Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Just finished a week of camp with some kids that I love all through my heart. My family hadn't laughed that much in a long time. It was good for our souls. It was such a great week with so many wonderful memories that we will cherish always. Coming home however was hard. To me all this week felt like Gavin was still with us on this earth. At camp I kept thinking he would not have done well so we would have had the grandparents watch him. Lyndlee was at an age she could go and really enjoy it. So coming back to Branson I thought for sure we would be picking Gavin up in Joplin and I could kiss his sweet lips and hold him tight. Its so strange how my mind works like that, thinking this past year had just been a nightmare and I would surely wake up soon. But to reality my mind came back and the sadness sank in. We drove home and I glance down at Lyndlee's hand on my hand; her skin proudly showing off her tan from camp against my white skin. And my mind thinks she has such beautiful dark skin, but my heart aches to see Gavin's darker hand right by ours. I ache for his dark skin with sun spots on his sweet little face. But then I feel God's goodness surround me, and I thank Him that He chose me of all people to be both their mommies. I thank Him for the sun spots I got to see on one of our youth kids this week; a boy I love with all my heart, a boy I got to pray over and talk too this week. An experience and joy I won't ever have with my own boy again, but an experience and joy that He gave to me in other ways. God's goodness indeed. At camp one night the speaker talked about the day he and his wife found out she had cancer and would die from this disease. It was the very first time in my life I knew exactly what the speaker was feeling. He began to describe his reaction, how he cursed God and didn't want to sing praise songs. He remembers certain details and what the doctors said. He talked about his forgiveness towards God. And my mind went immediately back to August 9th, what the doctors told us, the feelings and anger I had towards God, the aching of leaving our sweet boy at the hospital. It overtook me and I just had to sit down and let the tears pour out. And one of my youth girls grabbed my hand and held it until I was ready to let go. It was as if God had whispered to her heart to encourage me and give me strength. God's goodness indeed. Our friends in St Vincent are making some big dreams come true, dreams we prayed and hoped along with them. And it is so amazing and encouraging even if it might look a a little different than what we had all thought. Seeing Gavin's toys at this preschool and knowing kids will be playing with them brings me joy. Knowing Bibles were given in Gavin's name for the school, and more kids will learn about Jesus and His great love! God's goodness indeed. My heart is feeling the heaviness of packing and leaving this house. Its just walls I know, but this house is full of every emotion and memory possible. God has it heavy on my heart to pray earnestly for whoever is going to buy it. My heart aches leaving it but I feel God's goodness in that we take all our memories with us and that this earth is not our home. This is not the end. So I will keep praying for these people who will buy this house; that it too can be a house of love and God's goodness and grace pouring out daily on them. Tomorrow is our "see you soon" to our church and families that have walked alongside us since that August night. My heart is not ready for the many "see you soon" but tomorrow is the day. My heart aches but I see and feel God's goodness through this. God's goodness and love comes in so many forms. Through a letter from my mom, through a "I love you" from Mama Bev in Taiwan, from texts of friends praying; from the daily comfort of the Holy Spirit, from the love of my daughter and husband. God's goodness indeed. I might feel all these aches but I know God's goodness, love and grace are directing our lives. I know He is working and still using us, even when I am broken and aching.
Monday, July 9, 2012
The last few weeks feel like they have been so heavy. Headaches have come like clock work each day. Broken air conditioner in the car, broke our friend's car, wet carpet in the house. House contract fell through. Blessing: God brought about a 4 bedroom house to rent in California and waiting to see what He wants us to do with all those rooms. I know He has some mighty plans. Hard painful goodbyes coming in a few weeks. Sweet hellos and introductions to follow. Big school for my girl. New jobs for us. Transition into a new home. This is all easy. We have done hard the last year and continue to do hard each day missing our Gavin and being apart. Gavin's heaven day is right around the corner. We will celebrate where he is and who he is with. But it will be hard. Grief has a way putting things into perspective for you. But through the easy and the hard, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
I used to plan. I used to look at my calendar. Being a minister's wife, I had to have a schedule. I had to schedule our youth events, our hectic life and make sure things wouldn't run together. I would control everything. I made lists for everything. I made groceries lists, cleaning lists, menu lists, lists for the kids, lists for my husband and lists for me each day. I loved lists and I loved to plan. But those days are gone. I have tried so long to plan my life, to know what each day will bring. And what I have realized over the last year is that I have no control and that is for the best. I can't control what each day will bring. Lists today don't help me, they stress me out. I am living in the freedom of going by God's will and plans for my days. This may cause our family to not know where we are supposed to be and we might even be late to things. But we know Who is in control. He has a plan, He has a purpose. And we will follow and obey. In 29 days our family will be on another adventure to California to be apart of God's work at Real Life Church. It is nothing we planned for or put on a list. We will be going by the plans God has laid out for us and that the Holy Spirit laid on our hearts. And this is refreshing and exciting. We had our dreams laid out for our family of four and the plans set. But we have had to let those dreams die each day. It is so very hard but we will keep trusting in His unfailing love and goodness. So soon my family and I will be packing all our belongings in a truck and saying goodbye to the house we knew and loved our family of four in. It will be hard as this house was where we watched our children grow, where we laughed and loved and had so many awesome memories. But this is also the house full of sadness where we watched our son die, where we said goodbye, where satan keeps trying to take his evil hold. It will be hard to say goodbye to so many family and friends that have loved us and walked this journey of grief with us. But to me, it isn't a goodbye. We had to say goodbye to our son and that has been so hard. This is simply see you later. This is, we love you and will always be apart of your lives no matter where God takes us. This is, see you soon. So this move is filled with every emotion possible for our family. We covet your prayers. You are all blessings to our lives. We thank you and love each of you. See you soon.