Friday, February 24, 2012

Life is changing and I am kicking and screaming…

However I am learning that it isn’t all bad, I will forever love Zach but I am learning that some of the change that I am going through is good.  There are situations that are bad.  There are situations that occurred in Zach’s life that have forever changed who we are for the best.  We can look back and certain events and realize that we have learned things that will help us love on and encourage others more.  I have to learn that I am okay… not just in words and not in faking it all but that I am okay.  That the things that I am going through are things that many want to gloss over, that I don’t want to tell everyone but that God has and that I will make it through, stronger and more of an encourager.
I am blessed with an amazing family… I love them so much.  I love Adam, how amazing is he? Well I he is the love of my life, a wonderful husband, and an amazing father.  He is a hard worker, a great teacher and a wonderful listener.  I am honored that I get to talk to him and that I get to be part of his life, I am honored that when times are hard, difficult or shaky no matter if he understands or not that he is with me for the whole situation, not just what others get to see.  I am amazed with an amazing son, who cares for others and is trying to do the best that he can in everything that he does.  He is smart and a leader.  I can’t wait to see how he grows and develops. 

I am working at a new place with amazing Godly people, not that there aren’t issues and situations but to know that I can ask for prayer and know that people are concerned for me is amazing and to know that I am part of that is honoring.  To know that I can contact 3 of them, maybe more, that I can ask for prayer, ask questions, and be honest with is heartwarming.  It is wonderful to know that I am at a place that people care and that I am being allowed to be part of the love that is there.  It is nice to know that I am working with children that I love, that I can love on and adore them. 

I am (Adam and I are) sending Aden to a new school, which has allowed Aden to know that he is loved.  It is teaching him that Zach isn’t hurting anymore, that God’s plans aren’t like ours, that our timing and God’s timing don’t always match but that GOD loves us.  It has allowed him to hurt; I have been amazed at hearing him to say that he has people that care about him.  That is isn’t made fun of anymore and that there are adults there that care.  He is learning a ton there, if you ask him what his favorite things is about being there is? He will tell you that it is Bible that he gets to learn about God.

I am developing new friendships and working on a couple of old ones.  I have a friend that we have developed our friendship in the past 8 months, she is very important to me and I am striving to be an amazing friend to her.  It is taking me learning that not everyone understands what I have been through and that I can’t expect anything from anyone.  I am learning that they only one that I can expect anything out of is myself and even then I can’t even count on that.  I have several friends that I have been talking to trying to become closer to.  Then I have a new friend that I am learning how to be a true encourager with, I have enjoyed the texting and all of the conversations.  She is one of two that truly get what I am going through.  I am delighted that have those two to encourage, love on, and to develop relationships with.  To know that I am being prayed for by the very ones that I am praying for has touched my heart greatly.

Sometimes I have to be kicking and screaming in order to realize that God has been here all along… I am His daughter and He is holding me and asking me to trust Him.  That I can’t do any of this without Him, I need to be still and let God fight for me.  That God is holding me and that He is singing over me, He is bottling up my tears and that He is singing over me.  I am His Child and He loves me, there isn’t an event that touches my life that He doesn’t know about.  So Kicking and screaming I take one step, it might be the only step that I take this week but I am striving to see the good and to stay with my eyes on God.   

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

8 years!!!!!

I am so delighted that God has blessed me with 8 years of marriage with Adam.  It was something that we both wanted but we had to wait till God said that it was the right time, we met in college in August of 1998.  On Feb 21, 2004, I walked down the aisle of Tara Baptist Church (our HOME church) to pledge our love to each other in times of good and bad.  We are still at Tara Baptist worshiping together and serving God together.  What an honor to serve together?

In today’s age, getting married isn’t a huge deal; people get married and divorced before they even get the photos back from the wedding.  It is something that Adam and I felt differently about.  God tells us that we are to be married as one, that I am (as a wife) to be submissive and to honor my husband, that Adam (as a husband) is to love me like the God loves the church.  That we are to support, honor, be loyal to, build up and to stand by each other no matter what is thrown our way or no matter what is going on.  Before we got married we went through premarital counseling and we learned a few things that we have put into our memory banks. 

1. Never speak badly of your spouse; you are the only one that others see of them.  In this case, I know that at work, they don’t see Adam or know him, the only way they get to know him is how I talk about him and what I do for him.  This isn’t hard for me; I do love him and adore him dearly.  I don’t have something bad to say at all.  However, we all know many that talk poorly of their spouse, talk down to them, make fun of them, fuss about them, or even belittle everything that their spouse does.  So the only way you know their spouse is by all the negative things that they have said.

