As it happens so often with me, I just have a need to write that I can't hardly contain so it must be done, I guess. I'm not sure what it is about today although there are some inklings. It has been building up inside of me for some time now and its just finally at the surface. I'm sad today, but a mix between sadness and swelling joy. That seems to be where I stay when I am resting in my Jesus. It is a true happiness, I think. I never experienced it before my deep losses and my hard journey of healing that I am still traversing.... and will always be. I am deeply grateful this season for the depth of this journey we are walking. For the places it has taken us to and the deep things it has caused us to see and hear and feel. I am deeply grateful, also this season, that Papa picked me to be Jace's momma. Just thankful that I got to have him for as long as I did and for the things that loving him has taught me about the character of my beautiful Jesus. i am increasingly, and painfully, more aware of the fact that I will never be able to feel NORMAL again. I am also painfully aware that I cannot protect the people that I love. I cannot pick the way our road will turn. I cannot pray what I hope for into existence. I can only hold on and try every minute of every hour too hand them back to Him and try to trust that what He has for us is ultimately what I want. I am so very confused lately, though about how I pray and why I pray and what I want out of my relationship with Papa. The only real conclusion I have come to is that I believe that I pray because He loves to hear my heart. Because He is proud of me just because I am His. Just because He made me. That there is no RIGHT or WRONG thing to do in my life with Him. Just that I am learning new things every day and the more that I learn about Him, the more the mystery increases and I am even more in awe of who He is. I am reflecting a lot lately and thinking so much about what life was like before it changed so devestatingly. I was thinking about living with Rocky in our little condo right after we got married and just not even believing that I got to wake up next to this man forever, remembering being pregnant with Courtlynn and wanting to give her everything and help her to have the perfect childhood:) Just laying there at night and my heart swelling knowing that her and Rocky were mine... finding out I was gonna have Jace and thinking how sweet it was of God to give me a boy. Talking with the ladies at bible study about the bond of a momma and her little boy, how it was unlike anything else. Then three days later, the gig was up. The world fell apart and I knew that night while I was begging God to give him back, that nothing would ever be the same. Only now, four years later, am I beginning to see the extent of how far reaching the carnage was. And yet, those places are the most beautiful, for they bear the most perfect image of my Jesus. He has CHANGED me. He has healed my heart, not back to wholeness, but to a beautiful picture of His strength in my weakest, most broken places... Alleluia. He is true and He is good. He alone can mend my heart and grow me up and walk with me through the valley with only the knowledge that more tragedy my befall me, (and probably will) but He will NEVER leave me alone. I will NEVER walk those places alone. And here in this moment, that is good enough. I have been thinking about an old Amy Grant song lately that my mom and dad used to listen to called We Believe in God. Just the one part of the verse where she says, "life is hard, and it might not get easier." I feel like my heart still responds so painfully when someone tries to speak on blessing and prosperity being the message of Jesus. Its not. The message of Jesus has never been that we will pray and never feel pain or walk through tragedy. The message is that HE WILL NEVER LEAVE US. And that our life walking with him will be deep and full of depth and the joy will be REAL. But true joy is born of suffering... again I say, Alleluia.