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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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Why NOT me???

As this new year begins….and we are all toying with resolutions and wanting more and trying to do better….I really….just decided to try to focus on one word.

God gave me my word for the year….it’s JOY.

Why? Because I’ve come to realize that in the crazy world I’ve been living in this past year…I have been so bogged down in the day to day…mundane must.get.it.all.done mentality…that I hadn’t really been taking the time to enjoy living!

Even after all that God has brought me through…after all the trials and triumphs I’ve walked through….I had forgotten just what it’s all about.

Maybe that is why my word isn’t “happy”. Because I know God didn’t put us on this earth to be happy! But joy….TRUE JOY…..is something we can always have….even through sorrows….even through pain…we can find joy! “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5:18

So joy is what I’m searching for this year…on a daily…almost moment by moment basis. But in searching…I’ve had to do some soul searching and ask myself why I wasn’t feeling joy……and that is where it got hard.

In answering this question…I’ve come to realize a couple things I need to work on.

1.) I need to make sure my own cup is overflowing before I give so much of myself.

For those of you that don’t understand quite what I mean by that…..it looks like this to me.

I have to be sure that I’ve done enough for myself before I do for others. I am all about doing for others and helping others out….but I also have learned that when I do it on “fumes”…..I get calloused….worn thin…..short with my family and those closest to me……and just plain not so nice to always be around! I have to be sure I’m doing my part for myself….and giving others my overflow….and not taking from myself or my family….

and 2.) I need more faith in God.

This one is H.A.R.D. for this girl to see.

Now…don’t get me wrong! I have a belief in God. I have trust in God.

But…..if I have to be completely honest ……(which dangit…I really think I should be!)…..I have so much more faith that God will do it for everyone else……and not so much me!!

OUCH!!! That hurt to admit! But it’s true. If any of you were to call me with anything you needed….wanted to step out in faith to try….ANYTHING….I would totally believe God will do it for you!! But….for me….I’m still not sure if it’s because I don’t feel worthy….(trust me….I’ve been with me for over 47 years now…and it hasn’t always been good….or even pretty good…)….or if I just don’t think after all that has gone wrong….there can be THAT much good in my life!

So…..in doing all of this I’ve really jumped into scripture and into trying to remedy this situation…..and then one weekend…my preacher preached on…..YOU GUESSED IT……FAITH!!

He talked about how Jesus is either completely amazed by our GREAT faith….or our LACK of faith. And we had to evaluate just where we thought we ranked on a scale of 1-10.

Again…in scoring myself….I’d have to give myself two scores. In faith for others…I’m like an 8 or a 9 even! But …then..when it comes to faith in my own life…..I’m on the 2 or 3 end of the scale.

Why so imbalanced?? I’m not really sure. I mean, a healthy dose of humility isn’t a bad thing…until it strangles you and you feel so unworthy that you don’t believe anything can happen for you and you just.quit.trying. I’ve been there. People..this is hard for me to admit…and it’s been really hard to be this transparent. In doing so…I’m calling myself out! I’m calling myself to action! And this….is going to require a great big faith in a great big God and it will involve Him…..being BIG for me!!!

And you know what……..I started this blog a couple weeks ago…and now…as I finish…I’m proud to say I’m getting better. I’m realizing I’m the one who has to take action…take massive action…in order for Him to achieve what He wants in and through me. So maybe….it hasn’t been my faith in HIM….as much as it’s been my faith in ME!! I’m getting better……

Because really……

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Praying for joy….and faith…for each of us! Step up…step out….and JUMP with me! ~c

I’ve really been trying to wrap my head around the idea of so much that is going on around me. So many that I know experiencing pain, loss, grief and difficult times. I hear stories from friends and I read some of the stories on social media and my heart physically hurts for so many…..

The response of my heart has changed through the years…I’m ashamed to say these kinds of stories used to not have a huge effect on my heart. I mean….being honest here….I’d read it…feel bad for the person…then…go on with my life. There was no hurt…no feeling for that other person out there. Then there was a time when I’d take all of it on emotionally….as if it was my own to bear….in a way that wasn’t healthy for my heart.

Now though….it’s different. I’ve been trying to grasp the why and how it is different and how I can explain it. The following is what God gave me.

You know how some people say that you are born with a God-sized hole in your heart that nothing BUT God can fill? Sure…we try to fill it with popularity, accumulating things of this world, people of the opposite sex, parties and all that goes with that, shopping, eating, drinking…….because we just don’t realize that God is all that we need….. He is the only one that can fulfill the thirst for more that we crave!

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Well, I feel like the people I have lost in my life….my boys, my mom, my grandparents, my friends…….have all left holes in my heart. Let me explain. Each person and what they meant in my life…..is irreplaceable. When they left my life, they left an empty place that no one else could fill. Each one left a hole in my heart.

Through grief…..some people take that hole in their heart….and instead of letting God heal the edges of it…. they try to fill it up with something else….or worse…they allow it to gape open….raw and ragged….and allow the empty space in their heart to make them feel empty.

Imagine the frayed edge of fabric….uneven…fraying….and ragged. This is kind of, an appropriate image of the edges of the hole left by loss. They are raw and ragged and just don’t look right.

But imagine now…..the edge being sewed up….the hole isn’t gone…it is still there….but God can mend the frayed edges….over time. If we let Him.

And then……..what happens then….to me is amazing. Because as He gave me the visual of my heart….with holes open for each person lost…..He also showed me this………

 

 

photo 1As I’ve allowed Him to come in and help me heal….help me grieve…… as I’ve allowed Him to be a part and seek out His purpose…or the Silver Linings in each loss…..He showed me that instead of less of a heart because of all the holes….. He has INCREASED the size of my heart….because I’ve allowed Him to be a part of the healing.

There are still times when the holes in my heart ache….and the loss is very near and very real. But….I’ve also come to realize each time my heart aches in my grief….He increases the size of my heart….and in a way…the way my heart aches and feels for others. It drives me to stop….to pray for each of them. It drives me to action…to see if there is anything at all He would have me do for the others who are experiencing a new hurt.

This might make absolutely no sense to you. But to me….He has shown me how through the years…..through my losses…through my grief….He has increased in me my territory. He has increased the size of my feeling heart and the more I lean on Him in my own grief…the more my heart beats with Him in the grief of others.

That night…..the night my world was turned upside down and I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest and I couldn’t breathe or go on…..I cried out to God and asked “WHY AM I STILL HERE?”……I believe He is whispering His answer daily…..and today…..He is telling me it is because He needed me here to increase the size of my heart….to share with others my heart……and to give others the hope that their hearts….although they may feel like they aren’t able to go on….they can’t breathe…they can’t move forward with the holes in their own hearts…..I’m here to tell you that you can. I’m here as a testament that He heals hearts…..He mends them slowly….and then He increases them in size…so that you too, can feel your heart beat for others in a way you never could before.

Death, difficult times….are all a part of this life. I’ve said before that I wish we could all be born and die on the same day so that nobody has to experience the loss of someone they love!! But life just doesn’t work that way. I’ve really been praying hard about this lately….about how there is so much hurt and loss and difficult times in the world. This is the picture God gave me…this is the best way I can describe of how I feel about the massive loss I’ve experienced in my life…and how it has made me who I am today.

Philemon 1:7 NLT says
“Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people.”

I want to give others comfort and joy…..through the kindness of my increased heart. It may still have holes in it…..and it always will…..because there is no one or anything that can fit into those places in my heart left by the people I’ve loved. I’ve never tried to “replace” those people….not my children today….my stepmother…my new friends….none of them “fit” into those holes….but God has allowed them to expand my heart. He has expanded the capacity for love in my heart through me allowing myself to be open to those new people and new experience. I’ve not put them into the places in my heart where the holes are…but I’ve allowed them to add to my heart.

So there you have it…..I have a “hole”y heart. But what I truly desire….is for God to make it into a “holy” heart. Through the difficult times in my heart…..I believe that is when He is doing just that!

“And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”
Ezekiel 36:26

Thank you for being a part of my increasing heart!!!
~cheli

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