Saturday, July 1, 2017

Community

I've been wanting to talk to you about community for awhile and as I started writing out this post in my journal something just wasn’t clicking together - it seemed to forced and I got bored. That happens so many times…half written thoughts all over the place. In my boredom I flipped back to something I wrote of February 7th. It pretty much was I needed to express my point - love how that works. 

When I say I want to reach women like me I quickly realize that is three (maybe more) types of women: 

First, The parents of a 14 year old daughter who has become pregnant during her freshman year of high school. 

We are lost, we don’t know what to do and we are filled with grief, how did we let this happen? Our parenting skills will be on display for the world to see. We don’t even know how to afford this - will our insurance cover this child, too? And what about our daughter? What will her life be like? Will she finish high school? Will she always struggle? 

They need resources, they need direction, they need Jesus, but I am not pointing fingers because move forward 16 years and my emotions probably mirrored theirs as I was pregnant and trapped in a horrible relationship. 

How did I get here? A single mother of a six year old expecting another child. Barely affording the insurance I have now, how will I afford to have this child? And how will I bring a child into the mess that is my life? And will I struggle to make ends meet? Will I lose my independence and have to have my parents move in with me at the age of 30? I don’t know how to do this. 

Then there is the woman who has this feeling since her late teens that she was supposed to do something big for Jesus’ Kingdom, but fell into the devil’s traps over and over again. 

I always make the mistake of joining into the devil’s conversation. He is so good a twisting reality and grace, making sure I feel like my secrets are too dark, too offensive to see the light of day. If anyone knew my secrets they surely would say I could not be a leader. I am always afraid that some from my past will appear in my life today and let my secrets out. It’s a very sad life when you live thinking you will not meet your husband in heaven. That we he will arrive and be completely blindsided when you never do. I live in a very cold, dark world that I created for myself. 

So I asked myself, “How do you reach these three groups?” My story most definitely reaches them because each one is a part of my story - my parents, my in my early thirties and me just three years ago. 

One thing became soberingly clear. 

They each need Community. 

A Community of parents who have walked this road and can show the way through this time in life. 

A community to surround her with love and let her know that she not alone. A Community that can show her that this can be done and she is strong enough to face this, again. 

And lastly a community to show love and grace. 

All of these women need a community that provides hope. A community that shares their struggles (past and present) in the hope that it will convey God’s grace to those who need it. 

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, they other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attached and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. ~Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Where a was deficient in community as a young person and in my early thirties, God has blessed me three folds with an amazing community and tribe. 

I have been writing my story for two years now and I know I would not have been able to get this far without the loving community that surrounds me and my Lord who provides me with more strength than I ever knew I had. 

I started to type “my prayer would be” and I am like “ugh, I can pray on my blog. I’ve even been know to pray out loud, in person recently!”

Heavenly Father, I ask you to please surround these women with safe community of family and friends who love them while they walk this path. I ask you that shine down your son’s love through this community showing everyone that we each have a past, but are each still loved and adored by you. I asked that speak into these women and your spirit will lead them to conquer any shame that is keeping them from accepting community. Live in the community Lord, be with them, help them to be a constant source of encouraging love that is needed by these women and by world, Lord. In you precious son’s name I pray, Amen

Beyond a community, I have a tribe and this quote pretty much sums up my tribe. 

In my tribe I am loved during my amazing times and in the times when, well, I am just not lovable (it happens…more times than I would like to admit). I am beyond blessed that God gave me these people to do life with. 


So let’s do it - full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other one, especially as we see the big Day approaching. ~ Hebrews 10:24-25 (MSG)

Friday, June 30, 2017

Park Square Drive


I woke this morning a bit melancholy wishing I could go back to sleep, wishing I could spend more time on Park Square Drive. 

The realness of my dreams early this morning were so odd, but as I look closer I know exactly why my subconscious sent me the first floor apartment. Every piece of furniture, trinket and wall handing was the same as it was the last time I walked through my grandmother’s apartment door. 

Even the yellowish square shaped stone that held her bedroom door open was there. I moved it away so that they door would shut behind me as I searched for something. I felt the soft fullness of her bedspread as I moved to the window. I could even feel the sheer drapes that always hung over her bedroom window. In my dream, her window was open and I thought, “it’s been open the entire time.” It felt like a week had passed since my grandmother had been there, but in the reality she hasn’t lived in that apartment for 16 years. 

