Voices: Which to Hear?

Many of us feel insane somedays. Maybe it was a stressful day, week, month, or even year. Maybe you just don’t feel like “yourself”. Maybe your going through a battle, a trail in life, that’s got you questioning everything- including God. Whatever your going through, there’s always a voice you hear… But what voice do you listen to? Before you go and sign me up for the local insane asylum, hear me out.

As kids we watch cartoons that featured a “good and bad” voice on each shoulder. Most of the time they were illustrations of an “angel” & a “devil”. What we laugh about as kids, is true in everyday life. We have two voices fighting to be heard. Which one do we pick? Somedays it’s hard to distinguish between the two. Other days it can seem quite easy to pick and choose. What we don’t realize is, each voice knows the exact struggles, doubts, fears, battles, and emotions we are carrying around with us . Each voice – knows our down falls. They each know the wounds we suffer and how we got them. They know the losses we grieve over. The pain we shy away from. The secret tears we hide from the world and so on. And each voice wants us to choose them…. So how do we choose?

In the Bible it actually talks about how Gods voice is still and quiet. How the prophet Elijah, in 1Kings 19:11-12, heard this voice after many different things. God sent a wind, a fire, and an earthquake- but God was not in those things. God was in the stillness. The quietness of the air. Sometimes our worlds are so loud that we cannot hear that still small voice. We are overloaded with noises that we don’t even know how to turn off, and there isn’t an Alexa Echo in the world that can shut them off either. So how do we hear God and not the enemy?

I was reading a book awhile back called “It’s not suppose to be this way” by Lysa TerKeurst- and then later I got the privilege to hear her speak about this book and this topic. One thing that stuck out to me was this; “You have to ask yourself- ‘Who’s telling you those things?’ “. Who is telling you those things of doubt in your life? Who is telling you that your not strong enough? That your not a mother? That your not worthy to be their friend, have that job, or take that risk? Who’s telling you your not beautiful, you can’t be noticed, or you can’t be whom your dreaming to be? Who is telling you this? Sometimes no one is physically telling us anything. Sometimes we can’t get out of our own heads.

Eve was tempted by a voice in the Garden. Moses heard a voice in a burning bush. Only difference between those two was one was an evil voice and one was God. The enemy will come in fear. He will cause you to doubt yourself. Doubt God. Doubt that your worth joy and love. He will manipulate your emotions and your pain to no end. He will drag you down, beat the snot out of you, and leave you there Broken and alone – if you let him. But God comes to build you up. Show you that your worthy of joy and love. Then he gives you peace over your overwhelming emotions. He will lift you up, fix your brokenness, and never leave your side- if you choose.

I’ve been on both sides of the voices… I’ve been so low in dark places, I thought I would never get off the floor . I thought grief, pain, and loss was the only things in life I was made for. I thought pain and numbness were my new feelings I would feel forever. I have been such a mess, Broken in a million pieces- that I believed I was unfixable. I have had my emotions twisted, stomped on, and shattered many times. I have had triggers emotionally, anxiety, and even depression at times that I cannot begin to explain to you. I have been overwhelmed by fear to the point I didn’t know what to do. – But – through all of that, I have also been lifted up on the mountain. I have seen the glimpses of light shine into a dark pit. I have seen my brokenness come together (not perfectly) but made whole. I have seen pain turn into joy. Hopelessness restored. Bruised dreams healed . And miracles I didn’t think could be possible for me made right. What’s the secret? Knowing God.

You see I still struggle with pain and grief. My life will always be triggered by loss. I will always have a hole where my child should be. I will always long for what I cannot have with Rhett. And I will until the day I die. God says, “I will make you new one day. No tears,no pain…” and until I get to heaven I will always have those feelings. I have to learn how to choose what voice to listen to day in and day out until Heaven.

2 Timothy 1:7 is a verse that even two years ago in the beginning of my biggest nightmare and pain, I had written on the marker board in my hospital room. It’s a verse I have to remind myself of daily. And this verse helps me distinguish between the voices in my head and which to choose.

“2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Next time you feel overwhelmed. You feel knocked down, full of doubt, confused, and don’t know what to voice to choose… Ask yourself “Who’s telling me these things?” . Because that verse plainly tells what God gives. And if it’s fear, doubt, worry, stress, etc- it’s not of God. God gives peace, love, and in tough choices – a sound mind. We will never be prefect in our choices. Unfortunately we will never be free from anxiety etc- but until Heaven- lean on God. Search for his voice. His ways. Then ask him to clear the rest of the mess out for you.

Thank you & Have a wonderful day.

– Marli

*Angel Mom to Rhett

*Rainbow Mom to Selah

When you feel alone

There’s many times in life where we question “Is God Still there….”. Most of the time we ask this when grief strikes, our faith is shaken, or we simply have to make make a tough decision. Where that’s where you are tonight, or you just feel alone, let me tell you through experience I can tell you he does see you, he does care, and he has not forgotten you.

Many if you know by now my story. Many of you know the road of grief I have had to walk alone on earth. Many of you have read the blog post, seen the photos, or even been in the trench’s with me. What you don’t know or see is what my life was before. Sure it looked perfectly fine, & to be honest there isn’t much pain in my past. Yes, I lost family members whom I loved dearly, but it never shook me to the core like loosing Rhett. I never had to question God, my faith, or life in general before loosing Rhett. I never had to question if God’s ways were the right ways. I just knew that what the Bible said was what was right. I never had to put my faith on trail. I always knew the answers based on the verses, but I didn’t know the answers personally. I remember hearing of others accounts of Gods faith in others lives. How God showed them how he was real. How God saved them from situations in life. I remember hearing these stories and questioning my faith. It wasn’t until I had to put my faith on the line and really had to make the choice to truly trust God in ways that I couldn’t see him, is where I learned Gods true ways.

