Sunday, May 18, 2014

Exploring the Depths of God's Grace

I created this blog on February 20th. Ben had just had brain surgery on the 11th, we discovered that the tumor was cancerous on the 14th, and he was headed into six weeks of chemo and radiation beginning the 25th. Family members encouraged me to create a central Internet site to help keep loved ones connected with Ben's progress. I had been worried that Ben would become a 'cause,' a reason for people to doubt and mistrust God's plan. His plan for our beautiful son. But once I realized that it really was the best way to communicate regular updates, I conceded.
 
I created a Caring Bridge site but abandoned it after just a few minutes. It didn't take me long to get frustrated by the fact that I couldn't upload as many photos as I was accustomed to. So I made the transition to Blogger. I have managed several blogs in the past as a way to journal, communicate, and encourage. Surely this was an appropriate stage for Ben's updates. We would create a Blue4Ben Facebook page in order to help friends and family know when I had updated the information.
 
As Ben's story and photo entered everyone's Facebook newsfeed, people were drawn into his story. The dimples. The eye lashes. The fact that he was a twin. And that it was obvious what a good boy he was. I never imagined the number of people that would have been invested in his story.
 
As the 'fans' on the Facebook page increased, so did the prayers. Messages and cards of encouragement were sent every day. I wasn't sure exactly how God would have chosen to use our story - I had been hoping it would have been a place for Him to receive glory for a physical miracle of healing - but we simply tried to be faithful.
 
The support we have received has just been unimaginable. There is no way to describe the comfort we have received knowing that prayers have extended through all parts of Western New York, the nation, the world. We have been blown away by the ways God seemed to be using Ben's story to heal, comfort, and reach people for His glory.
 
But even when God called Ben home, when his body just couldn't take the intensity of the aggressive tumor, we grieved our loss. And yet we celebrated the enormous impact one little boy had on our world.
 
I hadn't thought about the future of the blog. Its original purpose had been accomplished. People were informed, they knew how to pray, and God's name was exalted. At the funeral, people encouraged me to keep writing. That our story was not finished. I wasn't exactly sure how to respond. But the name of the blog is "Ben Sauer, a little boy waiting on a miracle." That chapter is now closed. I wasn't exactly sure how/if God wanted to continue using it in the future.
 
But I still do have words to share. I still have updates to give. The subjects have changed slightly, though. Mostly because their status has changed. Ben is no longer inhabiting an earthly body. He is enjoying the warmth of heaven, complete with wings. Jack and Megan (as well as their 22-week sister in utero) are still here. Still grieving. Still missing their brother. Andy and I still shed tears daily in missing our beloved son. The healthy one. How he was before the effects of a tumor struck his small body.
 
However, the number of Facebook 'fans' has increased by several thousand since Ben's homegoing. Perhaps our story wasn't over. People want to continue to see how Ben's siblings are handling his absence. They want to know how to pray our family through this transition. And perhaps see pictures of the littlest Sauer when she makes her arrival in September, Lord willing.
 
So I will continue to write. At least for the time being.
 
As God inspires, I will write.
 
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Emotions have been a constant rollercoaster since Ben's passing on Tuesday, May 13th.
 
Shock.
 
Disbelief.
 
Relief.
 
Comfort.
 
Sadness.
 
Joy.
 
Everything feels so surreal. We know it's happening. We feel every single emotion. We cry all the time. We laugh and celebrate. And yet, it doesn't feel like this could all be real.

Our son isn't here anymore. Our son is in heaven.
 
Not exactly sure when that's going to sink in completely.
 
The events over the past two days to celebrate Benjamin's life have been sweet. There really was so much to honor a little boy's legacy after a mere 1,833 days of existence. The memorial was amazingly beautiful. Jack gave a pre-recorded eulogy in honor of his favorite brother and we had hundreds of pictures scrolling through the ceremony, reminding us of the vibrant little boy that now was pain-free and enjoying the benefits of heaven and his Heavenly Father. (If you would still like to see the recorded service at The Chapel, you're welcome to view it here.)
 
My immediate family sat at the burial, Andy to my left, Megan on his lap, Jack to my right, and my secondborn's old body in the casket in front of me. Pastor Jerry said a few words and then we sang "Jesus Loves Me." It was my request. When I sing to my kids at night, I always end with that song. It signifies that it's the end. I only made it through the first few words, though, before I had to rely on those strong enough to carry the tune without me.
 
Jack looked up at me with those big eyes and asked if I was okay. "Yeah," I stifled through whispered tears. "We're just really going to miss him." And then my firstborn. My thoughtful Jack. Took his left arm and pushed it behind my back and rested his head on my arm. He was trying to comfort me. His mother. He had never done anything like that before. It was sweet. So selfless. So thoughtful. I was deeply touched.
 
The pastor said we could take as long as we needed. We stayed to grieve a bit longer and then asked Jack if he was ready to go. "No. Just another minute," he said. That took us by surprise, too. We gladly obliged and sat back down. And then he asked, "When are we going to put the flowers in his grave? Like we did for Grandma Sauer?"
 
What a sweetheart.
 
Jack remembered us taking roses and putting them inside his grandma's grave this past October. Of course we could do that. "Definitely!" I told him. "Let's do it right now."
 
He shrugged both shoulders and turned up his right hand. "Yeah, if they say it's okay."
 
Oh, yeah. It's definitely okay.


Jack and his flowers from Ben's centerpiece, next to his Papa. My dad. 
 
I had to keep pulling Megan back from falling into the shallow grave, but she gladly joined her family in dropping several white roses inside Ben's final resting place. And all of our hearts felt full. Jack took a handful of roses to take home. It meant so much that he had spear-headed so much of the events of his brother's burial.
 
We stopped at home before leaving again for the luncheon to gather a few things. I suggested Jack take his flowers inside the house. I thought it would be beautiful to dry them and do something special with them later on. But Jack insisted on holding onto them. No problem. They were for his twin, after all. He jumped around the front yard as we tried to herd him and his sister away from the mud. Then he took each of the roses and stuck them into the ground. He said he wanted to plant them. So they would continue to grow even after Ben is gone. Suddenly, drying a few roses didn't seem as meaningful to me anymore. This was, by far, a much more meaningful purpose for them. Because Jack was the one that wanted to do it.
 
Our family in our front yard, next to the white roses Jack and Meg "planted" for Ben.
 
After baths, we all talked as we put the kids' pajamas on. It had been a whirlwind of a couple days. We look forward to those quiet moments in order to see how Jack is processing everything. We talked about how weird his body looked inside the casket. The makeup, the way they combed his hair. It wasn't him. But he wasn't there anyway. "Do you feel better now that you're done crying?" Jack asked me.
 
"Yes, I do. Sometimes crying feels good. I'm going to miss Ben a lot. He was a really important part of our family. But I really am grateful that he's in heaven with Jesus. And he's not sick anymore. No more medicine, no more headaches. Knowing that makes me feel really good."
 
"Dad, are you going to cry again?" he asked Andy. "Boys aren't supposed to cry."
 
Andy reiterated something my dad had told Jack a few days before. "It's okay for men to cry when little boys die." I married a very strong man. But he never seemed so strong as when he can admit to his son that it's okay to cry. This was definitely one of those times.
 
Jack started down the stairs behind his dad for movie night and I turned back to the bathroom to turn off the light and pick up the wet towels. "Are you coming, Mom?" My heart just about stopped. I turned around to see Jack's head poke around the corner from the bathroom.
 
He was waiting for me.
 
I don't even think I answered with words. I just shook my head, dropped the wet towels that were in my hands, and started walking with him. He skipped down the hallway and happily chose a movie with his sister.
 
Ben was the one to wait for me. Never Jack. What a beautiful gift God had given me last night. A reminder: even though Ben wasn't with us in body, his legacy of love and patience would live on. Even in the heart of his independent brother.
 
Jack slept in his own bed last night. For the first time in a couple weeks. Unprompted. He did eventually join us in our bed in the middle of the night. But Andy and I were very surprised at his willingness to make such a big transition back to his own room after such a short amount of time. He is asleep in his own bed tonight, too.
 
Progress.
 
Healing.
 
Andy and I have discussed the fact that any big changes will not be initiated by us. Not now. We will simply follow Jack's lead and make small changes at a time. His emotional well-being is more important than initiating structure right now, especially when it had taken us so long to get to this point. By the time Jack begins kindergarten in the fall, I'm sure we'll be on a better schedule. Or at least closer to one. That is, before the baby is born and turns things upside-down again! hehe
 
Today had its ups and downs. Jack resisted going into Sunday school, an otherwise normal event, but one that had always been accompanied by his twin brother. Andy had to stay with him for almost 45 minutes before Jack gave him the green light to go into the service. I was frustrated. We were actually on time this morning. We were going to get good seats without disrupting everyone ten or twenty minutes into the service. As a mom, when will I get the fact that things never go the way you had planned? Thankfully, I calmed down by the time we picked up Jack. Who, consequently, wanted us to wait a minute because he was in the middle of a game.
 
We let Jack choose our lunch destination: Ted's Hot Dogs. He called Papa and Nana to be sure they were going to be able to join us, and was super pleased that my entire immediate family was able to join us and were very pleased with his good choice. "This was Ben's favorite place, too!" he reminded us. It felt good to be out. Together. Just like we used to do. Though I'd be lying if I said it didn't hurt to see that one empty car seat.
 
There is obviously a huge hole that had been previously occupied by a lively and goofy little boy. We can feel it. As we transition from church to the van, the van to the restaurant, and then back to the van... it feels odd to only have two kids in tow. Surreal.
 
Last night I threw away Ben's toothbrush. This afternoon I started separating Ben's clothes from the rest in order to get them out of circulation and put them away for a later project. I took his jackets out of the coat closet. When I called the kids in for dinner, I yelled, "C'mon inside, Jack and Ben! Er, I mean, Jack and Meg."
 
That tightness in my chest returned for a moment. It hurt to remember that I wouldn't be welcoming Ben inside for dinner. I would only be assisting with two hand-washings before settling into our seats at dinner. I would only be setting out four plates.
 
I tried to comfort myself in knowing that Jesus wouldn't need to call Ben inside. He would be able to enjoy the fullness and warmth of heaven all through the day. Because there is no darkness in heaven. There is no time either. I'd imagine it to be a comfortable 72 degrees all of the time, with zero humidity. Knowing that does give me comfort.
 
But it still hurts.
 
As we head into this "season of firsts," I know it will be even more difficult than it is right now. The first trip to the zoo without Ben. The first swim in the town pool. The first playdate, birthday party, the birth of his little sister, the first Christmas... I don't look forward to going through that pain.
 
