Who Am I?

On Sunday I didn’t want to go to church, I didn’t want to be in a play anymore and I definitely didn’t want to get out of bed. It has been harder, days seem longer and the time here on earth is passing slowly ~ at least that’s what it feels like to me.

I sat in counseling yesterday and shared that I felt depressed ~ something I don’t like to admit.

My depression is not of hopelessness though, it’s just an overwhelming sense of longing ~ longing to see their faces in the flesh and not on a computer screen.

On Sunday I sluggishly got out of bed and got ready for church. My heart was very sad.

Pastor Rocky was preaching on a series entitled And He will be Called, where each week Pastor Rudy, and this week Pastor Rocky, examine the scripture Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” This week Pastor Rocky was going to be looking at Everlasting Father. He opened with stories about his childhood and his relationship with his own father.

Like I said at the beginning, I didn’t want to go to church this week, mainly because I was tired but also because my longing for my girls was surpassing my peace. I’ve been struggling a lot lately trying to figure out who I am now and how I fit into this world. Yes, God blesses us everyday and I see clearly how he is using our suffering for His glory, but even with clearly seeing God’s Glory I still struggle.

I’m a mom and I’m trying to mother my children the best way I know how ~ even now that they are no longer here with me. Mothering my children from this distance is tiring and very hard to do. I miss mothering my children in the way I used to. My heart hurts in ways I would never wish upon anyone…this pain is unimaginable and every day when I wake up and realize within seconds that this life isn’t a dream but my reality I want to go back to sleep. I hate that Anna isn’t going to run down the steps any moment and cuddle with me in bed.

Every morning I wake up asking the question, who am I now?

Pastor Rocky is an amazing story-teller. I’ve enjoyed his sermons time and time again, but on Sunday I just wanted it to be over. I was tired of his stories and really couldn’t find any relevance to my life in what he was saying. I kept thinking about my own story, my own relationship with my earthly father and with my Heavenly Father and how both were solid. I knew that God was my Everlasting Father ~ no need to keep preaching about it.  When was he going to stop talking?

My mind drifted to the last time we went to church as a family, October 20th, 2013, and how I sat nudging Abigail, hoping she was listening to Pastor Rudy preach about filling our gaps with trust ~ it was so relevant to our relationship at the time (pre-teen daughter and mother trying to figure it all out). I sat thinking about how excited Anna was that they finally had the treasure box store on a day she was there. She was loaded with gold coins and able to clean house…she was thrilled that all of her paying attention and remembering to bring her bible each week paid off.

I had no idea that was our last day together.

My eyes filled with tears ~ he was still preaching.

As the time grew near for him to end his sermon he shared the scripture Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Again, how was this relevant? He asked us to replace Jesus Christ with our own names and then asked if that was a true statement for us. Are we the same as we were yesterday and will we be the same in the future?

I felt a nudge and my eyes filled with tears.

I have been trying to define who I am in terms of my ever-changing circumstances through a life that is unpredictable. I am not the same person I was on Oct. 19th, 2013 nor will I be the same person 10 years from now. No matter what my circumstances in life I will always be changing, growing and searching for the answer to the question, who am I?

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

No matter what my circumstance there is only one thing in my life that has and will always be constant and that is Christ. He is my constant and His love for me has not changed since before I was born and will continue for all of eternity.

He is the same as He was when I was running around in diapers and fighting with my brothers, He is the same as He was when I made bad choices in my teenage years, He is the same as He was as I drove across the country to start my life new life Oregon, He is the same as He was on the day I looked into Anna’s eyes for the first time, He is the same as He was one day I met Tom and knew he was the one I was going to spend the rest of my life with, He is the same as He was when He wrapped His arms around me as I watched the unimaginable happen in front of my house, He is still the same as I sit here praying for the right words to represent my thoughts and He will be the same when I arrive in Heaven and am in His presence.

He is the same and is constant and He loves me no matter who I am.

Christ is Love, He is Peace, He is Joy, He is my Strength and my Comforter. He is the Way, the Truth and the Light.

Who am I?  I am a daughter of Christ, my Wonderful Counselor, my Mighty God, my Everlasting Father and my Prince of Peace ~ and that is enough.  THAT IS ENOUGH!!!

My prayer and plan is to trust that fact when I have a hard time finding meaning, or purpose or when the longing for my girls is unbearable. I trust that my Heavenly Father is taking tremendous care of Anna and Abigail in Heaven just like He is taking care of me.

I definitely felt Abigail’s nudge at the end of Pastor Rocky’s sermon ~  I’m filling the gaps with trust in Christ.

As I was finishing up this post a dear friend sent me this on Facebook…it couldn’t be more perfect!

quote for today

He tenderly wipes the tears from my eyes every day and I am so grateful to be His.

Tugging

Yesterday I ran into a friend at the grocery store, she was shopping with her two youngest. At one point in our conversation her 4 yr old girl asked to be picked up so lifted her little one onto her hip. As we finished our conversation her daughter took her little hands and placed them onto her mama’s cheeks ~ grabbing her face and pulling it close to her own.

