Thursday, August 3, 2017

rebuilding

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up" Deuteronomy 6:5-7

To be honest I have been devastated by the loss of my son, but also the loss of who we were, and all the struggles for recovery in each of us.  To watch my family fall apart while I couldn't even function to keep up with my daily tasks at hand.  After a year of "trying" to do things on my own, at the loving advice of my soul sister, and therapist K, I decided I would give medicine a try.  All the while I was taking it, I was resentful that this is what had become of my life.

With each month that passed, and onto each year, I felt like I was living in this cruel punishment, as not being able to raise my son with his siblings, I also had to swallow back the tears, and deal with the very fact that all my hopes and dreams that I poured out to HIM were being denied.  I was so full of anger, that anytime I saw others living the life I had hoped, dreamt, and prayed for, it was my undoing.  I lashed out in anger, I allowed the lies of the enemy to penetrate my heart, as the broken record played over and over.  I was truly living in misery, and suffering.  I was missing out on my life, and I was desperate for relief.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart    and lean not on your own understanding" Proverbs 3:5

I wish I could say that I'm doing okay, but the truth is, okay isn't even in my vocabulary.  My word that I use to describe my life is rebuilding.  The hardest part of rebuilding is all the cuts, scrapes, and bruises that come with restructuring, and for me that meant, harsh reality being revealed, and pummeling my heart daily.  Having the scab ripped off my heart in all the would have been and what will never be..... all of it has leveled me over and over again.  Each time the walls of my heart were being torn down, I became even more discouraged.  Desperate for relief, pleading and begging for HIS plans to be revealed to me, all the while hanging on by my fingertips, TRUSTING and BELIEVING in HIM, keeping HIS promises written deep in my heart.  I clung to JESUS, I cling to JESUS, so that I remain anchored in HIS HOPE.

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." Hebrews 6:19

I've spent the last few days immersed in immense pain, and soaked with bitter, angry, hurt, jealous, frustrated tears.  I prayed, begged, and pleaded to RUN OUT OF TEARS, yet they still fell.  The more I "tried" the harder I fell.  Yesterday I reached my breaking point.  I posted a depressing picture on social media, with my words of defeat, and sadly just hating my life, hating my journey, hating the pain, just so full of hate.  I went to bed last night wondering how in the hell I am going to survive the rest of my life..... this can't be all there is...... please LORD JESUS, PLEASE HELP ME.

"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle.  You have recorded each one in your book." Psalm 56:8

This morning, I was determined to keep myself busy so not to think about anything.  However because HE loves me, HE led me to TIME HOP an app on my phone.  At first I was confused as to why, as the year's passed they started to reveal memories of oblivious living.  When I swiped to 8 years ago there we were, my husband, my grams, and myself..... smiling.... happy completely unaware of the tragedy that she lived through, and that we would endure just a few years down the road

When I was a little girl I remember my gram telling me her life story.  I had vague memories that her daughter had passed away when she was 40.  I remember her tears, tears that I now understand and know as she too lost her baby.  The tragedy of failed marriages, and abuse, all of it, showed in her eyes that day.  She poured her heart out to me, and I was so oblivious to her raw emotions, as I was still a little girl.  

As I looked at the picture on my phone, I felt HIM speak to me.  HIS DAILY TEACHINGS today is HIM telling me that though I don't feel like I can, and wonder how I will ever rebuild my life after this unimaginable loss, HE is reminding me of the one HE sent to love me unconditionally.  Thinking back on my life with my grams, I smile because she was the only person in my life whom I felt safe with.  She loved me with her eyes..... even her nickname for me made me smile.  "Sugarbabe" is what she called me.  

When I was 30 years old my grams second daughter passed away.  I remember sitting with my grams at the funeral, wiping her tears from her eyes as the agony of which her words were spoken to me, "I've lost both of my kids..... ohhhh JESUS please have mercy."  Being a mama to four at that time I couldn't even begin to fathom how much she hurt.  I held her as she cried trembling in my arms.  

Thinking back to that day, another revelation has come to me that my grams second daughter my dad's mom, she too buried one of her children, her daughter.  The realization that floods my mind is that I am the 3rd generation in my family to bury a child.  To me that means that both of my grandmother's suffered in this life from much of what I am now going through myself.

HE is taking me back to my childhood and allowing me to see them through HIS eyes.  HE is showing me how HE led each of them through their own process of rebuilding.  My grams was the most memorable to me, as she truly turned her life around, gave her life to the LORD, and loved her family fiercely.  She was completely committed to living, and leaving a life of legacy modeling unconditional love to each of us.  Realizing this just now, I am taken back to the last moment at my grams funeral where I felt HIM speak deep into my heart, "it's all you now, it's your turn to live and leave a legacy."  

Scared, but willing, I vowed to do just that.  All the while wondering what that even looked like for me......  well that is until 4pm on October 13, 2014.  The day where I was shoved off  a jagged cliff, which shattered my heart into a billion pieces.  All the while flooded HIM with questions of how, and why, and what now, and when.  Slowly but surely HE is removing the shards from my shattered heart, and healing me from the inside out.  HE is giving me the tools to rebuild my life, all of which is so horrendously exhausting.

