kaila mugford | grace alone



Sixteen weeks. If you found out your child had only sixteen weeks left to live…what would you do?

This is a road I have walked. And although I know that amount of time is almost nothing at all, the first four months of 2012 felt like the longest four months of my entire life.

When I got that little blue plus sign in September 2011, my heart skipped a beat (okay maybe several). I couldn’t even wait until the end of the work day to tell my husband that we would truly become “one” in just a few short months. Within two weeks of finding out we were pregnant, both families had been told and plans were being made to welcome a new little one into all of our lives.

Our excitement grew quickly in anticipation of our 20 week appointment. We just wanted to see our baby, not really wanting to find out the sex. I will never forget that day…January 16th,2012. Our technician scanned for a half an hour and then sent us back to wait to speak with our doctor.

We found out that day that our future with our baby was not going to be the one we had planned. We were told that our baby, a son, had several organ system failures and would not survive long after birth. We were also told we had a decision to make: keep him for as long as he might survive, or let him go now. And we decided to keep him.

It’s very hard to pray to God for His will to be done when you are faced with the seemingly unpreventable death of your child. All I wanted to do was to pray for my miracle to happen in the way I wanted, regardless of whether it was in accordance with His plan or not. I wanted my son to be in my arms and to come home with me after he was born, and I wanted nothing short of that. However, I was able to manage prayer for God’s will during that time…something that shocks me now when I read back in my journal entries.

Our son, Samuel David, was born on April 30th, 2012 at 3:20am. We had 50 minutes with him before he left my arms and entered the arms of our Savior. We had 16 weeks with him from the moment of his diagnosis to the moment he entered and left this world. The love I felt within that time frame was like nothing I had ever felt before, and something I cannot remember having ever lived without.

I know the Lord carried us through that time, and carries us in our grief still. I get glimpses here and there of how His plan is working out, and how He was able to use the life of our son for the glory of His Kingdom. He knew my family was going to need to need our community of Christ-followers to walk with us hand in hand into the valley of grief and be helped up out of it. He knew my husband and I’s relationship depended on His faithfulness. And He knew our son would be a gift to all who heard our testimony.

I am so very grateful for the sixteen weeks we were given with our son after his diagnosis. I am grateful even more for a loving God who has promised me that this life on earth will feel like no time has passed when I am reunited with my Sam for all eternity.

“Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.”  ~Psalm 139:16

Kaila Mugford lives in Toledo, Ohio with her husband Jamey and their two dogs, Duke and Mopsie. They are very active in their church, CedarCreek, and experience the love of Christ every day in this amazing community of Christ-followers. They are expecting their second baby, (a healthy little girl!) in May 2013.


//Kaila’s blog//

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23 thoughts on "kaila mugford | grace alone"

  1. ed sheera says:

    well of course, everyone loves to get rich but not everyone would love to do hard work”


  2. Kaila says:

    Thank you all so much for your words of encouragement. Sam was such a blessing to us, and has been to so many others who have listened to our testimony. God has been so faithful throughout this entire time, and we are thankful for that. Thank you for your prayers as we head into the month we will be meeting our second baby :) God Bless!

  3. Margie says:

    Your story touched my heart. I'm so thankful you and your husband have loved ones, church family, and eachother to share your pain and joy. I know as difficult as this was to experience, someday you will be used by God to come along side someone else going through the same heartache. God bless you both as you await your sweet gift in May.

  4. Sue:) says:

    Thank you Kaila for sharing your hauntingly beautiful, personal journey. Your strength and love are blessings from God. May his light continue to shine on you and yours as you welcome this precious little girl into your life.

  5. Clarissa says:

    Beautiful. Amazing. Heart wrenching. What a testimony of God’s love.

  6. Carolynmimi says:

    Your testimony touched me in a personal way as a mother and grandmother. In 1997 my pregnant daughter confirmed what she feared at a routine OB appointment, two days had passed since she had felt movement, her unborn daughter, their second child, was dead. She carried Lydia ten more days. We, our family, never take pregnancy or childbirth or happy outcomes for granted. We pray fervently for God's will, God's blessing on every conception and pregnancy we hear about. We all grieved and grew stronger, we even saw relationships within the family healed all because of our precious Lydia, who never drew a single breath.

    Her womb life had purpose that only God could see. A year after her demise, my daughter, her husband, her 3 year old son and all of us welcomed Abigail and she, too is a blessing. We are praying for your unborn daughter, knowing God has a plan for her life.

    Thank you for sharing.

  7. rocknitat55 says:

    God bless u for sharing your testimony. It allows us to see what is possible if we hold on to God’s unchanging hand. He is not a respector of persons. What he does for one that grace is available for us all. I can remember days that holding on to his hand was not enough! I had to get up and curl in his lap.

