Sharing my Journey

I had the privilege of sharing my testimony at Cedarville University back on the 18th of October. I shared about "Leaving a Wake of JOY" through the storms of life. I'm working on the possibility of posting the video here on my blog, but for now you can click here to go to the university's Chapel Archive. In the search bar type in my name "Kristin Koning" or search for Oct 18 and it should pop up. You can listen to the audio version or watch the video which includes my powerpoint pictures and scripture. I pray it will be an encouragement to you...


October 15th

And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do
Every beating of my heart says
"I Remember You"

For those of you who are wondering about all the candle pics popping up, today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day - No, we Don't need one day to Remember…we remember them EVERY day! But I am thankful this is becoming less taboo to talk about!

I'll be thinking about and praying for the moms tonight who, like me, have loved and lost. We all light candles tonight as we remember. We create a #waveoflight. It's nice to be able to feel we are NOT alone on this journey. We gather. We honor. We remember.

My heart aches for the day I get to see my children again. I saw a quote that went something like, "I miss you with all of the pieces of my heart." Yep, a heart once shattered has begun to heal.

The world may never notice
If a rosebud doesn't bloom:
Or even pause to wonder if the petals fall too soon.

But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be
Touches the World in some small way
For all eternity.

The little ones we longed for
Were swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.

And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do

Every beating of my heart says
"I Remember You"

Author unknown


Noah's Hope

This is what we include inside the photo book, so moms have an idea of how and why this ministry was started.

"Noah's Hope is a special ministry born out of heartbreaking loss.  Expecting their third son, in August 2006, Kristin and Mike went in for a routine doctor visit at 15 weeks.  What an ultrasound that day revealed would change their lives forever. The doctor told them that their baby, Noah, had a genetic syndrome incompatible with life.  The Konings were heartbroken, but trusted in the One who holds the future.  Their Wallen Baptist Church family rallied around them, supporting them in prayer. Noah defied the odds and the doctor's predictions and was born alive at 34 weeks. Mike and Kristin cherish the two hours they had to hold and love Noah here on earth.

In honor of what would have been Noah's first birthday some friends from church helped Kristin put together some special gifts to give to the hospital for other families experiencing the loss of a baby. This project in memory of Noah continued each year, and as the Wallen family embraced this ourtreach of love it grew into the ministry of Noah's Hope. The women of Wallen now meet several times each year to assemble hand-made photo memory goods. Each book is pieced, each page is glued, and each ribbon chosen with prayers for comfort and healing.

Witnessing the gift of time and creativity devoted to Noah's Hope from the Wallen family has been an encouragement to Mike and Kristin in their grief. It is their prayer that through Wallen, Noah's Hope can continue to offer comfort to families in our community experiencing the loss of a baby.  This small gift we give to affirm that each life is special, no matter how small. Our Wallen family cares for you in your loss too.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." -2 Corinthians 1:3-4


Noah's Hope

This was the first time I organized and prepared for ladies from Wallen to make the memory books.  My friend Carol moved down to Florida and she was such a big help organizing and making a tutorial for us to follow.  {It worked GREAT!  Thanks so much, Carol.}  It was a great success.  We kept everyone busy and I think the ladies enjoyed working together to make such a cherished gift for grieving moms.  Thank you ladies for helping me!!  Your time and willingness to help is a special gift to me too.


Birthday gifts

Yesterday was Noah's birthday. We continued the tradition from last year and released balloons. The boys really liked doing that and asked if we were going to do it again this year. Trent wanted blue and Drew (of course) asked for green. They each drew a picture/wrote a note to Noah and we tied them to their balloon. It was sooo windy and so Mike and I were trying to untangle the balloon ribbons. Meanwhile Trent was getting anxious and said, "Can we start singing NOW?!" He lead in singing "Happy Birthday."

Later on in the evening we went to the hospital to drop off all of the goodies that my friends helped make or donate. The boys were excited to help carry the teddy bears! My nurse friend said she is "so excited and honored to be able to share these, in memory of Noah, with other moms who are hurting." A big Thank You to all of you who helped me even be able to do this, it is truly a blessing!

(Drew was so sweet, he had to make sure that my friend knew that "this one has a heart on his foot!")
Someone who attended our church wrote this "song" for Noah and gave it to me just after his memorial service. It hangs in my bedroon under a picture of Noah and I thought I'd share it today.

Hello Noah.

I'm glad to see, you've finally come to be with me.
With other boys who laugh and play,
and great adventures along the way.
By the shores of crystal sea,
in heaven here with you and me.

I've made a place just for you,
prepared before the world was new,
where all that's joy runs through and through,
and you can be with grandpa too.

By the shores of crystal sea,
in heaven here with you and me.
We'll dance amidst the fields of green,
such beauty mortals have not yet seen.

Play "hide and seek" and "king of the hill"
"catch the flag", or better still,
run through clear streams with great amaze,
with shouts of joy - our hearts ablaze!
Catch salamanders with speckled spots,
and frogs that jump from rock to rock.
We'll climb a tree or fly a kite,
Then take a sailboat late at night,
to hear the call of

Father's Love,

Which surely brings our gaze above.

You'll sing to him who gave you grace,
it's here we find our resting place.
By the shores of crystal sea,
in heaven here with you and me.

And someday soon, your mom and dad,
will rest with us in this land of glad,
and clasp the hand that once

let go

My perfect love they'll soon know,
Where all who come can be truly free.
By the shores of crystal sea,
in heaven here with you and me.


In Memory...

Last year a few of my friends got together to help me make some presents to take to the hospital where Noah was born. We had so much fun, the girls wanted to do it again this year. It really was fun for me to take everything we had made and collected and drop it off at the hospital...it gave me something happy to do on a day that I anticipated dreading.

I keep in contact with one of the nurses at the hospital and so she was able to share with me about giving these items to moms who had just lost their baby. I'm so thankful to be able to make a small impact on the lives of moms who now walk the path I did almost two years ago. At a time when they feel all alone and that know one understands, they receive a gift from a mom that "knows." And I hope it helps, seeing in a tangible way, that they are not alone!

It is such a special thing for me to have friends who want to remember Noah's life with me. I can't thank them enough for their prayer, encouragement, and friendship. You (and you know who you are!) have been Christ's hands and feet to me - your gentle reminders of love, concern, and comfort have taught me so much!

A few pictures of us hard at work...

What the books look like...

The reason why I wanted to do something with pictures stems from this scene...

"After our friends and family had all left the hospital for the night, the hospital photographer peeked in with a small white envelope in her hand. She had printed four or five pictures she had taken of our son. When I saw the pictures of his tiny hand, wrinkly feet, and his face, I could not hold back the tears. They were a priceless treasure! His time with us had come and gone. Now, I held in my hand the only link to remembering his face. He was beautiful!! It was just what I needed, and it couldn't have been better timing. Our time was winding down, we were about to give Noah over to the funeral home, and I felt as though she made it a little easier. We would trade his little body for the pictures we could hold onto for the rest of our lives. I had these beautiful pictures to look at anytime I needed to see him."
Think about how a mom would feel when she receives her baby's pictures, not in a white envelope, but a precious "photo book." It says to a mom who wants something special and unique for her baby...someone cares about your baby too! They are precious and valuable and the "cover" matches the beautiful pictures. I carry my little photo book in my purse even today. Anytime I want to show someone, or look at them myself I have them with me! I hope this becomes something special to the moms that receive them too.