Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fallen. Footprints. Faith.

Again I slack at writing...Life after a year where do I begin. My emotions are all over the place. I have hesitated to write because I've always been honest on here and wasn't sure if I was ready to share everything. However; the truth is this blog is my journey so here it goes....

After the year, I wanted everything to be fixed. I didn't want to cry, hurt, miss, feel alone anymore. I thought okay year complete now time to move on. Here is where the honest part comes to play...In my head, moving on meant meet someone else. I don't want to be alone anymore. I want a family. Somehow also figured in meeting someone else that new relationship would somehow replace Troy and the hurt that is constantly there. I haven't typed these thoughts for a variety of reasons. I don't want anyone to think I don't love Troy. If I ever date again, that person to think they are a replacement. I don't want to sound like I'm moving too fast. I don't want to hurt family or friends. Don't want anyone to think not ready to date by reading this. A lot of thinking has been involved in case you missed it ;) I feel a little bit crazy. I often wonder if I am going nuts. Is all these varying emotions normal? Can I still love and miss someone yet also feel ready to meet someone new?...Point of all of this is the last month after the one year I just didn't want to think about Troy at all. I was ready for the next step. God show me the next step....

Thanksgiving came and during the praise service at church the Lord really opened my eyes to say "Sarah, stop fighting!" I had been fighting everything to do with Troy. I had pushed all my feelings and thoughts through a door then closed and locked it. I didn't want to grieve anymore. I assumed that if I still mourned over Troy I would never have the chance to meet anyone else. God was telling me to let go of my ideas once again! Its okay to grieve as long as I don't wallow. When the next step comes, God will work out all the little details.

December has come and the grieving is no joke these days. Can't turn it off if I wanted to. Christmas and my birthday apparently bring the grieving on at full speed. Right now I really want to find the control switch! Confession...I stopped trusting. I did what I was supposed to because I was supposed to do them, but didn't believe in it. I stopped trusting that God was working out for my good because all I could feel was sadness and loneliness. Again I was rebuked, faith is not based on feelings. My Christian walk is certainly not based on feelings. Faith is not by sight, but following, trusting that God is in complete control of our unknown. I sit here today trusting. I don't always understand, but I do now that Jesus has promised to never leave me. I'm never alone. I love the poem about the footprints in the sand. Can't wait for the day on the other side and see how often those footprints in the sand will only be one set as He was carrying me through. I read a while back in Psalms 77:19 "Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen." This is one of the many promises I'm holding onto these days. He is there even when I don't see.

I don't always understand. I want to plan and figure it out NOW ;) God says "Be still and know that I am God." This means don't plan and try to work things out. Just trust ME! Walking by faith not by sight especially this month...My God is good always:)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

One year: Reflections

One year. 12 months. 365 days. 8,760 hours. 31,536,000 seconds. That is how long it has been since that phone call. THAT one phone call everyone dreads. The call that altered my life. Drastically changed my future. I remember the moment vividly. Standing in my living room. The phone ringing and the dreaded words "There has been an accident. Sarah, it was Troy." At that moment, I went into shock. To some extent, shock is different for everyone. I equate shock to numbness. I went numb. Don't misunderstand, I have grieved. As you can see from this blog or facebook, I have moments when sorrow comes and tears are inevitable. However; I will borrow from a friend as she put on her blog. We have masks now we never had before. That is how I would describe life. I have a mask of numbness. Anniversaries are typically time for celebration. Birthdays, weddings, engagements... Death not so much on the celebration. I would say reflection. Reflecting on where this path has brought me. Opposite what I could have ever imagined. Rejoice in that? Yes. Rejoice in the path that led me here? Difficult to say. I try not to think about him and then again I hate that I'm forgetting him. Grief is strange. One year though, its difficult to think of anything, but him. I stood at that door of reflection, opened it, removed the mask of numbness, and stared. Looked at what would never be. I would never grow old with him. I would never have a family with him. I would never fight and make up with him. I would no longer dream about the future with him. The grand vacations or dreams would never come to be. As I walk through the door with these thoughts surrounding me, that gut wrenching heartache hits. There are no words to describe the pain. I hold his clothes as if somehow it will bring comfort. I cry, no sob while looking at his pictures of a happier time. I sit on the couch wrapped in his bike jacket. Smell the leather that's so familiarly Troy. Yet that memory, as so many others are, is also fading. I see the blood and remember he was once alive. I sit. Hoping, wishing, begging for this not to be my path. The Bible tells us to grieve with hope. I know this is true. I do have hope. I will see him again, but that doesn't take the grief away or bring the comfort I so desperately want from his arms.
I have returned from the reflecting. I have closed that door. The mask of numbness is placed back on. I try not to think about him and what could have been. The numbness is my protection. I keep it close. I know others want to talk, remember, laugh about old times. I want to forget. I don't want to forget. You see where this grief has so many degrees. I remember thinking at one month there is no possible way I can do another eleven of these. I have. Grace. Tons of grace. I dare not end the blog on this note. I have so much to be thankful for. I've been blessed beyond measure. I've been reminded the last two days of where I must remain: at the cross. The future path I can not see. It is dark and foggy. I do have light for each step though. The Word. It lights my path just enough to take the next step. I remain (especially these days) on my knees staring at the rugged cross. That love...that sacrifice...that is my hope! I may stay numb when it comes to thinking about Troy for my heart's sake. However; I do rejoice and take comfort in My Savior. I realize this may sound a bit contradictory, but the loss of your other half will never this side of heaven make complete sense to me. Hence; the varying "masks" (as my sweet friend has put it) I have at the one year mark.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Expression of grief.

As promised, trying to be more faithful in keeping track of this journey. Today probably won't be the most uplifting, but trying to keep this as honest as possible. I dreamed about Troy last night. It was one of those dreams that is so real you wake up thinking, where am I? In my dream, he was back after being gone for this year. He hadn't died like we all thought, but had been held somewhere where he couldn't get away (bit weird I know). He was so real. He couldn't stop kissing me and telling me how much he missed and loved me. We were at a house with all our friends and family. Celebrating his return. Eating ice cream. Joking. Laughing. So normal. Alarm went off. Reality hit. Tears came. Today to say the least has been a bit rough. Actually this month has been rough. I can't believe the 30th will be a whole year since I last talked to him, held his hand, didn't feel so alone, felt normal...I put my rings back on. They are my security blanket and somehow make me feel closer to him. Maybe after the one year passes, I can put them away or make something new. Just not today. Today I'm a grieving widow. Today I feel so alone. Today, I want with everything in me to be normal again with Troy. My "new" normal not the way I pictured my future. A widow at twenty-five after only thirteen short months of marriage. Most girls my age are getting married, engaged, or starting a family. Those amazingly happy moments. I buried a husband. I have a burden of grief that on days like today is too much. I have a hole in my heart and today it is gaping open. I can't see a hope for a future with no tears or happy moments that aren't almost immediately followed by the heaviness of loss.
So not the most encouraging, but truth of my thoughts walking this path chosen for me. I know that my faith is weak tonight. I know my lack of trusting in God's perfect plan is the problem. So if you read this, stop and say a little prayer for all widows that God would continue to increase our faith.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Purged to thankfulness and joy! has been quite some time since I've been on here and posted anything. My summer was insanely busy. After Africa, I came back and started working at a camp. So my summer was: Monday-Thursday=camp, Friday=hospital, and weekends=studying for Bible Doctrines. Being busy was a very good thing for me. I loved almost every minute of it;) Camp was an amazing experience. I learned that ministering to others is a huge part of the healing process. I had the amazing opportunity of sharing my testimony with girls each week and talking to them about living life in light of eternity. People asked me if it was hard to share my story each week. The answer is absolutely no. It's nice to share our life so others will remember Troy, but most importantly it reminds me of the amazing things God has done in my life since losing Troy. God taught me so many little lessons over the summer. He also gave me a big a "Ah-Ha" moment during a struggle of wondering if this will ever end. So this blog will be my "Ah-Ha" moment this summer, and then I will do my best to keep better track of my journey;)
Grief is a weird thing, and I know different for every one. For me, I wrestle with the loneliness of singleness again. I miss every little thing that comes with having a husband: holding hands, sitting on the couch cuddling, rolling over in bed, and it being empty, picking up the phone to hear "I love you", not worrying about the bills, on and on I could go. At the beginning of the summer when I shared my testimony, I would say I would do anything to have Troy home except give up the relationship that I have with Christ now. As the summer progressed, I was being shown that I had to let go of Troy. I honestly don't know how to put that into words. I knew he was gone, but the grief I had come to know as my constant companion somehow let me still have a part of him. In a conversation with a friend, they lovingly told me I would have to let go of this grief. This was not an easy thing. What I talk about next, know that it is still a struggle for me, but by His grace(most days) I can say the following revelations are true.
After being talked to about this, I got alone in the mountains with the Lord and meditated on John 14 and 15. I didn't want to leave the mountain without being fully surrendered in a way I had never understood I needed to be. I didn't want to leave saying the words I knew I was supposed to say. I wanted to believe. I needed to be changed. I cried. I prayed. I read. I cried some more. Prayed some more. Here is what I learned...Jesus said "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you." Okay Lord, but I do not feel peaceful. Where is it? A few verses later He says, "If ye loved me, ye would rejoice." Lord that's too much! I say I'm thankful for where you brought me, but to actually rejoice in losing Troy. I can't do that. I do love you, but Lord I can't. Help me! Next chapter Jesus says, "Every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit....Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing....These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." This is where the Lord truly opened my eyes. He is with me and I am His child. In order to bring forth fruit, I must be purged. However; I can do nothing with out Him. So here on this mountain top, I realized I must surrender, with His help the grief in order to bear fruit. Here is the very cool thing, by being purged I have joy! Huh, you might be thinking. Allowing Him to purge my life gives way to full joy. Just as He promised! The fruit of the Spirt (love, joy, peace, longsuffering) which I long to have in my life; does not come easily. It is through purging of my will to His perfect one.
My "Ah-Ha" moment led me to change mr previous statement about Troy to the following: I thank the Lord for taking Troy home. I know this is His perfect will. I also know that there is nothing else in the world that would have brought me to my knees like losing Troy. Being on my knees is the perfect place for me to be in order to get to know my amazing Savior. I love Him, I rejoice in Troy's homegoing!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Africa's Joy

