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Yesterday was a big day in our home!

My son, Bryce, was the recipient of all that was good! Yesterday he turned 15 1/2! Now, that half is a very important part of it..  You see, when you turn 15 1/2 here…you can take your test and if you pass, you recieve a Driver’s Permit! So, last week, during Spring Break….Bryce gave up two of his days to do 10 hours of in-class instruction at driving school. We made an appointment at the DPS to take his test on his 15 1/2 exact birthday….and off we went. I gathered all the needed documentation to prove he was who he said he was….and went into the office. 

He filled out a single sheet of paper and we were told to wait. He was called back and I asked if I should come with…the instructor motioned for me to come too. I went back to a little room…and the questions began!

“Are you his mother?”  Yes. “Are you 15 1/2?” Yes. “Good…because I’d have to send you packing if you didn’t have that half!”  Sign here….initial here…..fingerprinting….sight testing……and then….

“Okay….so I’m going to put you on a computer. It has 20 questions. You need to answer 15 correct to pass. You can skip as many as five before it counts against you. But they will come back around. The first question is a test question and if you get it wrong your computer will shut down….but you shouldn’t, because it is just asking your birthday. Don’t make me come back out there to set you up again. Okay?” Yes.

So mom leaves and goes back to sit down. I looked at my phone…3:00. I start to do something on my phone and look up to Bryce standing there in front of me with a grin and a piece of paper. It’s now 3:02! I can’t believe it.

He tells me he finished, skipping only one because he wasn’t 100% and didn’t want to get one wrong. When he finished, he went to the instructor’s door. The instructor said, “Did your computer shut down on you?”. “No sir, I’m finished.” The instructor looked at Bryce, at his computer, back at Bryce and then his computer again. His computer screen showed that Bryce had indeed finished….and passed! The instructor looked at Bryce and said, “Congratulations son, you’ve just set a new DPS record.” He finished his test in under a minute! 

I told Bryce this just showed if he worked towards something he wanted…he could do it…and do it well!!! 

Then we went to turn in some paperwork. 

You see….for about two weeks now, he has been juggling a decision that is a very difficult one. We found a charter school that isn’t really a traditional high school….but instead calls itself a “Middle College”. This school does all the same classes and core work as his high school…but meets on the campus of our Junior College. As soon as your second semester of your sophomore year, you can begin taking the college courses for double credits. Depending on the student….and the work they do….a student can graduate their traditional “senior year” with not just their high school diploma…..but also a diploma with a full Associate’s Degree! This school has free tutoring…full access to all labs on the campus…and a great atmosphere for learning. 

Upon learning of this school….it was BRYCE that did all the research. He made a “Pros and Cons” list and weighed all of his options. He asked us to set up a tour and a meeting with the school’s director. After all of this….he decided to apply. There are only 50 sophomore spots. We filled out his application…but had to still take all of his other documents…..which is where we pick up …. yesterday.

So, after passing his test…we drove to the school to take his documentation. He was all smiles and talking the whole way! This momma was LOVING every minute!! We went up to the third floor where the school meets and went into the office. We gave them all his papers, but had to wait for them to make copies of one thing. While waiting we kept talking. The director came out and greeted us and asked if we were waiting for him. No, just turning in papers. “Well…it’s a good thing,” he said. “You got in!”. 

Just when I thought Bryce’s smile couldn’t get ANY bigger…it DID!

When we got in the car to leave the school and then go to get his actual license….he said, “Wow, this day is awesome! First I pass my test…and break a record…THEN I find out I made it into the school!” 

Proud momma! He drove to my dad’s after he had his license in hand and we all went to celebrate! My neice and nephew, his Memaw, Gramma and Grampa all joined us! My neice is even wanting to apply to his new school! His smiles were contageous and I couldn’t stop looking at him, across the table….growing up….making great…and hard decisions. I can’t believe God blessed me with this boy. I can’t believe I get to be his mom.

