“Together Forever”

I had a busy weekend cleaning. In the midst of continuing to try to move my belongings from the last 22 years I came across so many reminders of you. Not that I needed them, I always am thinking of you, but for some reason I do always find great comfort in the pain that comes from grieving over everything that reminds me of you. Maybe because it’s the biggest reminder, proof and evidence of what I shared with you. It helps to calm me and relieve my soul that it isn’t empty and lonely because of what I was able to have with you. I am so grateful for all the memories. All the hidden treasures you left behind for me; every little piece is so sacred and could never be replaced.

There were many tears today and even though I think the world thinks I may have found my strength, that I have somehow found a way to “move on” I know its not true. I still hurt, I cry, and I still scream, for you. How could I not? Look what I’ve lost. Even after a few years, I don’t think I believe in moving on. Not from people you love, the people you’ve lost. Not from the friendships you share. I am not good at moving on. I hold on. I appreciate and value the depth of what I’ve shared with the people I love and it just never goes away. I think that is both a gift and a curse. It is hard because there are many emotions involved with holding on.

I found a note from you today. Your handwriting, so beautiful and neat, just like you. The note ended with “Together Forever.” Those words never hurt so bad, mom because I needed you here with me… I suddenly felt angry and rejected. It wasn’t fair; it will never be fair… I finally led myself over to one of my favorite books.

My devotion today… “I AM YOUR STRENGTH AND SHIELD. I plan out each day and have it ready for you long before you arise from bed. I also provide the strength you need each step of the way. Instead of assessing your energy level and wondering about what’s on the road ahead, concentrate on staying in touch with me. My power flows freely into you through our open communication. Refuse to waste energy worrying, and you will have strength to spare. Whenever you start to feel afraid, remember that I am your shield. But unlike inanimate armor, I am always alert and active. My presence watches over you continually, protecting you from both known and unknown dangers. Entrust yourself to my watch care which is the best security system available. I am with you and will always watch over you wherever you go.”

I am thankful I opened my devotional this evening. After a rough day, I felt defeated. I felt hyper sensitive to my surroundings and desperate for all the things I once found comfort in. Exactly what I needed was a reminder from my God that all I truly need is him. It is so easy to become distracted, to get off track. To stray away from him, from who you are and make mistakes. I have been there many times. My heart now cries for the glory of grace and the endless care from the presence of Jesus Christ. Maybe that’s why I can’t learn to move on. Maybe he has taught me to love like him, unconditionally.

 I miss you tonight, mom, as I miss you always. I wish you were here to share this evening with me, but I know you are so close and will always be within my heart. One day, we will be together again, forever and ever. I hold on to that day, it gives me hope and peace. I rejoice in being “Together Forever.”

Hello October!

Well, whether we are ready or not, it is now the beginning of October. It is hard to believe how fast time passes by. Isn’t it? I feel as if each time I write a post I find myself expressing a similar statement.

October

Fall is such a wonderful time of the year. The leaves are changing, there are many wonderful scents to enjoy and yummy things to eat…oh, and of course it is football season. Suddenly, it’s time to pull the sweaters out of the back of your closet and start wearing your cute boots. There isn’t a better time for warm coffee or fuzzy blankets. You can explore fun activities with your friends and family such as carving pumpkins (one of my favorites). There are just so many joyful things about this time of the year.

However, tied to all these beautiful things, there can be sadness too. Fall brings holidays, memories and traditions. For me, this can be a real struggle. As much as I love to enjoy all my favorites about this time of the year, my heart aches for what I am missing. My mom. As today, I am working at the office; I can’t help but feel distracted with my thoughts. My mind wonders and wishes so badly that I could spend this first fall weekend with her.

She loved this time of the year too. She always made the most of what the season would bring. She was full of life, generosity and love. How blessed am I to learn from her incredible behavior and to now in some special way walk in her footsteps? I continue to remind myself that is what she would want for me. Life, generosity and love.

I came across this verse today and felt very inspired by it…

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. -2 Corinthians 9:11

What an empowering verse! God is really speaking to me right now. He continues to enrich me in every way so that I have the ability to give to others. And that is exactly what this fall season is about. We should be consumed with having generosity on every occasion and giving no matter what the result may be. Through God all of our giving will be rewarded with good.

Through the smile and tears, he has truly continued to be by my side. With happiness and with sadness, the Lord has been so generous to me. I feel humbled by 2 Corinthians 9:11. I feel motivated and ready to make the most of this fall and to walk with generosity in the guidance of my Lord and of course, my mother, so that they may lead me down the paths that I need to follow.

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Gifts Come From Above

Messages from above seem to come at the perfect time for me. Just as I need a message of hope the Lord is so good to me and in some mysterious way he provides me with the encouragement I need.

I wanted to share this verse on my blog because I think it is a perfect reminder. As bad things happen throughout your day and in your life it is so easy and almost natural to want to assign some sort of blame. I am guilty of it, too! However, we must remind ourselves that God does not want bad things to happen to us. Rather, he is our refuge and strength for when the inevitable happens and we are forced to face difficulties.