Weeks after loosing Rhett I was faced with the fact of having to accept that this was just Gods plan or going against Gods ways and telling him I didn’t agree with him. I remember yelling at God- telling him I didn’t agree. That he didn’t love me. That he didn’t understand anything or any of the pain. I remember clearly screaming why over and over again…. Yet I also remember the first answer I got from God. One that I still hear. One that I cannot deny.

“I too have one son. I too had to watch him die. I too had to hurt that my son died. I lost a son like you, therefore I do know your pain…”

Pain.. God not only seen it, but he knew what I felt. I still felt pain, but knowing that God could truly understand when no one else could touched me in ways I cannot wrote down. His son (Jesus) died for me, you, the world. God had to turn his back on Jesus during that time because he took on the sin of the world and God cannot see sin. It was that time he had to fell as if his son was no longer with him, just like grief does for us. Pain, that we read of – but only some feel.

I then searched for the whys in life. Why didn’t he save Rhett. He saved many children in the Bible. Why did he allow my son to die. Why did he choose us? Why? As I dug and dug, I never got all the answers, but there where some I did find. He did save my child… He didn’t bring him to life again on Earth, but he did heal him. God knew his pain that I did not. God knew that to heal him like we were praying was to heal him 100% in heaven. The why us, is just like Job. Job questioned God but he never denied him. The devil tempted Job many times. He killed his family, he took his home and cattle etc, he had friends tell him to tell God off- yet Job held on. Job suffered mentally, emotionally, & physically. And like Job was tested- so were we. We had to make a choice. I couldn’t make Shawn’s choice and he couldn’t make mine. The devil took our son, he took our world, he shook our faith, yet he lost. Our son is alive in heaven, our faith has became stronger, and he still has to face the facts that he lost. Just like Job, God found favor- and although I know this life has pain, hurts, and loss, God will show is comfort. God also showed that there are many reasons and ways I will never know on this side of heaven because my mind cannot contain or understand it. God has allowed us to see his hand in Rhett’s short life. And looking at Gods hand now, is amazing to see. That tells me that he did not leave me, or forget me, but had a plan.

Now I have to trust that God will allow the pain to transform into joy, joy that at times I do not know how to take. There are times I still feel alone. I still feel like God has let me walk through fire just to leave me, but it’s not true. When those things are told to me I have to stop and think “Who’s telling me these things.”. The devil tempted Eve in the garden, telling her things that twisted Gods words. And the devil still uses those tactics. The devil wants us to feel alone, forgotten, and live in pain. Every time we choose God or to share our stories of faith, he looses. So that’s why I have make the choice to not only choose God, but to tell Rhett’s story. To show Rhett’s love and Gods to reach others in grief. Grief will always be a part of me and my story, but God is using this grief to heal me and others slowly.

So maybe you are feeling left out, alone, used, or something- but ask “who is telling you those things?” If it’s not God then it’s not true. God does love you. He is there even when you cannot see him now. He’s going to use this pain to help you understand someone else’s pain. You have to chose however to trust God or to deny him. No one can choose that for you. So dig. Dig in the Bible. Search, pray, and don’t be afraid to ask the whys . He will be there for you. You have to let him in.

Thank you and prayers for you all.

-Marli

*Angel Mom to Rhett

*Rainbow Mom to Selah

The Garden

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=n5gRgJhCue4
(Song in the link)

Two years ago in June, I came a crossed a song called “The Garden”. It was fairly new at the time & to me the melody was soothing, but it was the words that drew me in.

I was deep in grief during this time. I found this song weeks after Rhett had went to heaven, & I was searching for things that could help ease the pain or even compare to it. I would play this song while I cried, while I felt angry, or even when I could feel nothing at all.

Yes, I know it’s “just a song”…but this “song” has changed over the years for me. God has taken a simple song and showed me so much. At first he was showing me that he seen me. That he could feel and understand my hurt, my pain, my loss…. He was telling me that he knew I was searching for anything that could heal my pain; heal my soul….

I would listen to this song and cry out – “Just heal me already!” – “If you see me, then why let me suffer?!”… I couldn’t see what he could see then. I could see the plan he had. I still cannot see all of the plan, however today this song is changing. I don’t just understand “half” of the song, but all of it.

The first part says :

“I had all, but given up. Desperate for a sign of love. Something good, something kind… Bringing peace to every corner of my mind.”

In grief I literally wanted to quiet. I wanted to lay in my bed, hid away from the world, wilt away and never to be found. I didn’t want to try anymore, because trying hurts. I couldn’t feel Gods love in this pain and I wondered what was the point of it? I couldn’t feel the peace of death, I couldn’t understand Gods peace that was being spoken to me. My mind would race, my head would what if, and pain embraces my heart so much….that the pieces of it was shattered everywhere on the floor. Yet, I had no will, no strength to pick them up… That is what that first part means to me…

The second part says:

“Then I saw the garden. Hope had come to me. To sweep away the ashes, and wake me from my sleep.”

You see when months pass during grief, you start to see small small tiny details of love that God has for you. When you cry, he’s there. When your angry, he’s still there. So the tiny pieces of my soul that was crushed so finely – he started to sweep away. To remold me. To remake me. To reform me into something I didn’t know.

But up until two years, I couldn’t understand the rest of the song… I avoid it. I stopped listening to it, why? Because it hurt to much to hope that God actually had a plan of hope for me.

I was struggling with my son’s death. I then struggled with infertility and the unknown if God would even allow us to try again. Even if a child was part of his plan for us…

A year first passed and I listened to the song again. This time I could understand another part of the song. When I realized that I bawled. Thinking why have I doubted God, but he knew I was hurt. God does see that stuff.

We often forget that he hurt many of times. Jesus wept in the garden as he sweated beads of blood while praying that God would come up with a different plan… He was scared and hurting then in the garden. He had people with him but they feel asleep. And that my friends is just like grief. We are in that garden begging God to bring back our loved one. Heal them, save them, or take the grief from us. We have people around us, but after awhile they too fall asleep and we are left alone scared and praying by ourselves…

The third part says:

“I realized, you never left. And for this moment, you planned ahead. That I could see, your faithfulness in all of the grief. ”

That’s when I knew God had a hand in everything Rhett and us went through. God held our hands that day, those months, these years- and he was allowing me to see little things. He showed me that he allowed us to make memories with Rhett in peace – not knowing the outcome. If we would have known we wouldn’t have knew peace and love with him. He planned everything and knew the road we would have to walk. God doesn’t take away, the devil does. He kills, steals, and destroys. God was showing me slowly that he was still there through my fears, grief, and doubts. That he loved me even now.

