Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Because He sees me.

Brandon is passed out asleep already and I wanted someone to know that God sees me, so I figured the blog world will do.

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This post has two back stories.

(You shouldn't be surprised.)

Back Story #1

On Sunday night, I pretty much was as bad as a hot mess can get. I mentioned in my post that I had talked to my dad and to Brandon. What I didn't tell you was that when I was talking to them, it was through choked sobs. I haven't had tears wrack my body like that in I don't know when. In fact, I haven't cried that hard this entire year...not even when they took Lily away in the hospital.

When we last left off in the proverbial story, I was desperately asking God to show me that he sees me. I was so confused about my life and what I should do. I needed God so desperately to tell me what to do. Nothing else was working. Clearly, my plans weren't. I just needed God to tell me what to do with my life.

Sunday night I slept horribly. I maybe got three hours tops. I kept myself busy so that I would sleep hard on Monday night. Brandon barely made it through our nightly prayer before I was out. I slept hard. I woke up at 8ish this morning and then fell back asleep until 11am. I needed to sleep. OBVIOUSLY.

Quick Back Story #2

I am doing the "Children of the Day" Bible study by Beth Moore. It's the first time I've done a study of hers.

Back stories over.

(Told you that last one was quick.)

WAIT. I forgot to tell you that I'm a week behind and am catching up. I did three days worth today.

Okay. NOW the back story is over.

(Still was pretty quick for me.)

(I'm just sayin'.)

HERE'S MY POINT: God sees me!

Tonight, I did the fifth day of the first week. It felt like that last page of this day of study was just for me. At the end of the study was a verse,

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us." - Romans 8:18

I realized that this verse was about the glory and hope I had in heaven. Then, I immediately thought about a verse that has the phrase, "make paths straight" and so I whipped out my bible app and
Proverbs 3:6 says, "In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."

I had told my dad that I needed God to tell me what to do.

I can't find the quote that's short enough or a clip. At the end of the movie, "The Wizard of Oz," Dorothy has been left by the Wizard and she is afraid she won't be able to get home. Glinda the Good Witch of the North shows up and Dorothy pleads desperately for the Good Witch of the North to help her. Glinda says, "You don't need to be helped any longer. You've always had the power to go back to Kansas."

Like Dorothy, I didn't need the help of the world, which was pretty much every way I had turned so far. I turned to Brandon, my dad, and the Committee, and to the law, for help to grieve, help to know what to do with my life.

Tonight I turned from my worldly gods of success and pride and even family and friends a bit to God.

God was telling me what to do with Proverbs 3:6. He's going to make my paths straight and clear up the confusion in my life. All I have to do is seek is will in everything I do. 

Do I have the answers to all those questions from the previous post? NOPE. But I'm going to seek God's will in every way of my life. I'm not worried or nervous about how it will all play out. 

When I bought that study work book last Friday, God knew where I would be on Sunday night. He knew where I would be on Monday. He knew where I would be today all day. He knew where I would be tonight too.

Because He sees me.

Monday, September 8, 2014

On living life in a world full of unanswered questions...

"Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
Amen." - Matthew 6:9-13 KJV

"Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." - Romans 12:1-2 NIV

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." - John 16:33 NLT

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NOTE: I am writing this down and putting it out into the great wide "internets" because I know someone some day will need some reassurance or reminder that she isn't alone in this world...and wherever you are pretty girl, I want you to know that you'll get through this and that Jesus loves you.

That being said...

I found out on Friday that I failed the bar. Again.

If you're keeping count for the "home team," this year, I thought I was supposed to start my career and start being a momma.

Both of those decisions were met with a big fat no from God. Maybe they are a "not right now" and I just can't see it.

Either way, I am really confused about life as I know it.

I've had people from the legal world tell me they can't believe I took the bar. I guess I was shooting for the moon a bit. I don't really know truthfully. Every person that goes to law school has an ego. If they think they don't, they're only lying to themselves. (If one of my law professors read that sentence, he'd lose his mind over the grammatical errors in that sentence. FYI.)

Tonight, I spoke with my dad about it and he said, "the first time, could have been a fifty/fifty shot at passing. You didn't know what it felt like to sit in that room. The second time, you weren't studying to pass. You were studying to take your mind off of what was going on with Lily."

Those things are true, but all I know is that I am now left more confused than ever.

I naively thought that as of Friday, while I was hurting over Lily that surely, I would have direction on what my next step would be. I even had begun to plan my life out again...

Apparently, I still haven't learned my lesson.

Now, I'm left with questions. It seems like they are endless. For example...

When do we start trying again to have a baby? On the one hand...I don't really feel like we can really try right now because the next bar is in six months. I've known since I was 17 that I wanted to be a lawyer. I need to make an earnest attempt at passing it. On the other hand, I've only just figured out this year at 29 years old that I wanted to be a mom. I don't really want to wait on that either. I've learned in a big way that so many things can go wrong and that only increases with age. That being said, I know that as soon as I find out I am pregnant again, I'll worry immediately that everything is going to be okay. I'll try my hardest not to worry because I know that's what the Bible tells me not to do, but I know how hard it will be otherwise.