But... God.
 
God has assured me that His grace is sufficient. His grace is deeper. And His grace is powerful enough to carry me through. We just have to ask for it.
 
He doesn't supply all the grace we need at once. He gives us just enough to get through one day at a time. And in my case, one moment at a time.
 
I really wish we weren't in a position to discover just how deep the depths of His grace are. But we are finding them to be very deep. Very rich. And more than enough.
 
The road ahead is long. It is difficult. And God can't promise that we won't come across more difficulties along the way. In fact, He guarantees that we will. But He will supply the grace. My job is simply to obey. To rest in His strength. And to look for the ways He is trying to bless us through this storm.
 
I'm reminded of these verses:
 
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary
and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn
from me, for I am gentle and humble
in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30
 
Rest. I like the way that sounds.
 
Thank you, God, that your grace is deep enough to sustain us through even the dark times. We will continually try and rest in You. Please continue to mend our broken hearts as we mourn our loss. Remind us of your mercies. And that You have never - ever - not even once - failed us. Amen.

175 comments:

  1. Your family is in my prayers. I admire your faith, strength and wisdom. May God continue to watch over your home and your beautiful children. Thank you for sharing this intimate and difficult period of your lives with us. Prayers, hugs and blessings go out to you!

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  2. God Bless You Mindy and your entire family as you go through these "firsts" May HE be glorified and exalted and contunue to show you grace.

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  3. God will carry you...Ben is always with you in your heart. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  4. Oh Mindy & Andy! How my heart aches for you all. Thank you for your faithfulness and honesty. Your testimony, Ben's testimony, is going to continue to echo throughout eternity. You and your whole family will continue to be covered with prayers from your brothers and sisters in Christ. Much love.

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  5. Mindy, I continue to marvel at your faith and your strength. As I am making my own journey into Christ I am inspired by your words and your wisdom. May God bless you and your family and the new life you are nurturing.

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  6. I had just finished watching Ben's celebration video when I saw there was a new post up, Mindy. The celebration was beautiful. And I am so thankful you will continue blogging about your life, as God inspires. As a writer myself, I want to say thank you for using your gift for His glory, even in this hard time. Please tell that precious boy of yours that his brother is so proud of him for looking after you all until you are all together in Heaven. I remember that Ben would always wait for you (he was a lot like my Luke ... age 4) and Jack has melted my heart with all that you have shared here. He is definitely picking up where Ben left off. I apologize for the lack of cohesive thought here. Too many tears ... of sorrow and joy. Just know that your family (all of you and especially Jack) are all in our prayers, and your legacy, Ben's legacy has changed the hearts and lives of my family just as he has done for so many and will continue to do. God bless you all.

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  7. Mindy, I haven't posted on any of your other blogs, though I have read them. What does one say to a grieving mother? After watching Ben's service yesterday, attending the Chapel today and now reading this latest post, I can only pray to be the kind of disciple you are. You are truly an inspiration and through your words bring comfort and hope to others even in your darkest hours. As long as you post, I will read. I will learn from your faithfulness and pray that I can emulate your unwavering trust in the Lord. Thank you for opening your heart, home and family to us. May Gods blessings fall upon you today and always as you are truly an example of how to live like Jesus.

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  8. Your words are so beautiful. I was so blessed by this entry. Thank you. My prayers are with your family sweet mama, as you mourn the loss of your sweet boy. Your beautiful, pure, honest, raw faith is very inspiring. God bless you.

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  9. You are truly a phenomenal, strong, and inspiring woman. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family during this unimaginative loss. <3 rip sweet Ben

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  10. I have yet to comment, but I have prayed for you and your family every day of the journey since I read your first post. I have cried for you guys many times. I begged our Heavenly Father to heal Ben and then prayed that if it wasn't his will to heal Ben, to please not allow him to suffer any longer. I was both sad and comforted when I heard news that Ben entered heaven. I cried so hard when I read your post about Ben going home to heaven. I cried mostly because of your faith that astounds me. Your faith and trust in Christ has been so real and so evident. I've prayed and asked God to help me have your faith if I ever have to face the same with one of my children. You are such a testiment to the kind of peace we can have in Christ. I know you have pain I can't imagine, but you hold your peace. Exodus 14:14 "The Lord shall fight for you and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest." - Thank you for being so real and sharing your story, Ben's story. I will continue to pray, as I have and my children have. Every morning at breakfast devotions we have prayed for all of you. Thank you for continuing to share this blog and write it. God bless you!!!

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  11. Mindy, you have shown more faith in the Lord during this difficult time then I have seen in my whole life from anyone. I am so happy that you will keep writing, each blog I read give's me hope. Hope of joys of heaven, and hope of a better tomorrow. It gives you something to look forward to, and for you to know that when God calls you home, your Ben will be waiting for you right next to Jesus with open arms. If there ever was a chance to meet you in person, I would say thank you for sharing Ben with all of us, he is such a beautiful boy in every way, and I say "is" and not "was" because I believe Ben is alive in our hearts and if he is alive in our hearts, he will never die. God Bless you and your family.
    Leanne

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  12. Just beautiful! What a strong person you are! May God continue to give you the strength you need to continue on your difficult journey.

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  13. thank you for continuing to share your heart, your lives..I join you in your prayer and will continue to..may His peace continue to fill your hearts..through each and every moment you face today and in the days to come.

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  14. You and yournfamilynare constantly in my thoughts and prayers. My 20month old son and I wore blue this past Friday to remember Ben. Following your blog, I have found myself feeling closer to God, and loving my son even more, hugging him tight, and I was reminded that each person in our lives is "on loan" to us. We don't know how long we have to spend with them before the Lord calls them Home, or calls us Home. We cannot take for granted that we will see our children become the adults we wish them to be, or our parents to become great grandparents or great great grandparents. We must live in the moment, live one day at a time, and thank God for our blessings and being able to spend another day with those we love the most. My deepest sympathies to you and your family! May you continue to rest in God's grace.

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  15. Thank you so much for continuing to share with us, Mindy. I wish we could help take some of your pain.

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  16. Mindy, as I sit and read this evening blog. I can't help but cry. I Dont kno2 you personally but as a bereaved mom to a little boy I feel emotionally connected.
    Today I took my 8 year old son to "visit" his big brothers grave and to make sure everything we'd put there for. Him a few weeks ago was untouched. Well, it wasn't. My heart sank. Even his head stone had been vandalized. I just sat and cried...why me ? I've been a Christian since the age of 7 and my children are as well but being a mommy to a child in Heaven is such a hard job.
    I will continue to pray that God gives you the strength to raise Jack,Megan and the Lil princess in your tummy with God first .
    For me everyday is a struggle but reading your blogs and seeing your faith gives me hope that even though my son is gone 9 years this June 2nd I to must rejoice that he's in Heaven with Jesus and your angel Ben. My thoughts and prayers will always be with your family.

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  17. Mindy, I continue to pray. I continue to think of Ben and your family and this morning in Sunday School I talked about Ben's being in heaven and shared with our class that the loss of a child is one of the most difficult any of us could go through. I asked that they keep you and your family in prayer, as i do. I'm selfishly happy that you have chosen to continue to write. You have a gift. This is a ministry. And this ministry will help so many you don't even know. I'm thankful that Melody posted about your struggles and I could peek a bit into your journey and come to know your family. The days ahead will be a roller coaster, but thankfully, God is with you!

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  18. You are amazing..thank you for sharing your journey. God Bless You!

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  19. So sorry for your recent loss of your wonderful son, Benjamin David. Do not try to forget him. He will always have a special place in your heart and family. We lost our little boy David John 28 years ago (May 6, 1986). It is hard to believe that it was so long ago, because sometimes is still feels like yesterday. I echo your words, "God is Good". He has taught us so many things as a result of the life and death of our little boy. We are really looking forward to seeing David again in Heaven. David was also our 2nd born (of 7 blessings), and 7 (almost 8) grand babies. We will continue to pray for you as you miss your special boy, Benjamin.

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  20. You amaze me. There is so much more I could say but that pretty much sums it up. Thank you for bring such an inspiration.

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  21. Thank you for sharing with us. I have already used your story to encourage a former classmate. My mops group is having a play date tomorrow and we are all going to wear blue for Ben. Well, for you.

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  22. My heart skipped a beat when you said that Jack waited for you before going downstairs for movie night. I wanted to tell you that you were mistaken; however, as you would say "But .... God." God knew what you needed exactly when you needed it. Thank you for continuing to give updates. It helps me and others know exactly how to continue to pray for your dear family. You will continue to be in my prayers.

    P.S. Yes, the eyelashes are amazing on your little man!

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  23. I am so thankful for your blog, I losy my dad to cancer almost two months ago and I just can't seem to find any comfort in the fact I know he is no longer suffering. Sometimes I think that makes me selfish. I now know that he is in heaven, and Ben is also. Now I believe God has a plan for all the people that he takes, a much bigger plan for them up in heaven. I pray for your family, for comfort and for care. Ben will always be with you and your family even if it's not physically.

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  24. You have been in my thoughts and prayers constantly. I think of you and your family countless times a day and even found myself trying to understand how you and the rest of the family would proceed from here. I have shed so many tears thinking about how I would feel if I were in your shoes (I have 5 children). I have found a new faith in our Lord because of your story. I feel like you really let us all in to your family and that we got to know Ben on such a personal level. I have had a very heavy heart this past week. I keep telling myself to keep faith in knowing you feel comforted by our wonderful God and that you feel His love surrounding you. I have turned to God more since this has happened to your family and I feel very thankful for that. Sometimes life gets in the way and we need to be refocused. I want you to know that I now don't take a minute for granted with my children. I have always had an unconditional love for them...without a doubt. But I take more TIME for them without hesitation. This morning I turned to God in a moment of darkness and asked him to please take some of the pain out of my heart. The day continued and little things kept popping up that made me smile. My almost 5 year old son and I played and played...no hesitation. And then I had to leave for a photo shoot. I didn't want to go. I love my work so this was not a normal reaction. I got to the location and started the session. It was 2 little boys and their mom and dad. My heart all of a sudden felt so light. It was a beautiful feeling. My point of all of this is that I put my trust and faith in God and he delivered. Thank you so much for continuing your blog so we can follow your beautiful family and continue prayers for whatever is needed.

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  25. You are a talented writer, gifted mother and faithful servant of our Lord. I continue to lift your family up in prayer, and thank you for sharing your faith. Your family is an inspiration. God Bless.