All because HE loves me, I am able to write today, I am able to smile today, I am able to just BE because I'm NOT but HE IS.  Today I am overwhelmed by HIS amazing grace, unfailing love, and overwhelming peace. I am thankful that HE has shown me in my lifetime how to rebuild, and TRUSTING HIM with the process.  I am learning that even though I "think" I want to be done, HE knows that I couldn't possibly fix everything at once, as it would overwhelm me even further that I already am.  I am learning that I will never stop grieving my son, as I will NEVER stop loving my son.  I am convinced that this is HIS plan, this rebuilding, this process, and on the days where the wounds are excruciating I will RUN to HIM, and throw myself in HIS arms, as HE will soothe and bind up my wounds so that I can continue the process with HIM.  I know that HIS TRUE JOY is found in everything, as even though life hurts, HE is with me, and that for me is HIM wanting me to know  HIS JOY in the heartache.

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed." Psalm 34:18


"He heals the brokenhearted  and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3


My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, I pray today that if you find yourself today immersed in pain, I pray that you will know that no matter what you may have said, or done in this life, HE is there for you.  HE is waiting for you, and HE is ready to pour HIS love into you, and shower you with HIS grace.  When you open your heart to HIM, HE will fill you with HIS perfect peace, the kind of peace the surpasses any understanding that any of us can have.  I pray that if you feel as you can't today, HE can, HE will, and when you are ready, HE will teach, lead, and guide you to rebuilding your life.

Always dear ones, always with so much love, compassion, and understanding, 


Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather 


Saturday, June 10, 2017

when life happens....

"GOD didn't give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled." 2 Timothy 1:7

While setting up my desk in my room this morning, I came across this coffee cup of cards from a conference I attended six months before Seth passed.  It was during that conference that I felt alive, and finally free of so much of my past that had been weighing me down.  I felt confident, secure, and so sure that I had already been the lowest in life, so the only way was up for me.  How wrong, and foolish I had been, as I hadn't realized what my lowest in life was...... that is until life happened.

The six months leading up to Seth's death was full of so many transformations, blessings, and restorations between myself and those that I love.  I was truly letting go, and letting HIM lead me to do the things that HE wanted me to.  Not that I always "felt" like doing them, yet I knew a fire burned so intensely deep within, and I knew that HE was in control and the steps that HE was asking me to take, and every challenge, trial, test, and storm was for my own good.

It's been three years since I took those steps of FAITH and leaped when HE called me to, and looking back on that time in my life, I realized that was HIS BLESSED ASSURANCE that planted a seed in me, that when life happens..... it was HIS voice calling deep into my shattered heart, "HOLD ON DEAR HEART.... I AM WITH YOU."

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart" Psalm 91:4

HIS Daily Teachings today is taken me back through the most horrendous season of my life.  The time where grief consumed, and fear often led, and my emotions took over.  A time where everywhere I looked all I could see was how much we lost, that I couldn't even see the blessings that were being poured over me, into me, and through me.  I lost sight of WHO HE IS in me, and I forgot how HIS POWER was in me to be fearless, powerful, confident, and would enable me to remain self-controlled.

This morning HE is wanting me to PUT ON HIS ARMOR, and BE ready for the day ahead.  Not that I will be in control of life, however I will be in control of myself when life happens.  HE is reminding me of all the times before when HE led me through dark waters in my life, that I was able to stay calm, and know that HE had amazing plans for my life. 

In the need to be so transparent, as I feel I have a responsibility to share just how dark my world had become in the loss of my son, I need to tell you how I began to think that my life was cursed.  That the enemy had more power over me, that HIS power in me.  I even began to speak those words out loud, and slowly but surely it began to change me.

However, because HE loves me too much to let me fall, and believe the lies of the one who hates me the most, HE kept calling to the deepest part of me.... "I'M WITH YOU, SEE MY LIGHT, HOLD ON DEAR HEART." Through HIS endless pursuit for me to TRUST HIM, HE would reveal that the enemy would love nothing more that to see me completely destroyed, and watch me give up, and leave this world by my own free will.  Thus robbing me of eternal life with HIM, ruining my chance to see my son once again.

Just reading those words about the enemy..... ohhh makes my blood boil.  I have come to understand what GOD'S anger is like, and how HE has instilled me HIS RIGHTEOUS ANGER.  This anger is the driving force to LIVE the life that HE has planned for me.  This anger has filled me with HIS power to run, crawl, leap, jump, what ever I need to do to keep on this journey that HE has planned for me.  I long to hear, and I WILL hear at the end of my life, "well done good and faithful servant." I know that is my FUTURE, because HE holds my FUTURE. 

HIS RIGHTEOUS ANGER has instilled in my the tenacity to keep going, as I haven't gone through all I've been through for nothing.  No matter what happens, I am going to keep going, I'm not giving up, and I running all the way to the end telling the world all about JESUS.  I am NOT going quietly, and I am NOT going alone, I'm bringing as many people as I can with me.  I will not HIDE HIS LIGHT, I WILL BE FEARLESS, I AM NOT TIMID, NOR SHY, I AM HIS BEAUTIFUL, CHOSEN, LIGHT-SHINER, WHO IS ROYAL IN HIS EYES!!! 

