I’ve had trouble writing lately. I just haven’t felt like sitting down and putting pen to paper or in my case fingers to keyboard! I haven’t felt the urge and I have felt emotionally incapable of writing. I honestly find writing and reading the supportive comments from everyone so comforting and as much as I wanted to force myself to write in the last month, I just haven’t been able to. Then I thought about this song, “Called Me Higher” by All Sons and Daughters, and as I reflected on last few weeks and I knew that I needed to write.
Called Me Higher
I could just sit
I could just sit and wait for all your goodness
Hope to feel your presence
And I could just stay
I could just stay right where I am and hope to feel you
Hope to feel something again
And I could hold on
I could hold on to who I am and never let You change me from the inside
And I could be safe
I could be safe here in Your arms and never leave home
Never let these walls down
But you have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I will go where you will lead me Lord
You have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I will go where you lead me Lord
Where you lead me
Where you lead me Lord
And I will be Yours
I will be Yours for all my life
So let Your mercy light the path before me
vbs nate magnet
Today, as I was cleaning, I happened to look up and see a magnet Nate made last year at vacation bible school hanging on the side of the fridge. It was a painted clothes pin holding a bible verse. The verse on the notecard was written as a preschool shortened verse which reads, “ Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 NLT). Then only a few minutes later I opened my You Version application as I do most days to read the verse of the day to see, “Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.” (1 Peter 3:15 NLT). I know that when I write I share my heartache but I also want to share my strength and my hope that in moments I know can only come from God.
Following the holidays the last few months have been tough. Everyone warned us of how hard the holidays would be but the truth is that, emotionally, we could prepare ourselves for the holidays and Nate’s birthday. I expected the holidays to be harder but we were so emotionally prepared that we got through them with love, prayer, family, and friends. What we can’t prepare ourselves for are the unexpected moments. Those unexpected moments are the ones that seem to hit the hardest and are the times where I sit with tears rolling down my cheek. Admittedly, these are private moments for me. My closest family and friends will tell you that I am the girl that will say “I’m fine” even when every ounce of me knows that I am not. Lately, I’ve had what I can only explain as something similar to an outer body experience. I can be having a nice evening out with my family and friends and will have a moment that I am reminded of Nate. The guilt hits me that I’m having a nice time and I immediately find myself literally staring at myself as the world moves on around me. I’m stuck, paralyzed, and can’t move or even think as I wonder how my life got here and how my life will go on without Nate. In those moments, I have to force myself out of it. I have that choice to wake myself up and push forward. I have to keep going for Drew and Kaylee. I have to let the Lord lead me, surrender my pain, and let his light lead the way.
My heartbreak moments come unexpectedly. I have these moments where I turn a corner and swear I can hear Nate playing in the background or I’ll be singing in the car with Drew and Kaylee and there are times I swear I hear Nate’s little voice singing and giggling too. I turn down the radio in time to turn and look but only to realize he isn’t there. Two weeks ago, I was I going through hand me downs for Kaylee and all I could think of was Nate helping me sort hand me downs, making a huge mess, and saying to every single shirt, “Look this is pretty mom, we’ll like this one”. Then as I sorted through the clothes that are too small in her closet and see the dress she wore to his preschool graduation I find a piece of my heart in pain. The moments hit me constantly on any given day. These are my moments, our family memories, the ones that no one could of prepared us for. The moment a friend or a cousin loses a tooth and I’m immediately reminded of how Nate didn’t get to lose his first tooth. I have to turn and tell me myself to pull it together because I want to be happy and excited for the other children too. That’s who I am. I was sorting through pictures last week to find some from the first day of school that I need to send out. As I looked at pictures, of my sweet boy, and his smile, so proud, as he was getting ready for school, tears hit the table in front of me uncontrollably. Last weekend, we were fixing Drew’s plate of spaghetti with noodles on one side and sauce on the other and as we sat it on the table he says, “No, mom, I like mine mixed together, Nate liked his separate” and in that moment my heart breaks because it’s just not fair. It’s really just not fair at all. He is in my every thought and my every moment. He is my baby boy. I will grieve in my own way. There are no books that tell you how to do this. There is no helpful advice that tells me how to do this. There is no amount of tears or smiles that will ever make this okay. That’s when I have to let God lead me. I have to surrender. I can’t do this on my own. I’m not doing this on my own.
Last week, I made a 2 hour drive to see a good friend. I started my morning excited about getting out of the house for the day and eager to catch up with my friend! As I started driving in the peace of my car where my mind can wander I started to have flashbacks, full anxiety, and questions. Just as I thought I’d be entering a full panic attack my shuffle playlist hit “Never Let Go” by David Crowder Band. When disaster came, He never let go. In that moment I prayed. I prayed and I reminded myself to surrender it all. I was in awe, that God knew exactly what song to put in my playlist at that moment. As I continued on my drive I found myself deeply in thought as I listened to worship music. I had a moment of peace. The truth is, I want to know what happened to Nate and I want to know why it happened to us. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve pleaded for answers or I’ve said “I won’t ever know this side of heaven why this happened the way it did”. But, Friday morning as I drove out over the Bay Bridge, I realized that you know what… I don’t think I’ll know the answer to what happened on the other side of heaven either. I believe heaven is a happy place with no worry and no fear. I think we will walk through Heaven’s Gate and the anxiety of what happened will not be given another thought. In some way, that brought me peace. To my normal OCD self I would think that idea would actually bring me more anxiety but in a small way I’m at peace with that. I’m at peace with knowing that one day this question won’t need to be answered and I can spend eternity in Heaven, happy and with no fear. As I told my friend this story, mainly because as a strong sister in Christ, I wanted her thoughts on this, she looked at me as her eyes filled with tears and said “Katie, you know what that is, that’s faith”. It is faith. It can’t be explained. It’s just what I believe.
I will be missing a piece of my heart every single day of this life. I will always be slightly broken. But the hope is that joy comes in the morning. “But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.” (Psalms 59:16 NLT) I have bad days, but each night I tell myself, tomorrow is what I choose it to be. I can wake up and find joy in the morning. I will push myself and I will not live this life sad. I will be GREAT for NATE. And I will be GREAT for GOD.
drew and nate steeler grams house
Best Brothers and Best Friends
nate helping me fold kaylee's clothes
Helping Mommy fold clothes for Kaylee
Nate and Kaylee before preschool graduation
Nate and Kaylee before preschool graduation
1st day of school
A foundation update: We are still in the non-profit process and working through the endless paperwork process. We are also in the trademark process for Go Out. Be Great. We are hopeful to get the non-profit status as we are eager to start fundraising again for future projects! Keep checking back!
A Playground Update for Mechanicsville: Now that we are 99.99% sure we have won Rally for Recess (official notice should come at the end of the month), we have gotten notice that the school is moving forward with the both the Kindergarten playground and the BIGGER than originally planned 1st – 5th playground. The school is currently working on logistics of price quotes & approvals, and plan to order equipment by the end of March. The production of equipment takes a few months so the day school lets out for summer the demolition will begin and the area will be prepped for the new playgrounds!!! We should see new playgrounds being installed in July. We can’t wait to see this project become reality! We will continue to keep you all posted.
As always, thank you for your support, thoughts, prayers, love, support, and friendships.
All My Love, Katie

