Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas, the birth of our Jesus-who chose to leave the realms of heaven to come to this sin- sick world. Diane and I were just talking, what do you think heaven was like when Jesus left?--He most likely left with all the angels singing Holy, Holy, Holy and most certainly a huge hole was left when He was gone. Jesus leaves heaven with the angels singing and Glorifying His name to later hearing Crucify Him, Crucify Him here on earth. His love for us is so great that He still choose to come to earth to save us sick and sinful souls. I try to keep that vision in mind this time at Christmas, how God's plan was being fulfilled and brought to life, but must admit, Christmas is still a very hard time of year.

I am healing slowly, and do not need to write as often, which is a good thing--but writing some how helps me put my thoughts into perceptive. I can start with my focus on myself--feeling sorry for myself, and end with my focus back on our Great God where my strength is found.

Since Taylor has died, none of us go into or even spend very much time in his bedroom. It is just too hard to see all his clothes in the closet, all this personal stuff on his dresser, his underwear in the dresser drawers, so we just made it easy on ourselves and don't go in there much. Spencer and Taylor did share a room, so it did make it harder for Spenc. But when Spenc started Christmas break, he said, Mom do you care if I change my room around. In my heart, I knew that was a step in healing for Spenc, but at the same time, I just wanted it to stay the same---As painful as I knew it would be, to move Taylor's stuff and put it away, I wanted to help Spenc to move to the next step of healing, so that evening Jeff and Spenc moved the furniture all around, as they got done moving everything, Spenc looked at me and asked what should I do with Taylor's stuff, we just stood there staring at all Tay's things, all lost in our own thoughts, memories for each little item sitting on his dresser. There hanging on a hook was Taylor's first hat that he wore until it was in threads, but he loved it and wore it everywhere as a little boy. It became so much a part of him, we had to keep it---so we hung it in his room--there was his first baseball mitt hanging beside the hat. That was also something we had to keep, I don't think that mitt ever seen a ball---Tay was so cute out on those baseball fields when he was a little boy, but couldn't catch a thing-- but could run as fast as lighting. Then Spenc opened the dresser drawers where all Tay's underwear and t-shirts were--ya, the ones I washed a thousand times and he asks what should I do with these. I could have melted to the floor in tears, but thought that is not going to make this any easier for me or Spenc. We did end up moving some of the things that were Tay's, but we could not get enough energy to clean out all of his drawers yet. By the time we were done, the room looked totally different. Part of me was really sad and could have collasped into tears because it felt like we were "putting" Tay away and moving on to the next phase of life, but yes, in my heart I knew, it is only a room, and he will be forever in my heart, I will never "put" him away. I have to say, dealing with Tay's things and Christmas approaching was getting to me.---I was feeling like I was fighting a losing battle, slipping deeper and deeper into sadness and despair, so I decided to open a devotional book from Max Lucado that someone so kindly gave me a couple of months ago. I wanted God to come and throw me a life line, or to come and hold me awhile, to come and bring His Amazing Grace, just anything to help me through the day. I wanted to feel God's closeness to me, to see His faithfulness once again, I knew God knew exactly where I was and how I was feeling, and that I needed His help. So after saying a little prayer, I just opened the devotional book, and it opened to the page that was titled "God Knows What's Best"---i knew He would show up, I had to even smile a little through the tears---He is so faithful, and does meet all of our needs. It started out with the verse Proverbs 3:5 "Trust the Lord with all your heart, and don't depend on your own understanding"---I thought how fitting for me this very day, I was trusting on my own feelings, well I don't know about trusting, but lost in my own well of sorrow--thinking another Christmas without Taylor---then it went on to say "The problem with this world is that it doesn't fit. Oh, it will do for now, but it isn't TAILOR -made." I thought WOW, God even used Taylor's name to get my attention, so He had my full attention now, what was God going to tell me today. It went on to say "We were made to live with God, but on earth we live by faith. We were made to live forever, but on this earth we live but for a moment" So God is saying, Yes, you will live with me, but you must live by faith until that day, and it will be just a moment in time compared to eternity---then it went on to say " We must trust God. We must trust not only that He does what is BEST but that He KNOWS what is ahead. It says in Isaiah 57:1-2 that good men perish, the godly die before their time---no one seems to realize that God is taking them away from the evil days ahead. For the godly who die shall rest in peace." God is once again, so kindly telling me---He KNEW what was BEST for Tay, even on bad days, when my heart is breaking from missing him almost unbearably, I need to gather up every ounce of faith that is in my body and remember and believe with all my heart this to be true, because we all know God is unable to lie--God knows what He is doing !---it goes on to say "what a thought, God is taking them away from the evil days ahead. Could death be God's grace? Could the funeral wreath be God's safety ring? As horrible as the grave may be, could it be God's protection from the future". Could God be telling me, that yes, I know you are hurting from losing Tay, but try to believe that I took him that hot and humid August night because I wanted to protect him from the evil days that lie ahead. Tay was a type of kid that was more of a follower than a leader, so perhaps God wanted to save him from terrible things, or maybe the days ahead are going to be so terrible that death was truly God's safety ring for Tay. By the time I was done with this devotion, that I am sure God hand picked for me that day, i could once again feel the peace of God. I have come to realized that the peace of God is not at all attached to circumstances, that is happiness which comes and goes with what is happening around you, but the peace and joy of God is when I have surrendered complete control of every corner of my heart and know God knows Best and will do what is Best, even in the mist of the darkest days. Like somebody just said, you do all your learning in the valley's, never on the mountain tops.

So, ya, Christmas is in just a few days, and yes, there are some really hard moments, it is not just Christmas day when we are all together as a family, but it starts way back when we put up the tree and hung the stockings up--yes, we put his up right along with the rest--and buying the gifts---I would often stop and think, just what would Taylor have liked this year, would he have wanted something for his 4 wheeler, or maybe a new gun, never any clothes on his Christmas list, that was not a gift in his eyes. I was talking to Brooke and we both said, as the season began we both felt pretty strong, but as the season continued on toward Christmas we got more and more weary and it became harder and harder. No, there is nothing easy about these streets of grieving, but God does and will continue to kindly bring us along with Him each and every day. God knows our pain, but He also said this is not our home, only a journey, but in our pain, God is there. It reminds me like what somebody once said--"there is a window in our hearts through which we see God. Most of the time, thankfully that window is clear and our vision of God is crisp, but sometimes out of no where a pebble hits the window and cracks it. (The pebble is a deep unexpected pain or fiery trial). Suddenly God is not so easily seen--that view that was so crisp and clear and easy to see is now changed. Now I have to look much harder and deeper and closer to see God, and sometimes as hard as I try to look to see Him all I can see is the crack. In those times, I just have to trust in my heart that God is still there and closer than I ever dreamed. For example, within the last week, i have opened up my bible to the same chapter, and read the same verse Eph. 3:18 "may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge---that you many be filled with the measure of all the fullness of God." So, even if I can't see or feel God on some of the darkest days, I just know He is there and loves me more than I can ever understand and that is a comfort all in itself. Merry Christmas to all and I thank each one of you that has continued to pray for us--it has made me a true believer that prayer has great power and does touch the heart of God!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

