children", but "only" children. My brother lived 1 minute, and my husband's sister was stillborn. My husband's stepmother lost 3 children...2 boys before the age of 8, and a girl was stillborn. These little children were so perfect that they were allowed to return to live with Heavenly Father without having to endure life here on Earth. Their Spirits are alive, as is Elizabeth Ann's Spirit...we just can't see them or talk with them. I pray that you will find peace and comfort in the coming days as you grieve the loss of your beautiful daughter.

    ReplyDelete