Joel and I met while we were in college. For me (Chantel), it was love at first sight. I remember as if it were yesterday the night Joel introduced himself to our marketing class. It was a brisk October night. I remember calling my Dad and saying, "well, I found the man I am going to marry – but there is one issue – he is a Pagan" (hence our last name). Being that my Dad is a humorous man and pastor of 30 plus years, he offered a priceless response. He said, "Don't you worry... Just bring him on home and we'll make a saint out of him". So take him home is just what I did. It took months of persuading on my part but we finally started dating. Three years later we moved to my hometown in New Mexico and were wed. We spent two years there before transitioning to Dallas, TX.
Like all stories, ours has had its fair share of ups and downs, especially our story of becoming parents. Our first son, Jethro Pax, was born on September 7, 2017 and went on to dance with Jesus exactly one week later. My experiences in carrying him, birthing him, and then losing him brought incredible pain but has also led us to Jesus in a way unlike we had ever experienced.
As our son entered this world his Dad gave him a named that carried a significance far greater than we could have imagined, the name Jethro Pax which means Abounding Peace. Since Jethro's birth God has been taking us on the greatest journey. The Lord has exposed His love and character to us through so many heartbreaking moments. He has graciously taught, encouraged, and challenged us in the most beautiful ways. We know this journey does not stop here as He continues to grow gardens from us.
Since Jet’s passing, God has placed a desire in our hearts for all the mommies and daddies who have lost a precious child.
This experience in our lives and God’s prompting led us to create Abounding Peace, a non profit organization committed to love and serve families who are grieving the loss of a child. From personal experience we know just how hard it is to know what to do or say. We were shocked to learned just how many people are touched by miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death (death in the first 28 days of life). We hope everything you find here can serve as a way to encourage you to hold on to hope, something Jethro's life has helped us to do. We know that God is faithful, He is a good shepherd, and our lives are completely in His hands. He has given us the courage to continue living and loving. He has filled our hearts with abounding peace even in the midst of suffering. Daily His Word reminds us that His desire is for us to experience an abundant life and we know He can do the same for you.
We look forward to walking this journey with you in the coming days, weeks, months and years.