Tuesday, April 28, 2009

All I need is HIM...

Not sure where to start… so many memories, so many things learned, so many ways I’ve grown or should I say He’s grown me. Probably the one that stands out the most clearly because it was recent or maybe because it the greatest maybe most important lesson I have learned this year.

I need to start by going back to the end of March. In dreading this month, even this day (April 28th) I had been praying for a dream ~ a dream where I could see her, hold her, talk to her or even hear her sweet voice. One evening early in April I had a dream, a horrible dream. I was standing before a big black conveyor belt ~ I knew it would take me to her but somehow it felt wrong. As I tried to pull my arms back it was as if they would not move. I knew I was not supposed to go wherever that belt would take me. The dream scared me and I really tried hard to wake up. When I finally woke up, I was afraid to go back to sleep for fear the dream would be “to be continued.” I wanted to see her badly but not like that, it felt wrong. I realized then that I should be a bit more careful with my prayer to see her, hold her or even feel her in my arms.

Several weeks later, I was having trouble sleeping again. Up & down, up & down trying to sleep. I was trying to pray myself back to sleep, I had been up since 2am and it was now almost 5am. I was praying about many things but what I remember specifically was praying about my need to see Rachel, hear her voice even if just for a moment. Yes, I can be a little stubborn and hardheaded, even a little persistent. God very gently reminded me of my real need ~ I need MORE of Him. It was as if I heard Him say it. More of HIM... that is my real need. He is always so faithful to gently remind me He knows better, He knows my real need... My want is not always what He wants for me, I need more of Him. I agreed with Him and let what I wanted go... if He wants to let me see her, hear her, feel her touch then He will allow it to happen. I gave up my desire and kept thinking to myself... I need MORE of you Lord, that is ALL I need. I easily fell back to sleep and was able to sleep for a few hours before getting up to go to church.

We came home from church that afternoon and laid down for a nap. I had this dream: I was sitting at my desk upstairs, Rachel was sitting in the rope bottom chair that my great-great grandfather made for the woman I am named after, Georgia Burgess Copeland. Rachel was talking to me… she had this plan to go back to school in the fall. She was talking ninety to nothing like she always did when she was really excited about something. She seemed to have a really good plan and was really excited about it, she was even very proud of herself. She finally asked me what I thought of her plan and it broke my heart to explain to her that it was not possible legally. Her social security number had been recorded at her death. She was heartbroken… she cried, I cried. She asked me “did she hurt us?” I told her yes and she apologized for hurting us so much. “I am so sorry momma.” Oh baby ~ it’s okay, I love you so much. It felt amazing to hold her and comfort her as we wept together. For some reason I asked her if I was hard on her, she replied “yes.” I too apologized and told her it was because I loved her. She understood and we both just held each other and cried. It felt so good to “talk to her, hold her and tell her I love her.” She does live with us forever, in our memories and our hearts. I can still almost feel her in my arms and hear her sweet voice. She even seemed a year older and more mature. Her hair was wavy, she was wearing a t-shirt and shorts. She even smelled like Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea. I also remember thinking that without a SS # she would have to live with us forever. Amazing!

The timing of this dream is no accident, it was ordained by God. Less than 24 hours before I gave up my desire and realized His. When I was obedient to Him and realized that ALL I need is Him and MORE of Him, He gave me the desire of my heart. That is the GREATEST lesson I learned his year. What a precious gift. Thank you Lord!

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Victoria says...
"You are amazing! The ability to share with us your pain & your joy in remembering Rachel. There is no doubt that God has been with you EVERY step this past year. You are right, all we need is HIM! Thank you for sharing - MAY GOD BLESS YOU!" (4/28/09)

Brenda Simmons says...

Many of us are on the North end reading your Blog. We are all crying. What you wrote and how you describe your experiences are touching us all. God bless you as you continue on this journey. It will be a lifetime journey for you. Daily you will think of Rachel and long for the day you wrap your arms around her once more.

" (4/29/09)

Ronda Kersey says...

Once again I want to say what an amazing inspiration you are to all. Your strength & faith is amazing & I feel so blessed to have you as my friend. My thoughts & prayers are with you always & especially this week as you celebrate & remember Rachel's precious life. Thank you for being you!