12 thoughts on “Moments

  1. Lisa Hetrick

    What I have learned in this life, is that there is no timeline for grief and that each little “sign” each “moment” brings your loved ones closer and closer to your heart when you feel like all is slipping away. It is “faith” that will keep you moving forward and LOVE that will keep him alongside you. Much love, peace and understanding to you now and always. -Lisa

  2. Samantha Flater

    I may not know you but your words and pain bring tears to my eyes! We are also part of the Mechanicsville family so when Nate passed it touched all of us. I cannot imagine the day to day without him but please know that even those who never knew him have come to love him through you.

  3. nadine fenchak

    Thank you for sharing your grief. You are a strong, strong woman. The After months always get me too – you can prepare only for so much. Hugs and prayers for continued strenght – you will get through this – every moment of the rest of your life. You are strong.

  4. Dana

    Thank you Katie! Your posts always remind me to never take for granted those small moments with my kids, because those can be the most memorable! You are amazing!! Dana

  5. kelly quickel

    Keep pushing thru any fears, worries, doubts or anxieties that Satan brings to you. God is sovereign and He has this! I love how He reveals Himself in songs that play or notes you find and that you are recognizing them as gifts of peace from Him, not mere coincidences. Thank you for continuing to speak out for those who will listen and sharing your faith journey.

  6. Theresa Martinage

    Your faith is inspiring! As a mother of a child the same age as Nate, I find myself trying to imagine the pain and sorrow you face each day and it makes my heart ache. I pray for peace for you and your family.

  7. Rick McCauley

    every now and then, remember that your other children are going through some of the same processes. Rather than to feel you need to hold back and supress your emotion to protect them, let loose and share it with them. Perhaps it will allow them to know what they are feeling is ok, because you are feeling it too. You get your strength from God, but they may need toi get theirs from you. Hang in there, and remember you never face tomorrow alone

  8. Amanda Gayler

    Katie, thank you for sharing your heart with the world. It is such a beautiful tribute to Nate and will help so many others.

  9. Jenelle Baker Cannon

    You know katie Ive been wanting to call you all week but i wanted a quiet moment to talk so I waited, then this morning I went to pull out my taylor swift Cd and saw casting crowns and thought I should really listen to that, but instead I flipped past it and grabbed what I thought was a taylor swift cd because many of mine arent marked but it was in that section, and i put it in and to my surprise it was an unmarked casting crowns cd. I thought wow thats weird but decided to listen to it since it was in already and the very first song I listened to was “hope for every man” and it hit me hard thinking of you and justins hope in this dry and weary land that we live in, and the hope you have in jesus. You are so strong and so beautiful. After I dried my eyes in the car god made me realize that all was quiet and calm in the car and I could actually call and talk with you. I didnt mention it today, but then I read your blog just now and it hit me hard. God speaks to us and if we are open we hear. I love you guys, keep holding onto hope and faith and seeing that field of wild flowers, nate running ahead. no more pain, no more fear, no more tears….forever ❤ xoxo


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