I haven't written in a while, but I do have a good excuse. I was in Africa for almost two weeks. It was a life-changing experience. I am so glad that the Lord opened that door for me. I came home appreciating everything. Especially little things like the toilet;) There were so many different things that I could talk about from this trip, but this blog is about my journey as a widow. So I'm going to focus on that part concerning Africa. Since the accident my views on heaven have been radically changed. For some reason, I had always thought of heaven as an eternal church service, clouds, mass singing....Very dreamlike. Thankfully, a good friend gave me a book that used Scripture to describe heaven. Total transformation in my Christian walk. I came to understand why Paul said "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain." For me, creation has taken on a whole new meaning. I look around on a daily basis and think my God created this. Powerful, creative, all-knowing God made this earth and He loves me. These thoughts just blow my mind. I also think when I see a beautiful scenery that this is just a glimpse of what Troy is experiencing right now. One of the most profound things in Africa for me was the views. The rolling mountains, the clear blue sky, the white clouds touching the mountain tops, the untouched greenery....the most beautiful scenes I have ever seen and that is nothing compared to what Troy is seeing and exploring right now. I often think what new landscape he is awe struck by. If he ever thinks of me, wanting to show me what our amazing Savior has created for us. God has opened my eyes to come and appreciate the wind as a powerful example of Him in my life. It is invisible. I can't see it, but I can see the affects of it on things around me. I can feel it. These thoughts came to me one day sitting at the cemetery. I could see it in the trees and feel it, but I couldn't actually see wind. He created it and His creation is a reflection of His glory. It was a reminder that God is always with me even though I can't see Him. This concept of God never leaving me was most definitely emphasized on this trip. I knew it would take me out of my comfort zone as far as creature comforts, but I hadn't realized what a close support system I had created since the accident. I was with a group who had knew no idea who I was or what my life had been before the accident or even that there was an accident and I had lost my husband. It was very different for me, but in a good way. Because once again it brought me to that realization that God is more than enough. I only had one major breakdown which I consider successful in thirteen days;) It was after three days of clinic. That night I had this dawning realization I hadn't really thought about him for a while. I closed my eyes and I couldn't picture his face. The thoughts of moving on and meeting someone else had also come up. I felt horribly guilty. How could I forget and want to move on so easily? I immediately started crying. Thankfully had a place where I could get alone with God. I poured out my heart to the One who already knew this was coming. I spent a long time in prayer and reading. I was reminded once again of my need to surrender my wants to His will not mine. Reminded that this is His perfect plan. Its amazing the peace that comes when you let go and let Him have everything. As I sat there quietly resting in His peace, a small breeze came through the windows and I was reminded that God is always with me and His love is constantly surrounding me. Such an AMAZING God I serve! I'm reading Elizabeth Elliot's "A Path Through Suffering." Wonderful book and a great thing to read during this trip. The main lesson I have learned and continue to learn is death to self. God is using this suffering to grow and strengthen me. During this painful trial, I must constantly and I do mean constantly die to self. Only then will He be able to refine my life for His glory. She makes a statement "The greatest joy will have come forth out of the greatest sorrow." This is the place where God has brought me eight months after losing my husband. I have such joy in how God is working in my life to bring Him glory. Not that tears don't come, but even in those I know where to go and that He is teaching me something new in my sorrow. The trip taught me many lessons and I will use a quote to sum them up best. "But we never can prove the delights of His love until all on the alter we lay, for the favor He shows and the joy He bestows are for them who will trust and obey."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Death and Joy

After my realization last weekend of keeping God first place in my life, I heard a message on Sunday re-enforcing this thought. Seeking God with all my heart was what I took home that day. I changed my reading time. Before I turn on the TV or get on the computer, I will do my daily reading. I also started reading other devotional books. Right now reading "Secure in the Everlasting Arms." Love it! I'm trying like Paul says in Ephesians 6 "praying at all times." Constantly talking to Him. God has taught me so many things in the last couple of days. One of the most important lessons I'm learning is patience. My life has changed so dramatically. I keep wanting to know how will God use this? What is my next step? Where is this headed? The answer I've been given is "wait, be still and know that I am God." My ministry, my purpose is right here right now: to serve the Lord at my work, church, friends, and family. I can with His strength honor and glorify Him where I am every day. Laura and I have this analogy of my life. I'm in an airplane cockpit. Right now there is dark clouds every where. Occasionally a ripple of light will show through, but mostly darkness. I read this verse last night "For it is You who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness." Another verse "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Wow, those are some very powerful truths from my Savior. I'm clinging to them because it is so true. I am surrounded in darkness, but the light I do have comes from the Bible. The Bible is such a comfort to my hurting heart. Everything I need or could ever think to need is in this wonderful book. Don't get me wrong. I have the answer to my hurting. Even more basic, how to live my daily life. The problem is the flesh has no desire to do this. It is a constant battle to deny flesh and focus on truth. Tonight was prime example. I was sitting on the couch. Just finished reading and the thought crossed my mind "I want some bubble gum." Well, there is no one here to get it, but me. Okay, Troy, just for the record missing you tonight;) So got in my car. I'm driving along call my good friend Jill. She answers and we talk for a minute. She says they have friends over. I jokingly say "thanks for the invite." She replies "oh you are more than welcome, but its all couples and I didn't think you would want to," Okay (breathe) so in my head I know this is fine. She is right, but that reality of "oh yes I'm not a couple" is sinking in. That little tickle in my throat started. I quickly say "Yes, yes I'm fine. Call me later. Have fun." Tickle going a little higher and my pity party begins. I'm all alone and I have no one to get me gum.(whine) So I call my couch buddy, Laura, because she can commiserate with the whole single thing. Of course, she doesn't answer in my major time of crisis. So I'm crying while driving(super safe I know) and I say "Lord, there is no one else to talk to. So I'm talking to You which is what You really wanted all along. I'm complaining and whining. I know this is wrong, but this is not fair. I don't want to be single. I want someone to go get my gum oh and also yesterday was cinco de mayo and I want a margarita. I know that drinking won't help and neither is my whining right now, but Lord I'm sad" As all this is coming out of my mouth, I'm reminded of what I've been learning this weekend. Truth time. Stop thoughts NOW. Die to self. Focus on what is true and right. This life is not about me, but loving God and others with my whole heart. My favorite verse right now is "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." So reminded the Lord has a plan and right now I'm to serve others and bring glory to His name. The peace and joy that have been slightly lacking the last two weeks are back now. I have truly realized how important spending time with Him is. The Christian life is not easy, but the rewards being stored in heaven are so worth it. Even more importantly my Savior saying, "Well done thou good and faithful servant." I want so badly to hear those words. Conclusion of this little update: daily surrender/death to me and follow Him on a day to day basis. This lesson will be an ongoing one I know;) When He is first, I have joy and peace even in trials. The best part of this trial is He is making me more like His Son. How could I ever question that....

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Despair to Desperation.

I haven't written in a couple of weeks. Honestly I've been seriously struggling. I remember thinking..."How can people say six to nine months is harder?" "I know, I have to have gone through the hardest part." "Plus, I have grown so much spiritually those specific months should not make much of a difference." NOPE! So very wrong. It actually feels harder today then four or five months ago. The reality of my "new normal" keeps hitting me over and over again. The sadness feels like it is smothering me. I can run no where that this heartbreak won't follow. Every time I wake up, go to work, drive in the car, hang out with friends, EVERYTHING I do has this sense of despair/loss hanging around me. The last two weeks have been particularly hard. I think I've cried more these past days than I did the whole month of March. I can't seem to focus my thoughts on truth. No, that isn't even it because I know the truth. I can't seem to trust in them. I haven't been spending as much time in the Word. Doing just the bare minimum. I haven't felt like it. God has felt so far away. I haven't had the energy to pursue Him.

