Tag Archives: Prayer

True Life

Do you know how a certain song can grab hold of you & hit those areas that no one else sees? That happens to me often with contemporary praise & worship music.

Living life, learning hard lessons, finding hope & creating lyrics for it. It’s like a Psalm turned into a modern song. Words that cause your heart to fill with His peace as you reach your arms to the heavens and worship the Father with deep awe and adoration. Reminders that our life belongs to Him, first & foremost.

Only Jesus by Casting Crowns is one of these songs for me.

I’ve heard many mixed messages about the meaning of life. Dreams are being chased while people are left behind. Trophies and medals that once held value now collect dust and are forgotten as time rushes forward. Moments are wasted on earthly things and relationships suffer. Wants are invested in only to find out they are temporary desires that quickly lose their importance. Bibles are left on the shelf, tables are rarely set for a meal, family members are apart more than they’re together. Days turn into months and then years. The latest trends in clothes, books, movies, music & technology pull people away from what really matters. It’s chaos.

People are still people, no matter what era you live in. What you value might change with the times but why you value things doesn’t. That comes from the heart. We have a world full of endless distractions. The reason we allow ourselves to be pulled in so many directions goes right back to the why. I think that’s something most of us would rather avoid thinking about. I know I would.

If you saw a movie reel of your life from childhood to today, what would you see? What have you committed yourself to?

For me, I know I’ve wasted a lot of time chasing falsehoods that the world offered. Time I won’t get back. A hard question I have to ask myself is— what does my life point to? If the Lord called me home today, would people remember me or would they remember that I loved Jesus? I pray it’s Jesus.

In Christ Alone,

Tracy

The Word of God is our sword–

Isaiah 26:3-4        Philippians 4:8       1 John 1:9       1 Corinthians 10:13

Derailed

I’m in my happy place- papers, real genuine lined paper….sprawled all over the place. Full of notes….real penned notes. Gloriousness!

I have a story to tell you about how a morning conversation, affirmations, trains, callings & a daughter who put a visual to an area of my life all collided at my kitchen table. Here we go….

I was derailed! Gods perfect plan & timing can never be altered by us. He knows exactly when we’re ready & when we’re not. I had lots of circumstances that played a part in my derailment, but He allowed it because He knew I needed it.

Have you ever been derailed?

It can happen to any of us when we start listening to the wrong voices, ourselves included. The Lord is the Divine Director. People shouldn’t tell people what they are called to, or gifted in. That job belongs to the Holy Spirit.

A saying that I like to tell my daughter is, “Remember Who’s you are.” Maybe I should have been telling myself the same thing. I firmly believe there are precious believers who share godly truths. Unfortunately, there’s also some who don’t speak helpful words.

1 Thessalonians 5:8-11 “But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation. For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” (NLT)

God gifts His children with abilities. As His church, we should be encouraging each other & be available for the Spirit to use us.  What if a piece of God’s discernment plan is to be used by Him to reveal someones calling. When we speak words like, “Why are you doing that, that makes no sense, it’s not my thing, I don’t get it, I’m not seeing it,” then we’ve risked stripping precious hope from someone.

It’s OK to not fully understand or relate with someone else’s gifting, but it’s not OK to tear them down. That’s not being the body. Sometimes, the less we say, the better. Encouragement should flow easier off our lips.

Ephesians 4 

Ephesians 4:15-16 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (NLT) 

Too many are trying to….. take on the role of God the Father. They push God aside, barge through doors & offer their solutions as the right way…..take on the position of God the Holy Spirit. They push past the Spirit, inform others what their calling is, isn’t & what they should do with their life….take on the job of God the Son. They bypass Jesus, offer a life line and saving grace to clean up/fix the supposed mess they see in others. This whole thing causes major relationship damage & can derail people from their calling. We don’t have the power to decide what Kingdom work people are supposed to do with their life.

God has already done that.

Romans 12:6-8 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” (NLT)

His call on our life is exactly that….His call.

