Thursday, September 10, 2015

A storm doesn’t mean God forgot us

 

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Grief is a funny thing. You can be going about your day and then it hits you out of nowhere. Yesterday morning I stopped to get my favorite drink from Starbucks (the salted caramel mocha, not the PSL ;) ), and it made me so incredibly sad seeing the sign for the pumpkin spice latte because that was Leslie’s favorite drink. Who knew a cup of coffee could make me cry about her?!

I started using the FIrst 5 app a couple weeks ago and I just love the messages that come on it each day. Yesterday’s was so pertinent to what’s going on in my life at the moment.

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Isn’t this the truth? God certainly doesn’t promise us a flood free life or a life without sorrow. What he DOES promise is that He will always be with us. “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Joshua 1:5

We just have to believe that God’s here in the middle of this. I know He is. This sentence from the First 5 excerpt really stirred my soul: “A storm doesn’t mean God forgot us.” How many times have we all felt forgotten? Left behind? Alone? It’s just not the case. I believe you can see God in the midst in every situation if you just take a step back and really examine the situation.

Even in the midst of this storm, we have seen God’s hand in it all. One thing that I find remarkable is just the gift of sweet little Ainsley. It’s my belief that Leslie’s heart was slowing down and shutting down for a long time, years actually. It’s really remarkable that she was able to carry Ainsley and get her here healthy. Leslie didn’t hide the fact that Ainsley came along more quickly than they’d planned on having a second child, but I think that right there was truly God’s handiwork. Had she come when they had wanted, Leslie would have been giving birth weeks before she died. I just feel like God KNEW Caroline would need a sister to go through this life, to walk this hard road with her.

Those months that Leslie spent four hours away from her family in the hospital weren’t easy. But again, God had a purpose. If she had just died one day with Stephen having no “dry run” at being the girls’ only parent, he would have had a much harder adjustment. Her time in the hospital was actually good in that it kind of initiated the three of them into their new normal.

None of this means that the pain is any less. The pain is real. It’s raw. It’s deep. And it hurts. My gosh, does it hurt. But as stated in Psalms 46 verse 1, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

In the midst of that deep pain, it’s nice to know that there’s a place to turn for comfort. It’s a relief to know that Leslie is walking the streets of paradise. It’s comforting to know that God knows our hurt, our pain, and that He is there to comfort us. And it’s nice to know that one day I’ll see my sister again. And yes. Yes, it IS comforting to know that God will be with us through it ALL!

11 comments:

  1. Oh my word, those Salted Caramel Mochas!!! Ahhhh, the frappe is my favorite and I would reach for that every time over the PSL! Funny but I thought of her as well when I got my Starbies fix last night. Continued prayers for you all. That First 5 app certainly was timely. Big hugs!

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  2. This is beautifully written! Prayers for you all as you navigate this new normal.

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  3. All the tears this morning! I have thought of your family every single day since Leslie died. My husband has a job similar to Stephen - a dry run helped everyone with balancing life I am sure! Those girls are so lucky to have each other and such a big, supportive family too.

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  4. My sweet friend, Grief can hit at any time and any place. Thinking of you and you know how to find me if you need a friend <3

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  5. Beautiful post! It really is easy to feel abandoned at times. Even Jesus, as he was on the cross, cried out to God asking God why he had forsaken him, even though God clearly hadn't. Thanks for sharing what was on your heart this morning. <3

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  6. Beautiful post!
    I want to let you and your family know that hearing/seeing all this unfold really shook me to my core. Especially the blog post where you encouraged people that "if something was unsettled in your life to get it right." I have a cousin that is more like a sister to me and we had a falling out about 2 1/2 years ago. Since then we quit speaking to each other, avoiding each other at holidays and such. It has caused many tears and hurt feelings on both sides and even extended family got involved. I prayed for how to understand and be able to extend grace and forgiveness towards her and myself. Well I got the chance to talk to her and "make things right"..I won't bore ya with the details, but wanted to let you all know Leslie's life impacted me greatly. I am happy to say we are both moving on from the fight and my husband and I are even attending her wedding in FL next week, which is something I did not think would happen at all.

    So thank you for sharing so openly about your family and faith, it has really helped me. Thoughts and prayers for Stephen the girls and all the families feeling the loss of sweet Leslie.

    ~Brooke

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  7. So beautifully written. My heart still hurts for you, and the loss that your family is continuing to deal with, and will for years to come. But you are right - God doesn't promise an easy life. Indeed not. Sometimes life is just plain hard. And sad. But He is here with us through it all, equipping us to handle he challenges of this life with His help and guidance. If our lives were perfect here, we would never long for heaven and our home there, so as much as the pain of this earth hurts, there is comfort in knowing that it's just temporary. And one day we will all be rejoicing with Leslie. She just finished the race a little faster, and will now be waiting at the finish line for her family and loved ones.

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    Replies
    1. This is so true.. Beautifully written..

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    2. This is so true.. Beautifully written..

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  8. I pray for you all everyday. This is a beautiful post. You are so special to this family..

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  9. So beautifully written. Thanks for sharing.

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