Gila – Eternal Joy

A few short weeks ago Ryan and I were ecstatic to learn that we were expecting another baby! We had been praying and seeking the Lord about when to try to have another baby and felt like it was the “right time.”  We started telling our family the exciting news and began to imagine what life might look like in 9 months. We joked and dreamed about {finally} having a boy.  The anticipation was growing as we awaited our first doctor’s appointment.

And then everything changed.

We woke up on Father’s Day weekend to the realization that we were probably losing this baby. The day that we were planning to celebrate Dad and instead we shed tears of heartbreak thinking that our baby was gone. And in the days to come, we were told that it was definitely a miscarriage. How is it possible that a baby we never even met or saw can be missed so much? How do our hearts ache so terribly for a child we only knew for a few weeks? But what I have found as I grieve over this child is that God is still in control!

“The Lord has given me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!” Job 1:21

In the midst of this sadness and grief over our precious baby, the Lord is standing by our sides and is teaching us even more about His character and love for us. And daily He continues to teach us that He is faithful! We don’t have to understand why things happen the way they do, but we have the hope of knowing that our Father who loves us immeasurably more than we can imagine is in control! He is worthy of our trust, especially on the days that we hurt.

We believe that our joy comes from God alone and so we decided to name our baby in light of that truth. Gila, pronounced Hee-luh, means eternal joy.

“Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” -Neh. 8:10

As we seek God in the midst of heartache we also look forward to the opportunity Ryan has to return to the same location that we went as a family last November. He will be leaving for Cochabamba, Bolivia on June 28th. If you would like to receive specific prayer requests and updates through email while he is gone, click here. Ryan will also be updating the blog throughout the week so be sure to subscribe to our blog and you’ll receive emails when it is updated.IMG_5806

The thing we need most and even beg for your help, is supporting us in prayer. Here are some very specific ways that you can be praying for us:


  • Ryan and Abigail: Experiencing this loss on Father’s Day and with such a short period of time before a missionary journey has been challenging to say the least. There is a great temptation to hide from dealing with the hurt and make excuses. Pray that we would run head first into God’s grace.
  • Our Kids: The last few weeks of foster parenting have turned down a very rocky road. Our girls are struggling with some of the things happening in their case and we are struggling {with many tears} asking God what we can do/should do to help them.
  • A Week Without One Parent: As Ryan leaves for Bolivia, we can’t ignore the extra weight of parenting that will fall on Abigail. We are blessed with a great group of people that are already lined up to help, but nonetheless, there is a great need for prayer to guard our hearts and actions as we spend these days on different mission fields.
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Please pray for our Cochabamba Team!

Published by Abigail.McFarland

I am a mom on mission to see #NoPlaceLeft without the gospel. Our family works as missionaries with New Life Global Ministries to make disciples here, there, and everywhere.

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  1. So thankful for eternity where our joy will truly be full. Praying for your hearts to heal and grow together through this grief


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