Posts tagged hope
The darkness of a tragedy, the light of hope...

These past few days have been intense for all of us dealing with the darkness that resides in our world, and the questions that come with such a horrible tragedy. Although I knew none of the victims, I feel the weight of this horror significantly living only 4 miles from the theater where this happened. I have been to see movies there, it is the closest theater to our home as a matter of fact.

 I woke up Friday morning to the horrifying news, as we all did. We desperately tried to get a hold of my sister-in-law {who had just moved to Aurora on Wednesday}as they flashed images of the apartment complex that looked exactly like theirs. We didn't hear from them and the fears race, but without a tv set up in their home yet they had no clue what was going on, and it wasn't their apartment complex but it was a few streets up. 
Their family was fine.

 At first these things, they feel like a movie, like it's not real. You know it is real, but it's like your mind cannot comprehend it. I watched the news non stop until I had a play date with a friend at the pool and then returned back to the news. It becomes like a sick addiction, you feel your soul being crushed under the weight of it all, but you can't stop watching and your mind starts to feel numb.

 That night my husband and I went out for a date and as we were deciding what to do, we couldn't even imagine going to the movies. We ended up going to dinner and you could feel the sorrow and edginess of people. There was a police officer taking care of a fender bender in the parking lot and you could tell the flashing light made people nervous.

 Saturday we had to go get something from a location of my husbands work and then were going to run some errands at a near by mall and drove by the theater. The amount of media trucks and vans were immense to the right of the road and on the left the vigil on the side of the road.

By that night, when they released the names of the victims I started to really feel it. I hurt deeply for those families and couldn't control my thoughts of picturing what it might have been like for those people in that theater as I read account after account. I didn't want my husband to go asleep before me, I felt so anxious.

 I am an empathetic person in many areas in my life. I put myself in other people's shoes and imagine what it must feel like for them and often experience intense emotions. I think I carry a little bit of that weight, not because I try to, it just happens. The heaviness combined with many other aspects mounting in my life seemed to cause a break in me. I felt so similar to those times during my depression. 

 Saturday night I just felt so strange, anxious, heavy, broken. I just sat and cried. 

My two and half year old son said, "don't cry mommy" and brought me the paper towel he had used during his dinner. He is such a sensitive soul himself.

A whole bunch of old feelings that I had thought I had left in the past came flooding in. I didn't trust anyone, everyone is constantly talking crap about me, no one likes me, I bet my sisters hate me, not just my sisters, everyone! All the reasons I have given everyone to be annoyed with me, not like me. All the reasons I will never move into any kind of actual ministry or leadership position because I can't stop thinking about what everyone thinks about me, as if it should matter so much. 

 On our way to church this morning I was still feeling so weird. I knew I needed to go so I could hear some truth, so I could pull myself out of this. I did not feel like it. 

I do not know why I wear mascara some days because I just cry it all off. When this type of thing hits me, I just can't stop it. Daniel just rubbed my arm as we drove and as we pulled into the parking garage Ashton says to me "don't worry mommy". How profound he is in his little toddler way. I assured him mommy was OK.

 Church was a good place to be. We, of course, talked about the horror from a few days before. There was both a heaviness of grief there and a resolution to seek light and truth. It was right where I needed to be. We all prayed together for our community and the tears once again streamed down my face as we asked God to heal this broken town. More than anything I prayed that hope would replace the deep fear, in myself, in all of us.

It's so easy to get sucked into fear, to let it live in our hearts and minds until it is in control instead of truth or love.

But we have to fight that, we have to fight and believe that light and joy will come in the morning.

This is a time for grieving such a huge loss, but this is not a time for me to give back into the darkness that likes to prevail in my life. That there is still truth and hope.

Tonight was the vigil as I am sure many of you may know. We thought about attending but thought it might be too much with our little one. But as Mayor Steve Hogan stated tonight
"while our hearts might be broken, our community is not".
The road to normality will be a long one for our community. Watching the memorials of the victims on our local news right now, and these types of things are simply not just gotten over, such precious lives lost for no good reason.

Instead of hearing the stories and grovel in the depravity and fear of it, especially being so close, I want to instead choose to pray for those grieving their loved ones or recovering from serious injuries. To be proactive with my thoughts and turn fear from an assault to fuel me as a reminder to fight for that hope and light for others who may not be able to fight for themselves right now.

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Remembering my 30th year, the good times...(pt 2)
Yesterday, I talked about the hard time I went through this past year being 30 and today I want to share some great things that happened as well....

There were many fun times a midst the hard ones and great memories were made as well.

Around the end of 2011 we moved to a new apartment and it gave me the strength that I needed to make some personal changes and start out finding me again.

{read part 1 here}

Some other great things that happened.....

My sister got married! To a great man and it was a GORGEOUS wedding. See photos HERE.

We enjoyed our first ever Colorado spring and summer which I adored!

We also explored Colorado and many fun things it has to offer.

My brothers family was restored and they moved out to Colorado with us!

We went to Tahoe and on a family cruise, so much fun!!

{the lime green man is not with us, ha ha}

I got to watch my son turn another year older:)

My baby brother got married.