Sometimes that’s all it takes to trigger the best of memories with my girls. That little gesture had me in world wind of sweet memories of when Miss Anna was little. She used to grab my face and squeeze my cheeks all the time and she also loved to pull on my earring, which I must say drove me a bit nuts.

I love remembering what it feels like to have her cold hands on my cheeks ~ she would squeeze and say, “I love you so much mama.” I would reply that I loved her too but she wouldn’t let go of my cheeks so it always came out funny. We would both laugh.

I love remembering her little laugh.

I get asked a lot how I’m doing. My answer is always the same, “I’m hanging in there.”

Lately I feel that is all I can do ~ hang on ~  because if I didn’t I would get swallowed up by my sorrow. It is not the holidays that is bringing this new depth of sadness, but rather the distance that I feel from my girls, the distance from the little moments we have shared and the fact that there are no more earthly moments for us.

God has and will continue to bring me peace. I do rest in His word and I look forward to the day we are all together again, but right now, while I’m still here and they are in Heaven, I am feeling lost without them.

I miss everything about my old life, even the tugging Anna would do on my earring.

Anna and mama

 

 

Note

Faithfully each day he would appear in a new spot around the house. Joey Francisco, our family elf,  was adored by our girls. They would run down the steps every morning looking around to see who would spot him first. Joey would even leave fun things for them to do, ways in which to help others and special treats on occasion. My all time favorite was the snowman poop (powered doughnuts) left with a note saying he was on special clean up duty the night before at the North Pole. That morning Abigail declared that she hoped he was on clean up duty every night from now on ~ white power all over her lips.

I had no idea she had written the note, it must have happened when I was making dinner. After the girls were in bed, Tom and I would discuss Joey’s new location and that’s when we found it. Anna had written Joey a note and placed it so he could look at it.

joey1 jpg

It was so sweet and warmed my heart so much. The magic of the holidays ~ I loved creating traditions and celebrating this beautiful time of year with my family.

My heart is heavy. This morning it was hard to get out of bed ~ I’m sure the gloomy rainy weather doesn’t help. I miss them so much  ~ I miss them so much!!!!

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”   Philippians 4:4-9

Today, and everyday, I will rest in His word!

Happiness Journal

I’m tired…physically and emotionally. We had an amazing opening weekend at the theater and lots and lots of love and joy have been shared these past couple of weeks through Love Rocks ~ I’m drained.

I find that I push myself and then I crash ~ that’s my cycle. I am taking a few days to regroup and then I’ll be good to go again.

Part of crashing is that when we got home last night after our show our girls were not here. It seems that when things in this life get intense and busy for whatever reason I feel that at the end of that time my girls will miraculously be waiting for us when we get home.

Needless to say I crawled into bed last night with a very heavy heart…I miss them so much, so so much!

I found this photo this morning and I smiled ~ this memory makes me happy.

tree topper

Be On Stage ~ Check

I think I was a junior in high school when I sat in the auditorium waiting for my number to be called. I don’t think it was a musical because I’m not sure at that time if I would have gone that far out on a limb. What I do know though is my nerves got the best of me.

My number was called but I was long gone ~ deciding that being in that season’s production at my high school was not that important to me.

For years I have said that someday I will be in a show ~ last night I graced the stage in Shrek the Musical and I am now able to check that off my bucket list.

Tom and I have found that our community theater is a very safe place. We enter those doors and there is a peace that comes ~ it’s been like that from the beginning of this new journey of ours. Our theater family is amazing and we feel very blessed by each and everyone of them. We also love that with every production we are involved in that family grows.

Last year at this time we were involved in Annie with the most amazing group of people. I often sit at the theater wondering how we did that so soon. What comes to me every time is that being at the theater allows us to step away from our lives for a bit ~ create a world that isn’t so painful. I think sometimes the reality of our new life needs to be stepped away from ~ I think without the theater things may be different for us.

Tom and I graced the stage together last night and there is no doubt our girls were present.  I imagine that they are sitting on the ledge, house left, above the sound board with huge smile on their faces and cheering us on. Tom thinks they are sitting on the catwalk, legs dangling, above stage left, watching and laughing at all that transpires. I’m sure they go back and forth depending on what is happening onstage.

They are who we sing to, who we dance for and our inspiration.

We were a theater family and still are. Tom, the cross dressing wolf, me, the tap dancing rat and Anna and Abigail, our girls, who inspire us every day to live this love-drenched-life to it’s fullest until we are all together again in Heaven…and then we will rock the stage there!

I wonder if I will have better moves and a better singing voice in Heaven?

play

Side note: At one point in this process I was considering stepping away from one of my dance numbers ~ the tap dancing rat number. I had missed some rehearsals due to my travels and I really felt that it would be a better number without me in it.

The morning I was going to email the director I couldn’t get them out of my ear.

“Mom, really, you’re going quit?!”

“Please don’t quit ~ this is going to be so great.”

“Susan, what do you always tell us about sticking to things once we start them.”

Needless to say I rocked the tap number last night ~ for my girls!