Posts Tagged ‘grief’

So, today I had the conversation with a friend that they needed to enjoy where they are today. They needed to stop borrowing worry about tomorrow and anticipating what will be…..because they will, in turn, miss out on the joy that is today.

After our conversation she thanked me for my perspective…….but it was I….who had to take a step back and listen to my own words…and heed my own advice.

Don’t ya just hate it when your own words come back at you and just bite you in the butt???? That is what happened to me today.

I realized, after having that conversation, that I need to do just that. Rejoice in what my “today” is. I literally burst out in, “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice” tunes that my pups were all too happy to listen to! But literally…it made me stop and realize…..we are told….really commanded to rejoice in our Lord…..every day….in every situation.

I’ll be honest…I don’t always feel like rejoicing in everything… And it is mostly in looking back at circumstances and times I’ve had, that I am finally able to rejoice.

Then as I drove for a while, my mind started comparing……my memories to my todays.

On this date back in 1997 it was a Thursday.
Today…it’s Wednesday.

Back then, weather wasn’t too bad.
Today……it’s snowing/raining/sleeting….. and who knows what will happen later! 🙂

Back then, I took the boys out for dinner at Arby’s. Had a fight with Cody since he wanted me to keep my “mom van” and I was considering getting a car! Was told I looked like their sister when we ordered our food! (OF COURSE I had to throw that one in there…..cuz I love that part!)
Today……I’m at work and tonight we have kid’s church and sis is doing her first Wednesday night pre-team class. I had to tell my sweet boy he didn’t advance to the State Science Fair from regionals and it kinda bummed us both out.

Back then…..after dinner, I drove the boys to their dad’s house. I didn’t know it then….but it would be the last time I ever saw Caleb alive. He was off to do something and I didn’t get to squeeze him….to hold him…. to memorize his sweet, little face.
Tonight…..I’m going to bring my kids home from church and just sit on the couch with them and let them curl up around me. I’m gonna ask them about their day and let them tell me anything and everything they want to. And I’m even going to pray that we get so much snow/ice tonight that they will cancel school tomorrow so I can spend even more time with them!

Back then…… I went home and prepared to be at my mother’s surgery the next morning. I knew it would be early so I didn’t stay up late. I talked to some friends on the phone and then went to bed to try to sleep. My mind was all over the place, so sleep didn’t really come. I talked to the boys…..told them goodnight again…and approved of Caleb going to his buddy’s house to spend the night.
Tonight…….I’m going to soak in the day….love on my kids……love on my husband….and try to memorize their faces!! I’m going to thank God for February 20, 1997…..and I’m going to thank Him for February 20, 2013.

Of all people out there….you’d think I should know to take every day, every moment……and rejoice in it! But so many times I let life just start to happen…and I worry….about the tomorrows. I should know that sometimes…….tomorrow….never comes. At least….not the way we plan it.
You would think….after everything I have been through…..this would be an easy lesson for me…. but it’s not. Even I need to be reminded. So I decided to share….so we ALL can be reminded…

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:4-7 NIV)

So, please take it a day at a time. Take time to rejoice in the season you are in….it might be the best you’ve ever had….or it might be a difficult time. Either way, we are called to rejoice. Rejoice in our sufferings……rejoice in our blessings! It isn’t easy…..I know. But it is possible. And sometimes…..when we do…just that…..we realize just how blessed we truly are!

Thanks for taking a stroll through my today and to my yesterday with me! Much love ~c


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It’s okay to NOT be okay……..

Okay….since my last post was about not comparing ourselves to others….especially their highlights to our low moments…..I’m going to continue to be very transparent.

Maybe the title gave it away…but I’m just not in my usual…”Happy! Happy!” smiling self! I’m ok….but underneath everything…I’m not. I’m emotional beyond words……

Last night, all my husband had to do was look at me and give me a big hug….and I broke out in tears. I told him, I soooooo wished I was “normal”. He reminded me there is no such thing as “normal”. But, all I know…..is my reality….. and it is NOT normal!!!

Then, this morning, a friend just sent me a sweet text…..letting me know she woke up with me on her mind….she knows it is a hard week for me…and that she’d be praying for me. Well, off go the water works again. It meant so much that in the midst of her busy life….she took the time to remember me and how this week is so hard.

It is hard. It isn’t any easier……and at this point….I don’t think it EVER will be!

Today is the day….usually my mind starts this process. You see, today would have been my parents’ wedding anniversary……and there is something about that date…. that starts my mind thinking, remembering…..every detail from February 19th through February 25th, 1997.

I don’t know how to explain it. I can focus on my “today” and the life I am living now….but there is this ever-present feeling, remembering, going on in my head….in my heart! I have this all the time, really…..but this week it seems to magnify itself. It makes me emotional….and I never know how I will react to it. Sometimes, I am perfectly fine….and can go on about my life and almost no one could tell this is “that week“. Other times….I’m pretty ok…just emotional…more so than normal. Then there are times, when I’d rather just hole up in my own cocoon and not go out. I don’t want to live in my current reality…because it still hurts so bad. I just want to be by myself…not have to talk to anyone…not have to do anything!