Twice, her alarm clock went off (actually it was Matt’s alarm), but in my dream I thought, “ah, she would have woken up at this time as well”. Which is probably true, she was an early riser, though she attempted to be quiet she always woke me up in the morning while making coffee. 

In my dream she was not there and I was searching for something - something I needed. During my search I picked up a cube shaped picture frame that was actually a music box, it slowly played  Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head, as song by BJ Thomas, a song that I will always associate with my grandfather probably because the frame always held a picture of him. 

One of the pictures that was always in the music box


Raindrops keep falling on my head
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turning red
Crying's not for me, 'cause,
I'm never gonna stop the rain by complaining

Because I'm free
Nothing's worrying me

At one point I woke up from my dream, but quickly tried to rush myself back to sleep longing for the smell of white shoulders perfume to take me over. Grasping for just five more minutes in the peace of Park Square Drive. 

As the surroundings of my childhood changed in a pretty steady beat, I could always count of the stability of my grandmother’s apartment. I have to laugh because in my dream her bed kept moving - by the window, closer to the closet, on the other wall - this most certainly because she was known to always move her furniture. She was always trying out new arrangements - I pushed her hide-a-bed sofa across her living room more times than I can count. 

My grandparents moved to Park Square Drive when I was five, shortly before my grandfather’s passing. I have fond memories of their first apartment. My Papa always had CapriSuns for us. I remember the smoothness of their leather sofas and always wanting to put change in his bank that sorted coins. That apartment also holds the memory of the realization of my Papa’s illness. I remember learning that a fire truck comes with an ambulance when someone has a heart attack. It’s crazy how old he seemed to me, but he was just 61 when he passed away. 

My grandmother lived in two other apartments on Park Square Drive - both in the same building, on the same hall, but it’s her floor apartment (down the hall on the right) a simple two room apartment that is my safe place. The place my mind runs when my world is out of control. 

There are so many memories in that apartment like spending the summer crafting, making magnets in elementary school that hung on her refrigerator till the day we move her into a nursing home. And her kitchen with the dark brown cabinets and her round table where a nice meal would always include cantaloup and sliced tomatoes. I remember painting my nails pink at that table to match the pink dress I wore to my oldest cousin’s wedding. And I can also recall fighting morning sickness at that table when I was 14 and I had just confessed to my mother that I was pregnant while visiting my grandmother for Christmas. 

The blue hide-a-bed sofa in her living room holds the memories of a lost 17 year old that truly felt the love of Jesus during the Summer of 1995. I also sat on that sofa six years later and told my Meme that I was pregnant and unmarried. Years before I sat next to my favorite great aunt on that sofa, that afternoon would be the last time I would see the red-haired woman that I looked up to so much. 

It is no shock to me that in a time when I feel like my life is chaotic and I hear criticisms louder that complements that my subconscious would take me to a place where I feel safe. A place where I always felt love. A place that was always stable when my life was out of control. I want so badly to walk through that door again, to find comfort on that sofa and to be surrounded by the safeness of her love. 

Raindrops are falling on my head
And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed
Nothing seems to fit
Those raindrops are falling on my head, they keep falling

So I just did me some talking to the sun
And I said I didn't like the way he got things done
He's sleeping on the job
Those raindrops are falling on my head, they keep fallin'

But there's one thing I know
The blues they send to meet me
Won't defeat me
It won't be long 'till happiness steps up to greet me

Many months ago as I started an EMDR session I was asked to find my safe place and I first thought, “man, I have no clue. I can’t pinpoint a home from the childhood that felt ‘safe’”. Then, one evening I felt panic lurking close by and a grabbed my favorite quilt that I have had for ages - since I was 17, actually. As I covered myself in the heaviness of the quilt I realized when I first felt it calming weight - on that blue sofa, in that apartment on Park Square Drive. 

Do you have a safe place? A place where your mind takes you when life is spinning out of control? A stable memory that you cling to? 






Friday, May 19, 2017

End of School Year for the Littles

Warning: This post is for the grandparents and anyone else who wants an overload of kid pictures. 

Today was Bekah's last day as a pre-schooler (and yesterday was Morgan's) and I think I only cried once (I think...maybe more). It just gets me to realize that this year has already flown by and as of next Thursday afternoon I will have a JUNIOR in HIGH SCHOOL and a KINDERGARTENER and a preschooler. I knew this day would come, but come on! Already? I didn't even mention what I will be in November (in my mind I will always be 25).

