Monday, January 30, 2017

Cake and Roses.....

For much of my life I have had this longing for days of Cake and Roses.  What I mean is because for as long as I can remember each day of my life has been filled with tests, trials, and storms.  Some of which I didn't ask for, yet found myself in a Tsunami of pain, and Hurricane's of tears all designed to wipe me out.  At every turn, every year of my life I struggled, and when the glorious day came that I realized HE has been with me all along, I began to SEE HIS JOY in the midst of the pain, tests, trials, and storms.

Slowly HE began to build HIS TRUE CONFIDENCE in my heart, as HE planted HIS word so deep into my heart, that I soaked, and meditated in HIS word daily.  So much that HE grew strong roots of FAITH of which would BE my ANCHOR in the most devastating storm I would ever have to endure.  All of this because of how much HE loves me.  However, as I am human, my FAITH hasn't been enough, HIS promises haven't been enough for me, as all of this turmoil, strife, anguish, pain, and sorrow have left me begging.... pleading for HIM to please, please, please relieve me from any more tests, trials, or storms.  As if to say to HIM, "LORD please, why can't my life just be Cake and Roses?"  

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

HIS Daily Teachings actually began this past Friday night as I was out with one of my dearest soul sisters.  It was during one of our more serious conversations that we began to talk about our struggles, and how I came to realize that being on the other side of my grief and agony, that I am now re-entering back into a  life full of stupid problems.  What I mean is, problems that don't break me, or shatter me in complete agony.  Problems that in the grand scheme, you know HIS Plan, won't really matter next year, or sometimes even a week from now.  So much in fact, that because I am human, I tend to lose sight, and forget WHO HE is, and WHOSE I am, and how though something may "seem" insurmountable, Nothing, NOTHING can begin to even compare to how excruciatingly painful it was for me to have to give Seth back to HIM.  Therefore, no matter what life may throw at me, what stupid problems I may encounter, the rest of my life would be "cake" compared to what I've already gone through, suffered, and survived.

In knowing this however, because I am a selfish, needy human.... aka.... slooooow learner I am left feeling, asking, wanting, and pleading for a life of Cake and Roses.  Because HE loves me HE is wanting me to understand that though I am dealing with my life's stupid problems, that aggravate me relentlessly, and endlessly.  HE is wanting me to remember, that it is HE that has gone before me, to walk this journey and there is a good plan for me to survive my life's aggravations and stupid problems.  HE is wanting me to understand that though I may not SEE it, HIS goodness is everywhere, and when I seek HIM I will be able to taste the Cake, and smell the Roses in my life.

Ahhhh there it is, my old friend.... humble pie..... yes eating a HUGE slice of it right now, as I come to realize that there is a REASON why HIS word is constantly replaying in my mind, my heart, and my soul.... TRUST IN THE LORD GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART.... LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING.  YIKES!!!  This leaves me feeling foolish, and repentant as how often I allow myself to be caught of up in my life's lame and predictable stupid problems.... designed specifically to grow me strong in HIS TRUE CONFIDENCE that even though the enemy "think's" it's what will finally draw me away from HIM, HE will use it for HIS good, and HE will teach, lead, and guide me to know and understand so I will be able to LIVE out HIS plans for my life.  

"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

This relieves my weary achy heart, as the very thought of NOT doing what it is that HE wants me to do, and wondering where, how, and when I will ever understand, or put to work HIS word in my life, HE is filling me with HIS promises that HE is there, HE knows how much I struggle, HE knows how much I hurt, and HE is leading me up the mountain of TRUST in HIM and for HIM, that when I seek HIM with all my heart, love HIM enough to let go of my way, HE can, HE will, and HE does lead me to exactly where I need to be.  