For so long I thought I had one gift. One calling. I placed the other in a “helping hobby” category. I’ve tried so hard to keep them separate. Two trains roaring down the track of my life. Every time I withheld effort & time from one, the other would slow down as well. So I would flip them, thinking I had heard God wrong. Same result. Sometimes, I stopped pouring into both all together.

I would head down another track, usually out of guilt-ed obligation. Good serving opportunities, but not what I’m gifted in. They were distractions from what I was supposed to be doing. I thought it was a real track, when in fact, it was actually placed there by the enemy to pull me away from the ministry work that God equipped me for. The cross I thought I saw at the end was nothing more than a disguised vapor.

I’ve tried keeping these two callings apart for so long that my focus got cloudy. The Lord has used many things in the past month to clear up my vision. I don’t have the full picture because that’s not how God works. He shows a piece of the track at a time. What I now know is that the trains are actually connected. They are both headed to the cross!

The hand cart is ministry serving that the Lord has called me to for a season. A seasonal calling. It’s to help strengthen me. To teach me. To show me how to dig my roots deep into Him. It requires a lot of effort but it’s necessary. It goes in front & clears the path.

Obstacles on the road to the cross can be painful. They seem so big, nearly impossible to move. I’m telling ya….detours. I can’t move them. I have to go around, making sure to stay in the cross boundary lines, all the while experiencing some pretty hard things.

Detours aren’t easy but, we can’t become like Christ without them.

I’m excited to have a visual for my journey. What a gift Jaelynn has given me. I have no idea when these train cars will hitch together. I’m trusting that in His time, he’ll make it happen. For now, I can finally see that they are connected. I couldn’t see that before. No more wasting precious time thinking of one only as a hobby.

Thank you, Lord, for showing me Your truth, Your way. Thank you for lifting some of the fog & leading me forward!

You better believe I’ll be holding onto this sketch forever, especially when the enemy starts tossing lies at me.

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A calling is always used to bring glory to the Father. It’s never about us or to be used for selfish gain. That’s not a calling. We have talents & things we enjoy doing that can possibly be used in our calling but it’s not the same thing. The end goal of a calling is the cross.

A calling is where we use our God given gifts.

What is your calling? Are you headed to the cross? Maybe, like me, you have two things connected. What fills you with passion? What energizes you? What do you get re-fueled by even when you’re bone tired & have nothing left?

Don’t ever let anyone steal the joy & hope that God laid on your heart about this. His Word tells us that he gifted us all differently. Lets bring our gifts together & be the church!

Always in His Hope,

Tracy

The Ache of Loss

Losses are hard. There are so many layers to it. Death, in itself, has amounts unimaginable. Loss of their life & having them be part of ours. Physical losses of hearing their voice, seeing their face, touching their skin. Losses of dreams, of sharing everyday milestones together. Just plain loss.

A loss is an ache from what is missing. 

Losses can also happen from things other than death. Loss can be ushered in from another’s decisions. I guess instead of writing about where losses stem from that maybe I should just share the ache of loss. It is an ache, a deep hurt inside that others can rarely see.

I’m going to zoom in on mama’s & loss. I’ve had more conversations lately with moms who have suffered losses. You just have no idea how many there are. If you’ve lost a child to death or have one who walked away then this blog is for you. Please hear my heart…I’m so sorry you’re walking this road of ache. There’s a bond we have with our children from the moment they are formed inside of us & our love for them is endless. An abrupt severing of that bond is not easy to recover from.

Life has events that we can’t see coming or stop from happening. There are accidents, tragedies & hurtful choices. There’s no way to emotionally prepare for the death of a child. There’s no way to prepare for when one abandons you either.

I go to Psalm 34 a lot. God’s Word has a special way of easing my aches. Verse 18 brings me so much hope because I know that no matter how much sorrow I feel, the Lord is oh so near. People may leave but the Father never does. Not ever.

Psalm 34:18

Me & water are like two peas in a pod. I could stare at it for hours & listen to the sounds of the waves. For me, it’s a visual on the vastness of “stuff” when circumstances seem like un-climbable mountains . I calm when I see all that He created. He spoke the water into existence. He sees & knows everything that I don’t. He is bigger than my mind can grasp. I can’t bring any of my children back. He knows each situation & it’s all in His hands. Which is way better than any of it being in mine.