2. Never talk in public about anything that you wouldn’t stand and scream in the middle of a crowded family restaurant.  When we got this lesson I have to admit that it was Adam, the Pastor and I sitting in the middle of a subway, this was a lesson about talking about our sexual relations, that it says at home between the two of us.  Adam and I consider it to be no one’s business anyway but it just reinforced the thought.  However, I can’t tell you how many times I have been in the presences of conversation that have to do with sex, money or something else that is really NO ONES business.  Think about if a young child needs to know and be privy to the information that you are talking about.  If you want the whole world to know what you are saying, private things should stay private.

3.  For better… This is a word that takes very little to define.  BETTER, good, wonderful, loving, happy… it is something that is honoring. To look at all of the things that you are enjoying together as a couple and to feel blessed about it all.  For Adam and me it was trips, dinners, late night conversations and things like that.  I have to say that everyone is close during the good times.  During 8 years we have plenty of awesome, wonderful, amazing memories.  We have been blessed with a family, church family and all the things that we needed.

4.  For worse… This is part that today many don’t like or listen too, it is the reason why people don’t stay together or why friendships end.  People aren’t willing to walk with and support you when there is a bad time.  When you are going through the worse, when there is something that they don’t get or don’t like they walk away instead of loving, supporting and encouraging.  Adam and I have been through these both before we got married and after.  Before we got married Adam choose to walk with me with my mother who had stage 4 brain cancer, he walked with me through the whole event.  The night before my mother died Adam crawled up in my mother’s bed and he hugged her and told her that I will be taken care of that he will always be with me that he wanted to marry me and we would get married (which BTW, we did get married 2 years later).  I still remember him sliding down the wall at the hospice facility when my mother passed away.  Then after we got married, the medical worse came again… we were blessed with Zach (which was “a for” better event) that turned into a worse situation.  For almost 4 years we lived by Zach, we weren’t able to put us first Zach came 1st.  This meant that we spent time apart, had to put our desires in the back and focus on Zach.  There were many times that it would have been easier to walk away than to endure the things that we were going through.  The stats for divorce of couples with a child that has special needs has been reported to be in the high 80s or low 90s.  This stat exists again when you talk about couples who have had a child die.  This means that people walked away from the family when the family needed to be strong.  It was too hard to deal with and too hard to walk through so they walk away.  Now I have also learned that this is the same with friends… you have people who decide that it is too hard to watch, that they don’t know how to help so they don’t want to be there, there are people who decide that they have given enough time and that they no longer want to be part.  God doesn’t desert us, God holds us tight even when things are going wrong, God says that He will never leave or forsake us.  In Exodus 14:14 we are told that the Lord will fight for us, we need to be still.  I believe that this is in the midst of relationships too… in the midst of bad times, will we stay together and support or will we walk away.

8 years, it amazing to me… we are closer today and more in love today than the day we got married.  We have been blessed even with all the events.  I can’t wait to hear and to see all of the things that God is going to do from this point on.  I love my husband and am honored that he is mine and that he holds me to be that special. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A new beginning...

I have always been an outgoing person, one that is always moving and on the go… I learned very young that I needed to be moving and going so I don’t get in trouble. Going through all that Adam and I have been we haven’t taken the time out for us.  Adam and I have been nurses, doctors (yes, having to diagnose and come up with treatments), accountants, psychologists, cooks, drivers, coordinators, mom/dad, helpers, teachers, holders, comforters.  What is missing in this list? Being a husband or a wife, supporting each other as a spouse. For a while we were married but because of how life was we were living apart, one focused on the hospital and Zach (typically me) and the other focused on home and Aden (typically Adam).  We rarely got more than a dinner together daily and even if we did get more than that it was all focused on Zach and then on Aden.  Life was all consuming with Zach’s illness and we longed for a normal that we were never going to get.

