“Today we dedicate you…”

Today we dedicate you to the Lord. Today is a day I long & prayed for. Today is a day, as tears roll down my face, I am thankful to be standing here praising God for you . Today we dedicate you. A day I felt would never come. As we stand before our church family, vowing to pray for you, be there for you, hold you, love you, support you, and share Gods love with you.

As all the women before me, I stand here holding, clinging, to you. Today like Hannah, Sarah, & Elizabeth, we share you with God. Today we dedicate you back to God. To show how thankful we are to be your Mom & Dad. Although we have been through this process with your brother, it’s different process.

I knew this day would come, when God kept his promise. I told God I would do this as I wept for you each morning. I promised I would stand here, in front of this Congregation, vowing to do my best to be the best I can for you through God. So today We dedicate you…

This day to me is just as sweet as my wedding vows. Vowing to love through thick & thin. The same goes for you my dear, I will be your mom through it all- good & bad. Just like Mary dedicated Jesus back to his Heavenly Father, just like 2.5 years prior I sat in the front row of this Church weeping, holding on to the last few moments I had, dedicating your brother back to his Heavenly Father, today we dedicate you. Today is different because your here, cooing & looking around. Today we dedicate you and I too will cry again, because Gods promises are forever.

You are fearfully & wonderfully made- and I will remind you of that, all the days of you life. You are beautiful & special- and I promise to make sure you know that. You are a miracle sent from heaven, and I will proudly tell your story to you. You are a breath of fresh air, an answered prayer, a rainbow for me made by God alone, & I vow to let you know that…everyday of my life. As we dedicate you today.

Through teething, through walking, through teaching you all your milestones & more. I vow to be you mom through it all. Through scrapped knees, broken hearts, tears of laugher, & so much more. I vow to be your mom through it all. Through teenage years, colleges days, adulthood, until my dying days: I vow to be your mom through it all… through those last moments one day when I have to say goodbye… Just know I’d give you my last breath just to vow to be your mom.

So today we dedicate you; your Dad & I. In front of the church who carried us through our storm of life, who prayed for us, who prayed for you- long before we knew you-who holds us to our vows we are making in to the Lord today, as we dedicate you forever and always.

Today, Selah, we dedicate you. We love you so much, for now & forever.

(This is a special passage for myself. As many know we lost Rhett in 2017, and we dedicated him back unto the Lords arms where he remains until we see him one day. January 19,2020 we dedicate Selah. A promise we didn’t know when would ever come. So to dedicate her spiritual to the Lord is a special moment filled with love, grace, and tears.)

Thanks for reading!

~Marli

Angel mom to Rhett

Rainbow mom to Selah

The Caregiver

Often times in we refer new Christians as “babies in Christ.” . All my life I’ve heard this. I just brushed it off and went about my life, but holding my little one this evening – something occurred to me. Babies have no sense of time. They have no idea of the things they will have to learn or one day have to do. They don’t really know pain, because of their innocences. They rely strictly on their caregiver. They don’t doubt their caregiver. They don’t question their caregiver, but trust solely in them….

Every Christian starts off this way. We are on fire for God. We read the Bible. We search him out. We cannot get enough of God. We cry out to him to just hold us for a rest. We cry out to him to rock us, feed us, love us… we trust in him solely without questioning. Then God teaches us to crawl. We laugh and smile. He teaches us to walk in his ways. To think and love like him. He trusts that we will not forget him. And like a baby does, we being to grow.

Then we walk. We start to run. We start to have adventures and see this world. We only call on our Caregiver when we are in a bind, hurt, or scared; and although he’s happy to hear from us- he Longs for the time when we had. I sense of time at all. When we cried out hold me. When we relied solely upon him and not our own understanding. He wants us to grow. He wants us to thrive, but just like any parent- it’s bittersweet.

In this world, we get so busy. We focus on the wrong things. We worry, we stress, we do not rest… our innocence is tainted. We forget what it feels like to be a baby in the arms of Christ. We forget what it feels like to solely rely on him as our caregiver … As children on Earth, one day we outgrow our parents Laps, but never their hearts. But for God: we never outgrow his lap. We never can get big enough to not need God solely. In fact, just like my child who cry’s when she wants to be held- God wants us to cry out to him: just to be held because he’s our caregiver…

Resolutions will start to fade in a few months. Goals we stated that we would do may never come. Getting our “priorities” straight may not happen. Our focus will slip again. We will stress out. We will have issues. And God wants to be there for all that too. But like a baby who cry’s just to be rocked. Who doesn’t have sense of time. Who just wants to be close because they love you and find comfort in you… Cry out to God just to be held just because. Run to the caregiver. Run to the lap you can never outgrow. Find peace within those arms today.