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What do I do with the ache of losses? I meet with my Savior. I pour my heart out to Him. Sometimes I just sit in His presence & cry. I pray & I trust & I pray & I trust some more. There’s no formula to follow. There’s no timeline to stick to. There’s ache. Pure, raw, heartbreaking ache. Goodness, He knows it’s there so I don’t have to put on any falsehoods. He knows when my chest feels like a bomb went off. He knows when I could drop to the ground & sob for hours so why would I pretend like it wasn’t there. He already knows.

Spending time in my bible is comforting for me. It’s where I collide with the Comforter. His Word is what never changes. There are so many things around me that change. I need His steadiness. His security. I need Him.

I say Psalm 19:14 at the start of each day. These losses can threaten to pull me away from God or draw me closer to Him. I try to lean in closer. My words, my actions, my thoughts all determine how I’ll walk through each new day. I can’t change situations or losses but I sure can try to live in a way that honors Him. I’ll never be perfect at it but my desire is there.

Psalm 19:14

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You know how I love the water? Well, I’m a huge fan of God’s handiwork in the sky too. I try to pause & look at each sunset & sunrise. I might not be able to see the Lord, yet, but I can enjoy His masterpieces in creation. He promises to uphold what is His. His strength is perfect strength.

I can’t be afraid of the what if’s. All I can do is embrace the right now’s. 

Isaiah 41:10

Oh dear friend, I know it hurts. We love our kids so much. Don’t give up on your prodigal. Stay on your knees for them. Don’t let anyone tell you to stop grieving the loss of your child, no matter how many years it’s been. There is no set time frame for grief. The ache of loss is real. Not many understand that, but I do. Some days have a stronger sense of hope than others. Hopelessness will try to shackle you in its chains. Run, limp if you have to, but stay close to the real hope of Christ.

Always His,

Tracy

A Girl & Her Words

I’m certainly not in the “girl” category anymore. My years have bumped me way past that title. My daughter let me know in the store last week what my new bracket is. The current t-shirt designs have many of the cartoons & images I grew up with. Jaelynn quickly pointed out it’s because they’re “vintage” & vintage is in right now. Have mercy! I’m vintage!

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Every season is full of learning. Life lessons never end. Let’s grab a cup of coffee or tea ( I drink both!) & chat for awhile about girls & their words.

The Lord has graciously given me words to write with. They float around in my head all the time. What doesn’t come easy for me is spoken words. I can get things down on paper so much easier.

Spoken words come with body language & tone. Ugh…two of my hardest hurdles. I’m working on it. The Holy Spirit is more than able to soften the edges on anyone, including me. First, it takes awareness & honesty. Then the desire for change, commitment to change & intentional effort to change. All this change needs to be rooted in God’s Word, prayer & meditation on His Truths. I can’t change me, but the Holy Spirit will always be transforming me & that gives me hope. The moment I think I’ve arrived or am all good is the same time that 100 red flags start flying.

The Lord has opened my eyes wide to what He doesn’t want me to be. My learning style absorbs things better with reading, writing & physically seeing something. I’ve seen a lot of different examples of “a girl & her words” lived out around me. Oh friends….words matter. Tone & body language matter.

It’s never OK to discount another’s feelings, offer unsolicited cutting “advice” disguised as compassion, make assumptions based out of your own thinking followed with fix it statements, mask bitterness with caring, frost all your sharp words with an attached disclaimer saying that’s who you are, or just plain show a lack of interest in really listening to someone. Saying hurtful words that you feel are right & offering a hug at the end isn’t empathy. Girls…our words will either bring life or death.

