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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Years Thoughts

Noah always says "Nana says when you are on a long car ride, if you do something it goes faster"...and then he falls asleep.  On our way to my in law's house today, these thoughts just came rolling through, and sure enough, before I knew it, we were there (its really only an hour ride, but to a 5 year old, that's an eternity!

When I hit the Facebook button about your highlights of 2013, you can guess what most of mine focused around! 2013 was tough and I think that's saying it lightly. 2013 will forever be the year we gained a child and lost a child here on earth. It will be the year I finally broke down and bought a minivan(which I now love). The year I learned I cannot plan out the rest of my life and I must focus  on today. The year we learned what cancer is and what havoc it can wreck and what it can never take away. The year we learned what a long state Tennessee is and that airports aren't so scary. The year I spent more time in a hospital the ever before. The year I learned that St. Jude is a real place, with amazing people, and it really is free. The year I learned just how strong God was going to make me. The year I had to explain things like, tumors, chemo, surgery, hair loss, death, funerals, caskets and cemeteries to a 5 year old. The year that 5 year old carried me through the toughest moment of my life. The year I saw the town of Orange turn pink. The year I attempted to learn that this is my family and I cannot compare it to anyone else's or worry so much what others think (still working on that one!) The year I learned that I must carry out what God has started in my life, I cannot hide from it, run from it, it's His plan, I asked Him to use me and He is, not always in the way I had dreamed, but then again, it's not my plan. The year I saw he true benefit of social media. The year my little girl helped raise over $25,000 for St. Jude. The year my marriage would be put to the test and survive all the tears, heart ache, yelling, distance, frustrations, birth of a child and the death of one.  The year I learned what "peace that passes all understanding" means. 
The year I learned you just have to let some things go, not all arguments have to be won, and I don't always have to be right(that's a hard pill to swallow!)  Grudges are dumb, anger that you hold on to is dumb because all it does is waste time, and time, is way too precious. Any of us could be gone tomorrow, we had warning Ellie was leaving us, we had time to show her just how much we love her and how much God loves her.  Not everyone gets that warning, would the people in your life know how much you care if they were gone tomorrow? Would your children know how much God loves them.  That was something that we started to really focus on with Ellie and Noah once we got the news of Ellie's spread.  I know I never really told them that God loves them more then I do, I think as a parent, we want them to think no one loves them more then we do, but there is one! Nothing was sweeter then hearing Ellie answer "Jesus" when asked who loves her most. I used to ask Ellie if I could keep her forever, hoping some miraculous answer may come from her, she'd just look at me and smile and say "no".  As much as that hurt, I knew it was the truth.
Now with all that we learned in 2013, what do we do with 2014? I think that's where we are stuck now. How do we take what has happened in our lives and use it for good? How do we share our lives, our love and what we have learned and really make something out of it.  I know I've shared our family for almost a year now, you have all experienced our smiles and our tears. I want to do more, I don't know what. God usually opens the door, and leads, I struggle lately because in typical Carly fashion, I'd like him to open that door right now, with a billboard blinking in neon lights, saying "go this way".  Richard talked about relevance, our lives have been too touched, too blessed, too encouraged to not be relevant. We have too much to just stop here.



So I ask for prayers of guidance and wisdom. Prayers of open ears and hearts. I wish I could say each day gets easier, it doesn't. I think with each day the numbness wears off and the pain is more real.  As we do more "normal" things, it become more obvious one of us is missing.  There is still an empty seat in our house, that isn't easy to fill.  I hear her silly words and giggles all the time and I'm grateful for them.  I am enjoying going back and looking through old pictures, remembering the spitfire she was.  I'm so thankful for my phone and the videos and pictures it holds, I know I will be working harder this year to take more pictures of my kids, because on a bad day, it makes all the difference! I can't really say there are bad days, just bad moments, and they pass.  I have no doubt the Lord will carry us through this valley too and we will look back with a smile and praise Him for it!
 
I've used this scripture before, but tonight it seems "relevant"....
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.  All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Cor 4:8-18
 
Prayers, Praise and Pink
~ Carly

9 comments:

Bonnie Davidson said...