Once again HE is reminding me that even though I may not understand, I was designed specifically on purpose for HIS purpose to be fierce, to be tenacious, to be determined, to NEVER GIVE UP, not because of self pride, but rather because HE has always intended for me to BE HIS LIGHT in this dark and broken world.  HE is reminding me once again that I was created on purpose to BE HIS MESSENGER of HOPE, that when all seems lost, in finding yourself shattered like you've never been before, and the life you once knew in a billion pieces on the floor, so full of tears that when you cry, your tears pool as oceans at your feet, and you literally feel completely engulfed in waves of sorrow.  HIS MESSAGE of HOPE is this, the sorrow, the pain, the agony.... HIS goodness will prevail.  ALL WILL BE FOR HIS GLORY, though unimaginable, unfathomable to you, and your weary, broken, shattered heart, HE will rebuild you, you will be rescued from the ocean, and brought to shore.

HE is wanting me to share HIS message through my story, that at 4pm on October 13, 2014 I was HIGH on the mountain of TRUST, and HEALING with HIM, when I was violently and viciously shoved off a cliff, finding myself falling into the deepest, darkest ocean of pure agony and hell surviving blow after blow.  Assault, after assault on my shattered weary heart, begging and pleading for relief... while the waves came crashing over my soul, crushing me to the point where I felt I would die at any moment from the hellish nightmare that had become my reality.  Finally after what seemed forever.... over two years later I found myself washed upon the shore.... battered, broken, and bruised.  Afraid, afraid to step, to speak, to pray, to ask, to seek.  Afraid of what would be asked of me if I stood up, with arms held high and heart abandoned.  Afraid of what was to come, and what would never be.  Afraid, all the while hearing HIM, pulling, tugging at my heart, to TRUST HIM.  Slowly, like a fawn learning to walk for the first time, HE lead me back to my feet.  Slowly I took baby steps, wiped out, fell flat on my face, cried out in agony once again, as learning to walk again was unbearable, and was one of the biggest assaults on my heart, as that meant I was moving away from the tragedy, the loss of my son, all leading to me living without my precious son Seth Daniel.  Steps that would break my heart, yet would strengthen my FAITH in HIM and for HIM, that as long as I remember where I once was to where I am now, somehow, someway HE would help me, and I would be able to overcome living in the aftermath, and begin to THRIVE once again in my life.  Baby steps which lead me to the base of the mountain of TRUST where HE would ask of me once again, "TRUST ME DEAR HEART, TRUST ME AND KNOW THAT MY PLANS ARE SO GOOD FOR YOUR LIFE, AND TRUST ME THAT WHEN YOU HURT, I AM THERE, I WILL ALWAYS BE THERE, AND ONE DAY ALL WILL BE REVEALED TO YOU.  TRUST ME DEAR HEART."  Baby steps up the mountain of TRUST for HIM, that even though I am now back in the land of the living, dealing with, and struggling through life's mundane stupid problems, (things that don't really matter, yet to me they do, because I am human) HE is there, and when I look hard enough, seek HIM, and HIS will, ask for HIS vision, I will SEE the cake and roses that are waiting for me to enjoy.  

All of this my dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS is HIS JOY in Heartache that is of my life.  Today my dear friends, I pray that if you too are struggling with immense sadness, sorrow, agony, anguish, and pain, I pray that you will be able to seek HIM to ask for HIS peace,and that you will be so flooded with HIS peace, that for one moment the assaults on your own weary, achy, shattered hearts will cease.  I pray today that my story, as HIS living testament will be that though right now your life's problems seem insurmountable, unimaginable, and unfathomable, I pray that you will know that HE is working everything out for your good.  I also wanted to say that I in no way am saying that missing my son has gotten any easier, it will NEVER be easier, I'm just learning to live with this excruciating pain.  I am learning to manage through the struggles life brings, and the struggle that I face daily in seeking HIM to help me be honoring in my grief.  I pray that you will understand that even though we have HIM, it doesn't make us exempt from the pain, however because of how much HE loves us, HE will gives us what we need to get through to the next moment.  I pray that today is the start of your baby steps, that HE will lead you back to your feet.  And as always my sweet friends, please know that loss is loss, and no one can tell you how to grieve, so grieve dear ones, grieve, trust and know, that one day HIS promise will be TRUE for our lives that there will be no more tears, no more sorrow, no more pain.

