Pain Like Never Before…

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I was not expecting this or was I ready. But, God the Father already had this figured out. He knew this season was going to be a time of pruning and pain. He also knew it would be the point where I finally learned how to let Him love me.

Going to ministry school was something that I felt God had been speaking to me for about 2 years. Unfortunately my idea of ministry was only a small piece of what it has actually been. Yes, there has been theology and Bible study and my knowledge in those areas is already expanding and I look forward to even more growth there.

The other side of ministry school was something that took me by surprise. It involved LOVE. More specifically the LOVE of the Father. Even as I write this, I am beginning to cry yet again. I cried, no wept, for 2 hours today. Why? All because of the amazing love of the Father. In this time with Him today, He pruned me… deeply. It hurt… deeply. I felt love in this pain… and even though it was one of the hardest moments in my life, I can honestly say it was probably one of the moments where I felt the most love I have ever felt. Yes, in a moment of my worst pain, I felt the most love ever!

As the tears began to fall, it was the beginning of worship. I don’t even remember what song we were singing, but I couldn’t even sing, I just stood there, arms by my side, head down, tears rolling down my face falling to the floor. I began to ask Papa why I was crying, and all I heard was, let it go Irene. Stop trying to be strong, it’s ok to be weak. In your weakness I am strong… let me be strong for you.

Then He proceeded to bring me through moments in my life, moments of pain and regret and loss, and as we remembered together, and I cried, He asked me for each memory… and He took it from me. His patience and tenderness for me made me cry more because I felt like I didn’t deserve it. He told me I did and reminded me of His love for me no matter what. I cried more…

I wondered if the tears would ever stop…

Worship continued and I fell to  my seat and then to the floor and the tears fell as abundantly as the memories floated through my thoughts. The Father remained by my side, holding me, loving me… because He chose to.

Worship ended and my tears finally subsided, though I was wrecked, physically and spiritually… I had nothing left in me, or so that’s what I thought.

I got home, and called my husband, and the floodgates opened up again. As I cried and shared with him, the Father showed me His love for me yet again…

He showed me that I was to see the beauty in myself so I could call out the beauty in others…

I wept again…

In my weakness and my lack, my Daddy strengthened me and breathed life into my spirit. His life-giving breath filled me and refreshed me giving me hope.

At this point, the sobbing stopped  and as I quietly cried I realized I had a new hope for who I was in Christ. In that moment, with my tear-streaked face, puffy eyes and snotty nose… I began to see myself as beautiful and as the Father’s beloved… even as tears continued to flow, He was there catching every single tear and loving me.

I know my process is not complete, I will always be in process with the Father. This day has been a defining moment for me though. I will walk from a place of renewed strength, filled with hope and life in a new direction looking for beauty which is born out of pain… a beauty that the Lord has found in me and is teaching me how to find in those around me.

Poem to My Mom

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MOM

I miss you so

I wonder if you know…

Your smiling face,

your hug,

was my safe place.

Your voice still rings in my ears

even after all these years

and… often, it still brings me to tears.

The hurt I feel inside

will the pain ever subside???

I really just want to hide.

I never knew that as I lived my life each day…

You would be gone so quickly in that way.

I do know now…

I will see you again somehow.

It was not a good bye forever…

but instead just a see you later!

 

 

 

My Worst Day = My Best Day

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I am not into writing about things that make me sad. Well, not for others anyway. Most of my personal writing is all about my feelings and over the years, it has been mostly comprised of much sadness and pain. 

Ah, sadness and pain… two things that can totally consume you if you allow it. In fact, you almost have to fight, tooth and nail, to stay out of it. 

That sadness and pain almost destroyed me fifteen years ago. It took many years, some amazing people in my life AND GOD to pull me out. I feel like I need to share because someone reading this understands and either has felt or is feeling exactly what I felt.

Here’s my story…

It’s not easy to watch someone die. No, it is the most horrible thing in the entire world!!! That someone for me was my mom.

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My mom was a rock. She was the one who loved everyone, talked to everyone, hugged everyone, never met a stranger. Oh how I wanted to be just like her!!! I was so shy and she was the exact opposite, but we still got along so well.

There were points in my late teenage and early adult years where we had our battles, but it was very short lived. And once I became a mom, things changed drastically. I understood her and she understood me. We became best friends!

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I became pregnant and in my third month, we found out that mom had ovarian cancer. A complete hysterectomy was performed but only 80% of the cancer was removed. Chemo was our only hope for her survival. The doctors were honest with us and relayed that they felt she only had a year to live.

My mom was 50 and I was just 26. It was 1997. It didn’t seem fair.

Here I was pregnant and my mom and I were best friends and she was going to die!

I don’t even remember the drive home that night following her surgery. All I know is from that moment on, I was determined to spend as much time as I possibly could with her… whatever it took. I didn’t know how much time I had and I wasn’t going to waste any of it!

