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Posts Tagged ‘hope’

A couple weeks ago I was blessed and able to snag tickets to the Carrie Underwood concert here so I could add another mother/daughter concert to our list! We went and had a blast! She is quite a performer and puts on an excellent show!

My sweet girl has a beautiful voice – but also has a large dose of stage fright – but totally enjoys the musicality of other gifted artists. And….this momma LOVES watching her watch others do what she loves to do! I love this part of our relationship and the age she is at! We get along….we have fun….we laugh…..

But on this night – we also cried.

For that – I was totally unprepared. You see…..I did not see this one coming. I did not see the need to “brace up” and “be ready” for the emotions to pour down our faces in the form of tears.

But that is exactly what happened.

As we were marveling in the many dress changes and the special effects and wonderful entertainment of the night – Carrie started to sing a song I, quite honestly, had never heard before.

The Bullet.

This song is very much about the loss of a soldier. And I respect that part of it. But some of the lyrics – brought me – and her – very much to our own story.

You see – the part about the limousines driving away – and mommas ain’t supposed to bury their sons – all hit me. And they hit me really hard….

But then…..

Then it happened…..

I looked over and she was crying….sobbing actually. The tears were real and they wouldn’t stop.

You see…..this is just another moment I realized – The Bullet – doesn’t stop.

She wasn’t there to see the limousines. She wasn’t there to see this momma bury her sons. She wasn’t there.

In the song there is a line that says – “The bullet keeps on goin'”. And it has.

It has affected her life since before she took her first breath.

She has never known her three brothers – but she has known about them. She never got to meet them – but she has experienced who they were through stories and pictures. She wasn’t here to experience how the bullets took their lives – but she is here and those same bullets are still goin’……..and affecting her life. She wasn’t here to witness their deaths….but she has grieved them her entire life.

Until she takes her last breath the bullets that took the lives of her brothers will affect her – and her children…….and their children.

The bullets keep on goin’

I wasn’t prepared for this during a fun night out with my daughter. I wasn’t prepared for the reminder of how the bullets tore apart my family and are still tearing us up inside. I wasn’t thinking on this occasion I would need to hold her and reassure her of how we can have the holes from those bullets having pierced our hearts – yet know we can still live and love – and be as whole as possible even though the bullets still sting.

I don’t know what I want to share in this blog. I really don’t. I just know it will never stop.

There will always be someone’s life affected by the bullets who took their lives.

Some of those people are affected in good ways. Some people learn about my boys and the way they died – but also hear of the love they had for Jesus and how that same Jesus carried me through – and they have found hope.

Some who knew the boys – are continuing to live….and I mean…REALLY LIVE their life….because they know their friends can’t.

Some though – like my daughter – their sister – have lingering affects. They have moments when everything should be fine – and it isn’t. Like at a concert – when you should be having the time of your life – and then BAM! You are sobbing because of something – someone – you miss so terribly – but never knew.

But I can also say their story has also strengthened her. She knows what it is to hurt – to lose someone you love…to lose someone you never knew you loved….to lose someone you wish you had known. She knows what it is to comfort – because of all the times she has been comforted. She knows that what you see – isn’t always the whole story in someone’s life.

You see – the bullet never stops goin.

Just like the ripples in the water. Your actions – might not seem too big….but they can keep going….and they can affect people you don’t even know – or realize.

Be cautious sweet friends. Because the bullets don’t stop. They carry on through generations – never stopping – and affecting many more than initially intended.

I want to share the words – because the true meaning for this song – of soldiers never returning home – is beautiful. I don’t want to take anything away from this part of it. But please know – because of our wounds – we reacted in the hurt of our own story – and the way the bullet stole them from us.

The branches on my family tree are forever changed.

BUT – although the bullet keeps on goin’ ……. so does the Love and Grace of Jesus. He has carried me – and will carry the future generations as well.

Much love – ~c

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I can’t put into words the emotions going through my heart right now. God has literally broken me…in so many ways recently. I am watching as the world around me is hurting…people close to me are hurting…and I feel so helpless. All I can do is pray. 

I know….there is hope in every situation. I know..there is hope…in a God who loves us and works ALL things for good according to HIS purpose! But…I also know….that when you are walking through the big, fat mess of life…sometimes…you just don’t want to hear it will all be okay. You just want someone to let you hurt…for a season…. but I know…that seasons change. 

Today….would be my sweet son Cory’s 29th birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY CORY MATTHEW!!!  I love you more than I can ever express with simple words! I miss that sweet face of yours….those cheeks…that honery grin…..that smile.. It has been so long….so long since I’ve been able to hug you….or hear your sweet voice. I long to watch you sing….and act silly….and feel your feet slide across the bed to be sure I’m still next to you!! I remember holding you….as a baby…and even as a 4th grader! You were never too big for my lap! You were a sparkplug…giving others your energy and sweet spirit. You loved deeply….you were a great friend to others….and you were always smiling!! I miss you…and can’t imagine you at this age. I celebrate you today! I celebrate the life you lived! The ten years on this earth…that gave me so much joy! I thank you for those memories! So grateful to have them….so I can go to those places in my heart…that only you and I shared…until I meet you again! I can’t wait to see you singing in the choir of angels….praising God with your voice…..and be with you for all eternity! That is where I place my hope….and I’m so thankful for our shared eternity!