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

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

when I don't understand........

For the past few weeks I've struggled with coming to terms that my broken heart has always been a part of HIS plan.  I've struggled to understand how HE has stayed true to HIS promises to me.  I've struggled to SEE HIS goodness in the aftermath of our shattered lives.  I've struggled to accept that this relentless ache that I feel is something I will live with for the rest of my life.  I've struggled with the truth that my son, my sweet little Seth is gone.  I've tried so hard to accept that he is in HEAVEN, but the truth is..... I just don't understand.  I'll never understand, and not being able to understand has left me so full of things left unsaid, that I want so much to tell my son, to experience with him, and each time another reminder of losing him hits me, it leaves me breathless as I've survived yet another assault on my heart.  

Last week was full of assaults on my broken weary heart.  Leaving me so worn out, that I was bedridden at the beginning of this week.  Everywhere I went I was bombarded with constant reminders of what I've lost, and will never have again.  I struggled to swallow my tears, to keep things in perspective.  To seek JOY, to BE full of HIS HOPE.  So much I exhausted myself, and by the end of the week I had come completely undone.  In coming undone, I was devastated, and upset with myself as to why couldn't I just get a grip......why couldn't I just accept. A thought that seems so absurd, but let me tell you when you go through your heart being shattered, and then survive continual assaults on your heart, it leaves you breathless, and begging for relief.  

Surviving finding Seth.... surviving the traumatic events of that day..... surviving being told "I'm so sorry we did everything we could to save your son."  Those words... forever tear right through my weary achy heart.  Surviving the few moments we were given to see our son for the final time before leaving him with strangers.   Surviving kissing his sweet little hands, and rubbing his cute little chubby feet.   One last glance, one more kiss, one more, oh Sethie, please please please come back.  Surviving walking out of that room forever changed.  Surviving the deafening silent ride home, to where we would have to tell Seth's siblings, his 3 other mama's and big bruver Ikik..... the moment I stepped out of our truck, seeing the front steps of our home, Surviving our oldest saying, "Seth oh Mama please please please NOOOOOoooooooo...  her voice breaking, as her heart shattered right before me.  Surviving collapsing into my mother in laws arms...... tears of hellish anguish and agony poured from my eyes, my heart, my everything, "my baby oh GOD my baby..... not my baby.... my Sethie...."  Surviving each moment we opened the door to our home to let someone in who had been HEAVEN sent to be with us in those unfathomable moments.  Surviving calling my best friend to tell her my son died..... to her responding... "what?  wait..... what... what.......?"  Surviving climbing the stairs to our home, making the long walk down our hallway.... one that was full of panic, and tragedy, just 8 hours before.  Surviving our first night without Seth............I remember looking out our window all night long, staring at the streetlight, wondering GOD where in the HELL are you?  I just don't understand..... why.... how..... OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD..... the tears pouring from my soul, crying with the deepest groans of pure anguish I've ever known.  Surviving.... that is what I have been doing since the worst day of my life that began at 4pm on Monday October 13, 2014.

As I sit here typing that all out, it hits me all over again just how much I haven't thought about that day.  Mostly in fear of the emotions that will erupt from me, fearful that I will start crying again.... that endless, relentless agony so full of sorrow, that I will find myself deep in the ocean of pain, sorrow, and anguish.  Fearful that I won't be able to stop crying, and that I will be stuck again.   Avoidance of my grief, is something I've "tried" to do, but it never fails as the harder I "try" to swallow the emotions building within me, I fall apart.  I fall apart no matter where I am, mostly I fall apart in my car, at stoplights.  I cry so much at stoplights that I began to pray, "LORD please, let me get through this drive without crying."  Last night I pray that very prayer, and foolishly I "thought" I was actually going to make it through one drive without crying, that is until...... a song came on that I had never heard before.....and it wrecked me.  Left me sobbing, breathless, and completely at the end of myself, and I fell hard into HIS arms.