Adam and I started Griefshare sometime in August, I believe.  During this weekly class, Adam and I developed a relationship with the leaders, who have lost an 18 year old daughter, who told us about a respite retreat that Nancy and David Guthrie held.  They are authors of several books and the hosts for the new Griefshare videos.  They have gone through the heartache of two children blessed to go be with God.  They get it; they walked the life and are walking the life that we are walking now.  It was described as a respite retreat that 12 couples would have the opportunity to go.  I have to admit when I first heard I thought, well we don’t need respite now, Zach is in heaven.  I don’t need that now, I need to get better; I need the loss of Zach to be easier, not all consuming not trapping me.  However, I went home and I looked it up and after reading about it I felt like God was saying do you trust ME??? So Adam and I signed up to go, I honestly thought that we wouldn’t be selected to go. 

Well we were and after a few emails with Nancy I was really feeling like God was telling us that this was what we needing to so.  We made plans, Aden was going to be with his Mamaw and Papaw, he was super excited and Adam and I figured out what to pack.  I got super sick the Wednesday night before we left and Adam got sick the Thursday before we left.  We made it there and we were instantly surrounded by love, Nancy came up to me and she knew my name and asked about Adam and his job.  I was floored right there that she remembered and that without saying my name she knew me.

The couples that were there were God ordained to be there, we all had a connection, I am sure that we were more reserved that we normally are, I know that I am as the verbal words are so hard for me and that I am dealing with ups and downs that I can’t explain.  However, I got to meet many that got it, The conversations were not derailed at the 1st mention of a child that had died.  Adam and I got to talk and share with people that we didn’t have to worry about explaining that Zach was sick and that a diseased named Mito took his life.   We learned about half of the stories that night and then the other half the next morning… touched by God’s work in their lives, I listened.  Amazed that some of these couples had faith so strong and that they seemed so put together and it sealed this longing in my heart, this longing to become closer to God and to fill my heart with God and to remember that Adam is my love, without him I would be lost. 

We had time to connect but we also got to reconnect with each other, knowing that our 8th anniversary was Feb. 21st, I was going to treat this as our anniversary trip, to show Adam how much he means to me and that he is the LOVE of my life, that without him life surely would be difficult.  On that Saturday, Adam and I went for a walk and we started a conversation that we actually started the week before, it was super cold and we were frozen but the conversation was worth it.  Then there was a session that we were part of about each of us…. This is when we focused on us and it was amazing that we had started this conversation before this session.

By the end of our time, we were touched, emotionally tired, and focused more on the fact that in order to move on we needed to let Zach be gone, let him stay in Heaven, he isn’t here anymore and that we needed to be focused on God as a couple since He is the one that put us together.  We were introduced to 11 couples that got it and that we were blessed to get to know and to learn from them.  Through these couples we realized our value and worth were in tangible things (earthly or societal) and not the God of the Universe.  We are now seeking God daily for His measuring stick of value and worth. That the things that we have done or gone through are not the things that define us or make us, we aren’t as good as all the good or as bad as all the bad things.  We are who God made us to be.  To design our new roles and our new positions to be Godly ones and not ones that we feel, we don’t want to define ourselves through Zach’s life or death, jobs, or anything else.  Our Roles and our Worth is what God has for us not what we want for our lives.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


There comes a time when we are challenged to do something that we really want to do but it is far too hard for you to walk to and to figure out. For me that is a journey that I am on now. I know that God is with and I know that I need to be doing this challenge but I can tell you that it is far harder than I knew it would be.

Help, the act of meeting needs of an individual and allowing them to work through something that they can't do without help. It can be emotional, monetary, material, or physically. You can help while not letting anyone knows or the person may know you are involved. You may ask for help or someone can just see a need that you don't even know about yet.

Help is often intimate and something that you don't like to be broadcasted, you dont want the world to say that you are fairly but you may also just be in a position where you have to hav it. Their are times needing help just rushes over you, while you can't tell others how you need it, you are so thankful that help is available. You may be embarrassed and wonder how to accept it.

Well coming from someone who loves to help let me tell you this... Accept it by knowing that someone loves you enough to try to send help your way, it can be a little or a lot. It is often something that God lays on my heart, nothing to be embarassed about our to worry about. I can also tell you that I have trouble asking for help and I often wonder about it.... So I understand that to. I am learning how to work though things and how to be a better friend, how to help and how to allow others to help me

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A kiss from heaven...

It has been 8 months since Zach went to be with God, it was a day that I was hoping to make it through without crying.  It is a happy day for so many, a day filled with special items and love all around.  I wanted to not cry, not that crying is bad but because I wanted to be okay.  I got up and I got Aden to school.  I realize that I left half of the stuff at home, which is okay I thought…. I could just bring it the next class day.  Then I realized that I left more stuff, I was horribly upset but figured I couldn’t do anything so I would just deal.  Then I found out how sugar affected all of our little ones, my son included, it was like a crazy wonderful mess. 