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  26. Continuing to keep you all in my prayers. I was shown this letter from John Piper months ago and while the exact situation is obviously different -- you may still find it to be truth: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/letter-to-a-parent-grieving-the-loss-of-a-child

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  27. Mindy, I was so happy when I read that you are going to continue to blog. Thousands of people are still praying and caring for your family. We are definitely not done with the Saur family! My "little" boys are now middle-agers and I still want to yank them from their homes and hold them tight. Thank you so much for sharing your family with us. Last night as I was preparing for bed, I told God that if it is His will, I will be able to see Ben for myself long before you do. But I told God that I hope one of the first smiles I see will be Ben's. Because of you and your beautiful spirit, his memory will live on in all our hearts.

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  28. I am so glad you're continuing to blog. You are a very eloquent writer. God bless your family!

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  29. Mindy, you are a blessing to me. God is so good! I'm so glad you are going to continue writing in your blog. In the midst of your pain, God is using you to show others how to go through their pain. What it should look like when you love The Lord. Thank you for helping me. I'm praying for you and your sweet family and will continue to through all those firsts!

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  30. Please...don't stop writing. Ben's earthly chapter of this "story" may have ended, but his legacy remains. I believe that God will continue to astound you for years to come with Ben's legacy. Your little boy has brought healing to thousands of people and led them to the arms of Jesus. And he has, in fact, been completely healed. I strongly believe that his story needs to continue to be told. As does yours. My heart is full for your family, and I will continue to be praying for all of you.

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  31. You are so amazing. I have read each of your updates like millions around this world. you are the strongest person I know. I cry tears of sadness not only for your loss but for the strength you and Andy have. You and your family and Ben have touched this community and world. Thank you...xo

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  32. You do still have a story to tell, and it is still a miracle to come - the return of our Christ! I am so thankful for your strength and faithfulness. These moments of grief and grieving are reminders that this is not our home, and one day, with His grace, you will be with your little boy again. God bless you and your family. My prayers continue for you, your family, and Ben. Soli Deo Gloria!

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  33. What a new world you have entered into. I think the hardest part of the road is what lies ahead. I also think God gave you and your family a beautiful reminder of Ben in his very own identical brother. Cling to God. He loves you. And I'm sending my own love from Colorado. You and your family are in my heart, thoughts, and prayers. Thank goodness that this life is only a small speck compared to Eternity.

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  34. Mindy, I am so happy that you are continuing to write. We talk about all of you and little Ben as if we knew you. My sister, my girlfriend and I were so happy to see the celebration. It was a beautiful service. I shall miss your Ben, and I look forward to continuing my faith journey through your journey. Thank you for your faith in God and his grace and mercy. It continues to make mine stronger. Sleep well.

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  35. Your strength AMAZES me. I cant get through reading the blog without tears and thoughts of my little angel, I wonder how you are so strong and have so much faith, I wish I had the strong belief you do-I always thought i did until my son left us and I lost alot of faith. I find myself telling my older son things to comfort him and then I think to myself, I hope I am telling him the truth, how do I know? I reaf your blog and think, gee, I hope she is right, I hope its 72 and no humidity as my Nate hated being hot, I hope there is no darkness, he wasnt much of a sleeper. Im praying I find the strength and faith that you have, although its been 3 years for me-I hope I get to the place that you seem to be, soon. I think of you all often and I hope Jack will have your strong beliefs in knowing his brother is safe and healthy :)

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  36. Thank you for the powerful reminder of God's sufficient grace. It's too bad that our sinful natures keep us from recognizing it and accepting it every moment. I pray that God's grace would be more than sufficient for you and your family each day as your hearts heal and grow.

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  37. Dear Mindy,
    There is so much I wish I could say to you but all I can think to write is God bless you. I thought of your family and Ben all day today and I have prayed for you all since the first day I discovered your blog and I promise to continue to do so. Please know that there are many people who have never had the privilege to meet you who are walking this journey with you and sending much love and prayer your way. I wish with all my heart that I could do more. I am so sorry for your loss. Ben was a special little boy born to a very special family. God bless you always.

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  38. I found your story for the first time just days before Ben passed...I went back through your blog...and read it all....you tell your story with eloquence...the world has been touched by this because of the vivid way you have shared such a personal story...one that as parents so many of us can relate to...I firm't just relate to your pain ...I felt it all they way through my soul...your strength is inspiring...your words enlightening....I pray for you all...I am a 2nd grade teacher...and single mom of two...I will never see blue and not think of your Ben...so very sorry for your loss.

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  39. Thank you Mindy for choosing to honor Christ with your life. I have prayed and will continue to pray fervently for you, Andy, Jack, and Megan. I pray too for those reading your comments that they may come to know the depth of Christ's love for each of them. Habakkuk 3: 17-19 are some of my favorite verses. Like you, Habakkuk chose to honor the Lord even when he knew life was going to become very difficult. I pray that you will continue to have the courage to trust in the Lord as you walk this path of pain. God is using you! God Bless you and yours with His great peace. Wanda Martin/California

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  40. Dear Sauer family... I don't know you but you've been in my thoughts and prayers ever since I first found this blog not all that long ago. I'd been praying for Ben and for all of you. Your testimony of faith is such an inspiration--NOT because you haven't been hurt to the core--but because you have, and yet you STILL believe! I too am a Christian and I can only pray that under similar circumstances I could be as faithful as you all have been! I'm so pleased that you will continue to write as you feel up to it. I can't even explain why, it's just this feeling that Ben's story is unfolding even now and that his legacy will obviously live on. And we will one day celebrate with you, just as we now grieve with you over your precious Ben. Continuing to pray for you all!

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  41. Yes..you have so much more of your story to tell..to tell all the ways that God is going to meet you in your pain...to share all the miracles..to share all the wonders..can't wait to hear it..He is going to be glorified much more than we can imagine ..you continue in my prayers..prayers for date nights..prayers for new fun family memories..prayers for restorative times of worship where you feel the balm of Gilead healing you. Blessings to you sister on the Lord

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  42. Thank you, Mindy, for continuing to write. Thank you for being real, and for allowing others like me to cry with you. Thank you for reminding someone like me how to grieve, someone who has been missing her boy in heaven for a year and a half now. I don't think an hour has gone by in the last several months where God hasn't brought you and your family to mind, and so I have 'prayed without ceasing' for you. And I will continue to. I can see and hear that God is carrying you through so many prayers from others, and because of the strong faith that you have in Him. Blessings on your precious family. (from a church-friend of Kelly & Josh Gibbel, Lancaster PA)

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  43. Thank you Mindy, for showing me what true faith and obedience to God looks like. I cannot imagine the heartache and sadness you and your family must be feeling. However, knowing that Ben is with Jesus right now and enjoying His presence pain free gives us a small breath of relief. I pray that that truth would give you and Andy an overwhelming sense of comfort to get you through these days and nights ahead. God bless you.

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  44. I am so deeply moved. My heart is broken and my eyes are puffy and my face wet with tears. I grieve for and with you and your family, as a complete stranger, as a fellow mother, as a lover of children everywhere. Thank you for sharing your story and for letting us into your most tender place... But mostly, thank you for introducing us all to your sweet Ben. I send you all prayers and love.

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  45. Your family has been so much in my thoughts and prayers over these past few days. I so truly admire your trust and faith in Jesus. I too know that he never will leave us nor forsake us nor abandon us, no matter what we are walking through. Always for his glory, no matter what the cost, how painful it might be. I will continue to pray for your family and continue to read what you choose to write here.

    hugs to you all and know you are covered with prayers

    betty

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  46. You are such a strong woman, and you have such a beautiful family. Your son touched my heart in so many ways, and you family is truly an inspiration to us all. I hug my daughter just a little bit tighter every day now. My prayers are with you, your husband, and your beautiful children.

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  47. Dear Sauer family, I for one am glad you have chosen to continue to write. My prayers will hopefully help to blanket you all in the warmth and love that can only come from God who loves you so much. I have and will remain your servant in prayer. Jeff Golden

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  48. This reminds me of a song by Watermark called "Arise and be Comforted". It is a beautiful song...

    Arise and be comforted
    For the Lord, He is good to the weary
    And even the young heart can tire and fall
    But He knows them all
    For the Lord, He will renew their strength
    And they will soar on wings as eagles
    And they will run and never grow weary
    They will walk and not grow faint
    For the Lord, He is good
    Lift your eyes to the heavens
    For the creator is living in you
    Come surrender as you are

    And know that you'll never stray too far
    Let His power within you heal your heart
    Lift your eyes to spacious skies
    Let Him chart your way to flight
    Spread your wings and fly
    For the Lord, He is good

    Thank you for your failthfulness and love for the Lord. Your family is a beacon of light shining for the Lord in this dark world. I can imagine God saying "Well done, my good and faithful servant" to all of you. God bless and I will continue to pray for your family

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  49. I am another who came across your Facebook page by "accident" when your May 12th post appeared. The last one before Ben died. My heart was gripped, and how I have prayed for you and Andy, Jack and Meg by name since that moment. I will continue to pray for you. Your journey, Ben's story, stirred me to the core--it called up emotions and memories of my own loss, though it was the premature loss of a parent, not a child.
    It moved me so deeply that I asked a coworker to set aside Wednesday for us to have a private lunch together in my office. I needed her comfort--your story was calling up all-too-familiar emotions. She and her husband--a pastor--lost their 3rd child, a baby daughter, at just beyond a year old to a devastating chromosomal birth defect. I knew she would have the words I needed. And she did. She told me of coming to the place in her deep grief where she was faced with a choice: either to turn toward God or turn away from Him. She and her husband turned toward Him--as you and Andy have done. Like Peter said, when Jesus asked him if he would choose to leave Him too, Peter replied, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of life."
    And so, at our wit's end, we choose: "Oh, all-atoning Sacrifice, I cling by faith to Thee."
    Thank you for sharing in and through your pain...and by so doing giving a great gift to thousands who are encouraged and strengthened, just knowing you through this blog. You are a priceless gift to the Body of Christ.

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  50. Mindy, thank you so much for your words tonight. It's almost as if you overheard the conversation I had with my husband last night and responded with this blog post. As I was washing bottles for my 8-month-old twin baby boys, I couldn't stop crying as I told my husband how sad I was for you and your family. I told him that I was thinking about all of the emotions that you must be having as you mourn the passing of your son. I told him that my mother's heart ached for you and, although I don't know you, I wanted to hug you and let you know that you are so very loved by me and all of the people that you have allowed to join you and your family along this journey. I also told my husband that I hoped you continued your blog. I was so invested in Ben's journey and I feel so invested in your continuing story... you have given us all an amazing gift, simply through your words of honesty and faith. I am honored that I got to know your beautiful son through your blog, and I look forward to meeting him in Heaven one day. I also hope to meet you someday as well, if only to give you a hug from one twin mama to another, and to thank you for sharing your family's story with the world. I will be praying for you and your family as you continue to grieve. I pray that each passing day brings you more and more comfort from our Heavenly Father.

