January 13, 2010

A Walk By The River

The Story Continues..... (See the three blog posts from October to catch the beginning of this story....or if you haven't read it since then you may want to re-read it just to refresh your memory). This is a real in progress story and I have promised to be real and honest as I share my feelings. If I offend anyone with what I say along the way I ask that you forgive me and try to understand where I / Sandy are walking right now. This is our story.

A Walk By The River.....

Have you ever had one of those days when you know something big is coming and yet the words just won't come out of your mouth to acknowledge it? A day that your spirit senses that your whole world is about to change? It was a day like that that we first began to try to have a child.

For a few months we had been talking back and forth about having children and if it was in the plans for us. We didn't really know what we were going to do or what God wanted us to do. We had concerns about our ages....specifically mine and any health issues that might arise from that. We knew that with me having just turned 40 that there was going to be a higher risk associated with that to both me and a child. But I guess in the end we knew that if God was strong enough to change my heart about having children (He was!) that He would certainly be strong enough to protect them and me from any danger.

I don't think that we ever consciously said out loud that any particular day would be the day we would start trying. I think after all the years it had taken to get to this place that the pressure of saying this will be the day would have been a bit overwhelming. I guess we both knew within us that we would know when that day had arrived....and we did : )

I remember that day just like it was yesterday. It was a beautiful fall day and we were headed to Gatlinburg for a long weekend of enjoying the Christmas lights and visiting Dollywood . It was one of those days when everything you see catches your attention and you see beauty everywhere you look. We had a late check-in time so we took our time getting there and drove in along the river road. The sun was shining and the river was sparkling like thousands of beautiful diamonds. We were captured by the beauty around us and decided to stop and walk down by the river and take some pictures.

Everywhere we looked we saw God's glory and magnificence. In some places the water was running briskly over the rocks and driftwood making beautiful waterfalls and cascades. In other places the water was as calm and smooth as glass. The trees all around us were still displaying their beautiful fall colors as the sun smiled down through the trees onto the water. The picturesque curvy mountain road touched with colorful fallen leaves completed the whole beautiful picture.

It was an afternoon of enjoying Gods beauty and of also feeling His presence within you and around you. It was a day that my spirit sensed something big was coming our way. We had an intimate time of just being quiet together and enjoying God’s creation. I had a knowing feeling deep within me that this day would hold something special that would forever change who we were as a couple.

After several stops along the way we finally made it to Gatlinburg and our condo. What a nice place with a wonderful mountain view. God was really working overtime on showing us beauty and on calling in the romance….

We went to dinner at Calhoun’s for BBQ and enjoyed having time to sit and talk and watch the Christmas lights through the windows. After dinner we drove around Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and enjoyed the lights. (If you have never seen the lights in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge at Christmas it is well worth the drive to check them out. They are beautiful!!) After that we drove back to the condo and relaxed.

The rest of the evening I won’t talk about except to say…. It was wonderful and when it came time to make a decision ….the decision was already settled in both of our minds that this was our time. And….that’s all I’m going to say about that…..

The next morning we went to Dollywood and spent the day having fun and celebrating being together and being in love. We had taken a big step in our relationship. It had taken 14 years to get there and the bond we felt on that day was deeper than it had ever been. There would no longer ever be any barriers between longer anything held back.

Our lives and our relationship had forever changed in a single moment. We just had no idea how much.

To be continued.....


p.s. For all of you who thought I was going to say that we fooled around down by the river....SHAME ON YOU .... :) ... it was just too cold.......haha

January 7, 2010

A Fresh Start

Happy New Year!!!

Isn’t it great to start a new year? To be given a clean slate….to leave the past behind….to start over completely fresh.

I love it! Starting over soothes the soul in a way that few things can.

I can tell you that I have never been happier to start a new year than this one. This last year has been the hardest year of my life. I have struggled with my life, my faith, my spirit, and with my God. I have hurt in places that I never even knew existed in me. I have questioned who God is, what His motives are, and why that He has allowed such pain and confusion into my life. It is the most lost that I have ever felt in my Christian walk.

I could go into what that is all about but I will just say it like this. This past year we lost one of the greatest dreams that God had ever put into our hearts and soon after that we lost one of the greatest joys the God had ever brought to our life. To say it was a tough year is a complete understatement.

I have never experienced a time in my life where I have been more filled with confusion and hurt and questions that just have no answers than in the last year. It has been a life changing experience and I will never be the person that I was six months ago.

Have you ever noticed that when you are in a crisis that it completely steals your focus away from everything else? Trust me when I say that it does :) A great friend of mine recently told me that I needed to take a step back from all I was looking at. He said that I was standing so close that all I could see was the problem. In essence....that meant that even though God wasn't answering my questions to my liking.....or on my time table.....that I was so absorbed in the problem that I couldn't even see the things that God was doing.

So I've taken some time....I've stepped back the best that I could... and I have reflected on the last year....AND..... I have seen God's hand in action all along the way. I want to tell you a couple of things that I learned during this time of reflection.

The most important thing that I can tell you that I saw is this…. GOD NEVER LEAVES!!! . I mean He never leaves ..... Ever! When I questioned Him.... He listened. When I yelled at Him (Yes, I have)...He smiled. When I walked away....He followed. When I doubted...He was visible. When I cried..... He drew near. No matter what I did..... He stood right beside me and He never ever left.

The second thing is this. No matter what is going on in my life God is still God. He loves me, wants only the best for me, and He will work this out for my good in His perfect time. Just because I may not be getting answers or seeing things through God’s eyes does not mean that His plan is not already in action every single minute.

All that being said, I’ve given myself a fresh start with this New Year. I’ve laid down the last year’s hurts, disappointments, questions, fears, anger, confusion, and worries. That doesn’t mean I am over the things that have happened or that I won’t ever pick those things up again. What it means is this. I have put all these things back in God’s hands where they belong and I have started fresh once again. It may not be God’s will that I ever know the answers I’ve been seeking….but it is always His will for Him to take care of me. That is more than enough.

Friends, Will you join me in starting fresh with God this year? Will you take some time to reflect and see God’s hand working in your life? It’s time to make a choice. It’s time to lay it all down to the one that it belongs to in the first place. Will you lay down the hard things that you have been carrying over the last year…..years? Will you give it to Him and leave it in His hands and trust that He will make something beautiful of it in His perfect time? It’s time to give it back to Him. We were never meant to carry it in the first place.

Please join me. I know it won’t be easy. I will struggle to hold onto the past and the questions that I have. So will you. But it’s time to let the weight of all that go. Our Father loves us. It is not His will for us to carry the things that we don’t understand. It is not His will for us to feel brokenhearted, or guilty, or unloved, or misunderstood. It is His desire to walk with us the hard things of our life….and to carry the things that we don’t have the strength or knowledge to understand.

Let’s lay it down guys. Give Him our burdens, our past, and our future. Lay it down! Accept the freedom He gives. It will change us forever if we will but trust Him to do what is already His nature to do. That is to take perfect care of us. There is nothing He wants to do more.

Lay it down! Then look up and watch to see what He does. We are going to be amazed!!

Blessings and Peace and Freedom in the New Year!