2 years ago today..

It was cool and damp.  The ground was soft and my heels sank into the ground.  I hugged family and saw some for the first time since Warren died.  I remember hearing people whisper…”You’re going to have to help her..be there for her.” I remember sitting, holding Bills hand tightly, trying to be strong for Grace.  I remember a breeze blowing through, just as Jerrell asked the Holy Spirit to be near and bring comfort.  I remember singing.  I wanted to worship…I wanted to sing..because I wasn’t sure what would happen if I took my eyes off Jesus.

To take my eyes off Jesus meant a coffin, a cemetery..death. All of which I didn’t want to face or accept as my reality…I just couldn’t

Someone suggested we have a photographer…  I couldn’t imagine why at the time.  But what do I know… 2 years later…looking back, these pictures tell a story.  A story of brokenness and great loss.  A story of strength and courage.  A story of community coming together.  A story of family and friends serving and loving each other….A story of a boy that left a legacy worth remembering and honoring.


At the cemetery…I don’t remember specifics about this moment..except that my heart hurt and I simply couldn’t wrap my mind around how this could be me…I do however, remember this breeze, this wind that blew right as Jerrell began speaking of the Holy Spirit.  If I’m not mistaken, he even stopped and pointed it out… I also remember being so thankful for the guitar..and at the time, whoever the strange guy was playing it….Now…we dearly love that ‘strange guy'(and his family)!!

warrenb12-2-14_057

warrenb12-2-14_166

Our church family…We honestly would not be where we are on this journey without the amazing support, encouragement and love from our church family at First Baptist.  So many people that served us in those days are still around and continue to Love us in ways that give us  much needed strength.

warrenb12-2-14_173

cover

His service…I remember as we planned this service we wanted it to be worshipful.  For some this may have been uncomfortable…but the time of praise was exactly what our weary, broken hearts needed.  Forever grateful to the singers and musicians who led us into the Courts of Praise that day.

warrenb12-2-14_212

“Uncle Bob…..” Warren’s love of hunting and all things outdoors came from this man.

warrenb12-2-14_217

“It Is Well With My Soul…..”  Let it always be.

warrenb12-2-14_220

Warren’s sermon to many given by our pastor…  #Jesussaves #saltandlight #notwasted #cityonahill

warrenb12-2-14_274

RBI …’a run batted in is credited to the batter for the number of runners who score due to the hit by the batter’  #ISTOODUP #JESUSSAVES #RISEUP

warrenb12-2-14_295

IMG_1980

Praying especially this moment for those who ‘stood’…for those who felt the spiritual tug of the Holy Spirit December 2nd, two years ago.  Praying that as we look back and remember, we are encouraged to move forward..one step at a time.  One day at a time…

I was reminded by a sweet 7 year old who recently lost her mother, that there are 2 ways to look at death…”when I say my mom just died, that makes me sad.  When I say, my mom died BUT she’s in Heaven, I’m  not as sad …!”

oh the simple faith of a child….eternal lenses…perspective💙

image
#ISTOOD UP

 

Rising up! Praying tonight for hurting hearts and others struggling to make sense of death and life eternal.  Why so much pain and suffering…?  Why the brokenness and the loneliness of losing a loved one.  Your ways are higher…and your plans far greater than we could ever imagine…O, but Jesus we need you this night!

Dressed for the Game…

DSC_0018

March 2011-White Sox (10 yrs old)

I absolutely love this picture of Warren!!  I love the arm bands and the black and white rope around his neck.  He wore these things himself.  Whenever he stepped foot on a baseball field (for a game or practice), he was ready…mentally, physically, and completely dressed.  And by completely dressed, I mean his shirt tucked in with a belt!  ALWAYS!  This was initially encouraged by his Dad, but eventually Warren would do this on his own without any prompting from us.

I love this picture without his baseball cap on!  I can see his eyes and his freckles.  I can tell his hair has been recently cut. He seriously looks so handsome!  It almost seems like yesterday….I like seeing him with all his gear, but this  picture where I can see his whole face makes me smile.  We had many great seasons of baseball and loved each of them for different reasons.  However, this may be one of my favorites.  I just remember Warren growing so much as a player this season…not to mention lasting friendships that came from this team!!

Baseball is starting up …What I wouldn’t give to be  watching our #12 play!  It still hurts in ways I can’t explain.  I miss it all…carpooling, practices, games, tournaments, blankets, friends, winning, losing, bats, bags, dirty baseball pants, gloves, caps, ( & I can’t forget sunscreen!)….It just can’t be, really, that those things will not be in my life….at least not as we once knew it.  I miss it and it makes me very sad.

Is that ok?  I just want to be sad.  I want to explain that not one single day goes by that I’m not sad.  At some point, every single day I think of my boy and I am sad that he is not here with me.  A little more than 12 months has passed and being sad is still daily …for me.  Sad, doesn’t always mean tears, but sometimes.   Sad doesn’t mean I can’t function, but sometimes.  Sad doesn’t mean I’m hiding at home, but sometimes.  Sad doesn’t mean I can’t laugh, but sometimes.  Sad doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy time with friends, but sometimes.  SOMETIMES when I’m sad I do just want to hide and cry, but other times I choose to focus on the eternal and remember my Hope is found in Jesus Christ.  In those moments …my “sad” moments, I’m reminded to trust even more in Jesus.

So, I’ve been sad that Warren didn’t get to try out for the Stratford baseball team.  AND, if I’m really honest,  I feel like he missed out. It’s not about whether he’d made it or not, but he didn’t even get a chance.  It stinks!!

We actually went to one of the teams’ first scrimmages on Friday afternoon…the weather was amazing, it was so good to see some of his buds, and visit with friends.  But as we left, I had this overwhelming feeling like we were leaving something/someone behind.  I used to feel that a lot right after Warren died…but Friday night, walking to our car, that feeling consumed me.  I guess in some way I was leaving something behind…MY hopes and MY dreams of watching Warren play HS baseball.  Nothing wrong with those hopes and dreams, but at this point on our journey that’s what they are…hopes and dreams for my precious boy that I must lay at the feet of Jesus and trust that His plans are better than mine…that His ways are higher.  It’s not about me…or Warren.  It’s much bigger!  I’m trusting, still… that God is working, that HE loves me and that He is Good!!

As I sat in those stands Friday afternoon I was reminded that Warren actually had been on this field before.  Several years ago (4th grade, I think) Warren was a bat boy for one of the Stratford HS games.  That was a pretty cool experience for him!  So, I found some pictures from that evening!  Sweet boy….

I feel like so much has happened over the last couple of months and God has been MORE than we could have ever asked or hoped for during some very difficult days…   We continue to be overwhelmed by our family and friends who are still journeying with us..WOW, is really all I can say.  We love each of you and cannot imagine doing this without your love and support.  

Today in Bible Study it was said that…”God is moving!”  I believe this to be true… I want to be ready “keeping my ear to the ground” (thank you Hannah)..waiting, expectantly waiting, longing for the “more” that He wants to pour out on His people!  So, if I may, I want to be like Warren, who was always dressed and ready for the “game”..

The Lord your God is in your midst,  a Mighty One who will save;  He will rejoice over you with gladness;  He will quiet you by his love;  He will exult (rejoice)  over you with loud singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

DSC_0001

 

CSC_0085_2