Tag Archives: Sadie Davis

Charging through the Puddle

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I haven’t blogged my emotions in a while, so this may seem a little willy-nilly (is that how you spell that word, Tennessee?), and I know it will be a little “rambly”, but here goes.  (Many of you have told me that you appreciate that I am “real” when I write, so thank you for allowing me the freedom to be “real” today.)

Some days I look at what lies ahead and think, “We can do this”, and other days, it’s more like, “HOW are we supposed to do this?!?!”  How are we supposed to be not just okay, but be productive, joyful, and victorious, despite the fact that certain horrific events replay in our heads time and time again?  How are we supposed to make sense of this?  How can we convince ourselves that everything is going to be “okay” when we just saw that really, it’s not always okay–life does not always deal a happy ending (on this side of Heaven).  Just because we pray, beg, and plead, God is not obligated to do whatever we ask of Him, and that has now been proven to us.  How can we celebrate with others when good things come their way, when our very heartbeat has been crushed?  How do we remove the filter of our reality that has covered our eyes, just for a moment, to be excited about the good around us?  You see, we once held our newborn baby girl in our arms for the first time.  We were all smiles as we thought about all of the good times that were ahead of us.  So what do we do when all of that is shattered?  How do we enjoy our life that we have here, in light of what happened to Sadie–how do we maintain a healthy marriage…love on our son…enjoy our friends and family…excel in our careers…and do good in whatever opportunity comes our way?

We trust God.  That’s how.  With tear-stained cheeks, we look up and trust God.  He gave us our precious babygirl for a reason, and He allowed her to leave this Earth prematurely for a reason, too.  He knew it would break our hearts, yet He knew it was what had to happen.  I don’t believe that it was an act of hatred toward us by God.  But I do believe that it went through His permissive hands.  In fact, it was probably an act of love that we may never understand.

But why?  That’s the big mystery.  Yes, good things are happening that would not have happened otherwise, but anyone who is a parent out there–would you be okay with giving up your child for any or all of this good?  I am so torn between wanting to charge ahead with my head held high, and wanting to just collapse in a puddle.  So today, I am making a very conscious decision to charge through this giant puddle.  All I have to do is keep my head above water and my eyes fixed on Him, and I will ultimately make it to the other side.  This has been a rough week (obviously), and I honestly can’t pinpoint why, but I have my eyes wide open to the redemption that only God can bring.  He has a purpose in allowing our Sadie to come here just for a short period of time.  He has a purpose for allowing us to be here today.  I don’t want to stand in the way.  I want to be present for that purpose.  And I want to do my part to make that purpose a reality.

I have thought a lot lately about this question, “Why is this life a prerequisite to Heaven?”.  What is it that we are supposed to learn and do here that will make Heaven a better place?  Since that’s where we all want to spend eternity, and since we already know that it’s a perfect place–what about it will be better as a result of the things we experience and do here?  I know that the church answer is that we are here to point others to God–to share the love of Christ with others and lead them to a personal relationship Him.  I agree with that answer, but if God wanted to, He could have had us all there with Him in the first place.  So there is something about life on this place called Earth that He finds worthwhile for us to experience before we head to our eternal home, if we choose to accept Him as our Lord and Savior, and follow Him with all of our heart, walking in faith the path that He has chosen for us.  I suppose the experiences of this life–especially the tough ones–make us long even more desperately for what is ahead.  Not to wish our lives away, but to long even more for a place that we innately have a desire to be in the first place.  If Heaven is our “home”, then isn’t it natural to long for it, and to feel a little out of place here?

I can honestly say that I like life here on Earth.  I’ve always been “happygal”.  I like to see the positive and be joyful.  I love to laugh and have fun.  I love to meet new people.  Yet sometimes the storm clouds seem to take over.  So, how do I step forward in light of life-experiences with a even a hint of a smile on my face?  For me, today, it’s because God is making it very clear to me that His purpose for my life is very different than I thought it was two years ago.  I kind of liked the “normalcy”, but it seems He has much more than normal in store over here.  And perhaps He has called some of you to be a part of this not-normal world of ours.  Or maybe He’s calling you to a not-normal world of your very own.  Something that He can only give you a passion for through your own life-experiences.  Something that He wants you to do that you would not otherwise be prepared for.  That part of all of this is what is keeping me wide-eyed and expectant as we “charge through the puddle”.

