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Posts Tagged ‘loss’

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’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!

photo 2

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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So here I sit….smack dab in the realization that 16 years ago my life was forever changed. There aren’t many days I really let myself feel all the hurt associated with this day…but today is that day….the day I allow myself to be very real with those feelings. Today has started kinda different though.

You see…..through the night…I was thinking it would be good to have my cry and get some of the emotions out while everyone was asleep. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t make myself cry. I felt like I was in a fog. I couldn’t cry. What was wrong with me? Why? Why couldn’t I feel those feelings? Were they too bottled up? Had I pushed them down too deep?

My kids got up…and were so loving and sweet. Bryce held my hand and caressed my hair and told me he loved me. I held his hand so tight…. because sometimes I’m so afraid…..it could be the last. Then sis, was so sweet. She said she knew what today was. She knew it had been 16 years since Cody, Cory and Caleb died. It knocked the breath out of me to hear her say it.

Then…after I took her to school and came back home….the tears came. I have been getting loving and wonderful texts and messages and facebook posts….that mean more to me than I can say in words…and I’d been ok….. But then it hit. One of the girls that was a classmate of Cody’s talked about this day…how she missed him and his smile…and said I had been an inspiration during this whole time…. it hit.

I’m gonna be brutally honest…today.

I DON’T WANT TO BE AN INSPIRATION! I DON’T WANT THIS TO BE MY REALITY. I JUST WANT TO BE A NORMAL FAMILY. I DON’T WANT THIS. I FEEL LIKE MY HEART IS BEING WRENCHED FROM MY CHEST!!!!

I so believe God is using this story for His Kingdom. I truly believe He is calling me into His ministry to share His hope…through all situations. BUT I DON’T WANT IT TO BE LIKE THIS!! I totally submit to His will. I totally believe it is only by His strength I am still here. But …….

I would give it all back….to have them here with me. If I could change it….I would. In a heartbeat. If I could see their smiles….again….and just hold them……..God PLEASE…..this mommy’s heart is in a million pieces. It hurts so bad. I hate this. I really do.

If I had known…that when I saw Cody and Cory in the hospital when my mom had her surgery…it would be the last time…..I’d have held them longer…and maybe not let them go. If I’d have known…..I’d have made Caleb talk to me on the phone longer……and made him say he loved me….one. last. time.

As I sit here…..the tears won’t stop. I am continuing to get such sweet texts and messages….and sweet friends…I cannot express how much they mean to me. I truly believe God has placed such amazing people in my life…..in order to keep me going. As the tears flow….and the hurt…just doesn’t stop….it is the people I love….that keep me moving forward. It is those people…that give me my purpose.

My sweet boys…..I miss them so much….and can’t believe…I’ve lived without them now for so long. I still can see their faces when I close my eyes. I still can see their smiles….and imagine them now.

If you had told me that they would be taken from me in such a horrible way…that I’d have to go on living without them…..that I’d have to find a way to continue my life without them in it….I’d have told you I couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t do it.

But, the reality is……I have gone on……I have found a way……..I have done it.

There are days, like today, I’ll be honest with you and tell you I don’t want to. I don’t want to do it. I don’t want this to be my life.

But, during this day……I’m reminded…..I haven’t done it alone. I have had family and friends who have walked me through this sixteen year process. I have had people I have never met…praying ….. for me to be able to continue. I’ll be reminded each time a person texts or messages me or “likes” a post on fb….that I am not alone. I am still here.

And…as I’ve said before…..if I am still here….then there must be more. I said on this date…..sixteen years ago….I promised God and my boys…that I would stay here and figure out why He left me here. And honestly….it is becoming so much more apparent to me.

He left me here to show others that …. through His strength….there is more. There is a family that I love and adore. My sweet husband and our two children are now my world. They are the glue that holds me together. My friends…..they are here for me no matter how crazy I am…..and love me no matter what….

And He is showing me…….that I am here…..to be His comma. My part in His story is to give hope to others. I’m being honest when I say I really think it stinks…….to have this story….but it is mine. Those sweet boys…..were mine. But really…they are His. They were only mine for a short while. And I’m going to be so honored…….to share them with the world…..and see just how He is going to allow our story………to touch yours!

Today has warmed my heart…..hearing stories of how my boy’s lives touched yours. I am very aware of how others were touched by the loss of my boys. If you ever want to share a story with me about one of the boys…or about how their loss has affected you…or where you were when you found out…..I’d actually LOVE to hear it.

Thank you for remembering with me today. Thank you for loving me through today. Thank you for your prayers and your kind words. I will always miss my babies!!

I want to share this pic…. my sweet daughter was playing in my jewelry one day and took this picture. It is of my c3 necklace. I love my c3angels. They will always be a part of me!

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