Ronda" (4/29/09)

Emiley says...
"I feel so blessed to know you!! I hope you know just how admired you are!! What a PRECIOUS gift!!! Thank-you so much for sharing!!" (4/30/09)

Pam Ferron says...
I weep as I read about your dream and so happy that God gave it to you and allowed you to see Rachel again and to speak with her and hold her. Thank you for being at the Potter's wheel and letting everyone see it. Bless you dear lady!" (4/30/09)

Never thought I would be standing here…

It's really hard to believe it's been a year...

I never in a million years thought I would be standing here… but here I stand. The journey has been sweet. Is it one I would have asked for or signed up for? Absolutely NOT! But here I stand. And I am thankful that the Lord did not allow me to stand here long. I am thankful that HE urged me on this last year, urged me to take one step after another and brought me one step closer to Him every time. I am thankful for every lesson learned this year. Was is it easy ~ no. Is it easier ~ sometimes maybe a little bit. Do I miss her ~ yes. Do I long to hold her ~ yes. Do I long to hear her sweet voice say "I love you momma, or sleep, sleep" ~ yes. Do I want her back ~ NO! Does that diminish my love for her ~ NO! I would have missed this incredible journey with HIM.

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Marie says...
"I am praying for you today. It seems to me though, that God already has you wrapped up tight. Your example of a Christian woman is awesome. You give other people around you a peace that is undescribable. I hope you are able to go on someday and help other women, if you haven't already, to cope with this kind of loss. God's plan for you has unfolded so beautifully. Only he can make something like a child's passing turn into an amazing and shining example like you've become. I know that we are all suppose to know the order(God Wife Mother Friend), but sometimes is so hard to keep your life just in that order, but here you've done it. I'm so proud to know you and get to share your space. Thanks for this amazing web site. I bet you never really thought that something so personal for you and your family would be able to touch and help heal so many other people. You're ok, you lived thru all of this and are a better person for it. People always try to tell you that it will turn out that way, but who really ever thinks it will happen. Love you girl." (4/28/09)

Emiley says...
"I am praying for you today Georgia!! I weep for you today!! Love ya!!" (4/28/09)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Beautiful Ashes...

I have been up, down and all over the place this week. I knew that the Lord was
leading me to tackle something difficult and be done with a certain task one last time. I had so many questions and visions of what happened that night a year ago. I needed answers. In January, with help from our pastor, Leon and others I went back to “that night.” Those accounts answered many of my questions and confirmed others. I needed it. It hurt, it was hard, it and made me angry. Angry at her, at Him and myself. It made me tackle feelings and emotions that needed addressing. It was very healing and a part of the journey that I needed. I put those accounts in a notebook and let them be for awhile. I knew back then that He would ask me go back there one more time and then He would ask me to burn them at some point. HE kept taking me back to this “and provide for those who grieve in Zion ~ to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.” ~ Isaiah 61:3

I knew when I got up this morning that today would be the day and had prayed and prayed and prayed over it. I sat down to go over them and almost immediately felt Him tell me

Go to the cemetery

the cemetery?

Yes, the cemetery

I gathered up my things and went to the cemetery. I sat down by her headstone and began to read them aloud.

All of them. I wept at times, cried out to Him at times, I even smiled and chuckled a few times. Remembering those chipped “hot pink” fingernails made me laugh. I sat there for a bit and just enjoyed the breeze and time spent with Him. I smiled at the thought of Rachel meeting those family members that had gone before and her greeting her Papa Fred and of course my daddy. Those thoughts really warmed my heart. I have been at peace with Rachel since my dream last week but this time spent at the cemetery really confirmed that peace.

I came home not knowing when HE would prompt me to burn them. Honestly I thought it would be on April 28th. I came inside and wrote a few thoughts down and thought I was done for the day…




Okay, where? It’s awfully windy. The only place I could think of without starting a neighborhood fire was the grill and yes I was worried about that. Again, I quickly gathered up my things, grabbed some matches and headed outside. I cleaned out the grill, layed the papers down and lit them. As I watched them burn, I thanked Him for the last year.

I thanked Him for the journey with Him. It has been sweet. It has been a gift. I thanked Him for the gift of her life and yes the gift of her death. And yes, that is hard to write but I truly mean it. God is good. All the time!

And now I have these beautiful ashes… a wondrous reminder of how He has worked this past year.