Thy Will Be Done by Hillary Scott spoke deep into my heart, a promise, a message that I needed to remember in this journey of oceans, shores, cliffs, and mountains.  

"I'm so confused, I know I heard you loud and clear... So I followed through, somehow I ended up here..... I don't wanna think, I may never understand..... that my broken heart is a part of your plan.... when I try to pray, all I've got is hurt, and these four words..... THY WILL BE DONE, THY WILL BE DONE, THY WILL BE DONE."

This song speaks the words that I've struggled with so much, and what HE is wanting me to remember, HIS promises to me, and all I need to remember as I'm struggling when I don't understand.

HE is reminding me that HE hears my cries, HE SEES my tears cover my face, as each memory streams from my eyes.  HE knows the betrayal that I feel from HIM asking so big of me, to let go, let go of Seth.... HIS son, HIS child that HE entrusted to me for such a short time, but then.... called him home.  Oh how I struggle to understand how..... why that would be a part of HIS plan.  I've struggled immensely with accepting and embracing, and HE is letting me know that HE knew I would , and that HE has a plan, and it's good, and one day I will understand, but for now, right now in this very moment where the river of pain runs so deep into my soul, HE is wanting me to remember, soak in, meditate on, and press deep into that I need NOT to lean on my own understanding of how, or why, or when, but rather TRUST HIM, and know that HE will reveal what I need to know in HIS timing, as HE is SOVEREIGN.

"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

HE is wanting me to know that HE knows how much I've struggled with knowing HIS word, and then falling flat on my face as I "try" and live it with this unimaginable heartbreak.  HE is telling me that HE SEES me and hears me, and HE knows my heart.  HE knows that whenever I hear someone say, "oh GOD needed him more....."  oh how those words make my blood boil, as it is the most absurd thing anyone could say to a grieving Mama.  HE knows how much in my own tiny, human understanding I "think" that there is no better place for Seth to be than with his Mama, but because HE is SOVEREIGN, HE knew more, knows more, and loves both Seth and I more than I can even fathom or even begin to understand. 

HE is wanting me to know that HE is right there in the middle of my cries as I "try" so hard to understand why I must endure more assaults on my weary, broken heart.  Why it is that this world doesn't SEE me, SEE the pain I'm in, like didn't they know, "Seth Daniel Foote age 1 year died on October 13, 2014 and his mama Heather Foote age 36 found him lifeless, and in those moments that she realized her son was lifeless, as she placed her hands on his chest and knew he was gone, that when she realized his heart had stopped beating, the very first assault on hers would begin. Seth's heart had stopped beating, and Heather's kept on beating, but in a foreign way that she would forever struggle to understand how or why."  All of those thoughts leave me, full of immense sorrow, pain, and pressure to BE how the world tells me to be.... to get over, get through, move on..... all the assaults on my heart.... how is it LORD that people don't SEE.... oh how I don't understand.

I am slowly making my way through my 38th year, and soon will be 39, and all I can think is.... 3 years...... 3 long, agonizing years of assaults, on my weary achy heart, as I try as I might, I still fall apart, don't understand, and feel like a HUGE burden to those who love me, and who have been there for me.  HE is wanting me to know that HE knows how much of a burden I feel like to those around me, and wants me to know that HE is still doing a good work in me, and it's okay to fall apart, it's okay to cry, it's okay to not understand, as it keeps me falling deep into HIS arms, as I sob deep into HIS chest.   HE is letting me know that in the moments that I am soaring through life, HE is there, and HE is beaming with pride, as all HE wants is for me to feel loved, wanted, and cherished.  HE is reminding me of those moments, so when the darkness tries to hide HIM from me, I will be able to see HIS light, a glimmer of HOPE that though deep sorrow is being felt once again, HE is there, HE is making a way, a path for me to walk, and HE goes before me and knows what I will face next.