Part four of the song:

“I can see the ivy, growing through the walls. Cause you will stop at nothing; to heal my broken soul. I can see the ivy, reaching through the walls. You will stop at nothing ; to heal my broken soul.”

Ivy… I knew that ivy was a garden plant that would take over, but did you know that ivy is one of the most hardest plants in earth? Ivy is a plant that can grow even if it’s been knocked down, killed, stepped on, etc., it will find a way back to life. It can withstand cold, heat, & even drought at times. Ivy is tough… so ivy? God is the ivy! Nothing can stop God. Nothing can break God. Even yours and mine broken hearts can’t stop God. Those cracks that the ivy is growing through in this song is God filling my heart. Healing me from within. He was filling me with ivy, to be strong enough to stand one day and tell my story. To be strong enough to stand beside someone else in grief and say, “I know how you feel truly. God does heal.” . Ivy grows towards the sun like a sunflower.

The vines will take off. And it wasn’t until this week that Shawn and I was talking about a vine in my yard that something clicked… Shawn said, “I always thought vines were cool. Mainly because you can take one vine and make it start growing and wrapping around another place in a fence,etc., and make it go where you want it to…” Whoa… light bulb moment happened. If God is ivy, and ivy is a tough plant. God can literally pick and choose what vine goes in what direction in order for healing to occur. So even if I could t see that vine at the time, it was already growing where it needed to be…

Which brings me to the last part of the song.

“Faith is rising up like ivy, reaching for the light. Hope is stirring deep inside me, making all things right. Love is lifting me from sorrow, catching every tear. Dispelling every lie and torment crushing all my fears….. Now I see redemption. Growing in the trees. The death and resuscitation in every single seed.”

Pain brought me to a knew realize of faith. Faith then helped me heal. The God through struggles, planted hope inside me, that showed me his perfect love. Love that then sent us a rainbow. And with this rainbow he has shown me that the devil lies, and God keeps promises. With this knew found faith, God crushed fears (when I allow him- because sometimes I still try to do things on my own…) and he shown me that little things like a blog post, a remembering Rhett’s love box, or even a comment etc, can plant a seed for someone else’s hope to grow. And that may be part of the plan I don’t know… But God does..

In my garden, there was once a hole in my heart, filled with tears of love for Rhett… The hole was muddy, nasty looking even, and my garden looked terrible. Over the years the gardener came in. He tilled the muddy mess, and even though my tears for Rhett still rained, he used it for his purpose. He planted flowers there. Faith, hope, & love. He planted things that would grow and even grew some ivy there too. And over time, my garden sprouted and bloomed. My heart garden looks different now. The tears for Rhett Still water this garden, but it’s no longer a messy muddy hole. I cannot see this garden from Gods view, so I cannot tell you what’s all there. Walking through it, it’s amazing! It looks like a mess at times, but it’s beautiful and perfect. God can take any garden and make it into a beautiful place again. Just like this songs says. This 11th will mark 2years since I set eyes on my precious angel son. But it also marks two years closer to seeing him again. And although he isn’t here physically, he picks flowers often in my garden of love. I believe God let him pick certain kinds of flowers just for me. And until I can see what they see above this world, I will hold on to the hope that God replanted in me… tears still happen… tough days still reoccur, but I know God and I know I will be in heaven one day. But until then I’ll have to talk to the garden in the garden, allowing him to replant, weed, and water this beautiful mess once again.

-Marli

Angel Mom to Rhett

Rainbow Mom to Selah

Seasons Come & Seasons Go

The Bible talks in Ecclesiastes 3 about seasons, but it’s always easy to “talk” about things; especially the weather & its seasons. When living this life; it’s hard to understand & accept seasons of change. It’s hard to adapt at times to new seasons, even if there good. I just wanted to share my “seasons”, & how at times the “in between seasons” are equally important.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 starts off with:

“To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven.”

That in fact states that in life, we will under go things of change . Just like the trees themselves, we too must under go growth. Somethings may even hurt.

The next few verses, (I may skip around), are my season of pain. My season of doubt. My season of sorrow, grief, feelings of abandonment, and my season of death. Unfortunately the Bible says I’m verse 3:2 of Ecclesiastes: “A time to be born,
And a time to die.It’s pretty cut & dry there. No sugar coating those words at all. There is no maybes in that sentence. Just life & death.

I remember the first time I felt “life”. Those little lines on the monitor for the first time. Hearing your child’s heartbeat, meant life. It was a time fo Joy. A time of excitement. Even a time of nervousness, but no doubt life. It feels like yesterday at times. Firsts heartbeats, first kicks, first movements in the screen in from of you. All you have is big dreams ahead. You and your husband pick out names, reveal gender to your family, and just like that your family grows by two feet.

Rhett was our season of life. Our season of firsts. He still is our joy, even after two years this year in June. Children do grow fast just as they say. Wether it be here on Earth or in Heaven, their still your baby.

Our season of life soon turned into season of death. Like an Oklahoma twister tearing its way through the plains destroying everything in its path. It’s a chaotic feeling. Dreams start to turn into harsh reality. Future plans ripped from your heart like wooden beams being torn from a sturdy home. Only two things are certain in life. Life & death.

After a storm, like a tornado, there is a calmness. It’s not really a peaceful feeling, but more like a “what just happenedfeeling. There is no more winds. The rain has ceased & the damage is to be looked at. You don’t want to get out of your cellar to find that your home has been destroyed. Just like a tornado tearing down a home, so was my life. I was standing then in a pile of shattered dreams, broken heart, and what could have beens. Just as it was bricks, tin, and walls….

