We joined Mike and Danielle Lindeman’s small group in 2011 because it was located just down the street from the house we had just bought, and we had some familiarity with the hosts. Our Thursday meetings quickly turned into dinner, fellowship and friendship. All the couples were young and either starting to have children or heading in that direction, as were we.

In 2013, we joined the kid club, with my wife Deanna becoming pregnant with our first, a baby girl. After 36 weeks of the pregnancy, a doctor noticed a problem with our daughter Roselyn’s ultrasound. She was diagnosed with a condition called CDH, or a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (http://cdhawareness.org/). We were immediately told of the severity of the condition and that our Baby was going to be fighting for her life the second she entered our world.

One of the first calls I made after receiving that news was to my friend, Mike Lindeman. I asked for his prayers and his advice, and as usuIMG_0610al he offered me Godly guidance. On October 3, 2013 our baby girl was born. As feared, the severity of her diagnosis was confirmed upon birth. In a whirlwind night she was rushed to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta- Egelston where she would have emergency surgery that night. She was placed on a number of amazing machines to help give her every chance at life. She would be with us for 22 precious days, and the Lord took her home on October 25, 2013. The most consistent visitors we received in the hospital outside of family were from the church, especially our small group. They brought food, they brought stuff and they were there for us.

The day after my daughter passed I woke up early and went downstairs. I was greeted by a sudden knock on the door. It was Mike Lindeman. He brought breakfast and coffee for us and our family that was in town with us. He gave me a hug and promised to be around for whatever we need. I was touched. Throughout the day wIMG_2388e were visited by the rest of our small group. The Barnhill’s, the Sumrall’s, the Hendrix’s, the Calabrese’s…and on and on. They all brought food, they all shared hugs and tears. And they were there for us. In ways we could never have imagined. Every one of them was at our daughter’s service.

That sense of camaraderie and devotion is what we found to be the most wonderful and humbling aspect of our group. Everyone was there for each other over and over again. And all those people that cried with us were the same to celebrate with us at the birth of our son, a healthy baby boy named Everett. He was born on July 2, 2015, which happened to be the same day Mike and Danielle welcomed their second daughter, Andi Marie, to the world. Amazingly, we were at the same hospital and our families celebrated, together, in the waiting room. I could not have imagined a more perfect way to spend that day.