We came home…and after a while I finally sat down…and the emotions hit me! I was emotionally exhausted…and hadn’t even realized it! The tears started streaming down my face. Tbh…they still are this morning!

Happy tears…My boy is growing into such a fabulous young man! I truly am a very proud mom. He studied hard for his test…and busted straight through it! He made hard decisions…ones that I’m afraid I wouldn’t have been strong enough to make at his age! He sees that the next 3 years..can shape his next 60 years.. He is up for that challenge!

Sad tears…the realization hit that this is my first legal driver! But…15 years ago….should have been my first. My first born never got to go through what Bryce is experiencing…nor did his brothers. This hit me hard. As I told my friend….it’s always there. I hate it. I hate that after a whole day of just being a proud mom…it comes to that quiet time of that happiness turning melancholy…and the realization of all that I was robbed of…that THEY were robbed of…is always there. It’s just hard.

Mixed tears…happy and sad….all at the same time. This is normal for me now. Even as proud as I am of Bryce, realizing he is growing up and not my baby any more. He is making some fantastic decisions and he is hitting some wonderful life milestones. Happy and sad…….happy for where he is…and sad for all that was missed. 

Such is where my two worlds collide. My new normal. Where my now and my should have been bounce off of each other and my mind is stuck in a vortex of mixed emotions. Only those who have lost a child…and living in their children’s now would understand. 

I love it…and hate it all at the same time.

But it doesn’t change how proud I am of my son! He is awesome! He is growing up! He is making me a very proud mom. 



Thanks for letting me share…my triumphs and my trials..with all of you!

Blessings! ~c

Crocodile Tears

Last night while preparing dinner….I asked my hubs where our daughter was? She had taken a shower and had been drying her hair…but I hadn’t heard anything coming from her way for a while!

So, my sweet husband went to check and when he came back he made a funny face….and then said she was just sitting in her room crying.

Well…needless to say I finished what I was doing and went back to her room. She was coming out and I could tell she had tried to pull herself together to make it seem like everything was okay…but this momma was having none of that! I told her to come back to her room with me.

When we got back there we both sat on her bed. I looked at her and asked her what was up. She looked at me and her lip and chin started quivering. She was trying so hard not to cry. She even turned her head and her hair was covering her so I couldn’t see her face…but I knew she was about to break. I went and got a box of Kleenex….came back and closed her door and moved closer to her. She just broke.

She cried so hard.

Then….when she was able to pull herself together…she told me she had
been been listening to some Christian music. She had her earbuds in and was just sitting on her bed and listening. This isn’t uncommon. She spends most of her time listening to music. I don’t limit the genre and let her go with her mood…..but today….everything she listened to was Christian.

She told me she had forgotten just how powerful Christian music can be….especially when you are just sitting still and quiet and listening to the words. She said the first song reminded her of her brothers. That alone….brought a tear to my eyes.

But then…she said the second song reminded her not just of her brothers…but of the fact she has never met them. She admitted she is jealous because it seemed like most of the people in my life had known them….and here she was…..12 years old…and she had never met her brothers!!! That…..made my tears….start to fall and just hit the bed.

Then……she said the third song talked about changing the world. She told me she knew she was going to do something to change the world…but her brothers would never be here to witness it.

I’m sure, you know by now….we were both just embracing and bawling our eyes out. I held her so close and so long I thought I would snap her in half. There was so much going through my mind. I felt so guilty….for bringing her into this world under those circumstances and asking her to live a life…..without meeting her brothers.

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After a while…we separated….(we had to blow our noses sometime..) and she looked at me and just said……”it’s just not fair!”.

It’s not fair.

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She is so right. I didn’t know what to say. I told her I knew her brothers would all love her and be so proud of her! But she looked at me…and asked, “But how am I supposed to know they would love me?”. I looked at her and told her….she is just going to have to trust me.