Mom began treatments and months passed and finally it was time for my daughter to be born. Now, all you moms of daughters understand that all your children are special and so are your grandchildren, but, when your daughter has a baby, it’s just different. There is a connection that is only understood between moms and daughters.

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Mom and dad lived about an hour and a half away from us and we had planned a visit with them on this particular day, two days before my due date. They were coming to see us. On this morning of September 18, 1997, when we realized I was in labor, I called my mom and told her and dad just to come to the hospital. At 10:01 am, Kaysi Marie Elizabeth Schmidt was born and at 10:05 am, my mom and dad walked into the hospital room.

My mom actually held her before anyone!

In that moment, I almost forgot about mom’s illness

It was such a joyous time! And she was there to share it with me, minutes after!!! It was more than I could have asked for!

In the months that ensued, my mom continued with treatments and I began to make the drive back and forth, with Kaysi, as a baby, once or twice a week. It might not seem like much, but I wasn’t a stay at home mom, I worked 50-60 hours a week. Needless to say, it was very tiring, but I HAD TO DO IT!!!

Not only did I have to see my mom, but my daughter had to know her Grammy. 

One year passed and mom was still with us. It even seemed as though she might be getting better. I was so grateful. I needed my mom and my daughter needed her Grammy.

For the time being our world seemed right. 

After we began the second year, it seemed mom was getting even better, but then she began having some set-backs. The cancer was not going away. And because of that, neither was I. My almost obsession to see my mom and for Kaysi to see her was all I thought about.

After all, I still had no idea how long we had…

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GOD gave mom more time than we had ever expected and I couldn’t have asked for more. Actually, I did want more… I wanted her healed and whole again. I wanted my mom back the way it was before that HORRIBLE cancer attacked her!

Year three of the journey of my mom’s last days began. Little did we know in just nine months we would have to say GOODBYE. FOREVER…

I continued to travel, frequently, the hour and a half trip to see my mom, AND for Kaysi to see her Grammy.

Every moment was precious… 

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It was worth it. Even though she was very young, my daughter has some happy memories of her Grammy. That almost made the whole ordeal bearable… almost.

As the year passed, mom’s health became worse and worse. Hospice came in and we knew it was just a matter of time. My biggest fear in that moment, was not being there to say goodbye to my mom…

I HAD TO BE ABLE TO SAY GOODBYE!

The weekend before Kaysi’s third birthday, she and I went down to stay with mom and dad, as we always did when I was off work. This weekend was different. Mom was not herself. She almost seemed as if she were somewhere else.

I remember her talking about seeing Kaysi running through the house in a pretty dress dancing and laughing. It made her so happy… Her Kaysi always made her so happy. Kaysi and I headed home on Sunday evening, as usual.

Monday morning came… Kaysi’s birthday.

My little girl was 3!!! WOW!

But I didn’t feel like celebrating. Something in my world didn’t seem right that morning. I was so distracted that by the time I got to work, I was almost 2 hours late! Within 10 minutes of being there, my oldest brother calls… “Sis, I think you need to come.”

MY HEART DROPPED.

I raced out and prayed all the way there that I would make it in time. Thankfully, God allowed me to be there. We all gathered around mom’s bed, my two brothers, their wives, my dad and me. Together, with my mom, as a family, we waited as she took her last breaths…

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IT WAS TRULY THE HARDEST THING I EVER HAD TO EXPERIENCE…

But I had to! And in the remaining moments of my mom’s life, I experienced the absolute perfect and unconditional love between her and my dad. Her last breath was to tell her husband of 33 years… “I love you”

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Love was the answer to all of it. All of the years, even the hard ones, love was the answer.

Even in the moment of her death, love was there… GOD was there.

He even made it easier. How? My mom’s death happened on my daughter’s birthday.

So each year we could remember my mom AND celebrate Kaysi’s birthday.

God truly made something bad not quite so bad. It didn’t hurt quite as much. Kaysi, I am convinced, was the reason my mom lived over 3 years instead of the 1 year the doctors gave her. My mom adored Kaysi AND Kaysi adored her.

Now when I ponder that day, and as I often do, I think on that blessing almost in disguise. Revelation hits me…

My worst day was also my best day.

God surely works in mysterious ways to love on His children, when they need it most.

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I CAN Forgive

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How can I FORGIVE?

You took all I had to give…

I feel so very empty

Hurt is all that is inside of me

Anger is now consuming

Swirling around and growing…

How can I possibly let go?

So confused… I don’t even know…

But then in the darkness

Comes the ONE who loves me

JESUS takes away the hurt, the anger

HE replaces it with something better

Love, His love, 

The love that loves anyway

Forever and Always

Even when it hurts

Even in anger

Love eases, comforts, heals

Love strengthens, reveals

In that love we see how He loves us and once again we live

Once more, surrounded by the love of the Father

I can forgive…

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