Ecclesiastes 3:4 “A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn,And a time to dance. ”

Weeping isn’t even close to the pain that flowed from my eyes. It was if the dam broke loose, the flood waters rose, and the waters that had so much force flooding my eyes and streams down my face. Although I knew this verse- I did not know how long weeping and mourning would have to take place before you could get to laughing and dancing again.

Dark clouds circled my world for months/ years. Skies were burdened with storms or angry & whys bursting in my soul like thunder & lighting. Tears often fell like raindrops, even like pop up showers in least expected places. These seasons are not ones I signed up for. This season like a cold winter breeze, blowing in without warning freezing everything in sight. That was how I felt being through into this season. There was no tornado sirens, no weather updates, or notifications to ignore. I often wondered if I would ever experience the seasons of joy again or if my life was just sorrow and tears? Was this Gods plan?

Ecclesiastes 3:3 “ A time to heal;A time to break down,And a time to build up.

Then there was a time, God & I spoke. He showed me that with each season, there is change. If I was in sorrow now- He would bring joy. He wouldn’t have wrote it if it wasn’t true. God cannot lie. He showed me it was time to allow Him to heal me. To rebuild my heart, pick up the shattered glass of my life and allow me to break down. He assured me however that He would catch me. With this season of healing, you must trust God. That wasn’t always easy. I do have break downs. I did stop the building process Many times. I was scared of God taking all my pain from me. If I had no pain, would it mean I had no memories? If I didn’t cry anymore would it mean I didn’t love Rhett? With each question God answered. His love showed me that it’s ok to not like these “seasons”. In fact he showed me how in the storm he was there. He showed me how his hand was in my life, Rhett’s life, & how he would not fail me now. This season was a tough one, but a necessary one. It was a season I dreaded. I didn’t want to let go of my pain. I didn’t want God to heal me at times. With every season, there comes another…

Then there came a season of nothing…. It’s not written in Ecclesiastes, don’t search you won’t find it. There is a moment of nothing. Your not healed, but your not mourning. Your not joyful, but your not dancing. You feel strange about how you should feel. Your not laughing daily, but not crying daily. Your in an odd season. This season is a season of waiting . The hardest season in away. This season hurts just as much as the season of mourning.

During my season of waiting, I often wondered if God Still could see me. Did he care? Did he have enough of my complaining and go on? During this season I threw fits like a child. I felt as if my prayers were screams of pain and confusion. I wasn’t getting answers but I wasn’t feeling different either. That’s when I had to learn Ecclesiastes 3:7 “A time to keep silence,And a time to speak.” In this silence, I had to wait upon the Lords will. Not knowing what that maybe. Would I only have an angel baby, or would he allow another? Would we live forever with loving our child from afar, or would we have to travel more difficult routes? The season looked grim. Then as the leaves begin to turn green with life in the spring, so did mine.

The season of joy arose. I didn’t know how to take this season. I still do not know. This season for me feels better than the others, yet the anxiety from the storm still arises in my soul. The what if’s from the seasons before make my joy feel more like uncomfortable awarkard moments. Like your trying to maneuver from junior high to high school again. It’s a season that is beautiful! Yet you check everything over and over again making sure your didn’t miss a thing. Since your been through life & death, you cannot see the world in full color anymore. You often see the black & white version first.

I have came to understand that you or I will never understand these seasons. I will never understand why my Rhett had to go and why my Selah took so long to get here. God says in Ecclesiastes 3:11-12

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives.”

I know from those verses that God is real, he cares for me, he has a plan even when I cannot see, & to should rejoice even in bad- he will do great things. Is that easy to do? No! Praising God in the storm is hard! Trusting Gods timing, is tough! If we allow the seasons to grow us, in time we will become beautiful creations and unique Christians . Made by the one and only God who can see the future, yet cares enough about or feelings in the present to help us make it through.

Maybe you or a loved one is experiencing these seasons . Maybe you cannot see the why? I encourage you to speak with God daily. Even if it comes out as child like tantrums. I encourage you to trust him. I know from experience this is not easy, but if you try he will help you the rest of the way. Seasons come & seasons go. Just because you heal doesn’t mean you won’t remember the scar. I still love Rhett even if I don’t cry every second of the day. That’s because of God and him alone. We may not welcome the season of change, but God knew you would be here . Let him guide you into the next. Even if it does feel awarkard. He will show you how to dance again….even in the pouring rain. Just remember to rejoice.

Thanks for reading!

-Marli-

Angel Mom to Rhett &

Rainbow Mom to Selah

A Modern Day Hannah

Have you ever wondered if the stories in the Bible could actually apply to your life? Maybe you think that those old miracles cannot apply to today’s world. What if I told you that they don’t only apply to us, but we can experience those same works if we only believe.

The story of Hannah has always been one that stuck out to me. It’s been a story that over time, I felt like, I related to. The story of Hannah starts in 1 Samuel 1. She was a woman with a wonderful husband that loved her, and she loved him. There was only one set back for her…. At the time she had no children. She struggled with infertility, or as the Bible puts it “She was barren”. That was a desire of her heart she felt may never be filled. A desire she cried over and she even fell into a depression over. One day Hannah went to church and prayed so hard and so quiet, that the pastor thought she was drunk. He told her- “Go home! God has heard your prayers.” She did, and later she had Samuel. The thing is, she prayed that if God would give her a son, she would give him back to God. Hannah did just that. He was raised in church, by that pastor who once thought she was drunk praying, and she later went on to have other children.

I tell you this story to refresh your memory before I start on with this next paragraph. Hannah went through many emotions before God sent her a son. Many emotions that I can relate to very much. With Rhett I remember praying for him. Praying God would send us a miracle. Back then I was just diagnosed with PCOS and my dreams of a family seemed far away. God pulled thorough and it wasn’t long that Rhett was known. Like Hannah, I had to give my son back to the Lord. A night that I will always remember. The devil tried in that instance to get my eyes off of God. He was trying to break your family, but God came in and put us together again. No my son isn’t physical seen on Earth, but one day in heaven we will be reunited again!