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  51. You will all continue to be in our family's prayers.

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  52. All i can say is wow,i have been reading your blog,praying for ben and your family,putting my blue light on in memory of him and crying through your heartaches and storys. I am so sorry for your loss and can only imagine what you are going through. But you guys have so much strength through all this. Just remember he is no longer suffering and is right along with you all in spirit.Stay strong as you've done so far

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  53. Mindy,
    I have been following your blogs from the beginning, and when I seen this one tonight I felt grateful. Grateful because you are sharing your gift. Like others have already said, you write so eloquently, and you share your raw emotions. Your unconditional love and faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ, has inspired thousands; yes there is a purpose to continue blogging. My mom passed in 2012 from cancer. She just loved children; after Ben passed, I prayed that she would be able to meet him in heaven. I felt the same as you after she passed as I washed her body and dressed her before the funeral home came to pick her up. That was just a shell, and after her last breath, she went to be with the Lord. Though your writing I feel like I got to know Ben, and I look forward to the day I get to meet him. God Bless your family and Rest In Peace Sweet Ben.

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  54. So, SO glad you'll keep writing. What a gift to read your words and to walk with you. His grace...I'll never get over it. And yes, agreeing with you and the beautiful prayer your wrote. Him continuing to mend, and resting in how He never ever fails us. Sending so much love to you tonight...xo

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  55. My Dear Mindy, I'm from Peru , now I live in California,
    I'm deeply touched for Ben's history, I have issues with my faith sometimes, and your faith in God give me hope,your and inspiration for me.

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  56. Mindy thank for continuing to blog about your family. I continue to pray for you all. I am deeply saddened by the loss of Ben but I am encouraged by your strength. Ben was such a beautiful and loving boy, so much good in one little man. He will forever be in my heart. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

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  57. I am not sure if anyone has asked this and there are so many comments I can't read them all. Since the boys are twins, is Jack at risk for the same cancer as Ben? Did the doctors address this? Don't mean to be insensitive just wanted to make sure it got addressed sooner rather than later.

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  58. Give yourself some time but a quilt with Ben's Blue clothes would be a lovely gift for his siblings.

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  59. Lifting your family in prayer...you are right, God has this.

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  60. If you can please continue your blog.. I have a child with down syndrome and autism and I have my good days and bad days and your blog inspires me.. Thank you for writing it I know it can't be easy.. I am sorry for your loss.. My heart and prayers go out to your family.. God bless you all today and always..

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  61. You and your family have touched many hearts here in Florida. We will continue to pray for your whole family.

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  62. Your family has touched so many lives and I am thankful you have the strength to continue this blog. God bless the Sauer family.

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  63. I haven't commented before this time....just praying. ..but wanted you to know our prayers will ALWAYS be with you and your family. ..and to thank you for continuing to blog as God nudges

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  64. I've written before to try to express how beautiful I think your message is. But, I'm always at a loss for words. Just know that you have deeply affected my own spirituality---which was always very strong in the first place. But you've deepened it.
    That being said---please...write a book. You have so much to say that is good and true. I teach writing at a local university. I would buy and devour your book in the same day.

    Peace, prayers, and love to you and your family. Ben will ALWAYS be with you.

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  65. I am reminded of the days and months and years since my little brother passed. Finding grace in grief is a true gift. Without it, my son, and my daughter in my womb--I felt like I would have been pulled under. Still praying for you and your family. :)

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  66. God Bless You! You are true inspiration. Thank you for sharing your intimate words with us. You and your family are truly amazing. Ben will be forever in my heart. Hugs and Prayers for all of you.

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  67. I watched the service on line and I have to say it was the most beautiful, touching, personal, thoughtful and loving tribute I've ever witnessed. Your inclusion of blog excerpts, photos and videos, family involvement and perfect music & readings was beyond fitting. I am a mother of two boys (3 &2) and find some days so busy and frustrating. Through following your journey I've been reminded to slow down and thank God for all I have been blessed with. Thank you for sharing your story with the world. <3

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  68. Thank you. So glad you are going to keep the blog. I was wondering what would happen now. God is not done using Ben and your Family for His work. Thank you. Your words continue to inspire and be a testimony so real, that everyone can relate in some way. Our God IS Awesome!

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  69. Here in South Africa I tell Ben's story to my family. It has touched me so deeply...your faith has been admirable. I look at my kids...5 and 2 and think of what you are going through....and I don't even want to imagine it as the thought seems to painful to even put out there.

    You said that you thought/hoped Ben's story would be something to draw people nearer to God...and that is what it has done for me. I have questioned my faith at times...and look at your strength and realise how ridiculous that is. I have neglected my relationship with Him, but through you and Ben...the light that you both are....I want to nurture that relationship and grow it.

    Thank you for sharing. And I am glad you will continue to blog.

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  70. I am so thankful you have decided to continue your blog. I haven't commented before but I have prayed for you everyday and when God put you on my heart(which was often). I know you would have not chosen this journey but it has been awe-inspiring how you have allowed God to manifest His grace and faithfulness through all of it. Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us . Mostly THANK YOU for sharing Ben with us . Through your eloquent words I feel like I know him. I will never forget the twinkle in his eyes or that beautiful smile. One more person I look forward to walking the streets of gold with. I will be praying for you, Andy, Jack and Meg and Ben's grandparents that God will wrap you up in His arms and give you grace and comfort. Especially for Jack and I know God will cause He is Faithful.

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  71. I know you not, but I love you yet.

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  72. Mindy,
    Having lost my husband to a brain tumor I can so relate to what you are feeling. The firsts are tough; I can remember going down the bread aisle in our grocery store and bursting into tears as I passed by the Home Pride wheat bread, our choice of bread for 30 years. Now I was "free" to eat any kind I wanted, yet I still felt a loyalty to that. Your posts have done an amazing thing to me and many others. They have instilled in us a faith that comes from experience. My desire is to keep reading your blog, as you have so much to teach thousands - how to function with a God of unfailing love at your side through all adversity, how to be grateful for the little things in life. Oh, how I wish you didn't have to "teach" us this way, dear heart, but I'm glad you are. You are truly a blessing from above...

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  73. Thank you for your love, honesty and vulnerability in sharing your story. God has and continues to use it. Our family and our entire church family in Brentwood, Tennessee have prayed and will continue to pray for you as you and God begin to write a new chapter. Our greatest hope is eternity with Jesus - and it brings such peace to know without a shadow of a doubt you will be reunited with your sweet boy Ben. It is our soul's comfort in knowing this promise is true. Bless you!

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  74. Thinking of you and you family!! I listened to this sermon and it helped me so much with the grieving process after we lost my 2.5 year old nephew last month to brain cancer. Since I didn't know how to grieve, I learned so much - especially (and unfortunately) how long the shock stage lasts. I'm glad you are still blogging, but SIL is still blogging too and it has helped all of us so much to read what she has to say. Thanks for continuing to share.

    http://in-due-time.com/faith/getting-lifes-losses/

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  75. Mindy, thank you for continuing your blogs. They have been such an encouragement to me to increase my faith. We will continue to pray for you and your entire family. I saw you at church yesterday and wanted to go up and introduce myself and meet you but I didn't want to bombard you. You are a wonderful testimony and we know it is only by God's strength that you are able to do it. I'm trying to use Ben's testimony and legacy to bring my own Ben (age 6) to salvation. Again, thank you for sharing your son and your family. We have grown to love your family.

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  76. The story of Ben will never end. For years, families going through trials and tribulations will be referred to your heartfelt words so that they too, will find strength, grace and faith. The prayers flooding heaven, waiting on a miracle for a little boy, have been answered...Ben is healed. Healed in a different way than hoped for. I picture that impish grin, exploring heaven under a pair of sparkling blue wings, having the time of his life...forever! This gift you, Mindy and Andy, have given to your son through your love and teaching of your faith.

    Thank you for sharing that love with the world. It helps so very many, and will continue to do so for generations to come. The heart of your family touches mine, for this, I am grateful.

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  77. This is the first time I've commented on your blog though I've been following your posts from the beginning. I watched Ben's services as they streamed from The Chapel and it was a very emotional experience for me. Often times when I would talk to people about your journey and about keeping up with your progression they would question my motives and not many people could imagine why I would choose to read something of this nature- of a little boy dying. Honestly most times I couldn't articulate why this blog was so important to me either but your pastor summed it up during the services on Saturday when he spoke of other women who presumably had similar experiences in being touched by your words. I am not morbid, I do not like to be sad.. quite the opposite actually. I read this blog because the relationship you have with God- I need that. I don't have that. But I need it. God has never been nonexistent in my life but I have never relied on Him the way you do and I've haven't dealt with a fraction of the tragedies you have. He called me to this blog, you called me to Him. He called me through you. And of the over four thousand people who watched Ben's services and many more who follow his (and your) story online, many of us have been blessed with a stronger relationship with Christ through you. And for that, Ben's life was successful. Please keep this with any other reasons you have to be comforted, please know it to be true. And please don't stop writing.

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  78. I'm so glad you have chosen to continue blogging. I learned of Ben through Rebekah Weissert (a dear long-time friend) and you have a large following in my community down here in Chesapeake, Virginia. We are praying for you and the family as you go through the "firsts". Your grace and transparency have inspired everyone. Thank you for being a vessel for the Lord to work through.

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  79. Mindy, I continue to think about you daily and how strange, and sad and hard this transition must be. I am so sad for the pain, and loss and the "hole" you must be feeling in your own heart. I will continue to pray for you as you navigate all of this...I'm glad you will continue to write here. Your words offer so much hope and encouragement to everyone reading.

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  80. Our family has been praying for your family for several months - one of many many families quietly loving on you and talking to God about you. Thank you so much for deciding to continue blogging. I am inspired when I read your words. You make me a better wife and mother, and you remind me to continue to center every moment of my day in Christ. Your words have helped so many people stay rooted in the promise of salvation during very difficult times in their own lives, and your continued honesty and vulnerability in sharing your story and your faith during this next chapter will help many more. You are a gift, Mindy. Thank you for letting us be a part of your life.

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  81. Thank You Mindy for not ending Bens story on May 13th! You and your family have filled the hearts of so many, including myself. Your family has become our family. We still care, we will continue to care, and pray. Ben has touched so many lives, and so have your beautiful words and strength.