Morgan absolutely loved being in school this year and cried on days that she stayed at home while Bekah went to school. She was sad, at first, about moving on the the 4-year old class until she learned Mr. Everett (who is a rockstar to my girls) will be her teacher for Summer Camp.






She got a 2-inch notebook full of memories and pictures from the year...I will cherish it forever! 

Morgan got the award for "Most Cheerful"
Morgan and her teachers

Bekah had a great school as well! The last few months have been more difficult just because she was just so serious while at school and had zero patience for anyone who didn't follow the rules.

Bekah and her teachers. Her assistant teacher was Morgan's lead teacher - which was awesome.  



She had a Step Up Ceremony...which was like graduation. They called her name as "Rebekah Bahn" which had me crying...




I didn't realize how much older she looked (even with the pictures I took above) until I saw this in her memory book.



Her cheeks and then her lack of cheeks...I didn't realize in August how much she still had a baby face and I didn't realize until today how gown up her features have become. CRY!!!! 


I am so thankful for this year and the opportunity that have had. I am thankful for all the memories and friends. I am thankful, though I start to cry, for pictures of them at this young age in the sanctuary where there grandfather preaches each Sunday. I am thankful that their memories are intermingled with the legacy he is making. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

My Story: Scarlet Letter: The Part I had Left Out

We can only respond compassionately to someone telling her story if we have embraced our own story - shame and all. 
~Dr. Brené Brown

Why is it when I am on a deadline to read a chapter of a book by 4 pm today I get an overwhelming nudge to write? The statement above struck a nerve therefor, my friend, we need to have a chat. 

I can most definitely confirm that we live in a society, a culture, where sin is weighted. Even in our churches we struggle to see sin the same as God with the slate that was washed clean by Jesus’ resurrection. We ultimately place some sins so much higher on our scale of not so bad to horribly bad.  I am not condoning our behavior - I am acknowledging that it’s there while also telling you that it is for that reason that I have not share this part of my story. I hesitate out of fear. I hesitate out shame. And it is also because of those reasons that I share today. I am on a journey to pull the lingering weeds of shame out of my story, to acknowledge I have them, to express the reason why and to connect to the fact that I am not the person I was before. There are parts of this story I am ashamed of and there are parts of this story where I fear judgement. There are also parts where you could call me a hypocrite and you would be somewhat correct. 

In the early fall of 2010, as I walked through Macy’s with my fiancĂ© selecting the perfect shade of fiesta pottery to place on our wedding registry, when my phone rang. Fear ran through my body as I saw a name I had not seen in close to a year appear on the screen of my phone. I quickly sent the caller to voicemail. 

In typical fashion, I then received a text. I cannot remember what his original text said, but I do remember how our conversation continued. 

“I am seriously in the middle of registering for my wedding.” 

“I’ve lost you then,” he responded. 

“It’s over. Goodbye,” I sent back.

And that was the end of a 14 year relationship. I was shocked at how easy it was - how perfectly content I was with the finality of our tumultuous times as the closest friends and the absolute worst people for each other. I was empowered by the ability to end the destructive pattern he and I lived in for years. 

I remember reading Paula Dean’s autobiography, ten years ago and thinking, “that’s a brave women who can admit being in a relationship with a married man.” I cannot imagine the judgement she must have received or felt she might, but wrote those words anyway. I don’t think you set out saying, “I am going to break up a family today” or “today, I am going to hurt people”, but sin in our lives lead us to places we never would imagine we would go. 

After 14 years and countless relationships ended as we tried over and over to be together…
After 14 years and two failed marriages (for me) - one broken marriage for him…
After 14 years and one beautiful daughter we made together…
I said my final good-byes to Danny. 

Now in a matter of all honesty that was not the last time I spoke with Danny. About five years ago, when I found out that one of our close friends (his best friend) from high school was tragically killed we spoke briefly on Facebook. I will tell you that I did decline his friend request after that conversation because we were both good - we were both healthy again - we had both healed from the mess we had made and there was no reason to test the boundaries in the attempts to be friends - even in cyberworld. 