Hannah however, gave her son to God and eventually had more children. (It’s mentioned in chapter 2 or 3.) I always wondered if God would allow for us to be like that as well. I knew other moms and families that experienced loss of a child having rainbow baby’s, and my heart sank. Why would God overlook me? Why would God make me go through such a storm to never bring any joy back into our lives? Many people with infertility knows this feeling. It’s a feeling of dread, insecurity, and even can acted as a depressed state of mind.

As I started having more troubles, more obstacles to face, and overwhelming feelings- I went to the doctor. I was told that I did indeed need help. “Help”. Sounds easy to say and wrote, but that is the hardest four letter word to actually say. I didn’t want to need help. I didn’t want to be any more different than I already was. I didn’t want to have to tell others that I was struggling and needing help. And that’s when my pride stepped in. That’s a powerful thing. Pride can blind you from seeing the “help” God is trying to give you, but like God has been from day one with me – He allowed me to try it my way. I got the medicine needed and I kept it between myself and my husband . No one needed to know. Everything failed. Month after month. Round after round. Failure creeped into my life and broke my spirit down even further.

Then I started to pray more. I changed my way of thinking. I asked God what do I have to do? Do I have to accept that I may never hold another child that is mine in my arms again? Or do I press on and keep taking new medicines, etc. . Then he sent me two verses. 2 King 22:9 “Because your heart was tender & you humbled yourself before the Lord, I also have heard you: says the Lord.” & Isaiah 66:9 ” In the same way I will NOT cause pain without allowing something good to be born, says the Lord.” . It was those two verses that showed me God had not forgotten me or what I have been through. So I pressed on.

A November doctors appointment however set me back to a brokenness. I was told, “If these nexts rounds don’t work, your going to have to look into different avenues. The cost. That’s all I can do.” . I remember being crushed. I drove to a near by parking lot and started to cry. A song called “Head above water” came on and I started to sing it . “God keep my head above, don’t let me drown.” And in that moment that’s how I felt. As if I was drowning in anxiety and worry. I allowed myself to finally start giving that up. I got a bite to eat and headed home. I felt my soul nudging me to put “Miracles by Kari Jobe” on and listen to it. I felt God tell me that “He is the God of miracles. He can do whatever’s wants, I just have to trust him.”

The next day he told me I needed to prepare. I rearranged books, & that Christmas I even went out on a limb and bought a new stocking. God said I had to tell those closest to me about these problems and ask for prayer. It doesn’t seem hard until you actually have to have that conversation. With friends and family told, prayers being prayed from all around, & even my medicine being prayed over before I took it- God tested me one last time. “Sing the song miracles at church.”

That song I had put away, because I didn’t know if I could sing it. God said do it. I put it off a few singing rotations, until I finally said “Ok I’ll sing it.” . In January of 2019, I sang that song. I have never felt God so close during a song as that day. When the song was over, my pastor stepped forward to tell me something. I thought it would be “thanks for singing today”, but that wasn’t what was said. He said, “God has heard your prayers & a miracle is coming your way soon.” Tears flooded my eyes. I didn’t know what to do. As those words which were being repeated again flooded my ears my heart was overwhelmed. I then went to the nursery, where I was to help teach. As my friend started the lesson- she said let’s learn about “Hannah & Samuel”. Tears filled my eyes, as I fought back tears . I felt I was literally living this story out as she spoke it.

A month later, in February, God did just as he promised. 2 years of pain. 2 years of prayers. 2 years of worry. God sent us our very own rainbow baby. Not to replace big brother, but to add on to our family. And just like that, a simple bible story seemed as if I was a “Modern Day Hannah”.

So today after a long blog post, and emotional journey, and a few years of grief, pain, and anxiety- God has shown me what true faithfulness, trust, & grace can go. He also showed me that not only will he keep his promises, but he never forgets us and hears us always.

So if you would, remember us in your prayers because this journey isn’t a easy one. Anxiety is still here, grief still overwhelms at times, and doubts still creep in. God is faithful. And I’ve learned that you have to take it one day at a time.

If you or someone you know is struggling with infertility or loss, share this with them. It is possible for miracles to happen in today’s day and age. We just have to cling to God and he will send them. Don’t give up hope! He hasn’t forgotten you and He does hear you!

Thanks for reading,

– Marli –

– Angel Mom to Rhett & a new Rainbow Mom –

Do you believe?

Many times in life we are hit with hard things. God takes those “hard times” and helps them become more. The Bible is full of theses incidences. He can take broken things and make them better, because God is never broken. People may crumble, friendships may break, but God stays the same. However, we often times are asked by God, “Do you believe?”. Maybe your like Paul and you say “of course God”, and maybe he tells you to “feed his sheep”. Why is this question so huge?

In Matthew 9:27-30 , there is a story about two blind men. Reading it this morning, I noticed something that I’ve over looked for years. A simple sentence that holds so much meaning.

“Do you believe that I am able to do that?” (Vs.28)

You see these two men followed Jesus begging him to heal their eyes so they could see. Jesus asked them that one simple question. They answered “yes” and he healed them because of their faith: “(vs. 29) According to your faith let it be to you.” .

Isn’t their story in line with our own? How many times have you prayed to God or begged God to hear you. To understand your pain. To heal you from hurt, heartache, sorrow, or tears. How many times have you prayed the same prayer thinking maybe God has put you on the back burner and forgotten about you? How many trails and tests have you walked, sat, or crawled through to get where you are today? And how many times did you want to give up, because you felt like your hope ran out and your faith is soon to follow?

Maybe God is asking you:

“Do you believe I can do this?”.

Do you believe I, God of the universe; who created you fearfully & wonderfully, who knows your greatest fears-hurts-dreams-& loves; can do what you are asking me to do? Do you believe with everything you have left? Do you believe that I can touch you and you be healed? Do you think I can actually do the biggest things you pray for ? Or do you still want to hold on to your own will so much that your not willing to lay it down in front of me & say “I trust you”.

