Monday, April 28, 2014

Significantly Insignificant

Have you ever just been so busy going through the motions that even if something of importance happened, you might not even notice? I think I have spent much of my life this way. I love the song by Matthew West about "Going through the motions", which says, "just okay is not enough,
Help me fight through the nothingness of life." Of course he is singing in the context of spiritual significance, but it really applies to just life in general. Total side note…I have the privilege of going to the same church with Matthew West. His wife is in a mom's group I do and he recently came and shared stories and songs with us. Yes…I did snap a picture! Sorry for the digression. 

I realized this weekend how so many little, seemingly insignificant things, are in fact, significant. What's interesting is that we don't really see their significance until after the fact, when something highlights or makes them suddenly significant. Oh, to be able to have the forethought of knowing when moments, which seem insignificant at the time, will one day be significant. 

For me, losing Bunky, has caused many of these simply, ordinary moments to come rushing back. I have had to stop beating myself up over the the "if only" I had done this or said that, as it really only tears me down. Instead, I have had to start appreciating the ordinary for what it was in that moment. Knowing that anyone would do things at least somewhat different if they knew it might be their last with someone. If they knew that the simple, insignificant moment would one day be a memory marked with significance. What I will always try to do now, is make simple moments hold more value to me. I will see the significance in the insignificant. Whether that's a long hug, a conversation, or lunch with a friend. I realize more than ever, you may never get that moment again. 

This past weekend Carson played ball at the exact field, which would be his dad's last field to ever coach on. I remember that hot summer Saturday and the two games played in the all-star tournament that day out at West Nashville. There was a huge tree in a field behind the baseball field that Cooper and Colby played in with the other siblings that were there. The Barons team also used that huge tree to relieve themselves between games because there was no bathroom nearby. It was hot. It was dusty. I had given Coach Rod a hair cut that morning before the games, because he was complaining of how hot he got with his hair longer. I remember coming home after a long day and just enjoying sitting and talking before bed. That would be the last time he spoke to me. The last conversation we would ever have.

Driving up to that field this weekend for Carson's games took me back there. The emotions flooded in fast and hard and I had to stay in the car for a while to get myself together before heading to the bleachers. I kept looking at the dirt and the big tree and the field. I thought how insignificant those things were almost 10 months ago, yet how they represented such significance now. I had to smile too, thinking how he would have planned it just like that if he knew it was his last day to be active on this earth….coaching baseball in the hot sun! 
It is also a reminder to me of the eternal significance of moments with others. How many seemingly insignificant moments do we encounter others who may not know the love of Christ? Those moments may be the most valued, important, significant moments they ever experience to learn about a God who loves them enough to send His own Son to die for them. You may be a part of that moment. I may be a part of that moment. If fact, I think I can say with certainty there are probably many moments like that which I just shrug off as nothing, when I am "going through the motions" of my day. Our words matter. What we do for others matters. It might not be a "big deal" moment…but then again, it might. And you might not know what a big deal it was, until something makes you realize it's significance days, weeks, or even years later. 

Friday, April 18, 2014


Forsaken: to be abandoned or deserted.

There have been a few times in my life that I can honestly say I have felt "forsaken." I know God is with me in my heart, but in my head He has "left the building." He is there, yet so far away. So out of reach. Typically, those are times when hard stuff is especially hard. I feel like saying, "Really, God,…you are dumping this in my lap, then running away?" It's not that I don't know He loves me. I know that. "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so,"right? I know, I am sounding a little sarcastic. I really do know that He loves me. It can just sometimes be very lonely in the midst of heartbreak. At the lowest points, hope seems gone. When I am left feeling deserted, abandoned, forsaken.

This week has been one of those. Within a one week period, I have experienced sadness and heartbreak with all three of my boys over losing their dad. Cooper's vocabulary word for the week was "vanished." He went to his teacher and said, "my daddy vanished after he had a heart attack." We talked later that night about it and he said he just missed him so much. Then, Colby, who rarely talks about it at all shared with me how he wished his dad was still here to wrestle with. Followed by, "I'm so glad we will get to see him in Heaven one day, but I wish he was here to play with me." Finally, Carson has shed many tears and says things all the time like, "I wish I could just have one more day with dad" and "I hope you don't die, mom." Tonight he said, "sometimes I just feel so broken." My 10 year old…a 10 year old boy shouldn't be worrying about losing a 2nd parent or expressing his brokenness. These are moments I can feel at a loss for words. The breath knocked out of me. There really are no "right" words. I try to use these moments to point them to Christ…a Father to the Fatherless. Then, I stop and think to myself, "But God, you allowed him to die…how could you leave me with three little boys to answer these kind of questions"...These are moments I feel forsaken.

