A photo of me with a bandaged finger.

Last summer I chopped 😱 the top off of my finger. I slowly turned to Cade and said, I cut myself, and he goes, you need a bandaid?

Um, no.

I held up my finger and he went running for our medical box.

You wouldn’t even know it today. There’s no nub, haha, it’s just a finger. It’s amazing to me how the body heals. I’ve been drawn to medicine my whole life. Fascinated, in awe of and grateful for it. But it’s not just my finger, modern medicine has kept me alive and each of my three babies who grew through the hardest of circumstances.

And that’s exactly how I feel about my experience online. I’m grateful, in awe of and humbled by the opportunity to be on here and to have had healing from the hate. But even more than a healed body, my entire life, my heart, even my personality has been changed. If a finger can regenerate my soul certainly did too. Hahaha! Jk, I’m no lizard. 😜

It wasn’t immediate though. At first I wanted to push back, at least explain, “have you read why I look like this?! I’m fighting to survive and you’re throwing hate at me?!”

But then I talked to Cade. Have you caught on how much I adore that man? He is a rock.

Cade was quick to put his arm around me and let me cry into his shoulder. He knew. He knew they’d hit me where it would hurt. I already couldn’t stand to see myself, the bones that stuck out, the constant worry our baby wasn’t growing or would have issues because of me, because of my illness. Being skinny was a constant reminder I was gross, broken and that something could be wrong with our baby.

But then Cade said this,

“respond with love.”

Oh, bite me! YOU respond with love! These people are being unreal!

But I couldn’t even say it, I felt immediately that not only was he right but that this was my story. This moment was necessary. Remember in the hospital, the window and light? I had a work to do, and sometimes you have to be drug through the mud and rain to grow something amazing.

And so I did. I carefully responded to every email and comment and can I tell you, I’m all choked up to look back 4 years later and tell you what happened…

A photo of my snuggling my sick little guy.

When I have a sick kid I try so hard to drop everything and just be with them.

But do we stand with those we can’t see the pain in? The person right next to you.

I responded to every comment and email with love. And suddenly our readers began to respond with love, and slowly the haters not only stopped but started to delete their comments. And the emails, oh my goodness the emails.
The pain was worth it to have touched just one, but there were far more than just one.

One husband wrote to us, “I’m a grown man sitting in the dark sobbing. My wife has been so sick and I’ve been so scared. Nothing we do helps and suddenly I feel guilty for wanting a baby and putting her through this. How can I watch my wife suffer any longer? I have felt absolutely lost and alone and then someone shared your post on Facebook. My fear is gone. I’ll love her, that’s all she needs. For the first time in months I feel like I’m not alone and I can do this. I didn’t think we would make it another day.”

Or the woman who said, “I have hated the world most of my life. There’s no good, no good people and no reason to try to be kind or even live anymore. But for some reason I read your post and sat waiting to watch the fight. Waiting for you to respond and the drama unfold. And then I witnessed grace for the first time ever. I’ve been changed forever because you showed me that maybe there is a small amount of good left. So now I’ll be it. I’ll be the one to respond with love, I promise I’ll be the one to lift the broken because there must be more of you out there.”
And that’s only a small piece of what we heard back.

“Do we realize the power we have to bless and heal and soothe and urge each other onward?”
-Sheri L Dew

The power we hold to lift is real.

One decision not only helped others but it solidified in me the need to not even let a negative thought about another be entertained. And i knew I could love myself as I am.

I have no space for hurt, even if they would never know my thoughts. I can love you because I’ve witnessed the healing from love.

And that one moment changed something huge w/our readers. Have you noticed?

A photo of my arm with an IV in it.

I was pushing so hard to find the house, offer, have it accepted and move before the baby was here and moving w/a newborn was too hard. Plus school would already be in.
Oh but I wasn’t remembering to trust…

They always start your IVs in the crook of your arm, but it doesn’t take long before those veins are no longer usable.

My veins were shot and I’d been admitted in a hurry, my blood pressure was nonexistent and the dr said, “Carrian on paper you’re already gone, we are taking you straight over to the hospital. I know you hate it but I’m saving your life.”

I trusted him but I cried.

I was admitted and sure enough the nurse had to move up my arm to find a good vein. But she missed.
Blood shot like a hose up to the ceiling and was warm all over me.

She’d hit an artery.

I could see her panic as my eyes slowly closed.

When I came to, she was gone and a new nurse was finishing taping my iv to me. The tape itched and spread a rash but they were trying to secure it extra while they cleaned all the blood.

Life was the worst.

But I prayed in thanks that I lived during a time that I could be saved.

What are the chances?! I could have been born 100 years ago and I would have died. Moving would have been so hard right then.

“Many of us have cried out from the depths of our hearts a variation of this woman’s words: “If I could spiritually stretch enough to draw the Savior’s power into my life, I would know how to handle my heart-wrenching situation. I would know what to do. And I would have the power to do it.”

When you reach up for the Lord’s power in your life with the same intensity that a drowning person has when grasping and gasping for air, power from Jesus Christ will be yours. When the Savior knows you truly want to reach up to Him—when He can feel that the greatest desire of your heart is to draw His power into your life—you will be led by the Holy Ghost to know exactly what you should do.

When you spiritually stretch beyond anything you have ever done before, then His power will flow into you.”

So stretch me.

Stretch until it hurts.

I’ll hold on.

I’ve witnessed that truth. It has changed me.