Good Morning Sunday… this post has been on my heart for a few days.
I was in bed and decided to get up and share…
I don’t typically share on Sundays but it just seemed fitting.
Today’s post is very personal. Many days leading up to this post. Many days of hard, I’m not sure how I will make it days leading up to this post. But here we are, almost a year later, and better than one could hope.
You allow me to share many personal posts and for that I am so grateful. In a world of trying to pretend we have it all together, trying to pretend it’s all perfect… I certainly don’t fit that bill. And I am grateful.
You will never know God is all you need, until God is all you have.
We are just days away from a year ago when I held a painting class. A class I didn’t know would be my last. A painting class that I didn’t know would have such an impact on me today. It would be a defining “God Stop” moment. One that would give me information that would lead to not carrying a paint line… so trivial in the scheme of things, Now. His plans are always a step ahead of our own.
A year later, days away from the night that my daughter would tragically try to take her life. Days away from a diagnosis that I had searched for years to find. Days away from what would the hardest year to live through. Days away from asking God over and over… What am I to learn from this? How am I to grow? How am I to even breathe?
Each a step, in a faith that I have never had to experience. Each a step, in an unchartered path that I didn’t ask for. Each a step, knowing that my God, he promises never to leave me. Yet feeling so weak, so embarrassed by the pain that I was feeling. So ashamed that I was in the middle of this horrible made for TV movie called My Life… Daily I take old unwanted furniture and with every brush stroke, I make new and bring life again. But my own life was falling apart.
Our first hospital visit would not be the last. Over the last year we encountered 5 visits. Each visit teaching us something new. Each visit tearing our hearts out and many visits that we didn’t make, tearing our hearts out more.
Days of trying to understand what Aspergers was, or was it not? Days of understanding self-harm, and hospital visits that would ultimately teach only new things to undo. Days of trying to get to the bottom of anger and pain. Days of doubt.
Even more days of tests and therapies that didn’t include our regular routines. Miles of driving daily and singing out to the Lord. Learning to parent differently. Learning to speak into a void, I wasn’t sure would even hear my voice. Praying without ceasing and wondering if God could hear me…
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, he rescues those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 – I remember holding onto this verse. Believing in the promise that He would never leave me. Never leave my girl. Knowing that no matter how hard this road was ahead… He gave permission for me to endure this road. Knowing that there was some good that we would come to know. We would come to share. We would be able to see. We don’t get a blueprint. We don’t get to see the big picture. But when you believe, you know His plan is to grow to you. That through all the trials and heartaches, His only purpose is make you more like him. That’s never a promise for easy. Knowing that each thing that happens good or bad, it happens together… each one needing each other to help make you more like Christ.
I remember on many of the drives, I would use music as much for me as her… Natalie Grant carried me through many dark days… We listened countless times to this song…
As parents we are called to be protectors, teachers, and to give unconditional love. But our greatest gift to our children, beyond love, is the gift of faith in Jesus. I fail and die to self daily, over and over. But I do it out loud. I do it unashamed. I need to. I am not perfect and neither will my children ever be. God has our best interests at heart. It’s written on my chalkboard wall, I speak of it often… The plans I have for you are plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:13 And yet here we were in the bottom of despair, trying to breathe, trying to hold onto to every ounce of hope.
We are on the other side of the heartache now. We are healing and becoming stronger with every breath we take in and out. Road isn’t easy but it is building character. Countless times I recall my daughter asking me, where is God? Oh how my heart would sink. I told her with the utmost strength and belief, He’s still here- you are breathing!! Our biggest trials are only a brief fleeting moment in God’s eyes. but the way we react, the way we grow, the way we choose to move on.. it’s the character that will develop and last forever. Under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows your true colors. James 1:3
Building and molding us into something… something bigger. Something more than I could do on my own. Christlike character. What happens on our insides… it will always be more important than what we could show.
This year has been up, down, sideways, and quite honestly to hell and back it seemed. I didn’t always have faith of a mustard seed. I didn’t always have faith that He would move mountains. I didn’t always know what my every second would bring. I cried out many and many of moments for God to stop the pain, to stop the meltdowns, to break off the cycle we were in. All the while, trying to pretend we had it all under control. Strength that I was borrowing from I wasn’t sure where…
If you follow along on Pinterest, you know I am huge on inspirational quotes. One small thought can change your whole perspective. Be it a quote, a verse, a pretty picture to lighten the mood…. I have always, always loved… “Never give up, rest if you must, but never ever quit”…. It stays deep within me. In the Message, Hebrews 10:36 You need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion.
I think knowing that God was going through the pain with us, helped guide me along. Even when it was insurmountable and seemed like it was way too much, I knew that if I shifted my focus of “Why me” to “What Lord can I learn?” or “How Lord will you use this?” We would somehow come out on the other side. We still take every day with light steps and lots of prayer. But we are alive, breathing, and doing well. We will praise him in the good and praise him in the bad. He has called us to give thanks in all of our circumstances.
Last year in the midst I was finding the blessings through the storms… this year I am seeing how we are transformed by his trials.
Share each other’s troubles and problems and in this way obey the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
It’s in time of deepest crisis and pain, that we need each other most. I continue to thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for being there to pray for our family.
We became a family of one special needs to two. We became that family, that those closest to us didn’t quite know what to say or how to help. But honestly, we just had the biggest opportunity to get that much closer to God, to mature that much more spiritually, and to endure a pain that only seemed fitting for TV… and you know what We made it!!
We are great!! I encourage you now, if you know someone in need of prayer or fellowship but just not sure how to help. Give it to God… He will absolutely give the words, give you the way you can be of most help. I know many were so unsure how to approach us during this time. Unsure of how to help. But pushing through what seems uncomfortable to what is needed is something God can give to you. It will bless you both!! We were made for community not isolation.
The greatest of all gifts is LOVE!! So give it and share it abundantly!!
Let this be your song today!!
I see His love and mercy washing over all our sins… Hosanna in the highest. Heal my heart and make me clean. Open up my eyes to the things unseen. Show me how to love like you have loved me. Break my heart for what breaks yours…