Sunday, November 17, 2013

What Is Normal?

Today it has been 25 years that have passed since the tragic ending of our daughter Bethany's life.  I never thought I could survive the instant loss and all that followed after her life was taken.  I didn't want to live passed the next minute, but here it is now 25 years later and I am still here and our family is ok. We are survivors. 

Back then I didn't know what normal was anymore.  The best way I can describe our lives after Bethany's death would be as if taking a 10,000 piece puzzle and throwing all of the pieces up in the air and then trying to find all of the pieces and put it together.  

The indescribable pain that followed continued for many years as our remaining family tried to find normal again.  Bad choices followed and consequences were paid.  More heartache followed until my heart had been broken in to so many pieces that even super glue couldn't hold it together.  

I had already started buying Christmas gifts for the kids.  They had been chosen with great care and wrapped in love.  Bethany wanted a Make Up Doll and a My Little Pony and a few other girlie things!  Bethany loved dressing up in tights, black patent leather buckle shoes, and beautiful lacey dresses.  With a heavy heart I went to each store returning each item. 

It's hard to trust God when at every turn there is more bad news.   I had a choice to make.  I could wallow in my pain and live in that darkness or I could take a stand of faith and trust God that no matter what was thrown at me next He would be with me step for step. 

The scripture that God gave me was in Ephesians chapter 6 where it says to put on the Armor of God from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.  And then I was to stand firm knowing that God would fight my battles......and He has.  It wasn't easy, but knowing I wasn't alone and that I no longer had to walk in my own strength, but His strength. God was faithful in the process...... 

Without the loving support of our Church Family, Co-Workers and Friends I don't know how we would have traveled the roads as well as we did, because we had many, many long roads we traveled over the years.  We are so very grateful for each and every one of you that stood with us from day one!

Looking through all of the pictures that were taken over the years brings back so many wonderful memories even though bittersweet.  As I look at the pictures I can't help but wonder........if a choice wasn't chosen that day to take that life what would our lives look like today? 

There was a choice made though; and now as I had a choice to live an angry life or a life where forgiveness, grace, and mercy runs free as God has extended to me; you have a choice too.  I will choose forgiveness every time.  What will your choice be? 

Today I live free with a heart full of thankfulness for how God has so richly blessed Jerry and my life with our children.  We love our children and grandchild more than life itself!!  As I've heard many times and it's worth repeating........God turned our mess into a message!  He can do the same for you........

Walking By Faith..................