    Congradulations on your new addition and may God continue to bless u and your family

  8. hooleywithaz says:

    wow. just wow. you were able to do what so many of us want to be able to do in times like those…give it up to God and do it with His grace. thank you for sharing your story. and congratulations on your second little one soon to come!

  9. Ellen MR says:

    What a powerful testimony! As you said, you were amazed you were able to pray for God’s will looking back at your journals. Oh, How He truly carries us when we need Him! I’m so glad you and your husband had such faith and a wonderful church family to help you thru! That really does glorify God even though it was a heart wrenching experience. I’m so happy for you Kaila, that you and your husband have been blessed again and wish you the best now and in the future! I’ll be praying for all of you! :)

  10. Joanna says:

    Thank you for sharing your testimony. God bless you and your family.

  11. Diana says:

    Thank you for that heartfelt testimony. I rejoice with you knowing your will be welcoming your baby girl in May. God has truly used you to let others know just how precious life is. God bless you and your family. Keep us posted.

  12. Allison says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, Kaila. What a beautiful and heart wrenching testimony it is…God's plans are sometimes not fully understood in the moment but hindsight proves He always has a plan and a purpose! Praying for you, your family and your precious little girl today!

  13. monique says:

    this is a powerful testimony. as i read this the tears dwell in my eyes because our Jesus is so gracious. since ive joined the SRT ive learned so many different things and have build a relationship with sisters and mothers in Christ. Ive have a overwhelming joy in my this morning.I thank you sisters for your prayers and really interceding on my behalf as i did for you all.(this is forgiven btw:). i appreciate you all. amy kelly,ibuken,candacejo,charmaine,carolynmimi,rocknita,jesusgirl,leah,laurenC and anyone whos name i have forgot i love you all from the bottom of my heart and i cant wait until we all start to read Hosea together. One more thing lets continue to pray for our nation and all nations like ours. God said that if my people which are called by name just humble yourselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways then i will hear from heaven and heal the land…forgive me if its nots word for word, :) lets continue to pray for the saints as well that we endure to the end. God bless you all this day. :)

  14. Candacejo says:

    God always knows what HE is doing even when WE don't understand His ways. What a powerful testimony you have and what a HOPE of seeing your precious Samuel again! Blessings!

  15. LeahTvt says:

    Thanks for sharing your heart. God bless you and your family.

  16. Julia says:

    God Bless you Kayla!!! xo

  17. Kaila. I hope you don.t mind but as i prayed for you for Gods peace and favour i had the overwhelming desire to pray Gods amazing blessing over you and yours. . . My words could not say it better than the one one said in numbers. . .

    Numbers 6:24-26 GNT

    May the Lord bless you and take care of you; May the Lord be kind and gracious to you; May the Lord look on you with favor and give you peace.

    Be blessed and abundantly toooooo.
    With love,
    Tina. X

  18. Joanna says:

    Thanks for sharing. Heart breaking and beautiful. May god continue to sustain you and comfort you. You reminded me of several promises today, very needed.

  19. AmyKelly213 says:

    Beautiful, Kaila!! Simply beautiful!! I thank you for sharing your story!!

  20. Stephanie says:

    What a story that God gave you to tell, Kaila. It is a beautiful picture of the love strength and faithfulness that only our God can provide. Although Samuel David only had 16 weeks… God used those 16 weeks to shape your heart and to prepare you for this powerful testimony. He had a plan, and it is being thoroughly lived out. God Bless you.

  21. Psalm 30:11-12 GNT

    You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance; you have taken away my sorrow and surrounded me with joy. So I will not be silent; I will sing praise to you. Lord, you are my God; I will give you thanks forever.

    This is one of my favorite psalms. It has served me well on those days when i am overwhelmed with pain and sadness.
    Our God is truly truly gracious and loving and kind and amazing…..night could go on..
    I woke up this morning thinking about my daughter, who is with the Lord, ( her birthday soon), and the words gone too soon came to mind…..
    Psalm 139:16says… The days allotted to be had been recorded in your book
    before any of it began…
    Gone too soon, i guess only to those of us let behind…God had a plan….and i see the bigger picture each day… His grace, His love, His mercy.
    Thank you Lord, for your loving arms that hold me on those days i have. Sadness and hurt. Thank you that you turn our sadness into joy, Thank you Lord God. X

  22. Ibukun says:

    Sweet Kaila! God carried you through and you trusted Him when it was hard. As I read your testimony, I instantly thought of Angie Smith. She also had to let her little one return to God barely 2 hours after she was born after deciding to keep her full term even when she knew that her baby would not live long. In case you haven’t already read it, the title is “I will carry you” amazing book. Thank you for testifying so honestly. Blessings on you and yours, daughter of the Most High God :’)