Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Burdened No More!!!

It's been a while since I last wrote anything. Some things just kind of seem to have stood still for us the past month or so, or it was just that we were so incredibly busy that we didn't really have time to stop and think or see the things we have been through.

Lately I have been so much at peace with life in a way that I never thought I would ever have again. And to be quite honest it is better than I had prayed for. Back in November and December, I went through some very horrible times of dealing with things that I really didn't want to deal with. I HAD to ask God some tough questions and somehow be ok with the answer or be ok with NO answer as that was the case much of the time. As I have said before, the holidays just don't have the same pleasure for me as they used to, but during that time God challenged me in ways that I really didn't want to be challenged and allowed me to feel things that I didn't want to feel. We (God and I) had some really tough conversations which left me feeling no better than I was before.

It has been about a year and a half since we lost Caden, and to be quite honest, losing Caden was huge, but Tom and I had so many other little losses throughout that year that brought all of the pain of losing Caden back again and again and again. Time after time after time there were things that were gradually being taken away from us. Bearing in mind nothing can ever come as close to the loss of Caden, but the other things just enhanced our pain even more. We kept asking God when was it going to end? Hitting the year mark of Caden dying, was almost a relief for me as I felt like now I could try to be happy again, but really it wasn't being happy that I wanted, it was peace. I never thought that I could ever be at peace with life or this world ever again. Gloom and doom just seemed to hang over me and wouldn't go away. Tom and I had to make some extremely hard decisions that some people close to use just didn't understand, and to me that really hurt. People seemed to pull away from us or didn't understand the people we were changing to be. But for those of you out there, when a tragic circumstance comes into your life, you can either put on a mask and just face it but not really, or you can pray and ask God for all the strength you'll ever need to trust Him even though you hurt and let His love change you forever. Tom and I prayed and God helped us choose the latter, and we are so greatful that God used us and is continuing to use us.

Trusting God was not easy. I wrestled with it for several months. Asking why, how, what for, when, etc. Most of those questions may never be answered, but one day back in December, I remember praying to God and saying "Ok, this is what happened. I can't change it and I can't hide it either, so God please don't let me waste my pain. Help me to allow you to use my pain to bring glory to your kingdom in a way only you can." Shortly after that in the beginning of Jan. I received some news, it wasn't good or bad, just hard to take. I kept asking God what was wrong with me. And his answer was "nothing." I began realizing that God was sharing in my pain all along only I just couldn't see it because I was blinded by my own tears and sorrow. He really was walking with me and holding me so close that I couldn't see that He was hurting too. I began to ask God daily to give me the strength to trust him, because I was so scared to do that again. I really didn't know what God would do next if I completely gave up my control. He may ask something even harder of me, though I am not sure there is anything at this point.

Sometime in mid January, I began to feel that the burdens I had been carrying were suddenly just lifted off of me. What once seemed so heavy was now bearable or didn't even matter at all. I would like to say I had something to do with it and maybe going to God daily did help, but really God took those burdens and has released me from them for good. Now I won't say that I don't still grieve, b/c I think that a part of me always will, but I forever have an angel watching out for Tom and I and anyone else who may enter our family, Caden. That to me makes us special.

I just recently went to a Women of Faith conference with a bunch of my college roommates in KC. I really didn't know what to expect. Each man and woman that spoke had such a powerful story of how God is delivering them through some tough stuff that they never imagined having to go through. Steven Curtis Chapman was there and spoke about how each time he sings his songs they have new meaning for him now since the tragic accident his family has been through the past year. Also I liked Mandisa before, but I have completely fallen in love with her music now. Her message was so powerful. She sang a song that I had only heard a couple of times called "My Deliverer". Below are the lyrics, they are exactly what I feel God has done for me and my being able to trust him again.

Mandisa - My Deliverer From the album Freedom
(look up this song online or at the book stores, it is very powerful)

I was so helpless Where did the light go? I had no hope left deep down in my soul. I was watching. I was waiting. I was praying. I was staying down on my knees. That's right where you found me.

Chorus: My Deliverer! You rescued me from all that held me captive. My Deliverer! You set me free. Now I'm alive and I can live. So every moment I can give you praise. My Deliverer!

There's no pretending. I can't do it myself. I'm so dependent. Lord, I need Your help. I'll be watching. I'll be waiting. I'll be praying I'll be staying down on my knees. That's right where you find me.

Chorus: My Deliverer! You rescued me from all that held me captive. My Deliverer! You set me free. Now I'm alive and I can live. So every moment I can give you praise. My Deliverer!

La la la la la I need you. You know whatever I'm going through I'll be watching, I'll be waiting, I'll be praying I'll be staying down on my knees. That's right where you'll find me... I'm no longer captive! My Deliverer! You gave your life that I might live. So every moment I will give you praise. My Deliverer!

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