I dreaded the holidays so much last year and here they are again. Time does move on whether we want it to or not. As I think back to what I was feeling last year at this time and how I feel today--God has definitely done some healing in my heart. I am not going to lie, holidays are hard and probably will be for a long time. In this last year, God has carried me many, many times, but He also has given me times when He told me--yes, you can walk, I will be right here beside you. I realized God is not going to take the pain away, at least for a long time, but in all that time He wants me to continue to Glorify His name---some days that can be so easy, but on other days, I just want to focus on me and my hurt.
The summer when this all happened, I was praying--God for some reason, I am getting the feeling that I am to go back to school to become a massage therapist, not knowing what all that would entail. I continued to pray if that was what He wanted He would open doors, and if even one door closed I would take it as it was not to be. So, everything just fell into place, just as if God was just one step in front of me taking care of every detail. I was excited and scared all at the same time, because I could not even remember the last time I had to study more than a few hours at one time. So, as July rolled around of 2009, I was all enrolled and planning on starting in September of 2009. On August 16th, God changed my life forever---this was definitely not in my cards that I was holding, but God took those cards and replaced them with His cards. As i was there trying to hold those shattered cards, school was the furthest thing from my mind. As I started to pick up my cards and put the pieces back together in some sorta of way, I realized that I had orientation for school on the 9th of September, and school was to start almost exactly one month after Taylor's accident. I was still praying---God what am I to do, did I actually get this all wrong, was that not You opening all the doors and giving me the peace that I was going in the direction You were guiding---I remember praying saying--You surely don't want me to go now, You know I can't do this---I am so confused. In my praying, I still would continue to get the answer that this still what God wanted me to do---so I decided to go to the orientation. As I sat through that, I thought, I can't do this---my mind was so consumed with grief, I barely knew where I was. I also looked around at the other people there and knew I just wouldn't fit in. I came home, praying, God I am just too tired and sad to even think about this, I must have made a mistake in thinking that is what you wanted me to do, but something deep inside kept saying, no, that is what I want you to do. These classes where on Friday and Saturday, and I really didn't want to do the weekends, so thought if God really wanted me to do this, He would work some other days out. So, I e-mailed the advisor and told her I would not be coming to those classes, but if they ever have classed through the week, let me know--thinking I was off the hook. A couple of weeks later, she e-mailed back and said they were starting a new class in January and this time it was going to be on Wednesday and Thursday and going to be a much smaller class. As I sat there reading that email, I couldn't believe it---thinking God do you really want me to do this, You do remember I am in this terrible journey of grief, I don't think I can----but a little voice was saying, You are right, you can't, but I can. So, I signed up again for the orientation in January of 2010. As it goes with asking people in what they thought I should do, some would say, oh ya, give it a try, or others would say, oh, it is way too soon----in my heart, I would like to have agreed with the ones that said, oh, that is way too soon, but knew God was trying to have me step way out of my comfort zone---way out. This was something i didn't feel ready or able to even think about let alone do. I got up that cold Friday morning and went to orientation. Of course I was praying all through these weeks, that if this is really what God wanted that He would prepare the class for me and me for the class. He did just that, the class was much smaller and most were around my age and felt like perhaps I could fit in. I had one week to decide if I was going ahead with classes or going to withdraw. The feeling just stuck --this is what I want for you-, even though on that first morning I would have given anything to just stay in bed and pull the covers over my head and say, I can't do this. I have to say,-- no, nothing was easy about it---I was still in deep grieving, the textbooks were huge. As I looked through the anatomy book, it almost looked like a foreign language--the only thing that was looking good was the people, they were friendly. For some strange reason, it was sorta a comfort that nobody knew one thing about me----nobody knew a thing about my past, maybe it was a small escape in some way---I could pretend I was "normal". That first quarter was so hard--studying was brutal, some days I would cry almost all the way to school. Two separate times I came home and thought, God, I think I made a mistake here, I just can't handle this terrible grief and all the studying, I just want to quit. I am the type of person that likes signs from God, so each time I would pray for a sign. It was like God was saying how many times do I have to tell you this, --I want you right here for now--so He would so graciously give me just the sign I was asking for if I was to stay. So, I would say to myself, Ok, I will stay one more week. As I look back, I see now, it was good for me, even though at times it was extremely hard trying to get through each day and studying for huge tests, it did help me on some days to focus on something other than all my losses. I tried to pray each day before class that God would prepare me for the class and the class for me. I also prayed that I could be a "light" for God, that they would just know something was different in me---no, most are not Christians---One day, this one guy for some reason started going around the room and asking each of us if we went to church, and most said no, and one said, sometimes, and when he got to me, I said yes I do, and he says every Sunday, and I said yes, and I am in a bible study too, and he looked at me and sorta sighed and said, I use to go, and I really liked it, alot of times it gave me something to think on for days, maybe I should start going again. They pretty much all know that I am different, maybe they just think strange, I am not sure :) but anyway, if they are talking about things they think are not appropriate, they will say, you better not hear this--and I laugh and say, you are right, I better not. This one lady is even starting to say she is praying for people, and one day somebody gave her some money to pay a bill and she looked at me and said, God really does answer prayers. As time went on a few did find out about Taylor, and they just said, I could never get through something like that--and I said, I couldn't either, God is getting me through----so as my year is soon ending, God is amazing, but does that surprise me--not even a little bit!!---He knew just the right place for me, and the perfect timing---He knew it would be one more tool to help me through that terrible first year, and I am praying His name was Glorified in some way in those classes---I pray they could see Him in me and hopefully some day they will want that too. I am now praying,-- that school is just about over, that He will once again open the doors where He wants me to be. I don't care about the money, just some place where I can Glorify His name and help people to maybe feel just alittle bit better.
Yes, I am thankful this Thanksgiving for many, many things---but most of all, that God has picked me, and my family to be His children. He has been so very faithful and granted us just the right amount of Grace each and every day through out this last year. I love you, Jesus, with all of my heart---You are the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords of my heart.
Before I close I just want to give you something to think on---It has stopped me and made me think---What if God treated you-- like you treated Him----and What if God answered your prayers like you answered His calls. I had to think, some days, I could be in big trouble---if God was just too busy to listen, or to help, or carry me through the terrible day-----

Monday, October 11, 2010


Healing---just what does that look like----Is that when you can smile again, or maybe even laugh now and then, is it when you can look at pictures and not fall into a puddle of tears, or maybe when memories don't rip your heart out anymore, or maybe still when you can take their clothes out of the closet and dressers and put then in boxes? Healing for me will most likely be a constant long term process til the day we are together again. Some days, I can look at pictures, and smile and other days, it is just too painful to even look at pictures at all. Memories are all very bittersweet. I can't even think about putting his things away yet. I sometimes wonder if the journey of grief is closely related to a chronic pain. At first it is very painful and you are searching for ways to ease the pain, and then you begin wondering is this how I will always feel, how will I ever be able to live with this the rest of my life----all you want is for this pain to go away, for it to go back to the way it was, but you know in your heart that door to normalcy is closed forever and you have to find a new path. I am thankful the acute ache does start to ease somewhat, but that chronic pain is always there---sometimes you can get busy and maybe don't notice it quite as much, but as soon as you get quite it comes right back. You wonder does the day ever come, when you just get use to that pain? No, nobody ever gets use to pain, pain always hurts. I had to think with a physical pain, you can go to the medicine cabinet and take some pain killers to at least dull it for a while, but with a heart pain, you can take as many painkillers as you want but it will not touch the pain that is soaring through your heart. There is only one thing that can dull the pain, or even remove it at least for a while and that is hanging onto God with both hands----His mercies are new each and every day. Even thought i can feel I have used them all up by the time I lay my head on the pillow, the next morning there is more than enough to get me through the day. I am thankful for the Grace that God provides---it is always just the right amount.

I went home to visit mom and dad---I went by myself, so I had many hours while driving to spend with God and just thinking. I am not sure if this was a good thing or not, but I decided to take Taylor's funeral CD with me to listen too. I was somewhat hesitant to put it in, because I knew it would bring back many many memories, but also knew Ron said alot of things that I did not remember but knew most likely i could draw encouragement from. As it started and i heard them start to sing "Precious Memories"---I did think there is nothing "Precious" about this moment, but anyway, I could in my mind see the flashes of that morning all of us gathering around the casket, all the emotion and then lining up behind the casket to go in. As I listened to Ron speak, I realized I did not remember very much of what he said that day----He said things that were so true such as, satan is just waiting to knock you flat, drag you down the lane of despair, anger, discouragement. He related it to us walking down the streets of a beautiful city with tall buildings on each side and satan and his demons in each of those buildings trying to lure us inside. As I thought about that, I realized how true that is. As I am walking down these streets trying to keep my focus on Jesus which is in front of me, satan is standing off to my side waving his arms trying to get my attention to come in and visit his building---he says, no I don't have to stay long, just come visit---he wants me to let my mind just ask a few simple questions, he is saying---no, there is nothing wrong with questions--why should i not be able to ask these questions---, but the problem is-- on this side of heaven there are no answers to many of those questions---and satan knows that. Satan knows if he can get me to come in, maybe even just to the door, he will have me. Like Ron said, never, and I mean never go inside, not even for a little bit, it will be a very hard and a dangerous road back, so focus---focus on Jesus's face. Then he used this Psalm--91. In part it says--"He (Jesus) will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge: His faithfulness will be your shield. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you" Ron said, satan can try to get me to ask all the questions he and his demons want to, but if I am focused on Jesus-- Jesus will block every one of those questions from ever entering my mind. Jesus will stand as my shield. If it was not for Jesus standing in for my shield, I would never make it. Also, he used the verse Exodus 14:13-14 that says the same thing--"Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. THE LORD WILL FIGHT FOR YOU; YOU NEED ONLY TO BE STILL" It sounds so easy, just stand behind Jesus, but in all reality it is not as easy as it sounds. I had to think there is spiritual warfare going on all around us every day, probably every minute. These are promises God has given us, and even if at times I don't feel them, I just have to believe them in my heart---that is what faith is all about. Even knowing all this, I still find myself slipping not into the buildings of satan, but taking my eyes off of Jesus and maybe slipping off into the grass instead of staying on the narrow sidewalk. As Ron was speaking and saying to the young kids, what if this was your casket up here instead of taylor where would you be. Oh, I thought--how I wish that was true, Taylor would be sitting out in the congregation with his friends and would come home that night for dinner. Ron said God wanted to shake up the community and He picked Taylor-----I had to think all the people that live in Wayne Co, God picks Taylor---Why??, but as I am asking each question in my heart, I find I am getting closer and closer to satan doorway. As satan is waving his arms trying to get and keep my attention on his lies, Jesus is quietly saying in my ear, Look at Me---Get behind Me---I will fight these battles. So, now the choice is up to me. Where is my focus going to be. It is so easy to say "I trust God" or My God is so faithful" but when God takes away one of the most precious things in life, can I still say that and mean it. In adversity there is only one way to go and that is to move though it with Jesus at your side, standing still will only cripple you and eventually cause death. I can truly say, God has been faithful and yes I trust Him with all my heart---if Taylor is going to be taken, what better hands would I ever want him in. Yes, I would like for this pain to stop, wish there was a pill to take to ease it all away, but that is not possible. God is the only one that can ease the pain.
I have only had one dream of Taylor until last night, I was dreaming that we were all together and taylor was there too. The thing was, we all knew this was Taylor's last day, but he was clueless. He was so happy, smiling and yes, he was driving his four wheeler, in fact he was giving little kids rides around the yard. All I could do was stare at his face and kept thinking-- is there any way I can stop this from happening. We really could not touch or even speak with him, but we all knew what was ahead. When I woke up, it was like satan was once again, waving his arms and calling my name to just come visit him again, he had alittle more discouragement, and sadness to happily give me. Jesus was saying quietly look over here at me, I will help you through this dark night---the verse He brought to mind was Isa. 41:13 "For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you---Do Not Fear, I will Help You." After repeating this verse many times, i felt His peace come over me and I could go back to sleep. He did take my hand and walk me through the night. So, yes, I believe grieving a child is like a chronic condition--you learn to live with the pain, but know where your comfort, relieve, and Grace are found. I heard somebody say, that when they lost their child some of the most comforting words were ---I will personalize it for me---"Taylor is much more a part of my future than he was of my past"---how true, i had him for twenty years--yes it feels way to short of time, but when I look at the the whole picture, twenty years will only be a tiny tiny spec in the line of eternity and yes, I get to spend all eternity with him and Jesus our King. So yes, I have a choice and I choose to believe and trust even when I don't feel like it. This chronic pain will not last forever, only a spec of time.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Monday at the Fair

