Thursday, March 1, 2012

Two Years..

So it is right there again - hanging over our heads. Two years. Mark it. And guess what? It still hurts. I still cry. I still miss Mike more than words can convey. Elizabeth too. In fact last night she cried so hard her eyes are a mess today.

But the hardest thing to convey to everyone is the blessing of God all around us. The notes, texts, and calls from friends and families. Elizabeth didn't go to school today and we spent the day together. We went to Mike's grave and sat on the bench and REALLY talked. Well, she REALLY talked. I just listened and cried with her. But I consider it a gift that we have such an incredible relationship with my daughter.

I have to admit that as I was sitting at Mike's grave today, I was just overwhelmed by the thought of how did I get here? In all my time dreaming of the future, I never once saw myself sitting over Mike's grave. Not once. This path that I am on is not my own choosing. Elizabeth and I spent time talking about Florida and our house there. We talked about how we thought that it was going to be our home for a long time and how much we miss it. But then our conversation rolled around to: this is clearly where God wanted us to be because it wasn't in our scope of plans. Not even close. We also talked about how we wished we could wrap this journey in a nice bow and give everyone a reason why this has happened. And we can't.

But then our minds turn to the blessings in our lives. We talked about me still being at home with her. We talked about the men that have stepped in to help fill the void in her life and spent time calling her, having lunch with her, hugging her. We talked about our mission trip to Honduras coming up very soon. (Please be praying for us). We are going to the middle of Honduras and staying in host homes. We will have an opportunity to help people, go to school, plan rallies, and give our testimony. In all, 71 of us are going from our Youth Department at church and we are really excited to be used by God there. It is funny, because we both had to write our testimony for flyers, and I wrote my testimony how I came to know Christ. Well, it got turned back to be because it was full of scripture (which it is how it happened for me) and they reminded me that some people may not have heard about the bible or people in it. I had worked hours on it. So I went home and just started typing and did another testimony about cancer and I finished it in about 10 minutes. I will copy it below.

I have been able over the past month to be the physical hands of Jesus reaching out and hugging a new friend as her husband was losing his battle to cancer. I have been able to love on a very dear friend who is winning her battle over breast cancer. I have reconnected with a dear friend whose father is newly diagnosed with esophageal cancer. (Have I mentioned how much I hate cancer?) But in those moments, I am not Deanna, I am Christ physically being there loving gently, and passionately on them. I am surrounding them with love, hope, prayer, advice, and listening ears. And Mike's legacy is living on through that. Does that make any sense?

So yes, two years. Two difficult, sad years. But two years filled with blessings, Christ, and a richness that I would have never known.

Please be praying for us as we venture out soon on our first Mission Trip. I will blog when we get back and post pictures. Please pray for my Dad as he is getting a pacemaker this week. Please be praying for Mike's grandmother. She is in the hospital after cracking her c2 vertabra. She is 89 and has dementia among other issues.

I can't end this post without saying how much I love each of you and thank you for the years of prayer, friendship, support, and strength. As long as I live, I will never be able to express that enough.

Here is my testimony for our trip...
Cancer. It happened all of a sudden. When cancer came knocking, it took almost everything – our house, our job, all of our money, and then finally the love of my life, my husband, Mike.

I came to believe in Jesus Christ when I was 28 years old. Before Christ, my life was empty and really had no direction. After I started living my life for Christ, my life was full of happiness. I studied the bible, went to church, prayed, helped out at church, and lived a happy life that had a purpose.

Then Cancer came and took away almost everything I had. It was so hard! But through it all God was there. Mike was so sick, but I had to praise God for the great family moments we shared. Mike lost his job, but I had to praise God for the people that He had called to help us. We lost all our money, but I praised God for the money that people sent to help pay bills and even get school clothes for my daughter.

Finally, after fighting so hard, Mike went to Heaven to be with Jesus. I am still so sad, because I miss him so much. BUT, I have to praise God that he sent Jesus to earth to make a way for us to live in Heaven for forever. Mike believed in Jesus and went to Heaven. I believe in Jesus so I am happy because I will see Mike again in Heaven and live with him there forever!

It is still very hard and I feel empty sometimes because Mike is not here. But I fill that empty with Jesus. I remember to praise Him because he has taken care of me. He has sent people to help me with things I can’t do. He has provided money for me. He has provided a church full of people that believe in Jesus to support me.

Life can be very hard, but when you believe in Jesus and remember to look for His gifts even when things seem really bad, He will help you.

If you want a friend who will always be there, who will never leave you, who will be your greatest help in the hardest of times… Jesus is it! If you want to meet Him, I will be glad to introduce you!


Anonymous said...

First, we all love the three of you. You all have been so special in all of our lives, that we too are blessed because you are a part of our lives. We hurt because you hurt. No words from us will ever diminish those feelings, but I pray our love for you and our girl will provide comfort each and every day.

Kelly said...

Wow I cannot believe how much time has past. I still pray for you two as the Lord lays you on my heart. I am blessed to see God using you in ways you might not have been able to before all of this.

God bless you both richly!
Kelly Stevens

CC said...

I just wanted to let you know that I too think of Igor from time to time, and mention his name when I talk about great boss'es in my past. You are in my prayers and I am so happy to see how well elizabeth is doing. I still have that baby basinette and I am happy to say that it has been used by 5 babies now, besides my guy. Everytime I see it, I think of you!
Thinking of you in Christ! CC

velvet said...

You are living a good life. You look happy!

Anonymous said...

So great to read your update although I know it's so very hard for you still. I loved your written testimony but I still hope you bring your first testimony b/c Scripture has the Truth and Life and that's what we all need! I still pray for you regularly and knew Mike's "anniversary" was early March but couldn't remember the exact date. So glad you're going on this missions trip. I can't believe how many people are going!
Eileen didn't come home for spring break b/c she's doing a missions trip in Toronto working with the homeless. Can you believe she's almost done with her freshman year at college?? Love and prayers, Gini

Anonymous said...

So…I really can’t say what it is that led me to this page today…except the Holy Spirit. I am still quite in awe of how strong you and Elizabeth have been through it all. Your story is beautiful…and oh, so bittersweet. There is an amazing tenderness woven through the story God is writing in your life and He is using it to cushion the rough times of others in need. You are an amazing woman of God, Deanna, and I count myself blessed to know you and to watch Christ touch lives through you. I pray that I might be so strong in even my weakest moments because of the power and strength of Christ in me. I look forward to seeing how God continues to use you in mighty, mighty ways. And I pray that He used your experience in Honduras to bless you and Elizabeth in ways you couldn't have even imagined.


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