HE is telling me that when I don't understand HE is there to fill me with HIS peace as HE works in me and through me, through my struggles so that in HIS timing I will be able to understand.  Until then, all HE asks of me is to remember THY WILL BE DONE.

"He pulled away from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, remove this cup from me. But please, not what I want. What do you want?” At once an angel from heaven was at his side, strengthening him. He prayed on all the harder. Sweat, wrung from him like drops of blood, poured off his face." Luke 22:42 The Message Bible

My Dear Brothers, and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, I pray right now if your heart is aching, and you can't SEE past the pain, I pray that you will know that HE hears you, and HE is there for you, waiting for you to fall deep into HIS arms, and sob deeply into HIS chest, even if not falling into HIS arms, but rather screaming at HIM, asking HIM why, and where the hell are you?  Do it, HE can take it, HE's bigger than the pain that your feeling, and wants to soothe your weary achy hearts with HIS endless peace, amazing grace, and unfailing, unconditional love.  I pray that you will SEE my story, my life, as HIS living testament that it is possible to BE HIS follower, and still struggle with doubts, question HIM, scream at HIM and struggle trust in HIM, and live boldly for HIM.  I pray that you will SEE throughout my blog that I am a work in progress because HE loves me, and HE loves me enough that HE gives me enough courage to write about the tragedies and triumphs I've experienced in my life.  I pray right now that if you are feeling lost, lonely, broken, or a heavy burden to those around you, I pray that you will feel HIS arms wrapped tightly around you, and that you will be flooded with HIS peace, as HE drenches you in HIS grace.

always my sweet friends, with so much love, compassion, and understanding,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

waking up.....

I could still feel him in my arms, as the tears seeped to the corner of my eyes.  This past week was the first time since Seth went HOME to JESUS that I would SEE him, hear him, and hold him.   The dream started out like any other, random, and filled with people I didn't really know.  One minute I was in a room full of strange people, and the next I stepped into a familiar place, although I didn't recognize it as having been there before.  I stepped into the next room and there he was.  I looked right at him, and said "Hi Seth."  I scooped him into my arms, as he snuggled his sweet little face into my chest.  In the next moment the glorious sound of his sweet sing songy voice rang through.... "Hi Mama."  Sadly as soon as I heard him, I opened my eyes.  It felt as though I was still holding him, only to realize it was just my pillow. 

For the past week I've wished, prayed, and hoped that HE would give me another dream filled with HOPE and PROMISE that HE is there, and that I would SEE Seth again.  Night after night, I prayed, please let me SEE Seth again, and with each night passing, I became more saddened that I wasn't SEEING him.  That is until today that I realized that much like waking up from my dream of Seth, HE has brought me to the other side of grief.  In a sense I am waking up.

Waking up from the most horrific nightmare I've ever had.... only to open my eyes each day knowing full well that I would have to endure another day without my son.  Knowing that pain, sadness, sorrow, and anguish was to not only be my present, but surely my future. Pain leaving me so weary and desperate for relief from the tremendous grief that poured out of me for my son, that it was all I could manage to cling by my fingernails to HIS promise that one day.... somehow, HIS way I would wake up.... I would SEE color again.  Wanting so desperately to BELIEVE HIM, but too afraid to TRUST fully, as anything was possible with HIM, but that could go either way.  Either HE could bless me immensely with healing, and recovery, or......  the unthinkable.... unimaginable....... indescribable..... happening again..... a thought so terrifying that I didn't dare say anything out loud, as my fear was growing stronger and  stronger.  