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Carrie says...
"Thank you for sharing your journey. You are truley a role model and a wonderful big sister. Love Carrie" (4/28/09)

Aunt Judy says...
"I have cried and mourned with you, Chris and Andrew through this year. It's a blessed assurance that our loved ones are all together in Heaven. " (4/28/09)

Robin says...
"I am crying now as I read this. You have truly been on a journey this past year and God has revealed so much of Himself to you. I think you should consider writing a book about the year after losing a child. You have such a way of capturing what you are feeling with words. Love you so much!" (4/28/09)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter... the newness of the season

He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:3-6

Another first, yet so different. Different because I have a newer and deeper appreciation for Easter than ever before. At the suggestion of a sweet friend who has also buried a child I watched The Passion yesterday, Good Friday. I watched it with new eyes and new feelings.

A few of my thoughts…
~ I related to Peter in a way I never had before. I am just like him… how many times have I promised to follow Him and then deny Him? Ouch
~ Jesus you did this for me
~ Each blow to the face, lash with the whip and nail through his flesh is repelling and an indisputable testimony of divine love
~ Every lash of the whip I did to you
~ A crown of thorns placed on your head for me
~ It was excruciating to watch
~ It was and is personal
~ You humbled yourself for me
~ I felt all over again the pain of not only realizing my Savior died for me… but the pain of watching my baby die. I felt Mary’s pain intensely! She kissed His feet. I kissed every one of her fingers and toes as I said goodbye one last time. She held Him… She wept, oh the hurt she must have felt, I feel it…
~ His heart broke with compassion for his mother
~ He looks on us with the same compassion
~ Mary’s grief and my grief and confusion were nothing compared to the awesome work accomplished that afternoon
~ Christ will do glorious works that involve suffering and loss. He persists in a greater glory. He knows one day I will understand
~ At the very moment Christ was dying on the cross, salvation was secured for all who would believe. The enemy was defeated. God was momentarily turning His face as every sin known to man was heaped on His Son. The hours Christ spent on the cross represented the most significant moments ever
~ I know because He died for me and rose again I will see my baby again and meet my precious Samuel and David for the first time… Hallelujah!!!

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. Ephesians 1:18-21

Friday, April 3, 2009

Bad Dream...

Here goes...
I tried to read my chronological Bible and a good Christian novel in bed for a bit until around 11 or a little after. I thought I was sleepy and snuggled up to chris who is sleeping very soundly I might ad. He was sawing logs quite nicely... I snuggled my feet under Griff to get them warm. I initially had trouble going to sleep so I began to pray... pray for Jamie and Josh and this weekend that they would be open to hear His voice and the enemy would be kept away! I prayed for our church, you and Tricia and your family and then I began to pray for this month for Chris, Andrew and I. Andrew may not be able to come home afterall, maneuvers that weekend. He will be a specialist tomorrow, aka Corporal. I also prayed for all those directly affected by Rachel's death. Then for me... I told HIM that I want to see her, hold her, feel her presence, feel her hug, hear her sweet voice say "momma," I want to feel her sweet lips kiss mine and hear her say muwah with a big smack. As I drifted off to sleep it was as if the room became this cloudy white filled place. The room was amazing, I thought I would see her even if just for a moment. I slept a bit and then the room changed... I was standing before a big black conveyor belt that I was told by someone that would take me to her and to my precious Samuel and David. I reached, and reached, and reached. I couldn't reach it and then it felt wrong almost scary to reach it, not really knowing where it would take me. I wanted to so bad though.... A part of me really wanted to go but I aslo knew that I am supposed to stay here and continue this journey... I began to pull my arms back and I couldn’t move them, now I was scared. I needed to stay here- it was difficult to move my arms back. Now I was really scared and willed my eyes to open from this dream. When I was finally able Ito wake up I was very disoriented and had to pat Chris on the chest to realize I was awake and try to look around our very dark bedroom. I knew the dream was gone. I was afraid to go back to sleep for fear of it being continued, however I prayed myself back to sleep for about an hour and then the LORD promted me out of bed. Thinking, how bad did I really want to be with her? I want it badly but not right now not like this... I miss her, I just want to feel a hug or see her sweet smile... I want this month to be over... Right now I feel like a bit of a basket case...

trying to go back to bed, even if to read for a bit... no more weird dreams!!!