Grind & Grape… & Grief

A lot that I share is my triumphs in my grief journey, but I think it is important to share the struggles and the hard times too:
This morning I was driving and found the cutest coffee and wine bar- Grind & Grape. 

For some reason my heart was racing and I felt a little sick. Then I realized this place was so “Layne and Hannah.” I would order some girly coffee drink, Layne would get something with 3 or 4 extra shots of espresso, and as usual I would complain about how that’s going to cost me extra money! Then he would flash me his heart-melting grin, and I wouldn’t even care about those dang extra shots of espresso anymore. We would sit on the patio, sip our drinks and be in our own little world talking about anything and everything. After an hour we would realize we need to get back to my family and bring them some pastries that Layne would carefully help pick according to everyone’s favorites and preferences. Then as we were leaving, we would decide that maybe we should come back another day during happy hour or for a light lunch. 

  However today, I grabbed a latté to-go and picked out pastries for my family- alone. Over the past nearly 5 months now, the “alone” thing has become almost familiar. 

   Ever since Layne passed I’ve missed my adventure buddy. A new bakery, restaurant, coffee shop- you name it, we were excited to try it. Many called it one of our hobbies. 

    I could have easily had my mom, or Chloe or even josiah go with me, but sometimes it’s easier to do things alone. I’ve tried several new places since his passing. A new sushi place we wanted to try, stopped at a cool beef jerky shop he would’ve loved and more- but all alone. Sometimes you get consumed with that loneliness and have a lonely pity party for yourself.  

Next time you do remember this:

Here’s the thing- WE DON’T HAVE TO BE ALONE in our grief journey, in our struggles, etc. and we aren’t alone! First of all the Bible says: “God goes with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you.” God is always with us even if we feel alone. Also, I’m sure you have a friend or family member who would love to go do those things with you or just be with you. All you have to do is ask! 
So be strong and courageous because He will never leave you. He understands struggles and sorrow. He cares and loves you and wants to be your Comforter and your Prince of Peace. 

Hebrews 4:15-16   For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. 

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. 

Sufficient Grace

This week has been very tough, but I’ve been so touched by the prayers and outpouring of love and amazed by how many people our story has reached. 
Yesterday as I was driving to camp I prayed, “God, from the beginning I said I wanted to use my pain to help others and be a light for you. My story has reached so many people, and I just want you to continue to use me in what you have planned. I want to glorify and honor you, Lord.”
  Not too long after I got the call from KFOR that they wanted to do a story. Wow! God still isn’t done using Layne and I’s story and what a beautiful tribute it was to Layne and the special, radiant, uplifting person he was❤️

Check out the video here: Despite tragic loss, fiancé’s story lives on through the magic of photos

We’ve been featured on the news, Huffington Post, Daily Mail UK, Yahoo Australia, and Good Housekeeping. I’ve received a couple hundred messages from people all over the world- Dubai, Australia, England, the Philippines, and more. If we allow are truly open to the Lord and are 100% willing for Him to use us according to His plans, it’s AMAZING what He can do!!!  

2 Corinthians 12:9 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
*If you’ve commented or messaged me, I promise I’ll get back to you soon. I absolutely love all the messages I’ve received, so thank you❤️

Just a Dream❤️

I was wandering around in my wedding dress completely lost and helpless with tears spilling down my face, blurring my vision. My vision cleared a bit and I saw my sweet Layne walking towards me with his radiant smile. He wrapped his arms around me and said, “Baby girl, quit crying! You look beautiful. You are so strong. I know you can do this!!”    Earlier that night I had cried myself to sleep because all I wanted was a chance to marry my best friend.. and then I had that dream and it gave me such a peace. 

    When I saw this picture today, I instantly thought of that dream and tears streamed down my face. Holly didn’t know about it, but this picture reminds me so much of that wonderful dream❤️ Holly Gannett, thank you so much for being there during this hard time and capturing these memories.

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