The empowerment I feel by HIM is life-breathing, and I'm so grateful that I'm in this place of contentment with knowing that I have started living my life once again.  It has been through HIS unconditional love, endless peace, and overwhelming grace.... I have survived, and am now beginning to THRIVE!!!

Child loss is unimaginable, it takes away pieces of you, and leaves you so broken, and makes you question everything you ever believed in.  The pain puts your FAITH in a vice grip, and it's all you can do is hold on.  Hold on and pray, and wait, and cry for the day where relief washes over you, as the life of agony that you have endured for so long, finally has color in it again.  Losing my son, has taught me that even those with the strongest of FAITH, deepest relationship with JESUS will fall..... and though we will fall, HIS hands will NEVER let go, and slowly through HIS timing and provision HE will lead us through the pain, the suffering, the agony, and the aching of longing to hold our children once again.  I have learned that I will always miss my son, I will cry for him, and long for the day to be reunited with him, but missing him will no longer destroy me, or negatively effect the way I respond to things when life happens.

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS,

How my heart aches for each and everyone of us who knows this deep immense pain of loss, whether it be your child, brother, sister, mom, dad, anyone whom you've lost that has been your whole world, oh dear ones I pray for your heart right now.  This very moment I ask JESUS to comfort you, release the tears, and pour HIS peace into each of you.  I pray that though the pain won't ever go away, the agony will, and will allow you to see your own life through a colored lens once again.  Hold on Dear Ones, the darkness will NOT overcome, HE as already over come it with HIS light.  I pray that if you are in the darkest abyss of pain, I pray you will cry out to JESUS, and let HIM rescue you. 

Always, my dear brothers and sisters, always with so much love, compassion, and understanding,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~Heather

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

unsteady.....

A question that I am often asked these days is how I got to be in the place where I am today in my FAITH, in my walk, in my journey, in this horrendous fog of grief.... filled with the most excrutiating pain I've ever known.  Honestly all I know is this:  HE has been with me every single step of the way. No matter how l lost or hopeless I felt, I knew HE was there, and all I had to do was hold on, and pray that HE kept holding onto me.  For months I clung to the lyrics "if you love me don't let go" "Unsteady" by the Ambassadors clinging to HIS promises that even if I felt myself slip from HIS grasp, HE would catch me, HE would hold me up in HIS mighty wings, and promised that ONE day I would be ABLE to stand once again, and eventually I would feel HIS guiding hands in mine, teaching me, leading me, and showing me that with HIS steady hands, HE would show my unsteady legs how to stand, walk, and eventually run.

What began as HIM teaching me to retrain my mind to think like HIM once again, I began a journey of rebuilding TRUST for HIM, and one of the first steps of trusting once again was with my daughter Joy.  For so long I was terrified to let myself fall so deeply in love with being her Mama.  I was beyond scared of losing again, and I "thought"  that if somehow I kept her at a distance, somehow, someway I would survive through her first two years.   Well all I can say is, "PRAISE JESUS for loving me FAR TOO MUCH to let me LIVE like that any longer than I did." 

HIS Daily Teachings today is leading me back to the moment where in learning to let my heart be open to be her Mama is how HE taught me that just as I was holding her as she began to take her first steps, HE was doing the same for me.  Even though I was unsteady, so was she, and all I had to do was remember HE was with both of us.  HIM pouring HIS strength into me that even though I was unsteady, HIS hands were steady, and just as she was unsteady, I held her hands until she was walking on her own.  Though she fell and stumbled in learning to walk, the same thing was happening to me, and rather than beating myself up about it, HE wanted me to SEE that HE has PURPOSE in EVERY single thing that HE is teaching, leading, and guiding me to do.

So in case you're new to my blog, I've pretty well established that I am indeed a sloooooow learner, and even though HE has taught me, and I "thought" I "mastered" HIS teachings in my life, HE was there to show me as I foolishly fell for my own pride, and found myself coming undone once again in angst of how in the world could I possibly LIVE after surviving the hardest season of my life?

In being a sloooooow learner, HE had me start back at one.  Right thinking with Power Thoughts.  What was revealed to me in even the first few days, I realized that I had been living in a tremendously dark fog of grief.  The kind of grief where no one else could help me, only HIM.  The kind of grief that robbed me of any and all moments, or sliver of moments of JOY.  Feeling so fed up with crying, exhausted by the grief that consumed me, HE began to lead me on a journey of SEEING with HIS vision of all that I had endured, and was blinded by my grief to see that though I couldn't see them, there were people there for us, praying, as it was all they could do was lift us in prayer, storming heaven with plea's for peace for our family.

HIS vision revealed to me that no matter how much I felt wronged, or ignored, or uninvited, HE showed me the TRUE HEARTS of those who loved us, and how much it hurt them to know how much we were all still hurting, and how much they missed seeing HIS amazing spiritual gifts that each of us embodied.  HE began showing me how things looked from the other side, as HE took me through deep therapy, and treatment through medication to get my mind right, so my heart would soften to HIS word, HIS teachings, all through HIS relentless pursuit of me knowing HIM in a way that brought me into a deeper relationship with HIM, revealing to me WHO HE is, and WHO I am. 

