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February 29, 2012

For the good...

One thing I LOVE is when I get to talk about my sweet little girl.

I think for a parent who has had a child go on before them: the greatest blessing to them is to hear their child's name mentioned. I love to hear her beautiful name. Madeline Grace. I just love to hear it and say it out loud.

Everyone knows it makes me happy when I get to speak of her, or when other's speak of her to me. Because I am so open here on my blog and on Facebook about talking about her, other's feel that they can be open to me when they know someone going through a similar trial. I'm thankful for this.

So many times since Madeline went to Heaven, I have been contacted by friends who know of a family/Church member or friend who has also lost a child. It seems like recently there have been so many. This breaks my heart.

I hate to know what the pain they are feeling is like. It hurts so very much, but... since I know that pain, I know how much they need prayer. And I pray.

But every now and then, I get the opportunity to do more than just pray. I get to meet and even talk with them. It's in those moments, I am so very thankful I have chosen to tell our Maddie's story.

I not only get to talk about her and say her name; but I get to tell other's about another story. His story, and what that means for us. Christ's story is the most beautiful story I've ever heard, and it's not just a story, it's a choice.

We can all(choose) to accept Him.

I've always had a desire to tell people about the Lord and try to be a great soul winner, but I can't tell you how many more opportunity's I have been given to do so since our sweet little girl went to Heaven.

I want everyone to be able to know they can go to Heaven. Heaven is wonderful!

For me now, it's even more special because I have a precious little girl there. She's waiting for me and all of our loved ones to arrive. And one day, we will meet her in the clouds. Oh how I long for that day.

But in the mean time, I'm here with a job to do. To tell other's about Christ.

I decided to to share my little girl's story and talk about her and the Lord. It's been wonderful.

Maddie's ministry was born the day of her funeral. I remember so vividly as I stood and talked about her that night at her funeral. I shared all about her. I told them it would be a shame to share about my gift of a daughter, and not share God's gift to us; His Son.

After an amazing message preached by my Pastor that night, 2 souls were saved. I remember thinking how precious that number was to me. One soul for each day she lived. So, so precious.

That night I realized, Maddie Grace's story is so very touching. It teaches us that life is brief and death is real. It happens.

Everyday, people leave our presence and face an eternity that is waiting for them.

It was then that I decided to tell Maddie's story as a means of showing people these things. Since then, I have been contacted numerous times with people sharing they have gotten saved as a result of hearing her story. What a blessing!

I have personally been able to lead dozens of people to the Lord after sharing Maddie's story and the Gospel with them. And those are just the ones I know of.

Sharing her story flows so beautifully into sharing the gospel; His story. I think He planned that all along. =) Down from the sweet name we "just so happened" to name her. God's gift of Grace.

Knowing lives have been changed and people are going to Heaven because of this is amazing. I can't tell you what a blessing this is to me. It makes the hurt, hurt just a little less.

To think of the crowns she is gaining for her precious life. My sweet Princess.

Lives have been touched. We are sharing the Grace of God and the Hope of Heaven with so many. It's been wonderful.

Just this last week though, I had the opportunity to really do something special.

One of my sweet friends contacted me and told me of a family member who lost a child about 6 months after Maddie passed away. She asked me if I could pray for him and his wife and maybe contact them. She knew I understood their pain and could share my heart on the matter.

So, after contacting her and spending time in prayer, I reached out.

I was able to speak with her for almost 2 hours and share my daughter's life and story with her. Then in return, she shared the story of her daughter with me. We then talked of God and she told me she wanted a relationship with Him. She wanted to know about the grace, peace and hope I wrote about here, on my blog.

So with a joyful heart, I shared with her all about those things and as a result; She realized the God loved her, but she was a sinner but that Christ had already paid that sin debt. She went to the Lord in prayer and asked Him to come into her heart and save her!!! And HE did!

I can't tell you what a precious moment that was for both of us.

Afterwards she just kept thanking me over and over for showing her. She said she felt SO much better and I was glad. She now knew she was on her way to Heaven. She knew she would see her daughter again...

 In the back of my mind, I just kept thinking how without Maddie's life, there would have been no way I would've met this precious girl and been able to share these things with her.

Once again, Maddie made a way. Because of her life and her story, once again I was able to share His...

