We Believe

For years Bill and Warren labeled 
EVERY SINGLE baseball
with his initials. (making it easier to keep up with their balls during practice) 
We have buckets of worn and used
 baseballs that not only remind us of our 
Warren, 
but they also remind us …We Believe.  
We Believe Jesus is better.   
We Believe all His promises are true.  
We believe God sent his one and only son to earth.
We Believe He was crucified and died.
We Believe He rose again.
We Believe He will return.
We Believe the best is yet to come. 

All things work together

We don’t always see the beautiful, behind the scenes, God working in ALL things…the stories, the people, the ‘obstacles and the blessings’ as Carolyn called it~Sometimes we miss it because in our brokenness, our mess and in the confusion of our circumstances, we simply can’t see past the pain or imagine that in “this” God is working (for our good).

Other times, we cry out so desperately for a sign, a word, something tangible, applicable, something real..that when God, in his kindness, comes through in a way that is undeniably from heaven~ You see it and you hold onto it, study it and share it with whoever will listen…

That’s how Wednesday, December 17, 2014 was for me. My heart was broken, my whole body was weak and I wasn’t sure how I could face the reality of Warren’s death another day. It hadn’t even been a month, I was tired and felt a desperateness for Jesus….

Click here to read the “beautiful, behind the scenes” Believe Story.

Wednesday December 17, 2014 (from my journal entry)

Every day is a sad day. Sad doesn’t necessarily mean tears, it’s just an overwhelming feeling~ Something is just NOT RIGHT.

My morning started with a visit from a friend and coffee. It was nice.

Our hot water heater broke, needs to be replaced. No shower.

Need to run errands. Laundry. What I wouldn’t give to be folding Warren’s clothes. I screamed at Grace during a fight about who knows what.

Grace and I decide to get out and do some Christmas shopping. It’s so surreal. How can this be? I find myself gripping the steering wheel several times asking, out loud “Please God show us something, a sign. We need you so desperately this day…” We thanked Him for every parking spot, friendly cashier, the cool weather…

I offered to drive carpool. Surely, I can drive the girls to cheer. We pick up a sweet 8th grade girl (a friend of Warrens) She and Grace giggle in the backseat. Grace asks her about finals…I can’t help but think ‘Warren should be taking finals’…We pass the high school. Another trigger. (something else Warren will be missing out on) I push these thoughts out of my head..Not now, Julie. Pull yourself together!

The girls pile out of the car. The last door is shut and my heart explodes into a thousand pieces. Tears flow and I can’t do a thing to stop it.

I shouted and I asked “Why? Why? Why” As I cried, somehow the sorrow turned to fear and I felt hopeless.

I drove into the driveway, walked straight inside and headed to Warrens room where I fell onto his bed, grabbing his pillow…I cried. My entire body longed for relief. Bill came and snuggled up next to me. The pain was so deep. I asked the Lord to please just help us. I said “O Lord, we believe, but we need to hear from you. Please give us a sign that you are near and that we are going to be ok. Father please help us…Help us believe.”

It became quiet. A quiet that seemed to bring the much needed relief. I felt exhausted. I could have stayed in that moment forever. It somehow felt safe.

At some point we transitioned to the living room. This time and space seemed sacred. There was almost an unspoken feeling of embarrassment..What just happened. Have we gone crazy? Is this grief going to take over?

As if to break the silence my phone dinged. I went to check it and it was my neighbor from across the street. She told be to go outside, there was something in my front yard she wanted me to see.

I guess I had missed it when I drove up. My eyes had been wet with tears and I’d hurried into the house as fast as possible…

I walked out. It was cold and damp. I felt numb. What I saw in our front yard literally sent chills over my entire body. It was a sign. Seven red glittery letters that spelled out the word BELIEVE.

Some may call it coincidence, others a miracle. I know what I know and this was a gift from the God who weeks earlier promised to hold me. This was a word for me to cling to as I journeyed the most difficult excruciating season of my life.

He hears me. He sees me. He cares for me. He IS working…

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together….for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:26-28

I am still on the journey of what it looks like to believe when life doesn’t go as you planned or hoped. Moving from head knowledge to heart knowledge, delighting in the Lord and treasuring Him above all else. Surrendering all and fully trusting that He is who He says He is.