In surviving the most horrific season of my life, I have learned that the ONLY one who could help me was JESUS.  Through HIM, HIS love, HIS constant, continuous, dedication to healing me just enough to get through a little more each day..... I learned that I could embrace the life I've been given, and LIVE it out with HIS TRUE PURPOSE.   Through HIM I learned that though sorrow will remain until I am called home..... tears will fall...... and heartache will continue to exist...... I learned that HE is good in all of it, and even through tears I can smile, and SEE HIS goodness and HIS JOY in the midst of the heartache.

Surviving all that I have in my almost 39 years of life on this earth, HE has filled me with a deeper CONFIDENCE that though I will stumble and fall, as the storms of life rage around me, HIS steady hand will always be there to hold me when I am unsteady.  Surviving has instilled a stronger more CONFIDENT WARRIOR SPIRIT  deep within me, that no matter what happens to me, I'm a fighter, and through HIM and with HIM I WILL BE MORE THAN A CONQUEROR.

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS,

oh how I pray that each and every single soul that reads this blog, will know how much you are DEEPLY loved by HIM.  I pray that you will come to know HIM as I know HIM, that when the pain runs so deep you can't hardly breathe, I pray that you will have the courage to cry out to HIM, as HE cares for each and every one of you.  I pray that you will pour your sorrows out to HIM, and allowing HIM to relieve you of those burdens. Friends I know how much life hurts, how unfair it all is, and how much suffering we all endure, or will endure in our lifetime.  I know it hurts, I know you feel so alone, isolated, and lost.  It is my prayer right at this very moment that you will know that is the enemy working in your life to keep you from living the life that HE has planned for you.  I pray that you will know that I love each and everyone of you, and pray that will be comforted by me sharing my journey so intimately with each of you.  I pray that in being transparent in my faith,  and struggles with life you will truly SEE that you are not alone.

Always dear ones, with so much love, compassion, and understanding,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather








Wednesday, May 24, 2017

warrior within.....

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 8:37-39.


On a rainy ordinary Monday in October I was shoved off a cliff into the deepest abyss of pain I've ever known.  For months I clung to the only thing I knew,  and that was JESUS was with me.  HE was with me to catch every single tear, and heard my cries of agony as I tried so desperately to survive my life without my son Seth.  Though I would make strides in healing and recovery, I became extremely frustrated that I couldn't seem to figure how to grieve... let alone live.  For months I was the strong, courageous, inspiring woman of GOD, that is until....... it became so hard to fight the massive demons that were attacking myself, and my family.  On that rainy ordinary day in October, our family was forever changed, and the abyss that we plunged into..... we didn't know if we'd all survive, and it was all I could do was pray that we would all reach the surface once again.


During my time in the abyss, I was the most angry, confused, and devastated I've ever been in my life.  I hated everyone and everything that was challenging me and questioning me.  I was so jealous of everyone around me, as my world shattered, but theirs continued on happily, and untouched.  The enemy had my faith in a vice grip, constantly chastising me for BELIEVING in HIM, and continuously pointing out how much I was missing out on.  Still I clung to JESUS, I clung to my FAITH, and I prayed that I would ride out this massive storm.  My anger reached a boiling point when I realized that the world was trying to erase my son.  The moment I had that realization the enemy was relentless in getting me to imprison myself with all of his lies.  Being devastated, exhausted, and completely drained it didn't take much to get me to believe, and see the worst in almost everyone.


I was angry that it "seemed" as though no one cared, didn't call, didn't come over, didn't invite us to anything.  It seemed as though people were letting us down right and left, and there were few of those who did speak to us, they were kind and compassionate, yet distant.... and anyone else who was bold enough to speak criticized us for how we were dealing with life.  Little did I know at that point, HIS warriors, our Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST began to flood HEAVEN with prayers for peace, strength, love, that was the biggest of all.  Love was so important because HE wanted us to know how much HE loved us.  Through baby steps I would learn just how much HE loves us.


In March of this year I had an awakening.  It was subtle at first, yet it didn't take long for the warrior within me to begin to emerge.  It happened with a challenge from my husband, and was solidified with a talk with a dear sister in CHRIST.  She asked me, "How are you with JESUS?  Do you feel like you hear HIM?  Do you feel like your close to HIM?"  The next two days I couldn't stop thinking about her questions, and D's challenge.  On the third day I realized what I needed to do..... and I found my self with my journal and pen in hand, and I wrote four simple words..... "JESUS please help me...." 


Over the next month and a half HE had me focus on my thoughts.  Just getting my mindset right again took some doing.  Thinking on purpose the way HE wanted me to proved to be difficult at first, but as time went on my memories of all the power thoughts I have learned  over the years came flooding back and I realized that HE was taking me through yet another breakthrough.


It would be exactly 2.5 years after plunging into the abyss that I would finally emerge, and for the first time I wasn't aching with pain, I was seeking HIM, I was ready to live my life.  It was on April 13,2017 that my warrior within began to stand, and before long, with my mind being sharpened by HIS word daily, I gained the confidence to face whatever would come my way.