So, thanks for hanging with me today.  This is a couple months of thoughts all rolled into a few paragraphs.  I love you guys.

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The Shape of this Year

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It’s amazing how something so painful can also reveal some of the things that I wish I knew all along.  Like how much more important people are than things.  How much more valuable time is than gifts.  How much better it feels to give than to receive.  How many of our daily complaints may in fact be our biggest blessings.

2013 has been a salt in the wound kind of year.  I have never cried so much, hurt so deeply, asked why with such passion.  I have never beat the ground in such agony, sobbed so desperately over something that used to bring me such joy.  I have never asked “why” so many times, knowing that I probably won’t get the answer this side of Heaven.  I have never questioned my God’s motive so much as I have this year.  Before this year, I honestly thought happiness in life was mind over matter.  If I ACT positive, then everything will BE positive.  I learned that there are some things that can happen in life that, although we will stand again, just completely knock us down and leave us in the most helpless place we have ever been.  There are things that can happen that keep you from seeing a silver lining because of the well of tears that cloud your eyes.

I have also never seen such compassion.  Such love.  Such encouragement from others.  I have never read such heartfelt stories.  Testimonies of how lives have been changed.  I have never seen one little life stir the hearts and souls of so many.  I have never seen God’s hand so literally reach down and grab a hold of me and so many others.

Losing the opportunity to experience life with Sadie (alive and in the flesh) was so up close and personal.  It’s much easier to absorb these things happening to somebody else’s family…not ours.  I’d much rather learn by reading about someone else’s story—I didn’t want the story to be my own.  Selfish?  Maybe.  But wouldn’t you agree?  Tim and I have actually laughed because, although many have told us over the past few months that they admire us—no one actually wants to BE us.  You’d have to be crazy to desire such heartache.

But we are stronger as a couple.  We are stronger as a family.  We may cry more, but we are learning and living with each tear that falls.  We are learning when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’.  We are learning what ‘love one another’ truly means, and that it sometimes has to be a very conscious decision.  We have learned that we really did mean the vow we gave to one another on our wedding day–“in good times and in bad…in sickness and in health”.  We are learning that it is more important to follow God’s will than man’s will for us.

All of these things really do describe how I have felt over the past year—it has been an absolute emotional roller coaster.  I can honestly say that, although I will never, ever, ever be happy about losing my precious daughter to childhood cancer, I have learned so much through this journey.  And the journey is far from over.  I have a strong feeling that this will be a life of learning to live by faith.  I mean REALLY living by faith.  Not just saying it, but acting on it.  God has shown me more of Himself than ever before…or is it that I have sought Him more than ever before?

 

And so our faith and hope is summed up in the words of my new favorite song, “Oceans” (this is not to downplay scripture, because there are so many words that have spoken to me through the verses of the Bible this year).  Anyways, I have quoted it before, but I think it’s worth another listen…here it is:

“Oceans” (listen to it here)

You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail.

And there I find You in the mystery.  In oceans deep my faith will stand.

 
And I will call upon Your name, and keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace.

For I am Yours and You are mine.

Your grace abounds in deepest waters, Your sovereign hand will be my guide.
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me, You’ve never failed and You won’t start now.

So I will call upon Your name, and keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace.

For I am Yours and You are mine.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.
Let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander.
And my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.

I will call upon Your Name, and keep my eyes above the waves.

My soul will rest in Your embrace.

I am Yours and You are mine.

 

 

2013 has been one for the books.  Nevermind the latter part of 2012, which is one big blur.  I joke about kissing it goodbye, but there have been some valuable truths learned.  So, here’s to 2014.  Let’s taste and see that the Lord is good.  Let’s find some more redemption in this story.  We need it.  We long for it.  We know it is there.

Sadie Smile Toy Drive Update

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Oh my goodness, big thanks to everyone who have given us toys and/or donations over the past two days. I’m afraid to start listing names b/c I am quite sure that I will miss someone. But the good news about that is that there are going to be so many smiling children around The Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and DCS in Wilson County that it’s seriously blowing me away! Not to mention the things that have come in in my home town of Henderson, KY! I have received things from friends that I graduated high school with. Friends at Eli’s school. Friends from Parkway, Two Rivers, First Christian Church of Henderson, First Baptist Church of Henderson, and The Journey Church. Friends of friends. Co-workers. Neighbors. Family. Friends of family. And people we have never even met, but that have become friends through Sadie’s journey. You name it–and we are so very appreciative. I’ve got a few things to go through tomorrow, and then I will give you all an idea as to the magnitude of things we will be donating over the next week or two. If you have been able to participate by donating new or used toys, gift cards, $$$, or if you have supported us in prayer, then I truly believe you will be very blessed in having a part in what has turned into a truly wonderful project! We love you all, and we love that you have joined with our family in doing something that we pray makes a big difference in the lives of these kids (and their parents, too)! Goodnight all!