I was not going to go to the fair this year---the memories were just too painful, but then Brooke's friend could not go with her, so she asked me if I wanted to go. It was a beautiful day- a great day for the fair, but did I want to go and let all those memories flood my mind and soul---I just didn't know. In the end I did decide to go with her. I heard the tractor pull going on in the background, but knew that was too painful to go watch. Jeff decided that he wanted to go watch it, and even called us when Craig Marty, (the tractor Taylor would have pulled) was ready to start his pull. I told him, not this year, maybe next year. Just the day before or so, I had gotten into Taylor's truck and was looking in his glove box and came across several pictures of him pulling that he had put in there. He was so proud of them, he had them all nicely tucked away. As i looked at them, my mind floated back to the days he was pulling. Yes, it is so easy to slip back to those days, and find myself missing him so terribly, but then I try to refocus and think yes i love Taylor with all my heart and always will, but God even loves him more and did what was best for Taylor and some day I will see the whole picture---but until then, I just need to trust.
I did find being at the fair was a whole lot easier than last year---yes, it was painful, but not crippling. As we were walking from barn to barn I happened to look up and I seen a boy wearing the "famous Yamaha" Taylor shirt with his racing number and in loving memory on the back. As I got closer I realized that is one friend I had never meet---I did not know this boy. I would have loved to talk with him, but he was busy talking to other people. I asked Brooke if she knew this boy and she also said no. Then as we were getting ready to leave, we ran into two different kids with that same shirt on. We did know these two kids and talked with them a little. I can not explain how it touches my heart that these kids want to keep Tay's memory right up close and personal. It seems like every time we talk with them, there is a new "story" they want to tell us. Yes, Aug 16th changed our lives forever, but I am truly touched how other people remember to pray for us almost every day even though it has been over a year. I ran into another person who said they have Taylor's pic up in their trailer and every time she looks at it, will say a little prayer. Some people say they still pray for us by name every day----God has brought great people into our lives. It has all taught me a new meaning to the word compassion. God has shown me what His love can look like coming through His children----I had to think heaven will be filled with His saints showing this kind of love each an every day and Jesus will be the King of Love and Compassion. Then to finish our day at the fair, as Brooke and I was pulling out of the parking lot, we had to wait for a truck that had a pulling tractor on the back to pass. We both just stared as the tractor went by, our eyes were glued to the big white sticker on the side that said "In Loving Memory of Taylor Gasser"----We followed it all the way home---we both said what are the chances of that happening---but then again, nothing is by chance with God----He wanted us to see it-----Maybe to show us that our hearts have healed some---because last year when we seen that tractor with the sticker on it, it ripped our hearts right out and we thought how will we ever make it. Oh, we knew deep down, God was the only way we would ever be able to put one foot in front of the other, but we were barely hanging on from drowning in grief. As we followed that tractor home, I could see the seat of the tractor very clearly and yes, I did imagine Taylor sitting up there pulling again with a big grin on his face---through the a tear or two, I did have to smile----He loved the tractor pulls, oh, but Heaven is so much better than all of this----watch the eastern skies---Jesus is soon coming back----there is nothing left to happen before the rapture. What a Day That Will Be!! It will be thirteen months tomorrow that we started this journey---one we never planned on taking, but all of this was in God's plan from the day we all were born. What I have learned, God will never send you on a journey alone, He walks right beside you and gives you everything you need to fight the battles.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fair Days Once Again

Brooke, Spenc and Jeff all went to the fair tonight to watch the tractor pull. I am not big on tractor pulls, especially those real loud ones. Taylor loved tractor pulls, he use to take my video camera along and tape hours of these tractor pulls, then for weeks later he would watch that video, until we all got so sick of it, we would be praying it would get lost or broke, just anything so we did not have to see or hear all those tractor's one more time. Fair days are rather tough for each of us----we each have our own memories of Taylor and the fair. He always went with them tonight, Jeff even bought an extra ticket, just so Taylor could be with them, at least in spirit. On Monday, he could not wait to pull in the local pull----he would always say, Mom, did you hear is it suppose to be nice on Monday, it is not suppose to rain is it. He would tell all his friends that he was pulling, so when they would call his name for the next pull, the kids would whistle and cheer him on. But he was never very organized, it would never fail, he would come running into the house hours before the pull saying he forgot something, or lost something and him and Jeff would have to scurry around and find what he was missing. Of course we always had to take our video camera and take videos of every minute of his pull and him driving around the track with his tractor. He would always get so nervous when it was his turn, we just use to tease him saying, sure hope you get off the starting line and don't spin out right at the beginning, so when he would go half way down the track until he finally would spin out---he was as happy as could be, he would give a yelp and shake his fist in the air---yes, I have all this on video, but as of yet, it is just too painful to watch, not sure if I will ever be able to, but maybe some day. So, today was a sad day, it was for all of us---each with our own memories of Tay. As I was out hanging up clothes this morning, Jeff was getting some things ready for an upcoming sale out in his garage, and I heard him just sobbing, I know he was missing Tay, and thinking back to when he use to help Tay get his tractor ready to pull. Last year they did the memorial for Tay at the fair's tractor pull, which was really nice, but it was so dreadfully painful, I am not even sure I want to go to the fair this year. It is just filled with so many memories, and as of yet, memories for so painful, but they say someday, they will bring joy. Spencer remembered Tay by wearing the T shirt with his racing number and in loving memory on the back of the shirt tonight to the fair. As I watched him go out the door with that shirt on, I just kept thinking "this just shouldn't be", but it is our reality. In fact, I thought that several times today---I was looking at Spenc's year book, then decided I wanted to look through Taylor's Senior year. As I sat there looking at all those kids pictures that graduated that hot June day in 2008---I kept thinking--Why Taylor, Why him!! They all looked so young and happy, ready to meet life's challenges. I had to think, if at graduation that day they would have said "somebody in this class in going to die next summer", would Taylor had even gave it a thought that it would be him---no, I am sure he would not have. I know asking "Why" is a dangerous question and can take you down a slippery slope real quick, but I just was in that kind of place---why my son!!! Why our family. I have to say, though, that gut wrenching pain has lessened and for that I am thankful. It has moved to missing him terribly, where some days, I think I have to see him today---I guess that is where I am today, but again, I am thankful every day is not like that. As everybody left tonight, I just was praying Please God help me here---God is always faithful in showing up right where I am and picking me up. I was praying and decided to just open the Bible and read where God had me open. It was in first Corinthians 15 where Paul was talking about the dead being raised in a twinkling of an eye with new bodies, and the ones alive will be changed from mortal to immortal--death will no longer have its sting, it will be our victory----I just felt God was telling me once again----Yes, I know you are missing him, but just hold on, you are going to see him again.-- Some alone time with God can make all the difference in how I can see things---Keeping my eyes focused on Jesus is the key---some days much easier said than done---It is so easy to slip into the place "why me, Why our family". God has planted the thought deep in my heart from almost the first day of this journey that I have to keep going back to again and again and that is ---God makes no mistakes, His plan is perfect for each of us----some day, some day I will understand and in the mean time He continues to give me His Grace. I heard this and really liked it Grace is what God gives us that we don't deserve. Mercy is God keeping us from getting what we do deserve. Grace is taking us to Heaven. Mercy is keeping us from Hell. God owes us nothing, but gives us everything. I know that it is so easy to let my circumstances determined my attitude. I know God wants me to find contentment in where He has now placed me---no, I may like where that is, but that is where trust plays a huge part---trust that I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. I had to surrender all my dreams for our family into God's hands, because they were all shattered on that night in August. My dreams were for Taylor along with Brooke and Spenc to grow into super young adults marry the "perfect" spouse and have some great kids that were going to be my grandkids----I have learned or I hope I am learning to surrender what I want and what I think I deserve and have faith to accept what God's plan is for me and our family. I always thought I had to have control of a situation, but found out very quickly God can put me places where I have no control, in fact, I can feel like I am drowning and the only thing I can do is plead for help, but I am finding out control is not what it is cracked up to be, and giving God control is alot more peaceful----He takes very good care of His children.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Anniversay date