Our friendship wasn’t always fuel for a great episode of Jerry Springer, when we met at the age of eighteen and nineteen we were the greatest of friends with an underlying attraction for each other. If you know my story, you know that I spent the first half of my life (or longer) on a quest to feel loved - to feel accepted. Danny provided that safeness to be myself, but in that safeness there was disfunction. I am not sure I can say honestly that we tried to remain plutonic friends and fight the attraction to each other. Quickly our relationship wrecked havoc on his life with his girlfriend. That is when the destruction ball started rolling. 

Danny and I would spend the next five years showing up when life was too hard to handle apart. I wouldn’t be happy with a guy I was dating so I would find him. When he wasn’t happy or when he felt alone he would find me. While our relationship caused drama to storm around us we continued our pattern of life. Never once was there an exclusive, committed relationship between us - there were no strings - we were safe for each other while so harmful to any other relationship we attempted to have. 

The coziness of our safe, but dysfunctional, life ended in January of 2001 when we learned that our disfunction also leads to pregnancy. I remember knowing that Danny and I would never get married. We would never be a perfect little family, but I had at that time imagined that Danny would be a part of Shelby’s life. 

This is where things get complicated - this where things get ugly - this where there were words said by people around us that I will not repeat, though they sometimes still haunt me. In what I would later find was his attempt to shield my heart, Danny held onto a secret that would change the course of our relationship. Towards the end of my first trimester of pregnancy I received a phone call from a woman I knew had been in a relationship with Danny previously. She stated pretty mater of factly that she knew I was pregnant, but she wanted me to know that she was also pregnant (three months further along than I was). Then she said, “I have known about you this entire time.” Now, I mean, I should be more shocked about the first statement, but really I knew what I was dealing with and that no strings that attached him to me. Her second statement left me shocked. I always felt that we (Danny and I) had a relationship where we were very open with our feelings and our thoughts. Even though we held secrets from others we didn’t really have anything that we kept from one another. 

Oh, I don’t know if this makes sense to you, but if you struggle with trust, as I do, then you will understand the blow that statement caused. Should I have felt privileged that he attempted to not lose our relationship by leaving out some pretty vital facts? Most definitely not, but my very young mind did not think I as I do today. This is where I wish I could go back and speak to the 23 year old me. I wish I had an opportunity to pass along a few words of wisdom - to spoil the ending for this roller coster ride, but I can’t. 

To put it politely, Danny was “away” when both of his children (her’s and mine) were born. He actually was “away” when the phone call above was made and he stayed “away” until after Shelby was born. All of this time “away” led to many letters and many unsolicited phone calls from the other woman in his life. It almost became a competition as to who knew him better, who was closer to him and who did he speak to the most. While “away”, Danny kept up is normal method of operation and left me in the dark about many things including a marriage by proxy ceremony that took place a few months into this situation. 

The movie that played out in my head of me having a baby and Danny being a part of her life, but not there full-time (but it was still all rainbows and butterflies), came to crashing halt in that moment. No where in my daydreaming was there another woman, turned wife (which made me the “other woman”) and another child.  This was not what I had planned, at all. Me, always the writer, quickly composed what was probably three pages of anger sealed with with a “see-ya” and threw it in the mail the next day. The only other correspondence I had with him was a picture of our daughter that I sent to him after her birth. 

Oh how I wish the story of us ended here. 

Danny contacted me, again, when Shelby was about 9-months old. It started as, “I want to see my daughter,” which I agreed to and he saw Shelby on a regular basis. I held strongly to the fact that he was now married and I in no way was going to play “the other woman”. This was a battle because our chemistry and our indescribable connection (mentally) was still there. When I found out that his wife was expecting her second child, a secret he tried to keep for three months, I felt it was best for him to focus on what was going on his life and I pulled away with Shelby. 

At that time Shelby had just turned one and I had began dating the man who would eventually become my ex-husband. As you may remember from the story of my ex-husband, I was I run away bride. 

Two weeks before we were scheduled to fly to vegas things started closing in on me. During idle time at work I looked up an old flame and started an email conversation. You know what they say idle hands are the devil’s playground. With my self esteem in the gutter I let this person refill my love tank with complements and reminders that I was a pretty awesome person. In something I hate to type, I let the relationship move from emails to meeting, to cheating a week before marriage. I was filling a void and I was out to hurt my ex-husband even though he knew nothing about any of it. 

I am sure you can put two and two together and realize that “old flame” was most positively Danny. And that, my friend, is when I earned my scarlet letter and cause a major crack in someone else’s family. A fact that causes me a heavy weight of shame. 