Another First

It seems like “firsts” are still the norm for us. As Christmas quickly approaches we have decided for the first time since Warren died to be at home…Just the 3 of us. But we are BELIEVING, fully expectant that it’s going to be ok. It just will. And, in fact, maybe it will be better than ok.

Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus..The baby boy in the manger that has changed EVERYTHING!

my new favorite song…

Florida 2013
Florida 2013

As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.  Psalm 138:3

The Lord will work out his plans for my life-for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.  Don’t abandon me, for you made me.  Psalm 138:8

So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.  Hebrews 12:12

I love music!  Have I already said that?  There are so many songs that have ministered to my soul over the last several months..some new, some I’ve known forever.   The lyrics from many of my favorites speak of God’s promises, His truths… that come straight from God’s Word.

2013
2013

 So as I listen and praise Him through song, I begin to be less consumed with my suffering and drawn into the very presence of Jesus, who is the Healer of my soul.  As I sing the words of these songs my focus shifts: from feeling hopeless, to seeing more clearly the cross….where my Hope is found.  One of the things I look forward to during the week is worshiping at our church.  This time of fellowship is a renewal for my heart and strengthens me for this journey.  I find some of the purest joy while singing at church and magnifying Him with others.  

2013
2013

Last Sunday we sang a song that was familiar and one that spoke truth over my life.  However, as we left church, for the life of me I could not remember enough words or the melody to find it in i-tunes.  I know this sounds crazy..and my forgetfulness is a WHOLE different issue that seems to be more and more frequent these days~so frustrating!!  Anyway, we talked about it several times that afternoon and maybe even some the next day.  I really wanted to add it to our playlist of songs that we love listening to….but to no avail!  

2013
2013

Here is where Jesus comes in… and I just love it!!  After such a difficult day Wednesday, being the last day of school etc and not sleeping very well, I woke Thursday morning  with these words running through my head, “I will rise, as Christ was raised to life, now in Him I live”…not only did I recognize these words as being the song from last Sunday, but I even had the melody which allowed me to remember more of the words, which helped me to figure out the name of the song!!!  It was partly a moment of complete satisfaction, being able to remember something I could not think of a few days earlier, but more than that, the words “I will rise” literally determined the rest of my day.  I got out of bed knowing that God had heard my cry for relief the night before, and He was going to be ENOUGH…AGAIN!!!  

2013
2013

I have played this song over and over…shouting it at the top of my lungs, with hands raised high.  So, don’t mind me…but when I get a personal word from the King of the Universe I don’t take it lightly!!  With this encouragement I was able to successfully clean out my room at school that day (which I had been worried to face, as it seemed to be another event that made this reality more ‘real’)  and also say some very hard goodbyes to some very special people.  

2013
2013

So thankful for God’s faithfulness through this storm and His promise not to abandon us!  I know I have some very hard days ahead..even as I sit alone in the quiet looking through pictures from past summer vacations my heart aches and I am made very much aware that this journey, our summer, will be difficult.  I am trusting that as my heart grows faint, my hands become tired, and my legs become weak,  that His grace WILL BE sufficient.

summer 2013
summer 2013

One of my most favorite pictures!!!  

Beneath the Waters (I Will Rise)

(click the link above to hear song)

This is my revelation

Christ Jesus crucified

Salvation through repentance
At the cross on which He died

Now hear my absolution
Forgiveness for my sin
And I sink beneath the waters
That Christ was buried in
I will rise, I will rise
As Christ was raised to life
Now in Him, now in Him
I live

I stand a new creation
Baptized in blood and fire
No fear of condemnation
By faith I’m justified
I will rise, I will rise
As Christ was raised to life
Now in Him, now in Him
I live

I rise as You are risen
Declare Your rule and reign
My life confess Your Lordship
And glorify Your Name
Your Word it stands eternal
Your Kingdom knows no end
Your praise goes on forever
An on and on again

No power can stand against You
No curse assault Your throne
No one can steal Your glory
For it is Yours alone
I stand to sing Your praises
I stand to testify
For I was dead in my sin

But now I rise, I will rise
As Christ was raised to life
Now in Him, now in Him
I live