We have survived through all the "firsts". Last week was a hard week with so many memories running through my mind. The week before the accident I kept finding myself thinking of what I was doing, and also what Taylor was doing, when was the last time I seen him, what we talked about. On the 15th, us and Max's family spent the evening together. We talked about how that day was one year ago. We all went to Dawn's wedding and how we got home and decided to go on a walk to relax and unwind from a busy day. We were so thankful that the day went so well, dad had done so well, God had blessed the day. How we just got back from our walk taking off our shoes and relaxing just talking , when my cell phone starts to ring. Our lives were changed forever in that one split second from the time I said hello- to the screaming on the other end. As we sat there in Diane's family room, we just all relived that night. We decided to all go out to the site where it happened. It was a pretty night, and as we pulled into the little drive that I have so often visited over this past year, I notice one of Tay's friends had again painted his racing number "614" in bold black paint on the rock where he hit his head. i also noticed that somebody had put some fresh flowers in a vase by the cross. As we all just stood there visualizing what that night must have looked like with Tay laying so lifeless on that rock and all his friends around screaming and somebody calling 911 for help, my eyes drifted over about four feet from where his cross is to see four little black eye susie's growing up just blowing in the wind and blooming so pretty. I had to smile just alittle. because if a boy can have a favorite flower----these would have been Taylor's. I had to think just how did they get there---then I knew, God put them there---it was His way of giving me just a little comfort on a terrible day----to say, I am here with you. After we left there, we decided the next place to visit was the cemetery. I stood there looking at Tay's pic the sun was shining on his smiling face, again God showing His presence and thinking----it seems so very long since I have seen you, hugged you, talked with you----but again, I can remember so well that day we drove up that long lane and brought you out here, which seems just like yesterday. I remember Max saying during that terrible week a year ago, we now have to learn to life with a new normal---a year later wondering, will I ever learn to live that new normal---they say I will, but I am not sure.
The 16th was a day filled with almost constant memories of the year before. My heart was breaking, but was thankful it was one year later, and that God had brought us this far. Yes, I am sure I took some giant steps backward that week, but I was expecting this to happen.
His friends had planned a memorial for Tay. One of his friends told us to come to the cemetery at 6:30 and bring balloons to let off. It was a beautiful sunny evening, not a cloud in the sky. When we drove up that long drive to the cemetery, I was fighting tears, just remembering this same drive a year earlier. I could not see if anybody was there yet or not, because of all the corn, but as we made that turn, a few tears started to slide down my cheeks, when I seen all the cars and trucks, some with big stickers on them saying "In Loving Memory of Taylor Gasser". All these kids standing there, some around Taylor's grave, but all standing silently. I could not help but take to sobbing alittle, it was just such a touching scene---one year later and all these kids still wanted to be out here in the cemetery on a a beautiful summer night remembering Taylor----Taylor's voice was softly whispering in my ear---See, Mom I really was popular" with that famous grin on his face. Jeff talked some, or at least he tried too, Mark had a very nice prayer, remember not only the pain for us in losing Taylor, but also for the Schar's in losing Joey, and Crystal and J.P. in losing their twins. We then left off the balloons, we all just stood there in complete silence until they were all completely out of sight. His friends told us all to go back to WG Dairy pond they wanted to present us with some gifts. Brooke and I stayed awhile at Taylor's grave just remembering and talking about how we were feeling----how God had taken us by the hand and many times just plain carried us this last year----and how someday, our family circle will be reunited again. As it was getting dark we decided it was time to leave and go to the pond. As we drove up there, again amazed at how many young kids were there. Some did not, or just plain could not come to the cemetery---just too many memories, but came to the pond to talk with us. It was always sorta joke with Tay, he use to do some really "crazy" things and we would say, if you keep that up you will never have any friends---and he would always say with a big grin I just have tons of friends and we would all laugh----little did I know how true that statement was. I talked with so many of his friends, one being just as nice and kind as the next. One boy even came up to Jeff and gave him his cell number and told us to call him anytime and he would like to show us the cabin that Taylor spent so much of his last two years at. I always wanted to go see this cabin when Taylor was alive, but he always said, "oh, mom you will never find it", but later found out that was not so very true, it really was not that hard to find, he just did not want me popping in one night----probably scared i might tell his buddies some of his secrets. One boy I was talking with ended up talking about the service that was preached at Taylor's funeral, how it had impacted his life. They had collected money when taylor died and now wanted to present us with some of the gifts they had bought with that money. They gave us a beautiful tree that blooms flowers, not very big, so was thinking perhaps in planting it out by his grave site, so every time we go out there we will remember friends, a really nice stone with In Loving memory of Taylor Gasser on it and last but definitely not least they took the trade mark picture of taylor, the one where he is just getting ready to sky dive, in fact the last picture taken of him, and blew it up on canvas and off to the side had my favorite verse printed on it. Yes, Isa, 41:10--the verse God used many times to encourage and give me strength. The one regret i do have is I never took the time to get to know these kids any better while taylor was alive, they are a great bunch of kids. Brittany also, took the time to make a really nice slide show of Taylor, She used pics from when he was little up to the very end. She had that playing the whole evening. I did not watch alot of it that evening, it was just too hard to see his face in every picture, but she is planning to give me a copy and I will someday watch it by myself-----where it will be Ok to cry. it was a very hard day, but the kids made it easier. It touched my heart deeply that so many made the effort to come and be with us----some even wore the famous Yamaha shirt with his number and name on it. I certain hope they will continue to come and visit us. yes, it is sometimes hard to see them, because i know Taylor should be with them, but I love hearing the stories of Taylor. Sara came on the Sunday afternoon before just to talk about Taylor and she said, there is not a day goes by that she does not think of him----I know for me that will be true for the rest of my life, but he must have touched her life so deeply that she still thinks of him every day----
Tuesday, Wed, and the rest of the week, I found myself going through every detail of every day, but many, many were praying for us and I certainly felt the prayers. Today being the first day of school and I am here all alone again, why is it I find my mind keeps going to the things I can not have and all the things I am missing-----but I know and have seen God's faithfulness, He will provide for every need I have.
Autumn and Keith's baby (Kendall) came so close to being born on the day Taylor died, I am so thankful that she didn't, but God has brought new challenges into her life, which again, we all have to give it all to God and trust knowing He has a plan, a perfect plan. On the day of Taylor's funeral (Aug 20) Kendall had a very bad spell, in fact her heart did stop and for a bit of time, she was not breathing on her own, they were frantically working with her heart----the doctor said, for a bit of time we lost her-----Max said, in that bit of time, do you think she met Taylor----I don't know if she did or not, but I like to think the two of them met---Taylor loved kids. The doctor's know what she has, or they are pretty sure, and it is very rare, so if you could please pray for Kendall and also for the whole family, as you might imagine it is very stressful. I want to thank all of you who have prayed for us through this past year, and if you find it in your heart to keep us on your prayer list, I would greatly appreciate it.
In Jesus I Trust!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Anniversay date approaching

It has been a while since I have posted anything. I believe that is a sign of healing for me. Journaling has been a great outlet ---it has given me a place to write my deep heart felt feelings. It seemed many times as I would spill out the pain I was feeling, God would pull up a chair and sit right beside me and end up bring a peace to my heart----will I ever go back and read those first entries---maybe some day just to see all what God did for me. But as the anniversary date of Taylor's accident is staring me in the face, I am finding it very difficult to focus on anything but that. Yesterday, I was thinking back to a year ago, and was remembering how happy he was walking in the door that evening. He had just gotten home from college and was now on a two week summer break----he could not have been any happier. He quickly discarded his book bag in a corner, which he never touched again. He talked with me a little bit, but mostly was in a hurry to get on with life and see some of his friends that he had not seen for awhile. Life to him at that moment could not have gotten any better---he was happy, young, carefree. I just keep thinking, he only had nine days left to life, but at that time he had no clue. He did not know that when he walked out of his class room that afternoon he would never be back. I had to think, in my eyes and I am sure in his eyes, I thought he was at the beginning of his life line, but in all reality he was in his eleventh hour. It once again, makes me think life here on earth is so very uncertain---in one second everything we thought that was normal, was now gone and we had to find a new normal to life with---one we are still trying to get use too----nothing will ever be the same again.
One of his friends came over a couple of weeks ago and asked if it would be ok to do something in his memory on the 16th. She took alot of pictures of Taylor and is going to make a slide show to be shown that evening. She is planning first to meet at the cemetery to remember him with letting off balloons. It has truly touched my heart how his friends have not forgotten Taylor but has done special things in his memory through out this year.
I sometimes can hardly believe it has been a year--but in other ways it seems so very long since i have seen or laughed with him. This last week and I am sure the next two weeks will be ones filled with memories. As I think back to the week of his accident and the days to follow, I once again see God's Grace. Sometimes, when I let my mind go back to each horrible moment, my body will start to shake and i wonder just how did I make it through-----but my next thought is, I didn't, it was God carrying me. I have seen over and over again, God will give Grace just for that day and just enough for that situation. I know this next couple of weeks is going to be hard, especially the days of his death, viewing, and funeral, but on those days, I know God will be there right beside me with His Amazing Grace. God has walked with me every step of this journey, so I trust He will continue to do that.
We are doing a bible study on "God as He longs for you to see Him" by Chip Ingram. It is about God's character traits---His Goodness, Sovereignty, Holiness, Wisdom, Justice, Love and Faithfulness. We were studying His Sovereignty this week. God's timing is so perfect. Chip said in his book something I have hung onto since the day it happened "Nothing will enter your life that God does not either decree or allow. And nothing will ever enter your life that,---if you are willing to trust in Him---He can not work out for your good". That thought has brought peace to my heart many times----in God's eyes it was no accident and He promises to bring good out of it. As horrible and painful as it all is, I took some time and tried to think what good came out of it. There were a few that came to mind rather quickly----First and for most, some saw how quickly life can change, and gave their heart's to Jesus, some rededicated their lives to Jesus----My relationship with Jesus went to a completely different level---it felt like I was in the middle of the ocean and drowning, Jesus threw me a life line to hang onto to keep me from going under, I met some really great people which developed into a very good friendships. God's sovereignty can mean we have a sense of peace and trust because God is in complete control of every situation and nothing in His eyes will ever be spinning out of control.
If you happen to be reading this, please pray extra hard for each of us these next couple of weeks as we approach the anniversary date. God hears each and every prayer---and prayer is very powerful-----i have felt the many prayers----thank you from the depths of my heart---

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Will God meet all our needs?