Today, was by far one of the worst. It started off okay. Woke up and got ready. Went to lunch with a friend and talked about Uganda. The day was just rolling along. Then got home and it HIT. What you ask? Really I don't know other than uncontrollable crying. I went into the spare bedroom where Troy's stuff is. Laid on the bed and lost it. Heart wrenching sobs of this reality: He is not coming back and it will most likely be a very long time till I see him again. Where everyone else my age is getting married and having kids. I'm dealing with exact opposite of those happy events. I have really struggled with "this is not fair" and "I'm done. I can NOT do this anymore." I laid in bed crying and crying then finally crying out to God "Where are you? I quit. Do you hear me? I quit. I can't feel this pain anymore. Please take me home too. This is too hard. I can't feel that peace and joy right now. I don't want this path anymore. I hurt. This hurts so much. Too much. Do you hear me?" I finally made it up off the bed and opened the word. What came next, was not this magical moment when everything just disappeared and I knew I could go on. No, what came next was me falling on my knees begging for forgiveness. I came to the startling realization I did not have God first in my life. Some where over the last couple weeks, He went from first to being replaced by yours truly as first. I had let my time with Him slip into a routine. Not something I desperately needed. So He brought me to desperately needing Him. I needed this. To see how easy it is for me to replace Him and to be reminded His strength is made perfect in my weakness. I am still struggling tonight to not cry at the drop of a hat. Every time I feel my emotions raging up, I HAVE to discipline my mind to think on truth. This is not something that is coming easy for me, but I must. These are some of the things that I have been reminded of today and am clinging to with everything I have. His grace is sufficient and I'm begging for it right now. I'm His child and there is NO one who can pluck me out of His hand. He knows exactly how I'm feeling and is holding me in His arms. He is always up to something good in my life: plans for me to prosper. Most importantly, again focused on the cross. His sacrifice demonstrates His amazing, selfless love. How can I question that same God could have made a mistake in this situation. I have peace tonight and my focus has returned heavenward. I am here for a purpose to serve my Father and bring Him glory. This is my prayer....

Monday, April 19, 2010

Reminder of purpose.

Had a very busy at work today and to be honest had a hard time staying positive. Dreamed about Troy again last night. Seems to be happening quite frequently these days. Its good and bad. Good because in my dream it feels so real. I love being with him, but then I have to wake up. The smack of reality hits and he isn't here. The last couple weeks I have had a harder time keeping my eyes focused upward. I miss him more than words can describe. As the days and weeks and now months have passed that hole seems to be growing bigger. I miss him more today than I did yesterday and yesterday more than the day before that and on and on. You get the picture. I feel more alone now. Don't get me wrong have a great support system. Amazing friends and family, but no one can take the place of Troy. No one knows exactly what I'm feeling or what every day is like with out him. Lonely. I also miss having my husband. Being married I knew Troy always loved me. Even with our ups and downs he always told me he loved me. I always felt beautiful with him. He made sure I knew that when I said "ugh feeling fat or blah" I had lost my mind because he thought I was gorgeous. I miss feeling that security having my husband gave. Now there isn't that person to tell me I love you or you look pretty today. Again lonely. I came home today and went into the spare bedroom where his stuff is. I got his bike jacket that he wore every day the last being the day of the accident and just put my face in it to smell the leather. I wanted to so badly to remember how it felt when he came home wearing that. I just sat there and sobbed. Usually when I cry I talk to him or pray, but not today. Just sobbed holding on to his jacket. Then sat up and wrapped the arms of the jacket around me as if somehow it would feel like he was holding me. I am so looking forward to the day when my sorrow is gone and my tears are wiped away. I have a hard time with thoughts of being here. Please don't get me wrong not suicidal. Just thoughts of "Lord, how much longer till it's my time to come home?" or "when are you coming back?" I had read a while back this passage, but was reminded Sunday of the story of the demon possessed man. Jesus came and cast out the demons and he was in his right mind sitting with Jesus learning from Him. The time came for Jesus to continue on and the man begged to continue following and learning. Jesus response was "Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you." I very much needed this reminder. God has given me this amazing opportunity to share how much He has done for me. One day He will wipe away my tears and oh how I long to hear from Him "well done thou good and faithful servant." That however, is not today. Today, I'm to tell of His amazing love and sufficient grace. Which is exactly how my night is ending. My tears from earlier are dried. The pain is still there, but the peace that passeth all understanding has been given and for that I praise my heavenly Father. Once again, I'm experiencing His grace in my weakness. I love my Savior so! Now off to read some more and spend time talking to the One who truly does understand each and every emotion I'm feeling these days....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dream and a new emotion.

Spent some time at the cemetery today. Not exactly how I pictured my future. I dreamed about Troy last night. I knew in my dream that I was dreaming so I was savoring every moment. Every kiss meant so much and holding his hand was wonderful. I couldn't get enough of him. I wanted every second to be next to him. I had so much I wanted to talk about with him. Everything was perfect. Needless to say I didn't want to wake up, but I did. Reality hit and I started crying. Yes, not the most enjoyable way to wake up. So this afternoon went to the cemetery to talk to him. I know he is not there, but for me it's the closest I can get to him. It brings a little bit of comfort. We had a nice one-sided conversation;) Oh, for the day when I will be able to hear his voice again. Can't wait!!! Today, however; is not that day. So once again, I must open my truth box and re-direct my thoughts towards my Savior. I'm learning a lot about life being a marathon not a sprint. Its a difficult thought knowing that when it comes to Troy I will always be sad knowing I can't talk to him and that he is gone. Overwhelming! The crying seems to be happening a bit more these days. Not for long, but somehow almost every day I cry about something to do with him. I'm so thankful I know truth. I can't imagine how much more difficult this would be without it. I also feel a little bit guilty. Let me attempt to explain that. I know logically it makes no sense, but I feel like maybe I shouldn't still be crying. It has been six months. I feel bad bringing up my sadness about him. Like people are sick of me talking about it. I don't want to make people feel bad, but sometimes need to express what I'm thinking or feeling. Afterwards, I think maybe they are tired of hearing it. I don't want to sound like a broken record. I know other people are going through things in life. My loss is not greater or more important than others. This might not make a lot of sense, but something I'm struggling with in this thing we call grieving. On a brighter note, I'm going to Uganda in less than a month. I'm very excited about this trip. Scared out of my mind, but excited. Its a medical mission trip and I can't wait to see what the Lord has planned for me and those we will be ministering to. It is amazing to look back on the last six months and see how far God has brought me. His love and grace blows my mind. If you had told me six months ago that I would be going to Uganda or even tell me that I would be living surrendered to God with such joy and peace, I would stare at you with a look of "you have lost your mind that could NEVER happen for/to me." God does work miracles. Walking example right here:)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Random thoughts.

A lot in my life has changed over the last six months. That's pretty obvious. One of them being my random thinking. My couch buddies get to hear most of the off the wall things I come up with, but thought I would share some of them on here. I've been thinking about death a lot. Yes, I know that would seem logical sense my life was turned upside down by it, but lately its been a bit different. I was watching tv the other day. The thought this girl in this random commercial will die one day. What will this moment of fame even mean? Nothing. Everyone is going to die. Do you ever really think about that? Not morbidly, but the thought we are going to die. Every person we talk to or see will die. Why doesn't our world think about this thought more? Why don't people question more? If I was thinking the way I am right now and didn't have the answer to eternity, I would want be terrified. Why aren't people thinking about it? Its the only certain thing about this life. Why don't I share the gospel more? It's such a convicting thought. So then I go from thinking that yes I'm going to die to that moment. That moment when I open my eyes for the first time in heaven. What will it be like? What will I see? How will I feel? Will I be scared, ecstatic, shocked? The thought just blows my mind. Then the thought of forever well can't wrap my head around it. I feel like six months has been forever. This is a vapor. What will it be like to see God face to face? God who is so big. He created our earth which is so tiny in this galaxy. It makes my head hurt to think of how big He is. I will come face to face with Him. I will see Jesus face to face. Will I fall on my face in worship? Will I give Him a huge hug? Will I slowly walk around in wonder or will I be running with overwheleming joy? Next thoughts go to... What is Troy doing right now? Who is he talking to? He died so young. The majority of his friends and family are still here. Does he miss us? Does he see us? How long does it feel like to him? What is he learning right now? What is he looking at right now? So these are just a few of my many random thoughts. Hope I didn't terrify anyone too much;)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Six months and the rings.

I survived the six month anniversary. It was a...well... a good day despite the bad reason we were having it. Mom and I went to the spa in the morning and that was a wonderful time of relaxation. I believe that Troy wanted me to do that;) Then afterwards I went to the rock garden where Troy proposed. It was the first time I've been back since that day. I know it was a little bit dramatic, but I figured it was the best place to take off my rings. So I stood in the middle of the bridge where he had proposed. I was crying and talking quietly to him. I know the people passing by were whispering to their children "don't talk to that crazy lady over there; keep walking" ;) I expected to be sad, but I didn't expect to feel like I was betraying him. I sat there crying telling him "I'm so sorry." "I didn't want to move on, but I needed to." (A little side note: moving on is what you say after a bad break up. Not when you lose someone. Doesn't really feel right saying that now, but there doesn't seem to be another phrase that works. So guess that is the best thing to describe the steps I'm taking these days.) "I love him and would never forget him, but I needed to do this." If I had any hope of him coming back. Any chance that he was not gone, I would wait. But I was there when he died. I held his lifeless hand. I laid on his chest and listened as there was no heartbeat. I kissed his cold lips. I know he is not coming back. So betrayal was the emotion flooding through me that day. It has been a strange feeling not wearing them. I don't like it, but again God's grace is sufficient. That night our friends and family went to the cemetery and had a time of testimony and worship. It was a beautiful thing to see how much every one's life has been changed by Troy's death. Six months. Some days seem like a lifetime. Then other days, it seems so much in my life has changed dramatically in a short period. I could stand at husband's gravestone and honestly express such thankfulness in the power of our Savior. His grace IS sufficient. His love IS overwhelming. His arms ARE upholding me. He IS all that I need.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sad thoughts.