I always knew that HE was capable of binding up my wounds, yet I wasn't sure how, and honestly I was scared to have them bound, as if somehow it meant that I was okay with losing my son.  However, because HE loves me so relentlessly HE didn't let me stay in that mindset, and  began to fill me with HIS HOPE that I could do this, that I was doing it, and with HIM leading me I would be able to run this race.


Two weeks ago HIS teachings became very real to me, as one of my children were struggling with how to live a happy life, when everything around and within hurts.  It was in that moment that I prayed for HIS wisdom to speak HIS words to my child, and I felt as if though for the first time I was speaking HIS word with confidence, and not just from memory.  On that day I said to her, "life as a girl in this family, oh honey is NEVER going to be easy, but honey I promise you this, HIS glory, oh sweet girl, is in ALL of it, and when we give HIM the glory, HE will strengthen us, and refine, and renew us, and IT WILL ALL BE WORTH IT."


She hugged me and said through her tears, "Thank you Mama for being so brave, for showing me, and helping me to see that HE hasn't forgotten about me."   It was in that moment that I realized something.  I've been dealt a tough hand in life, and each time I was knocked down, I got back up, and the reason why I was able to do so is because I am FIGHTER, I AM A WARRIOR.  With HIM I AM MORE THAN A CONQUEROR.  No matter what happens to me in this lifetime, NOTHING I am completely convinced, TRUST and KNOW that NOTHING could ever separate me from my HEAVENLY FATHER.


Not long after the talk with my daughter, a dear friend of mine called me, and let me know that she was so worried about me, and wanted me to know that she feared that one day this would all be too much for me, and I would do something.  I had to laugh, as surely she couldn't be serious, but then I realized, would anyone blame me if I did?  Probably not, however if anyone who really knows me, they would know that I am tenacious, I am  a FIGHTER, I am NOT a quitter,  and I will NEVER give up, I will NEVER be silent of WHO HE IS, WHAT HE HAS DONE, and WHAT I KNOW HE WILL do through me and for me, ALL for HIS GLORY.  My final thought I had was this, "I didn't suffer through all of the life, just so some loser could win, the enemy may have robbed me from having a happy life at times, but through HIS BLESSED ASSURANCE I know that I am living a BLESSED life, because I know that no matter what happens during my run, my race, its ALL for HIM, and my reward, oh my dear friends is this, "Eternity, blissful, peaceful, peace filled, PRAISING HIM, holding my son in my arms ETERNAL LIFE."


I may not be who I once was, but I am grateful for that, as I am now stronger, and have a deeper connection to HEAVEN that I could have ever had before.  I know that test, trials, and storms are in my future, yet I don't fear, as I know WHO holds my future. 


My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, friends, I pray that you will know that if you are hurting HE is there.  HE is there to hold you, carry you, teach you, strengthen you and build you strong as HE knows your Warrior within and all that you are capable of, because of WHOSE you are.  We are warriors, more than conquerors, even when we feel like were moving a snails pace.  Trust HIM my friends, trust in HIM and rest in HIM, and I pray you too will SEE all the good HE is doing in your life, for you, because HE loves you.


Always my sweet friends, with so much love, compassion, understanding, and prayers,


Your SISTER in CHRIST JESUS,


~ Heather  




Wednesday, April 12, 2017

I wish they knew.....

Some days I wake up feeling numb, and other days I wake up with the sharp edge of pain deep in my chest.  Most days though I have this dull ache, the ache that keeps me from feeling the immense pain, as memories flash back to all I've been through.  Not only just in losing Seth, but everything I have endured in my entire life.. All of this constant struggle keeps me longing... begging..... pleading for relief.

I go to the familiar places where I once walked with scars from my past, but was able to SEE HIS BEAUTY FROM ASHES.  Memories of what once was haunt me, his smile, his laugh, the way he would run..... my smile..... my laugh..... even my tears...... all of which have changed  me irrevocably.  I close my eyes and try to breathe as my eyes well up with tears of what was..... won't be... the reality of my life crashing into me.  All the while I'm aware, people waiting, watching , wondering how I'm really doing, yet I'm not able to say, as my grief, if they really knew..... is so terribly exhausting, and quite frankly would scare the hell out of them.

What I wish they knew was even though the world continued on, my heart.... stopped, frozen in the moment where I last held my son.... our last time as a family smiling, laughing, oblivious to the nightmare that was rapidly approaching...... reliving the moment where what was just a Mama waking up her sweet little guy, ended being a moment where the life was sucked out of me for a few seconds as the shock and horror enfolded before me..... I struggled to make any sound, my mind was screaming..... yet I struggled to even gasp.

I wish they knew how hard the morning of his would be second birthday..... I took a shower, where an ocean of tears were cried, as I struggled to even wash my hair.  Dragging myself out of the shower, to get ready...... which I felt was so horribly absurd as I was getting ready to go plan Seth's celebration of life.  Sitting in the funeral home office......... looking at caskets..... choosing what we wanted....... driving to the cemetery to choose where we would lay our precious son's body to rest.  Looking at the paper that resembled a parking lot... the tears streaming down my face.  Listening to the caretaker say..... that corner over there is where we bury the little ones..... staring at the three plots.... the anger rising out of me, saying "I don't f'ning care, this is one is fine."  Walking away so angry, so shocked, so hurt, and absolutely devastated that this is what I was doing instead of having his firetruck party.

