Friday, July 10, 2009

It's all about Grace.

As so many of you know the month of July is one that brings back vivid memories and marks another year of living in light of the tragedy that struck our family in 2001. It's been a long road and continues to be a journey of ongoing healing, changes, reflection and Hope.
I do a lot of thinking and soul-seeking on any given day, but it is more heightened at this time of the year than any other. The memories are so ingrained in my mind; what I saw and felt and experienced will never go away and yet time has changed the pain I felt and will forever feel. I would be remiss to say that my grief has gone away. Even after these many years. It's still there, but what I have noticed and am so keenly aware is that the grief I carry in my heart has been softened and soaked in God's love and the Hope I have of His plan and it {my grief} now turns my thoughts more often to Grace rather than the hurt of my memories and loss.
I want to you to know that my story- our story- is not unique or amazing in any way. I do share openly and try to be very transparent as the journey has unfolded these past several years, but that doesn't make it incredible. What I do hope is that our response to death and suffering either changes you and your perspective to loss, or that it cements your faith in God in a way that only God can use suffering.
I came across another 'story' this week. It's profound in the measure of suffering and pain as well, but this story so closely echoes what I try to put into words here and in my own life. I invite you to listen or check out the link to order a book if you so choose. There are three parts to the story, but if you have time to listen to only one, I would recommend part 3 of 3. I know so many people wonder where God is in the midst of heartache and loss. I know people sometimes think Chip and I have some super-strength and great fauth. It's so not true. What we have is available to every single person and it is the one thing we hope everyone can "see" when they peer into our story- and that is this, God's grace is enough. God is bigger than grief. God is greater than our hurts. God can bring Joy from pain and He can, does and always will.

12 comments:

Vicky said...

As always, so beautifully said from the loveliest heart! Will be thinking of you and saying some extra prayers that all of you may be wrapped in grace this month especially!

Our coke floats were a big success and we ate them in honor of Teagan with a grateful heart :)

Joey&Casey said...

You are such an inspiration in spite of all that you have endured. God Bless you and your family and I pray that you feel God's loving arms wrapped around you today.

Lucy and Ethel said...

I should be working(!) but just looked at your blog, thanks to the Blog Hop this past week. It was the name that caught my attention :)

I am so glad to have found it and have added it to the 'Special Assignments' blog list on a blog I'm doing with a friend.

I read Teagan's story and am hopeful I'll be able to look around more fully some day!

Lucy

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much Jody, for sharing this again with us. I had the opportunity to listen to that story, along with the one about the man who had lost his entire family when their car got caught in a flood AND also the story of Molly---Dennis Rainey's little newborn granddaughter===ALL on FamilyLife radio. I cannot imagine the grief and load ANY of you have had to carry through those journeys. I just read on my FB that Jesus' scars still show in order to offer us HOPE. Also that we all also carry the scars from our "hurts" to we can offer that same HOPE to those around us. Doesn't make sense, I know, but it's so true. My scars are different from the grief-one's you have but they are scars, nonetheless. Thank you for your transparency and sharing here on your "nitty-gritty" blog! Blessings!
WSL

Amy S said...

Thanks for sharing!! your AMAZING!!! God is soooo GOOD! thinking of you and your family!!

Erika said...

A Grace Disguised is one of my most favorite books, and brought me through some very dark times...thank you for reminding me of it. I am going to go read it again! Thinking of you this month...(((hugs))

Anonymous said...

Love to you, Jody.

Jane

Penny said...

Hugs to you and your family. You have a real gift for expressing your faith. I admire that!

Penny said...

Hugs to you and your family. You have such a gift for expressing your faith. I admire that!

Katie Watson said...

Jody, I remember following your story years ago...and have thought of you often but forgot your name etc...until I saw your post on my blog...I knew even before I read your post, who you were...and I am back to catch up. I am hoping to find some healing words that I can use to help our family right now. Thanks for your sweet message. You were so inspirational to me even before losing Ian, but now I will see your words in a whole different light. Thank you.

ldsmommyof12 said...

Inspiring post. I admire your great faith. May you continue to be blessed.

Lauren Kelly said...

Love you, girl, and just wanted you to know that today!! :)