Tomorrow marks six months and it has been a very rough couple days. I'm struggling to keep my focus on the hope and love I've been clinging to these past months. This may not be the most positive blog, but trying to keep things honest during this journey. So here it is...I'm tired as you all know and right now getting my focus heavenward seems to be the most difficult thing to do. I just want to sit here and cry. I constantly feel on the edge of tears today, yesterday, the day before. You get the idea. Broke down crying in the middle of church twice yesterday. Cried on my way home from work. Sitting here on the couch wanting to cry. So much emotion is going through me and I'm so overwhelmed. Some days you have to choose to trust and obey. Even when you are not feeling anything, but depression. This is exactly where I am right now. I know what I'm supposed to do: read and pray. However; I don't feel like doing that. I don't want to trust. I don't want to obey. Agh! So very wrong thinking. I know even typing this that I will get off and do what I know is right because otherwise this slight hole of depression will turn into a major cavity of despair. I don't want tomorrow to happen. I don't want it to be six months that I haven't talked, seen, touched, or heard him. My heart feels broken all over again. The pain is like a part of me is being torn apart leaving me with a missing piece. A gaping hole in my heart...Okay so not the most uplifting one, but honest. Thankfully I know that God will hold me up. So going to go read now....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Exhausted emotions and my God of endurance.

The scary big six month anniversary is coming up next week and it has been a rough couple of days. People have told me that six to nine months are hard and are like the beginning grieving process all over again. Those statements were hard to hear and slightly terrifying to face. I don't know how everyone else feels around this time, but I will try and put my emotions into words. This might seem easy, but to be honest it's really hard to try and explain. However; I will do my best. One of the most noticeable emotions I feel lately is exhausted. I'm tired of crying. Who knew you could cry this much in six months. I'm tired of being alone. I hate going to bed alone and the companionship of having that special person to share everything with is gone. I'm tired of having to pay the bills alone and worry about money by myself. I'm tired of stupid things like taking the trash out or driving everywhere or just walking around by myself. Saying I miss Troy is not a strong enough word. There is a hole in my heart that doesn't feel like it will ever close and seems to re-open every time I see a couple holding hands. There is also this feeling of finality. I know I will see him again and trust me I hold to that thought every day, but we will never have the chance to live this life again. I will never be married to him again or have kids with him or sit on the couch and cuddle again. I seem to be crying more these days because the sense of loss has become so much more permanent in this life. I want my best friend back to just talk. I'm going through so much and he is the one I want so bad to talk to. Although, if he was here most of this wouldn't be happening;) I've been saying that at six months I would take off my wedding rings. I was at the cemetery on Saturday talking to Troy and realized why I'm struggling so much with this decision. I don't want to not be married to him anymore. When I take them off, its this major sign to the world "no longer married." I hate it and tears automatically follow. A broken heart is also not strong enough to describe the pain that comes with this type of loss. So I guess the best words that describe these upcoming months are exhaustive and final. However; God has been teaching me these last couple days a lot about His strength which I'm very much in need of on a daily basis. Reading through the Psalms, I've seen the strength of my God. His deliverance of His people time and time again. His amazing creation is a daily reminder of his power. "God is the strength of my heart" I read last night in Nehemiah "the joy of the Lord is your strength." My joy the last couple of days hasn't exactly been radiating through. I realized last night that my strength in this situation comes from joy in my Savior. Then I read 1 Corinthians and Paul talks about us being blameless before God because of the cross. A little side note: I just love how the Bible constantly pulls things together. I read something in the OT and then read something in the NT and it all fits. God's living word just blows my mind. So I'm learning again to remember the joy of my salvation because in that my strength for this season will be given by God. " For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus." Such encouraging statements: His word is for my endurance and hope and my God is the God of endurance and encouragement. Just the things I needed to remind me even through these next months of new emotions; He knows exactly what I need.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lonely heart and God's love.

Finally the last two days at work we actually had patients having babies. Thank you, Lord! Its been a while since we have had a floor full of patients laboring. Which has put everyone a little on edge to say the least. Not really what I wanted to talk about, but just a little update on my life outside the grieving and growing. Last week was the opera that Todd and Tamra were in: Samson and Delilah. My mom and I went (maybe you should sit down as you read this), but I truly enjoyed it. It was such a good, emotional story of betrayal and redemption. Thank goodness for subtitles otherwise probably wouldn't have worked out well for us since it was in French. We no speak the French. So we would have had no idea what was going on. After the opera, we got special VIP privileges to go backstage to the green room because we were family ;) So standing back there with all of Troy's family and I look over to Todd and Lorna. After a very long day, Lorna wasn't feeling very well and Todd was being such a sweet husband: telling her he loved her and holding her close and well his eyes and tone of voice just radiated his love and need to make sure she was okay. As you can guess where I'm going with this, my inner struggle with jealousy was raging its ugly head. I knew I was wrong, but I missed my husband so much. I came home and prayed for forgiveness for wrong thinking. Begging God to please heal my heart and help me. I felt so alone and I missed Troy. I just wanted to feel loved and secure in his arms again. My Savior heard my prayer. I opened my Bible to do my daily reading and that night was Psalm 68. "Protector of widows is God" "Okay Lord, You are the One who is holding me tight making me feel secure. Thank you, I needed this so much tonight. I know Your will is perfect and even through my breaking heart You are protecting me" That was a wonderful truth, but the best was yet to come. The next night I'm sitting down reading through a book about God's name. The chapter I was reading was talking about the Lord being my shepherd. I read a book a while back on a shepherd's perspective on Psalm 23. The book allowed me to have a better understanding of how the shepherd/sheep relationship works. Sheep are stupid, can't take care of themselves, will easily go the wrong way, can't find good food, and on and on I could go. The basic idea is the are completely and totally dependent on their shepherd. If you see a good flock of sheep, they have a shepherd who cares. If you see sick and poor looking sheep, they have a shepherd who lacks the skills or doesn't care about the flock. Can you see how much that reflects us. We honestly can't do anything on our own. We often get distracted, go off the path, and end up stuck needing to be rescued. So this picture of sheep, I can totally relate to. I need help to get out of bed most days. Okay back to feeling pretty lonely and desperately wanting to be loved. Thinking in my head if only Troy was here I wouldn't be feeling these things and I start reading about the Lord being my Shepherd. I read John 10. The Lord used this chapter to open my eyes to how much He loves me. How important I am to Him. Just take a second and think about these thoughts: "The sheep hear His voice, and He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out" "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly" "I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep" "I am the good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me" "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." "I give them eternal life...and no one will snatch them out of My hand." Wow, even just re-reading this is so comforting. So that night when I read this, there is no way to exactly explain it other than I could actually feel my Savior's love for me; surrounding me in a way that I've never felt before. Such security is in this chapter: knowing Jesus my Shepherd knows me and I know Him and there is absolutely NOTHING that can take me out of His hand. He laid down His life for me there is no greater love that this. It seems that my missing Troy is increasing day by day, but through that God's love is shining through more and more. He loves us more than we can wrap our heads around. Such a powerful truth if we truly believe it. His love will change our lives!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

God's perfect timing.

Its been a very busy couple of days so haven't had much time to write anything. Troy's family was in town this week so I able to spend a lot of time with them. I have come to love them all so much. Another one of those things that is easily taken for granted in-laws, but mine have become a very important part of my life. I've been learning a lot about God's perfect timing these last weeks. The accident would never had been perfect timing for me, but it has been a huge struggle for why it happened that specific day. God has allowed me to see these last couple of months some of why it happened then. Let me take you back a couple of months to that time in my life. I was not living with God at the center of my life at all. The week of the accident Troy and I were fighting over some issues that I was selfishly hanging on to. Not a day goes by that I do not regret my choices, but God's forgiveness is truly amazing. I know Troy is in heaven rejoicing to see how far God has brought me. I say these things for two reasons. First there is nothing that God can not overcome and bring victory into someone's life. I'm a living example of that. Second to God's perfect timing. I have struggled with "Lord, why couldn't you have waited till we made up?" "Why couldn't You have let us grow closer to You together first?" The answer is simply "His ways are perfect." I have been able to see the timing part in a couple of ways in my life. The first being that because I wasn't close to the Lord at the time of the accident. I really struggled with somehow this was my fault, but never had the thoughts of anger towards God for taking him. I look back and had Troy and I been growing in the Lord, I know that it would have been very easy for me to react with anger immediately after the accident. That I believe would have been much harder place for me to come out of to the realization of my need to surrender. Instead of any anger, just utter despair and guilt. I'm thankful though because through those feelings God opened my eyes to realize just how much I needed Him. (No worries, I also know now that this wasn't my fault. Regardless of how I was living September 30th was Troy's time to go home) Okay second to God's perfect timing: finances. At the time of the accident, Troy and I lived pay check to pay check as most young married people do. I had no idea how much a funeral would cost. I defintely was not stable enough to work. Our noraml bills were still coming in. As you can imagine, I was wondering how all this was going to work, but I didn't need to worry because God was working things out. I can not tell you how many people generously gave me money the first two months. Some I had never even met. The most noticeable thing that reflects God's perfect timing is how my co-workers came together to help me out financially. They donated PTO which allowed me to receive a paycheck for the first almost two months. I had several co-workers pick up a shift and then send me the money from that day. The support and love was overwheleming. My job today is a little more unstable. Our deliveries are down and no one is working their normal hours. If the accident were to have happened now, no one would have been able to help. Not from lack of want to help I know, but they wouldn't have had the ability to provide like they did almost six months ago. The Lord has provided more that I could have ever imagined. I know I can rest securely in Him. He will always give me what I need. So these are some insights the Lord has allowed me to see in why that day five months ago. It has also been so amazing to look back and see how far the Lord has brought me. I truly rejoice that the Lord has given me a second chance to live my life for Him and make decisions in light of eternity.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The little things taken for granted and unexplainable joy.