The Purple Hill

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Dad and Sadie

I have lots to say.  I mean lots.  I’m going to try to limit myself today, though, to the story of the purple hill.  But first, you must know the background.

A lot has been going on lately, and for those of you who don’t already know, I lost my Daddy last Thursday night (May 9th), after a valliant fight against cancer.  He was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer in December of 2011.  Sadie was only 5 months old, and I remember crying my eyes out when I first found out his diagnosis.  Partly because he and I have always been so very close.  But also because I couldn’t imagine the thought of my kids not getting to know their Pabu through the years, and him not getting to enjoy them as they grew.  Never in a billion years would I have ever imagined that my sweet Sadie would actually precede him in death.

As my Dad fought his battle against cancer (he was a non-smoker, by the way), I as always amazed at his amazing attitude and peace.  He still was my same ol’ Dad–laughing, cracking jokes, and making other people smile.  Although he ran out of energy a little faster than before his diagnosis, he still had a good quality of life.  He still worked, went on vacations (including Hawaii last October), visited his kids for the weekend, etc.  And when Sadie was diagnosed with cancer, he was a huge encouragement to me.  Watching him and the way he was handling his own battle really helped me gain perspective and peace as I helped Sadie battle her disease.  Dad drove down the Thursday evening before Sadie passed on Friday and just sat by her bedside, watching over her for about 3 hours straight.  On the days of her visitation and funeral, you would never have known he was even sick.  He was amazing, and was there for me in my greatest hour of need.

In April, Dad called to tell me that his cancer had spread to, guess where, his brain and his spine.  Of all places–the same devastating places that Sadie’s cancer was.  I tried so hard to separate the two diseases, but it was so hard not to realize that things were looking all too familiar.  Dad began 14 days of radiation to both his brain and his spine, to which we were informed that it would make him very weak and disoriented for 2-4 weeks afterward.  They were right–I’ve never seen anyone with so little strength.  Soon, it was starting to become apparent that what was happening to my Dad was not just the effects of the radiation–cancer was taking over, and he was inching closer and closer to finishing his walk on this Earth, only to begin his walk (or run, or whatever) to Heaven.

And so now to the story of the purple hill.  I went for a visit to my Dad’s hometown the weekend of April 20th.  On that Sunday afternoon, I watched my Daddy struggle to get his breath while walking to the couch from his bedroom.  He was using a walker for balance, and I could tell he was so weary.  He practically fell onto the couch, and I went over and sat down beside him.  He started crying, I think for the first time since his battle with cancer began 16 months earlier.  After a couple of minutes, he simply said, “I’m ready to go to the purple hill”.  Well, I had an idea of what he might be trying to say, but I was unfamiliar with any purple hills, so I wanted to confirm.  “What purple hill, Daddy?”, I asked, to which he replied, “The purple hill where Sadie’s at”.  And so then I started crying and we were all just an emotional mess.  I didn’t ask him anything else about that on that day, but I did say to him a few minutes later, “That’s what I thought you meant, Dad”.

So, the next day, Dad ended up being admitted to the hospital for dehydration and said some pretty crazy things about wedges (blocks of words), supper not being organic, and random other things like that.  I am saying this so that you know that he wasn’t always making complete sense.  14 days of radiation to the brain most definitely takes its toll.

Well, all week long while I was back in Nashville, I couldn’t stop thinking about what Dad said about the purple hill.  I wanted to know more, but wasn’t sure whether I should bring it up again or not.  Dad couldn’t communicate much, so a conversation about something like that over the phone was not going to work.