I can honestly say…..I thought it would be much better by now. I thought it would be different…not hurt as much. I thought, after a certain number of years, I would be able to talk about it, think about it and go through this week and it just me a part of me….a memory….a story I could talk about. But no…..it still hurts. It still stings in a way I can’t describe. It continues to knock the breath out of me in a way I just can’t describe. What I thought……is never going to happen. I now realize this will never go away. My grief is a life long process.

I saw this quote and realized it is so true…..

And…..so for me….and all those I know who have felt the loss of a child….

Allow me to share some thoughts with everyone. Some of these thoughts I have shared before…some….maybe not… Please know I am sharing from my heart…..and I just need you to hear it with love.

First……I KNOW BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT….that my boys are with Jesus! I know their hearts were filled with His Holy Spirit and upon the very second their earthly lives were over…their heavenly eternity began! And Yes…..I rejoice in that knowledge! BUT…even in that knowledge….there are some times…it just. doesn’t. make it better! Because I AM THEIR MOM! I want them here with me! I want them to want me….to neeeeed me….the way that I need them to be here so I can hold them! It is unnatural for me to imagine continuing with my earthly life when my children’s lives are not walking here with me during mine! Knowing this in my head……does not make it hurt any less. It didn’t then….and now….just short of 16 years later, it still doesn’t help! I am thankful that one day I will see them again….and we can spend eternity together……but it doesn’t stop the hurt in a momma’s heart while I’m still here!

So, if you know a parent who has lost a child…at any age…..be mindful of this. Please…oh dear friends please….do NOT tell those parents they should be rejoicing in these things! Please understand that while we KNOW these things……we still don’t want them to be true! No matter what the reason……no matter how long our children were with us…..we WANT them to be here…with US….not in heaven. Not because that isn’t the eternity we would wish or want them to have…but because we don’t want that eternity to begin before our own!

Second….. It doesn’t matter how long it has been….. it will never stop hurting! Don’t tell someone that it will get better with time…. Don’t tell them that grief is a natural process and that they should be done grieving by a certain time…… because it DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY!!! There are no….SHOULD BEs…..there are no….rules of grief….and there is no “time line”. Every one always said to me, “The first year is the hardest.”….. so I expected my second year to be so much better….easier. Guess what? It was WORSE! By the second year….I was starting to not be able to tell you who they would have been hanging out with…..what they would be liking….which sport would be their favorite! And now……here I sit….16 years on Friday since they have been gone…..and it is almost worse. I don’t know what they’d look like…..who they might have married…where they would have gone to school….if I’d have grandkids with one of them….two of them…maybe all three! I just don’t know! But it is my reality. I live on the edge of…this is my life…and this could have been my life! And there are constant reminders daily of each of these. I am so thankful for those I have in my life now. I truly love the older ones who call me mom and allow their babies to be my grandkids….. But I want that from my boys! I want to scream it sometimes…..I just want my babies back!!!!!!!!! I want to have fought with them through their teenage years like I am doing now with their brother! I want to sit on the front row of their wedding like I was so graciously allowed to do at one of their best friend’s weddings! I want to have my grand-babies call me and tell me about everything…like I get to do with my oh so precious adopted daughter! I want what I thought my life would be like to be my reality! But…..

It is what it is…..when it is…..and lasts….until we meet them on the other side!

Don’t freak out! I’m ok. Really…..I am. This is just a glimpse into the reality that is in my head and my heart. I LOVE my family I have now. I LOVE the life I am leading now. I LOVE the ministry God has given me through my story. BUT…..I’d be lying if I told you I am always happy…. My memories make me happy. My life now makes me happy. But there are just some times the hurt is overwhelming and the two worlds that are my life just don’t match up too well…..

Do I wish things were different…sure. But seeing God do such a work through all of this…..in me, as well as others…is humbling. Do I wish God could accomplish some of the things He has used my story to accomplish in a different way…YOU BETCHA! But I’m honored and so thankful He has chosen to use my story to bring others hope in His love.

If you can’t find me this next week….or I seem a little out of it….now you know why. I think I’ll go and just stay a while in the same place I was 16 years ago…..I’m gonna crawl into the lap of my Heavenly Father and just imagine His great big arms….holding me…..comforting me. Because even when no one else here “gets” me….He does. He understands me….and He accepts me. He allows me to me mad…to hurt…to cry…to yell. He is big enough. He will still love me. And for that….I am thankful.

Much love to each of you! And if you know of someone going through something…I pray my words will help you find grace for them…..even if they aren’t where you think they “should” be.

One of my now famous sayings is this….”It’s okay to be down….it just isn’t okay to stay there”. I’ve learned that I have to let myself feel these feelings….or they will come up later and really get to me! I’ve realized that no matter how bad some things may seem….if we continue to walk through them….they will only last for a season and that things WILL change!

He is faithful….my God can/will continue to perform miracles! I feel blessed that me being here….is one of them! ~c

“I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. Jeremiah 31:13

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