Saturday, July 28, 2007

Joy in my life...

Here are some peeks of a layout I made using the new SIS CandyTown Collection goodies. {You can see the full page here at my gallery.} What a fun pack of products to play and create with...all designed by one of our own Fashionistas...Adrienne Looman! I just love the bright, bold colors and the way the items invite you to just have fun with scrapping.
I scrapped a picture of one my new friends from my recent trip to Chicago, Ashley Wren. She made me smile and laugh nonstop.
As we mark this weekend and the events that changed my life, I can't help but think of how far my family and I have come from such a deep, dark, unexpected place in life. I remember one of my greatest fears was that I would never know happiness in life again. I just couldn't wrap my mind and heart around the idea that life would hold something that could reach beyond my grief and pain and show me joy and happiness.
I loved Teagan so much. I loved the way we lived our quiet, happy little life in a small corner of the world. I loved how there was laughter and love and messes from morning til made my heart glad to live such a quaint life. I had no idea that it could change in an instant- that's how naive I was to evil and hurt in the world.
So when it happened to me, I was floored even moreso than some might be. I had never realized such pain existed. And I found myself in the middle of it. Drowning some days...and wishing that I would because the reailty of my hurt was that raw.
I remember thinking that life would be nothing but cruel and hurt for me- even to go out to the grocery store or for a walk by a pond difficult. I would see people living the carefree life that just days before had been my own. And I wanted it back. Or I wanted them to share a piece of my heartache. And there was no way anyone could begin to I hurt even more. It began a cycle of hurt, pity, anger, disillusionment...and bitterness. The fact that I had known love and joy to such an amazing degree with Teagan and my quiet family life only added to the sorrow that was consuming my heart and mind. It was immense and it never ceased.
The first journaling I did after Teagan had died was my soul crying out to God for what I wanted/needed in life. It wasn't comfort. I sort of liked feeling pain because it felt as though I was hanging onto Teagan in some way. I didn't need a list of "phases of grief" or books about "what the traumatized person looks like" or to hear prognosis' that had no concrete answers for Wyndham and Brock. No. I already knew I was traumatized and I didn't like what I saw when I looked at our life. I knew I wasn't going to follow a nice little list of how-to-grieve-in-the-correct-order. I knew we were in for the greatest challenge of our lives in regards to giving Wyndham and Brock their future back. And I was overwhelmed, because all I wanted was a little bit of joy and happiness in my life again. As far as I could see, it didn't exist.
So I started praying for joy. I prayed, "God, my heart and life are shattered, and I truly don't believe that life holds any joy or goodness beyond my pain and our hurt. But, if you are real and if joy exists, then I will wait; and I will trust you to bring joy out of my horror."
I wasn't asking for the world. I wasn't even believing fully that my prayer would be heard or that it could be answered. But I am sitting here today, in tears, reflecting back on six years, and looking around me at my reality, and goodness and joy is all around me. I am not wallowing in bitterness, anger, hurt and grief. I am surrpunded by a family...that not only has overcome a lot of hurts and challenges, but that has grown and blossomed and has joy and laughter in Bella and Ava...who didn't even exist in my life at that time. My doorbell just rang, and I have a beautiful bouquet of flowers from someone I've never met who simply wanted me to know how much Teagan has touched her life and that she is remembering our family this weekend.
Goodness and blessing and love and happiness and joy out of brokeness, hurt, sorrow, tragedy and unbelief.
THAT is how amazing and real God is. And not just to me, but to anyone who simply wants to put their trust in Him. No matter what the issue is in life that is causing them to cry out for something more than this world has to give. The fact that God has heard my cries. The fact that I have been able to sing and laugh and dance and scrap and bake and share and love again in my life is a miracle to me every single day. I cannot explain it in my life any other way.
I cry now at times because I am humbled and overwhelmed that out of the billions of people on this earth, that God would care about me and my pain. Enough to answer my call for joy in life again.
And now that I have been given it, and have it in abundance, I seek to use these blessings to share them with others. I was selfish to keep Teagan and the joy she was in my life to myself and my little circle of family and friends. I realize now, how it is far greater to touch others with the blessings I've been given. I hope that my life now inspires others to want to share their own life and love and blessings with people around them. Not to glorify our pain and tragedy...but to give glory to the One who has restored our joy.


Cara said...

beautiful layout
beautiful story
beautiful heart

so sad with you this weekend.
and yet so glad for you.
god is good, you are right about that!!!

Jo said...

I only pray that you stay in my life for a very very long time....can you imagine how proud Teagan is of her mummy and daddy....she must be smiling so be 4 forever well that must be awesome......she must have known that.....hug to you Jodyxxx

melanie said...

What a lovely message of hope you have shared on what is a heartbreaking anniversary. I appreciate your honesty, eloquence, and zeal as you answer His call to share your joy.

Prayers and peace to your family,

jackie frm chicago said...

So beautifully put Jody. Thank you for sharing, hugs!

ashlee said...

its so awesome to see how God uses everything for His glory. He is using you in a mighty way, and restoring your joy in the process. isn't it awesome how loving and tender he is to caring for our needs:)