Of course I told her I knew how each of her brothers knew Jesus and since I knew she did too…I knew we would all spend eternity together. But she said that this life without them…will just seem so long. Then…she kinda grinned…and told me it wasn’t fair…I was going to get to see them first! Wow! She is just like me…that is exactly the sentiment I had when I lost my mom. I couldn’t stop crying….and at that moment…it wasn’t because she was gone…..it was because she got to see the boys FIRST!!! I told Breanna that story…and she just smiled at me.

I also told her…there are a lot of people who hurt so bad…they don’t think they can continue in this life without a person they love……and they don’t think they can ever get over the sadness they feel. I told her I felt that way the day her brothers died. I told her how late that night, I went in the other room to be by myself. I told her how I talked to the boys, I cried…and I yelled at God….”WHY DIDN’T YOU TAKE ME??????” I told her how God had calmed my spirit…and I realized if I was still here…HE must have a reason. I promised both God and my boys…that very night…I’d continue my life here on this earth…trying ….searching for what the purpose for me still being here was.

I looked my sweet daughter in the eye…and told her if I hadn’t gone on….I wouldn’t have her with me today…or her brother! I told her I was so thankful God allowed me to be a mom again! She touched my face and told me I would always be her brothers’ mom too! The tables had turned…and she was beginning to comfort me now!

I told her if she had any questions or ever wanted to talk about her brothers….it was fine. She told me it didn’t feel like she could talk about them…it felt like they never even happened. My heart sank. I felt that in protecting her….I had hurt her. So, I assured her she could. She reminded me I had told her not to tell her friends about them though….

I had to explain to her….because of the way they died….I tried to protect, not just her…but her friends too. She knew how they died…and had me to talk to about it…but her friends might not understand all of it and their parents might not want their kids to know something like that…..it was just too much for some.

But then…I looked at her and told her it was part of who she is. I told her it was now hers…I told her I trusted her with their story. She could share with whomever she thought she needed. I told her I trust her judgement. She isn’t to do it for attention…but it is a part of our family…it is a part of her…just as much as it is a part of me. Even though, physically, she hasn’t met them. They are her brothers and are a part of her life too.

I apologized. Over and over I apologized. I was so sorry she had to carry this burden. It hurts me to the core to see her hurt so much…for loving brothers she has never met and carrying this around with her. How do you process that? I mean, I have memories with them….she just has stories….and wishes to know them!!!

I thought of the families we know that have lost children. I thought how all of those….the siblings knew the child. And each of them…..were sick….not taken like her brothers.

These are the days that haunted my soul before I got remarried. These are the reasons I almost didn’t have any more children. These are some of the…….there is NO book….no “How to raise children after their siblings are murdered” website to go from!! These are the ways….the enemy toys with my mind and makes me feel selfish for having more children!

I just have to trust God….that these children are not only part of my continued purpose on this earth…but that each of them….has their own specific purpose. I also have to trust God…..that their purpose will be great…BECAUSE of who they are…and the story they have!!!

My daughter is right……she WILL change the world. I told her she might just do it with a part of her brothers story! They may not be here…on this earth….to see her do it…..but one day…when we are all in heaven together…they’ll pat her on the back for all the jewels in her crown and say “Well done, sis…..well done!”.

She smiled….I smiled. Thank you God for this child and her heart. Thank you for trusting me…..with this part of your story. It’s hard…and it just isn’t fair…but it is OURS!

“So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.” (‭2 Thessalonians‬ ‭1‬:‭11‬ NLT)

Please pray for our family as we try to figure out what this looks like. We talked about how we are in a new season. I am at a place where I’ve never been…she has now grown past all her brothers and I’m in uncharted territory with her and her brother now. We are in a season of hoping our life change will somehow create world change in us…in our hearts. My sweet girl has such a huge heart! She is more, at her age….than I could have ever aspired to be! I pray for protective coverings over this heart….so her part in HIS story will be HUGE!

I love each of you…and thank you for allowing me to share in our journey. It’s hard. But….OH SO WORTH IT!!
Blessings! ~c

Welcome to my world…. I know it sounds like the weirdest title ever…but it is truly just a glimpse into my mind in a single week.