“Every good and perfect gift comes from above.” – James 1:17

This verse hits the spot for me lately. Even through our struggles he provides us with relief, comfort and joy. He is the one responsible for all of the good and perfect gifts. I encourage you to allow yourself to accept that the ‘bad’ is not from our Lord and savior. Don’t get in a place of anger or hatred with God. He is our father and friend, he only wants to help us and lift the weight off our heavy shoulders.

Let this verse enlighten your day and week. God is good! 🙂

gift - above

Trust Yourself

I debated on exactly how in-depth I wanted to get with this post based on my own privacy, I suppose. After giving it a lot of thought for a few days I decided to just begin writing to see where my words would take me.

My thoughts begin with the word honesty. If you can’t be honest with yourself, how can you ever expect to be honest with anyone else? For those who know me well, they understand one value that I hold incredibility high is trust. It is impossible for me to be involved in a good friendship or even more so relationship without the feeling of mutual trust.

Your word is only as good as your actions.

Trust can be very complicated. It takes a while to build, but can be broken within a matter of seconds.

Throughout the past five months I have been dealing with debilitating pain. My body has felt trapped within a state that feels extremely unhealthy. I have felt fatigue, along with an assortment of chronic pain that has been capable of controlling my life both physically and mentally.  And at times it has. However, I’ve felt determined to overcome this sick feeling no matter how much it would take out of me.

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I had to trust myself. I would remind myself of this daily. There were multiple times I recall crying out to myself or some of the close people in my life… “Am I crazy?” I wasn’t even sure if I was asking myself or if I was waiting for someone else to declare it. I had to be crazy. I’ve felt physical pain before, as losing my mom took over both my mind and body for a while, but this was something much different. I almost felt in some ways like I couldn’t manage to function.

I knew something was going on with my body, I just wasn’t sure what it was. As I went from doctor to doctor, I would find myself in tears recalling the same story. I would read my journal to them where I kept tabs of what I ate, how many hours I slept, the medicine/supplements I would consume and what I was feeling. I took multiple tests where minor abnormalities would pop up but nothing explaining the deep and controlling pain I knew I was experiencing. It quickly became a nightmare.

I could feel myself losing patience; but that wasn’t even the worst part. I could also feel people, who meant so much to me, pushing away from me because it began to consume me. I wasn’t fun, I sure wasn’t happy and it’s very possible, it was quite difficult to be around me.  People at work began to recognize I was in pain. They would complement me with how well I was coping. They’d even make mention of my positive attitude and devoted energy to my work. But inside I could feel that it was fake and draining me. I was giving it all I could just to make it through a day of work. One day at a time.

Finally one night I was absolutely hysterical. I was crying out to my father and friend, “I am in so much pain, I can’t do this anymore.” And in spite of what they may of thought, I truly felt this way. I was losing hope because I was trying desperately to find some sort of answer and relief. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t happening.

Very shortly after that night, I think God heard my cries and answered my prayers. I met with an extremely talented and generous doctor. For once, in this journey, I felt that he actually wanted me better as much as I did. I knew he was determined to help me and lead me to recovery. Within a few long months he connected me with a very special lady. She was a specialized in the area he felt I needed to be connected in. He was right.

Within a month of my first visit with her I was getting put to sleep for surgery. I went into the surgery nervous, but anxious with some sort of excitement. I was looking for answers that I so desperately needed. My first memory after recovery was the voice of the sweet lady doctor. She held my arm and said “Randi, my dear, you are not crazy.” It turns out something had been taking over my body and was causing me intense and terrible pain. If they wouldn’t have found it, it would have only gotten worse for me and could have resulted in a lot of permanent damage that would have been devastating for me.

I am still recovering, I have a long ways to go, but I know now how important it is to always trust yourself. You know your own body and needs. Don’t ever sell yourself short by not acknowledging what you feel. Be your own advocate and fight with every ounce of hope that no matter what you are facing there are better days ahead. Healing will come for those who believe.

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Wishing You a Happy Birthday

I stepped outside on my lunch today. The sun was shining so bright and beautifully. The air was still and for a moment I finally felt calm. I couldn’t help but smile because in my heart I knew today would be a sunny day. The sun is shining for you, because this is your day. Though I miss your physical presence more than my words could ever express. I know you are in good hands and that your soul is free. It’s free of any pain, negativity, panic, worry and heartache. It’s full of joy, laughter, pride and happiness. I want all of those wonderful things for you, I promise that I do. I try to fight every waking day to feel joy in my heart. I want to come to some sort of peace because I know that is what you want for me. Some days are easier than others. Today is a hard day. But I thank you, and I thank our glorious God for allowing the warm soothing sun to shine so bright on me today. When I close my eyes I can almost feel your arms wrapped around me. There is nothing like the feeling of your touch. There is no sound as sweet as your loving voice. Please know, for as long as I live, no one will ever take your place.

This is from me, mom, from the bottom of my heart, wishing you a happy birthday.

Birthday butterflies