Before one of our students left he came running in with some things…. 1st let me tell you… 8 months ago Zach died, Zach loved the color brown and orange, not common colors for children but for some reason he LOVED them and I didn’t try to change his mind.  When I do activities in class I try to pick one of those colors so I can remember him, as if I will forget but it has helped soothe my heart.  Today this student comes running back in with a box of chocolate, a card, and a rose.  I was 1st honored just to get something but then I looked down and saw the color of the rose it was an Orange Rose.  The other teacher got Red, I got ORANGE…. I stood in awe, trying not to cry because I was amazed.  One of the teachers told me it is like a kiss from Zach…. YES A KISS FROM MY SWEET BOY!!!

8 months is too long, well 8 months is beyond too long but I am learning new things every day.  I am trying to rest in God and know that it is all okay, for now all I know is that I hurt.  I was challenged with finding out, looking inside and finding what I needed help on and ask the people that I trust that are safe people with those things.  I never realized that admitting that you need help is so hard, maybe because I don’t want to be counted as silly or stupid, maybe because I think that I am supposed to do it on my own but for whatever reason, I am struggling with this too and it makes me feel very sad.  I realize that I am human and I realize that I have things that I need and things that I need to work on but it is very humbling to know that I struggle with letting people in.  8 months and I feel like I am still at day 1 of his death, I feel like I am different and misunderstood but I also feel like I am stronger than I was and I feel like I am now on this journey that God has placed me on.  I am not kicking and screaming or wishing to be off but instead I am embracing that God is powerful, mighty and loving. 

8 months, cannot erase almost 4 years! I am allowed to hurt and allowed to be sad, I need to realize that and move on, not get stuck.  Love those that I am close to, family and friends.  I need to accept compliments and realize that I am important to some one

Monday, February 13, 2012

Yes, I know it has been a while

I took some time off for multiple reasons but the time was much needed…. I focused on my husband, my son and myself.  I focused on the children that I teach at school and the new friends that I have recently become part of their lives.  I had to be off of the internet because Feeding Tube awareness was too much for me, saying that Zach had the tubes, and being asked how long he had been tube free, destroyed me.  While Zach is now tube free, it isn’t what the person had in mind, it took me a while to read it fully and I never answered her.  How do you answer that your son has been healed forever by being blessed to go to Heaven and now knows the Heavenly Father in a way that I can only long for?  That tube, the tubes that he had are the only way that Zach’s quality of life was worth something, I am thankful that Zach lived when the tubes existed so he could be blessed by that as well.
I had to learn some things that I didn’t know that I didn’t know.  I had to learn that I need to ask for help, that the world is hard, swirling around me but that I have amazing and awesome friends that are willing to help, if they know and if they know that I won’t be offended.  I had to learn how to put my total trust in God, this is something that I thought that I knew but honestly I don’t know it.  I know that God is sovereign and I know that things will work out according to His plans and that those plans are not to harm me but I can honestly say that I don’t get it.  I don’t get the hurt, the bad, the hard, and the things that no one understands.  I don’t understand how to do it, I don’t get it.  I don’t understand how God’s provisions are there; I don’t understand how the people that God calls to do things do it.  I mean how we are blessed with diet coke and food, blessed with people that will listen to emotions and people that are willing to allow us to stumble through things. 

I had to learn that I can’t have expectations of family and friends, because if I do I will be hurt and disappointed, God is the only one that is perfect and that knows how to handle all the situations.  That the friends that don’t answer like I expect or are more flippant than I understand aren’t trying to be hurtful it is that they don’t get it.  The hurt that I am going through is the hurt that is mine uniquely and even if I let you into the world, it doesn’t mean that you can feel the same way as I do.  Some people are much much better at just listening.  Some people are much much better at just knowing what things others need.  Some people are much much better at just knowing how to LOVE no matter what.  I had to learn that there are people around me that don’t get it, they love me and they are willing to help but they don’t get it.  The words that they say hurt and I have to remind myself that they don’t get it.  I have had to remind myself that God knows my heart and that when I don’t have the words and it seems like friends are hurting more than helping that God knows and only God knows totally what my heart is feeling.