As you remember it end quickly because I was on an airplane later that week headed to Vegas and got married. In my mind I thought Danny and I would run into each other again on a softball field while our children played. I can’t tell you how his marriage was during the time I was married, I can only assume that my actions caused some major distrust and turmoil. I know that Danny was a source of major discourse in my marriage. 

My divorce, three years later, left an open door that Danny walked in and out of again though we managed to stay apart for longer stretches of time there was still destruction in our actions. I am hesitant to say that Matt took all of my need for what I thought was safety in Danny away, but it is almost certainly true that God did a big number to my heart in giving me what was really love with Matt. Knowing that love and feeling that love completely overshadowed anything I had felt previously. 


As I re-read the words I have written, today, I hear the shame in my voice and I feel the struggle to justify my actions, but really I have no case - I have no excuse - I have no real explanation for why I continued this pattern with him. Shame has stopped me from writing this for years, though, those close to me know this story. It’s difficult to look back at the time when I was the “other woman”, “the mistress”, “the adulterer”, “the home wrecker” and not have a reason for my actions a compelling plea for you to not judge me. Life is messy - sin makes it messier. 

As I  conclude this mess I realize you may have some questions:

What will writing this do to Shelby?

Not much. We had this full conversation a few years ago and I did get her blessing to publicly post this story. This is where I protect her privacy, though, and ask that you understand this is as much her private life as it is mine. 

What will this do to his family?

I can’t say. Nothing that I have written should be a shock to anyone, they lived through it as well. At the same time, though, I wish no ill will towards him and his family (I am almost positive that he still married and I give him major props for that). It makes me very happy to know that he is good, that he is very involved in his church and that is he gainfully employed. 

Our story is a mess and I am just happy that we’ve both have embraced grace enough to move beyond the destruction. 

And, of course, getting through this calls for a Crowder tune. 

I've done things I wish I hadn't done
I've seen things I wish I hadn't seen
Just the thought of Your amazing grace
And I cry ”Jesus, forgive me!”



If you have not read all of My Story, click here.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Right Words, At the Right Time


The title of this post could've been “This is why David Crowder is amazing” or “Why I Love Music and Can’t Live without it.”


Yesterday I got into my car after two hours in therapy (yep, keep reading) and this song was playing. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I needed these words at this exact time. 

I am found, I am Yours
I am loved, I'm made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am free

Of course I thought, “Ah David Crowder always putting words to what I need”, but that is followed with “ah, God, always speaking through talented people to send me the words I need.”

You guys this is hard - I am not sure if it is hard to type or hard to admit, but I am not fully healed. And really, if I let myself seriously think about it, I won’t be fully healed on this side of heaven. As long as I walk this earth I will have things that I classify (because I am horribly brutal on myself) as a defect. I am like a dance mom on the side of the stage fiercely showing the moves and getting angry when my child (me also) won’t catch on. In my mind I know exactly how I am supposed to be - how healed I need to be - how I need to act - how I need to speak - and when I miss a step I am ugly to myself - completely unkind. 

I am sitting here 8 months shy of turning 40 wondering how in world I became such a perfectionist. I laugh as I glance across my bedroom - I wish the perfectionism would spill into my house keeping. 

How am I supposed to spread the goodness of forgiveness when I live daily disliking myself?

That is a tough pill to swallow (and it may hurt people I love), but I struggle so much to be nice to me, to speak kind words to myself, to see myself as others see me. And in the fear of my unkindness spreading to those I hold dear I pull myself into my shell and I cut people off. 

This is why I sit two hours on a sofa trying uses everything in my body to get to source of this - to figure out where these feeling came from and to embrace truth over the lies I have lived for years. 

A month ago when I went in with Matt for a couple’s check-up I was heart broken to hear our therapist say, “I think I am still hearing shame that isn’t dealt with.” Seriously, you work so stinking hard to work on things, to “fix” things, to get “right” and then you realize - it’s not over yet. It’s exhausting. And to be honest - nothing she said to me was a shock because in August of last year the devil attacked and instead of standing up to him I welcomed him in and he has wreck havoc on my life. 

Please don’t be discouraged by my words - there is hope in this story, this is just a hurdle that I have to walk through and even though I will always live with these defects and quirks that will need to be tended to from time to time I have come so freaking far. I seriously think that is one thing that I can fully be proud of and embrace. I have conquered a lot of junk. 