I went back to Kentucky the following Sunday morning, and stayed until Tuesday.  I was sitting with Dad at the hospital in infusion on Monday afternoon (now it was April 29th).  Dad was once again extremely weak, and it was becoming more and more obvious that he was not getting any stronger.  So, as we were sitting there, I got a text from one of my bestest friends in all the world, Aimee.  She simply asked, “how’s your Daddy”, to which I replied, “well, he told me last week he wants to go the purple hill where Sadie’s at”.  I knew she’d know what I was getting at.  Aimee then replied, “was he out of it?”.  I told her that he had been saying some pretty crazy things, but that I think he knew what he was saying when he talked about the purple hill.  Naturally, her reply was, “you should ask if he remembers”.  So, I glanced over at my Dad–he was awake, and was just kind of staring ahead.  My heart started beating hard, like it does when you have to stand up and give a speech, and I knew it was now or never.  I leaned over to him, and he leaned his head over to mine.  I grabbed his hand and said, “Dad, I have a quick question for you”.  He nodded, and here is how the rest of the conversation went (say this outloud, with tears flowing, and you’ll get the full effect):

Me:  “Daddy, do you remember talking to me about a purple hill the other day?”

Dad (immediately tears flowing down his cheeks, while nodding):  “Yes, the purple hill where Sadie’s at.”

Me (also tears flowing, but with a smile):  “What made the hill purple, Dad?  Was it flowers?  Or the grass?  What was it?”

Dad:  “It was just beautiful.”

Me:  “And Sadie was there?  You know it was Sadie?”

Dad:  (nod)

Me:  “Did she see you, Daddy?  Did she know it was you?”

Dad:  “Yes, she reached out and took my hand and called me Pabu.”

Me:  “Oh my gosh  Of course she knew who you were–y’all are tight!” (tears)

Me:  “Was there anyone else there?”

Dad:  “I could only see Sadie.”

Me:  “And you KNOW it was Sadie??”

Dad:  “Yep.  It was her.”

Me (about to DIE):  “Daddy, could she walk?”

Dad:  “Oh yeah, she was running and playing and having fun.”

Me:  “And did she still have her pretty blonde curly hair?”

Dad:  “Yes.”

Me:  “And her big blue eyes?”

Dad:  “Yep.”

Me:  “And her pretty little smile?”

Dad:  (nod)

Me:  “Daddy–was she still a little toddler, or was she older?”

Dad:  “She was still little Sadie.”

Me (tears flying everywhere):  “Dad, when she reached out and took your hand…could you FEEL her?”

Dad (not exactly answering the question):  “She was playing ball.”

Me:  “Awww, playing ball!  Fun!”

Me:  “Dad–was it a dream?”

Dad:  “No, Amb, it was for real.”

Me:  “Dad, did you get to see a piece of Heaven???”

Dad:  (nod, tears, smiles, you name it)

And so I stopped there.  I had wore him out with all of my questions, but I could tell it was something that he probably really wanted to tell me.  I was completely overwhelmed at the conversation that had just taken place.  I truly believe God let my Dad see a glimpse of Heaven, and Sadie, not just to bring him peace, but so that he could share it with ME.  God knew that one of my biggest struggles is that I am Sadie’s mommy, yet I can’t get to her to check on her.  I know she’s fine up in Heaven, but I still want to know what she’s up to, and know that she’s happy and healthy, and okay.  And even though there are other wonderful people in our family that have gone before her, I never got to see them together here, so it’s hard for me to picture them together there.  But God allowed my Daddy to live long enough with a monster of a disease that he and Sadie go to know and love one another.  I got to see it here, so I could picture it there.

The next weekend, I went back up to Kentucky again.  This time I decided I had better stay.  I could see that Dad’s health was just getting worse and worse.  He was in and out of the hospital, but last Monday, we called the ambulance because Dad was unable to get to the car himself, and they took him to the hospital for the last time.  He was coherent for the next day or two, but he could not talk.  I know for a fact, though, that up until Wednesday morning, he understood everything we were talking about.

I took a moment on Tuesday to spend some time talking to my Dad.  He couldn’t talk back, but he was tuned in to what I was saying.  I took his hand and told him that the conversation we had about the purple hill was one of the most important conversations I had had with anyone about anything–ever.  I told him that it made me feel like I got to see a glimpse of my babygirl, and that I knew that she was going to know her Pabu when he got there.  I told him that I could picture him running up to her on that purple hill, scooping her up (just like I wished he could do for years here on earth), and they would be so happy in Heaven together.  He was crying, and so was I.

And then I told him one more thing.  I told him to please hug and kiss my girl for me–to tell her that I love her so very much, and for her to look for me, because one day (hopefully a long time from now!) I will be looking to find her atop a purple hill.  I asked my Dad if he would do that for me, and he nodded with tears streaming down his cheeks.