The reality is there. I live in the present tense but my mind is constantly in the present and the past …all at the same time.

Last week….those three things were all a part of my reality.

Driving school…..yes…my son is old enough to be in driving school. He attends the classes over Spring Break so he can get his permit the next week! I’ll have a driver….AAACCCKKKKKK!!

Junior High Enrollment…yes…my daughter brought home this envelope with enrollment information for JUNIOR HIGH!!! again…….AAACCCKKKKKK!!!

And then….3 White Caskets…you see…last Wednesday was the anniversary of the day I buried my three boys. All that was going through my mind during part of the week was those white caskets. A friend asked me if I would have done anything different. I only had to think for less than a second. I said there were quite a few things I would have done different.

One of them was the funeral. Not that I would have changed any of it….but I was in such a fog during that time….I just wish that I would have had someone take pictures…or even video the service. There were so many beautiful flowers and all the people there were so kind. I really wish I could share pictures with my kids…of the flowers….of the way we had the pictures of the boys by their caskets….of how we had the things that were special to each of them on or next to the casket. It sounds weird to even type it…but that is what I wish I had….so I could share my “then” with my “now”.

I wish I would have gone to see them again. I only went one time…I only went to see them …….and then I didn’t go back. I know why I did it then….and I know it was just their earthly shell….but I still wish I had gone to spend more time with them when I could still stroke their hair…still talk to them and touch them at the same time…..but I didn’t. And honestly…I wish I had.

Those are thoughts in my head…..and yes…the anniversaries make those thoughts swim in my head at a much higher rate…but they are always there.

Like this week…..it hit me that I was in a place I’ve never been before. It hit me that even though Breanna is, in age, past where all my boys had been in age……in calendar time….I was here. Breanna is in sixth grade…..her sixth grade graduation is coming in May…and …..here I am….in March of her sixth grade year……which is a place in time I never made it to with my boys….and now my baby…is there. Cody, never made it to March of his sixth grade year….that is a very vivid memory I am always very aware of. So, this is another place where I’m here and there….all at the same time again.

I’m totally in uncharted territory….I have been for a while now. I mean, my two kids now are so different than their brothers! But still….kinda the same. But my baby has now outlived the place in time my oldest never saw……..and that is hard. But it’s my reality.

Driving school……is a first…..and I’m going to enjoy this phase of my son’s life!

Junior High…isn’t a first….but she is my only girl…..and my baby! But I plan on enjoying this part of her life!!

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That is where I am people…..I’m in new territory….and I’m enjoying and relishing each part of it…..but it doesn’t mean my mind doesn’t go back…….or that my mind isn’t in both places at the same time. It’s hard. Very hard. I love where I am…but I miss where I would have been….all at the same time.

I read an article today…and it said what I’m experiencing is called “Complicated Grief”…..I think it is more like…..Complicated Survival!

Anyway…just a peak into my mind…that is just a few seconds of it…you should try to LIVE here! HA!

Wherever you are…know that God is with you! That is one constant that helps to keep me sane! Knowing that in my thoughts, both present and past, He is…was…and always will be there! Thanking Him for that…today and always!

Keep moving forward friends! It may only seem like an inch….but that is still progress! Know I love you…but more importantly…know the King of Kings….is MADLY in love with you!

Hope the trip through my mind made you smile…and feel “normal”! Whatever that looks like! :) ~cheli

18 YEARS!

18 years…..
The time, people say, from birth to adulthood.
The length of time, they say, it takes to make you mature enough or responsible enough to vote and serve our country.

But today…..18 years….is the length of time I’ve lived on this earth without my three sons.

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I’ve tried, really hard, to see this today as a positive thing. My sweet friend, who has also lost a child…calls this anniversary her sweet baby’s “heaven day” and celebrates it as such. I know that is where they are….but I just don’t see this day as that…..