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  82. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing your family with all of us. I'm so glad you decided to continue to write. Hoping your family feels all the love, good thoughts and prayers we are sending you always. Ben's story is only beginning:)

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  83. Mindy,

    I came across Ben's story just a couple of weeks ago. Immediately, I was invested. Your words and Ben's story have stirred my faith and touched me beyond measure. My husband and I are expecting our first baby in November. We are thrilled, but I have had a hard time dealing with the anxiety that comes with wait time between every Dr's appointment, every listen of the heartbeat, and the fear of the future; the "what if's" of growing a new life and preparing to be a mom. Your reassurance that Ben is God's child, and that he loves him so much more than even you, has given me great peace in knowing that He is in control.

    On Saturday, I watched Ben's memorial service online. I wept for the beautiful life that ended so soon. But I also felt so much joy and so inspired by your family, your faith, and the legacy of Ben's story. I am truly amazed. Thank you for sharing your personal journey with so many. My prayers are with you and your family.

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  84. I was wondering if you would keep writing... so thankful you did. I think of you and your family often and pray whenever you come to mind. I have twin boys myself and I think I feel an even deeper pain at the thought of what you are going through. But I am also in awe with your faith and trust in our sweet Jesus. You are truly inspiring and I know your sweet Ben is smiling down on you saying "That's my Mommy."

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  85. Your words give "rest" to all of us that are growing by your testimony. I watched the service by livestream on Saturday, with 6,200 other viewers from around the world. Directly after, I received a call that my husbands grandfather had passed. I am a believer in God and have never really needed to attend a wake or funeral service to have closure. This time was different. Ben's service gave closure to knowing he is walking with angels and still sharing all that he is. I am vested in your family because your family is vested in being faithful and God filled, something I am learning more how to be. My heart breaks for you but I am also in awe of your faith. My own faith has been used to grow others, even when I did not want it to or when I didn't think I had anything valuable to share. You have a lot to share Mindy, keep on keeping on.

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  86. I am grateful you will continue writing and sharing your life with us. I was drawn to it all the time. I have been raised as a catholic but have not been much on church for many years. Through your blog I found the connection to the on line Chapel mass, finding time for that in our own home may bring that weekly practice back into our lives. Thank you for sharing and for your strength it is amazing. My tea bag this morning had a quote that made me think of your family and Ben "Dark clouds are things that pass; the Blue heavens abide always". Thank you Mindy and god bless your family.

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  88. God bless you Mindy and Sauer family as you travel this new road and journey. Thank you for sharing your story and your amazing faith in God's grace and mercy. You are inspiring and I admire you and your family so much. Please be blessed.

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  89. Mindy,

    I want you to know that because of you, I am closer to God and Jesus than I have ever been.

    Thank you.

    I watched Ben's Service online Saturday and cried with you. I pray everyday for the Grace of our Lord to get you through the tough moments. You and your family.

    -Amy (Tonawanda, NY)

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  90. Mindy,

    Thank you for allowing us to continue the journey with you. My family is praying for you, Andy, Jack, and Megan - you are all in our thoughts. May the loving arms of our Lord lift and sustain you all.

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  91. I really wish we weren't in a position to discover just how deep the depths of His grace are. But we are finding them to be very deep. Very rich. And more than enough.

    As a newly disabled I can verify from a different angle what you said..His Grace is sufficient! I will admit i cried as i read this..praying for you....what a Lovely family picture. I think you were wise in allowing your kids especially Jack to grieve...he needs to feel Grace as well. Lead on!

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  92. i have a idea how about you plant a white rose bush for jack? i think he would love that. i am so so very sorry for your loss :( love your family :)

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  93. You have inspired me so much. I know the tough times my family and I are going thru aren't that bad and its all in God's hands. I cry for you, for the pain you must feel. I could not imagine the feel of loss in your heart of losing your beautiful boy. I remember something my grandma would tell me when things were bad, God doesn't give us more than we can handle. You are a strong woman and mom, and you have a strong family to back you up. You and your family are forever in my prayers and thoughts. Thank you

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  94. I watched Bens service on Saturday, I must say as much as I thought it would be a viewing full of tears, it was beautiful, full of life, and definitely full of love.. I can't say there were no tears, your fathers (or father-in-law) that your brother (brother-in-law) read was very touching and I have to admit there were tears, but your taping of Jack just melted my heart!! Thank you so very much for allowing us perfect strangers to mourn with you and be there with you! I've thought about your family and hoped that you would still share some moments, even though some may be tough like all those "firsts" without Ben, but with all those new "firsts" with Jack, Megan, and new baby girl Sauer when she arrives.. For some your family is like part of the family that we've never met :) Bens story has touched many, it may not be that everyone picked up a bible or even started back to church, but it made many start saying a prayer for your son and your family and then praying for themselves, their family, etc. I'd also like to say that I did watch the chapels Easter service and I did enjoy it, I may not be able to physically make it to church every week but I have been attempting to view online, my great aunt years ago used to go to the chapel, way before it was at crosspoint and it was a nice church then and seems like it still is.. Still praying for your family and sending much love and hugs :) <3

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  95. Crying tears of sadness putting my own self and my Children, all five, including my own twins in this place where you are at and not being able to comprehend the pain. I pray that you take the time to grieve and to heal without regret. Every day for the next year will be new, will be a first. I pray that you and your husband will have the strength to stay with eachother and support one another. What a wonderful miracle that will be when your other children are walking down the isle to marry their best friend, or when you are in the hospital room holding your first grandchild, maybe he will continue the,legacy of Ben,and be named after that amazing young boy, Ben. How wonderful to feel the presence of your guardian angel looking over all of you with that beautiful smile and dimple.... I will be planting white roses in denville, new jersey and will forever remember Ben. Thank you Mindy for all of the days that you reminded me to hold my babies a little tighter, to run my fingers thru my beautiful,10 year old sons hair and know that I am truly blessed. Thank you. I feel God has a calling for you, I see you helping other mothers in the future, other families is desperate need of strength. God needs you and this was his way of letting you know. You are truly a saint. Xo I hope to meet you one day, maybe in a huge auditorium preaching the bible or speaking of motherhood or just in passing on the street. XoXo

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  96. Mindy, Andy and family, I cannot imagine the depth of your grief and joy. I may be stating what you already know but please know when you grieve and cry Jehovah God cries with you and when you rejoice that Ben is waiting for you in heaven Jehovah God rejoices with you too. Sharing your journey has been a tremendous blessing to me and I am so very grateful. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. What a ministry Ben achieved. I hear the Ray Boltz song Thank you playing as I type these words because I truly believe that because of your willingness to share this journey in such a public forum so many hearts will be turned to Jesus who truly can save. One by one they came far as the eye can see, each life somehow touched by your generosity. Thank you so much.

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  97. "God has assured me that His grace is sufficient. His grace is deeper. And His grace is powerful enough to carry me through. We just have to ask."
    He doesn't supply all the grace we need at once. He gives us just enough to get through one day at a time. And in my case, one moment at a time."

    Thank you for these words, Mindy! They are just as effective for the grief in my struggles, and I will need to remember them often! I wrote them on a small piece of paper that I can keep in my pocket. I will remember your family in my prayers, too.

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  98. Thank you, Mindy, for continuing to write. Our culture doesn't "celebrate" grieving, and I think it's a very important thing to embrace. Not dwell unneccessarily, but to allow yourself to feel. Isn't it good to know that you have so many friends here to walk with you during this time? I don't pretend to know what you're experiencing, but I have had friends lose children, and while I don't know you, Ben's story and your willingness to be transparent for God's glory has really touched my heart. I'm so thankful for the cloud of witnesses surrounding you and pray you will receive every measure of comfort and strength you and Andy need during this time. Christ's blessings upon you and your family.

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  99. Mindy and Andy and family, Thank you for sharing with us. All of our family has been praying for you as you miss Ben. We know how that hurt and pain doesn't go away when everyone goes back to their lives. God bless. The Smits family

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  100. Mindy, I truly believe that you will continue to write. Good is so going to continue to use you, to touch the hearts of so many!

    Ben passed away exactly one month after my husband lost his best friend, his Dad. So, I do and don't know your pain! I do know the pain you're going through because we are going to miss Chuck so much, and we're also going through that season of firsts. First birthday party for our son, will be without Grandpa Chuck, first father's day for my husband will be without his own Dad....the list goes on.

    I hate it....I hate that our dog realized that grandpa wasn't here this passed weekend when grandma was. Chuck loved taking him for walks on the Saturday mornings that they would visit. They played and rough housed and the dog loved Chuck because of that.

    I hate the sadness that fills the air when my husband comes in from the garage frustrated that the lawn mower won't start.....and I realize that he would be calling his Dad to talk to him about it....but his Dad isn't here.

    With all that though, I love the grace that God has given us to get through this. The comfort he gives me knowing that He is bringing good to us, because we love Him! The relationships that are being restored because of the heartache....is unbelievable.

    I'm changed because of all this, your loss and our own loss. I'm becoming a better wife, because of the relationship that I saw my in laws have. I'm becoming a better mother because I never want to take my child(ren) for granted (ie, get frustrated at 3 am because my 10 month old won't sleep.)

    Thank you Mindy, God is going to do something great, because of your strength and faithfulness!

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  101. Mindy, you are so STRONG and such an amazing mother. I have been following you through your blog for a while now and BEN has touched me dearly. I have a little boy of my own and I haven't been able to find the time for church and juggling everything at home. But the way you have described your faith and how your sweet boys knew Jesus it has inspired me to be closer to the Lord. Please don't stop writing on the Blog. Us girls need a female with the faith you have to inspire us through the rough times. RIP to Ben, that little boy truly touched me. He served a great purpose to many people.

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  102. Mindy,
    What a blessing your beautiful son Ben has brought to your life, even though that time here on earth was too short. Those of us who have read your blog are also blessed - by hearing God's Word through your writing! Even though I'm sure you did not set out on this journey to be a light - you ARE one! Life is not always easy, not always all we would like it to be. Yet in those low and sometimes unbearable moments, it is how we live the Word that shows our true Faith. Through these last few months, you have shared your fears, your joys, your anger - but above all your LOVE! Love for your son Ben, for your family, for your encouragers and above all, for your Lord! May God continue to comfort you, heal you and bring you His Peace!

