Tuesday, May 27, 2014

15 years of marriage

Today Doug and I celebrate 15 years of marriage. as I look back on these 15 years I'm amazed!! I'm amazed at all we have been through. I'm in awe of the blessings and I'm in awe of the sorrow. I sit here thinking about the next 15 years, wondering how they will compare to the first 15. Xander won't be in them.  Xander won't be in them.  I'm not really quite sure what to say after that.

When Doug and I said "I do" May 27, 1999 we had no idea the journey the Lord had planned for us. No one ever does. We simply pledge in faith that no matter what we face, we will face it together. This day marks the start of our family. It began with just us. We were married 2 1/2 years then the Lord blessed us with Xander, 18 short months later Mr. Carter Douglas came along. TWO boys!!!! I couldn't believe it, brothers so close in age, they shared it all. We had 2 cribs up at one point. I loved it. Then cancer showed up just one month after Carter's 1st birthday. We fought it hard for 9 months, then remission. Then we found out we were pregnant again. February 25, 2006 a precious baby Charli Joy was born. Xander was still in remission, life was really good. He relapsed September 2007 and life was still good. I found out I was pregnant again in September 2008 and McClain Faith was born June 10, 2009. Two boys and two girls, are you kidding? It couldn't get any better  than that. Our family of 6 was exactly what I had dreamed of.

A part of me wishes time had stood still at that point for forever, because the life we are currently living is painful. We are now a family of 5. Oh yes, in my heart we will always be a family of 6, but when we walk into a restaurant, buy tickets for a movie, load up in the car, or RSVP for a party........there are only 5 of us.
I know in my heart that the Lord will bless us once again. However it may be, I believe there is still goodness in my life in the days to come. Can I even fathom it? No. Right now do I want to think about "a good life" that doesn't include Xander? No. But I'm flawed, unlike the Lord who is perfect. His ways are perfect. His plan is perfect.  
"As for God, his way is perfect, the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him."  Psalm 18:30

I am thankful for my husband and the priceless 15 years of marriage we are celebrating.  I am thankful that in the midst of heartache and sorrow, we do truly love each other. I am thankful that our hope is in Jesus and not in the things of this world.

Xander has been with Jesus for 278 days. My heart longs to see him.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

National Day of Prayer

May 2, 2013  I stood in front of a large group of elementary students, teachers, and parents at a National Day of Prayer assembly. With Xander standing by my side, I shared about my belief in the power of prayer. I shared that over the last 9 years I had experienced firsthand the blessing of people praying for our family. I also shared that later that afternoon Xander would have a scan to determine if the pain he was in was caused by more cancer. It was a very emotional time on that stage. I had already turned in my notes, everything I was going to say had already been outlined a week prior. Then suddenly Xander was hurting and we are back to the doctor for testing. The thoughts racing through my head were different now. I stood there knowing that Xander was in pain. Knowing that it was probably more disease. Believing that God would conquer all of it, but being fearful of what that would mean for Xander and our family.
Today Xander is not standing by my side. Xander is standing next to his Savior. Xander is no longer in pain and I am no longer fearful.  God did conquer the disease and He conquered death.

 But my prayer life has been very different since Xander went to be with Jesus. For so many years I prayed for healing. I prayed for doctors. I prayed for a cure. I prayed for Xander. I prayed that God would be glorified through Xander's life.  Then suddenly, Xander is gone. Xander no longer needs our prayers. Xander has been healed. Xander's faith is now sight. Xander is living and breathing in the presence of the very one who hears our prayers.  Some days, most days actually, my heart is so heavy and full  that I don't even know how or what to pray.

Romans 8:26-27 "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God."

Some would ask, why do we even pray when God already knows our hearts? My answer is this; the time I spend in prayer is the sweetest part of my relationship with the Lord. The years I spent praying for Xander showed me more of the Lord's love and goodness than I could have ever imagined. It makes my faith stronger and it gives me confidence in the Lord's plans for me, because I KNOW HE HEARS ME!