So, needless to say, all of this was highly emotional, but truly amazing.  I know that when my Dad left us on Thursday night, that he got to be face to face with God Almighty and Jesus Christ, but he also got to play ball with my sweet little blue-eyed angel, and he got to give her my message of love.  And so I know for sure something that happened in the Heavenlies.

All that to say, I still miss my girl with all my heart, and now I miss my Daddy so much, too.  But I am realizing more and more with each passing day that this life on Earth is only a small part of our journey.  It’s a big deal to us because it’s all we know.  But in the bigger picture, there is so much more in store for Children of God.  Death has a large sting to us left here on Earth, but it is truly a stepping stone to a better place.  Now, I’m not ready to go there really anytime soon…I feel like God has some serious work cut out for me here on Earth…but it sure seems more and more appealing the more loved ones I know who are there.  Until that day, I will press on…some days in sadness, and other days in joy.  God is carrying me through this time in my life, and although it hurts (a lot), I know that He will not leave me alone.  And I know He is bound to have some blessings in store along the way–He has already shown me some of those blessings–I just have to try to always be ready to receive them.  God knows, I am ready…

Soggy Scrambled Eggs

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(Warning—this is raw and real.  So many have shared that you like my posts because I am letting you see the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Well that’s a good thing, because here goes…)

I’ve been wanting to sit down and write an update for a few days, but I have been without something divine or profound to share.  In fact, the past few days have been some of the hardest for us as we walk this new journey without Sadie right here with us.  We miss her so much, and are having a really hard time picturing life moving forward without her with us.  I miss being her mommy, and Tim misses being her daddy.  “But she will always be with you in your heart”, you say.  Yes…that is true…but I just miss being able to see her, hold her, hear her, be silly with her, create new memories with her, watch her grow and change…you get what I’m saying.  It’s almost like the fog is lifting and we are really just realizing the permanence of what has happened to our sweet girl.  We are left sitting in our home–the storm has come and gone (sort of), and we are sitting in a pile of wreckage. Wreckage of our hearts and souls.  Wreckage of our plans, dreams, goals, and desires for our little girl and for our family of four.  Our surroundings are familiar, but nothing feels right or normal right now.  It hurts on so many levels.  We cry over things like scrambled eggs and yogurt, walks down the sidewalk, playing in the side yard, music concerts in our house with one less member, and buckling only one kid in the car (although we are more thankful for the fact that we have Eli than ever before).  And although it seems we are not supposed to ask the question, “why”, it is difficult for that concept or question not to cross our mind.  I mean, yes we trust God and know that He works all thing for our good, but that doesn’t mean that we are just like, “Okay, cool—no biggie”.

So, here we are, 7 weeks after Sadie returned to her true home in Heaven, and I feel like I am playing tug-o-war. One side is tugging us toward “moving forward”, which we truly want to do as quickly as possible because this feeling inside is pretty miserable.  The other side is keeping us in a puddle of tears—like we are leaving Sadie behind if we walk forward instead of backward.  I mean, after all, this really did JUST happen, right?  I mean, three months ago today, we were home after Sadie’s first hospital visit, thinking we had a miraculous recovery from meningitis and encephalitis…

So, how long is a healthy amount of time to grieve something as hard as losing your 17 month old daughter to a vicious cancer in less than 6 weeks?  When are we supposed to feel “okay” again?  I honestly don’t know the answers to these questions quite yet.  But what I do know is that we are not done grieving, and although we are pushing forward as best as we can, we are not exactly “okay” yet—this is going to be a process that we probably shouldn’t rush.  We appreciate your prayers more than ever right now.  After all, our absolute worst nightmare just happened.  We just realized that bad things really do happen to “good people”.  I mean, we knew that in theory or in small doses before, but not like this.  We do trust that God is with us, and that He totally has the ability to allow for blessings despite this tragedy (actually, we are already seeing evidence of that), but all of that doesn’t take away the stinging fact that our sweet blue-eyed girl is not here with us anymore.  I am not sad for her—she’s in good hands—so I guess that leaves me selfishly sad for us.  Not just sad for Tim, Eli, and myself—but sad for everyone who had an opportunity to get to know Sadiebug, and even sad for those who didn’t get the chance to get to know her at all.  She was a very special gift and blessing to us from on High, and I honestly believe the world is a better place because of her.  So I’m just plain ol’ sad because I miss her so very much.