I wish they knew what it was like to see the pinterest board that we made for Seth's second birthday.... how no candles were blown out, he didn't get to open any presents..... how I hadn't even had a chance to buy him presents as our week was jam packed with activities...... a week that was supposed to be so full of celebrations was now........ filled with the most horrendous agony and sorrow.   Plans of celebrations washed away as our living nightmare leveled each of us.

I wish they knew how much I had to pray for peace to allow them to place my sweet little baby love's body in the ground..... asking for HIS understanding, HIS BLESSED ASSURANCE that Seth was safe in HIS loving arms, and that Seth was LIVING IN PARADISE waiting.... for each of us to meet him on the bridge into forever. 

I wish they knew how much of a struggle it was to realize I needed help in coping, dealing with, and accepting all that has happened in my life.  How when my doctors were telling me I needed to be medicated.... how much of a failure I felt.... how much I prayed for more FAITH so that I could endure it on my own.  Not wanting to disappoint the people in my life as I've always been known as the strong one.  The pressure to just push through and press through was mounting on me breaking me down even more.

I wish they knew what it was like for me to not only be diagnosed with PTSD, but that when I "tried" doing things that I felt I was supposed to do, I fell hard.....flat on my face.  Which opened the door to the realization that all my life I have dealt with deep anxiety, depression and panic attacks.  All leading to the diagnosis of CHRONIC LIFELONG PTSD of which began a new journey of applying for disability to pay for multiple medications and continual Dr. appointments.... all of which leave me exhausted as I was finally being told that even though I've been so strong my whole life, I was now being told it was okay that I needed help, that I deserved it, and that I wasn't needy or in the wrong for seeking help.

I wish they knew how the holidays.... special days........ ordinary days....... heavy grief days..... are a struggle for me.  How the medication I'm on makes my mind numb where it's a struggle to even function through normal daily tasks.  All the while I'm feeling so defeated, yet praying for my comeback, that I would be able to function again.  All of which leaves me utterly exhausted.

I wish they knew that having to turn down their invitations makes me cry..... how truly bad I feel that I can't just "suck it up buttercup" and "put my big girl pants on" and "just do it."  I wish they knew how their criticism, how they feel unfairly treated by my not "sucking it up" "moving on."  hurts them...... I wish they knew how unfair and devastating it is for me that I am expected to just keep my feelings to myself, and for the sake of everyone else just deal with it inside, and think about making everyone else comfortable as my grief, my struggle, my life...... my reality makes them uncomfortable. 

I wish they knew that even though their lives have moved on  leaving them slightly changed, my life.... is something that  I don't even recognize anymore....all I can see and feel is darkness more days than I can handle.... HIM walking with me, holding me, leading me and guiding me with HIS glimmer of light shining to keep me walking through the total destruction and aftermath of the most devastating tragedy in my life.  I wish they knew how much I cry every single day to swallow back the pills...... the tears..... the if only's .... all so I can function in being there for my husband and children.  I wish they knew how horrible I feel that I haven't been able to be the Wife and Mama I once was, and how much it hurts to see my husband long to see the girl he fell in love with.... not this broken hot mess who struggles to help him, be there for him, and even smile.  I wish they knew how much it hurts me that all he wants to do is fix me, make me laugh.... smile..... and live again...... and how I so desperately want that too.

Most of all I wish they knew how my diagnosis is not something I chose... but rather happened to me.... this journey.... this season...... how much I hate it...... and how desperately I miss me.... and how desperately I miss my Sweet Seth Daniel..... I wish they knew........

Sunday, February 19, 2017

begin again.....

The descent from the jagged cliff, where I plunged into the deepest ocean of agony that I've ever known, to riding the waves of sorrow, as they crushed, and assaulted my shattered heart. I survived the next eighteen months until I finally found myself on the distant shores of the most horrific tragedy I'd ever known, waking up to a life of which I could have never imagined, nor ever wanted.   Crawling on my hands and knees, struggling to stand, I kept reaching up, until one day I was finally able to stand.  Upon standing I quickly realized that in order for me to move I had to be willing to take a step, and that would require TRUST for HIM.  In my heart I knew..... my life, the old me, when we were seven life was over, and if we were going to move beyond living in the aftermath, I was going to have to be willing to begin again.

Begin again.... the very thought sends me into a tailspin of emotions, both of elation, and fear.  Elated because that means that I'm moving farther from the devastating loss of my son, the most horrific week of my life, and the more time that has passed, the more HE has healed my aching heart.  Fearful because I have this precious little girl who is rapidly becoming a full fledged toddler, and her mannerisms, her personality is much like that of her older brother Seth.  I find myself living in dejavu moments with her, that take me back to precious memories of when life was simple, agony didn't exist, and my heart wasn't shattered.  It is in those moments where fear grips me so tight that I can hardly breathe, that I cry JESUS please help me, as its all can manage to say, as the tears flow, and the what if's try to invade my every thought.

