More Than A 3 Day Weekend

  When the memorial video came on today at church, I hurriedly grabbed my belongings and left my pew. As tears streamed down my face and blurred my vision as I left the church, I realized Memorial Day weekend would never be the same.   It used to be a weekend to remember fallen soldiers and of family reunions, cookouts, and mini-vacations. Although it’s to remember those who died serving our country, it is now also a reminder of a special loved one gone far too soon. 

   Suddenly the colorful flowers at the cemetery have a deeper meaning. 

   Suddenly the memorial posts on Facebook really hit home. You sit and look at them for a while instead of giving the posts a quick passing glance like you did in the past. 

   Suddenly the memorial video at church isn’t just a sad tribute to those who have went on to their Heavenly Home. Instead, it rocks you to the core and is unexpectedly too much to bear because it is yet another reminder that your loved one is no longer here. 

   Suddenly the memorial stories on the radio are all too relatable. Used to, you would’ve tuned it out until the next song came on, but now you listen intently. Their pain and sadness is very familiar. 

   This weekend is about remembering, but for some reason it seems to be a constant reminder of our loss. I pray with God’s strength I can remember the love, our favorite memories together, his smile, etc. and not be so focused on the loss. 

  Your friends may be at the lake, or family reunions, or hosting cookouts, and you’re just trying to make it through this long, 3-day weekend. And that’s okay!! You’re not alone! 

   Take time to remember your loved one. Go to your favorite place together. Listen to their favorite song. Meet with friends and tell your favorite memories. It may be hard, but you’ll be glad you did. 

   Most importantly, know that you don’t have to go through this hard weekend alone. God is there every step of the way giving you the strength and courage to make it through! 

   31 “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Heavenly Father, thank You for strength, peace, and courage that only YOU can give us. We pray for that strength as we take on this weekend of constant reminders of our lost loved ones. Help us to remember the love and the memories and not the loss. Give us peace and hope in the fact that our loved ones are with You in heaven, and we will see them again one day. Amen. 

Through the Storm 

As I was driving through a terrible storm the other day, I couldn’t help but think how our grief or struggles are much like an awful storm. 
At first it hits you so hard. You can’t see and you’re just white-knuckled hanging on. You’re so scared you have to remind yourself to breathe. You’re not even sure if you’re gonna make it, but keep praying that you’re going to be okay. You can’t see. You don’t know where you’re going. Kind of like in Grief. You’re blinded by it and it’s all-consuming. Just like in the storm, you just hang on and pray that you make it. 
Also, like in the storm, it’s not safe to stop. My Grandpa always told us not to pull over in the storm, but to keep going. In your grief or struggles, you have to keep going!! You don’t want to get stuck here. There’s better days ahead if you’ll just push forward. You can’t see what’s ahead and it’s scary, but you can do it!! 

The storm starts to let up and there’s finally enough light to see again, to help give us hope and guide us out of this storm. To me, this is like Christ. He is our light and hope in our storm.     12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 

Finally the sun is shining, but for some reason it’s still raining. Your grip loosens, you can breathe again, and you are amazed how you made it out of that awfulness. Just the day before someone asked me what my grief looked like, and I said it’s like rain and sunshine at the same time. You have God’s light- his peace, hope and grace, but your pain and sadness is still a part of you. 

Eventually I drove and made it to warm sunshine and beautiful white billowy clouds. I think some day we will make it to that. The grief will always be there, but not so strong. Eventually we will have joy again. We will think about memories of our loved ones and smile more often instead of crying. 

No matter where you’re at in your own personal storm, keep pushing through because your sunshine is coming. You just gotta hang on and make it💙

Always remember God is always with you helping you make it through the storm: 

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 

Love Is

Love is… love is more than just a feeling. It’s also an action- how you treat one another and care for one another. It’s a million little things. Love is a choice, and I’m so glad Layne chose me. I can’t thank Layne enough for showing me what true love is❤

Love is surprising me at 2a.m. to go get my fave- McDonald’s DP and fries- so I’ll take a study break. 

Love is reaching over to hold my hand when we would pray. 

Love is telling me I’m beautiful when my hair is a mess and I have on no makeup and truly meaning it. 

Love is building me up and believing in me even when I found it hard to believe in myself. 

Love is you reminding me that life is too short and not to take myself so seriously. Skip the class, go out with my friends, go on the trip, Have Fun!! 

Love is taking me to the doctor when I’m sick and buying me Starbucks. 
Love is holding me when I would cry and reminding me that I can “adult.” 

Love is dressing up to go to all my themed date parties and not even complaining. 
Love is accepting and loving my crazy family just like your own. 
Love is making it a priority to go to church together and do our devotions together. 

Love is planning surprise dates. 

Love is spending a day doing the things we enjoy together- going out to eat, checking cattle, shooting guns, fishing, etc. 

Love is supporting, encouraging, and being there for me through it all- the good and the bad. 

I could go on and on and on, but most importantly love is…

4 patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

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