After we spoke, my sweet new friend asked if I could speak to her Husband and share these things with him. I invited them both to Church on Sunday and guess what? They came.

My Pastor gave a wonderful Salvation message and after the service, this sweet couple met with Rick and I in our Pastor's office.

We spoke about the pain we've endured in the tragedy's we've gone through in the passing of our daughter's. We laughed. We cried and we shared so much.

Then Rick was able to share the Gospel with my sweet friend's Husband. With a humble heart, he too bowed and asked Christ to save him. It was amazing!

Two people we've never met and probably never would have. Two people who now know the Lord and his saving Grace. Two people on their way to Heaven.

And I know... it was because of Maddie's story.

Maddie's ministry.

That to me, will never get old! Telling people about my little girl. Saying her name and mentioning her life, all while sharing with them about Jesus and what His life meant to us.

This blesses my soul.

Maddie's ministry is truly at work and it is a blessing to be a part of!

Please keep sending your friends and loved ones my way. I would love to share with each of them, or you, all about the Lord and His Son. And if any of you have gotten saved through hearing Madeline's story, I would love for you to share that here!

I feel even closer to my sweet Maddie Grace when I know someone else will share eternity with her and our Saviour. There is just something about knowing she in Heaven and experiencing when thousands of angels rejoice over a sinner coming to Christ. What a beautiful sight and sound that must be!

As Rick has mentioned to me before, he mentioned to that precious couple that day. He said, I can only imagine what our daughter's are saying up in Heaven... "Hey, that was my Daddy who just got saved!" ~Their daughter

"And that was my Daddy who told him how." ~ Maddie Grace

This brings chills to my arms, tears to my eyes and joy to my heart.

Thank you Maddie Grace for giving your Mommy a ministry. I hope I do not let you or the Lord down. Lord, I'm asking you for continued grace and strength to share my heart, so I can use this ministry for the good.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.


Much Love,
Natalie

God's gift of Grace... Sweet Maddie

10 comments:

  1. You are such a blessing to all of us. Praying that God continues to show His love and grace through Maddie's story. Love ya and praying for you!!!

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  2. Just beautiful. I have been thinking a lot on these lines lately too. The way the Cretzmans have been such an awesome testimony in their loss. They way you have...how God knows what He's doing and how when we here on earth get a little glimpse of His master plan can be so blessed, evn through heartache. Sigh. God is GOOD! Through it all. So blessed to hear of those saved through "Maddie's Ministry" <3 Keeping you in prayer!

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    1. <3 It really is amazing how such sad tragedies can be used for so much good on this earth. I can't wait to see just how much these little girls lives have touched people once we get to Heaven. What a blessing.
      Thank you, Karly :)

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  3. I started following your blog a while back. You are so inspiring and I love to read your stories about your beautiful baby girl. Please keep inspiring us. I am 33 years old and my baby pictures look very much like maddie's. I had hair just like hers when I was born. Such a beautiful angel.
    Amy

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    1. That's so sweet of you to say, Amy! :) Thank you!

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  4. Just wanted to tell you that I'm so glad and grateful that you use Maddie's story as an opportunity to share the Gospel. So many people who have experienced tragedy will share their story just to try to comfort or identify with others who experience it, but so few take that next step to share the news that can actually give hope and life! Thanks for letting God use your story to advance His kingdom.

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    1. Thank you, Tracy . :) I feel honored to do so. It honestly helps me keep going. Trying to do my best for the cause of Christ! Thank you for your sweet words! They mean so much!

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  5. HI I just read Maddie's whole story. I am so sorry for the pain that you have felt, but incredibly blessed that you have turned your pain into a powerful tool to win others to Jesus. On 1-24-12 My son Jonathan was stillborn. I have been devastated with grief but I also feel a determination that I will use this loss and pain for the Glory of my Jesus. My husband is a pastor and this is a difficult path to walk with others watching but you give me hope. I can do it I will make it through.
    A million thank you's for sharing Maddie's story and life.

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    1. Tesha,
      Thank you for reaching out to me. You CAN do this! It most definitely is not an easy road, but with God and your precious family, you can get through each day. I'm here for you and will be praying for you today and in the days to come. Bless your sweet heart. I'm so very sorry about your sweet Jonathan. :( I bet he was beautiful. <3

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