Seasons change.

“there is a time for everything

 and a season for every activity under the heavens”

Ecclesiastes 3:1 New International Version (NIV)

I have walked many seasons in my life, and I know one of the longest and hardest of these has been my season of grief.

From the time my daughter Livvy was diagnosed I have grieved for what should have been, the life she should have lived or it in reality the life I had expected, planned, wanted her to live. 

73364214_486101352000369_1861327350210232320_n-2

Then when we lost her 11 years ago, I grieved for her physically, grieved for her missing, her smile, her touch and the blessing of her spirit.

My grief felt like darkness.  

My whole spirit crushed by the pain of missing. 

I didn’t understand the why and I was often angry screaming at the ‘why her.’

This was my season of darkness and no matter how hard I tried to pretend I wasn’t sure I would live a life with light anymore.

Yet Jesus knew. 

My dear friend sent me a link to Christian singer songwriter called Steven Curtis Chapman.  Steven and his wife lost their daughter the same year I lost Livvy. Through his grief he wrote and produced an album called Beauty will rise. This cd, these songs, the words broke through my darkness.  In the midst of my pain I could not see God in my Bible, the words lost as my tears blinded me from his love. Yet in these songs, in the lyrics, hope started to grow once again, and the promise that I could hear in the melody slowly healed my heart. 

One of the songs is called ‘Spring is coming ‘and this week as we have faced 11 years without our beautiful girl, I have held on tight to this. Not because I am waiting on the Spring though this cold weather is already getting to me, because I know the blessing of the new.  I have felt the new life burst inside of me. I give thanks and praise to the changing seasons and the love, the hope and the promise each one brings. 

So today I am sharing this with you, sharing my heart and my journey, because God has asked me to share my story. He wants all to know that he is the light in the darkness. 

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus was and is my light. 

So, if any of you are now struggling in the darkness and if you are feeling the crushing weight of fear, doubt or anger, hold on to the fact that this time is a season and that seasons change. Life is a journey often full of pain and loss believe me when I say I know this but whatever you are facing, know that you are not alone, that Jesus walks beside you. 

74987789_1191344957920410_1481852687367536640_n-2

If you had asked me 11 years ago if I would know joy again, I would have said no easily, my heart was broken. I still miss Livvy so desperately and often still fall under the weight of grief but now my heart knows the promise, the promise that one day I will be reunited with her. Yet in this life whilst I walk it without her physically right now, I know that Jesus has great plans for me and joy it does come in the morning, not promising what morning but it does come. 

img_1821

So, I just want to remind you that whatever you are facing you are not alone. That you can do this and even in the crushing darkness there will be and always will be a light, the light of Jesus. 

Hold on

different then

 

Every day brings changes and sometimes I want to run and hide from them.

I want to return to the time when life made sense and my heart wasn’t broken.

Yet I know I cannot, I am not now who I was then.

In fact I barely recognise the old me at times. It’s not the hair colour or the extra pounds it’s the scars on my heart that make me different.

Life changes you everyday and sometimes the changes are good and sometimes they aren’t but for everyone change is an opportunity to grow.

Becoming a mom was one of the greatest things I will ever achieve but I never expected how having children would change the way I view life.

Having a disabled child was something I would have never foreseen, but getting to be Livvy’s mom created something inside me I am so very proud of.

I guess what I’m trying to say is this…..

Sometimes life will throw you in a direction you didn’t have planned, send you down a pathway you didn’t want to go. It may be hard, it maybe heartbreaking but don’t give up.

Know deep in your heart that every journey comes with  its own unique scenery. Places too see  so breathtaking you would have missed if you had taken the journey you had planned.  Places that will bless you heart, soothe your soul.

You may meet people you would have never have met if circumstances hadn’t of changed.

Worlds apart colliding to produce incredible friendships.

I  know I have met some of the greatest people since I became a parent to a disabled child.  Parents with passion and determination. Parents  with compassion and loyalty. So many have really blessed my life and I am so proud I get to call some of this crazy bunch my friends.

I never imagined as a child I would be a Foster carer but here now I know how incredible my job is. How amazing it is that I get to love on children in need.

Yet  even beyond fostering I would have never foreseen in a million years I would be a university student, working towards a degree that will allow me to help children who have faced neglect and trauma.

AND….

Even here in this little piece of the virtual world,  I never would have considered that this place where I share my heart, my thoughts would bring me so many experiences and create so many connections.

 

No matter how life seems right now, trust in yourselves.

Trust that tomorrow is a new day.

Keep fighting and hold on tight.

We cannot go back to yesterday

and today may be hard

but tomorrow may just be amazing.

Only this lifetime

images-1

Today is one of my favourite days of the year.

The essence of hope is in all that we do.

From the church celebratory service to the family easter meal.

All are filled with joy.

 

This is the day Jesus conquered the grave.

Death has no victory.

The empty tomb.

images-2

I love this celebration as it reminds me of the promise.

 

The promise of eternal life.

 

I never knew how much I needed this promise until four years ago.

When death stole my beautiful daughter from me.

When loss broke my heart into millions of pieces.

It is because of the promise we celebrate today that I can go on.

The hope of this gift that keeps the blood rushing through my veins.

I am only separated from Livvy by this lifetime.

 

Eternity is ours to have together.

232323232fp348>nu=326->-39>98;>WSNRCG=3233;467486;7nu0mrj

 

One day forever will be ours.

IMG_0453

 

 

 

 

Vast as the universe

I realised something today, something I knew deep in my heart but not something that I really had taken on board.

You can’t go back!

It’s a simple statement but the repercussions from it are far from simple. They are as vast as the universe.

20111129-020913.jpg

I have spend so much of my time looking back that I’ve stopped appreciating or even experiencing the now.

The irony of this statement is that Livvy the reason I look back so often actually taught me the value of the moment. The need to live in the now, the gift of the present.

She must be up there in heaven thinking “mom I’ve taught you better”.

And she would be right, she did teach me better.

20111129-021151.jpg

Each day we live is a gift

Each morning coffee with a friend.

Every cuddle with your loved ones.

Every burst of laughter as your children play.

20111129-021304.jpg

The joy of the moment.

The gift of that smile that lights your face when you receive a text from your dear but crazy friend.

The savouring of the fullness of your stomach as you finish your meal.

The relief of someone doing the washing up.

I have so much to be grateful for in my life. So much in the here and now. My past will never be forgotten its stays here in the present in the love of my heart.

But life isn’t meant to be lived backwards, so today I’m driving myself forward.

Into the wonder of now

The joy of the future

The promise of eternity.

20111129-021542.jpg