Last night I was laying in bed staring at Troy's side and started talking to him. I don't hear any voices in response. So I think it's pretty safe to assume I'm not crazy. I was laying there with my hand on his pillow telling him all the things I missed. The little things. Those things you take for granted on a daily basis. The things you wouldn't think about until it's gone. So it went something like this...."I miss you, Troy. I wish you were here. I miss walking down the street and being able to grab your hand. I miss random kisses. I miss putting my cold feet in between your legs (I swear his core body temp was ten degrees warmer than mine). I miss you putting your arm around me when we were sitting somewhere public. I miss you holding the hymnal at church. I miss you always driving and getting the gas. I miss hearing 'I'm beautiful' and 'I love you.' I miss feeling protected and safe in your arms. I want to hold your face in my hands and just stare in your eyes with no thought to time. I want to hear you laugh. I miss riding the bike with you. I promise I would go wherever you wanted right now just to see you. Troy, I miss you so much" At this point, I'm obviously crying while I talk to him. I share all of this because what I'm going to talk about next makes no sense in our human minds, but it's so true....

I'm the most joyful I have ever been. I finished talking to him and turned over and started crying out to my God about my broken heart. Awww such peace. I'm going to do my best to explain this joy, but unless you have experienced it, words I know can't accurately describe why I'm smiling. As my pastor said on Sunday, "Joy is the secret of the kingdom." Not that we don't want to share. Its just next to impossible to describe. I have been learning so much about my Savior. It constantly brings peace and a smile to my face. Even right now thinking about the last couple of days, I can't help but smile. Saturday night I was sitting with my couch buddies going over our Bible study for that week, and I was like a giddy school girl. I was so excited about the things God has been teaching me, and how much it is changing my life. I always used to think that all those commands in the Bible were there to ruin my fun. Oh, how wrong I was. In obeying them, He blesses more than I can describe. I just want to learn more and more. I'm reading a new book called "Crazy Love." It has so many things that make me stop and think about God. The God who created this world loves me. How amazing is that! I'm no one special just an average girl whose life has been turned upside down, but in the midst of all this I'm getting to see God do amazing things in my life. I've become more aware since Troy's death of eternal value, but even more in reading this book. I'm so challenged to be living my life for Christ. He loves me so much! Why wouldn't I want to live completely surrendered to His will. Why aren't all of us who know truth walking around with smiles on our faces. We have the best gift ever. I heard a sermon a while back, and he said this in reference to the thought of why aren't we smiling. "I've read the book. I know how it ends. WE WIN!" I loved it. So true. God is constantly restoring the joy of my salvation. Have you ever stopped and thought about God's word. It truly is a living book. Every time I read it, God opens my eyes to something new. What book, movie, or tv show can you constantly watch over and over and still see something new. Nope, there is nothing. But God's word is just that. Are you smiling with me yet? God has given us so much to be thankful for. His blessings surround us every day by just being able to wake up, breathe, or our heart beating. His beautiful creation for me to just sit and stare in wonder at how powerful He is. Joy, just pure absolute joy, bubbling up from inside. I love my Lord more and more every day. My Savior loves me! What else do I need....Nothing:)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

New territory...God's promises.

Its funny how much a difference a week can make. This time last week, I was sitting on the couch crying inconsolably. Today I'm sitting on the couch just thinking how good my God is. It's been a great day for me. Went running, cleaned the house, lunch with my sister, car washed, bought a book for Kaytie and I to do a Bible study together, and got a pedicure. Not a bad Saturday:) The running thing has been a goal for me since the accident. Let me explain a bit. Troy and I started running together before the accident. It was a great way for us to spend time together. I have some really great memories of running the track at the middle school or running in Florida during spring break. Well I really should say I would run and Troy would jog beside me talking the whole time oooh it was frustrating;) So after the accident, I knew I needed to do something besides sit on the couch and eat cookie dough;) Running it was. Somehow felt like I was keeping him with me. Who knows maybe he is running with me up in heaven. Except he is no where near out of breath and MUCH better scenery. I decided my goal was to run a half marathon this year. I want to do it in September the one year anniversary in memory of him. Hoping accomplishing that will somehow make that month not so hard. Guess we will see. The good thing today was I was able to run four miles and that is a HUGE accomplishment for me. When Troy and I started, I could barely do a mile. I'm slowly on my way to my goal!

Anyways back to sitting on the couch thinking how good my God is. I read last night this verse Psalm 57:2 "I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me." How encouraging is that verse. Added that to my truth box: "remembering that God will fulfill His purposes in my life." He has never left my side and has already worked out so many things. I sometimes get frustrated with the thoughts that "I'm so tired of grieving." People say "its only been five months", but have you ever stopped and thought about that statement. Five months of being heartbroken is a LONG time. When I think about it in my head without truth, I feel completely overwhelmed that I will never be happy again. Don't get me wrong I have peace and joy that I would not trade for anything, but I'm still sad every day. I read that verse last night and knew that God would keep His promises. He will continue to heal my broken heart. I know one day I won't feel sad every day. Looking forward to that day in some ways, but also scared because I already feel like I'm forgetting what our life was like together. I had that exact moment last night. I was sitting in the spare bedroom with all his stuff and realizing that I'm now used to him not being here. I really don't like it, but it's true. I'm living my life with out him. It's getting harder for me to remember what it was like to live with him. It was such a short period of my life. Thirteen months was not long enough. Some days it feels like a dream. I know I will NEVER forget him or stop loving him, but slowly as my heart heals things are changing. It's a scary new territory I'm entering into these days. Then I read that verse and know peace. My WHOLE life is in God's hands and He will fulfill His purpose. Thank you, Lord!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Confessions of despair, but surrendered to peace.

Worked the last two days full twelve hour shifts yay. Slowly getting back into the swing of work life again. Thankfully work has gotten much better. No crying in the parking lot or on the floor which is always a plus. Last week was a very rough one for me. Saturday was a major break down. A spiral into despair. I think it started back on Sunday being Valentines day. Then Troy's dad came into town. I had a couple of days spending time with his family. I love being able to stay a part of their lives and would not trade it for anything. However; it's hard because it's so noticeable that he is not with us. I then had lunch Saturday afternoon with one of Troy's best friends, Ryan. Also love being able to hang out with his friends, but thoughts of him tend to come rushing back. To top it all off, Greenville was having a beautiful sunny day and the motorcycles were out in full force. All I could think about was this is the type of day we would go out on a bike ride. This is where the spiral downward started. My thoughts were solely focused on "I want him home now. I need him right now." I went to the cemetery later Saturday afternoon and pulled up to an open casket holding thing (don't know what they are really called) where I park. "Agh, he was buried in one of those. In the ground. No, no, no" By the way, somehow think that they should only have those open at night. It is NOT okay for grieving people to have see that. Maybe should write someone about it;) I sat down by his headstone and just sobbed. The crying started there and I could not get it together. I came home and well pretty much an emotional basket case. Oh yes, lets not forget when I got home. No power due to a car running into a power pole and the puppies that I got that week had decided to pee everywhere. So I'm sitting on the couch maybe a little on the hysterical crying side. The dogs in the crate staring at me thinking they have sent me home with a crazy lady. This is what my parents walked into. Thankfully they are amazing. They were hoping to console me. The problem was I had gone from being sad to circling the drain of depression. I sat on the couch and all I wanted was Troy home NOW please somehow please!!! My poor parents were at a loss for words. I know this is hard for them as it is and seeing me that upset heartbreaking. I know what I needed to do. Open that truth box that I have and re-direct my thoughts, but nope I was just didn't want to. I didn't feel like it. It was too much work and too hard at this moment. I deserve this because I have been through so much (these were the lies I was telling myself anyways). This has been my confession;) because by the end of the night, I was very convicted. I finally did start praying and immediately had to confess my selfishness. I have been learning a lot about what it means to be walking in the spirit. In learning this, realizing how difficult it can be. I certainly can't do it in myself. I have to let the Holy Spirit guide my life which is a constant surrender. As Paul so nicely puts it in Romans 6, my sin is crucified with Christ on the cross. So that surrender of my flesh is something I will be doing for the rest of my life. Stupid flesh. I can't wait for our glorified bodies no more sin yay:) I know that its okay to be sad. Yes, there will be days when I'm going to REALLY miss him, but those are the times I'm supposed to be turning to the only person who can make it right. After Saturday's breakdown, its so amazing to see in my life the peace God gives when I turn my eyes towards Him. I've been doing a study with my couch buddies and the verse I've added to my truth box is 2 Peter 1:2-3 "May grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him, that hath called us to glory and virtue." Wow! Okay so when I need peace, God promises to multiply it through my knowledge of Him. It has been so true these last two days. When I focus my thoughts on the things I know about my God there is joy and peace. There is no way to humanly explain how this works, but I'm so thankful it does:) My God is so good. So this is my confession. One of many struggles, but thankful we have a God who can fix it:)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's survived and Freedom in the cross.