I have not written in a while---really that is a good thing. When I am drawn to write is usually when I am having a hard time----when I am struggling and trying to keep from drowning. Maybe it is getting harder at times because it is getting close to the one year anniversary of this terrible nightmare and it all wants to keep replaying in my mind. It will never cease to amaze me how God will reach down and take a hold of my hand and pull me up and carry me until I am strong enough to walk with him and not have to be carried. Tonight, Spencer and Jeff had left and I was here by myself, and decided to just open the bible and see what God had for me and i opened to Psalm 105 :1-2 which says-"Give thanks to the Lord, call on His Name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to Him, sing praise to Him; tell of all His wonderful acts." This was a very hard week. It started last Sunday. We went to church and we sang the song "What a Day of Rejoicing that Will Be". It sounded just like the angels of heaven were singing it---it was beautiful. It makes me cry every time we sing it--the words are so very true---That song just makes me urn for heaven, but then we also sang Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art----these were the songs sung at Tay's funeral, but yet God has spoken so often through these songs. It brought back so many memories---some unbelievable sadness and some of God's unbelievable Grace and Mercy. Last Sunday i certainly should have remembered to take some Kleenex's with me--my sleeves were getting pretty wet :). Monday, I was pretty knocked down and depressed. I just wanted or it felt like I needed some connection with Tay, so decided to go through and clean up some of his stuff we had put in boxes. As i opened the boxes to sort through it, I seen things, like his i-pod, watch, check book, credit cards, then I picked up his Cologne---I decided to spray alittle---a mistake. They told us in school, the strongest sense for memory is smell----they were so right. That smell brought back so many memories of when he use to come home in a hurry and just not enough time for a shower so he would run upstairs to his room spray a bunch on and run out the door as the rest of us in the house were saying between coughs "I think you put on a little too much tonight". When ever I would smell that scent I always knew Taylor was close by. Memories, oh memories--As I sat there on the floor, i just cried out to God saying Please let me see him one more time, hear his voice----maybe in a dream anything----I am losing it here---I am so lonesome for him. But I realized I had to pull myself together, Spencer was soon going to be home. I have figured out so very often, my thinking of what would be good for me, and what God KNOWS is good for me is too very different things. God will meet all my needs, just not usually the way I think it is going to be. No, God did not give me a dream, but it is amazing how He will work in other people's hearts to reach out to us and encourage us at just the right moments. I go to the mail box on Tue and here is this card that pretty much says how I am feeling-----it says---A mighty wind blew night and day. It stole the oak tree's leaves away. Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark until the oak was tired and stark. But still the oak tree held its ground while other trees fell all around. It went on to say the roots had grown deeper and deeper and that is why it could stand-----so very true Jesus is my roots and without Him I would have fallen long ago. Then a day or two later we got another letter from a friend that was also very encouraging just in part she said Go outside. Look into the clouds.....Look beyond...Think of Taylor....imagine his happy, carefree face SMILING down on you! Smile Back. Taylor is happy. She closed her letter by saying---I know you may think: "What does she know about my pain? She has never lost a child as I have, and here she is trying to tell me what to do and think." Must I say, God works in mysterious ways. It is not easy for me to tell you what to do. But I believe God gave me these thoughts that I was to pass on to you." There is no doubt in my mind that God worked in both of these people's hearts and it turned into a real encouragement and blessing for us---I have read that letter and card many times. I just never know how God is going to encourage me, lift me up when I have fallen down, but one thing I do know is that God will never leave me alone to go through this stormy time in life. Not only did God show Himself through other people, but He also showed up in a completely different way. It was either on the same day we got that letter or the next day, can't remember which, anyway-----Taylor had alot of allergies and August (the month of his accident) was always a bad month for him----ragweed was not his friend. He had trouble breathing at night, so he often had to sleep with his mouth open, which made him slobber (a nice way a saying spit) on his pillow case. I had to change them often----when I got home that Sunday night after his accident and went into his room to lay on his bed, the first thing I seen was all those marks on his pillow case. I put my head on that pillow and sobbed and held it close to my face, knowing in my heart I would never wash this pillow case---I left it on his bed for several months, I know it may be crazy but when I went in there and sat on his bed and held that pillow, it just made me feel close to him and sometimes I could even give a little smile. One day, though, I did go into his room and took it off of his pillow and folded it up and put it into his box of things----knowing it was so much a part of him. Then last week, i changed the sheets on our bed, I was in a hurry so I just grabbed some pillow cases out of the cupboard and put them on----no they did not match the sheets----but thought who cares no company was expected :) and they were clean. When I was getting ready to go to bed that night, and Spencer was in the bedroom talking with me and I happen to look at my pillow and I said to him, what is all over my pillow case, I just changed it all today--I never noticed a thing when I put the pillow case on---God had not yet opened my eyes to see it at that time. As I got closer, I just stopped and stared---I thought, no that can't be taylor's pillow case, that is all tucked away in his box, but as I got closer and picked it up that was exactly what it was. I picked it up and smelled it and it smelled just like Taylor----instantly a little voice said in my head----" I am here and so is Taylor---We really are not far from you--Taylor is fine, happy---you wanted to feel him close to you today---he is here with you. Tears came to my eyes----God is so merciful----He hurts when I hurt---I was crying out to Him, please let me see Tay, or hear his voice earlier that day----He answered that prayer in the way that was best for me----Thank you Jesus---I praise Your High and Holy Name! Thank you all who continue to pray for us and encourage us in the ways God has directed your hearts.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday evening

This past week past another anniversary of Tay's death. It has been ten months. Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, passes and pretty soon days turn into months. My heart aches for JP and Crystal for they have experienced one of the worst things that can ever happen to a parent. The extreme emptiness, sadness that can not begin to be explained in words, all the "what if's", the "why's" and the dream of what kind of little boys would they have been is gone. Yes, they will be changed forever. They will have a whole different view on life, God will be their life line. God has chosen them to Glorify His name and for others to see God in them, which I am sure we are all seeing clearly. I have read some of their post and I know that God is carrying them and giving them Grace minute by minute, which He will continue to do.
Why is it that songs are one of the things that will most likely bring me to tears. I hardly ever get through a whole Sunday without tears running down my face. Maybe it is because they are so beautiful, it makes me feel like I am in heaven. A lot of the time if I just listen to the words, they are so beautiful---so full of praise. We have not yet gotten a tombstone, but the other evening, we were out at the cemetery. Jeff was working with Tay's grave. As i stood there watching him and spencer work, I could not help but think---Taylor what are you doing out here---this is not what any parent should be doing. I thought, how many times did Taylor drive by the lane to this very cemetery to go to rittman church and I can say I doubt very much if he was ever back here, or probably even knew it was here. I stood there thinking, just how uncertain life is---that very sunday before his accident, he drove right by the lane going to church--not a care in the world, not knowing that by the next week, he would not be driving by the lane, but instead being driven up the lane.
It was one year old today, that Taylor bought that fateful fourwheeler. I can remember so clearly, how I did not want him to get it, but how do you stop a 20 year from getting it. Brooke and I made a trip to the bank, and Taylor decided to come along to see if he could get a loan for his 4-wheeler. I was so very happy that he had no credit, so they would not give him a loan. I thought it was a done deal, but when Taylor set his mind to something, he went after it. He soon came up with a plan that he presented to me. He wanted to take money out of his savings account---which was for college and buy it then make payments back to himself. I agreed that would be ok to do --thinking it would make him more responsible having to make payments each month, sometimes I wonder what would have happened, if I did not ok that plan. I looked at his bank book the other day, and it was a year ago today, that he withdrew his money to buy it. I remember that smile on his face when I said he could do it---his smile was contagious, it even made me smile. Little did we all know that exactly two months later he would be in eternity and that day would be his viewing day---again the uncertainty of life. There is that fourwheeler still sitting out in our shed all covered up. It is just too painful to look at. To look at it is so bittersweet---when I stand there looking at it now---I can see him on it with a big grin on his face ready to tear around the yard on two wheels, and then I can also see it as the terrible thing that took his life.
It soon will be one year---we actually survived, even though at times I had my doubts. As I think back, yes, we each healed at least to some degree. Sometimes I wonder will I ever get to the point where I do not have that heavy feeling sitting right in the middle of my heart, or has it settled in to stay. People have told me to hang on to all the precious memories, and that is true, but I have to say, memories are right down painful-----will someday the memories turn from painful to happy, or I guess I should say, nice--because they will probably never be happy---that is like some days I miss him so much that I feel I just want to see him alive again. I am so tempted to get out my home-video's from his prom and graduation---but I am just not sure if that would healing, or down right heart wrenching.
As I am writing this, the thought popped into my mind, God never promised us that it would be easy here on earth, that in fact we would have trouble and trials, but He did promise us that it will be worth all our suffering when we get to those shores of Heaven and see the beauty He has in store for us. I am trying to remember life here on earth is just a vapor and eternity is forever and forever---and I have all that time to be with Taylor and best of all Jesus will be our Master. One last thought. The other sunday in church I heard something that has stuck with me. He said we all pray daily for the Holy Spirit to fill us---but the thing is, when we ask for the spirit to fill us, are we wanting also to be in the driver seat and Jesus riding with us in the passenger seat, or are we quickly getting into the passenger seat and asking Jesus to drive for us. I thought it was very interesting, and how many times, have I asked Jesus to go with me, when I should be asking Jesus to take me with Him.
I would like to ask one last thing of anyone who happens to be reading this, please keep us in your prayers as the one year anniversary date of Taylor's death is getting closer. Also I want to thank those who have continued to pray for us day after day. I will sometimes get just little short e-mails that say---just want you to know, you are still in my prayers---nothing touches my heart more than hearing those words---because I have seen great power in prayer. We all serve an Awesome God.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A New Month