  
Three weeks from today…Bryce will be 16!! Yes….16!! As I was sharing with my sister earlier…..even though his brothers would be much older…this is my first experience with it. Seems so much younger…but since it’s my first time…well…it’s just weird! She told me that was a great word for it! Yup…..weird! Like I say…where my two worlds collide!

In the past week…I’ve been to two funerals. 

The first….someone who was only 30 years young! He was in a single car accident…killed instantly. Took his son to his first day of kindergarten that very morning…but never came home! He was so loved…it was evident. But my heart breaks for this sweet little boy….and all the family. Please lift them in prayer…

The second, was just two days ago. It was for a sweet young lady…who was eleven. I won’t say she was “only” eleven…because she was diagnosed with a genetic disorder at one…and told she wouldn’t likely make it to her second birthday! Well…she miraculously surpassed everyone’s expectations! Her story is now the one others are pointed to for hope…when diagnosed! God used this sweet girl and family…to minister to others in so many ways! I was impacted by the ministry of her life. And, I’m impacted by the faith of her sweet mom…in more ways than I can express. Please pray for this family as they maneuver through the grief and loss of this sweet girl….yet rejoice in her complete healing and the knowledge of her eternity!!

You see….just last night…as my daughter was drying her hair and getting ready for bed…I received a text. It was her…asking me to come back to my bathroom where she was. I went back there…and found her in a heap of tears. She was sitting on the bath mat and just looked up at me with her big, tear-soaked eyes. I just fell to the floor and took her in my arms! The sobs began again….she stopped for only a moment..and asked me, “Why did they have to go so soon?”.  I held her tightly….because by then…I was sobbing too. I didn’t have an answer. At least, not an answer she was ready for or wanted to hear. You see, in the past 18 years, God has taught me that there is hope…and there are things that happen outside of what we want or understand….but that He will work them for good….and according to HIS purpose! But…we must look for the good! We don’t always see it…not at first. And I’m not saying it is good….what happened to my boys…or the hard things in all our lives. What I am saying…is you have to find the silver linings. The ways God is using your situation. 

After sis and I sat there holding each other and crying for what seemed like forever…we looked at each other. Both of our faces were tear-stained and our eyes were still filled with tears.  I told her I was sorry…I didn’t have the answer to her specific question. She told me….it would be easier if I did! Wow!! I hugged her again. I assured her there were reasons. But we might not ever know or see them…..but through it all…He is strengthening our faith…our trust in Him! She nodded and then cried a little more.

She asked me if she looked like Cory…… My heart skipped a beat. She said someone had told her once he was the one she looked most like. I looked deeply at her features….at her eyes…her chin…her cheekbones…and just smiled. They all look so much alike to me…yet so much like themselves. I can’t compare. Never have been able to. She reminds me of him. She sings….and I think of the times he sang. I think of the performances he had…and the ones she has to come. I think of her sweet nature and caring heart…and I’m reminded of his prayers and heart for others. She smiles….and loves people…and I’m reminded of the way he loved others and included everyone! She is secure in who she is….and I’m reminded of the security he had in Christ…and his faith….so much like hers.

So yes….she looks like him….but mostly…on the inside! Where it counts! 

She knows our eternities will be together…and sometimes it scares me….how badly she wants to be in heaven with them! But for now….I’ll just smile….with a tear creeping down my cheek…as I remember….and look forward…to the assurance I have that I will spend my eternity in heaven with ALL of my children!!!!!!

Such is my life! It is a collision of what would have been and what is….. It is a collision of who I was…and who HE is molding me to be!  

Friends, we all come to a place in life where we have to acknowledge there is a beginning and an ending date of life on this earth. There is a lot of joy…and a lot of pain that happens between……… My question to you…..is this…. Do you have the hope and assurance….that you know without a shadow of a doubt where, and with whom, your eternity will be spent? Don’t think it won’t happen…because it will. And nobody knows how long, or how short, our time on this earth will be. 

The hope I have…in knowing my family will be together again…makes this life so much more bearable!! 

If you aren’t sure….then I urge you to consider this….

We are born with a sin-nature…and for that reason we are separated from God. There is nothing we can do to change that! But, He loves us so much…..He sent His one and only son to die on the cross..taking on all our sins….even though he was without sin…. for us!!! He was resurrected and defeated sin! He wants nothing more…than for you to just accept Him….and his free gift of eternal life with Him! 

I encourage and pray for you…and look forward to eternitiy with all of you!!