I will admit this part of faith isn’t easy… Trusting God with the very things that you hold so dear to you isn’t easy. Laying your wants, fears, dreams, and more down at his feet and saying “Ok God here I am. I believe in you.” Is not easy. We are broken people. We are often blinded in this world just like those men. We are walking around begging God for sight, but maybe when he asks us that one question- we are hesitant.

What is keeping you from saying “Yes God I believe!”. What is holding you back? For me it was fear. I have already sacrificed so much already. I’ve already had to hand our son back to God and trust that this was his will. I had to then trust that God would have this sorrow and bring joy like his word promises. Then I prayed. I felt like I pray the same prayers, but he still listens. To be honest there and days, months, and even years I felt like he had left me in the dark and forgotten about me. There are things he said to write about that are to painful, songs he wanted me to sing that I felt I couldn’t, and moments he pushed me out of my comfort zone into situations that made me grow, but I still am like those blind men…. Begging God to hear me, see me, heal me. I too had to answer his question.

“Yes God I believe.”

And like those blind men who were healed, I too am waiting. Waiting for my miracle… Until then, I will choose to say “I believe”.

Thank you for reading. I hope it helped you today! If it did write a comment and let me know . I would love to hear back from you or even pray for you.

Have a wonderful day!

Marli

-Angel Mom to Rhett Alec

Gracefully Broken

Today as I was taking down my Christmas tree, (Finally), I broke an important ornament to me. My first “Mom” ornament.

It may not seem like much to others, but that was my first Christmas “Mom” label. It was my first Christmas ornament I put on our tree, (along with Shawn’s 1st Dad ornament), before Rhett was born. So to have it shatter in the box while I was being so careful with it brought me to tears.

As I say at my kitchen table looking at the pieces, trying to see if I could “fix it”. I finally came to the conclusion that I couldn’t. I would have to “toss it away” and have it as only a memory.

Then an idea can to me. Take the broken pieces and place them inside an empty clear ornament I had left over from the year before.

So as I tried to patiently place the small white “snow like” styrofoam balls into its “new” home, it became difficult. They seemed to “run away” each time I tried to pry them from their plastic box.

That’s when God said, “See how they flew in other directions like their scared to go to their new home? They cannot see where you going to put them or what your going to do with them, & you do that too.”

Sitting there at the table, I looked down at these little styrofoam balls amazed. It took something so small to make me see a lager picture…

I was holding on to a “Label”. A “Label” the world sometimes doesn’t recognize. A “label” others think I cannot carry anymore since my child is no longer on Earth. A “label” I cherish, yet brings me great pain. What “label” does God have for me? Am I more than my “label”?

Yes I am a Mom. I am a Wife. A daughter. A sister. A Friend. To God I am more than my “labels”. He sees through them. He sees so much more than what the world “thinks” I am. He sees a warrior, with scars, and baggage. God sees the bigger picture. Yet, I am like the styrofoam. Clinging to the sides of my “use to be” home. Clinging onto “labels” that pain and cherish. God wants to move me from one place to another. With joy, peace, & happiness. I hold him back at times when I run. Unlike myself, he’s patiently waiting on me to sit still so he can pick up one piece at a time.

Sometimes I still try to take control & I get scared when I can’t see the end. If I stop and look back, I can see the mountains Hod has brought me over. The valleys he’s brought me through. The oceans he’s helped me swim. Even though I cry and have fears and hurts, he is still paving my path.

Yes, I have been through “huge, painful,” battles. Yes, I do see myself as a warrior, because I know if I would have laid down and gave up – who knows where I may be…

This hurts. This journey hurts. Life hurts…but in pain there is beauty. I have seen it in the mist of a raging hurricane. And when a hurricane hits land, the eye of it is calm. That is how God is in our storms. We just have to hold on through the winds, rain, & “labels”: in order to get to the all seeing eye; God himself.

This June will be 2 years. Rhett will be 2. And I often think back to the days before he was born and smile with joy, but I know the end the story,(on earth), and it still pains me. God says this is just the “middle” of the story! The end is heaven. Until then we have to survive between the “two gardens” on earth.

(***Lysa TerKeurst has a book called “it wasn’t suppose to be this way” & talks about the two gardens. Check her book out.***)

In all the shatter pieces of my life. My world has crumbled into a zillion tiny pieces. I’ve had to lay dreams down & cry tears I never knew I would have too. I have felt my heart literally crumble within my chest and the breath in my lungs stop. Even though I cannot see Gods big plan, I have to stop and thank him for picking me up.

Picking me up at his feet, because he has made me “Gracefully Broken”.

Have a blessed day.

Marli Wright

– Angel Mom to Rhett Alec-

Holding on in 2019

“A new year & a new you!” “This is my year to take back myself!” “I’m going to shed the weight, go for that dream, ask for a promotion!”

We all have heard the “Nee Year” Resolutions, but most of the time in about a month they too fissile out. The gyms will slow down, the dreams will become smaller, & soon summer will be here.

But for those who suffer from loss, we think: “Another year already? It seems like I’m still trapped in 2017. It cannot be 2019…” Maybe your like me & you wonder “how”?

Last year I wrote a blog about my resolutions. How it was going to be “my year”! How I was going to hope more worry less. How I was going to let go and let God! (You know all those Christian bumper sticker sayings.) To some degree I did those things, but in other I failed…

No we did not receive our rainbow.

No we did not hear news we wanted to hear.

We had to suffer all the holidays all over again without our Rhett.

We had to feel the pain of the unknown and the what if’s like they were just here yesterday.

The new year isn’t always “great” for some. Maybe you too know the pain…

Most of you know our story. Most of you know about our special Rhett Alec ❤️. Most of you know I have PCOS and everything that is easy for one woman is difficult for me. Medicines, emotions, this road can become hopeless very easily. That’s what grief does. It takes your joy, places it in a blender, and poof it’s gone. Al your left with is a smoothie of emotions and they don’t taste pleasing through a straw…

This Christmas, I have a friend that gave me a very special gift. She too is an angel Mom and her friendship to me is very dear to my heart. She gave me a necklace with Rhett’s name on it, but on the back it had Psalms 46:5.