A dear friend of mine and Sadie’s—Ms. Katie—sent me this text the other day:  “There is not a foot too small that it cannot make an imprint on this world”.  She saw it on a preemie pic, but said it made her think of Bug.  I can totally see why.  I have a feeling if I had ANY IDEA the number of lives impacted and changed because of her life, I’d be blown away.  So many people have shared testimony with me, and for that I am SO THANKFUL.  It doesn’t take away the pain that I feel over losing Sadie, but it does help me to see evidence of God’s Hand in all of this.

One other thing that is worth mentioning is a prevailing theme in talking with two other couples who have lost a child in the past.  Both couples said this:  “Now is the time to live out all that we say we believed all along”.  So that means all of the prayers, songs, and responsive readings in which we have told God that we trust Him, have faith in Him, believe His Word, that we trust in His grace, and that we will remain forever faithful to Him no matter what.  All of that is being put to the test.  This is where the rubber meets the road.  I wish I were better prepared for this. Please pray that we keep our hearts and minds focused on the Lord.  That we continue to trust in His will, even when it doesn’t line up with ours…and please be patient with us as we figure out what our new normal is.

I will end on a positive note.  I love that my husband is real, and that he is not bottling up his emotions or pretending that he has this all under control.  I love it that we can cry together, and even try to laugh together at times.  Our conversations about what has happened with Sadie always end in a conversation about trusting God.  I am so glad that Tim is serious about his walk with the Lord, and that he is able spiritually and to lead our family through this trial.  The other thing I love and am EXTREMELY thankful for is Eli Davis.  Oh my goodness. He is three, and we have a ridiculous amount of love for him.  He still wants to play with Legos, build towers, watch Mickey Mouse, feed us plastic food.  He keeps us focused on the fact that our life is not over.  We have all kinds of blessings to be thankful for, and we would be doing ourselves a disservice if we fold because of all of this.  Eli is also extremely in-tune with our emotions, and he’s good at giving hugs and telling us, “Don’t be sad—it’ll be all fine”. Thank you, Eli, for showing us life through the eyes of a child.  We love you so much, and when you get older and read through this journal, I want you to know what an amazing treasure you are to us.

Psalm 34:17-18

When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.

Amen to that.  Glad I really do trust in His Word.  Thank You for this promise, Lord!

(Sidenote–BIG FAT THANK YOU to my friends in Melbourne and Orlando that donated and/or ran for Sadie last weekend.  AND ANOTHER BIG FAT THANK YOU to those who participated in the Thirty One fundraiser.  AND ONE MORE BIG FAT THANK YOU to all of the others who have prayed for us and for giving of your resources to love on us.  We are overwhelmed by the generosity of others, and we are excited about paying it forward as we push forward.)

Get On It.

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This post may seem a little random, but I’ve got a few things floating around in my head that I want to share with you.

First, I am so incredibly proud to be married to Tim Davis.  Not just because he is a wonderful husband and an amazing father (although those things are absolutely worth mentioning).  I am writing this because he had the opportunity to speak at our church yesterday, and God really spoke to him and through him.  Here’s a link to the message he shared, for those who want to listen…I think it will be time well-spent.

Tim’s Message at The Journey Church–Sunday, January 27, 2013

Second, I wanted to share a story of something Eli said to me the other day.  (Sidenote:  Eli is a big Spiderman fan and dressed up as Spiderman for Halloween–less than a week before all of the hospital visits started with Sadie’s illness.  He likes to spin pretend webs and save the world from all of it’s problems…)

Eli and Sadie as Spiderman and Sadiebug Ladybug (aka the "Cute Little Butterfly", per Eli)

Okay, so I was upstairs last Wednesday evening.  Tim stayed downtown to study for the message highlighted above, and I was just having a really hard day emotionally.  Well, Eli is very emotionally in-tune, and could tell that I was missing Sadie.  He suddenly ran up to me, put up his “I’ve got a great idea” finger, and said with great confidence, “I know!  Spiderman will go MOVE that grass, and he’ll LIFT that bed up out of the ground, and he’ll CARRY Sadie home and then we all can be together and we can all be happy again!”.  Then he looked right at me and said, “I’m Spiderman”…like he was going to go right then and save the day and all of our problems would go away.

