Monday, August 25, 2014


I've wanted to write this post for months, but until now I wasn't sure what I wanted to say, and frankly just wasn't ready to write it.  The experience Matt and I had with Owen the day he was born was so personal and so heavenly that it's not something I knew how to share or if I even could.  From the first days of finding out about Owen's condition we felt deeply that he was special, that he was important and it was a great blessing for our family to have him.  That feeling grew as we got closer to his and Edith's due date and the day we held him it was overwhelmingly confirmed to me that this was an incredible son, not just ours, but an incredible son of Heavenly Father first and Owen was fulfilling his work by coming briefly on this earth and then he was on to do more work.  I love that little boy more than I can say.  

Matt and I prayed for a miracle when we learned that Owen wasn't going to survive, but I felt throughout this experience that we were receiving miracles, all along the way, and in the end, they were somehow even greater miracles than the one we had been hoping for, even though I don't fully understand it.

My mom told me about a devotional address she read recently that she thought I would like by Dallan R. Moody, and it said some things about his own son that I felt were completely true in my own situation.  

"What struck me was that 'the absence of the miracle' could actually be a 
miracle in and of itself—the premise being that as God’s ways and thoughts are higher than man’s, at times the Lord may choose to provide a 
miracle counterintuitive to what we may want, knowing full well His own end purpose. Because of the absence of the miracle fixed in our minds, 
He is better able to help us grow and thus become happier than we ever could have been had we received the desired miracle for which we had 

And that point he made at the end is exactly how I feel about my experience with Owen.  I don't feel deprivation of something I should have received, a hole that my baby should have filled, but I feel like I have been stretched and have grown so much from this experience that I am a different person than I was a year ago, better, and it was because Owen did come, he was here, and is my little boy forever.  And because of those truths I feel like my happiness has grown and my ability to love has grown.  I feel the importance of life so much more, especially when I hold Edith and think about how lucky I am to have her here.  She has been our other little angel.

Owen was here 7 hours, the most perfect and complete 7 hours of my life.  He passed away before most of our family could make it, though most of them tried.  My sister Monica got to hold him while he was still here which I'm so grateful for.  When we got to the hospital everything happened so fast.  The first plan was to try to hold off the delivery for a week, and then all of a sudden we were being prepped for my c-section.  We had just enough time to tell our parents that it was happening within the hour so they and some of our siblings all hopped on a plane or in a car and got here as fast as they could.  It was so good to have them here and meant so much to us to be surrounded by them.  They along with our amazing friends carried us through this experience.  What could have been a lonely and scary time became bearable because of them.  They put together the most beautiful memorial here and in Utah.  I was literally overwhelmed with love when I walked in to see all they had done the day of Owen's memorial and to see how many people showed up to support us!  So many people helped in so many ways, big and small.  They brought us meals, "heart attacked" Edith's NICU room, sent us sweet cards and messages of love and support, came to show their love at his memorial, and the list goes on and on.  We were filled with a sweet gratitude that was healing.  

It's always enlightening to look back on an experience after things have settled.  You're able to see even clearer the ways God orchestrated things to your benefit, usually through the kindnesses of other people.  Looking back I can see more clearly His hand in every detail and can feel His incredible love for us.  I know that Owen came for a purpose, I know he is my little boy forever.  I know that even when THE miracle that we want sometimes doesn't happen, if we turn to God in faith He will still provide miracles in our lives and they can shape us into better people.  I know that if you are struggling with something similar (or completely different), that struggle can become a stepping stone, if you let it, to becoming better and happier, even when it seems nearly impossible.  That's what Jesus Christ can do.

So to sum up my experience with Owen in my arms I will use Dallan R. Moody's words:
"Though his 
body was misshapen and broken, his spirit was whole, noble, and great. Being in his presence was healing and heavenly. I thank Heavenly Father for making the time with Owen not only possible but powerful. It was indeed heaven on 


Emily said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. So grateful Owen came!

Chase and Kortney Crowley said...

Thank u for sharing this. It was so beautifully written. Your whole family is such an amazing example to all who know u. We sure do love u guys.

Monica said...

That was beautiful.

Heidi Tanner said...

Very touching and powerful. Thanks for sharing it. We are very grateful to have gotten to know you amazing Craguns and miss you guys.

watcher said...

I told Matt Yesterday when he walked in with Edith to PEC I had just been reading my journal from that days experience! It was Absolutley Heavenly! Thank you!

Ashley J @ MommyByDayCrafterByNight said...

What a beautiful post... Owen's life touched so many and continues to do so.
I have always been amazed at the grace and insight you have. I am amazed at how your sweet family has handled this bittersweet experience. I can not imagine walking a day in your shoes Nicole.... You inspire me to have more faith and hope. Thanks for your sweet example. xoxo

Eric and Chasten said...

Just beautiful.

Anonymous said...

You are so incredible, uplifting, and inspiring. I love every part of who you are.

Kacey said...

WOW! That was powerful. I need a box of tissues now! You guys are just amazing! Thank you for sharing and thank you for your wonderful examples. We miss you guys! Hope our paths in life cross again soon.

Carolyn said...

That was beautiful. You are a wonderful example to me in so many ways. I love you!

Josh and Krystal said...

We love you guys and miss you tons. Thank you for sharing this about your experiences with precious little Owen. Hope you are doing well.