A Grieving Father’s Heart…..

I think it is important to share on Father’s Day what a True Father’s Heart looks like.

It is not often you get to hear this incredible man’s heart. It is one in a million.

His  heart for his children is a pure reflection of our Heavenly Daddy’s relentless love for all of us.

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His heart is broken because he dared to love.

An aching loss and a deep gratefulness that he will carry forever because a tiny fierce and tender beautiful warrior captivated him, swooped him off his feet and took his breath away and showed him an unfathomable beauty that is purely unimaginable.

Broken but blessed.

Forever changed by a miracle.

Forever wrecked by a forever love that says, “LOVE IS WORTH THE RISK”…and it always will be. A love that GOD shows us every day.

Changed forever because a gracious Heavenly Father would invite him into a miraculous journey that would  enlarge our hearts and grow our trust beyond any borders we ever thought even existed.

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…… God would show us HIS great GLORY through our amazing daughter who we miss so immensely.

OUR INCREDIBLE GIFT.

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I am taking this special day to share Brian’s anointed words that he shared at our precious daughter’s celebration of life.


…..Thank you for being here, for coming along side my family to celebrate our precious Gianna.

You know, it is so fitting for us to hold the celebration here because Bible Fellowship invited us to speak years ago to share how God was moving the mountains as we started our journey to adopt Gianna and again they hosted a fundraiser when we were trying to raise money to help with the cost. It is So awesome how the body of Christ comes together, It says in 1 Corinthians 12 that if one part of the body suffers, every part suffers with it, and for all who believe are part of the Body of Christ . The Bible isn’t just for studying and knowing what is inside…its about action, doing what it says. You know, When we entered into this nightmare a month ago, our family, especially our parents.. and our church family at Lifehouse Church dropped everything and surrounded us with prayer and support.. I have never seen the church, the Body of Christ in Action like I have these past 4 weeks. The amount of prayer across the World for our baby girl is what has held us up and continues to hold us up, because none of us have the strength on our own to go through this. Some say, look at their faith, it is so strong… but in reality, we’re all standing here scared of what life looks like without Gianna with us. We are frustrated and hate that we have to go on without her giggles, snuggles, and fierce love..but we can trust that the Same God that led us to be her family and gave us strength though all the trials will be with us through this time.

See, This wasn’t our first time walking in the dark, scared of what might be next, with Gianna. Her first set of surgeries in 2014 and then again heart failure in 2015 and a brain bleed in early 2016. Each time was so scary but we saw God do miracles in front of our eyes and we witnessed such amazing things and saw Gianna fight and be brave. We always said she taught us to Dream Big and Be Brave.

I can’t stand here and say I understand what is going on, or that I have processed everything because it is still so raw and unreal. This surely can’t be the story…But it is……As many times I have clinched my fist at the Lord and said Why!!! this doesn’t make sense!!!, I know I will never have the answers to all my questions.. but I do know 1 thing…The same God that called us out of the boat,  will hold my hand through all the storms. Let me take you back a few years to my couch one late night in September 2013. Johanna and I had already adopted Tahlia in 2011 and we both felt the nudge to adopt again. We were unified about adoption until she started talking about babies with heart defects.. The struggle to give up everything and walk the scary path of the unknown of a child with heart disease.. There was a time I was so scared of having a child with a cleft lip and palate like Tahlia, but now I was begging for that and not this..Well, when I looked at Gianna’s picture for the first time she took my breathe away and frankly everyday since..,  I wanted to pursue her but not her condition and I was paralyzed with fear. So back to the late night in September 2013, I had to make a decision to move forward or release her file back to the agency. I struggled and told myself it would easier to say no, and we would be just fine…But there was a tug, a huge tug on my heart, I felt him calling me to be her daddy but I was scared and ready to give in to fear, so I grabbed a Bible and said God my answer is NO..unless you tell me right now that she is my daughter.

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I started flipping through scripture and TRUTH was jumping off the page…REPENT..I had to repent of my fear and not trusting the Lord to provide…Trust, HE will provide…HE will never leave me nor forsake me.. everywhere I looked He gave me the comfort knowing HE will go before me and will give me the strength to move forward one step at a time. Immediately the fear went away.. Only God!!!!

From that moment, I knew the journey wouldn’t be easy, but the fear was gone, not because I was fearless, but God filled me with such an assurance that Gianna was my daughter and He will provide.

So how can I stand here now (even though I am so sad, and confused) and doubt that HE isn’t still here holding me and giving me the strength I need in the darkest of dark times. This all doesn’t make sense to me that we are here dealing with this.. But I know God is the same yesterday today and tomorrow and His promises are still true in the good and the bad times.

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You know, Gianna was so brave and such a fierce warrior that fought so hard through her surgeries and throughout life. She taught us to jump out of the boat and not stay in our comfort Zones because that is where you will experience God in such amazing ways. God invited us front and center to see all he had planned for Gianna. We are the blessed ones to be able to call her family. Wow..What if we stayed in the boat…The Blessings we would have missed…The key though is when you are called out of the boat to walk on water, Like Peter in the Bible was.., you have to keep your eyes on Jesus or you will sink.

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The waves of the storm will always be around us, but if we keep our eyes fixed on our Lord, we will never sink…

My faith and relationship with God is so much stronger because of Gianna. One of The biggest blessings in the World is that I get to be Gianna’s Daddy.

The only way I know that I will have joy again is that I serve an awesome personal God that loves me dearly..

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This is not about religion..It’s about a relationship with God that is so personal and loving. He leaves the 99 to go rescue the 1. He wants a relationship with us, and offers his love to all that will seek after Him.

Sin separates us from God, as the wages of Sin is Death, but God in His mercy sent His son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay the penalty of our sin which we deserve..HE died and rose on the third day and conquered death. He purchased a way into Heaven for us

This is a free Gift..GRACE!!!Nothing we have to or able to earn on our own..

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This is the assurance I have, knowing I will see and sing praises with my beautiful Gianna in Heaven.

Memories….

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Gianna loved to worship, which is why we are worshiping today.., Anytime I would play guitar she would be by myside singing or playing an instrument with a smile..One of my favorite things was to hold her during worship at church as she belted out her own version of the song..Her favorite thing was to sing on song at church…Oh the praises she is singing now…

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Thank you for your prayers and please we need you to pray more than ever now as we move forward


Heaven is the Face
Heaven is the face of a little girl
With dark brown eyes
That disappear when she smiles
Heaven is the place
Where she calls my name
Says, “Daddy please come play with me for awhile”

God, I know, it’s all of this and so much more
But God, You know, that this is what I’m aching for
God, you know, I just can’t see beyond the door
So right now

Heaven is the sound of her breathing deep
Lying on my chest, falling fast asleep while I sing
And Heaven is the weight of her in my arms
Being there to keep her safe from harm while she dreams

……….Heaven is a sweet, maple syrup kiss
And a thousand other little things I miss with her gone
Heaven is the place where she takes my hand
And leads me to You
And we both run into Your arms

(Steven Curtis Chapman)

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