Wow! Carly, you have such a gift. I know God will continue to use you, and thru my own experiences with trials, not at all as hard as yours though, I know God will use it for His glory. He already has. And very GREATLY I might add. Maybe God just wants your family to rest, grieve and more rest. You have such a sweet family, so focus on the children and you marriage. Those that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagle...........Prayers for you all!

Anonymous said...

Carly, maybe write a book. All the posts you have made is a great start. Maybe you could help other families by sharing how you talked to Noah.....you have an incredible faith and wonderful gift of communication through writing. I hope you can continue your blog....it inspires me!
Thank you for sharing your life with us....

Anonymous said...

Your family along with kelly have really showed me the meaning of love n strength and bravery and courage. As a single mom there r days when im so stressed n im ready to quit but then i see your blogs and i calm down. Your family amazes me. I have followed since day one at the begining i kept asking y. Y this family? Y this beautiful child? I attended ellies funeral your preacher really did clear up all of my y questions. I came home still crying and just grabbed my girls n i cried n cried n cried i felt overwhelmed!!! Your family has truley became a insperation to mine. When o.e.s did there day for ellie my girls were so excited they didnt have to know ellie through her journey and pictures n videos they got to meet her! Of course they had soooooo many questions and at the time i had so little anwsers but bc of u &the richard the anwsers became more clear....and alot easier to give them. Bc of ellie my children are becomming to know jesus and myself also is a work in progress. I thank u for everything for allowing my family to share your journey ......you guys will alaays be in our prayers and ellie and her story will never be forgotton! #princessstrong #lifechanging#PRETTYINPINK #thankfulforyou .....sincerely katie collier & the kiddos lindsay &the abigail.

Anonymous said...

I'm from OC and heard about your trials in 2013. Thankful for you sharing Jesus in such a painful experience. I'm sure He is the only reason you haven't gone crazy in all this. He is pretty magnificent and I'm so grateful You all are rooted in Him.

May you continue to grieve knowing He loves you even when you struggle to truly believe He is for you. He is. He will continue to carry you through the moments that feel like eternity. He is our Everlasting God and He delights in You.

Beth Fisher said...

Carly, you are in our prayers every day and will be for a very long time because we know the pain of losing a child. Our loss was very different but there is no easy way to go through that, whatever the circumstances. Please wait on the Lord's leading for whatever the future holds in your honoring His Name and all that He has done to guide and sustain you during this time. Sometimes Christians get pressured prematurely from others or themselves to produce a testimony for the Lord through their difficulties and losses. God will bring you just the right opportunities when you have reached deeper healing. Bonnie Davidson had wise words in saying your family needs to rest, grieve, get more rest, and focus on your son and new baby and your marriage. God has all the time in the world and perspective takes time. Thank you for sharing your hearts so candidly and allowing others like us to pray with and for you all. I am sure everyone who has read your posts has come to love you deeply.

Anonymous said...

Your family has been on an amazing journey of faith. It has ment so much to read your blog on your journey if you ever get the chance please put it in book form for all to read. I am sure it will help many families facing what you have. God bless you all.

Anonymous said...

I was raised in Orange County and still have family there and it will always be home. After reading of your story for the last year, I would like to express my sympathies to you and your family on your loss. After reading this, I see in you a Children's Book or maybe Inspiration Cards for Children. You have something that is calling you and I see it from afar. Good luck in your journey.

Carolyn Hook said...

That was extremely touching. I continue to pray for your family and am honored to have been a part of all of this. Ellie is amazing and God has planted sooo many seeds with her. I think now is the time for you and your family to be with each other. To encourage each other and lift each other up. Grief has a process and each of us goes through it at our own pace. Give yourself some down time. Cry, laugh, scream and pray, pray, pray. God will open the next door when he is ready and he knows you are ready. With the deepest love for you and your family. Carolyn Hook

mary johnson said...

Carly,write a book. Write lots of books. Start by just compiling your posts to share your faith, wisdom, and strength. Then write a book for children. I knew you were so special when you were just a little girl. I am in awe of you. I really hope you will share your talents and your gift of Word with the world.