I pray that when ever needs rest finds it.. Gods time doesn’t match up with ours. Hold on tightly to him. And he will cling to you.

~ Marli

Angel mom to Rhett

Rainbow mom to Selah

Feeling like Mary…

Christmas Eve is here and it’s a tad unbelievable. How could the year fly by so fast? For me it’s more like, “How is all the things I’ve prayed for here and all the firsts I missed now I am getting to see.” It’s a difficult and joyful time. Just like I believe Mary felt.

Mary was told she would carry the Messiah. I can imagine she believed, yet she didn’t understand how when it happened how it would feel… Just like Mary I’m feeling that too this Christmas. Two years I’ve prayed for another chance. For two years I’ve missed first things, first steps, first coos, first everything. And God answered those prayers and sent a child. Just like Mary, her child was sent to save the world from sin. To save her from sin. Just like Mary my child came to heal and save me from despair.

Mary held Jesus that night, in awe of him. I imagine him looking at her smiling at the woman who would care for him and trusted God. She pondered those moments. I imagine her heart being overwhelmed and overflowing with joy. Just like Mary this Christmas I feel that same emotions. Overwhelming, overflowing, unbelievable emotions that I thought would never happen again.

This Christmas maybe the pray you’ve prayed hasn’t been answered yet. Keep praying ! God hears you. But this Christmas be like Mary. Trusting God with his plan. Yet taking time to slow down and ponder on all the small moments in life, allowing them to be written on your heart. Just like Mary, cling to Jesus this season. He may have came into this world as a baby, but He is able to save you. A baby changes everything. A baby can save you from despair.

Merry Christmas to all & a Happy New Year!

~Marli

Angel mom to Rhett

Rainbow mom to Selah

Looking back

Most people say “Don’t live in the past, only in the present.”, but sometimes we have to look back to see how far we have came. This morning I was going over something’s with God that was bothering me, and when I opened my bible this page was what I turned to.

– Yes this is a page from my personal life. I like to underline, write in, draw, and paper clip photos etc in my bible. Today I’m glad I took the time to do this. –

As many of you know in 2017 my husband and I lost our first and only son. Rhett was and is still very much loved and missed and holidays make it tough still. You never really “get over” loosing a child; you just learn to live in the pain and cope; but after Rhett we had trouble trying to have another child. I was just about to give up after 2 years of it, when we found out about Selah. And in September of 2019 she arrived and has been a joy. As every mother knows trying to balance life and getting to read your bible isn’t always the easiest thing especially with a newborn. Small talks here and there with God, but still needing that extra time and pulled between needing sleep too, but today I got to spend some extra time as I watch Selah napping in her swing.

Psalms has always been my go to book, even my daughter’s name came from this book.

Psalms 126:5-6 says – “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping bearing seeds for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

Many years I have sowed in tears. My garden was flooded with them. My spiritual garden felt as if nothing would ever grow. But just as plant a flower, it will eventually bloom. And I have gotten a flower.

Psalms 127:3 – “Behold, children are heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.”

Psalms 128:1 – “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways.”

Psalms 129:8 – “The blessing of the Lord is upon you; We bless you in the name of the Lord!”

These verses and many many more is what I held on to. These verses I would read and try to believe them. It’s very important when reading the word to actually grasp onto the word. Make it yours. These promises that are written aren’t just for your neighbor or for the ones written about many years ago, but for you as well! That was my hardest thing for me to grasp, but after seeing a miracle after the storm I can tell you in all honesty: “It’s not easy, but the outcome is unbelievable.”.

Looking back at these photos I’m in awe. 2017-2019. Two different people in each photo. One (2017) my world had just been crushed. My dreams shattered. My peace, my well being, my own self, had been broken into a million pieces and I was trying to just live. Two (2019) my world had grown a tad larger. I walked many miles, darken valleys, mountains, and same many oceans, with Gods help. I went from totally shattered to slowly being mended. And sometimes it’s good to look back. It’s good to see where you was to where you are now. I don’t forget the pain, I do however live differently in it. I look back to photos before 2017 and see a different person who didn’t know hurt, never knew pain, and I see everything after 2017 at how far I have walked in pain. How much God has shown himself to me. How much I have grown.

This post maybe just for me, but maybe someone out there needs to take a second and look back. Look back and see where God has brought you. Yes I still have anxiety. I still cry. I still am overwhelmed with new dreams and doubts and stresses of life, but today I needed reminded to look back. No matter if your scrapping by or if your living the high life- you need to be humbled enough to remember where you came from.

