Monday, March 15, 2010

4 years ago...

Four years ago this week, I was on a mission trip working at the young life camp in the dominican republic. And four years ago today I wrote in my journal these lyrics from a song based off the verse Isaiah 43, not knowing what an impact it would have on me.

When you pass through the waters I will be with you, and the waves they will not overcome you.
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name, You are mine.

Little did I know that while I was writing that verse, God was telling me and preparing my heart for some of the hardest news I'd ever recieve.
When the week was over, and I was on my way home, I called my mom to tell her that our flight had been delayed, and I got the news. There in the atlanta airport I was told that Griff, a guy that was like a big brother to me, had passed away in the atlantic ocean, ultimately dying of hypothermia.

Four years ago today the world lost a beautiful soul, Griff Lyerly. He had a smile that lit up room, a laugh that was incredibly infectious, and a love of life that was so pure. Four years ago tonight, Griff and some of his friends decided to go fishing off the coast of Ocean Isle, NC and although being raised around the water and being taught how to be safe in rough was not enough to save the lives of those boys that night. Griff and three others passed away that night, and went to be with their heavenly Father. I know that he is watching over us, I know that his heart aches for us and all of those that lost him, and I know that time brings healing.

Griff you are a beautiful soul, someone who fills a multitude of memories of my childhood, and someone I truly looked to as a big brother I never had. The world is not the same without you, our hearts are changed for ever and we are all blessed by knowing you. Rest in peace, rest in His keeping. And know you are so very special and loved and missed. I am comforted knowing that that night while you were in the waters- you were not alone, God was with you, holding you in His hand, Loving you, and there was nothing to fear.

I thought about you with love today, but that is nothing new.
I thought about you yesterday and days before that too.
I think of you in silence, I often speak your name.
All I have are memories, your picture in a frame.
Your memory is my keepsake, with which I'll never part.
God has you in His keeping, I have you in my heart.
I work night shift, for those of you who don't know. And for someone who doesn't enjoy staying up all night, and really enjoys sleeping normal hours- it has been a year of yet again something out of my norm. But I have to say that in the stillness of the middle of the night, I get to see a different side of my patients. It is then, that all of the doctors and staff have gone home, and they have time to truly digest their day- the good the bad and the ugly. And that is when you see them as more than a patient, more than a disease, but a person with a heart, with a life outside of Baptist Hospital, with children, spouses, parents, and friends who are all rooting for them. It is humbling, and reminds me what a blessing it is to have your health.

Tonight, I am so excited- because one of the sweetest patients in the world found out that not only has his bone marrow biopsy come back clear (means no signs of leukemia in his blood), they have found a perfect match for his bone marrow transplant! These days of good news are few and far between on my PRAISE THE LORD! Words cannot express how happy my heart was when I heard their news tonight. This patient and his wife exude can see in their smiles how truly in love they are with each other- and it is so refreshing to see, when the majority of what we see is heartbreaking. So, congratulations to them...what a blessing.

On another note...when I leave in the morning and the sun is just peaking over the horizon- there is a sense of peace that usually comes over me. A thought of "you made it through the night, you did your best, and you can rest now." Its as if God is saying "I'm right here...I never leave you." It is beautiful. And then I drive home, drive in my driveway, and see the daffodils! YES! The first sign of spring, I'm so excited! (I do not enjoy cold weather at all....) He makes everything new...each morning the sun rises all over again, the day begins again, the flowers bloom and open, and miracles happen.

Because of the Lords' great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions NEVER fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Prior to writing this I feel like I should say I'm sorry if my posts seem to say the same things, or discuss the same issues I am facing in life currently- but all that to say this is a process, and a journey, and while it is a different day with the same struggles, the Lord is teaching me different things each day about my outlook on life and the current situation I am in. While previous posts may have said similar things- this post is different to me. My heart finally gets it. You know those moments where your mind and heart finally click? This is it.

I think that my entire life I have been a child that very much liked to stay in my "comfort zone." I like routine, I like the same things, I like my friends and family and I like to be comfortable. I come by this naturally to say the least, not only is my mom this way, but I think that generally speaking- the American population lives this way. And lets face it the past couple years in the United States have been nothing but uncomfortable.

For whatever reason, over the past year of my life I have had nothing but change as you know. And while my outside world is completely out of my comfort zone, my insides are screaming and thinking of everyway possible to get just a hair closer to "what my life used to be like." Well lets face it, when you sign up for marriage, adulthood, and life post-college it pretty much means you've signed up to say goodbye to the way it was. In my mind moving back east, John getting a job, us having a nicer home, yada yada yada...all of these things would make me more "comfortable", more at ease with life.

I have been reminded tonight that when I decided to be a Christian, that is when I signed up to live my life uncomfortably. That God would continue to mold me and make me into His own and that nothing in my world would ever reflect that which I had envisioned for myself. Because no plan of my own would come close to the one He has written for me. (Why I find this surprising I don't know, because all of my life has been this way to this point....all one big journey that I didn't plan for.)

I read a blog called "the Journey" which is written by a girl named Katie, in her early 20s, who was called to move to Uganda, and adopt 14 children. Talk about uncomfortable. But that is what following the Lord means, it means giving up everything, letting go of everything and saying that no matter what, I will go the way He leads.

Over the past few weeks, I have become increasingly frustrated with the fact that we are approaching the one year anniversary of John's unemployment. And to be honest, neither one of us ever thought that we would see this day. We thought we'd be a two income household months ago. But the fact of the matter is that we are not, and as much as I tell myself that "oh we're okay, we have enough, we are fortunate compared to the rest of the world," and as true as all of those sentiments are, my heart just hadn't believed it yet. It was a facade, an act to pretend like I was okay with this situation I was living in. When the truth of the matter is I was frustrated, some days angry, some days resentful, and somedays depressed about it. I wanted to live more comfortably.

But tonight, as I read a post on Katie (in Uganda)'s blog about her emotions and the story of her being called to Uganda, I think it finally connected with my heart where I am in life right now. Exactly where I need to be.

Although I do not understand it yet, and I may never, John and I are exactly where we need to be. And as hard as it has been, there is a peace in realizing that finally. I was called to be a nurse. I was called to care for people. I was called to be a wife. and I was called to be a daughter of my Heavenly Father. Where I do these things is not the issue, and having money is not the issue. Following the Lord is the issue. And for the most part, everytime I've followed Him, it has made me go outside my comfort zone. So I am considering this stage a blessing, because my feelings of inadequacy, awkwardness, and uncertainty means that I have done one thing right in my life- I have followed the Lord when He has said to go.

As John and I approach our first anniversary of our wedding, I pray that we find encouragement in each other when the world around us is rather discouraging. I pray that we find contentment in knowing that we are being provided for in every aspect and are perfectly cared for by His Grace. I pray that we keep our eyes on the ultimate prize- and that we grow and learn through this stage. I pray for our attitudes that we are not easily discouraged or frustrated by the situation we are in, and that ultimately, we are happy (John 10:10 happy) with all that we have.

I also pray for Katie in Uganda, who my heart goes out to. For anyone interested in reading her blog it is and I highly recommend it- it is amazing what she is doing.

I will praise the Lord, o my soul; all my inmost being, praise His Holy Name
Praise the Lord, o my soul and forget not all His benefits
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.
-Psalm 103

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of His grace. And Your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's Grace. Everyday should be a day of relating to God on the basis of His Grace alone. - Jerry Bridges

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