Bless him.  Eli knows that we are having a hard time, and he knows that we are sad because we miss Sadie.  He just wants to fix it for us so that we can all be happy again.  So, obviously that tells me that he doesn’t quite understand the permanence of the situation here.  I’m not sure that I quite understand it, either.  I still find myself thinking, “It’s time to go pick the kids up”, or “I want to take the kids to the playground”, or “I need to fix the kids something to eat”, and I even almost asked Eli yesterday if he wanted to go with me to pick up Sadie in the nursery at church.  Creature of habit–that’s just “what I did” after service let out.  So, I think it’s safe to say that as time goes on, I am becoming more and more aware of the fact that I won’t be seeing Little Miss Sadie any more here on Earth.

It’s kind of like, “you cannot see the wind–you can see the effects of the wind, but you cannot see the wind” (which, if I remember correctly, is in an old DC Talk song, but I honestly am not sure if this is scripture or just a catchy phrase).  So, I can see the EFFECTS of Sadie, but I cannot actually SEE Sadie.  I am so encouraged to hear story after story of how Sadie is changing lives.  That makes me so incredibly proud of her, and proud to be her Mommy.  But it doesn’t make me miss her any less.  I truly believe that, for me, this process is getting harder before it gets easier.  I am so thankful that I have a God that is willing to catch me when I fall, hold me when I cry, and give me peace with there is a storm raging within.

Thirdly, we sang a song last Sunday at The Journey called, “The Stand”.  I knew the song, but chose to really pay attention to the words this time.  I couldn’t help but hear all of the voices around me singing this, and think, “Do we REALLY MEAN THIS”?  Oh, because if we do, how we are about to change the world for Christ!  I’ll be excited to see what happens when we put feet to the words we sing.

Read these lyrics (or here’s the link to a YouTube video of Hillsong singing The Stand if that works better for you):

THE STAND

You stood before creation
Eternity in your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand

You stood before my failure
And carried the cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon your shoulders
My soul now to stand

So what could I say?
And what could I do?
But offer this heart, Oh God
Completely to you

So I’ll walk upon salvation
Your spirit alive in me
This life to declare your promise
My soul now to stand

So what could I say?
And what could I do?
BUT OFFER THIS HEART, OH GOD
COMPLETELY TO YOU

I’LL STAND
WITH ARMS HIGH AND HEART ABANDONED
IN AWE OF THE ONE WHO GAVE IT ALL
I’LL STAND
MY SOUL LORD TO YOU SURRENDERED
ALL I AM IS YOURS

(Emphasis mine, and thank you to Robbie Cheuvront and everyone in the praise team at The Journey Church.  Music speaks to me, and to so many others, and you do a wonderful job of spreading the Word in song.)

And finally–I know that not everyone who reads my posts is going to agree with everything that I say.  And that’s good.  I encourage you to refer to God’s Word over anything I ever say, because I will be the very last person to claim that I have all the answers.  But what I CAN talk about without reservation is my own faith and my own experience.  And for me, I am telling you that I would not want to go through something like what we are going through without resting completely in the arms of my loving Father.  It is because of Him that I am not drowning completely in the sea of tears that I have shed over losing Sadie.  And the thing that is keeping my head above water is that I KNOW that I will see Sadie again in Heaven, and I KNOW that her time here was for a big purpose, and that purpose is being fulfilled.  I KNOW that God is stirring my heart, and I also KNOW that it is in my best interest to be obedient to Him and the work He has for me to do during the remainder of my days on Earth.  I am honestly not sure exactly what all of that will entail, but I know that He is guiding me step by step so far, so I also KNOW that I should, “Acknowledge Him in all your (my) ways, and He will make your (my) paths straight” (Proverbs 3:6).  So here I am.

Thanks to those of you who take the time to read these updates.  In my heart and mind, Sadie is living on through the lives she is touching and the legacy she is leaving through her experience.  This is proof that blessings can still come, despite terrible circumstances.  Nothing and no one will ever replace my Sadiebug, but it does bring me some peace to speak of how God is working in my life through all of this. And as a great man once said about the importance of urgency (in his country boy accent), “Whatever we’re going to do for Jesus Christ, we’d better get on it” (Tim Davis–January 27, 2013).

And so for me, it’s time to take The Stand and “get on it”.  I may tread through tears at times, but I can’t let that hold me back.  After all, this is real life.  God doesn’t expect me to be perfect.  He just wants me to be willing.