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  103. Mindy, I don't know you, but dear friends of mine are friend of yours, so I have followed your story on this blog and have prayed and prayed and prayed and wept many tears for you and your sweet family. Although I have never felt the loss of a child, I have lost my sister and too many dear friends to list (9 in one year....it was a bad year). I have gone through difficult times - bankruptcy, car accidents, miscarriages (which is so different from your loss of Ben)... and what I have come to understand is this: Sometimes God calls us to walk a hard road because He knows we will faithfully point to Him. He calls us to difficult things because He knows we are strong enough to endure it with grace - NOT because of ourselves - but because we lean on Him! Because we point to Him. Because we Believe the truth that no matter what others might think, HIS HEART FOR US IS GOOD.
    You have done this well!
    I know it doesn't help ease your pain at all. But you point to Jesus SO WELL!! And that is the most important thing in the whole world!
    I am devastated with you for your loss! But I am so proud of you - and how well you point to Jesus!! If I, a complete stranger, can be this proud of you... How much more your Savior to whom you HONOR with your faithfulness!!
    I will continue to pray for you and your family in the days and weeks ahead... and I will look forward to celebrating with you - from afar - when the baby comes. Thank you for continuing to blog... it means so much to so many to see REAL FAITH in REAL LIFE!

    Un grande abbraccio dall'italia!!

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  104. Mindy, thank you for sharing your struggles and grief. I have been praying for your family for quite awhile now. My oldest daughter is going through some scary unknown health issues right now. As she was in an ambulance going to the hospital last night, I thought of you, sweet sister in the Lord. I admire you and have learned from you. In all the days ahead, as you experience all the changes grief brings, may you know God's deep strength and peace that only He gives and on the days when you feel alone, there are those of us who care that you are hurting and know you are not alone.

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  105. I am so grateful and happy that you continue to share with us. I long to hear about Ben - about your family. I hope that continuing to write will be a part of coping with Ben's going Home. I have been praying that God will help you, your husband, and Jack & Meg, through the changes. I remember your blog about being structured and the changes since Ben was diagnosed. I will continue to pray daily that God guides you through the changes and the new decisions throughout your day as you are still mother and wife, father and husband, son and brother, daughter and sister - trying your best to truly live in your new "normal". I pray that you accept there will likely be moments on auto-pilot, when you are trying to process the changes. I pray that you sleep well and that God brings you dreams of your healthy Ben.

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  106. Thank you for continuing your blog. Your faith and that of your family is such an inspiration. Jack is an amazing child, and it is obvious that you and Andy had laid a solid foundation for Jack and Megan. You and your family will be in my prayers, and I pray for the peace and comfort that comes only from God, and in the knowledge that Ben is surely in His loving embrace. May God bless you all.

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  107. Mindy and Andy and the Sauer family, my heart aches for all of you and will continue to as time passes by. Mindy, I wanted to say I have been following your blogs since the start of Bens diagnosis. I cried every single time I read one, Well, I came to the service on Saturday. And even though I have never meant your family personnally; I feel like I know you now thru Ben, Mindy and the entire family as you all shared your Ben, and your faith and acknowledgement of God. And that God is our saviour and heaven awaits us all. I think some people who dont understand now at this time, why I atteneded a service for a family that I did not personnally know, I hope in the future they will understand why. I want you to know that your family and Ben changed how I take life day to day now. I truly always believed in God, but your trust and faith and aknowledgement has helped me even more. I know everyone always asks the question why? But just knowing that someday we all meet again in Heaven is a blessing. One day at time, enoying every moment while here on earth and looking forward to revieving Gods love when he calls on us. God Bless your days ahead of the entire family, I am sure there be says filled with many tears and then there will be days filled with so much happiness. All because you will holding Ben close to heart and thinking of him in heaven. Maybe someday I will get to meet your entire family, even the new one on the way. For I know I have meant Ben already he is here in my heart and prayers every day.
    God Bless you all.

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  108. Mindy,
    I'm a very good friend of Christine Ervolina......My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as they have been since hearing of Ben's Cancer. I know Gods Grace will be with you as you and your family travel though this most difficult journey. And yes there will be many first's to remember and reflect. But as one who greived a loss some years ago I would like to share a book titled "Roses in December" by Marily Willett Heavilin. The Roses you that are planted in your heart will continue to bloom. They will bloom year round.............I hope you will be able to find a copy of the book and find comfort as you read . In the winters of our lives God gives us Roses....to give us strenth and to remind and draw us close to Him. I'm am grateful to have been able to share your Faith and Prayers thru your Blog. In His Love and Hugs Michelle

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  109. "He doesn't supply all the grace we need at once. He gives us just enough to get through one day at a time. And in my case, one moment at a time."

    Thank you, Mindy, for your words of wisdom during your time of grief. I will continue to pray for you and your family. -A

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  110. Mindy, I've never met your family but feel like I know you all, hold you close in my heart. Love Ben with all my heart and have prayed for Gods healing to be a witness for Him. I have been following your blog from the beginning, just happened across it one day on Facebook and here we are. I've been crying since I found out about Ben. Asking God why? Why couldn't you heal him to show others your amazing power? As I was washing the dishes last night staring out the window watching my 3 children around a campfire roasting smores, I understood...Your amazing faith, the way you have handled this entire journey IS the witness for God, I don't know if my faith is strong enough to lose a child but you continue to be n inspiration to all those you come in contact with and I wanted you to know how your faith pushes me to be closer to God. I will continue to pray for your family. With much love, Kelly Gustine

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  111. I have been inspired to start praying again. God brought me to you. Thank you for your beautiful words and everlasting strength. It gives me hope

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  112. Mindy, im so glad you have decided to continue this blog. No doubt Ben's story is NOT over. I was happy to see the new blog heading, meaning that this story will continue. Your family and Ben have been in my thoughts constantly. I have been following since the beginning. I believe I was meant to find your page for Ben. I went thru a very similar illness just a year ago with a dear loved one. It was hard. I had a lot of guilt that there was something I could have done differently to change the outcome. I suffered every first this past year. I also avoided a few. I tip toed thru that first year, crawled on my hands and knees like I was underwater. I have had so many signs from heaven, that I KNOW heaven is real. My boy is still with me, especially when I really need him. After the first year anniversary, I felt some sense of relief, things have changed a little and I am more at peace, as my boy is as well. You will get thru the firsts. Keep remembering Ben, keep talking about him. It will never be easy but it will get easier. I cried for a year straight and thought that was my life from that point on, but time seems to make it easier to remember with a smile and less tears. Our hearts will always ache. We will always miss Ben. Thank you for putting your heart out there and sharing your story with the world. It truly has made all the difference.

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  113. I am so mesmerized by your strength and faith in God. Thank you so much for sharing. May God continue to bless as it looks like her already has with a new little one.

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  114. Thank you, thank you, thank you Mindy for sharing with such honesty and transparency, but most of all for the hope you share, revealing God's faithfulness and love... showing us all that in the midst of the unthinkable his grace will be there. Please keep writing!

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  115. I wish that things had turned out differently, I wish that this had a different ending. But God is showing us that so much more can live on after death, and that is faith. If Ben had lived, it would have been a miracle. We would have rejoiced, but that eventually would have faded away. The difference with this is that your faith only deepens, it doesn't fade away, in fact, it shines on for all to see.

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  116. You and your family hold a special place in my heart. Your words inspire me and I am so happy that you are going to continue this blog. you're in my prayers <3

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  117. I am neighbors with Stephanie (Smith) Holmgren and have been in constant prayer for you and your family. Ben's legacy has reached reached deep into countless numbers of people in our area especially in my little family and also our women's bible study. I have read everyone of your posts and often reread them because when you write I feel as though you are sharing the heart of God! For some reason I just couldn't respond although I sat in prayer and shed many tears of joy and sadness over what you were walking through. Cried uncontrollably at times and so moved by your words of HOPE. It was obviously one of the hardest things a family could have to go through and at the same time to see how close God was with you and the work He was doing in the hearts of so many... so many emotions. I believed God would direct me to one day have the courage to reach out and today I just have to say THANK YOU for continuing to blog and allowing us to share in the legacy that Ben and your family is imprinting on hearts of thousands because I know the story is not over!!! Mindy you are a living testimony to God's goodness and faithfulness. Thank you for opening up your lives to us. My family wanted to join you in New York. My 9 year old cried that he had wanted to meet Ben and because of Jesus I reminded him that for eternity we will get to be with the Sauer family. My two teenage boys were eager to find out everyday how Ben was doing and it was something to watch my 17 year old sit in her room on a Saturday night and watch the celebration of Ben's life (She was not able to join us as we gathered to watch the service)! Mindy I can not express adequately (something God has truly gifted you to share in written language) what an impact your love and obedience to our Savior has had on our world. As I watched Andy tearfully share how a father couldn't be prouder than to have his son bring people to Christ, it is true.....the Sauer family is helping to build the Kingdom of God. You are drinking the Living Water and it is overflowing!!!! My heart aches and rejoices with all of you and we are committed to continue praying for your family. If we never get to meet this side of heaven I look forward to sharing eternity with each and everyone of you. Thank you Jesus!!!!

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  118. I am so happy you've decided to continue this blog. I only started following last week but this story truly touched me. I lost my mother to cancer just 19 days ago and although the death of a parent cannot compare to the death of a child, your words bring me such comfort. Despite Ben and my mother's 53 year age difference, your story was all too real to me - the same things I experienced just 3 weeks ago. I will continue to follow your blog and pray for you and your family. You have an amazing strength that I so greatly admire. You have helped me turn to God in my time of grief and I cannot thank you enough for that gift.

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  119. Mindy & Andy, May God always give that peace and comfort that lets you know he is holding Ben and that Ben is playing , running, jumping and happily waiting for you. I'm sorry you all had to go through this, someday we'll understand why. God Bless you and I will continue to pray for you all. Chapel Member, Sheryl Fatig

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  120. cancer is so limited. it can not cripple love, shatter hope, cripple faith, destroy peace, kill friendship, suppress memories, silence courage, invade the soul, steal eternal life, and it can not conquer the spirit.

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  121. May God wrap his arms around you all as you make this transition. You are an inspiration to me as a mother and I am glad that you have decided to continue the blog. May God bless you!

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  122. You make us all better people for knowing you and Ben. Thank you♡

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  123. GOD bless you and your family. Thanks for sharing.

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  124. We love you and are praying for you still. Thankyou for allowing God to use your trials to bless and encourage me. For showing me how sufficient His grace is and how to trust Him more. My girls and I just watched the ceremony, and so thankful for the way God was glorified in all of it. I'm praying many are drawn to the Saviour because of your testimony.