Valentine's day is over. Another holiday survived. Valentine's day would be hard in general, but it was an extra special day for me because Troy proposed. Two years ago, Troy and I went to dinner downtown. He was a little nervous, but I didn't let on that I knew something was up. All week he had kept saying we need to go to the rock garden after dinner. This was a special quiet place for us. We would go there occasionally and climb onto the rocks by the waterfall and talk. So after telling me several times duh I kinda got the hint;) Anyways after dinner, he kept getting on the phone trying to be nonchalant, but again I knew he was up to something. I kept it to myself because I knew he wanted to surprise me. We pull up to the garden and I walk down and in the middle of the rock bridge is a dozen red roses, balloons, and a jewelry box with a black ring box inside. I picked it up and looked inside. A diamond ring:) I then turned to him and he asked me to marry him. He was so nervous. It was very cute. He did not get down on one knee and I was forever teasing him about this, but he played it off saying he was so nervous he forgot. Of course, I said yes! He then pulled out his i-pod radio thing and started playing our song "God bless the broken road." In the middle of the bridge, we slowed danced to our song. It was very romantic. He did great. This valentine's day not so romantic. I went to the cemetery. It probably looked like something from a depressing painting though. The ground was still covered in snow with only the headstones showing. It was a beautiful scene. Then there is me standing next to my husband's headstone in my black dress, hose, and heels(for the record, heels and snow not a good combination very wet feet and I made sure Troy knew about this). If anyone drove by, I'm sure I looked a like a sad young woman with the wind blowing my hair and tears coming down my face talking to his headstone. Are you getting the dramatic picture I'm painting for you. The "Young Widow" would be the title of this sad, but beautiful painting. Hey, I have to find some humor in it. Troy would so be laughing at me describing this and saying "Sarah, you are way over dramatic" ;) I did make sure he knew that he did NOT do a good job this year. So not exactly how I would choose to spend the day, but once again reminded that my ways are not God's ways.

I was reading today in Genesis about Joseph and something really stood out to me. When Pharaoh called for Joseph to interpret his dream, Joseph said, "It is not in me; God will give..." It was a reminder to me that God is the one who has done everything in my life. I made a comment today that I survived yesterday, but the truth is God helped me survive yesterday. Everything that I have and do is because of Him. God is so good. Also been reading Romans 6 and I absolutely love this chapter. God has opened up my eyes so much to see the truth in this chapter. We are free from sin because Christ took it for us on the cross. He also conquered death on the cross. What amazing thoughts! Paul explains speaking in human terms we are slaves to something either slaves to sin which leads to more sin and eventually to death or slaves to righteousness which leads to sanctification/eternal life. I remember hearing off and on all my life sin is bondage, but never grasping that to be true. I mean sin can be fun. Looking back, its so very true that sin is only fun for a season and realizing now what a hold it had in my life. I was a slave to it. Now in coming to the cross and grasping what Christ has done FREEDOM! Such peace that comes....

Friday, February 12, 2010

Public speaking nerves, but sincere thankfulness.

I had my first experience speaking in front of a large audience today. AAAAGGGGHHHH its ok I'm still alive and functioning;) Hillcrest (the high school where Troy taught) had spirit week this past week and today was the last big day of events. Mr. Chamness (the principal) had mentioned a couple of weeks ago that he might want to me to say a few words, but I hadn't heard anything this week. So I a let out a huge sigh of relief thinking I was in the clear. Not that I didn't want to thank them because I really did, but public speaking not my forte. Well every year they have a student/faculty basketball game and if you knew Troy you knew he was a HUGE basketball player. Last year he played in the game and from his version a big hit;) This year Todd was asked to play in his place. I being the ever supportive sister-in-law was going this morning to the game to cheer him on and show my support for Hillcrest. When we arrive I'm informed of a slight change of plans "pep rally this morning, basketball game this afternoon, and we want you to say a few words before the rally starts." Okay, okay I can do this ummmm slight problem no speech prepared. This is where my panic level went from zero to five in matter of seconds. Don't think it can rise that fast trust me it can. I tell Todd that I really want to be able to share why we know Troy is in heaven, but not having anything ready I don't know how to do this. So Todd and I pray that God would give us the right words that would bring all the glory to Him. So sitting there watching all these kids pile into the gym and now panic level is up to about an eight. Hands are shaking and I haven't even gotten to the part where I will be standing in the middle of the gym. "Lord, I know this is about You so could please help me stop thinking about me" Wish I could say that this calmed my nerves, but no still in shaking mode. Mr. Chamness announces me and Troy's family. Panic level now officially reaching a ten!!! Todd and I get up and walk to the center of the gym to a standing ovation for Troy. What a moment! His students and faculty truly loved him and I feel so honored to be a part of it. "Okay Sarah this isn't about you at all." Unfortunately that message in my head did not get sent to the rest of my body. So standing in the middle of a gym full of two thousand people, I have the microphone and every part of my body is shaking. Didn't know it was possible to actually feel the muscles of my legs shake. Guess what? They can! The saying about knees knocking mine were;) Have no idea what came out of my mouth, but don't worry my loving mom has it captured on video. She is planning to share it with the world as soon as she can figure out how to get it off her camera to the computer. I'm not going to help her with this one so maybe it will take her a while haha;) I know I was able to thank the students and faculty so much for all their support, encouragement, and efforts to keeping Troy's memory alive. I was able to tell them how much he has changed my life in knowing that we are not guaranteed tomorrow and that we know he is in heaven with our Savior probably smiling down right now. I know if he could have seen me he would have been laughing at my nerves. Thankfully Todd is a much better public speaker and he was able to clearly lay out the gospel of why we know Troy is in heaven and if they ever wanted to talk please feel free to contact us. It wasn't exactly what I would have said if I had a speech prepared, but I think the points of thankfulness and the reason we have hope were clearly expressed. After out speeches, we handed the microphone over, took our seats in the bleachers, and I think I started resuming a regular breathing pattern again. I could never express in words the honor I felt from his high school. They are truly an amazing group of people who have reached out and encouraged more than they will ever know. God has given our family such a unique opportunity today and for that nerves and all I was sooo thankful. So that in a nutshell was my first public speaking experience. Minus a couple of minutes of pure nerves (which may have shaved a couple of minutes off of my life) I was glad to be able to tell them how much they have meant to me over these last couple of months. To anyone from Hillcrest reading this: Thank you does not seem enough, but I know no other words so know from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU! Anything that was done today from me and Troy's family was all to point upward to the person who gives us strength, peace, hope, and most importantly salvation. On that note, my warm bed is calling my name and hoping tomorrow to enjoy some of this beautiful snow God has given Greenville:)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pity party for one, but one day it will be all right.

The last two days have me laid up on the couch being completely and totally lazy. I woke up Monday morning with a sore throat and it has progressively gotten worse. I don't feel horrible, but I don't feel like running a marathon either. I think there are hundreds of tiny little knives handled by tiny little people stabbing the inside of my throat when I swallow NOT an enjoyable experience. I'm also having a little bit of a pity party. This is the first time I've been sick since the accident. I don't like it at all. I want Troy to come home and take care of me. Spoil me a little bit. Let me lay my head on his lap while we watch tv. I have had one of those days (mostly because I've had nothing to do but lay around) thinking is this really my life? Is Troy really gone? Do I really own this house? Am I truly single again? Will I ever be able to think about Troy with out crying? Is Troy really gone? I just kept thinking that last thought over and over again. I don't know why just having one of those days thinking these last couple of months don't seem real. However; like the dream the other day reality came CRASHING in tonight by way of his motorcycle. Devon, Joey, and Brandon were so kind to come over and help finally unload the bike into my garage. I have seen it a couple of times at Jill and Devon's, but hadn't really taken the time to look at it. Tonight I did. Its definitely totalled. The thought "this was the last thing he touched while he was alive" went running through my head. I had to touch the handle bars as if maybe somehow I would feel him, but nothing other than an overwhelming sense of loss. Of course, tears came. Poor Devon, he was stuck with an emotional girl standing in a garage crying over a bike. Good thing he has a wife so he knows how we girls can break down at any moment. I thought for a long time that I wanted the bike in my garage. Tonight not so sure. It is such an in the face reminder of Troy's death.

I was reading today in Psalm 39 and David was asking "Oh Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am. Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my life is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!" David was wanting God to teach him how temporary life is. Troy has taught me just this and I am thankful for that. I try to always remember that life could be over in a second. What kind of testimony am I leaving behind? What have I invested in my future home? It was a good reminder for me today that God is continuing to teach me so many lessons through this heartbreaking experience. I just have to keep trusting. Troy's dad wrote me a letter a couple months back for my birthday and at the very end he tells me he can picture Troy up in heaven saying "Everything will be all right, Dad" and proceeds to tell me "Sarah, one day everything will be all right." I have that letter sitting next to my bed and constantly remind myself that one day everything will be all right again. It may or may not be on this earth, but I know that one day I will be face to face with Jesus and Troy and then everything will more than all right!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Firsts and A Vacation.

Firsts are typically an exciting experience. A first birthday, the first time you drive a car, a first date with that person you have been wanting to go out with for as long as you can remember, a first kiss that gives you butterflies, the first time you step on a scale after going on a diet and the number has finally gone down;) All of these firsts are great, but my life is now full of firsts and they are so very far from using the word great. I went on my first vacation this weekend with out Troy or being able to come home to him. I realized on my trip that I still have so many first things ahead of me. My next big first is taking my rings off and with that being officially single again. I have not quite come to this step yet, but I know it is coming and I am trying to figure out if I will ever really be ready for this step. I'm thinking probably not. One of these days just deciding its time. I did ask Troy to give me a sign....