Psalms is a book I enjoy, but I could not remember this verse to save my life – so one morning, I opened my bible to find a verse I needed to describe my journey thus far.

“God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her, at break of day.” -NIV

Some versions say “God is with her”, I like this one instead.

“God is WITHIN her, she will NOT fall.”

That alone brought me to tears. I was at the end of “my” hope and I was wondering if I would become hopeless again. Then I read this. God is not only with me, but for me, protecting me, guiding me, holding me, but his strength & hope is within me. So with that said I cannot fall spiritually. I cannot fall even though I feel I failed every resolution I made. Those are “my plans, my wishes for the year”. God sees a different picture.

“God will help her, at break of day.”

Not only did God say he’s with me, but he gave me a time when he would meet up with me and help me. “Break of Day”. Or in other words “Morning”. God will meet me every morning, IF I choose to meet him there. He will show up, but I have to show up too. He will help me get through hard days. Looking back he’s already rescued me drowning deep roaring waters, the valley of the shadow of death, deep deep dark grief, and he leads me now even when I feel like there is no more light on my life- he’s still there. Every morning like clock work, the sun rises and God is waiting on me to say- “Hey, I’m here.”.

This year may not be my “year”. I don’t know what this eat will even hold. God does. He allowed me (in 2018) to send 10-12 Rhett boxes to hurting families who lost a child as well, so they may can know God’s healing. He’s allowed me to share my story a time or two to complete strangers. So 2019 May hold bigger things than my mind can dream of right now. I have to hold on to hope that God will and does know the desires of my heart and will provide those things. Not because I’m worthy, but because in 2018 I finally grasped the meaning of his love. It has shown me new things. God has shown me I can be a spiritual warrior and be quiet as well. He’s shown me this through his love.

So maybe you too feel hopeless going into 2019. Let me tell you God hasn’t forgotten you. He knows exactly where you are. He knows your situation, desires, needs – & he hears them.

This year I’m working on the “bitter” parts of me & trying to let God turn them in “better” parts.

And like Lecrae sings in his song: “I’ll find you” – I’ll leave you with this.

“Just fight a little longer my friend
It’s all worth it in the end
But, when you’ve got nobody to turn to
Just hold on, and I’ll find you

We choose to fight every moment in our grief stricken road, but if we meet God every morning- He’ll find you & show you the worth in the end.

*****************************************Prayers for a wonderful 2019. What are some of your resolutions? Comment them below!

Pray for families who have lost love ones & above all be kind!

Thank y’all so much for reading,

– Marli Wright

(Angel Mom to Rhett Alec)

Stop “Resisting” “Rest”

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Do you need “REST” are you “TIRED”?

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Matthew 11:28 says

“Come to me, all who are weary & burdened, & I will give you rest.”

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If you read this verse as a letter from God to you, it would read like this:

“Come to me. You are weary & burdened. I will help you rest.”

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The only thing hindering us from resting is us.

R-E-S-T : Rest is what we ask for, long for, dream of; but most of the time we never truly rest. We may sit for awhile, but our muscles are still tense, our hearts heavy, and minds running around.

R-E-S-I-S-T: Resist is what we mainly do, especially if it means we have to sit down. Children resist naps and bedtimes everyday, every hour, every second of the day. They hate to sit down and take a nap even if their eyes are heavy- they fight each moment of “rest.”

Just like toddlers, we are Gods children. And like children we “resist” Gods “Rest”. We fight our sleep and throw a fit. We want rest but we don’t want to set down and take a break like God tells us we so desperately need. Just as a mother would try to explain to her child that they need their nap, they do not understand and fit it anyways. We too do not understand at times that we need a “nap time” and a break just sitting with God.

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When Rest & Resist are looked at the only letter that’s different between them is the ( I ) . I, myself, & whom ever reading this:

I must put myself aside and let God give me rest . I cannot give myself rest. I cannot lift these burdens. I cannot fix my own broken heart. I cannot see tomorrow. So if we stop resisting- and take out the ( I ), God will step in and give us the rest- we asked for.

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With that being said, I want to talk to you about a small person in the Bible I read about that most of the time gets over looked. This man is found in Judges 3:31 & his name is Shamgar.

” After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed six hundred men of the Philistines with an ox goad; & he also delivered Israel.” Judges 3:31

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t know about this guy. Who is he? Why is this mentioned and what does this guy have to do with “rest in God”.

As I was reading my devotional this morning (Embraced by Lysa Terkeurst), this verse was talked about. I opened my bible and sure enough- there was Shamgar. A small sliver in the Bible. Nothing huge, nothing more said.

Shamgar was a farmer. He wasn’t a mighty warrior, yet he was mentioned in the Bible & without him, At the time Israel would have fallen from what I understand. Shamgar also wasn’t a person who probably treated right in his lifetime. He was half Gentile and half Jew. His name is also Canaanite and not Hebrew, but that didn’t stop God from using him.

There isn’t anything “great” about Shamgar. He is an ordinary

Hard working guy just tending to his Cows or sheep, but what got to me isn’t what is written in the pages of the Bible-but what God showed me through this small verse.

In the world there will be “big” names that pass through. You may feel overwhelmed, overlooked, and overworked often in life. We take on burdens that we are not designed for and we run ourselves ragged. Shamgar probably did that as well. There was a war near his home, you don’t think he was scared from time to time? Stressed out? Worried? He was human, but Shamgar let God use him. He stopped “Resisting” and “Rested” in the fact that God is God and he can and will carry him- even through a war.

So picture this:

Shamgar (the farmer) just out and about doing his daily chores. Feeding cows, tending to the house work, etc and 600 Philistine soldiers surrounded your place…. I would probably panic, but Shamgar prepared for that day. Yet he fought all of them with an “ox goad” or other words “cattle prod”.

