Friday, January 16

Praise You In This Storm

Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns has been my anthem for this year. I had just gotten done belting it out when my brother called me on January 10, 2014 to tell me she was gone. That song has been a constant reminder to me of how I want to live through this storm. Now as the sun is shinning on life again and the clouds have parted I continue to depend on Him, I continue to ask Him to give her hugs for me, and help me get through all the "big" days in this journey. My brother and I will get together tomorrow to celebrate our boys' birthdays. Sometimes I wonder if James came late and my brother's little boy came early because God knew what was coming and knew we both could use a ray of sun in January to remind us to celebrate!

Today she would of been 54. She's missed the last two birthdays with us, or should I say we've missed her for the last two. Her 53 fell 6 days after she passed. Today it's been just over a year. Today started out with tears but I'm determined to make it end with laughter and smiles. That's how she lived, she was so much fun and always made birthdays so special so I'll pick up that torch and do the best I can to follow in her footsteps. I leave you with the lyrics that have reminded me of how big God is and how He never leaves!

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

[Chorus:]
And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

[Chorus]

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Saturday, January 10

Grief Doesn't Have Me



It's been a year. I got the call from my little brother at 7am this morning one year ago. I was driving down to help care for her but she was already gone. She walked through the gates of heaven one year ago today! It's been a year of lessons, of growth and of tears but it's also been a year of celebration. She has been with God for a year now, celebrating. She's not in pain, she's not broken, she's not hurting. She's free from the cancer, heartache, and any sadness. She's dancing and singing and part of the party! She has gotten to see and understand things we here on earth still can't wrap our minds around. She's with her dad and Tina and so many others that I know are also up in heaven. She's not alone! 

I've had it on my heart for a while now to talk about how grief doesn't have me. Today is the day my mind became active with how I wanted to put it all down. 

When you loose someone as close to you as your mom, tears come. Grief does come, it's natural. Loving God and knowing I am part of His family as I do I know grief doesn't have to overtake my life. I'm free from that. You can be sad your loved one isn't with you and you can't call them but believing in God means you know the separation is only temporary. I know my mom believed in God, I know she went through heaven's gates, I know she is with Him. In my quite moments of prayer God has placed reassurance in my heart of that. With that knowledge and the knowledge I have some day I'll be up there as well, then I know I'll see her again. This isn't goodbye forever just simply for a time. I've seen people around me loose love ones and at the same time loose sight of the hope. They stay in the grief and wade through an endless field. The grief overtakes them. I'm here to tell you that isn't how it has to be. If you believe in God you can choose a different path. I'm not saying you won't ever cry or have moments but I am saying they'll be just that - moments. 

Some days are hard, some moments are hard but then I think and reflect on how many cool moments she is getting to have. I think about how many people she is meeting and getting to know. I think of how perfect she is now that she's in heaven and I can't help but be happy. When you know your mom is no longer in pain, no longer sad, no longer broken you can't help but stop and smile. In those moments I'm grateful of the hope God has given us. I'm grateful in my weakness, He is strong. So today I choose to celebrate, to smile, to laugh and to enjoy. Tears may come today but I'm determined to set my mind on the hope because I know I'll be able to see her again. I know this isn't the end but rather the beginning. She's whole and complete and someday - hopefully a long time from now (I'm in no rush) I'll get to see her again and this time I won't see her broken body hurting from a horrible cancer but I'll see her whole and happy as she is right now. She wants us to be happy and so I'll find the joy today because of the hope! 

I rest on God's hope for us, I rest in His arms when mine are weak, I rest in knowing He is God! 

"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.  For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words." -- 1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 18