We all have different personalities. Each of us have different strengths & weaknesses. Those differences are meant to come together & make a beautiful puzzle.  Some of us will be around the edge, some in the middle, some way over to the right/bottom, etc. We’ll piece together strongly with those that fit into our unique shape. Others, we’re part of the same puzzle but placed in different areas & that’s OK. Encourage the pieces that God has placed you next to. No matter how hard you try to force pieces together that weren’t meant to fit, it’ll never work. A new puzzle box might be brought out soon & you could be connected to different pieces in that one. No matter which season or puzzle it is, the purpose is always Him.

friends on mountain

I have “walk worthy” written in my bible next to Ephesians 4:1-3. Ephesians 4 is packed with helpful truth.  None of us will ever find the right answers or direction in our own thinking. It always comes from a changing of the heart through God’s living Word.

For me, I know that I need & will always need Jesus….desperately….completely.

A girl and her words shouldn’t cause others to search for a back door escape. A girl & her words should be a welcoming mat to all who enter her presence. People shouldn’t walk away from time spent with us feeling discouraged. Let’s be hope bringers instead! We can start by asking ourselves a question before we speak… “Jesus, are these words helpful or harmful?”

Lord, thank you. Thank you for change. Thank you for not leaving me where I’m at. Help guide my thoughts & words to be in line with Yours. I pray for encourager’s to rise up & discourager’s to be softened. I pray that you plant a deep root of encouragement in me. It takes Your courage to seek continued transformation. Fear & pride keep chains around hearts. Please free these hearts, Lord. I pray that You soften my words, tones & body language. I know You’re always at work even when there’s silence. Your timing is always perfect & I trust You. I love Your perfect plan. Please send the Helper to show me how to be a girl with life giving words. I love You, Lord Jesus. Thank you for the cross & for choosing me. Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, & renew a right spirit in me. In Jesus name….Amen.

In Him forever,

Tracy

 

 

Peace Robber

Can I really be 49 today. How in blazes did that happen.

My daughter told me I don’t look a day over 45. Ha! Then she added some icing on top by changing it to 43. Numbers don’t mean much to me. It’s the quality. How many of those 49 years did I waste. Am I where the Lord wants me to be at this stage in my life. My answer would have to be no.

You see, there’s this thing called fear. It’s been my enemy for a very long time.

You better believe that I took note of Zach Williams song, Fear Is a Liar, the first time I heard it. I get it. I’ve heard that same voice many times & he is a liar. Fear does rob my rest. It does take my breath. Fear does stop me in my steps.

The hardest part is letting fear keep me frozen. I’m not sure what to do so I do nothing. I’m in error at those times because I have a Savior who I can always turn to. I could seek the One who can cast away my fear. I know that & sometimes I can do that but a lot of times I don’t. I choose to stay silent instead of being bold in my faith & standing up for truth.

I’ve spent so much time trying to “keep peace” in situations where there’s no peace to be found. It’s a lose lose. The Peacemaker is where peace is. His ways, thoughts & attitudes are peace giving, not peace stealing.

Suzie Eller shares this…..”The Spirit of God helps and strengthens us, even when it seems there is no fight left in us.”

Honestly, there are times that I don’t know what to pray for. The good news is He does! I’ve been drawing on this verse for over 6 years. Romans 8:26 promises me that I have a Helper. Oh, do I need that help.

My prayer is that I stop listening to the lies. The lies of convenience, blaming, worldliness, lying, hypocrisy, deception, gossip, idolatry, internet living, hatred, back stabbing, comparing, word wounds, not good enough’s, denying, & all the other lies tossed my way. I don’t have to grab hold of the lies. I can let them fall into the fire.

Psalm 103:4 He ransoms me from death and surrounds me with love and tender mercies. (NLT) I am ransomed. That’s huge.

Fill me up with Your truths, O Lord! May I pursue You with all that You created me to be. I am Yours. Help me to not waste the days that you give me. In Jesus glorious name…Amen

Always His,

Tracy

#hope #fearisaliar #boldfaith

True Gratitude

Life can leave you feeling like you’ve been kicked in the face. I hear ya. Thank goodness for the promises of God to stand on! I’ve been doing a whole lotta standing.

I skipped writing this year on dates I normally write about. It’s not that I didn’t have the words. It’s more like I didn’t know what to do with them.