Shamgar defeated, 600 soldiers who came with swords – but he won with a cattle prod? Talk about trusting God! You see all of their weapons had been taken away so Shamgar took his cattle prod and sharpened it like God told him too.

Shamgar probably didn’t think what he was doing was very important or interesting, especially because he was a “nobody” to the world – so he thought. God sees us, even if we are tending to our farms, tending to our housework, tending to children, or anything your doing. He is preparing you daily for a battle you may have to fight with a cattle prod….

Shamgar also delivered Israel that day. He saved the day! A small battle- one man verses 600 delivered Israel.

This small verse is a reminder of what God can do. Spiritual you maybe surrounded by 600 things that are trying to defeat you and you do not think you have any weapons to defeat them, but you do… If Shamgar can use a cattle prod & Hod can use that to deliver a nation; he can defeat anything your coming up against. You have to stop “resisting” his “rest” and step aside for this to work. If Shamgar would have resisted God’s rest he may have been killed. Rest is crucial in life, but if your not getting rest from God- you too may be defeated spiritual & even physically.

You may think your a “nobody”, but God sees you. You may not leave a huge mark on this world, but even the tiniest footprint leaves a big impact. Stop resisting and start resting.

Thank you & have a wonderful day,

Marli

Angel Mom to Rhett Alec

God is good? All the time?

We’ve heard the phrase, “God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.”

What do you do when you don’t feel like God is being good ? Especially not all the time!?

If we were honest with ourselves and the world, we would say that we do not feel good about God all the time… I know as a Christian I’m not suppose to say that. In reality there is times I feel bitter, angry, hurt, and even jealous. I especially don’t feel good towards God at times. So why does this phrase bother me so much, you may wonder. Let me explain.

A few weeks back I mustered up the courage to get out into the church world again and socialize. This may not be a big step to most people, but after walking in grief; small times like this is a huge accomplishment. I still struggle with anxiety of crowds, others children at times, questions that maybe asked and throw me off guard, and even comments that I may not know how to handle. So I signed up to go to the church fundraiser brunch. The speaker quoted this quote, “God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.” As I sat there listing to everyone repeat the phrase, I realized I couldn’t say that. Instead I found myself questioning the goodness of God himself…

Pushing this back to the dark corners of my mind, I tried to deny my feelings about this phase. I tried to hide how I truly felt from God himself… Days passed and more overwhelming feeling built upon feelings I had pushed asides and tried to hide, just fueling my fire. I soon became so bitter I refused to let them go and questioned God and my faith even more. Finally one day I became so mad that I blurred out to God, “If your “sooo” good all the time and you know desires & needs of our hearts, why are you allowing me to suffer and hurt so badly? What’s good about that?” One would think that blowing off steam would make you feel better, but when your mad at God it just makes you even more mad when you don’t get an answer…

Then November hit… The beginning of a month of thankfulness and grateful quotes floating around on social media… This just fanned the flames even more. What do I possibly have to be thankful for? So like an angry teenager, I slammed my spiritual door on God and went to hide and cry. Hurt, angry, and confused I hid. I hid from my feelings. I hid from the wounds I cannot hide. I hid from my world that has crumbled and will never be the same. I hid from my family and friends. I hid, because although I wanted comfort, I didn’t want to be comforted… I just wanted to be mad for awhile.

So then it brings me to the now….

God is good, all the time. All the time? God is good? – Yes. Here’s how I know…

In my act of rage, God knew I was hurting. Instead of fighting with me, telling me how wrong I was- he let me be…. Instead of trying to put out my “flames”. He let my fire burn out. And when the time was right, he gently came in , slowly opened my spiritual door & asked , “Are you done yet?” .

You see it took a simple quote that sent me overboard for me to see clearly again. It also took a simple song to remind me that even if I’m a broken, shattered, or an angry mess- he still loves me & will put me back together again. We are just beautiful messes.

That is why God is good. Although we question him, he doesn’t leave. The Bible is also is written about people feeling things just like I am writing about if you stop and think about it. The Bible isn’t written about people who are happy all the time with no worries, or fears, or hurts. It’s written about people who have lost children, struggled in life, are angry, confused, hurting, are sick and dying. It’s written about people like me who let one simple phrase rock their world, but also how they allowed God to show them goodness in pain, light in the darkness, strength in weakness, and life in death.

So yeah, I was and can be a bitter Christian at times. I still ask God Why my son was chosen to die? I still question his mercy at times & if he is sending me to voicemail. I’m not a perfect Christian, but neither was Hannah, Sarah, Mary, Peter, or Paul. They all cried out to God in fear, pain, anger, anxiety, and other feelings I could write about all day. So why are we trying to hide them when we really are breaking inside? Why do we try to act “together” when we clearly are not? It’s time we take off our church masks and start talking about our real problems. Pain is real, but God is a “pain reliever” . Just like a Tylenol, you have to be willing to open the “bottle” and “take as needed for pain”… God is the same way… You have to be willing to open your “bible” & “take as needed for pain”. He’s not going to punish you for having feelings, but we are scared of God. We are scared to be bold in pray and talk to him about how we feel. We think we have to say cute prayers and feel good things to make God happy, but actually it’s the opposite. Sometimes all I can get out to say is – nothing. Sometimes all I can do is cry. But God would rather have tears & peaceful silence in his presence then fake emotions.

So if you too are questioning Gods goodness, your not alone… Trials in the life are hard. It’s been a year and 5 months since I lost my son, and everyday I am shocked about feelings I have. I grieve still and will always grieve because of the love I have for my son. God knows this. God, I believe, does not hate me for that- he just wants me to run to him instead of my spiritual bedroom and hid. I know deep in my heart that God has a plan for me. I just may not always agree on his timing or ways, but that’s ok. I’m learning patience, I suppose. And as long as God will lead me- I’ll be ok…

-Marli Wright-

(Angel Mom to Rhett Alec)