Then, I realize He promises to never leave or forsake me. I realize that the same God who allowed His son to die on the cross, may very well allow my husband or anyone, for that matter, to die for His greater plan and purpose. To bring glory unto Himself. Tonight, as I thought about the sacrifice that Christ made on the cross, I realize I have nothing to feel forsaken about. Nothing. Jesus felt forsaken by His father. He was for a moment, as the sin of the world was nailed to the cross with His Son. Praise God, on the third day, Christ conquered death. He is risen, He is risen, indeed! So, when I start to feel abandoned. When I start to feel forsaken. I will choose to remember what the One, who truly was forsaken, did for me and the victory over the grave. If He conquered death for me, then He will be faithful to redeem the brokenness and heartache that we experience. He does love us that much. He never has forsaken me and He never will.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I've been wrestling with God more often lately. Wrestling with the "why's." Feeling a heaviness that could consume me at any given moment if I let it. I see how God is working in my own heart to show me broken places. Some that were there long before July 3, 2013. I'm not sure what He wants to do in or through me, but I am certain He will not let go until it's accomplished. While I have done a marvelous job my whole life, of putting up the walls and disconnecting when necessary, I am realizing that won't cut it this time.

I am entering, what I feel like, is a more intensive time in therapy. I am learning more about who I am, where I want to go, and how to get there. One step at a time. All while just beginning to really allow myself to experience my emotion. It is scary. I am vulnerable. It is like my head is in a fog again…similar to how I felt in those first few weeks after Rod went to be with Jesus. I have a hard time thinking past tomorrow. It is simply just too overwhelming right now.

For some reason, I want to put some kind of unrealistic expectation on myself…some time frame that is "reasonable" to start feeling like I am really living again. What I am beginning to realize, is that the more the world tends to go on around me (which it has for a while), the more I feel the weight or burden to make myself do the same thing. Then, I remember, my world has been shattered. Unfortunately, I cannot glue all the shattered pieces back together to make it like it once was. He is gone, and without him in my world, it will never ever be the same again. So, in a sense, it's like starting completely over. That is going to take some time. Probably a long time. I am aware of that, even though it's as if I am taking steps backwards in slow motion some days. My prayer is that I will truly begin to comprehend the height, depth, and length of Christ's love for me right in the midst of my suffering. Right in the midst of my brokenness. Right in the midst of the days I don't want to rebuild, but have no other choice.

An update on the boys:
They are doing well, overall. They each still can have their moments. Colby is the least verbal, but will talk briefly about how he is doing when I intentionally ask him to. Cooper has been talking about his dad fairly frequently lately. He likes to draw pictures of him and tell stories about his daddy. He is very interested in Heaven and what dad is doing up there. Sadly, he is also concerned about what will happen if mommy dies too and needs to be reassured often. He loves his Kindergarten teacher and feels very open to talk about his dad with her. Carson is doing well. He processes all of it more on an adult level and his maturity is far beyond his years. He cries (but not as often) and talks about his dad daily, I have NO doubt he will allow God to use this tragedy in his life to deepen his character. They are still in counseling, though Colby and Cooper will be finishing soon. Carson will continue going every other week, most likely until school starts in the fall. We are busy with baseball most nights of the week and on weekends. All of them are doing well in school, however, we have decided it will be best for Cooper to repeat Kindergarten next year. I know their daddy would be so proud of each of them. I still find it hard to believe he's not here, as they close out another school year.

Psalm 107: 28-31

Thursday, April 3, 2014

9 months…God is enough!

God is enough. I have to remind myself of that so often. Nine months ago, I cried a river that flowed from my face to his, as I kissed his face for the last time and watched him take his last breath. I remember so many details of that day, that looking back seems incomprehensible now. It was truly as if I was outside my own body, watching myself walk down a cold hallway that seemed to go forever. Watching myself dressed in a sterile yellow suit from head to toe. Watching as I waited outside the door to be allowed inside the room where his organ donation would take place, as soon as he took his last breath.  Watching as 4 teams of surgeons stood reverently to the sides, in the shadows, to give me those last few sacred moments with him. Watching as the machines that were keeping him alive were turned off and he seemed to slowly, yet somehow also quickly, slip away peacefully from this earth to his eternal home. Watching as I was taken back out of the room, and had to be held up on 3 sides to walk back down that long hallway without falling to the floor. It still doesn't seem real that it all happened and that the person I watched was me.

I have recently told a few friends and my counselor that I feel like I am experiencing some of the "typical" intense emotions that come with grief in the beginning, more often in the recent weeks. I'm like a pot that has been boiling and bubbling and spewing under the surface of the lid…occasionally steam and bursts of boiling water are forced out here and there. For the most part, I have kept it all at a simmering boil under the protection of the lid. Well, the lid may just be about to blow off. And quite honestly, I am fearful of what it will look like without the tempering of the lid.  I guess what I am trying to say is….there may be a mess coming. I am okay with that…and do you know why? Because grief is messy and unpredictable. Life is messy and unpredictable. We live in a fallen, sinful world. I also know I will be okay, because God IS enough!! He always has been and always will be. I count on it. I have faith in it. I am hopeful because of it.

2 Corinthians 4: 17-18
"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary (Praise God!), but what is unseen is eternal."

My sister sent this song to me. God brought me to her mind when she was listening to it (Love when He does that and people let me know). I can't believe 9 months has passed. I have felt slain. I have felt pain unimaginable. Even still…I will praise the ONE who is enough. There will be messy days to come and though I may resist truth in those moments, my heart belongs to Jesus…this is all just temporary! I encourage you to take a minute to listen to this song and the clip from John Piper, which is in the song.