Written words are a way to express the raw emotions that change us at the core. I guess my ability to express was on silent.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. I remember the first Thanksgiving after the accident & how hard it was to face that day but how thankful I was for the children I still had on earth. It was a different type of thankfulness. A new kind. Thankfulness that can only come with deep loss.

The Lord placed four in my care. One he kept. One he took home.

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They aren’t little anymore. I wish I knew then what it’s taken me years to learn. I wish I had an ounce of understanding on what true gratitude was. Oh, how I wish.

What I had were roots of ingratitude. I’m grateful the Lord is showing me now how to humble myself & confess my need to Jesus. He has planted the seed on what it looks like to be a radically thankful person.

Colossians 2:6-7

I can tell you, I had no idea what roads I would walk from last year’s Thanksgiving to this year’s. No one really knows, right?!

Time doesn’t stand still. It moves whether I’m ready or not. I’ve been picking up pieces all year. Pieces of the puzzle I thought I was working on. Only to find out that not only did God have something else planned but I didn’t even have the right puzzle.

Jesus is the healer of all. I haven’t done any of this alone. He’s with me as I reach for each piece on the ground. Some pieces I wanted to leave right where they were but He bent down with me & helped me pick it up.

The piece of forgiveness. Gratitude. Grace.

Hurts can strangle gratefulness right out of a person if we’re measuring with the wrong things. Don’t let it happen. Please, don’t lose hope because of your circumstances. Shift your thoughts to Him. It’s the only way.

I know it’s hard to forgive. It stinks to be thankful when all you thought was real wasn’t. Extending grace might seem impossible but you can do it! Follow the example of the Savior.

Praise helps! His Word helps! Psalm 103 helps!

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I’ve decided that the best way to share what I’m learning about gratitude is to be vulnerable & show you a tiny bit of what I’ve written while studying what real gratitude is. Here goes……

I need to let the Lord speak to me through His Word (that means being in it), respond to Him in humility, obedience & seek true gratitude. Jesus is there to start my day & WILL light my way IF I seek Him first. Christ’s words are rich & need to be alive in my heart. I have no wisdom. Wisdom comes from pouring God’s Word over my wicked heart.

I need to love what I see IN JESUS more than I ever have. I need to really draw close & look.

As I grow in faith, I don’t rise to the next level. I actually drop down, more & more, until I’m on my knees……..

Being thankful, really thankful, as in grateful beyond words is way more than the thanks I half hearted gave. Being grateful is not an option. It doesn’t matter what’s happened this past year or in the days to come.

My joy & hope don’t have a earthy source. I have moments of joyful times but that’s something different. The joy I’m talking about comes from Christ. Jesus deserves honor & praise. He lives in me so I can be who he’s called me to be. His divine enabling is how I can live a life always being thankful.

True thankfulness has roots in the King. My spilled puzzle pieces are nothing. He already has it figured out anyway. I might not understand it but that’s ok. I TRUST HIM.

Jeremiah 17:7-8

I’d change a thousand things but I can’t. I’d skip over many learning lessons & hurts but I can’t. It’s how the Lord has decided to teach me.

Maybe you don’t know what to do with your scattered puzzle either. It’s ok. He knows. Ask Him for help & offer him a thankful heart. I’ll be the one next to you opening another puzzle box.

Lets worship His holy name together,

Tracy

#rootsofhealing #thanksgiving #gratitude

What I’m Learning

There is no preparation for what the next moments hold. Even when I think I have a decent idea, I’m pretty much kidding myself. I can’t see tomorrow. My to do lists, piles of unfinished tasks, plans for the days & months ahead keep me busy but that’s about it. To stand & not crumble when the unexpected happens, well… that takes something way more than my human effort.

Psalm 55:22 Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. (NLT)

I’ve learned that my world can be turned upside down over & over again. I don’t have control over others or the future. I’ve also learned a deeper trust in the Lord than I ever knew possible. I need His Word at a whole new level. I must constantly surrender to changing. I’ll never be done learning…. not ever. I long to be grateful in all things. Goodness, I need to worship & praise Him much more.