I can hardly believe it is June 1st, the kids are almost out of school. I love the warm and sometime sunny days, spring just brings new life to so many things, but also brings new first which I have to crawl through each one. Some are so much harder than others, but hopefully the second time around it will be a tiny bit easier. I have found that the change of season, winter to spring and then sliding into summer is much harder than I was expecting. I expected Christmas, his birthday to be gut wrenching days, but sunny warm days are much tougher than I thought it would be. I find myself expecting to hear his fourwheeler racing around the backyard, and Taylor loved loud noises, so the louder the muffler the better, sometimes it was so loud we would have to shut the windows if we wanted to carry on a conversation without yelling. I find myself thinking it is just so quiet, I miss that loud noise zooming by the open windows. Just so quiet, and I always thought I liked quiet, but it now can make my heart ache. He had made himself a jumping ramp out in the back yard, I use to do dishing watching him go around and around jumping that ramp, and yes, each time I said a little arrow prayer that God's angel would be jumping with him, and have their arms around him to keep him safe. Now, when I look out that same window doing dishes, I see the path going to that jump and the ramp itself growing all up in grass---it just makes my heart so sad to see that, so now instead of saying a little prayer for Taylor, I say a little prayer for myself, that God will just come a little closer and hold my hand for awhile.
Memorial day weekend----what would make this a hard first? I really never thought too much about this holiday, and no it was not nearly as hard as some. Yes, we missed him terribly at the family picnic's. We were at Amber's last year and again this year we were at her place. We remembered where he was sitting what we talked about, Amber said I remember talking with him in the kitchen, then when we were outside standing by his truck, we were teasing him about his truck and all the funny stickers he had on it, we looked at some pictures, but I think it was the element of life's uncertainty that struck me the most. Almost every memorial day Diane and I would make a trip to the cemetery, which in those days that was the only time I ever went through out the year. We would walk around looking at the new graves, and so often would say, who do you think will be next, or even who do you think will be first in our families---last year we even said, just think we will be buried out here somewhere, just where do you think that will be--just one year later we all know where that is going to be. We never in our wildest dreams thought that taylor would be first. He was so young, so full of life, and we thought so much time to live, but in all reality he only had 2 in half months----in our minds, his time table was just at the beginning, but we were clueless to God's time table, which was almost to the end. This year when I went out to the cemetery, I just knelt by tay's grave and found myself saying, tay, what are you doing out here, you are not suppose to be here-----but as I looked up into the sky, I knew I was once again in my own time table, but God's ways are so much higher and bigger than ours---I said, yes, God I know you are in control of all of this---You understand my breaking heart, and will be my Rock.
The weekend of the 22nd, Diane and I went back to mom's, Ron was there from Florida visiting. In fact, Warren and Dawn were there too. We could not remember the last time all us kids were home visiting mom and dad all at once---God truly blessed that weekend. Ron is always encouraging to talk with. Ron made a comment to me that I found real comfort in. He said, just remember, you are just one heart beat away from Taylor. I know to some that may sound like I am wishing for death, I am not, it just makes me feel close to Taylor. It makes him not feel so far away. There were so many staying at mom's that we decided that some of us would go stay at the nursing home apartments----the same ones we stayed in the night of Taylor's accident . I said, there are just too many horrible memories for me to stay there, but Diane thought she could, and Bill and Dawn went with her. I went along to help them take their stuff---I was sorta shocked at all the emotions that hit me full in the face when I walked through the door. As we rode the elevator down to the rooms, my mind went racing back to that night. As we walked into the bedroom, my body wanted to take to shaking. It is amazing how a smell can trigger so many memories. I think the smell of that room almost provoked more memories that actually seeing it, but the more I stood there looking around the memories did start to flood back even faster. I remembered how my cell phone was laying on the floor by my bed and how it started ringing so early Sunday morning with several close friends leaving heart wrenching messages----how Diane and I just laid in bed, saying very little, except---we will never get through this------as we did not realize quite yet, that yes, we would never get through it by ourselves, but God was standing right there with us and getting ready to hold each of us in his arms. Then we went into the bathroom, I just stood there remembering how I walked into the bathroom that Sunday morning, just looking in the mirror and saying, This can't be happening----How can I ever live without Tay, he can not be truly gone, my heart was breaking into a million pieces---and then I walked out of the bathroom to find Brooke standing in the hall---that was the first time I think it really hit us that yes this is true--Taylor is gone----that was the first time since we heard about the accident that reality actually got past the fog of shock and hit our hearts. Brooke and I sobbed so hard we could barely stand up. As I stood there months later, I had to think, yes, all those memories came rushing back, and yes, they were as clear as if they were happening right then, yes, I could stand there and feel the extreme pain, but I could also see the power of God. He brought us down a very rough and steep valley, but He is slowly bring us through. I had one more first to get through, and I was rather dreading it. I had to go back to the Forrest Church--- No, the church did not have bad memories, in fact I love the people there---many I have known all my life, alot of my relation goes there-----it was more along the line of--can I go and not be a puddle on the floor when they come up and hug me and are so kind to me. I thought if i could prepare myself somewhat then maybe I would be OK. Almost as soon as I walk into the door, Paul comes over to us and when he gets to me, he gives me a hug and says "this hurts does it," as tears start to flow down my cheeks---he knows all too well what I am feeling. He is just about to mark the second year anniversary of his 21 year old son that died of a brain tumor. I remembered talking with him in depth last summer in July about the death of his son, and just how horrible it was---he had to watch him die inch by inch, but little did I know that less than one month later I would understand his level of pain and grief a lot more clearly, more clearly than I ever wanted to know. After talking with him, I fought tears all morning, but had a continuous prayer on my heart---Please God just give me enough Grace to get through this day without sobbing on every body's shoulder. As I sat there through morning service I seen another friend that had lost a grandson a year or so earlier and knew she would be very hard to talk without sobbing. As I found out over the fellowship time at noon, it was very painful, but God did give me the Grace to not be a sobbing noodle. I did talk with the one that lost her grandson, and yes some tears were shed, but seen God was there through all the pain. I talked to a classmate of mine 23 years earlier she lost her 7 year old son---he was riding his bike and was hit by a car. She said I just want to tell you even though it has been 23 years, it really does not get any easier-----I am not sure how encouraging that was, but I think she probably meant there will always be moments that will hit a painful memory. Another lady, her son was also killed in an accident---I spent all my time talking to mothers' who have lost one of their children---I was shocked how many in that Forrest Congregation have had such grief and pain of losing a child. By the time I left church, yes, I felt drained, but seen that all of us had something in common besides our broken hearts---we all knew God was our life line and He would never let us go, we just had to hang on with both hands. Yes, I have had a lot of first, and they are all hard in different ways, but God does walk right with me. through each one. I think God wanted me to not loose sight of that thought, because just the other day when I was spending time with Him, I opened the devotional book--"Today in the Word" and was reading it when I came to the place I knew without a shadow of a doubt God was wanting to remind me of His presence. It said "God is near to you today. He knows you and your circumstances. He knows what you will do and say. He goes before you." Then the verse that went with it was Phi:4:4-9 which says "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understand, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" I could think--in everything give thanks---just how can i do that. I realized God was not expecting me to thank Him for what happened, but to just close my eyes and think on God's character, His faithfulness, just Be Still and Know that He is God---I can trust Him to carry my burdens, I can cast all my cares at His feet, and I know He has a perfect plan for me, and just let the perfect peace of God which transcends all understanding seep into my heart. Yes, this is easier said than done on some days, but I am trying to keep this verse on my heart every single day.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Nine months

