It’s ok to cry. It’s ok to be sad. It does not mean you are depressed or not strong or have failed in some way. I’ve never walked thru real tragedy and to be honest a lot of people never have to and I would not wish this on them. It’s hard to explain the kind of pain both physical, emotional, internal, that you feel when everything you prayed for, everything you hoped for, the one you truly loved and thought you would grow old with, when all that is gone, it leaves a bit of brokenness. And that’s ok.
I heard a preacher say recently that it is in our brokenness where we truly realize our need for God. I thought I had always understood my need for God. I’ve almost always served him and loved him. But now I need him. On days I’m mad or hurt or do not even want to acknowledge a god I realize how much I need Him. That I need to choose him, because without a God or eternity this life, all my hopes and dreams are over. So I will choose to believe more. I will choose to believe God has a bigger plan. That somehow all this pain and hurt is not for nothing but for a bigger purpose. And it is in these moments, where I choose God, that I hear this still small whisper, which is actually the ever slightest feeling of something, someone greater. Saying I’ve got you, it’s going to be ok, you might never see it or understand the whys, but trust me.
So I’ll choose to trust.
This past month has been the hardest yet. With our anniversary and my birthday both celebrations Sean was always so good at making memorable. So many memories. I decided at the beginning of September to take the month to breathe. To create space and just be. I am so thankful for this platform to share and am so thankful for everyone’s messages and love this past month. I just knew I needed some space to grieve. And God has been so present and has sent some really great friends to encourage and strengthen me and I am so thankful for that. So as hard as this month has been it has equally been blessed.
Over the summer I kept getting two words BE STILL and this has kept coming to me over this past month. I have decided to keep the kids in their same schools, continue to rent from my dad who is giving us an amazing deal, and to be present. I have decided to take this school year to stay at home and be present for the kids. I took this month to crunch numbers and believe for this school year we should be able to do this and survive. If god has taught me anything over these past years it is that He will take care of us. And I am so thankful for this amazing community that continues to support our families.
I woke up this morning to a family putting money in my bank account. It brought me to tears as this particular family has been a consistent support for Sean while he was sick and each month since he died has sent us money and I can’t explain how blessed I feel.
Please continue to keep all five of ths kids in your prayers. They are all doing amazing and I’ve learned how strong and influential each one of them is. I’m so incredibly proud of the people each of them are and that instead of becoming hard they have become soft and loving towards so many.
Jenna is turning 18 this month and heading to Hillsong College in January.
Millah is in grade 8 and made the school leadership team.
Lennon broke his finger but continues to do every sport possible in spite of his cast he’ll have for 5weeks.
Quinton is thriving in grade 4 and continues to look out for those around him.
Jovie turned 7 this summer and celebrated more times then can be counted. She continues to miss her dad all the time but is also FULL of joy.
So that’s a little update on how we are. I so appreciate everyone’s continued love on our family we need it now more the ever. Please continue to pray for healing for us and that Seans story, his prayer for this year would be lived out. In January He told me “Victory is Mine” he said “Val, whether I live or die I believe that’s my word for this year” so we will walk in that.
Being here in Ireland has been such a restful time. We have been able to come together, talk, cry, and learn how to function as a family with their dad (leader) in heaven. I have learned so much from so many of you and I know that each of my kids have as well.
The other day a friend arranged for her friend who sells fancy cars to bring one by for the boys to have a look and go for a ride. This person was a stranger to us and could have easily said no, sorry I’m super busy, which I’m sure he is. Instead he chose to stay out late after work and come and bless my boys in a way they will remember for the rest of their lives. This got me thinking. How many times in the past have I been busy and someone asked me to help move, clean, or even just give them a lift somewhere. This act of kindness really challenged me. In a time where we are told to protect our time and put ourselves before others, love ourselves, I want to be different. I want to choose loving others, sacrificing my time to help someone in need. Going out of my way even when I’m tired to have someone over who might need to talk. It is easy to give when we have much but I want to be someone who digs deep and gives freely without a second thought. So many of you have blessed us this way over this past year and have truly inspired me so thank you.
This is just one of the many things I’ve been challenged in this summer. We all continue to miss Sean everyday. It’s been very cool to watch the kids share his love and about his life with so many here who had never even met him. I’m reminded of what an amazing dad he was and how much he loved God and people. I feel hopeful seeing so much of him in the kids and know that his love and life will not be forgotten but will continue to inspire and lead others.
Thanks for reading, and continuing to pray for our family. God has been speaking and placing hopes and dreams in my heart for the future. Continuing to take one day at a time and realizing that’s ok. I do not have to control the future or figure everything out right now. It is ok to be still.