So before we go into the new year, let’s reexamine our eye site and be thankful for what God has done for us. As my nana use to say to us kids all the time :

Today is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” – Psalms 118:24

Hope you had a merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

~Marli

Angel mom to Rhett

Rainbow mom to Selah

Preparing the Table

Thanksgiving is upon us. It’s a time that can become overlooked or overwhelming. Like many holidays we focus on the food most of the time… And thanksgiving is no different. It’s all about the turkey, the ham, the desserts, and all of the fixings. We stress over how long to cook the turkey, or if we made enough desserts for everyone to have their favorites. We say we are grateful and thankful for this one day and all whom celebrate with us…. but what if we look at one simple task that gets overlooked: the table and preparing it.

One early morning around 2ish, I was up with my daughter. At that time I was nursing and I had this pillow that helped make things easier. My mother, family members , & I Joked about it being a table. It was shaped like a table and with that pillow my daughter ate off it like a table. Now that you have this awakard image in your mind, I’ll get to my point. It was 2 a.m. and Selah was crying. I was getting my “table pillow” out and ready. As I was gathering everything I told her, “It’s ok. Calm down, I’m preparing you a table.” . I couldn’t help but laugh at myself in this moment because she had no idea what I was telling her. She just knew her need and I wasn’t providing it fast enough. It wasn’t until later as I was feeding my child that God used my silly joke to show me a bigger picture.

In the 23rd Psalms David wrote in verse 5:

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

God said he would “prepare a table.”, but it wasn’t until a 2 a.m. feeding that I understood what He was saying here.

He would prepare the table, not me. He would do the work. He would set it up like it was supposed to look like. He would decorate it in his liking. He would tell me when the table was done being prepared. He would have all the chairs set up and knew where each person would be seated. He would let me know when to go to the table so I could eat from it. He would prepare the table….

But most the time, I want to prepare it. I want to take charge and decorate it in my liking. I want to readjust the seating chart, who’s invited, and when it’s done. I want to rush it because I’m hungry… and that’s just it. We are like Selah. Sometimes we are a baby that is crying, hungry, and is not comprehending what is being told to us. We do not understand that our special table is being set up for us. We do not understand that God heard us and is doing what he would say he would do and that’s preparing the table. We want him to hurry just because we do not understand that he knows our needs.

After Selah got to the “table” her needs started to be met. If we go to the verse we will see that not only does God prepare the table, but it’s where he prepares the table at… For Selah it was simple, for us not so much…

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”

He will put us smack dab in the middle of our “enemies”. Not in the middle of our friends & family where we are comfortable, but in the middle of our “enemies”.

Often times when I would read this passage, I thought he meant physical enemies. People whom we don’t like, trust, who’s hurt us etc. But that’s not the enemies He’s speaking about. He will put you in the middle of your enemies such as: fear, anxiety, & grief, just to name a few. Maybe your afraid of love or joy. Maybe you are scared of life itself. He will seat you among these enemies not to punish us, but for us to show our enemies God.

God said he would never leave us nor forsake us, & if he’s preparing a table for us in the presence of our enemies- he’s not going to leave us there. That would be like me leaving Selah just because I had the table ready. “Ok everything is set , I’m gonna leave now!” No, it says he anoints our head with oil. He stays and gives us a gift. A gift of anointing oil. He pours his blessings over us. His grace, his love, his saving blood. He anoints us so we can know that we can face our enemies. We can look at them and tell them “You don’t own me!”. Then after we start to enjoy the table God has prepared special just for us we start to see that “MY cup overflows.” .

Blessings, love, joy, & hope that we once thought was gone. Promises and dreams we thought would never come true. Prayers we prayed and cried over that we thought God had pushed aside start to make their way into our hearts. And our cups start to overflow.

I have been waiting/crying for my table. I have been seated and looked at my enemies thinking why did God sit me here so near to them. I also have felt Gods anointing over me like a flood. And I now am seeing my cup start to overflow like I never dreamed. This thanksgiving I’m thankful for the table God has prepared for me. Although I’ve had to travel many miles to get to it, cried many tears, searched for the joy and the light of his love, had to seek out my purpose, and wait on his promises. I can say I’ve made it to this table. Now I can look at my enemies in the eyes and although I still fear them at times, I know I have power over them through the anointing that God has placed over me. And now I will thank God for promises, miracles, and prayers that have not only been answered but has changed me to who I am today.

My cup does overflow today. My heart is thankful. God knew what I needed when I didn’t. And today I’m thankful He prepared my table. Will you let him prepare yours this season?

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving !

~ Marli Wright

-Angel Mom to Rhett Alec

– Rainbow Mom to Selah

Shifting your focus

Growing up I was told, “Take all things to God in prayer.”. As a child that meant anything, but somewhere along the way that “anything” turned into “only the big stuff”. You know what I mean…

The older I got, the less and less time I spent with God “praying for the little things” in life. Small things that I didn’t think had any significance in my big picture. I use to pray over a spelling tests, but then as I grew I may not pray over little quiz’s just the big semester tests or finals.

Here lately I felt God telling me, “Ask me for all things. Ask me for the little things too. Tell me what your thinking, BIG & SMALL.” It really made me think… God cares so much about me that he’s willing to listen to the “small things”. The things I over look as a conversational piece when it comes to talks with the Lord himself. So I started to try it. I’m still working on it if I’m honest. Sometimes I feel like I’m complaining, being petty, or selfish when I talk about these little things; however it says “Take all things to God in prayer”. Feeling down, pray about it. Got cut off in traffic, pray about it. Your worried about your grocery bill, pray about it. Worry about your kid going to school, pray about it. Feeling thankful and don’t know why, pray about it. These prayers can be two words or 15 minuets long- just say “Hey God thanks.” It’s not easy however getting started or doing this. Why? Why is something so small so hard to do?

In the world today the devil tells us we just need to ask God for big things. Just for insanely big items that maybe too far of a reach. Some pray for a million dollars… My friend that’s not how prayer works. We have treated God like a genie in a bottle. He grants us wishes and we smile and go on until the next one. I too am guilty. I use to do this a lot. I knew God wasn’t a genie, but in my prayer life – looking back- I was putting him in that box. The box that you only pull out in crisis. When you need him in trouble. Kinda like he was the 911 of the Christian world… only call in emergency type pray. God wants to be your best friend. He wants you to call him as much as you call your mom, or your friend, or the one you have on the top of your favorite list on your phone; God wants to be that close.

When you start to apply this to your life, it’s different. You have to take time to actually see the small things. You have to slow down your world to see God’s hand in the small details. Maybe it’s the shape of the leaves in your garden. Maybe is the penny on the ground that so Many walked passed. Maybe it’s a smile that a strange passes along when your having a bad day, or maybe you need to pass that smile along. Things that seem so small and useless really can be so big. The cool thing is, when you start looking for the small things, You start to forget About that million dollars. All your worries won’t fall away, but you can be more confident in praying over things that worry you.

Things like your bank account or bills- you know that God can help you through it. Things like, job interviews and driving in big cities- You know God will be there with you. We get so caught up in the mundane that we cannot see the forest for the trees. We cannot focus on one task. We are confused and filled with anxiety all the time, because our eyes aren’t focused on God.

We are no better than Peter. He walked on water with Jesus! He took that leap of faith and tried it and we always praise him for trying, but we over the main lesson… Peter fell. Peter took his eyes off Jesus for 2 seconds and he fell. Such a small detail in that story, which we over look. Why? Because we too aren’t looking at Jesus. Every day we are faced with the choice to step out of our boats and walk with God. Unfortunately we choose to row row row our boats gently down the stream, passing up so many opportunities to walk with God in the water and see the waters differently…

There is a song I like to listen to when I need to calm down and take a breath, or when I’m feeling overwhelmed, and it’s call “Fear Not, by: Kristene Dimarco”. In the song there’s a line that says ,

“You can’t dream too BIG for me- Stand Still and believe- I won’t let you drown.”

That part hits me hard every time. I cannot out dream God wether it be BIG or SMALL, no matter how hard it maybe to believe that it will happen, I cannot out dream God. The older I get, the more I try to be like that little girl in my soul…because of my little girl who will be on her way in a few months- I know God dreams big for us. She was a dream in the mist of sorrow I didn’t think would ever happen…but when I stand still and believe- God shows me time and time again that just like Peter, when he began to fall, He takes my hand and he doesn’t let me drown. He just lets me refocus on him.

Maybe you feel like your drowning. Maybe you are too scared to get out of the boat. Maybe you think it’s too big or small to talk to God about. I encourage you to lift up your voice to God today. Trying finding at least three small things and one big thing to thank God for today. Refocus your eyes on God and stand still and believe…

He won’t let you drown….

-Marli

*Angel Mom to Rhett Alec

*Rainbow Mom to Selah

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