Now where did this all come from…. Adam and I were part of a respite retreat; it was a weekend in a small place outside of Nashville.  A total of 12 couples that have all lost children attended… it was heart touching to come together be surrounded by God and held in His hand while we learned the things that He wanted us to learn.  It wasn’t sad, or painful but absolutely amazing.  To hear the stories, 12 stories all different… several babies that were still in the uterus, several just days old, 3 months old, several 6 months old, 2 years old, almost 4 years old, 12 years old, and 18 years old.  Some of the stories were sudden and filled with tragedy others had more time with their child.  The Love that we had for God, the love that we had for our spouses, and the love for our children (living, developing and dead) were the ties that bound us together; it was like being with some of the people that understood us the best.  Being in a place that we could say anything and ask anything and the conversation wouldn’t end or slam to a halt.  I didn’t have to worry about not knowing what to say because they knew they didn’t know the words either.  To know that I wasn’t, we weren’t, different but instead we were for a few days blessed with people that got it!  Being in a place far from what we were used to but surrounded by God’s creation and majesty.  I can’t even begin to say how beautiful and wonderful nature is.   

I often feel like I don’t have a way to express the pain, the emotions that are in my heart and in my head.  I say it that way because my heart and my head don’t match yet; there are things that I am still conflicted on.  I wish that I could say that I feel this way and I know that it is wrong or right or that it is something that isn’t a rational thought but all I can say is honestly that I don’t know how I feel that the cries of my heart and the cries of my head don’t match.  I feel quite amazed at the things that the retreat helped me with.  I have a deep desire now to help my husband and my son know that they are the best thing ever that they aren’t second rate or second best but they are the perfect people that God has placed for me.  I have learned that all events past and present are part of who I am… I care because God allowed me to experience things, hurtful and painful situations but they are all turned into amazing things since God is in my life. 

I have to admit, I will be a tad more on and off than before, I am still here if you need me you can text, call, email or personal message, but I will be more hit and miss, I want to try to continue the journey that God has put me on.  I want to love on my family, friends, and all the little ones that I come in contact with.  I am designed and here for such a time as this and no matter what the emotions are and no matter what hurt comes and goes, God is the one that has picked me up and is holding me. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

There is a peace I’ve come to know…

I don’t even know where to start, cause while there is a peace that I know, a peace that I know is given from God there is also hurt in ways that many don’t understand.  God has been so wonderful to be gracious and answer prayers.  I needed to be able to talk about and confess some of the emotions that I have been going through.  It was a hard thing for me… the reason why is because I have been told so many negative things, while I know that I don’t need to pay attention on the same hand it hurt badly to try to open up again.  So I prayed that God will show me who and if I needed to talk to others.  I needed to know by name, so I wouldn’t doubt and worry.  So praying after about a week, God gave me some names and then it was no longer who I needed to talk to and be honest with but how.  HOW do I do this?

I have been told, this is just a few of the ones that I have been told...

I have been told that I don’t want to be okay; well truth is there is nothing that I want more.  I have to also wonder who gets to decide what okay looks like.  Who gets to say that everything is okay or that things are going right?  This is something that is so hard to deal with because each and every moment can be different.  It comes in waves, it hits in ways that can be seen but also in ways that might be hidden.

I have been told that I don’t believe in God enough; well truth is that I do believe and I do know that things will be okay, it will just take time.  Sometimes the things are going on has nothing to do with my belief but on the belief that it is all done to be for God’s glory.

I have been told that I don’t care about others, that I put myself above others, well truth is that I care more about others and their emotions than I do about my own.  I have focused on others so much that I have forgotten about me.

I have been told that I haven’t prayed enough, well truth is there isn’t a day that I haven’t prayed and believed in my heart that God is listening.  I believe that God is there and that God knows, I believe that things are sometimes beyond what I can think and even know it is beyond what I can comprehend.  

There are many things that I am trying to learn and trying to figure out.  I am working on being positive about it all.  I stepped out and I started to do what God has told me to do.  To be open, honest, and truthful.  People can’t help if they don’t know.  So as my blog continues, my whole heart is at peace but my emotions and the struggles that I have are still there.  I have to figure out if I want the whole world to see, just a few to know, or none.  Do I want to open myself up to be told something else again?  Sometimes I wonder if I understand, if I know what is going on in my heart.  Sometimes I doubt it all but not because of God but because of me, I know God is able but it is me that I doubt.  When it is all said and done I want to be an AMAZING wife, mom and friend.  I want to make a difference.