I see this as the day they were taken from me….literally…taken. They weren’t sick and needing to be “completely healed”……I wasn’t sitting at their side…ready to release them. I was just in another town. Away for a couple days….thinking I’d get to come home and our lives…my life…would continue on. I thought I’d be their mommy forever…. I thought I’d get to see them through the teenage years….young adulthood….girls….women….marriages and children.

But I’ve seen none of this. I can’t imagine anything…..except their sweet smiles.

Cody will always and forever be 11 and in 6th grade.
Cory will always and forever be 10 and in 4th grade.
Caleb will always and forever be 8 and in 2nd grade.

THAT …. is my reality.

I can’t express, how today feels. I can’t make anyone understand the way I physically ache….and my heart physically hurts….I just can’t.

I just wanted to curl up in my bed this morning….and as the waves of sorrow washed over me…and I grasped so hard at the second pillow to muffle my crying…my gasping for breath…..I knew I couldn’t. I couldn’t stay there and just be sad all day.

And I thank God for that. As much as it hurts….as much as it makes me feel like I can’t breathe…like my lungs are being drowned, literally, in the sorrowful mourns of a mother having her life ripped out from underneath her…..as much as I want to wrap myself up in a big cocoon and not be a part of the outside world…..

I thank God…because as I was gasping for breath this morning….I also knew…that on the other side of my bedroom door….was another part of my life. On the other side of that door….were two more children…who love me, in spite of how crazy and not-normal I am…..and who need me…to be mom…to be present…in the here and now…in today….and not drown in my yesterdays!

That is a gift from God. All of my children are gifts from Him.

Even though I only got to be a mom to my sweet c3angels for less than what I wanted here on this earth…..I had them. I am oh-so-thankful for that part of my life. I can’t take any part of it away….I can’t ….and I wouldn’t want anything BUT to have had the pleasure of being their mom. I’m still their mom. I still get to share them…by sharing myself and their story with others. I thank God He has strengthened me in a way that I am different….and I can see all of this now!

And I’m mom to two great kids now. I love being a mom. I can’t tell you how much my heart aches for my sweet boys…my angels. But I do know I’m getting to a place in my life where I know they are looking over me and so proud of what I’ve accomplished since they’ve been gone.

I’m blessed. Yes…on the 18th anniversary of my three children’s murder…I can honestly sit here and tell you I’m blessed.

Blessed to be the mommy to five VERY wonderful children!
Blessed to know the love of one wonderful man!
Blessed to have family that love me and support me in everything I do!
Blessed to have friends, far and wide, to support me and pray for me when I don’t feel like I can do this thing called life…on my own!

I have so much to be thankful for! I know this….and yet I’m still sad. But I think that is okay. It’s okay to grieve…it’s okay to to be sad…because it only means…I have loved hard in my life….so I must grieve hard! As one of my friend’s told me…it’s beyond normal! And I’ve not considered myself “normal” for a long time!

I’ll leave you with this…a clip that Oprah didn’t use. It’s my sweet earth angels talking about their brothers…..and it is VERY precious to me.

Thank you for seeing me through…thank you for allowing me to share….thank you for letting me be so real….it means more than you know!

I’ll keep going……and might have 50 more of these “anniversarys” until I see you again…But when I do see you…all three of you…..what a glorious day that will be!!!!!! I love you forever! ~momma

Generally….we relish in the memories our mind brings to us…so bright and so vivid! We are thankful we have such a way to remember….to have such wonderful thoughts of our loved ones.

But there are times…for me, anyway…..it is torturous.

As one of my girlfriends say….this is “that week”. It starts on Valentines Day….but then it really is non stop from about the 19th through the 25th.

Like I said before…I love the memories…I love the way I can still see their faces…. but right now….it’s too hard..

I can tell you the last time I took them to see my mom at her house. I can tell you the last night they were at my house. I can tell you the last time I saw each of them. I can tell you the last conversation we had. I can tell you…..so much. And normally….it wouldn’t be so bad…..but each of those is the LAST time…..

