"My good friend says we can't compare losses. Anything that breaks the heart is a legitimate reason for seeking the healing only Christ can bring." ~ Beth Moore, Breaking Free
"On that day when I see all that you have for me
When I see you face to face there surrounded by your grace
All my fear is swept away in the light of your embrace
When your love is all I need and forever I am free
Where the streets are made of gold in your presence healed and whole
Let the songs of heaven rise to you alone
No weeping, no hurt or pain, no suffering
You hold me now, You hold me now
No darkness no sick or lame
No hiding You hold me now,
You hold me now" ~ You Hold Me Now, Hillsong United
This picture was taken nearly two years ago, I kind of dislike it now. Not because I look bad, shoot man, I look great... but rather because I don't even recognize that girl anymore. The girl in that picture was living a life she perceived to be perfect and maybe it was for that season, but now... well now it's a completely different story. Between this picture and the one you'll see at the end of this writing there has been a tremendous journey, one of heartbreak, loss, disappointment, denial, hope, renewed joy, renewed passion, and most importantly renewed love.
What a journey it has been! There are still days I can close my eyes and hear very clearly my dad calling to tell me that my nephew Billy was sick, that he wasn't breathing. Of course there are also those days where for a split second it all seems like just a dream. Oh how I wish it had been... but it wasn't and as a result of it all I can say is God has taken me on quite the journey. It has been hard and most days I wish I could just stick my head in the sand and hide. In a matter of just a few months my spirit felt crushed and abandoned by God and man. I perceived my world to be crashing down around me, that I couldn't tell up from down or the dark from the light. But as I've gone back to pick up the pieces, as I've allowed my heart to be made whole again I'm finding that the one thing I've ever needed, the one who I perceived to have betrayed me the most never left my side.
I was in denial for a long time after my nephew died. For months I had no idea how broken, angry, and disappointed I was. Through a series of events that occurred in 2008 I found myself in a very dark place and the only hope I saw was in the face of my Lord and Savior. Now nearly two years later I've come to a place where I am proud of the woman God has created me to be. Not proud in an arrogant or "Yay me!" sort of way, but rather in a way where I cannot believe God chose me... I cannot believe I get to live this life. I remember thinking I could have turned my back on God after Billy died, I could have chosen to walk away from the one who breathed life into me. But instead I pressed in... much like Jacob in the Bible, I wrestled with God. I yelled, I screamed, I cried, I shut out the world around me and found no answers, but rather an unspeakable peace. A peace that comes knowing that I will see sweet Billy again one day... a peace knowing that God hears the desires of my heart and in His time they shall come to pass.
2010 is going to be a remarkable year! This year brings to a close a five year journey for me. It brings the hope and joy of a new path. I've learned and am still learning a tremendous amount about myself... what an amazing gift!
William Thomas Darnell, Jr. left behind a legacy bigger than anyone could have ever imagined. That little boy (in just 5 months time) taught me how to love, reminded me to dream big, not to give up, and to never let go of the one who holds us. I thank God everyday for breaking my expectations two years ago, for breaking what I perceived to be a "perfect" life. I thank Him for stripping away the things of this world that I was holding onto so tightly. I thank Him for breaking my heart and that through the brokenness He has redirected my life... I thank Him that this is me...
"Then I saw a new heaven and an new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.' He who was seated on the throne said, 'I am making everything new!' Then he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.' He said to me, 'It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the end.'" ~ Revelation 21:1-6