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  125. Thank you Mindy for deciding to continue your blog. I've been wondering how you all were doing. I watched the beautiful service for Ben in awe! What a wonderful tribute to him and your whole family! Your words have touched me in such a deep way and because of the faith you have shown it had brought me closer to God and my savior Jesus! I will continue to pray for you and your family. May God bless you, give you peace and be your Comforter. Xoxo

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  126. God Bless all of you and thank you for taking the time to keep us all posted on your beautiful family!

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  127. You are a gifted writer, Mindy. Keep writing. It will help you heal, and it will help others who need to heal from their own loss. What a gift Ben has been to your family. He will continue to be with all of you, especially with Jack, as he goes to school in the fall. He won't be going alone. Ben will be by his side in all he accomplishes in his life.

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  128. Thank you Mindy....this poem was read at my mother's funeral. As a writer and lover of poetry it brought me a bit of comfort...hope it can do the same for you. It's called The Weaver...

    My Life is but a weaving
    between my Lord and me;
    I cannot choose the colors
    He worketh steadily.

    Oft times He weaveth sorrow
    And I, in foolish pride,
    Forget He sees the upper,
    And I the under side.

    Not til the loom is silent
    And the shuttles cease to fly,
    Shall God unroll the canvas
    And explain the reason why.

    The dark threads are as needful
    In the Weaver's skillful hand,
    As the threads of gold and silver
    In the pattern He has planned.

    He knows, He loves, He cares,
    Nothing this truth can dim.
    He gives His very best to those
    Who leave the choice with Him.

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  129. Thank you for choosing to continue sharing your journey with us. We all weep for your loss. Your story inspires me to be better, to be more in the moment, to stop typing when my smiling boy comes running up to me with open arms, to remember to really live each day to the fullest, to become more patient, to love harder, to not let the trivial stuff ruin the beauty within the daily grind. Your story is heart wrenching and painful to read, bringing tears to my eyes with each update. I cannot imagine how it feels to experience what you have and then have to go back through the emotions in sharing it with us, but we thank you. You are a strong, brave,and beautiful woman Mindy. God loves you even more than you may know. I know they say time heals all, but even if that isn't true, I hope the days do become brighter and nights feel a little less dark for you. You and your family are always on my mind and in my prayers. Thanks again for sharing Ben's story. Even though his time was cut short here on earth, I think he was blessed to be born into such love and leave this earth knowing how loved he was. Thoughts and prayers.

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  130. I got a chance to watch 1/2 of the service so far and it was awesome. I thought it was so uplifting and comforting. I'm looking forward to watching the rest of sermon on Jesus saying, "do not cry" and what he actually meant by it.

    God's presence is definitely all over you and your writing. Yes, keep writing. Journaling is what helped me get through. I really had dreaded Christmas coming but when it came, God's presence was so strong that it was actually so comforting. Yes, you have to mourn and some days are good and some you have to release it and it's good and it's ok. Jesus said he would comfort all who mourn. Praying for you every day.

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  131. Mindy thank you for continuing your blog. Bens life touched so many of us but it was you who brought him to us you also are changing our world. You have changed my life in so many ways, thank you. You remind me of Mary she also gave up her son to save our world. You and Ben have made this world a better place. I will continue to pray for you and your family. I will also look forward to each entry you publish.

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  132. Continued prayers for your family. Relieved that your Ben is no longer suffering, but my heart aches for your tremendous loss. God will help you through each day...one day at a time.

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  133. So sorry for your loss of beautiful Benjamin. But, gosh how lucky you are to still have 2 lovely children and another on the way. You are so blessed.

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  134. Mindy...as I read your blog one thing you said about the title of the "Ben Sauer: a little boy waiting for a miracle" is no longer being relevant...It absolutely is, though he no longer walks this earth in human form, his Light is with you still. He knows, though the miracle you hoped for was not seen, there are still many miracles that are just beginning. He, a little boy that walked this earth for just 1833 days, touched the hearts of so many people, with his smile, with his gentle Light and his strength...The miracle is that his story, though one of sadness and loss, is filled with hope, with love and Faith and thus it is inspiring others to Trust, to Give and to know God....Ben is still waiting for the miracle, because in the Light he knows so many more have yet to come... May you find continued strength from others and may God bless you with Peace and Knowing that Ben truly is with you still, just a breath away!

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  135. Mindy I have been saved since I was 10 but I do not have that faith you have. I have cried reading every blog post we have buried a son an infant we did not know was born with a heart defect our Ben went through brain cancer and is now mentally retarted. I have to get that book and read it. You are so sure so strong I don't know how to tap into that I am tring and praying for your beautiful family. I knew Jan from Amherst bible chapel and David and some of the boys. thank you for reading this if you do.

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    1. I am Missy Hetrick Dixon on facebook

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  136. Mindy I admire your strength and your words are so encouraging. I've read your blog since the beginning and followed your story. I pray that God continues to help you all through this and I know he will continue to bless your family. I'm glad you decided to keep writing. Your blog is inspiring and you have thousands of supporters rooting for your family!

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  137. Ben is in HEAVEN, PTL!!! No more pain, happy and healthy with our Heavenly Father. We will continue to pray for your family. The Celebration was wonderful, it was nice seeing a few of our friends from back home there in your family line. I will definitely keep reading these blogs, they are very comforting and helps me keep my faith stronger. Continue to heal and enjoy this new little one that's on the way!!

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  138. I have only followed Ben's story for about a week now. But I have to say, the faith that you show through this blog is beyond amazing. When many people would get angry with God, you turn to glorify and praise him. It is amazing the depth of your faith as it comes across in this blog. May God bless you and your family. May God be with you and continue to show you his grace and love. You are stronger that you realize right now. Even though every moment can seem like an eternity and getting through just one day seems like such hard work, know that it does get better. It becomes manageable, tolerable. It starts with the small things at first, and then more. There is always a part of you that is missing, yet you know who will greet you at the gates of Heaven when it is your time. I read that you are not looking forward to all the firsts in the coming year. And yes, those firsts are hard. I also found that the seconds are sometimes harder as people don't make sure you are okay or check-in. (I too have lost a child, although to a stillbirth.) I think that is what makes it harder and even hurts more and makes you realize that this is your new norm. I pray that you won't feel this, that people will always remember your Ben on all occasions, not just the first one. You are an amazing woman and do strong. May God keep you and bless you. You will find little reminders of Ben all the time. When I find those reminders for my baby girl, I always look at it as their way of saying hi to me. May Ben say hi to you always.

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  139. Ben will be forever in our hearts, and never forgotten. My thoughts & prayers are with you all ����

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  140. Mindy, I admire your faith and commitment to your family so much. I am so very sorry for the loss of Ben. It is unfair and unfathomable. Be gentle with yourself in the days ahead; grief is a tough road.

    Also, it's OK to be angry and sad about Ben's loss while still loving God. He understands. Don't beat yourself up about that (I know you know this, but I wanted to say it just in case.) God knows that the greater the love, the deeper the grief.

    Keeping your sweet boy and your whole family in my heart. I'm so sorry.

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  141. I am a stranger to you, but not to our Lord. Our Lord knows us all and grants our prayers whether we know it or not. My prayers are yours tonight as a gift. God Bless you and your family! In the spirit of our Gracious Father, Amen.

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  142. Thank you to continue to share your story. Not only do you touch of the lives of those who don't even know you, but your words will mean so much to Jack, Meg, and the little girl that will get to know her brother through your writing. Praying for peace and again thanking you for blessing so many of us.

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  143. Mindy, I'm so happy that you're still writing. I'm still praying for all of you daily. Your words mean so much to me and continue to minister to my heart as a mom, wife and Christ follower. Thank you for continuing to share.

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  144. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I wish that none of us had to live in a world without our child/children. Sending you hope and hugs.

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  145. I am praying for your family. Thanks for sharing. You have put so many of my feelings into words. My 9 and 12 year old went to Heaven 17 months ago. Reading your feeling has been helpful to me.

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  146. Mindy, I am truly amazed by your faith, courage and fortitude. You have a true gift in your ability to share the experiences of the past several months with others. Thank you for introducing us to your sweet boy.He was truly a special child. May your fond memories of your beautiful little Ben bring you and your family some comfort and peace in the days and weeks to come. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.

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  147. Thank you for continuing to write. I've checked this site multiple times a day ever since the DePeals told us about your family and asked us to pray for Ben's upcoming surgery, back in February. My heart aches for you all and I feel burdened by the knowledge of what you're facing as life continues on. Please keep sharing - it lets me know how to pray.

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  148. Mindy God gave me those very same verses today and you have given me confirmation. Thank you for being so openly willing to share as God's leads you. It means so much to many of us mommy's out there. God bless you and your family.

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  149. I'm so thankful that you have decided to continue to write. I only learned about you yesterday by a posting on someone's FB page. I sat here on Sunday afternoon and read through your entire blog and then watched the video of Ben's service. Honestly, I don't even know how to say how your attitude has impacted me. What a fabulous example of faith and keeping your eyes on God. Jesus Loves Me is no longer just a children's song to me. And, "But God..." brings tears to my eyes and makes me speechless. I'm sorry I joined in the prayer community for you late, but better late than never. You have my commitment for continued prayer in the difficult days ahead.
    (Altoona, IA)

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  150. MIndy,
    So many times over the past few months I have tried to leave a comment, but it never worked for one reason or another. Tonight I watched the service for Ben and felt led to try again.
    I lost my mom in March 2010 from the same Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade IV tumor that claimed Ben's also. My mom was never sick, never in the hospital, always active, and then out of the blue - this tumor. It paralyzed her left side, in fact at first they thought it might have been a stroke. But when the neurologist in the ER walked in and told us what this tumor was it was hard to comprehend. We have never had cancer in our family, had no clue what was ahead of us, and really just thought they would do surgery to remove the tumor, some chemo & radiation and she'd be fine. We really had no idea what would happen. After they removed as much of the tumor as they could, my mom was able to go to rehab and learn to walk again, etc. But the doctors never fully told her the prognosis, and so one very hard day I had to look my mom in the eye and tell her that chemo and radiation wouldn't make her better, this aggressive tumor will grow back and take her life. But it was her choice on what to do. She chose to go home and enjoy what time she had left. Doctors told us at most we could hope for a year, it turned out to be 5 months from diagnosis to death. My mom was a pastor's wife, a Godly and faithful woman who did not fear death. Her strength was amazing - the tears she shed weren't for herself but for us. She worried about my dad (he has alzheimer's) and she worried for my sisters and I and our families. The last 2 days of life for mom were hard to watch, but peaceful at the same time. A chaplain friend of theirs came over and prayed and sang songs with her, she clearly saw her twin brother waiting for her (he had passed away 6 months earlier), and she never looked afraid. I remember telling her it was ok to go, that we were ok and would take care of dad. When she took her last breath it was just very quiet and calm. There is no doubt my mom is rejoicing in heaven and watching over us - NO DOUBT. But that is the assurance you so often write of on your blog. For those who believe in God and have received the gift of salvation, there will not be fear because we have hope. We have the promise of eternal life with God our Father.
    I miss my mom more today and I miss being able to just pick up the phone and talk to her - to get her advice, her reassurance that everything will be ok, and to say I love you. I know she is with my 2 children I miscarried and that she sees our family growing here on earth. We are human and so we cry - not for those who are in heaven but for ourselves who just miss their presence. But we also rejoice in the confidence that we will be together again - your son has been such a blessing to so many. Heaven will be so much fuller because of your family's story and because of Ben. That is all God asks of us - share His love and let others know about Him. You and your family have done that far beyond anyone could've imagined. Please just know your words have been such an encouragement to me and I will continue to keep your family in my prayers.