Philippians 1:29 For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. (NLT)

As a young mom, I had dreams for my kids. I’m pretty sure all moms do. I think there’s two types of dreams. The ones that parents desire concerning how their children’s future lays out. Then there’s the ones that are purely character related. Who they are inside. Every decision, every action, every choice comes from either a hardened heart or a repentant, transformed soft heart. I’ve learned that I have to completely release them to the Lord. I example right and, unfortunately,  wrong behavior but I don’t choose who they will be. As an older mom, I understand my job is to stay on my knees & pray.

Psalm 51: The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise. (NLT)

I’m learning that I can be full of myself or full of Jesus. I for one, don’t need another drop of myself.

Psalm 42:8 Through each day, the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. (NLT)

I’ve learned that the only thing I have to fear is staying stuck. No matter what my days hold, if I take my eyes off Jesus & put them on my circumstances then I’m in trouble. Change of me requires change in me.

Psalm 46:1-3 God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come, and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! (NLT)

I’ve learned that it must be well in my soul. My soul can not lose hope. The hope it’s attached to is Jesus. That is the only solid ground.

Storms, trials & tragedies come. There are so many examples of believers who use their sorrows to glorify the Savior. I looked up the meaning behind the song, It Is Well With My Soul. Oh, to have a mature faith like that. My prayer is that I can always choke out those words… It is well with my soul.

In Christ,

Tracy

Dear Hurting Mama

Dear sweet grieving mom,

I wish we could be taking a walk together & just be present. No words, no expectations…just silent knowing why the quiet works.

We both know words rarely help. Often times, words end up hurting. We get that others don’t know what to say & we really don’t need them to get anything anyway. We just need to know they remember.

We need them to remember we have lost a child. We need them to not forget our child. We aren’t seeking constant doses of sympathy. We just need an ounce of silent support. A few people left in our lives that don’t forget. Others around us that see certain days are hard & acknowledge it with a ‘thinking about you’, a hug, a scripture or a silent walk. Someone left who totally gets there is no time table. It’s a forever loss.

You & I know that we aren’t “stuck” & that we have continued in life. We see the ones that are trapped & it’s so sad. They need our prayers.

We get up everyday & attempt to live out what the Lord needs us to do. Those who say, “move on” really just need our grace & forgiveness. It doesn’t help to become bitter about words spoken. They aren’t moms who have lost a child. I’m thankful for that.

We lace our warrior shoes on daily. This is our path. There is no turning back. We walk forward with bleeding hearts that no one else can see.

We desperately love the ones still here. Our body spent months sustaining the life of each child we are blessed with. A bond is formed. A connection of life. We stay present for the ones we can & a piece of us is with the one gone. We try so hard to balance.

I have no answers for the why’s. I try & stay away from why. “Why’s” drain hope. I believe the Lord goes before me & He has all of this in his hands. I trust him. I need him & I won’t turn away from him.

I know the hurt is constant & never shuts off. We go about our life & live but it’s always there. Anything can trigger an instant flashback at any given time. We walk around with an endless ache that reality has left behind. We miss & we miss hard.

The loneliness inside can swallow. It seems no one sees. We’re different now. Time doesn’t change anything. Jesus does. He patches the wounds with his comforting love. The loss….the painful ache of the heart & the crushing grief become woven with him as we sink deeper into dependence on Christ. We surrender to his compassionate care as he delicately forms our new normal.

We wait. We pray. We seek. We cry. We trust. We read God’s Word. We sob. We hurt. We get on our knees. We hand the Lord our pain because we just don’t know what else to do with it.

I know we aren’t alike. I don’t understand your loss & you don’t understand mine. The thing is….we understand that. We have a common vine. It’s called the loss of a child. We hang from it individually, yet next to one another. No two grieving mothers are exactly the same. We may be placed in a category of sameness by others but we know we are very different.

Please hear my heart. I see your eyes. I see the loss. I’m so sorry.