Tay, I write about you so often, but today, I am going to write to you. Yesterday marked nine months that you left us. It seemed to be somewhat harder than some of the other anniversaries. I think it may be because it was not only nine long months since I have seen you, but it also landed on the same day of the week of your death (Sunday). My mind just keeps slipping back to that horrible night when your dad called and was sobbing into the phone saying that you were gone, that we lost our son. We couldn't leave mom's until the next morning, but i didn't sleep a wink, all I kept thinking was --this can't possibly be true---how will we ever get through this next few days. I did not begin to think how will life be with out you----that thought was so devastating, that my mind would not even let me go there----not yet anyway. I don't think I quite realized it yet, but Jesus was at this point picking me up into His arms and was going to be carrying me through a very long journey.
Tay, I miss you so much, your quirky little jokes, that could not help but make me laugh, the sound of your 4wheeler in the back yard---that was so much a part of who you were, seeing your truck come flying in the lane, with gravel spraying all over the yard, your clothes laying all over your bedroom floor even after i told you a hundred times to throw them in the wash, your little texts you sent me, which you so often signed--love ya, mommy, your little whispers in my ear "mom, can I borrow some money", which i never seen again :). Yes, sometimes, I just go sit in your room, just to feel closer to you. I have at times pulled out some of your shirts---ya the ones you never seemed to throw in the wash, and smell them. Your scent is still there on some of them---that cologne you so often would spray on. I am sad to say, the scent is getting much weaker and weaker, but if I breath real deep, I can faintly still smell it.
Tay, I went out to the site of where your accident happened, I want to tell you, Tay, your friends must visit there alot. You will never be forgotten, you are in their hearts forever. As I got out of the car and walked down by that rock, my breath caught in my throat---somebody had just in the last several weeks, because I visit here often, painted your racing number on that rock in bright red paint. Sometimes when I go, the grass is all trampled down, like many are walking down to that little creek that hold so many memories for a lot of kids. They keep flowers there all the time, some are real which are very pretty. As I sat there on Saturday afternoon, the wind was slightly blowing, the water was making that bubbling noise over the rocks, the birds were singing in the back round. At first, I felt such terrible sadness, my mind just kept playing out that night, how our lives were all changed in a matter of a split second. I just kept praying, God, I know you are with me, but could you just please in some way show me your presence---show me You are with me now. I sat there a while longer an instead of keep thinking of that night, my focus started to change to-- Tay, what might you be doing this very second. Are you walking and talking with Jesus as I am sitting by this creek, or are you sitting by the river that is crystal clear fishing, or maybe eating from the tree of life, or most likely riding a fourwheeler. I had to think, you have won the last battle here on earth, death---you now can see clearly all what i can only image. The longer I sat there more peaceful I became, no the sadness never left my heart, but I know you are in great Hands. God did give me His peace as i sat there, but I did not get any physical sign of His presence until the next day (Sunday). God has spoken so many times, in very difficult times through His song Amazing Grace---every time I hear it, I know that God is speaking to me--- saying----"Yes, I am right here with you---just hang onto me real tight. " Yesterday afternoon, I was downstairs and as I came up into the kitchen, I heard Amazing Grace starting to play on WCRF. The instant I heard it, the Spirit popped into my mind saying, "remember yesterday when you wanted to see My presence, here is your sign." I stood there and listened to every word, even though I have heard it many times----I knew God was speaking straight to my heart---So, Tay, yes, I do have sadness in my heart, but only because I miss you so much---but know that Jesus is taking very good care of me. I do rejoice that you don't have the troubles of this world to have to deal with anymore----that you are safely home. I mourn more for myself than for you----Our hope of heaven is now your promise fulfilled---you are already there. The other morning when I got up, I decided that instead of mourning my losses, I would try to praise God for His faithfulness all day, because truly I have many reasons to be thankful. In my quiet time that day, God gave me the verse 1John 3:1 "How great is the love the Father has lavished on me, that I should be called a child of God."
Last week, Tay, I did another really hard thing----another first. I had prayed really hard that Jesus would go with me, and I am sure He did, but still it was one of the hardest things I did yet. I went back into Gilliman's for a visitation---ya, there was the first time I saw your very still body, so lifeless and cold---everywhere I looked, brought back those horrible memories, even Mr. Gillian's face was marked with memories. I know Jesus was holding me up, because without His strength, I am sure I would have been a puddle on the floor. Everything in that place, screams memories, the hallway to that terrible room almost made me start to shake, even the couch screamed pain. I know Tay, you do not want us to be sad, and some days, we can even remember all the crazy things you said and did and laugh. One of your friends came and visited me yesterday---just want you to know, you touched her life in a very profound way---she is now running the race for Jesus and telling her friends about Him.
Brooke and I sometimes just go out to your grave site---ya, we know you are not there, but that is the closes we can get to you on this earth. We sometimes just stand there in complete silence, each in our own thoughts----we look at your picture we have of you out there and both say, we can not believe this is really our reality. Our minds slips back to that day we all stood around your casket with our hearts breaking into a million pieces, and realized we have healed some since that day. No the pieces will never be all put back together again, until we all reach Heaven's shores and we are reunited. I realized God picked you to use to touch so many lives---God was doing a work in you since the day you were born, so on this Aug 16th 2009, He could touch the hearts of so many---I pray each one will continue to let God work in their hearts. Some have told me they were going back to church, some have said, it all makes me believe there really is a Heaven and a God, some have said I have given my heart completely to God. I also realize God used your death in teaching not only your friends, but also each one of your family members different things He wanted us to see and learn. I have learned to trust, believe and truly hand on to God with both hands and know that He will carry me through anything. He will give me just enough, never too little or even too much Grace for the exact moment I am living in. Your death has truly taught me what it is like to know there is no one or anywhere to run to in a time of extreme devastation except into the arm's of Jesus. I am sure you already know, but the best gift of all, is that through your death, Spencer has given his heart to Jesus. I have seen him grow closer and closer to Him day by day. God truly knew what He was doing that night, even though on bad days, I can still feel like-- God, I do not understand why You have allowed this terrible tragedy to happen, but I usually will end with-----I am willing to follow You through it----because I truly know in my heart of hearts God knows what is best for me.
Tay, I will always love you with all my heart----yes, a tear or two will most likely slid down my cheeks when I think of all the losses, but know I am trusting God with my heart and know some day soon, we will be together and all of this will be a distant memory and none of it will matter anymore. Love, Mom

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's day

Yesterday was another first----but found it not nearly as hard as his birthday or Christmas, thankfully. Yes, his absent was certainly felt, but then that is true of every day. I love the way God has His very special ways of showing His presence and love for me. Yesterday in church, they spent most of the service talking about mothers and how very important they are in the home---one very important job is to instill scripture into the minds of their children. Looking back, I wish I would have done more of that, because as I found out once you memorize scripture, you never forget it, oh I may not be able to remember it word for word, but I never forget the major point that scripture is making. If anyone would ever ask me what was the one thing that helped me most through my journey of grief, I would say without a shallow of a doubt it was scripture that I had memorized, because no matter where I was---in the middle of the night, out getting groceries, or driving down the road, when great waves of grief hit, I can instantly start to repeat these promises to God--they become a prayer in my heart---maybe not instantly, but sooner or later, a great peace will come over me and I can feel God right beside me. Back to yesterday in church, as a gift to the mother's they had all the guys in church go up front and sing a couple of songs. I could not believe it when they sang "Amazing Grace"----it was absolutely beautiful with all those men's voices blending together---but besides being beautiful, it was also a gift from God. That is the song that God has spoken to me in many sad and dark hours of this journey. Whenever I hear that song, I know God is speaking to me. It was like He was saying, I am right here with you holding your hand and helping you through another first.
The kids took Jeff and I out for dinner to celebrate Mother's day----We had a nice time, but that was when Taylor's absent was felt the most. Even though, we talked and had some laughs, it was ever present in my mind that he was not there. He was always the "clown" of the family. He had a unique sense of humor--always bring a smile to your face, even on a bad day. I have only seen a truck exactly like his twice since his death, and after we were done eating and driving home, we see one just like his. I had to catch my breath---each time I have seen one like his, my heart jumps, just for an instant I think it is him. None of us say a word, we all seen it driving right by us. Finally, I say----What do you think Taylor is doing today? I am sure he is having a feast all of his own. God was telling us, Taylor is with you, just not physically, but definitely in our hearts forever.

Something I want to share---on a day that I needed encouragement last week, God had a friend of Taylor's send me this-I believe God was trying to tell me once again---I know this is hard, but I do have a plan. She wrote" I thought the dreams were over with, I didn't think Taylor would ever come visit me in my dreams again. In the dream-He and I were in his truck talking about how I didn't want him to go on that ride, we both knew what was going to happen. I was begging him not to do it. He looked right at me and told me he had to, it was in the plans and he wasn't scared at all. He touched my arms and was trying to tell me it was okay. I think in my dream Taylor wasn't afraid of what was gonna happen, he was scared of making anyone sad. Dreams like that make me believe there is a God and a Heaven". I thought, WOW! God was not only talking to me, but He was talking to this friend too. I felt God was telling me to keep my focus on Him and remember He has an ultimate plan---no mistakes , and telling this friend to believe in God and what He has for her, also an ultimate plan. Another thing I have discovered on this bumpy journey of grief is-- God actually is talking with us all the time if we are listening closely we will hear him. He truly is never far away, but it is so easy to get wrapped up in our circumstances , and miss this still small voice.
Just like last night, I wasn't in a terribly deep pit, but coming through another first just sort of feeling sad, missing Taylor's presence, his voice, his famous little grin, his crazy jokes, I picked up the book "Roses in December". It is about a mother that lost her 17 year old son in a car accident. It was like God was once again reminding me of something He has told me over and over again---almost the first thing I read in this book (I will put my name in beside the mom's) This is what she felt God was telling her through a verse very soon after Nate was killed " While I knew Nate(Taylor )being only seventeen (20) died before his time. I also felt God was saying to me, Marilyn (Deb), it wasn't an accident. I wasn't on vacation the night Nate (Taylor) died. I knew about it before it happened. Marilyn (Deb), I am taking him away from something worse. He is with Me and he is doing fine". I felt a real peace come over me, and knew it was that small still voice talking to me again. Just knowing that God loves me and cares about my every tear doesn't take the hurt away, but it does make the hurt more bearable. I know when I am hurting and crying, Jesus is hurting too. That is why Jesus is my very best friend. He is always there and knows just what to say that will help ease the pain.
Amber sent me this poem, -again---I am sure God brought it to her attention, and whispered in her ear that she should send it to me---and yes, when I got it, i did cry a tear or two for Taylor, and also a few for the great love I feel from God, family and the people God has brought into my life.

