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I don’t know if I will ever feel whole again, if the numbness will ever leave me. They keep saying time, but what can time do, but dim a mind? It cannot heal all wounds because some wounds run too deep. We keep saying it isn’t good-bye; we cling to our hope, our faith because what else is there?

I cry when no one is looking, so I can be strong when all eyes are on me. “Am I okay?” they keep asking and all I want to do is say, “would you be okay?” What is okay? I am sleeping, eating, breathing… I’m alive. Does that make me okay?

I find solace in knowing pieces of them will never leave, pieces will be passed down and down and down. Her famous red velvet cake that we have had at every celebration, his story about what can happen if you eat too much of said cake… I sit here and laugh, but want to cry. I knew when I learned the recipes that this was why.

I knew when I listened to the stories, kept the drawings, cherished the words written that this was why.

I knew that I couldn’t hold on forever, but here I am trying to hold onto anything I can.

I know these words are nothing, but a cry that I won’t let escape. I type them and re-type them, but nothing sounds right.

And just when I thought I wouldn’t know how to end this with a smile I hear a voice that says, “turn on the radio.”

That was all the reminder I needed. We are in better hands, she is in better hands, and while I feel as if the world should stop with me there is hope, there is faith.

Smile.

 

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Isaiah 30:21My mind is slightly all over the place this evening. I’m trying to tame my thoughts to make sure I tell the story that has been laid on my heart. I am currently on what I deem my second great adventure. I truly believe that everything that happens will be truly great as long as I listen.

I have officially been in Colorado for one month this week and everything that is happening just proves, that if I let God, He has an amazing plan for my life. When I first came out here I went to a meeting for church builders, not sure I really belonged there, but why not? After attending the meeting I received a book called The Faith of Leap: Embracing a Theology of Risk, Adventure & Courage. Now, if that isn’t the most perfect book title for what I am doing I don’t know what is.

I have been slowly diving into this book, and I mean slowly, but that is because I find myself highlight or underlining half of the page on most of the pages in the book.

First, we confront the fear of crisis: “Crisis is no bad thing. In fact it’s an opportunity to rediscover.” Wow, that line just blew me away in this book. The past has been one giant crisis after the next. I have worn my armor and tried to protect myself from my real emotions, tried to protect my family from how I was falling a part. Really, I was looking at the situation all wrong. God was not allowing life to sucker punch me repeatedly because it looked like I was just “too happy,” it was allowed because I needed that opportunity. It is time all of us take a look at the drama and crises and see if they are really just opportunities.

Secondly, we start to see how this life and our walk with the Lord are supposed to be an unpredictable adventure. The book quotes Tolkien,

[Bilbo] used often to say that there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs are at every doorstep, and every path is its tributary. “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Life Begins... You can’t predict life, but you can predict your reactions. The greatest thing any one of us can do is show love and compassion to others remembering that each of us are going through a battle. Of course, we all misstep and do the wrong thing, say the wrong thing, but it’s how we move forward with that. My sister, one of the nicest people you will ever meet, is a 2nd grade teacher. She called this week and said she was really disappointed in how she reacted to one of her students. I reminded her that you can do something right 1000 times, but that 1001 time you just mess up. That IS LIFE. That doesn’t mean we don’t walk out onto the road.

“Adventure is an attitude we must apply to the day-to-day obstacles of our life…” We get a second chance EVERY second of every day of our lives, yet so many of is do not take advantage of this. You could change everything. Not happy where you are? Move. Not happy with your relationship with God? Pray. Having trouble forgiving? Forgive and Forget. Need to apologize? Call them. Life is an adventure and we have to be willing to seize what God gave us and live for him every moment.

The book provides some great reasons for why we don’t do anything though. My favorite two lines so far are: “Much depends on how we perceive life–as a threat or opportunity.” and “Our preference for stability and security blind us to the opportunities for adventure when they present themselves.”

I love the second one because that is why I left Florida. That is why I am in Colorado, thousands of miles away from my family and friends.

The last thing I’ve taken away from this wonderful book so far is that life is anything, but normal and we have to live with courage.

“Courage finds it’s greatest expression in love and sacrifice. It is that point where we can be sure we are in faith (1 John 3). When we really love, consistently and in Jesus’s name, we are being as courageous as we are ever expected to be.”

Courage is a wonderful thing, we need it to make it through every day. I know it may seem like you aren’t courageous in your life, but take a look and see that standing up to someone, being kind to a stranger, dealing with poor health, dealing with death, saying good-bye and so many more things are all acts of courage.

Today I went on my own adventure. I went out alone and just was. I didn’t need to be with someone else in order to enjoy this wonderful world. I hope that each of you can learn to live life they way it was meant to be for Jesus. And so I leave you with this, “Martin Luther suggested, the church should live its life as if Jesus died yesterday, rose from the dead toady, and is coming back tomorrow.” Are you living that way?

Today I am smiling for this great adventure.

240027855111609098_lPl7TKxO_bTell me a story. A story of love with no end in sight. Tell me how you overcome the backward, unexplainable actions. Tell me how you fall in love and stay there. Tell me.

This is no ordinary love story and really it isn’t my love story to tell, but then again if I don’t tell it who will?

Think about everything you could put a relationship through, every test, every heartbreak and image you still get your happy ending. There were times of silence, times when nothing seemed like they would ever work out again. There were times when everyone gave up and walked away.

How do you overcome that? How do you learn to trust the other person again? I don’t know how personally, but I have seen it. I have seen a relationship put through unimaginalbe things, things that would doom it to fail. You know what though? God brought them back together exactly when the worst things imaginable were happening. He has a funny way of doing that, never early, never late, but always perfect timing.

He brought them back together and then the whole world FLIPPED upside down. We have one in the hospital because of a mystery mass on their brain, the other with two parents on the verge of reaching the other side, and they have each other again. Perfect timing, but more miracles were on the way.

The mass turned out to be an infection, not a tumor or cancer. The parents died within such a short time of  each other they had a joint funeral. The medicine that would keep the one from going to the funeral were cut off on CHRISTMAS DAY and in perfect timing they were both able to go to the funeral.

God sure is great.

Now, you would think, “okay they’ve had enough, time for a break?” No, God isn’t done yet. Two more parents health failing, Alzheimer’s stealing one before they are actually gone, the other so weak any misstep could be the call we all dread. There is a silver lining though and it comes in the form of a promise. A promise that they will never let go of each other. The missteps of the past are exactly that and have been left where they should.

We aren’t meant to understand, we are meant to trust.

Today I am smiling for their love, for my love for them, and for their love for me.