I miss the sound of my child’s voice too. I have regrets & unspoken words. I miss seeing his face. I miss his laugh. I grieve all the never will be’s. I want to make him cookies. I want to say I’m sorry for a thousand things. I want him to see his sister grow up. I want him to love on her. I want him to have guy time with his brothers. I want to see my kids doing life together. I want him to play with his nieces. I want to hug him. I’d give anything to wash dishes from a meal he ate. I’d take 1 minute with him. I get this part. I do. I miss mine too.

Ugh….Mother’s Day is hard. The days leading up are the pits. The day after is a different sorrow knowing the day has past & you made it through. There’s no way to explain it to anyone around you so you don’t. You lock it away & it becomes another layer to your scars. Your heart is so heavy from scars you have no idea how it stays in your chest. I’m pretty sure it’s anchored in by Jesus. Oh, blessed Savior & Redeemer.

You may feel alone on Mother’s Day. As crazy as it seems, you aren’t. There’s an army of us. We might be a million miles apart but that’s ok. I’ll be praying for you & I’d love if you’d pray for me too.

In Christ,

Tracy

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A Different Kind of Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is quite the day! It can be one where memories are made & time is spent with those you love. If you’re able to celebrate this occasion with joy then treasure the minutes. Look at the faces of your loved ones. Listen to their sweet voices. Soak in every second of it. Oooo & Aaaa over the homemade masterpieces.

There’s a different kind of Mother’s Day that many don’t see. It’s the emptiness & sorrow. It’s the weeping when you’re alone & on the inside when you’re not. It’s the pain & regret that come from life. It’s the realities that no one can change.

I would like to ask you to pray for the hurting as this day approaches.

For some, it’s a day remembering what was. A sorrow in what will no longer be.

I wish there wasn’t one day set aside. I understand it’s a nice gesture but dare I say that it’s more than a day. This whole one day thing puts pressure on people. It opens back up wounds. It can end up being another rushed attempt to fulfill someone else’s dream of the “perfect day” when in reality there is no such thing.

It would be so much better if we focused on making the most of each day. Spending time in fellowship & just being together. I think we’ve missed the whole point. The real gift is people & time.

This other Mother’s Day is:

-the mom who grieves the loss of a child, -the one who never became a mom, -the child who never knew their mom, -the mom who hasn’t spoken to her child in years, -the one who has no idea where her child even is, -the one who is sobbing the day before so she can be present & joyful for her other children, -the one who lives states away & hasn’t seen her child in years because life is just too busy, – the one who no longer has a mom on earth, -the one who’s child has fallen & is locked away in prison, -the one with empty arms, -the mom who finds out the unimaginable about her child, -the one who’s child is trapped in addiction & wants nothing to do with her, -the one who spends the day at her child’s grave because that was her only child, -the one who’s dreams have been shattered by her own poor choices, -the one who truly believes no one understands,  -the one who desperately wants to celebrate this day but no man has chosen her to be his bride. This is a tiny glimpse into the other Mother’s Day. It’s very real & very raw.

If someone came to your mind after reading that list then reach out to them. A quick text letting them know they aren’t forgotten. An email saying you’re thinking about them. A handwritten note in the mail with some scripture. Anything.

If you found yourself in that list – I’m so sorry. It’s a bad list to be on. Can I share something with you? There’s hope. There really is. Past the horrible heart splitting hurt is where it’s found. The source of this life breathing hope is Jesus. He can fill any emptiness inside. Any. Go to Him. Open the pages of the Bible & seek Him. Spend time with Him.

Matthew 11:28-30

I’m also in that list. To ease the losses, I worship. I’m alive in Him. He is my breath of life. I breathe in His healing grace. He IS sovereign over every one of my steps. From the beginning to the end – He deserves all the glory. He is beside me through the fires. IT’S NO LONGER I WHO LIVE BUT CHRIST WHO LIVES WITHIN ME. He is the reason I can.

~ Don’t forget to say that prayer for the hurting on Mother’s Day. Trust me, they’ll need it. Ephesians 6:18

In Christ,

Tracy

#myhope #loss #rootsofhealing

What If

How important is trust to you? Is it a deal breaker? A relationship destroyer?

