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Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Well…here we are. 20 years since my boys were taken away from me. 20 years past the day I didn’t honestly think I could live through. 20 years have passed and 20 years of life has been lived! …..and yet…I can still see so many things so vividly in my mind….as if it were just yesterday.

In preparing for this anniversary….God placed it on my heart to do something different. You see…I’m VERY private on these days. VERY! I take off work, I stay home…I don’t make phone calls…and I don’t take all the phone calls I receive. I allow my self to “go there”. I give myself permission to go back, to remember….to hurt and cry…and fall apart. I do fall apart…usually pretty hard. I usually wait until my husband and kiddos are gone…and I release it all. I cry out to God….I cry and allow myself to feel the ache…to feel the emptiness. I allow my mind to go to the places I try to keep it from on a daily basis. These are usually the days I reserve for me.

But this time…this time God reminded me of some very true realities.

This…didn’t just happen to me. They weren’t “mine” only. There were other family members, friends, neighbors, schoolmates, teammates, teachers, coaches…..just a lot of other people who also experienced the loss of my wonderful boys. And…there are people that have never met them….didn’t know them while they were here with us on this earth. These people didn’t know them…but they know us…and so they know their story. And..they love us!  And…this being such a momentous anniversary…I needed to do something…something to include everyone.

So, I took it to my kids and hubs to see what we should do. This was at the beginning of February…we talked about it…but then life happened and we got busy…and the next thing we knew…we were about a week away and still hadn’t planned anything. In talking to each of my family…..it seems we all had the same idea. We should do a balloon release to celebrate their lives! We agreed to release blue & silver balloons, the color of their school. Then, where to have it? We talked about the school….or the ball fields where their trees are planted…but ended up deciding on the cemetery. It was decided.

I then created a graphic for each of us to share. I remember my daughter asking if I thought there would be a lot of people there. I said…”maybe”. And by “a lot”…I was thinking 30-40!

Little did I know…this would get bigger than I ever imagined. I wanted to just get together…play some music and release balloons. And that is what we did…but it truly…turned into an event. Not an event I had envisioned…but in looking back…it is exactly the kind of event my heart needed!!!!

In listening to God and opening myself up to others on this day….He did a work and a healing on my heart through others!!! I’m so thankful for His provision!

We had news coverage, 2 professional photographers, friends helping plan, donated balloons…..and friends and family….there to support us.

It was overwhelming…the love I felt.

I told everyone…that 20 years ago…on that awful, dark grey day…I had crawled into the lap of God and let Him hold me. But on this day…..it was their texts, calls, facebook posts, faces and sweet messages that I felt…and it felt just like the arms of God were wrapped around me again! It was them….who gave me my strength. And it wasn’t a dark, grey day at all…. There was a beautiful blue sky, with wispy, angel-winged clouds….that evolved into one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.




We had close to 150 people gathered to remember…to celebrate the lives of my sweet angels! It was overwhelming to see so many people from so many different facets of my life represented there with me! Seeing the love…and you could truly see love….was more than my heart could have imagined. The hugs I received….were just like the hugs I received 20 years ago today.

20 years ago today was the funeral. I remember it being dark and cold and grey…again. But I also remember staying there….and hugging every single person …..long after the graveside service was over. I remember the hugs…the love…and the way it made me feel supported and that I was not alone. That…is exactly what happened, again….at the balloon release. The hugs…the love….the smiles…the stories…the tears…the presence….of those who loved the boys…of those who love me…and my family…were like raindrops in the desert! They were the salve my wounded heart needed on this anniversary date.

I’m hoping these links work….because if you are reading this…no matter where you are in the world….you are now a part of my story….of their story and I want to share this day with you. I thank you for the time you’ve taken to read my blog…to allow me and my part of His story…to reach into your life. This is a video…of the day I had…of remembering…of loving…and of being loved. These are just some of the small reminders…that God shows up!!! He showed up 20 years ago….and He has continued to show up…through the hands and feet of the people who love HIM!

Click here to watch the coverage from News 9. A big shout-out and thanks to Steve Shaw for being so kind and respectful of my family while covering the event.

And this video is a small representation of the day we had…taken by my sweet friend Mary from ToMorrow’s Memories Photography! Please take a few moments…to watch…to see God…and to thank God…for life…for love…and for each other.

So…if you can still see this…through the tears…I know you are really wonderful and I thank Him for you! I ask that you share…so that others can see the goodness in life after death……in hope after tragedy….in love over hate!! I am asking God to do big things…in and through this day of remembrance! He….has done such a good work through this tragedy…and I know…He is just starting to “show up and show off!”. I’m just praying….I’m strong enough…and up for the ride He has in store!!

There is so much more to share…but for now…this is enough. Until then……………

Much love and thanks! ~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

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