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  151. I lost my best friend of 50 years in 2010 from the same kind of brain tumor as Ben had. Hers came on quickly, too. She began having bad headaches in January, suffered a stroke on May 6 and went Home to Heaven on the 11th. She was among all all the others close to me who died in less than 2 years, my aunt who was my second mom, my own mother, and my husband. I still cry over all of them and miss them so much. But God is always here and reminds me that I am grieving for myself, not for them. He will always be with you, too. I cannot imagine what you and Andy are going through, but God is there among you and will fill you with peace and joy. I can't wait to see pictures of your new baby girl. Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us. I have friends and relatives who are following Ben's story and yours and we all look forward to continuing to hear from you. The Lord bless you and keep you.

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  152. Mindy thank you for sharing your beautiful, sweet son, Ben and your family with all of us! God is using you as you openly share your heart with so many that we now feel as though you, Andy, Ben, Jack, Megan and your soon to be precious princess are family. Your words are deep with emotion, pain....but also hope....hope in our loving father and being with him. I felt privileged to share in the celebration of Ben's life at church which had me crying, laughing and helped in some small way to heal the pain in my heart. Your beautiful inspiring words, Jack and your Dad's eulogy helped to comfort all of us who hurt so much. We hurt for Ben for what he went through, for you, Andy, Jack and Megan's loss, for all of your family members...and we hurt because we now became part of your family in that world of pain, frustration, confusion, anger, and....in the hope and comfort that can only come through our savior. Thank you Mindy for being such a beautiful, worthy disciple of Jesus' and for teaching us all the way for us to become one as well. Thank you for deciding to continue to share your blogs, your family, and to help so many of us grow in our faith with Jesus. Please know that I hold you and your family in my prayers daily. I feel honored to have known Ben, even though it has only been for a short time. God bless you Mindy as you continue on as one of God's disciples. In Christ's love, Denise Wagner

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  153. You are a great writer- someday maybe the Lord will lead you to write a Bible study to help those who grieve as if they had no hope... You are a wonderful family.

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  154. I stumbled upon your blog via facebook last week. I read past posts to better understand your and Ben's story. As a mom to little ones, my oldest almost five...I cannot imagine the pain, the heartache, the depth of your loss. Your trust and faith in God is encouraging. What a mighty God we serve to comfort us even in the hardest circumstances-just as He promises he will. Your post reminded me of what I read in Psalm 31 this morning, "I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul." He alone knows and understands the anguish of your soul. May He continue to comfort you with his sustaining love. Praying for you daily.

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  155. I am so overwhelmed by your faith and courage during this unbearable loss. You and your family are a beacon of light for anyone suffering a loss,that there can be hope and even joy to be felt during this heartbreaking transition to life without your Ben. I will keep your amazing family in my prayers always. Sending love and healing from my family to yours.

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  156. Mindy,

    I saw your story on Facebook...a random post through my newsfeed that I originally mistook for an ad or a sponsored post. Then I clicked on it and began to read a little about your story. I was touched by your sweet boys' hearts, your little girl who might not understand what's going on yet, and your one-on-the-way who will never meet Ben. I read that you're going through his clothes--I just went through my closet and tried to part with clothes I've had for years. That was hard enough...I can't even fathom the pain and grief you feel sorting through his favorite shirts (stained or not).

    That's why I'm commenting and writing to you (I hope you see it)! Sewing is my passion/hobby. One of the ways I stomached retiring old t-shirts from high school and various club sports was to make them into a quilt. I cut them up and set them aside until I have time to sew them together.

    I know you don't know me, but I would be honored to put together a quilt for you, your family, and for Ben with his old clothes. I can't promise you I willl be prompt, I can't promise we'll have the same taste, but I promise I will cherish every stitch. I have an instagram account with some of my quilting projects if you want to see what I've been up to (@katesquilts). If you're up for it, please send me an email at kthayes@umich.edu.

    Sending my love and happy, healing thoughts.

    Kate

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  157. My big, strong husband (whom I've never seen cry in 10 years) tells me that he cannot get all the way through your posts without feeling a tightness in his chest, a lump in his throat. We have fraternal twin boys, 15 months old. We did not know the depths of love until we welcomed our little guys to our family. We are praying for your family. Your grace under the weight of this immeasurable sadness is an inspiration, and your faith a reminder that this world is NOT the end. I am sad for your family, but glad Ben doesn't suffer any more. Selfishly, I thank you for cracking a little of the ironclad demeanor of that big, strong man I married. After all, he's going to need to teach two little boys when it's ok to cry. Your story, and the way you've told it, with your beautiful poignant words, has helped us with that hard lesson of teaching children how to process emotions, so we can help our little boys when the time for sorrow inevitably comes. I wish you'd never had to endure this tragedy. . .but Hallelujah! We will all leave these bodies behind one day and be with our loved ones in Heaven. Such is the glory of our Living Lord!

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  158. You and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing your faith and family. I see God through each of you. It has made my personal relationship with God closer. God bless you all always.

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  159. As I read this, I couldn't help but cry as I smiled. Crazy huh?! But it's because I absolutely agree with what you're saying. My dad passed away in August from stomach cancer and kidney failure. We found out he had cancer, and he passed away, all within one week. Making decisions on his behalf were some of the most devastating decisions I have ever had to make. Knowing that I was making the decision to bring my dad home to die weighed heavily on my shoulders. We brought him home from the hospital on Hospice August 26th, and he passed away within 24 hrs of being here. While I was reading where you were talking about Ben's breathing while he was taking his last breaths, I felt sooo many emotions. I could completely relate. My dad was in our living room, laying on a mattress on the floor. We played some of his favorite songs, we sang to him and we talked to him. Once we knew the time was near, we all gathered around him and prayed for him. My dad took his last breath within minutes of us saying Amen. This has to be one of the most tragic, devastating, yet absolutely beautiful moments of my life. I saw God that day! As I have read and kept up with Ben's story, I have drawn inspiration from your family's strength! It is really hard to let go of someone you love so dearly. But also knowing that Ben, and my dad are in Heaven, brings me much comfort! We serve an almighty God who loves each of his children and will always do what's in the best interest of each of us. He will never forsake or ever leave us! Your family has touched me deeply and I will continue to pray for each of you. I will also never ever forget you. Especially Ben! I may not know him, or your family, but you now own a piece of my heart. I pray God continues to provide you and your family with the strength and the ability to love Ben from a distance, until God calls you home! I can only imagine, what that day will be like♡ God bless!!
    I look forward to hopefully having the chance to continue to read and keep up with you're family as you prepare to welcome another precious gift from God.

    All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
    In the Lord's name I pray, Amen♡

    With love,
    Tuesday Cohee
    Fort Worth Texas

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  160. What an incredible gift that God has chosen to give you- the strength to share your journey and comfort those who are facing the same but may not have your strength or know the grace of God.

    Continued prayers for your family.

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  161. Ben went to sleep with you and Andy right by his side and woke up in God's loving arms. I cannot imagine the pain you feel, but its comforting to know that Ben will never feel pain again. My kids (ages 19, 15, and 11) have all shed many tears for Ben, but he has changed our lives for the better. The conversations that have been inspired by your precious son aren't over yet. Keep writing, we're still reading and still growing. Much love to you and your family Mindy.

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  162. Thank you for your example of great faith, and trust in God's care for Ben and your family. It is a light and strength to many. I know each moment of the day must be filled with much range of emotions, I will think of you and pray for you and your family. May God continual to fill your hearts with his full assurance and peace and strenth.

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  163. I watched Ben's service...AMAZING!!!! Thank you for sharing for so many to see. I am praying for your family to feel God's perfect peace, love and comfort over you. For you to find a new normal in life. Thank you for letting Christ love shine though you.

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  164. Thank you for continuing to write, Mindy. Your Brothers and Sisters are concerned about you, Andy and your children. You've impacted our lives so powerfully. Your faith is strengthening my own, although I'm deeply saddened that it took your loss and testimony to accomplish that. But
    God. I attended Ben's homegoing. It was beautiful, joyful and peaceful. God's presence permeated the Chapel. You all have my prayers always. I pray that as each day passes, the pain of loss will be outweighed by the precious memories of Ben's magnificent life.

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  165. Captivated by your rawness & honesty. Please continue to share as God leads you. I love your new banner and tagline "because some Gifts are just too special not to be shared" ~ praying for your family!

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  166. Andy & Mindy, your Christian example and clearly, the way you parent your children to love Jesus makes it so clear to me that God is working his mysterious ways through your beloved son, Ben, to bring others to our Father. I hope that fact is of great comfort to you as you seek to find joy again, knowing your precious son is safe and happy in the arms of our Lord. I'm praying for you Sauer family.

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  167. You are an incredibly strong woman and a wonderful mother. You inspire me so much to keep God in our lives always. God Bless you all!!

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  168. The grace and wisdom with which you handle your family is such a testament of God's grace and His grace and love! Thank you Mindy!

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  169. Your story has me speechless. I'm so hurt and sad for the tragedy you had to endure, but yet I find peace in everything you write, your story brought me closer to God, and your strength in knowing God has control in all things, makes me feel happy and comforted for you. I have 3 boys, and I would love to write about how sad I would be if this happened to either of them (which oh my I would) but your story touched me more than that. It tought me to love, without holding back, fight for the love of God to shine through, now more than ever...this worlD needs him and to find the simple pleasures in the little things, like sweet little jack, waiting for you, or being do naive aND innocent to the whole life and death circle. I. Convinced kids are born to know, they don't scare away or hide from the truth, which is what most adults do, they look at death as it is and what it will be.... no ifs, ands or buts. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, ben...for sharing your beautiful family!

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