What do I do for a job? I still don't know a ton of people in the legal community here. Quite frankly, many would see this very blog post as a sign of weakness and figure out a way to use it against me. So I'm not exactly marketable right now. And yet as crazy at it sounds, I'm still tempted to get my foot in the door. I know working would help me tremendously. That being said, I wonder if I would benefit from working in a place like Barnes and Noble so I could still have time to think things out and work through my grief. I don't say this to brag, but people have looked to me to have answers. I'm someone who always has answers about everything. Right now, I feel like I know just about nothing.

I know that life truly could be worse. In fact, I'm scared to death of that. I don't know what all to pray these days, but I do beg God to not let me be like Job. I know how selfish and whiny that sounds as a believer, but it's the absolute truth of where I am right now.

As a I said a couple of weeks ago, I'm still in that war zone. I think Pat Benatar said it best, "Love is a battlefield." When I'm in my hometown, I can't go a certain way at night time because it takes me past the cemetery where Lily is buried. I know in my heart of hearts that she is okay and that she is with Jesus, but what I can see and what I remember is that her little body is in a hole in the ground. My heart is so broken that I can't overcome the physical of this world right now. I know that to a certain extent, my heart won't be fully healed until I meet Jesus myself. (See Revelations 21:4) I'll always live with this hurt. It's kind of like the thorn in Paul's side he talks about in the Bible.

I know that part of that battle is deciding to not follow Jesus or to follow Jesus. I know that grief is just another form of spiritual warfare. It's the one question in my life I know the answer to right now.

(Well that and being married to Brandon. I know that is another non-questionable issue in my life. I feel like that should go without saying.)

Straight up, following Jesus is the only option for me. I know the only reason, I have survived the past month and even had a couple of good days is because of the hope I have in him. My dad told me tonight that he and my mom wish they could take the hurt for me. But you know that's what Jesus did on the cross. He took the hurt I am experiencing right now. He died for it. And so, even with all the hurt and heartache I have in my life right now, I still trust Him. I do. Because of his death, I have the promise of eternity. I also have the love of my husband and our families.

But in this present darkness, I need Jesus to show me that He sees me and hasn't forgotten about me. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

When we were little...

I read somewhere once that cousins are a person's first friends.

When Jessi and I were little (and I'm talking pre-Loren and Will here) we were with our cousins and first friends every Sunday. 

We would go to church together with our respective families and then afterwards, we usually had dinners at our Pappaw and Grannie's. Sometimes we got to go to my aunt's house for a change of scenery and on the rare and very special occasion, we ate at Hamlin's.We spent every Christmas Eve together. The 4th of July was always at my aunt's house.

We had a routine of sorts. We knew where we would be on certain days and we knew that we would all be together. Age wise I'm the middle kid of the cousins, but I felt like I had the best of both worlds. I had older girl cousins so I got to do cool stuff that Jessi and my younger boy cousin didn't necessarily get to do. But when the older girls didn't want someone five years younger than them like I am with them, I got to be with the younger crowd. Then, of course, on the days we were with one another because that's where our families were, it was a great day as well. We experienced a lot of things together and as kids are prone to do, got into trouble together. Part of where I get my courage to try new things is from all of my experiences with my cousins.

Then my pappaw got sick and passed away. Suddenly, our world was different. Things weren't the same and we weren't all together anymore. We couldn't, because our pappaw wasn't physically here. We still got together, but it hurt because we knew someone was missing.

Then Loren and Will were born.

It's crazy to think about, but when families are younger there's a natural closeness that happens because there aren't all the activities to do when the kids in the families are older. The getting together part becomes harder. The families have new obligations to make in order to make new families begin down the line.

At the time, we still made the important dates together, but the dinners every Sunday after church didn't happen anymore. We all kept getting older and well like I said... life happened. Our Grannie passed away as well and it was harder because now two people were missing. Loren and Will didn't get the experience that the older five of us did when we were little.

This year the oldest cousin and I were both expecting. In fact, Lily has an older second cousin. He's super cute and part of what I thought about was the two of them being together initially. Obviously things turned out differently.

(Side note: I'm sure some people are tired of hearing about that by now, but it's my reality. I think talking about what is real as opposed to living in denial of what my story is probably better for me.)

But here is my point: As I assume you've gathered by now, all of us hadn't been together in a long time. The cousins are now adults with jobs and babies of our own to take care of and life has kept us busy.

When Lily was born, through the power of technology, all seven of us got to be together again. This past Labor Day weekend, we got to be together again physically too, husbands, boyfriends, and Lily's older cousin too. We laughed about all our old times and explained to Loren and Will how my dad and our cousins' momma act like our Pappaw and Grannie in their own ways.

We hit up Lake Tenkiller on Sunday. While we were out there I thought about the past month and all that has happened. I couldn't help but smile. It was like riding a bike, the seven of us being together like we were little again. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Lily did that.

While it's still really hard that she isn't here with us, it's still really great that part of her story is we are all together again. Lily gave us a reality check. It's important for us to be together even when it's hard. Helps to know what we have is really great and special and will continue when other loved ones go on to heaven.

It's worth saying again...my little girl did that.
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Hi y'all! The name's Samantha. You can call me Sam if you like. I am a lover to a boy I met at Falls Creek in the summer of 2005, that is a student of Jesus, a Sooner born and Sooner bred and when I die I'll be Sooner dead, Democrat by party, blonde to the core, and oldies but goodies kind of girl.
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