Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Family Matters...

Hi all, 
It has been quite the journey, literally and emotionally recently. Again, we have set out on our travels, this time heading north to visit Curtis' family.  We flew out to Boston where we went on to Curtis' brother's house and stayed there with him and his family for 3 days. It was such a wonderful blessing for my kids to meet their cousins and to form lifetime bonds.  We had such a wonderful time.  I truly felt that bridges were built that will last forever. 

I have discovered that even if you don't know your extended family very well, that family is so very important.  If there is something that I know Curtis would want me to tell everyone, is this.  Family is very important and vital, and if you have wedges in your family, don't wait until it is too late to make things right.  On the day that Curtis passed away, his older brother and sister came to visit him.  They made such an impact that they would travel all that way to see him. They had no idea as none of us did that the day they visited, would be Curt's last day.  I can remember all that week, Curt was so pleased that he would get to see them.  So thankful that God worked everything out and the timing was precise.  

Spending this weekend with his family was bittersweet.  It was so cool to be together and to laugh and even enjoying a game of whiffle ball with everyone.  It was awesome that most of his family came together on Sunday and that we could all just enjoy each other. Of course, seeing his brother and family brought some sadness, because I knew how much Curt would have enjoyed being there and seeing the kids all get to know each other.  Missing his booming laugh and his sense of humor...I think all of us were thinking the same thing.  

But spending this weekend with Curt's family has made me realize that no matter what we are still family and families who can work through differences will come out stronger.  I hope that if you have family that you are not on good terms with, that you will begin to see the family ties for the strengths and not the weaknesses. To see how important that family really is and that yes, family matters much. 

God bless

Monday, August 1, 2011

6 months later...

Hello all,
6 months is a long time to not see the one you love. Half a year, 182.5 days...4,380 hours...262,800 minutes.  6 months... I wondered during the first month how I would be handling things at 6 months.  

Actually, I am surprised.  I have traveled more in the past 6 months than I have in the past 5 years.  I have been to West Virginia, Alabama, NC coast, Tennessee, soon Virginia and up North to see his family. Looking back on things, I wonder how have I done this? How have I found the courage to travel by myself and some with my kids?   I can tell you how, it has only been by the grace of God.  Yes, I have had plenty of days as you have read in my previous posts, that I have fallen apart over and over and wondered if the pieces would ever be put back together.  Times when my heart has felt like it could become no more shredded and torn.  

The desire to travel has surprised me. Want to know another thing that has surprised me?  The hunger within me to touch others and to see them walk in freedom and victory over the chains of bondage that hold them hostage. The desire for ministry has not decreased as I was concerned it might, but instead it has grown larger than I can contain.   I have wondered how can God's love in me grow so much when I have a hole in my heart that came from Curtis' death.  I have a greater compassion for the hurting. Maybe it is because I saw my husband hurt so deeply. I saw him come from years of denial and secretly trying to overcome to being a man who had allowed the shackles to be broken off bringing a liberty that could not be denied.  

I pray that my desire for freedom will never be quenched.  That I will never feel like I have obtained all the freedom that I need. For our lives are filled with layers and layers that will always need the healing touch of the Saviour.  I believe that Curtis had began to experience the freedom that comes with the layers of pain and bitterness being peeled back.  I want to keep experiencing that myself. To have yet another layer peeled and the oil of the Lord poured onto the scars so they will not become hardened and calloused. 

During the past 6 months I have grieved, yet I have laughed.. I have cried yet, I have experienced joy.  I have plunged to the depths of a despair that has scared me so badly, but God's love has reached down and brought me into a new path of restoration.   Grief is a peculiar thing.  Like I have said before, there is no right or wrong way to grief.  For those of you who have lost something very precious in your life, take time to grieve, whether it was yesterday or 25 years ago. Bare your heart to God, to friends who will hold you and give you a safe place to express your pain and sorrow.  Burying the pain will only make it harder to release it later.  Yes, it hurts so deeply to express the grief, but in doing so, you will soon find out that the huge ball of relentless emotions begins to subside and you begin to live again.  

So yeah, 6 months is a long time to be without the one you love, but when you count the minutes that God has carried you, it makes the next 6 months seem more tolerable.  

Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement.