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 Today is an exciting day. Not only is it June and our calendar is bare compared to last month, but I'm also doing my first giveaway as a blogger. Thrilling, I know!

For those who read my blog regularly, you know how emotional the last months have been. They have been filled with loss and with grief. Most recently, my grandma died. But just before that, Brad and I lost a baby through an ectopic pregnancy.

After writing about my experience for the Free Press, I have been blessed to the core by other women who opened up and shared their own stories of loss and heartbreak. They understand, all too well, the grief and emptiness that comes from losing a precious baby.

Now a month and a few weeks out, I still have horrible days. Days that make me feel as though I don't deserve to be a mother, that my baby is better off with Jesus. Other days, I find myself feeling joyful over other experiences life has to offer. Yet, the majority of my days, I feel like a shell of a human. Going through the motions, but not feeling quite there.

But, I have hope. And let me tell you why. I am a child of God. I believe Jesus is my savior. And I believe what the Bible says about the hope offered to all who believe. Being a follower of Christ doesn't get me out of trials of this world. But it does give me the Words to continue.

Over the last 10 months or so, I have been praying one simple scripture: "Teach me your ways, O LORD." God has been faithful. Change isn't easy, especially when the "truths" I've come to believe are erased to make room for the TRUTH. Painful, yes. Glorious, YES.

So that brings me back to my giveaway. One of my favorite books is called "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers. I read it at least once a year. I just finished reading it again a couple weeks ago. And I found myself identifying with the main character this time...not in a literal I'm-escaping-prostitution kind of way, but in the realization that God and my faith are what will fill up my empty shell.

So I say, "Thank you God for my trials. For stripping away all falsehoods. For bringing me to my knees. And for lifting me up."

GIVEAWAY INFO: To get your name in the giveaway for one copy of "Redeeming Love," leave me a comment explaining a situation that was life-changing for you. Or, tell me your favorite book and why. One entry per person. I will accept entries until 11:59 p.m. Friday, June 3. Winner will be posted the following Monday. Good luck!

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