There just isn’t a way that I can appropriately share with you just how much this hurts. Even though I know it’s coming…it still hits like a ton of bricks. I can’t express to you that every moment, in my head, I have those thoughts racing in the back of my mind. I try to stay busy….stay in the present world…but sometimes it is just too hard. It makes me physically hurt. It just hasn’t gone away.

I can still tell you where we stood around my mother’s bed the last time we went to see her.

I can still tell you where we were in my van when Cody and I were fighting over if I should get a car or keep the van!

I can still see their faces as we ate at Arby’s that last night we were all together.

I can still see the worry on Cody and Cory’s face as they came to the hospital while mom was still in surgery.

I can still hear their voices as I told them I loved them and I’d see them when I got home from Tahlequah………………

But it didn’t happen.. I didn’t see them again…. until I saw them in their coffins. Ya’ll….those are hard memories. And right now…that is all that is going on in my head.

I know I’ll be okay….I know that soon I’ll be able to be present in the here and now…..I know it does get better.

But for right now….for a little while. I’m not okay. And it hurts. It hurts more than I can express or ever want anyone to ever understand!! But many do…and I’ve met many of you. You understand. You understand that no matter how much time has passed….no matter how “normal” you may seem on the outside…..

That inside…you’re remembering…trying desperately to hold on to every memory of your child that you possibly can…. That inside…you feel like you just can’t breathe…because the memories of the “lasts” are just too much…. That inside…your heart feels like it just can’t beat another day without them here with you.

I’m there. I will be for a bit. So if I see you and don’t seem “just quite like myself”…this is why. If I won’t accept your hug…it’s not because I don’t love you or want you to be there for me…. It is because I can’t….If you hug me right now…and it lingers past a second…I’ll break. And honestly….I don’t think I could pull myself back together. If I seem busy….it’s because that is my coping mechanism.

I know God will restore my soul soon….and I am forever grateful for knowing my boys are with Him and we will meet again. But I know that God understands my feelings…and will allow me to feel them…..because He loves me. He gets me. And He holds me through these times. He is big enough….and strong enough…for me to be sad.

I love each of you…..and would appreciate your prayers. Not just for me…but for my family…for their friends….for parents whose hearts feel empty…

~c

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So, last week I asked the question, “Does God give us more than we can handle????” and asked for people’s opinions. I received some VERY great responses and have pondered on them for the week.
Then, this past weekend our pastor preached this same question as the theme for the service….and he had some fabulous answers! Every one of them was exactly my belief as well!
It was funny…because one of my best friends told me that she had never heard anyone talk about this topic until a few years ago when she and I discussed it and I told her my view. She did tell me she didn’t post on my facebook survey though because “she already knew the answer”! ;)

Now…let me share with you some of my thoughts.

I never really pondered this question too much. But I do remember a few times it came up in my life circumstances.

1.) When my mother was ill and things weren’t looking too good…it was the same year as when my boys died….. Well…a friend kept saying that “surely..after everything you’ve been through…God wouldn’t do this to you.” Then when mom passed and somebody else was ill….again…”Surely after everything you’ve been through…God wouldn’t do this to you too.” Finally…after several times of her saying this…I told her, “I don’t know who this ‘surely’ person is…but I know who my God is and that isn’t a promise He gave me.” I remember telling her to show me in His word where ‘surely’ said that…and she never could. It was then that I turned to the book of James and told her that He wouldn’t have told us to consider it pure joy whenever we face trials of many kinds. It didn’t say you’ll only get one bad one! And yet….our human hearts hope for more of a gentleness in our learning process.