Much love…and happy tears! ~c

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My sweet babies!!

 I can’t even believe that it has been 15 years since my babies were here.  I can’t believe I have lived so much more life since they left this earth than they were able to spend here with me.  I can’t even put into words how much my heart hurts right now….and always.  I can’t describe the pain and hurt I feel…..the aching to be with them.  Just to hug them….one. more. time.

I remember that morning….

5:15

That is what the clock read when I picked up the phone.  I still have a difficult time looking at clocks when they read this time.  This is the time I knew something was wrong….but I just didn’t know yet exactly what that was.  I spent the next hour….making calls….praying…trying to figure out….because I knew that something just. wasn’t. right.

6:15

This is when my dad called us back.  I remember watching my sister’s face to see if I could see anything in her expression to let me know what was going on.  Then as she handed the phone to me….I remember Daddy saying, “Cheli, the police just came and the boys are gone.”  And then I remember, with the hope of a mommy who loves her babies so much….thinking….and saying, “Oh good……do they think….they know….where he took them?”.  It was then that dad had to tell me the whole truth.  It was then…..I raged….and then fell.  It is the next little while…I don’t remember feeling…or much of anything.  I don’t remember getting into my van…..or reaching for the clothes they had left…..All I remember is looking out the window…and thinking I didn’t know why we were even going back to Okc….I mean….I didn’t have anything left.  I was just…..numb.

I don’t know where we were in the trip home..but I remember something happening.  I remember God speaking to me and realizing that my babies were okay. They were in heaven…..WITH GOD.  I knew they didn’t hurt…they had no sadness….no sorrow.  Only joy.  As a mom….that is all you can hope for….. is KNOWING your babies are okay.  Knowing they are safe.  For me, knowing they were in the arms of our Heavenly Father….was what gave me hope.  I woke up.  I woke up to the fact that I was still here.  I still had things to do.  I had to show others the hope that I had.  The hope in Him that if we are still here….we have a purpose.  The hope of knowing when our loved ones are gone……if we are followers of Christ….we will all be reunited for eternity.  This is what woke me up and gave me a new purpose.

I mean….look at these faces….

They LOVED life! They gave it their everything….every day!

They had fun!  But even their short life wasn’t always easy.  There were some very dark and difficult times.  But if you remember…or knew my boys at all…you’ll remember that no matter where they were…or how bad things were in their lives….they were always smiling!!!  Their smiles…..showed HOPE.  Their hope….I know for a fact….was in HIM!  If those sweet boys….could smile through anything….then this momma….will always do the same!  You have no idea how much I want to make them proud.  Usually it is the other way around.  It is usually the child that wants to please the parent and make them proud.  But for me….I just want to show them….that in my time left here without them…I was able to smile.  Through the pain…and the tears…I continue to smile.  Not because it is easy….but because that is what they would have done.

Cody’s friends and teachers talked about his smile.  They talked about how it lighted up a room.  I miss that…. more than I can express.

Cory’s friends and teachers also talked about his smile.  How he loved to smile and perform.  I miss that…..so bad it hurts.

Caby’s friends loved his smile.  It was so fun and mischevious.

I miss that…..more every day.

But I have hope.  Allow me to share the scripture that was in the funeral brochure.

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand,.  And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disapoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he ahs given us.”      Romans 5:1-5

This is it.  FAITH. HOPE. and LOVE.

As angry as I get….at what happened…at the fact I will never get to see my babies grow up…..never get to see who they would have become….never get to experience so many of the milestones with them….never get to be a Gramma….never get to do A LOT of things……  As angry as all that makes me….  I have hope. That is what woke me up 15 years ago today.  The hope that I am still here and have so much more.  The hope that my still being here on this earth….means that I have to fulfill my purpose…and show others that hope.  The hope that through my smile…..others see my boys.  The hope…that one day…we will ALL walk together again…into and for eternity!

That is where my hope lies.  15 years ago…for a brief time…I lost hope.  But then God reminded me….He is still on the throne….and He is holding my sweet boys…. and keeping them safe…until I can hold them again too.

For so many, not just myself, this day 15 years ago…changed a part of their life.  There were so many affected.  So many that hurt.  So many, that even today, remember.  Please do me the honor of leaving a memory here….. and please….sweet friends and family….know that there is always hope.  God not only holds my boys in His hands…but he is holding each one of us every moment of every day.  Some days…for me…it is a moment by moment thing..just getting by.  It is then I crawl into His lap to cry. He lets me be sad and understands my tears.  He holds me and comforts like no one else can.

So today….as I allow myself to be sad….and miss the sweet smiles of my angels…let me leave you with this.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13

Be thankful and kind to those around you.  You never know it….but your smile and kindness could be the hope they need to keep going….just one more day.

Forever remembering…..until the memories unfold into eternity with you!

I love you all … my sweet c3angels!    ~mommy

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