  • What if someone hid things from you?
  • What if someone lied not only to you but about you?
  • What if someone deceived you?
  • What if someone close to you shared your confidences?
  • What if  someone you cared about seriously wronged you?
  • What if you got hurt over & over again by the same person?

What if that someone is your spouse, parent, child, mentor, friend or a respected person in authority? Does that alter your answer any?

Let’s switch up the questions a bit.

  • What if there’s unanswered prayer?
  • What if you can’t hear God anymore?
  • What if you feel abandoned & left all alone?
  • What if no one is hearing you?
  • What if you’ve been in a season of waiting for a really long time?
  • What if you’ve suffered deep losses?

I could add in pages & pages of what if’s & I’d probably still miss a bunch. What if? What would you do? What should you do? Is there really anything to do?

I think the real question here is trust. For me, trust is super important. A trustworthy person is like a treasure. ~ Proverbs 21:3 ~ Trust & forgiveness are usually found together.

Being able to trust after hurtful situations can be so difficult. Are any of us completely trustworthy? If we’re honest, the answer is no. We all let people down in one way or another. The only one that doesn’t is Christ.

In steps forgiveness.

Choosing to forgive like Jesus forgives isn’t something I can do on my own. I can, however, do it through him. It’s another layer of dying to self & living in Christ. The Lord tells me I must forgive as much as I’ve been forgiven. That’s a huge immeasurable amount.

Forgiveness might seem easier if there weren’t feelings involved but they are & there’s no way to change that. The truth is, forgiveness is surrounded by emotions but it’s not a feeling in itself. It’s a decision. My feelings are usually stumbling blocks against forgiving anyway.

A wise person shared with me that forgiveness is daily. DAILY.

You might be thinking, ” I can’t, you don’t understand.” You’re absolutely right, I can’t either & no, I don’t completely understand but I can relate to a certain degree. I’ve had some things in my lifetime, let me tell ya. Oh, I’ve had some things.

The good news is, He knows I can’t. HE CAN! Forgiveness is possible through & with Him. He sends the right people, books, scripture verses, worship songs, devotionals, pulpit teachings, podcasts, emails, texts & whatever else he desires to use for guidance. He never abandons. I’m the one that can refuse to listen or turn away in rebellion.

Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting but it does mean releasing. I don’t have the right to hold anyone in chains. What actually happens is I chain myself in an internal prison. With God’s grace I can choose to not obsess about the hurt. I can have freedom. Not one ounce of this is possible without God.

Broken trust is a hard one for me. I’ve been studying on forgiveness like crazy & it’s not over. I need more of God’s Word to wash over my heart. I need Him to break me. Sorting out the differences between hurt & needing to forgive can get murky in my mind. It can take awhile but thankfully the Lord is patient with me.

At the end of the day can I change any of the what if’s that occur in my own life? No, not even close but I can change me with His help. It’s in the moments of coming to the end of myself & deep hurt that I finally open my tightly clenched fists & lay my hands out to Jesus. My flesh driven pride battles with my desire for humility.

You see, they can’t reside together. If I’m trying to be the lord of my own life then I no longer remain humble in the one true King. A prideful heart justifies actions. A humble heart can forgive & focuses on justification through Jesus Christ. Oh Lord, may you gift me with your humbleness.

What can be done to heal from broken trust? There is Worship! Lord, may I roar the praises of Your glory in worship. ~ Psalm 103  ~

There is Prayer! Lord, help me to pray for those who have hurt me. ~Mark 11:25 ~

Worship & prayer can soften the heart. Devoted worship can saturate the hurts in truth. All in. Complete surrender.

There is His Word! Ephesians 4…Lord, may it soak into me! Luke 6…Lord, may I meditate on it day & night!

Whatever you do, don’t give up! There is hope! Always hope! Hope in Him, in his Word & in his plan.

I’m right here with you. Forgiveness takes supernatural effort. I think it’s time, don’t you? May our actions not grieve the Holy Spirit.

In Christ,

Tracy

 

– I understand that some what if’s are way more serious than what I mentioned & I’m truly sorry if you have experienced any.