2.) The second was in a very difficult season. I had remarried and had already had our son. Then, in a matter of less than six months, we had two miscarriages. After the second miscarriage I had a surgery and came home in a daze. I remember my husband telling me our son would be fine as an only child…he would have cousins and he would be fine. But I didn’t feel like I would be fine. One day, as I sat alone ‘recovering’ I remember looking through a magazine and finding this plaque. It said, “I know God won’t give me more than I can handle….I just wish he didn’t trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa. I knew when I read it I had to have it. I found the phone, placed my order and when I received it I then hung it in my bathroom where I would see if everyday as I prepared myself for the day! (and yes….it’s still there)

3.) Then…the third time is when I was going through a book study…I was digging deeper into scripture and I feel like God was really speaking into me. I remember being in my bathroom and looking at the plaque….and thinking…”No disrespect to Mother Teresa….but this plaque has it ALL WRONG!” First…I realized…God DOES give us more…sometimes not directly…but everything that happens to us must be allowed by God….than we can handle. But……and this is a big one…..it is only more than we can handle ON OUR OWN! In 1 Cor. 10:13…which is where I believe most people get that He won’t give us more than we can bear! (So did my pastor!!) It says….”And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted byond what you can bear. This is what people think….SURELY he won’t give you more….. But what I told my friend years ago…and what I know beyond a shadow of a doubt is…….that most people don’t know or consider the second part of that same verse…”But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

BAM!! It doesn’t say he will take it away completely. He doesn’t say he will get you out of it safely……it says he will provide a way out and also it says……so you can ENDURE it. That word right there….endure….means it isn’t even going to be easier just because God got you there!

What this says to me….. isn’t that He knows just how strong I am…..it says He knows just how WEAK I am….but my weakness is made perfect IN HIS STRENGTH!!! He is sufficient…for ALL MY NEEDS!!

So that third time…in my bathroom…I totally disagreed with the saying on the plaque. I think, instead of “wishing He didn’t trust me so much” I should be thankful that He knows me well enough to know I will seek HIS strength in the trials and He trusts me to trust HIM!!!

Let me say this again….instead of “I know God won’t give me more than I can handle, I just wish He didn’t trust me so much!” I believe……with all my heart….we should say, ” I know God will sometimes give me WAY more than I can handle on my own and I’m SO THANKFUL He trusts me enough to give me this burden….because He knows I will seek Him to help me endure and I will grow stronger because of it!”

So tonight as I sit in my quiet house…..after sitting in a hospital waiting room this afternoon….I think of some of the correlations in this thought process and the current situation I am walking through with my husband.

One week ago we were in the Emergency Room because he knew he had another (4th time) kidney stone. Now….every other time this has happened….he has gone home from the ER and passed it within a matter of days. But this time…it was different….and I kept telling my friends….”I’m really worried because he isn’t in enough pain…” Not that I wanted my husband to hurt…but because I knew that if he wasn’t in pain…the stone wasn’t moving. I knew without the temporary pain….we could be in for a ‘longer-term’ of the process. Sure enough, he went to the dr this morning and it hadn’t budged. He came home just so I could drive him to the hospital to have a procedure to help break it up and move it on out. Tonight…he is definitely in more pain and it is beginning to pass. A friend said…so…. instead of passing just one…they broke it up and now he has to pass tons of little ones! Yes. That is exactly where we are.

All this to say….to me…it’s a picture of this life lesson. Sometimes we must go through a little pain in order to get rid of something that could cause us much greater harm in the long run. If we don’t….then the pain could be even more intense…… But either way….God will find a way for us to remove the item, person, thought-process…….you get the idea….that could eventually cause us harm.

Or……He might just allow us to go through hard times….to make us turn to Him…..because it’s in the valleys where we seem to cry out to Him the most…… But also because it’s in the valleys where we seem to be strengthened most. I know I have. Through all the valleys in my life….He has carried me through and my strength has been through Him….and each time…my faith has increased! This allows the mountain tops…to seem so much brighter…so much better….because it was such an accomplishment to get there!

My hubby will be okay. He leans into the strength of our Lord. I will be okay. I don’t just lean…sometimes I just jump on His back and say, “Carry me”….and He does.

I hope this has given you a different perspective. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect…or even be strong when things get tough. What he knows are our weaknesses….and He wants nothing more than to carry our burdens…..to strengthen our weaknesses….and help us grow in the valleys so that the view from the mountain tops are that much sweeter!

I’ll see you on the mountain top! blessings friends! ~c

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WRECKED!!!!