They had a precious baby girl named Paetyn.

I started training for and am currently in tapering for my first marathon!

Lost a few lbs.

My husband was and is my rock through this year. I don't know who or where I would be without him, so thankful for the gift that he is to me.

Most of my 30th year was defined by the hard, but it ended with hope.

I never thought in a million years that I would be able to train for a marathon, but I feel like the Lord set me up for success. {I have to remember that as I am freaking out about it in these day approaching it}. The place we moved to has a lovely lake that has a 1.35 mile path around it, my sister-in-law offered to watch my son twice a week so I could get my mid week runs in, and I just took the opportunity to fulfill a dream.

I struggled in my depression with the fact that I was a "quitter" because I make it too easy for myself to walk away from things that are too hard. Sometimes our society teaches us that as well. We want to have it our way right now, but there are so many things in life that don't work that way.

There is something that changes you when you run farther than you ever think you could. I know, it's just running, but that is why running marathons or even training for them can change your thinking. Because they are related to life. Things hurt, things are hard, but you have it in you to finish. Sometimes you can't, it's hard, but its not the falling down that defines us...its the staying down.

I feel like I am reclaiming my strong at the end of this 30th year.

Here's to the 31st year!

And yet another Rascal Flatts song to define how I feel about this.
{umm I love them, they have awesome songs..I can't help it!!}

"You treat life like a picture, but it's not a moment that's frozen in time. It's not gonna wait till you make up your all. So while this storm is breaking, while there's light at the end of the tunnel...keep running towards it, releasing the pressure that's your heartache, so this dam will break...and it feels like today"

Beauty in the Pain
I have had such a hard time knowing what to share through my blog and what might just leave you all depressed, no one loves a Debby Downer. Back when only a few friends and family read my personal blog (and maybe at that) I was much more free and verbally explosive. But maybe it’s not so much the fact that any one of you, my amazing and supportive followers, would read this, but the fact that I can not find the words to describe what I am going through. Maybe that is what scares and frustrates me the most.

I don’t value much in myself right now, but something I have always liked about myself is that I have almost a weakness for being vulnerable, maybe too vulnerable, a little too open with the wrong people, but I also think vulnerability can be a strength. So, for what its worth…this is where I am at.
I’m sad. I am not completely sure why either. I guess you can call it depression, but I haven’t seen a doctor so I can’t say that officially. I think something may be off kilter with my hormones. I recently started taking vitamins and they are helping SO MUCH! I can tell such a difference.

I have been inspired by Casey Wiegand to share, share it all…with that quote she always refers to that freed her and speaks to me so much as well …

“I find beauty in not only the beautiful things in life, but the bittersweet and sad as well. To me, there is something poignantly lovely about the human experience from its splendor to its grief. God created all our emotions, not just the happy ones, and for His good purposes. That's why a good cry can feel so good. And hitting our limits forces us to look outside ourselves for a Savior. It is in the plea, when we're at our end, that we can find that which is truly life-giving. Personally, my moments of deepest grief, deepest pain, have resulted in the most beautiful seasons in my heart. I've met God more intimately in those moments than in all the other pleasant ones combined. What isn't completely lovely about that?"-Leslie


The other day I sat with my good friend Holly in Coldstone for two hours crying our eyes out. Her dad passed away a few months ago, she misses him so much, he was the man in her life, she doesn’t know where to go from here. I couldn’t say much because there is not much to say in such pain. But I would tell her I knew even though God didn’t save her dad the way she prayed and believed He would and could, if we really believed He loves us the way we say He does, than I know He cries more for her than I do and I know He will take care of her. 

Then we would talk about my pain and how I pretty much hate myself and feel overwhelmed by my sadness and have forgotten who I am. Can I really even know who I really am without the Lord? We talked about the vines and the branches and not being connected to the source of and how we are a shadow of the people we used to be when we were much closer to the Lord. 
We are both strong women who have been the ones who are there with advice, strength, love, etc. Now we are broken, lost, far from God. We spoke truth to one another, back and forth. I felt ridiculous being needy in front of this girl who has lost her father, but she found giving back from the strength she had forgotten… healing. I think I felt the same thing. And so in the middle of our tear fest at the ice cream shop, I REMEMBERED and there was something so beautiful about having no answers, being in pain, loving each other in spite of it all…right where we are at. 

Nothing has changed, per se, but I want them to. I have believed so many lies, they are deep in my heart. But I am the one who fights, I am the Peter who is a little over zealous for their own good, who many times speaks before they think, who is far too serious, emotional, intense, and really really messed up. If this time was to humble me and give me perspective, well it has been a success in this aspect. 
What is the quote?
"Anyone God uses significantly is always deeply wounded. . . We are, each and every one of us, insignificant people who God has called and graced to use in a significant way. . . On the last day, Jesus will look us over not for medals, diplomas, or honors, but for scars." (Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust)

And so I must go meet with the one I love, and not DO anything but receive the healing my broken heart needs. 

This is a video I made over a year ago, but its very appropriate for now. God’s song to me, to you too.
I will show you love: Kendall Payne