Life has a funny way of keeping me grounded and always aware of how much I'm unable to live any part of my life with out Jesus. So last Wednesday, I was talking to Laura telling her how much my heart was being healed by the Lord. The verse "Heal me ,O Lord, and I will be healed. Save me and I will be saved" has been my prayer. I'm constantly praying Lord please heal me and trusting that He will do just that. Well on Wednesday I was driving to the cemetery because it was a beautiful sunny day and right now in Greenville those are few and far between trust me I'm seriously craving hot and sun. Anyway the drive was so peaceful and I had such inner joy. At the cemetery there were some tears because I miss him, but just knowing in my heart the Lord is healing me. In this healing process, He is constantly restoring the joy of my salvation. Such a good day feeling the Lord's presence followed by the next morning with CRACK, BOOM, SMACK reality comes crashing in. I woke up from a dream where Troy was so very real. In my dream, I was missing him and half awake knew he wasn't beside me so I thought I'm going to call him and for about thirty seconds as I was waking up I was ready to use my phone to call him only to be fully awakened to the reality he was gone. Immediately the tears start coming. I couldn't seem to get it together and I was supposed to be leaving for vacation. My first thoughts were I really don't want to go anymore I want to stay in bed, but knowing I can't do this so what do I know I can do oh yes pray. I fell to my knees "Lord I need you so and I'm struggling to trust. Please heal me. Restore my joy." I got up and finished getting ready and once again God was healing me. The Lord had given me peace that can only come from above. Its absolutely nothing I can do. I have such an amazing heavenly Father. The Lord is healing my heart a little more every day.

My first vacation was to TN to catch up with the Schindels (my youth pastor and his family from FL). It was a good time of fellowship and fun. Mikaela their oldest is growing up into such a sweet young woman and is now driving oh that makes me feel old since she was a baby when I was in youth group. The boys, Andrew and Caleb, are well they have a plenty of energy and personality. Andrew told me "don't touch my stomach. You will break your fingers on my rock hard abs" sounding familiar well if you knew Pastor Dave you would say just like his father;) The youngest Karis who is five is a riot as well. She told me the first night I was there (after I explained why I had Troy's ring on my necklace) that "you are not married and you need to take the rings off" She then proceeded to try and pull them off. Maybe this was my sign from Troy. I had just asked him the day before at the cemetery haha;) Such an exciting family weekend. I did however come to a very wise conclusion about showering. I grew up in a small family one brother and sister. Troy grew up with a much larger family one brother and three sisters a much different experience. Remember the last four months I have been living completely on my own. So my conclusion came when I was slightly overwhelmed to be constantly surrounded by either adults or children. No alone time EXCEPT when showering. I've always wondered why people took such long showers and this weekend while showering I finally understood it. AWWWWW peace and quiet! I say all this because it was a funny realization of why Troy took such long showers, not at all because I didn't enjoy the "organized chaos" that I was able to be a part of this weekend. It was fun to be part of the family and truly an honor to see the other side of ministry. Their entire family are such a great example of selflessness. It made me realize how much of a sacrfice our pastors and their families willing and lovingly do for their church families. Huge thank you for your testimonies!!! Also a conviction on how selfish I am on a daily basis. Another lesson God is teaching me: less of me and more of Him.

I am now back to my house and it is very, very quiet I am missing the noise;) Guess I will have to return again soon.....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Rainy day and my Truth Box.

Once again I'm faced with another anniversary although this is more of a "would have been" anniversary. Eighteen months ago Troy and I were married. I remember bits and pieces of that day it all happened so quickly. However; I do distinctly remember a car ride to the reception. It involved me crying in the backseat of the car because it was the ONLY day in I swear the month of August or July that we had rain and not just a little afternoon shower NOOOO a torrential downpour. So here Troy and I sat in the back of the car with my parents in the front and my poor brand new husband was having to deal with me having a "mini" ok well probably more like "major" melt-down. Troy was trying to calm me down and I was slightly (because a bride does not yell) raising my voice with tears trying to get across the point of "did he have any idea how much we had spent on this outdoor reception." My mom was trying to help my poor husband out, but I was a little bit out of control. This scenario made me think of why people say "Rain on your wedding day is good luck" and where it even originated from. I came to the conclusion that is was some brand new husband or mother of a lovely,gracious bride (little sarcasm here) trying to console her out of her hysterics. And why do I know this well because I was that bride;) However; due to recent events I would have to call that statement completely FALSE just sayin. Oh what I wouldn't give to go back to sitting in the back of the car with Troy. I smile when I think back to that moment because I was so sure that the rain on my wedding day was one of the worst possible things. If only I had known what was coming, something that would be so beyond my understanding of bad. I miss him so much today. So back to the rain, it rained on our wedding day, rained on our one year anniversary trip to Atlanta, and raining today so apparently rain is closely associated with Troy and I's wedding day;)

Today is hard I'm sitting on the couch lonely and feeling low because this is not at all how I pictured my future eighteen months ago. My friend, Laura, told me about a month after the accident that I needed a truth box. What is this truth box thing you are very curiously wondering I know;) Let me explain, its just truths from scripture that I'm learning stored up in my head so when I'm having days like today I go back to what I know is true. Laura explained this idea to me and its a very good thing because I open up my box quite frequently these days. I highly recommend using the same concept when things are not going as you expected or when you are feeling low (prime example right here). So decided to open my truth box for you all to see. Now don't be alarmed, but basically going to just type what goes on in my head so beware could be a scary thing....Troy, why did you leave? I need you here to hold me and comfort me. Feeling so alone. Hate sitting on this couch knowing you won't come walking through the door today or EVER again. I'm all alone.....(Since you guys can only read whats going on in my head I'm letting you know if you could see me I'm crying at this point ok back to in my head) Okay, Sarah, get it together what do you know is true. "I will never leave you nor forsake you" Lord, I need you right now so badly. "My ways are perfect" "My thoughts are not yours neither are my ways your ways, My ways are higher than your way, My thoughts than your thoughts" Lord, I'm going to trust You even though I really don't understand. "My grace is sufficient made perfect in weakness" As I'm sitting on this couch crying feeling very weak Jesus please give me more grace. "Steadfast love of God" Remember from all your reading how many times through out the Psalms David mentions God's steadfast love. He loves me so much. Father, I need to feel Your love and comfort right now please. "His mercies are new every morning...the Lord is my hope" Lord, I know you will restore my hope. Please turn my eyes to You. Sarah, focus on hope what is my hope right now: I will see Troy again one day soon. "Life is only a vapor" Jesus I feel like this is a very long vapor and I know one day we will look back and laugh, but not right now. "Restore the joy of my salvation" Father, I know you are the only One who can restore my joy. Please restore it now and I need some peace as well. "Be still and know that I am God" "Wait patiently upon the Lord." Thank you for Your words to me. I'm here Lord waiting and listening quietly for You. I rest in peace knowing You are returning for me and Troy's waiting for me too. "You went to prepare a place for me that where You are I may be also" Thank you Jesus so much.....So thats kinda how my truth box works in my head. My truths are all scriptures some paraphrasing goes on in my head, but this is how I get my focus back on truth so I don't stay down in self-pity and sorrow. Some days it takes me a little longer to get open my box, but once it is opened and I start focusing on it life doesn't seem so unmanageable. What a wonderful Father we have because He left us with hope:) Hope no one got too scared going into my mind and I hope that this encourages someone in their walk as it has for mine. One of the top pieces of advice in my Christian life so far was this "Truth Box" concept!!!! Thanks Laura:)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another milestone: Four month anniversary

It has been four months since my life was turned upside down. Some days it feels like forever and other just yesterday. I can still vividly remember walking around the corner and seeing Troy laying there on the stretcher in the ICU surrounded by doctors and nurses. Actually that whole morning I can re-play in my mind like a horrible movie starting with the phone call, driving to the hospital, walking into the ER, seeing a group of people from the hospital waiting on me, going to the 4th floor waiting room, asking Todd how bad is it, walking down the hallway to see him, the chest compressions, the suctioning of his mouth, the doctor telling me this was the last round of pressures and blood, telling him "please don't leave me, I love you, keep fighting, I love you", watching him as his heart stopped beating, being held up by Whitney then my dad, mom walking around the corner and immediately letting out a sob, Todd crying, holding his lifeless hand, asking for his wedding band, laying on his chest telling him how much I loved him, walking into the waiting room surrounded by our friends, giving Jill my phone and asking her to call people to let them know, going back to say goodbye to him, watching our friends say goodbye to him, laying on his chest for the last time holding his hands never wanting to let go, walking up to the 6th floor to see my girls from work, sitting in the nurse's station with his blood on my hand, sitting in the cafeteria w/ the Tammy's, telling someone make sure I have his bike jacket, walking to Jill's car....then things for the rest of the day are a little more blurry.

Every anniversary is a reminder of that day and the experience I wouldn't wish on anyone. I miss him so much and although that day I can remember like it was yesterday it feels like a lifetime ago since we last talked. I want to talk about all the things God has been teaching me. I want to roll over in bed and have his arms hold me tight. I want to sit on the couch with him and argue over what we are going to watch. I want to cook dinner and sit on the floor eating because he refuses to sit on the couch with food. I want him to walk through the front door and kiss me. However; these are not part of God's perfect plan for me. I thank God every day that HE has brought me close to Him so that I could trust that He is in control and His will is perfect. I was reading in my daily devotions and today's reading had a lot to do with death. Some of the verses were "Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?" "...through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil and deliver all those who through the fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery." "...absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." "they cannot die anymore...are sons of God, being sons of resurrection...Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living." Such encouraging verses for me to read today of all days. Jesus conquered death and Satan has no victory in Troy's death. God is not God of the dead, but God of the living. Did you catch that? God of the living:) Such an AH-HA moment for me tonight. Its only this temporary body that died. Troy IS living with our Savior in a place so beyond my wildest imaginations. I just have to wait a little bit before I can see him again. Thank you Lord, for hope!!!