Child Loaned
"I'll lend you for a little time
A child of Mine." He said,
"For you to love while he lives,
And mourn for when he's dead,
It may be six or seven years
Or twenty-two or three,
But will you, till I call back
Take care of him for Me?
He'll bring his charms to gladden you
And should his stay be brief
You'll have his lovely memories
As solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from Earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there,
I want this child to learn,
I've looked this wide world over
In my search for teachers true,
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,
I have selected you:
Now will you give him all your love,
Nor think the labour vain,
Nor hate Me when I come to call
And take him back again?
I fancied that I heard them say,
"Dear Lord, Thy will be done,
For all the joy Thy child shall bring,
For the risk of grief we'll run.
We'll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we've know,
Forever grateful stay.
But should the angels call for him
Much sooner than we planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes
And try to understand."

I am so glad God picked me to be his mom, even if it was for a short 20 years. God truly did just loan him to me---- we have that promise of being united again!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Tough Weekend!

I wish I could say I was in a better place today, but I feel just about like the weather--rainy and dreary. In a book I am reading it says "you never get over grief; you get use to it" I am thinking will I ever get "use" to it. How will that feel?? I know we should be getting a tombstone for Taylor, but that turned out to be much harder than I thought. Diane and i went Friday ( a beautiful sunny day) over to Creston cemetery to see if there were any we liked. We did find one that would "fit" Taylor----we took pic's of several to show Jeff and the kids. We even decided what and how we wanted it engraved. I could not help but keep thinking, we should not be doing this---I should not be here trying to decided this---this is something you do for your parents, not for your kids. Anyway, we took the company name of some of these stones so we could come home and look them up on line. We went to Diane's and did just that. I was not ready for what that looked like. Their showroom was filled with tombstones---I guess you walk around and pick out what you like----it reminded so much of the day we were in at Gillman's walking around picking out his casket----all those memories came flooding back----We never made any calls to the place, I realized it was going to be much harder to actually go do this than I ever thought. I know this is crazy, but it just makes it all so very final. The very last thing I will ever buy for Taylor. On the way home, I went out to the cemetery and just stood by his grave trying to visualize what that tombstone was going to look like, I crumbled into tears thinking this isn't right---this is not the way it is suppose to be---I came home and just put the camera away with the pics on it, thinking I can't do this right now. I didn't show any of them the pics, but did tell them where I was and what I had done---they must not be ready either, not a one asked to see the pics.
Saturday evening I was here by myself, and heard the emergency squad siren, and now especially since Taylor, i always say a little prayer for whoever is in need of help. Never did I think it was right down the road from us and it was one of Taylor's very good friends. When I seen his car, it was quite obvious that God had His protective angels around him. He walked away without a scratch. The way the car looked, he could have very easily been killed. I have to admit, I felt my first pang of real anger at God---I wanted to scream---where were Taylor's protective angels that night, You could have so very easily thrown Taylor up on the bank like the other kid, why did he have to land on that rock.
Ok, yes, this has been a tough weekend, but God will lift me up again. He has been so faithful, He will not let me alone, even if I don't feel Him right beside me---I know He is there anyway. I do know in my heart---Taylor's work was finished---God knows what He is doing--remember no mistakes with God-- knowing that is a comfort, but have to say it does not make it hurt any less. I was listening to Chip Imgram and what he said is so very true, but sometimes so very hard to do. Joy is focusing on God and what you can't see which are eternal, instead of focusing on circumstances and what you can see, which are earthly. I know God is always Good and I will choose to worship Him even in the times of great hurt. God will meet me right where I am, just like He knew where my heart was yesterday in church. What does He have us sing---How Great Thou Art. That was a song sang at Taylor's funeral---ya, i cried all the way through---but God was saying I know you are hurting, but I am right here beside you. I will admit this is a hard journey, but God has chosen to put me here, I just pray that His Name can be Glorified and He will keep me from drowning. Some days like today, I feel I am under water gasping for air and choking for each breathe, but know that God will not let me drown. He has given me a life Jacket--Jesus to hang on to.

Monday, April 19, 2010

God as my Compass

Again, it is a quite Monday morning---all in school or work. Part of me loves this time---it is a time I can spend with just me and God--alone together, but another part is not all that crazy about being here in the house all by myself---my mind wants to keep going back to memories. I know memories can be good and they are all I have of Taylor, but they can be so extremely painful. It was eight months on Friday. It seems so very long since I have seen him, talked with him, gave him a hug all very painful thoughts, but I can also think----Just what are you doing today, Taylor---Are you walking, and talking with Jesus right now, what are the streets of gold like to walk on---what is it like to finally see through the glass clearly, and no longer have to just imagine what heaven is like? What is it like to worship our Lord in person? I miss you so much--do you miss us even half as much as we miss you---oh, i know you don't, because that would bring pain, and Jesus told us there will be no more tears, and pain in heaven--no more good-bye's. Just know, I am looking forward to the day that i can give you a big hug again and we can talk with Jesus together---walk the streets of gold, and sit under the Tree of Life, put our feet into the river--let the warm breeze blow in our faces, no more stress, heartaches, or tears. Oh, what a day of rejoicing that will be.
I had to think, grief is like a storm---or I guess, I should say more like a tornado, it can be upon you so quickly, leave terrible devastation within a matter of seconds---one minute everything feels "normal" and the next you look around and see your life is in shattered pieces laying at your feet. Since tornado's like grief will not hit everybody around you, it just touches down in spots, so it can make you feel very much alone, unless you have been hit by this tornado, you really can't relate, or maybe you can relate to some degree, but really only imagine what it might feel like to have your life shattered so quickly. Where do you start to even pick up all the shattered piece? You know there is no way it is possible, so you just sit in the middle of it all and pleaded for help from God. God becomes your compass. I am completely directionally challenged---the only way I know east from west is the way the sun moves----north and south---since there is no sun to direct that---I am clueless. We have a vehicle with a compass built into it and the other day I was going somewhere that I knew or thought I knew just how to get there. i knew it was west and south. The thing I was not expecting was all the closed roads, which I thought I still could find it. Some time later, I happened to glance at the compass and noticed it said I was going east. I thought that was strange, but thought maybe the compass was not working right, because not once did I feel like I made any turns that had me go in completely the wrong direction---but since I realized I am so challenged with directions, i thought maybe, just maybe the compass was right and made some turns to start going west again----guess who was right--me or the compass??? Anyway, it made me think----all the closed roads are the troubles, trials that God allows into my life--they detour us--they take us down roads we had no intentions or planning on traveling----they are all for a reason---just like the closed roads were for a reason--maybe fixing a bridge, or something like that---but I could not see the reason, only had to believe it was impassible---but I was not keeping my eye on the compass because I thought I knew the next best road to take----but in all reality I was getting more lost and off course. Just like when I take my eyes off Jesus---I lose focus,--I am getting more depressed, feeling sorry for myself---ya know---why our family---why Taylor----I just want it all back to the way it was before Aug. 16th. But until I focused on that compass and got my vehicle going in the right direction----I was getting more frustrated by the minute, but as soon as I started heading the right direction, everything started to fall into place, and the frustration left---same as when I get my eyes back focused on Jesus----I start to feel His peace again and know I am not alone---He is right there beside me being my compass which will lead me safely home.
After the weekend with the kids here, and quite time is in small quantity (which I am not complaining, I love it), as I sat down with Jesus today, I prayed please show me what You want me to see and Know about you today----I opened to Nehemiah and the first thing I seen was 1:5-"O God of heaven, the great and awesome God------vs 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night."i thought, yes that is exactly my prayer---God went on to show me in the "In Touch" devotional that pursuing Jesus with a passion requires sacrifice and we often learn to really know Him through suffering. Yes, salvation is a free gift that Jesus gave us because of His great love for us, but intimacy with God is often a costly process, but the rewards are invaluable and we get to take them to heaven with us---they are eternal. Can I remember this on really bad days???? The pain is so deep and hurts so much, but God does nothing without a reason----even if I can't understand it now, I just have to believe and trust----yes, some days easier said than done----on those days, I am looking frantically for my compass (Jesus)---I know He will bring peace and comfort back into my soul. I wish I could say once I crawl back into Jesus's arms, I would stay there, but I don't---. Yes, I have gotten to Know Jesus on a completely different level----like Paul says in Phil 3:9 "Righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of His Resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death." So what was God opening my eyes to today?--Each time we go through trials and suffering, God is bring us closer to Him and refining us. We are developing a deeper more personal relationship with Him. I sat here and thought if God gave me the choice to go back to the way it was before Aug 16 and not have the relationship I have developed with Him that came from all the pain of losing Taylor, ----or would I stay where God has brought me thus far----and all the pain and suffering that came from losing Taylor???? I am going to be real honest---I really don't know----the pain is still very deep and the wound is still bleeding most of the time and some days I want nothing more than to have Taylor back with us. On other days, I can feel, or sometimes I just have to remember what it felt like to be carried in the arms of Jesus---when He spoke so clearly to my spirit---when He became my Great Comforter---just like He was standing in my kitchen---His Grace was so clearly being given----it was like I was walking hand and hand with Him. So, some days, I would say with a very shaky "yes", i will stay where God has brought me, but other days, I am not so sure. The one thing I am absolutely sure of, is the day I can lay the armor down here on earth and step over into eternity with Jesus and Taylor, I will know without a shallow of a doubt it was all worth it, even though all the pain and suffering.