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miss happyjack

{this was originally a guest post at my friend katie's blog so you may have seen it before. it is the story of my mother and how God provides for us}

it was the monday after my husband's college graduation. i had spent the entire previous weekend in dallas with my family and his family, celebrating this momentous occasion. he had finally earned his master of divinity and we were so proud of him. we all drove home together and sunday afternoon we left my parent's house to head back to our home in louisiana. i looked over my shoulder, just like i always do when i leave their house, and said "bye! love you!" to my mom and dad. i knew it wouldn't be long until i saw them - they were coming to visit us the next weekend to help us unpack in our new house.

the next day happened as normal. i went to work. mom and i texted throughout the day. my friend found out she was going to spain and mom and i decided we had to go visit her and make a girls trip out of it! she texted me at 3:45 p.m. and said "i love you! i will see you soon!" i was driving home from work so i didn't text her back and the usual ensuing madness of walking in the door further distracted me.

my father called my husband at about 6:00. he had come home from work at 4:30 to find my mother in the bathroom floor. she had had a heart attack and it killed her instantly. i imagine she was probably dead before she hit the floor.

the first words out of my mouth when my husband sat me down to tell me were "she'll never get to meet our kids" and then "oh no i never texted her back." it is strange how your body responds to this kind of news. why those were my first two thoughts who knows. we were also supposed to have dinner with some friends that night. i vaguely remember calling to cancel those plans. my body went into shock and i was quite literally numb from head to toe. i packed my clothes and we got back in the car and drove back to my parent's house.

of course the next few days were a blur. i remember the visitation - there were probably 500 people whose necks i hugged and said "oh thank you so much for coming." without even knowing who they were. everyone said the funeral was beautiful. my brother played amazing grace on his trombone. my husband delivered the witness and it was so meaningful for my family for him to be a part of it. my uncle and my mom's cousin delivered thought felt, humorous stories. i don't remember much of it. i wish i could. my dad and i joke that if we would have remembered to videotape it we would have.. but we would probably never watch it.

over the course of the next few days i began regaining feeling. as the numbness slips away from an experience like that you learn how to live a new normal. you know the aching will never go away but you find a way to live with it. and, because He is such an awesome Father, He gives us lots of resources to help us.

you start to think of life in a different way and you start to see the things He provided to help you. for instance - the six weeks that i spent living with my parents after we moved to louisiana to work at my old job was seemingly just a favor for them at the time. but in reality, God was giving me the opportunity to spend six solid weeks with my mom, laughing at american idol on the couch while eating her amazing spaghetti.

my mother had a soul mate in her best friend kay. they went to nursing school together. they had the same birthday. they were sisters from another lifetime. they went to nursing school together. they both drank sweet tea and smoked cigarettes. they were both left handed. they shared a soul. it was an amazing experience to grow up with them. their relationship was so simple and pure that just for them to be together was enough. but now God has shown kay to me in a different light. He knew that one day He would welcome my mom into Heaven and we would need kay here. so He sent her to befriend my mom so that we would have a lasting bank of memories in her presence.

one of my dearest friends lost her brother five years previously, almost to the day i lost my mom. i have been told by her mother that i was her rock and if not for her i would not have made it through. she more than returned the favor. she showed up at my house with a bag of clothes for me to wear at the visitation and funeral. she bought me a new pair of shoes and destressing aromatherapy things. she let me borrow the necklace she wore to her brother's funeral for mom's services. she went through the things she did so that she could be my rock and she was.

so it is clear to me now that God has a plan and through His plan all things are worked for good. i know He did not take my mother from me as a form of punishment or because if any ingratitude i might have suffered her. He needed her and He knew what I would need in her immense absence. And He provided it.

it was very hard to start to move on. there will always be a huge black hole in my chest when i think about all the things i will never get to share with my mom that all other women do. but i know that He is going to provide peace and comfort in His way to me and for that i am eternally grateful.

so if you find yourself in a place where you think God could never find you and never care for you i encourage you to look around and see what He has to offer. i guarantee He is there and is yearning to care for you. pray for Him to open your eyes and let you see how much He loves you. you will be blown away.

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