No…I haven’t been in a car accident…or anything like that!

I’ve been digging deeper into scripture! The other day..I felt like God was asking me to revisit the book of James. Yes…I’ve lingered there a lot because it talks about trials and having joy through tough times….but it honestly seemed a little odd to me that God would be directing me here.

I mean…honestly…things have been pretty good. Nothing too earth shattering in my life right now. I know I’ve been digging deeper in my soul and working on the joy that God has for me daily…..but James….???? Why this place….why now????

Of course…who am I to ask all of this…so I opened His word to James 1. I just started at the beginning…and of course….I have highlights all over verses 2-4.

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I have been in this scripture many times….and have meditated over it even more!

So again….I’m questioning….”Why here? Why now?”

But then…I read on….and what I read….well…this part….okay…I get it….
verse 5 –
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without fining fault, and it will be given to you.”

But as I continued in verse 6 –
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7) That person should not expect to receive anything from The Lord. 8) Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.”

BAM!! There it is!

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Talk about God totally wrecking me! Remember…in my last post…where I confessed that I believed God would do anything for everybody but me??? Well….here…He showed me that I MUST believe it for myself! Verse seven says I should not expect to receive it if first I don’t believe it! WOW! He knocked me to my knees! This was like someone had literally knocked the breath out of me. It was like…..Here….this is why you feel like you’re being rocked by the waves….because YOU ARE!!!

It has been a week since I first opened this scripture….since He started speaking to my spirit. First…I confessed…..then…He shows me in His word why I wasn’t receiving….WOW!!!

So…my spirit has changed. I am in a totally different place! Even my accountability partner told me a few days after I read these words that I seemed more calm and at peace. I AM AT PEACE! I KNOW….beyond a shadow of a doubt He was speaking directly to me!

So I’ve been so open to hearing from him…and this past Tuesday night….it happened again. I heard Him speaking to me….

I had felt a burden for a friend growing in my spirit. She and I aren’t close…as in we don’t speak daily…or much at all really… But she was on my heart. And late into the evening…He told me to stop praying….and to reach out. My best intentions weren’t enough without action behind them. So I reached out to her. I asked how I could be a blessing to her. She was so sweet and told me to pray for something specific…something she later said she normally would not have shared. She had a specific need and was trying to find a way to meet it. After agreeing to be in prayer and help her find a way….God reminded me I already had a way. I had exactly what she needed. So I contacted her again and went to her house at about 10 pm to take it to her.

I’m not trying to toot my own horn here. Not at all! What I am trying to say is…..if you open your heart….God WILL speak to you! God will show you HIS ways! Even my friend told me she never would have told someone that particular need….but we both knew it was ALL GOD!!

Then…this weekend….God was so awesome! He was at work in so many hearts. Our church service was on things that are often said….but God himself…has never said! Yesterday was about “God just wants you to be happy!”. That is so not true. There is nowhere in scripture He says that!

Well…I wasn’t able to attend service until last night…and my best friend had told me to call her after it was over. I did and she told me that God had wrecked her with the service! He had shown her how He planned to bless her….but she might not always be happy! He showed her He had plans for her…and she didn’t have to always be in control! As she spoke….I had tears streaming down my face…because I’d been praying she would see all of those things….for years. She has come so far….and I am so proud of her! I’m thankful for all He has done. I am happy to say He wrecked her too!

I know it won’t be the last time either one of us feel this way! And honestly…I LOVE IT! I love that He speaks to me and it totally wrecks me! It convicts me! It makes me want more of Him…to search…to open my heart…to believe…with unwavering faith! He wants more of me and I’m ready to give it!

Won’t you consider opening up to Him?…the creator of the universe…the one who knew you before you were born…the one who holds you in palm of His hands…the one….who created you in His own image…..the one…..who loved YOU so much….he sent his son to die FOR YOU!

I love you…with all my heart. I want for you…to know the awesome feeling of being wrecked by God. The feeling of being on your knees…and totally surrendered to His will. ~c

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