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A Year Later

One year ago today, my father in law passed away. He had been sick, so we knew it was possible that we would lose him. However, we also thought he was getting better. His tests and his spirits seemed to be getting better, and he seemed to be gaining strength back. There was always the hope that God would heal him while he was still on this earth.

I remember the week leading up to his passing. He went in for a routine visit. He was unable to receive the treatment he needed because he wasn’t healthy enough. He was admitted to the hospital and never left. He went in on Tuesday. Thursday night, my sister in law bought a last-minute ticket from Alaska to come see him. That’s when I knew it was bad. I didn’t want to admit it. He got increasingly worse, and passed away Sunday morning.

The kids and I went over to our friends’ house so I didnt have to be home that Saturday while Tony and the family were at the hospital. It gave us the distraction that we needed just to be around other people. I talked to my kids individually about what was happening with pappap. These conversations were hard. I had never had to have these kind of talks before, let alone with my kids. I didn’t know what to say. The next morning, I got the news that he had passed. I cried for probably ten minutes, then told the kids. I struggled with how to tell them. I remember not even getting any words out when my daughter said “He’s gone, isn’t he?”. I just nodded. All I knew to do was scoop them up, hold my kids, and just cry with them. I had no idea what to say. I had no idea how to deal with it. I wanted to be strong, but I wanted to show my kids it was ok to grieve.

There were definitely times during that week when I felt like God wasn’t listening, that He had ignored our prayers for healing. The song by David Crowder Band “All I can say” really explains how I felt during this time.
“Oh didn’t You hear me cryin? And oh, didn’t You hear me call Your name?Wasn’t it You I gave my heart to? I wish You’d remember where You sat it down”. I had moments when I wondered if God had just dropped my heart. I felt at times like God had forgotten about us.
I may never know why God chose not to heal him on this earth. I may never truly “get over” his passing. But, looking back, I realize that God was holding me while I was holding my kids. God gave me the physical presence of close, dear friends to help take my mind off the situation and provide me with companionship. God held me and helped me through, moment by moment. He gave me exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. I didn’t even know what to ask for, but He gave it to me because He knew what I needed.

A year later, God is still reminding me how He holds me, sends people into my life just when I need them, and gives me what I need, even if I don’t ask for it. Just like we want our children to trust us to meet their physical needs and keep them safe, even though they don’t ask for it, God does the same thing. He gives us what we need when we need it. Even when we don’t ask, or even know what we need.

Cross Road

We are three weeks away from Easter, the biggest event and culmination of everything the Christian faith stands on. Without Easter, and the plan of the cross and resurrection, we would have no reason for Christmas. Some could say that without Christmas, we wouldn’t have Easter, which is true. But without the anticipation and plan of Easter, there would be no reason for
God to have sent Jesus in the first place.

Often, I think we tend to forget the reason for the cross. Some people think it was a means to an end. Jesus had to die so His blood could pardon us. Others, perhaps, think that God decided He loved us when He sent Jesus.

However, the cross was always the plan. It wasn’t an accident. God loved us before the cross. Jesus’s death on the cross was the result of His love. The cross meant the redemption of us because of His incredible love. (to hear Curt Coffield discuss this, go to www.northway.org).

God’s love is not a result of the cross. The cross is a result of God’s love. John 3:16 says that God loved us so much that He sent His only son, so that whoever believes in Him won’t die but will have eternal life. If God didn’t love us before He sent Jesus, He would have had no reason or need to send His only son to die on a cross.

And Christ’s resurrection is both a reminder that God redeems and restores, and also a reminder that death has been defeated and there is no fear in death for those who believe in Him.
Thank You, God, for demonstrating Your love for me through the cross, and thank You for redeeming me through the resurrection. I don’t deserve it. Thank You for doing it anyway.

#Promise

It was raining, snowing, cloudy, and sunny all within one twenty-four hour period the other day. People joke sometimes that only in Pittsburgh can a person experience all four seasons within one week. It can be very warm and sunny one day, cloudy and rainy the next. Chilly and brisk another day, then snowing the fourth day. I call it weather schizophrenia. We are officially in spring, but it sure takes its time settling in.

Sometimes I wonder if spring will ever get here. During the snowing/raining/sunny times the other day, I was looking for a rainbow. I didn’t find one. Does this mean God doesn’t keep His promises? (Genesis 9:11-17) Just because I couldn’t see physical evidence of His promise, it doesn’t mean that He forgot about me or the promises that He has made, to always make me new, and to always bring me through whatever I am going through. Continue Reading…

Who Are You?

Some of you (ok a lot of you) probably just started singing the song by The Who, or as my kids call it, the CSI song. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

When someone asks “who are you?”, how do you respond? That is a really difficult question at times. I’m a wife, mother, daughter, sister, coworker, and friend. But none of these truly answer the question “who am I?”
At times, I struggle with finding myself. I define myself by who I’m supposed to be, how I’m supposed to act, what I’m supposed to think and do. But none of that is truly who I am.

Thinking through this, and using a resource a friend gave me, these few reminders of who I am stand out. Continue Reading…

Looking for a sign

Ever looked so hard for something and can’t find it, to the point where you are frustrated and possibly enraged? Ever find that particular item pretty much right out in the open, then feel a bit silly for getting so worked up? That happened to me today. I was looking for a gift card to a particular store because I needed pants for work. I remember finding it and moving it a few weeks ago, but I couldn’t remember where I put it. It wouldn’t have been such a big deal, except that I was on my final pair of pants, and I did not particularly want to have to wear one pair of pants all week long.

So, I was frustrated with myself because I was wondering why I would move the card to begin with. I looked behind the couch, under it, and all around the living room with no luck. Finally, I looked on top of a box on a bookshelf by our front door, and there it was, pretty much plain as day. I felt pretty silly.

It started me thinking: what if God tries to show me things in my every day life, and I look so hard for some hidden meaning or something hard to find, when really all He wants is for me to notice? He creates a sunrise and sunset every day, trees, flowers, birds etc. And I’m driving around looking for some sign that God is there. He whispers through the wind and I’m trying to hear a loud voice.

What if, instead of asking God where He is, I ask Him to show me ways to notice Him more?

God-willed Heart

So, I’ve started a blog.  I never thought I would do this.  I thought, really, only “emo” people or super trendy techno people would blog.  But then I remembered: I’m pretty emo (those of you who know me know this to be true, and those who don’t know me will soon realize), and I’m married to Mr. Super Techno, so I guess it kind of makes sense.

I have loved writing for as long as I can remember.  I remember sitting in restaurants, filling out the comment and address cards, just for the act of writing.  It always calmed me down.  Some people would doodle; I would write.  I’ve always been able to express myself better through writing.  Maybe that stems from my quiet personality.  Maybe it’s because I can always re-read, edit, and re-write.  Possibly it’s because no one can see if I shed a little tear every once in a while when writing about something emotional.  For whatever reason, communicating through writing has always been easier for me. Continue Reading…

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