In waking up I can tell you that though the pain.... the gigantic hole in my heart is most definitely still there, it has lessened.  Two years ago I would have punched someone in the face if they told me that over time, in HIS timing my pain would lessen.  Words that assaulted me to my core as to how in the world could I ever, would I ever not feel the overwhelming pain and loss of my sweet Seth Daniel.  I can tell you that though the road hasn't been easy, waking up has been so refreshing to my weary soul.  Not crying daily, but rather in moments, not the entire day, or even if the entire day, not days at a time.   Moments of grief pouring from my eyes, and pooling as oceans at my feet, as a mere wave washing over me.  Grief washing over me, but not crushing me, knocking me down, or paralyzing me.  Things that I have prayed for from the first moment I realized that Seth was really gone... he wasn't coming back.... and the one whom I trusted with my whole heart..... shattered it.... and crushed it to the point where I came completely undone, and to the end of myself, where all I could do was cling to the very essence of HIM.  HE was my everything, and HE took it all, my anger, my rage, my hateful hate filled, hate fueled words.  HE held me tighter, as I wrestled even harder with HIM, and HE loved me more and more, and in a deeper way that I could have ever imagined.

In waking up I am seeing color once again.  What I mean is my world isn't foggy, or black and white.  For that I am thankful, as living in a world without color was draining.  Or if by some miracle I saw a glimpse of color it seemed so foreign to me, that I fought it, and felt so guilty for even wanting a second glance.  Concepts that in my head I knew were absurd... but my heart..... had been terribly brutalized over and over to the point where I begged HIM to take me.  Not that I would give up willingly.... my way.... but rather if it was HIS way....then surely HE would relieve me... rescue me..... save me...... from the most horrendous pain I've ever known.

In waking up I am able to look back on these past two years and SEE HIM and ALL that HE has done for me, with me, to me, and through me.  I know without a doubt that I couldn't have survived losing my son without HIM.  I know that it has been only through my FAITH in HIM, that HE was, is, and always will BE everything that I am needing.  I struggled to TRUST HIM... I doubted HIM, yet I clung to HIM.... desperate as the thought of letting go terrified me more than hanging on for whatever was to come next..... even if it would shatter my heart all over again.

In waking up I've come to know, trust and truly BELIEVE that HE is indeed a GOOD GOOD FATHER, because it is MOST DEFINITELY WHO HE IS.  I know that I am deeply, unconditionally loved by HIM, because it's WHO I am, because I know WHOSE I am.  In losing my son, I entered into an unfathomable nightmare..... off the steepest cliff.... plunging into the deepest, darkest ocean.... where the waves crushed me to the point of all I could do was pray for strength to ask for more strength.  To finally be washed ashore..... yet dragging myself onto land..... following a stream of HIS living water.... as it soothed my weary... achy.... soul.  All to be brought to the base of the mountain of TRUST.... where slowly... step by step HE is leading me on HIS path, that is HIS way, for HIS purpose.  I know HIM, I BELIEVE HIM, I TRUST HIM fully and completely, and I no longer shake in fear, as my FAITH in HIM is louder than any fear that is in me.  I know that HE WHO is in me is most definitely greater than he who is of this world.  

"You are from God, little children, and have conquered them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

Today I am overwhelmingly blessed to realize and know that through HIS amazing, unfailing, unshakable love, I have survived, and with HIM I will THRIVE. I will soar with HIM in this life, because that is HIS plan and HIS purpose for my life. I will accomplish, and do great things in HIS honor, in HIS name ALL for HIS glory BECAUSE that is WHO I was created to be, and what I was created to do. Today I am thankful that I have been CHOSEN by HIM, to know and understand that HE heard my cries, and has answered my prayers by gently nudging me in telling me "Open your eyes Dear Heart, I'M here, it's time to wake up, you did it, I love you, and hold tight as the adventure of your new begging is here. Welcome back Dear Heart, I love you."

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, I pray that in sharing my struggles, and my pain, you will get a glimpse of WHO HE is.  I pray that a spark will ignite deep into your heart to seek HIM, so that you will come to know HIM as I have come to know HIM.  I pray that you know that there isn't a right way or a wrong way when it comes to opening the door of your hurting, wounded heart.  I pray that you will take a chance in choosing to BELIEVE that HE is most definitely worth the risk.  Take a chance my dear friends, take a chance, a leap of FAITH and let HIM, let HIS love lead you, rescue you, and renew you.  I pray that when you do, you will SEE that it is HIM waking you up from your own living nightmare.

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

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather