It seems to have come out of no where to most people I think. But truth is, my journey back to God has been a long time in the making. However, I often ask myself - where did I find Him after all this time?
Nine years ago I lost my mother to cancer. She fought a hard war against her body for almost 1 year before her body and the disease got the best of her. She lived her life with grace and she fought her battle with dignity. But in the end, God needed her more than He thought I did.
I still question His decision.
The next few years without my mother were very dark years for me. I had totally written God out of my life because after all, what kind of God does this to people? She was so young, I had so much yet to do in my life. See where this is headed? All about me?
And then Ethan came along. And the "Why me's" spiraled out of control. His first everything was hard because I didn't have my mother to share it with. This is so not the way it is supposed to be. Children are supposed to know their grandparents. They are supposed to bake cookies with their grandmothers. The bitterness persisted. Then came Owen and the lack of sleep turned into postpartum depression. Again, a very dark time in my life. It was during this time that Chris and I actually talked about separation. But were probably both too tired to follow through. Thank you Lord! The next few years we were kind of treading water. Getting by but not particularly connecting.
And then March of this year, Chris had a heart attack. It was a defining moment in my life and my marriage. I can still recall exactly what it was like in the emergency room that afternoon. Ethan throwing up. EMT people busting through the doors with a stretcher. Nurse telling me, gently, what was happening. Me, 6 months pregnant - LOSING. IT. I stood there that afternoon, two babies by my side, one in my belly, watching my husband be taken from me on a stretcher. In an ambulance. With lights and sirens. He was 34. He was in ICU for 4 days and came home on the 5th day. Life has changed. From that moment, I knew God had given me a gift. My life. My husband. My family. There was a song that I heard literally every time I took that drive from our home to the hospital and again from the hospital to home by the Fray. You Found Me. The lyrics are no coincidence:
Lost and Insecure. You found me. You found me.
Laying on the floor. Surrounded, surrounded.
Why'd you have to wait? Where were you? Where were you?
Just a little late. You found me. You found me.
That was me. Lost and Insecure. But God found me. Alone.
As I was drying my hair this morning, I glanced over at my now healthy husband taking a shower and said Thank you, Lord. Our marriage is stronger than I ever knew it could be.
There is a blog that I read called Bring the Rain as well as a wonderful song with the same title. I now know what the lyrics to this song mean:
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain
Sometimes it takes something drastic (i.e. a lot of rain) for God to wake us up. I have been given an amazing husband who tolerates way more than he should have to. He loves me despite my imperfections (or possibly because of them) and overlooks my flaws. Two incredible boys
whose laughter is infectious and whose smiles could light the world and a blessing that I often think I am not worthy of in my daughter who absolutely thinks her mommy and daddy are the most amazing people in the world.
God has also graced me with two women who provide more strength to me than they realize in my aunt and my mother in law. Yes, I did just type mother in law. Gasp! My aunt knew my mother as well or better than I did. She has become a surrogate grandmother to my children and absolutely thinks the sun rises and sets in each of them. And my mother in law. She is the first person I call when the children have done something new. She is the one I can vent with when Chris doesn't pick up his underwear or socks off the floor.
And finally, there are my in laws. Brothers, father, grandparents - the whole lot of them. Without a doubt I know each of them would drop whatever was going on in their lives if I needed them. They are just that close as a family. And now I am lucky enough to call them my family. Let's just say God knew exactly what He was doing. Doesn't He always?