So, this song reminds me that 

I am found, I am His
I am loved, I'm made pure
I have life, I can breathe
I am healed, I am free

And it gives me that reminder I need that 

God is strong, God is sure
God is life, God endures
God is good, always true
God is light breaking through

He is more than enough, He is love. 


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Only Happy When it Rains: A Letter to the Teenager who has taken over my Preschooler


Hey Miss Melancholy, 

When I heard, “This cereal is totes awesome” over the breakfast table this morning I knew this talk was long overdue. 

I have overlooked the increased amount of eye rolling and need to carry a purse to church on Sunday morning, but I have to draw the line on you wanting to only wear black. I understand that your feelings about the color pink, it’s not my go-to fashion color also, but when you strike every item hanging in your closet because it’s not “dark enough.” I have to do a double take to confirm that I am standing next to a five year old. 

I am trying very hard to get my controlling issues in check and the fact that you have veto’d hair bows is killing me! In this house we wear bows, young lady, the bigger the better (and if they have glitter is totes awesome). If it were up to me you and your sisters (including Shelby) would wear bows everyday till graduation. 

Oh, I know that is another sore subject. I have fully heard how school is “so boring” and how you’d rather “just stay home” and “craft or play video games”. Don’t you see your mom is freaking out even by that sentence? 



Where have a made a wrong turn? What have I done wrong that has caused you to “only like it when it rains” and not like “that bright sunshine weather”? Hello, Shirley Manson! Pretty soon you’ll only be listening “to the sad, sad songs”. Your mother is so aging herself! 

Please, for the love of Christmas (which you will probably dislike this year), let me have my eight more years of non-teenage-hood that I am supposed to have with you.

I am not trying to dampen your creativity or put you in a pink shiny bubble, but can your wardrobe have some variations? I will appease you and throw in some black, but I’ve spent too much money on pink (including pink tennis shoes) to throw it all out now.  

Please, I beg of you, 
to stay sweet
to love all the colors that appear on a sunny day
to see the goodness around you
to smile at your friends
to love your sisters (and not call one of them a baby - you were her age just 17 months ago)
to wear a bow once in a while (for your mother)
to enjoy your years as a young person - mortgages, taxes and dealing with your own teenagers will come soon enough - there is no need to rush. 
to stay creative, but know that there are things we have to do in life and we can’t just color all day
to embrace the perfect you that God has created
and to STOP driving your mother CRAZY! (yes, I am sure I still drive Grammy crazy)

Life is too short to be moody just because moody is “cool” and “pink is for babies”. I love you and I am fully open to you going all goth someday, but if you can wait until you are at least 13 (like Aunt Melinda did), then I will promise to cut back on the ruffles and glitter. 

Love, 

Mommy (or as you like to call me “mother”)

And just for education sake, here is the Urban Dictionary definition for Totes: A shorter more convenient form of the word: totally. This word is most commonly used by teenage girls.

Teenage Girls! Not Preschool girls! 


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Eight Years, Still Sucks

Yesterday, I talked a tough game as Matt and were on a walk. I boasted about how eight years later I don’t expect to cry, “ because It’s just life, things like this happen. Eight years have passed and life has gone on.” 

Ugh

Want to know what grief feels like eight years later? 

It still sucks. 

I didn’t feel that swift kick to my gut that I did on February 26, 2009, but as the sun rose this morning a wave of memories filled my mind.  A reminder of the weight of the loss and the sadness of those who also grieve with me today. A realization that it have been eight years since I have heard his voice - that always gets me. 

Facebook cheerfully reminded me that on the one year anniversary of his death I used this quote. 



I cannot explain the emotion that created in me. In the years since Jame’s death that quote became lyrics, lyrics to a song that I have carried with me through every hard I have faced over the last three years. 

It’s amazing. It fills me with gratefulness and makes me say, “that is completely insane.”

In the last few years the memories of James do not flood into my life like the did the year after he passed away, but no matter how tough I am I cannot keep them out of today. Life has gone on and my sadness over today has gotten better, but just like many other things in my life, I don’t think there is full healing this side of heaven. I still miss him. 

I still miss him, but I relish in the fact that someday this sorrow will heal. 

Come out of sadness
From wherever you've been
Come broken hearted
Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy
Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can't heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can't heal