What if HE lets my heart be broken again?  What if HE asks for Joy back?  What if I don't trust HIM, what will happen to me?  So many thoughts and so many questions wreck me, and leave me exhausted.  So much I find myself begging HIM for relief, knowing full well that it's going to take effort from me to receive such relief.   The thought I struggle with most in begin again is knowing that HE is rebuilding me, and strengthening me to be fearless, and what if...... that means HE's asking me to risk it all again?  Will I survive?

For a while now I've been hanging around the base of the mountain of TRUST with HIM, for HIM, as I'm terrified to even climb, as the fall terrifies me.  Even a stumble these days can throw me into a day of tears, that hurt.   I know that every morning when I wake up, I know its going to take a tremendous amount of effort, and TRUST in HIM and for HIM for me to get through the day.  With each new day I am met with a choice.  I can either choose HIM or I can choose my flesh,  and most days I choose HIM, but on the days that I choose my flesh instead of HIS SPIRIT, oh those are my hard days.  The worst part is sometimes my hard days turn into a hard week/weeks. 

Begin again.... if I'm being honest angers me.  I am angry because I would have NEVER chosen this plan for my life, after all it certainly wasn't a part of my plan.  My plan was to raise my children together with my husband, and SEE how HIS plans would be lived out for each of their precious lives.  My plan was to pray, hope, and dream for my children, their future spouse, and families of their own.  My plan was to teach them all about HIM and how JESUS is their best friend.  My plan was to make a lifetime of memories with each of my children, so that when I die they could hold tight to their precious memories of our time together.

When I think about my plans, I also couldn't have imagined Joy to be apart of them.  After all when Seth was born, D and I were on opposite sides when it came to wanting more children.  I was willing, and he was tired.  He was worried that we wouldn't be able to give enough love and attention to each of our children, and wanted to be the best daddy to our then crew of five.  My plan was never to be sitting in a restaurant on our 16th wedding anniversary with tears streaming down my face, as just five short days earlier D and I would stand in HEAVEN's doorway and give back our son, and place our TRUST in HIM that Seth would be cared for until...... we would meet again.  My plan was never for D to hold my hands and ask if I would be willing to have another child with him, did I think GOD would bless us with another child? So much would happen that week that was NEVER a part of my plans.

The idea of begin again was placed on my heart last night as I was crying that life was hard.  I was crying because when I look back on my life, it is filled with a lifetime of hurts, and no matter how much I let go, and let HIM, there is yet another layer to be peeled back, to reveal lies that have trapped me, that have kept me from living HIS TRUTH about WHO I am, what I've been through and how I don't have to be sorry or apologize for how messy my life is.  Rather I can live with HIS TRUE CONFIDENCE that my circumstances don't define me, but the measure of my FAITH is found when it is revealed how I deal with my circumstances according to HIS word, HIS will, and HIS way.

Begin again frustrates me as each day I struggle to overcome my fears, and try my best to embrace this new life, this new normal that I am forced to live, to accept..... to embrace.  My new normal of my son, Seth Daniel did indeed die, he is in HEAVEN wherever that is, and whatever that means.  The idea of HEAVEN brings me to my knees, as I used to feel as if though I lived in HIS KINGDOM, and felt as if though I were living my life as a representative of HIS KINGDOM, when honestly now..... HEAVEN seems so incredibly far way, ,as that is where my child is, and all I have is this promise......... that because I BELIEVE and choose to live as HIS follower I know that one day I will be reunited with my son.

 Begin again challenges me to lean in, press into HIS word, and really understand that it's not for me to understand, but rather to TRUST that HE knows, and even though I can't HE can.  I am challenged to speak HIS TRUTH boldly into the lies that the enemy has been taunting me with and that just as the sweet gentle woman from church said to me today, "you tell Satan to go to hell in JESUS name!"  I am challenged that instead of giving into the fear that grips me, release the vice grip of my hands, and open them to receive HIS love as HE will pour HIS strength in me, over me, and through me to be able to move beyond the fear in my heart.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Begin again today means that instead of being upset that I am having to relearn concepts that HE has taught me a million times, I'm not angry that I'm learning, rather I am grateful, I am thankful that HE is relentless in HIS pursuit to fill me with HIS unfailing, unconditional, endless love.  I am thankful that HE knows how much I am needing love, and support in this difficult journey I am on, and as my dear friend M said just yesterday "look up my dear friend and see that the race that you are running, there are people their loving you and cheering you on.  You can't just look at the ground when you are running your race, because you will miss those people, who they too are running their own race"

So my dear friends my prayer today is this, look up my sweet friends, run your race, look around you and SEE all the people WHOM HE has sent to love, support, and encourage you to run your race.  I pray today that if you are tired, rest in HIM as HE is there for you.  I pray that in your time of rest you will feel HIS love for you, and that when you are ready, you too can begin your next chapter of begin again.

Always with so much love, compassion, understanding, and grace,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather

Saturday, February 18, 2017

fearing loss.....

Okay, I'll be honest in telling you that I check on my daughter Joy at least three to four times a night.  Each time I approach her crib with caution, I hold my breath, and "try" to prepare myself for what is to come.  As if I could really hold it together if something were wrong, that somehow because I survived finding Seth lifeless in his bed,  that somehow I would be able to handle finding Joy.  It all seems to absurd to me that I would even think this way, however when child loss becomes your reality, you tend to fear what you know, and for me that is fearing loss.