Yes, on every 30th of the month I will remember Troy's leaving this earth, but I also remember how far God has brought me in my faith. Through Troy's death, I now like Paul can say, "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." My relationship with my Savior is so much sweeter and I can't wait to fall on my knees in thanksgiving when I see him face to face. I have said this many times that when Troy hears my name being called over the loud speaker (or however it works) that its my time he better be second in line;)

My trip to the cemetery and crash site today in the ice. No worries I didn't drive it was all my Dad with the 4-wheel drive. Thanks daddy!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Praising in the midst of heartache.

I haven't written in several days for a couple of reasons. One I have worked the last three days and after getting up at 5:30 am and working I don't have much of a desire to do anything but sleep. Second reason is I haven't had too much to say. I want this blogging experience to either be something God has been teaching me or something new I'm learning on this journey of my life as a young widow. So I have been thinking the last couple of days what am I going to write about next and the Lord brought into my heart how about all the things I have to be thankful for. I started to think that this would be a great blog for me to go back and read on days that I'm really struggling to keep a positive attitude. This thought came about three/four days ago. Then I think it was Tuesday the song "I Will Praise You in this Storm" came on the radio while I was driving to work. This to me was a huge sign of how much God has begun healing my heart. Why you may ask? Well let me tell you;) The first time I came back to work after the accident I would play this song over and over again on my CD player as I was driving to the hospital. As I got closer to the hospital, my tears would start and I would sit in the parking lot for about 10 minutes crying. All I could think about was that day I had come here and watched Troy die. I hated that I had those images in my head and hated even more that I had to come back to this place. So I would listen to the song and remember that I needed "to praise the God who gives and takes away....I lift my eyes unto the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth." After having sang through my tears this part of the song, I would get out of my car walk into work and attempt to function as a nurse. For the record, the first time back was not very successful. I really had a hard time being at the hospital let alone try to take care of someone else, but my L&D family held my hand every second of those first weeks back. Point being after a couple weeks off for the holidays and a lot of time in prayer and reading God's word; I was driving to work Tuesday heard that song and there were no tears just true words of praise.
Ok so that story wasn't exactly the point of this blog sorry I can ramble. The point was the signs of why I came to the conclusion this is what I was supposed to write about;) The thoughts from God, the song, and then Wed. night the speaker spoke from Psalms about praise and I just knew thats it! I'm going to write a list of the things I have to be thankful for over the last almost 4 months. Really this is more for me to see how much God has done in my life and I know that one day soon I will need to re-read this to remind me that God is good all the time!!! Okay here we go: (this is in no particular order)
  • My salvation. As I have mentioned before God has really used this accident to show me my salvation in a whole new light. I have been so humbled to think that my God loved me so much to send His son to die on a cross and take my punishment so that I could spend an eternity with Him.
  • Heaven. Having to come face to face with death at such a young age has truly made me appreciate the future God has planned. I'm so excited about living my eternity with my Savior where this is no more sin, pain, worry, death, sadness:) I have a whole new way of looking at life in light of eternity and I'm so thankful.
  • Family. Truly blessed to have godly parents who are amazing. Brother and sister who love me so much and are grieving right along with me. Troy's family who are a little piece of him and are reaching out to keep me in their lives.
  • Troy's headstone. This was a huge deal for me and I wanted to so badly to have it down right away. Well you have to pay for it first and then it takes 6 weeks to get. Trust me I did not have the money to buy it right after the funeral so I figured it would be several months to a year before that was going to happen, but God provided the money through his school to pay for it just about 2 weeks after the accident.
  • Finances. I have been blessed above and beyond what I could ever imagine from so many generous people around the US, my work, and his school. Just to give one little example, I didn't have to work the entire month of October, November, or much of December and every one of my bills was paid for. Thank you Lord and the people who He used in my life. You all have no idea how much of a blessing you were/are to me!!!!
  • Godly support. The prayers and encouragement from people I know, barely know, or never met has kept me going many days.
  • Friends. I have never felt so loved. Troy and I have an amazing set of friends. I mean I lived at Jill and Devon's for the first 2 weeks. My close friends drove/flew to be here with me. Some I hadn't even seen in years. On and on I could go.....
  • Couch counselors/buddies;). They have encouraged me so much in keeping a close walk with God and also listening to my insane rambling about the most off the wall topics trust me they deserve a medal some days;)
  • Joy and Peace. God has truly changed my life. It is only from Him, that at 4 months after losing Troy I can honestly say I have joy and peace.
  • House. I was able to get the house Troy and I put an offer on and I'm really thankful for this fresh start.
  • Church. Suber Road Baptist has welcomed me with open arms and I love being part of this church family.
  • Jobs (Hillcrest and L&D). His students and faculty have been so helpful in keeping Troy's memory alive, making sure I knew how important he was to them, and what a difference he made in such a short time. Such an unbelieving comfort for me. My work well there are not enough words to express my thankfulness for the many ways they reached out and helped me the last couple of months.
  • Serving others. God has truly used helping others to heal my broken heart. Its been such a blessing for me to reach out to others.
  • His way is perfect. There was a night a little over a month after the accident that I was crying hysterically on my knees begging God "please give me Troy back. I've learned my lessons. I will trust You with my life. Please you can turn back time. Please God make this a dream. Please...." I'm on my knees and this still, small voice in my head says "My way is perfect" as to which I reply "but" followed by silence because I know immediately that this was God's perfect will and He will never leave me.
  • Life insurance. Troy made sure I was provided for in case of an accident.
  • Cookie dough. Its been such a comforting food these last couple of months. However; this one has run its course I'm giving it up after Saturday for a while;)
  • Faith. I remember sitting on the couch with mom maybe 2 weeks after the accident questioning everything I had grown up believing. God has used His word specifically Psalm 22 to increase my faith so much in the last 3 months. I remember reading this not long after talking to mom and the last verse says "He has done it." It clicked everything I knew was real. God had sent His son who died for me and I had eternal life by trusting in Him. No doubts now!

Ok really I could go on and on. I'm sure there are very important things that I'm leaving out right now, but I don't want this to be so long peeps lose interest;) Needless to say I've been very blessed and am very thankful. I can honestly say that four months after losing my husband "God is good."

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Joy in my sorrow

My life is full of emotional ups and downs these days. Its been a different type of grieving these last two weeks. I have had a really hard time trying to understand it let alone try to explain it to anyone, but I just knew that I was feeling different. I've come up with the best way I think I can explain it: I'm living my life with out Troy. Ok so let me go into a little more detail so that statement makes more sense. For the first month SHOCK AND DESPAIR. Honestly don't even really remember the month of October. The second month paper work, paper work, paper work....just getting everything settled. The third month consisted of moving and setting up the new house. So for the first three months I was super busy always had someone around or something I had to do. Now I'm heading into month four and life has changed. Things are settling down and I'm having to learn to live a new life with out Troy. Its so very hard these days. Everything I do I'm learning to this "new normal" which is minus my other half. I'm experiencing that single status again which is not a pleasant thought let me tell you. I really hate coming home to an empty house. I don't know why that has been one of the hardest realities, but it is. Getting off work, leaving church, leaving friend's house, ect...all of them make me come face to face with the reality I'm living alone again blah....
Ok so thats where I am on this new grieving level. Well last week as I was talking to my couch buddies "Laura, Natalie, and Colleen" I mean who needs therapy when I have these three to listen to my rambling thoughts; ) So I was asking the question "Seriously how long am I going to be hurting I'm so tired of crying?" No one had much of an answer which was fine. I mean in real therapy they don't answer you anyways so the "girls" were just mimicking real life;) I think it was two days later I was reading through Ps. 13 and David asks " How long must I have sorrow in my heart all the day?" Ooooh I was excited that was my exact question ok David whats the answer that is going to cure this sorrow thing because I'm ready whatever it is I can do it. So I keep reading waiting for this one time miracle answer and the end of the Psalm he says "But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because He has dealt bountifully with me." Ok so that was not the answer I was looking for, but the Holy Spirit used it to teach me a very valuable lesson. My sorrow and grief is exactly what I need because in those times I turn my eyes toward Jesus. I pray and cry to Him and as I'm praying to Him, He so often reminds me of all the great things He has been teaching me and the many blessings I have. As I'm reminded of these things my sorrow turns to joy that only the Lord can give. This lesson I've learned and have to keep reminding myself many days is this sadness is the best thing for me because it keeps me on my knees with my gaze focused on my Savior and what a Savior I have!!! This morning's message was hope in the midst of suffering. As a born again believer I have the most hopeful message of all. This world's suffering is only temporary one day Jesus will come back and make everything the way it was supposed to be all along no more sin, pain, or DEATH yay!!!! I highly recommend reading "In Light of Eternity." It changed my life and has caused me to be so excited about eternity:) Time for bed I do dread 5:30 am one more thing about heaven I'm looking forward to no more early mornings;)