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;)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday night

Worked today and typically on a Friday I would be very ready to go home. Not so much today well thats not true I was ready to be done working, but not so much for the going home to an empty house. Friday nights were usually our nights out. Dinner and movie was a typical Friday night and on every other Friday Troy and I were rich for ONE WHOLE DAY before the reality of bills would hit ;) The bookstore was always a favorite place for us to spend the extra money. I was always able to convince him to let me get more books than him it was my sweet charm I'm sure or more likely the begging that I had perfected after years of practicing on my dad haha. Oh how miss him giving into me makes me realize how much he loved me. He did try so hard to make me smile most of the time;) Movies aren't so appealing anymore. I think I've gone to the theater twice since the accident. I can't seem to enjoy it brings too many memories and feelings of sadness that he is not here with me. I was watching criminal minds (my new favorite show) the other day and one of the characters who had lost her sister made a comment that one day the memories won't make you sad one day you will be able to look back and be happy. I'm so not there looking back on anytime with Troy only brings pain and sadness. Its hard for me to ever even imagine that day when I can look back and not have tears in my eyes when I think about him. I miss his goofy ways so much. So instead of having date night I'm sitting on the couch eating cookie dough and watching criminal minds. Oh how my life has changed and in many ways for the better. The cookie dough however is not one of them. I'm on my way to being the next contestant on "The Biggest Loser" ;) I blame Troy every time I'm eating it. I will shake spoon and say "see what you have done to me" I'm sure he is having a nice laugh about it.
So this Friday night I'm learning again how to completely trust in God's perfect will. I honestly don't understand it, but I trust and who better to trust then the only person who truly understands my heartache. I was doing my devotions earlier and it was going through Is 53:4-5 and encouraged to put your name in the "our" spot. So the verse would read "surely Sarah's griefs He himself bore, and Sarah's sorrows He carried; yet Sarah esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for Sarah's transgressions, He was crushed for Sarah's iniquities, the chastening for Sarah's well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging Sarah is healed" WOW putting my name into that verse brought me to my knees in thanksgiving. He did all that for me a horrible sinner. The song "Amazing love how can it be that You my King should die for me" rings so true. There are not enough words to express my thankfulness for my salvation when I truly understood what He has done for me. The accident has helped me appreciate my salvation like never before. Prior to Troy's death I did not know pain or sorrow. Now I do, but even what I'm feeling is NOTHING compared to what Christ did on the cross because of His love for me. Not only did He save me from hell, but He has been spending the last couple thousand years preparing a place for me. Troy gets to enjoy it a little sooner than me, but he did always want to be first ;) Now he will be able to show me around when its my turn someday. How blessed am I!!! On top of all of that the verse also shows me He truly understands my everyday sorrows and griefs. I'm so encouraged to know that when I'm crying to Him He understands. I'm so blessed that God has drawn me to Him and continues to teach me new lessons every day!!!! All right I'm done hope this encourages you guys as much as it has me just re-reading it. Not such a bad Friday night after all:)

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Today was a good day at work. I had the very wonderful privilege of taking care of one of my good nursing friends. She and her husband are fabulous and everything went really well which is saying a lot b/c somehow for a L&D nurse something usually goes wrong. Every nurse can relate to that;) Not for Jenni though it was wonderful. I'm so excited for her and Ben and their little baby girl Rhys. It was a nice day to spend talking to her and her family about that things God has been teaching me. Its always encouraging for me to share with other people. So the day was great, but coming home thats where the bittersweet part comes in to play. I was able to keep my focus on this being Ben and Jenni's day. Wonderful loved it, but walking out of the hospital my thoughts went where they often do to Troy. When I lost Troy the biggest thing at the time was him being gone, but as time goes on I've had to deal with so much more than I ever realized. Like tonight when I walk out of the hospital and know that with Troy I will never have that sweet precious moment that Jenni and Ben had at the moment Rhys was born. Its one more loss I have to deal with AND its not just a one time thing. Its a constant surrender of that dream to the Lord b/c in His perfect plan Troy and I were not meant to have a family. True heartache follows this thought. So not only hurting from these thoughts as I walked to my car, but also that "oh crud" I have to go home to an empty house. Its so lonely not having him around anymore. I didn't realize how used to having him around I was until he's gone. So as I'm walking to my car trying not to completely lose it, I'm preaching to myself "I will never leave you nor forsake you, I will never leave you nor forsake" This has truly become my mantra many a days;) Ok I'm going to make it to the car without a melt down, but still have to drive home. Tears are coming as I sit in the parking deck and then the radio turns on and this song is playing "I will rise when He calls my name no more sorrow no more pain. I will rise on eagle's wings before my God fall on my knees and rise, I will rise" Perfect song for me re-direct my thoughts to the One I'm here living for. I'm so very blessed to know the truth and in knowing the truth I have hope. This life is only temporary and one day I will see Troy again, but even better I will finally be face to face with my Savior who lifts me up every day oh what a glorious day that will be:) Ok thanks Lord I will make it home:) So that is my bittersweet day, but God has allowed me to make it through one more step in this healing thing. Thank you, Jenni and Ben for allowing me to be a part in your very special day. It truly was a blessing for me to see your love for each other and this new little girl:) Now sleep is calling my name b/c I get to go back tomorrow for another round.....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

First entry...

Today was a rough day for me. I cried a lot questioning why over and over again. This road is definitely not the path I would have chosen. It is very lonely even being surrounded by an amazing support group. I miss my husband and the support he could offer right now. In my head, the best thing would be for him to come home and hold me. However; God's arms are doing just that holding me up. I read Ps. 19:7 "The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul." How encouraging that God's word revives my soul every day as I get into His word. There is no way I could have the peace I have tonight after a day like today with out God's amazing love. As I learn more and more about my Savior, I'm humbled to think that He loves me so. Well this is hopefully the first of many entries. I think this will be good for me to write down how I'm feeling and then see how God works. Now I'm off to bed because 5:30 am comes so very early. One more struggle to get up and go to work, but God is faithful this I do know. For those who don't know why work is such a struggle. Troy was taken to the hospital I work at and that is where his heart finally stopped beating on this earth. So every time I go there it brings back those memories of that day so vividly for me. Ok I'm off for now....