I didn't realize just how much I have been fearing loss that is until..... I found myself crying in my doctors office in realizing that my fear of losing Joy has allowed me to pull myself away from her. I realized that the older she is becoming the greater my anxiety has become in not wanting to allow myself to become too attached, as I don't now how long I will have with her. Because lately, when I look at her and she is doing something Seth did, panic rises in my throat, and I can't breathe, and I can't even cry.  All can do is think about how she is growing closer to turning two, and I'm terrified.  I am fearing loss.

This past week has kicked my butt, and knocked me down.  So much that yesterday I completely broke down, and cried from all the pressure, the stress, the everything and anything that was wrong in my life.  I broke down in my doctors office as she explained to me the benefits of the medication I had been taking, and why I should continue to take it.  I cried in realizing that my journey dealing with the mess from my childhood is far from over, the words that I was conditioned to speak of about myself, and believe about myself are wreaking complete havoc on my life.

After three hours of crying, and feeling sorry for myself, I began to pray that I would SEE HIM in all of this, and that I would SEE HIS hand at work in my life.  It wasn't until last night that I felt HIM speak to me.  HE let me know that the words I used to describe myself earlier in the day as "high maintenance" is NOT who I am, however since HE loves me so much, HE is letting me SEE that the work HE is doing within me is to change the words I speak and believe about myself.

HE let me know that what better way to teach me that I am NOT "high maintenance" than to bless me with a job, so I can earn the money I am needing to pay for the things that I deem "high maintenance" in my life.  However I am leaning into HIM, and waiting for HIM to calm my hurting heart about why it is that HE created me with the love language that I have.

It's embarrassing to write that it is words of affirmation, that of which I hardly ever received growing up, and now because I am an adult, I crave....... so much that I find myself craving what people have to say about me or to me, than I do HIM.   In HIM revealing to me that I am this way, I am crushed, as  please LORD  tell me why I was created this way.  Not only that but because I don't experience it as often as I "think" I should, it creates massive anxiety within me, as I begin fearing the loss of friendships, and relationships. As if somehow because I don't experience it the way I see other's do, I think there is something wrong with me, and I am to blame for my own sadness, and fear.

This is so hard for me as what I am learning about what I went through in my childhood has changed me in ways that whenever there is conflict, I automatically take the blame.  This is all derived from being told repeatedly I was "the spawn of Satan" and that whenever someone was sick, my mom's bleeding ulcer, and my granny's pacemaker, our families problems, and the abuse that I suffered from the time I was 4 until I was 15 was my fault, I was to blame, and if the person who hurt me would ever get into trouble it would be all my fault.

Fearing loss began at a very young age for me, as even though I was being abused, I was conditioned and manipulated into believing that he was the only one who would ever truly love me, and that if I ever told, no one would  believe me and what little I saw of my family, they would shut me out for sure.  Knowing what I was told over and over I was terrified, so much that I learned to avoid doing anything that would prompt him to say that to me.

Just as when I went to school and he would berate me everyday afterwards, now knowing and realizing he was making sure I didn't tell anyone what had been happening to me..  Very early on I learned how to disconnect from trauma in my life.  This I know is how I survived finding Seth.  It is how I was able to call the ambulance and not completely lose it to the point where I needed to be hospitalized.  It is also the reason why I was able to be with my son, and get to say all the things I needed to say to him.  Disconnect has helped me survive.

However, PTSD, is a whole other monster, and strikes when I least expect it to, and stops me in my tracks, as find myself every single night.... standing at her crib....... hoping..... praying......... gently placing my hands on her chest to see if she is still breathing.  Holding my breath and looking away when she smiles that sweet drool filled grin so much like her big brother.... so much that no matter how hard I "try" I struggle to keep the fear from taking up permanent residence deep with my heart. 

All of this fearing loss leaves me weary, tired, and broken.  I am completely exhausted from having to be transformed, renewed, rebuilt, and restored.  It all hurts, every single  bit of it, however because HE loves me HIS words are being over me, in me, and through me. 

"GOD can restore what is broken and change it into something amazing.  All you need it FAITH." Joel 2:25

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, I pray that if you too are in a difficult season of growth, being rebuilt,, and restored, I pray that you will know it is so you can look back and SEE how far you have come from the lowest time in your life.  I pray that you will SEE that and you will know that just as HE has brought you though that, HE also has amazing plans for your life.  I know how hard life is, especially when everywhere you look there's annoyingly happy people everywhere..  I pray right now that you will be flooded with HIS peace and that your hurting hearts will be held and healed.  I pray that you will receive comfort and grace from HIM as HE sustains you through this difficult maybe even devastatingly time in your life.  And if you have found my blog because you too are living in the aftermath of loss, and you find yourself fearing loss, my dear friends, hold on, I know the waves are crushing you and assaulting you,   but I promise you that HE is there and HE will help you make it to shore and HE will give you all the time you need to stand again.  Grace and peace  be with you all,

with so much, love, compassion, and understanding,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather