Justin Ryker Swick

Justin Ryker Swick

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A dream I never dreamed

I have a met an amazing lady this past year, who is so willing to help me with getting Justin's Jesus available to the public and in helping us reach those who may like to read our story, Jenna has been so helpful and extremely patient, while I took a week off from everything.

One day I had called a local bookstore after talking with WestBow about marketing, and deciding that their marketing plans were WAY over our budget!  I had called just to get a little advice about how I would go about possibly getting Justin's Jesus available locally.  I was blessed that Jenna was working that day, even though it wasn't her scheduled day.  Her parents own the local bookstore, The Living Well, and she is helping me with the marketing, and they now have Justin's Jesus available at their store.  (So if you are in the Iowa Falls/Alden area....be sure to hit up The Living Well!) 

We went to Iowa Falls this morning, and as I walked into the store and saw my book on the shelves, something hit me, "You know it's like a dream come true, that I never even dreamed!" There are peopel out there that dream of having their books on store shelves, even just one store, and it is a lifelong goal of theirs to get a book published.  I was not one of those people, however I wish them all the best of luck, it was an amazing feeling!  Don't get me wrong, if I could change our story I would in heartbeat to have Justin with us, although then again, why would I want to keep him from something as amazing as Heaven, but I'm selfish. :)  Either way, I did not dream of ever writing a book, getting my book published, or seeing it on store shelves, but all of a sudden it was a dream come true, in a way, I just didn't realize it. 

After I spent the week at my mom's we had decided to meet Ryan in Des Moines at Barnes and Noble, which is about half way inbetween Alden, and Princeton (where my mom lives) so that no one had to drive too far, since I rode down with my sister and didn't have a car.  While Ryan was waiting on me, (it seems like he has to wait on me a lot! :) ) There was actually a young woman who came into the Barnes and Noble and requested to order a copy of Justin's Jesus.  What are the odds?? Again, I was so excited to hear this, when it was something I never even imagined!!!

So once again thank you all for getting the word out about Justin's Jesus.  I am blessed that our baby in Heaven is doing such amazing things on earth.  I truly am blessed to be his mommy!!

A VERY special thank you as well to THE LIVING WELL!!! Thank you so much for that experience today!  Thank you SO much for putting our story on your shelves!!! Thank you Thank you, especially to Jenna!  I am glad God put you in the store the day I called! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Just one day

Last week I had my very first actual breakdown.  The day was awful for absolutely no reason! It was an ordinary day with no significance what so ever, but it was the worst day I had had since Justin passed away. It didn't make sense to me.  Generally something triggers those emotions and I have to make myself realize I have a choice if I want to go with those feelings of despair or if I want to focus on the joy in my life; that day I was never presented with that choice, I woke up and it was bad! I didn't understand it that day what had caused such a bad day, looking back on it now I understand it a little bit more.  When you go through something like this, not just "losing" a child, but having any close loved one go to Heaven, it is hard to express yourself.  Like I said before it is pretty easy for me to write about it, but to actually "talk" about it, is a completely different story.  What makes it additionally harder is that around us, there aren't a lot of people who "understand" and honestly I don't want them to, the only way they could really "understand" is if they went through it too, and I would NOT want that!  However, I don't really need anyone to "understand".  Because I don't really like to open up about it face to face, I sometimes wish I had one of those people in my life that didn't let me get away with that.  Didn't just take, "I'm doing okay" as an answer and let it be.  Sometimes it would be nice if someone said, "I know you're not okay, I've seen your facebook posts, I've read what you put in your blog, or I see how you're acting.  Let's talk."  I am not mad, angry, or hurt that there aren't a lot of people like this in my life, I am NOT one of these people, and the reason is is because we don't know what to say.  What happens if they really did open up, what would I say?  What would happen if I start crying?  Will she feel like it is hurting me to talk about it with her?  What do I do if she really does "talk" about it?  That's exactly what I would be thinking, but sometimes you just need someone who will give you that little extra push.   
  Life has been so exciting lately, with all that is happening with Justin's Jesus, that I was almost feeling guilty for being excited, and even proud of it, when the whole reason we have this story is because Justin went to heaven.  I started not being able to sleep, and the days were so busy filled with taking care of kids, daycare kids, and pictures, that I think it hit me like a brick wall.  I would never wish that feeling on anyone.  Thankfully I have an awesome husband who took off half of the day to be with me and my sister came down to stay with me for the rest of the week so that I didn't have to do it all on my own.  I really am blessed to have such an amazing family that is there to support me when I can't stand on my own.  I was thinking about it the other night: After Justin died, a lot of people would say, "I just don't know what to say," and at that time, niether did I.  I have realized now what I would have wanted people to say at that time, and I am blessed that I do have people like this in my life, but if I ever and put in a situation where I have to talk to someone who is going through something like this I would tell them,"I am here for you, no matter what day, no matter what time" and mean it.  It is easy to say that the first few days or even the first few weeks and sincerely mean it, but what happens when their breakdowns don't happen until five months later?  I almost felt like a burden on people because heartbreak would devour me at ridiculous times and ordinary days.  Thankfully, I do have a family that is there even at odd hours and "normal" days, but what about the people who don't?  It breaks my heart to think that there are others out there having these same bad days filled with despair, and hopelessness, and have no one they feel they can turn to.  I want to make myself be that someone, who will be there to chat, or give a hug, at anytime. 

After last week, I decided I was wearing myself a little too thin. I needed a "break", so what did I do....ran to my mommy!!!! :)  I have been staying at my parent's house the past few days, and this 'break' wasn't quite what I thought it would be with my grandma (who lives with my parent's) being admitted to the hospital, but either way I think I needed a change of scenery for just a little while anyway.  I did take a break from some of Justin's Jesus, just for this week, however even though I haven't been doing much with it, this has probably been the most rewarding week.  Now that Justin's Jesus has been out for awhile and people have gotten a chance to read it, I am getting some really amazing feedback, sometimes from people I don't even know.  I check Justin's Jesus facebook page yesterday and had two e-mails from two different ladies, from two different states, that I have never even been to!  AMAZING!!!! So while I'm taking a break, God isn't, I am being blessed every single day!  And even on the days of despair, I am blessed that he is holding me and carrying me through it.  Even though that day I wasn't sure I could make it through that day, I did, the next day was better, and the day after that was even better, it was just one day out of my life.  I am sure I will have more meltdowns, I think they are inevitable, but that's okay, because they are only a day, the rest of the days I am full of Joy and Peace.  So while last week was bad, this week is getting better. Grandma is doing well, and should be able to come home tomorrow.  The boys are playing with their cousins, and I don't have to worry about MY house being a mess...just moms!!! :)  So once again, I have found the peace, hope, and joy that has never really left me, I just buried it for a day.  It was just a day, just one day. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A rainbow horse???????

So, I was talking to my aunt last night who had just finished reading Heaven Is For Real. She raises horses and was talking of course about the "rainbow" horse that Colton talks about in the book. She also said how neat it will be to see if Riley continues to tell us things, considering that little boy talked about it for 6 years before they wrote the book. I had told her that I didn't know if he would or not, considering I had prayed that if he was going to be scared of the bad things he saw that it would be okay if he didn't remember. And that we have tried to talk to Riley a few times since and he hasn't said anything more. Well today I asked him, I said, "Riley, you know how you told us that you were playing with bubbles the night that Justin died?" he said "yeah", So I said, "Who was with you?" (he had already told us before that he was with Jesus and I wanted to see if his story was the same). He told me he was with Jesus, I asked him where they were, he said Jesus's home, so I asked him where Jesus lives, thinking he would say the church because every time we drive by the church he asks if that's where Jesus lives, and we tell him yes, that's Jesus' house, that's where we go to learn about Jesus, but he didn't he said, "in the clouds". But then even after he said it it seemed to confuse him, he goes but I thought Jesus's house was at Church, so of course I went on to tell him that that is the amazing thing about Jesus, He does live in the church, because that is where people gather to learn about him, but he also has a home in the clouds, you're right, and that's Heaven, that's where Justin lives with Jesus, and he also lives in our hearts, that's how we know he is always with us. Then I asked him if there was anyone else with him and he told me a little boy, he had been riding his bike and got hit by a car and he was going home to heaven to live with his dad. (this part I'm not so sure about, we just had a little boy die that went to a daycare I used to work at, he had been riding his tricycle and his dad accidentally hit him with the truck and the little boy died, he may have heard me telling someone about it, I don't know) then he said there was a little girl there too that died in a car accident (this is in the book). I asked him if he knew their names, he didn't, and I didn't ask him anymore about them. I did ask though, I said Riley does Jesus have a horse? He told me no. but then went on to tell me that "he has a pony, it's not my size", I said oh was it too little for you, he told me "no, that it was way too big for me", (so he must know that there is a difference in size between a pony and a horse, but has them backwards, thinking that a pony is bigger than a horse). I asked him what color the horse was? Thinking again that he would tell me brown, or black, or white, (my step-dad has miniture horses and he has been around them, he knows what color horses are) but his reply was, "red, purple, blue, orange..." A rainbow horse???? Sounds familiar! :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Real Pain

I realized yesterday, once while writing my blog, than later when I was talking to my aunt.  That when I write my blogs there are two things I do.  While I try to be as real as I can be while writing, I feel that sometimes I don't always put in exactly how I feel at that moment for two reasons.  One is that I know there are people out there reading my blogs that also have children in Heaven, and I want to keep that feeling of hope in every blog.  While this is not necessarily wrong, sometimes it does hide some of the more negative feelings I feel everyday, and that is not fair to them or to me.  I am going to try to write more about ALL of the feelings, not just the feelings of hope, but those of despair too.  "Losing" a child is NOT easy, I am NOT "over it", and like I said in my blog posting yesterday, I have to make a conscience decision everyday as to if I am going to have a good day or a bad one.  I'll be honest I don't always make the right choice, and I feel as sometimes those are things that I leave out of my blog.  I guess I thought I was protecting them and myself from having to face those days, or those feelings, when really all I was doing was not addressing all that happens in this season of my life.  While I do focus on hope, peace, and joy, it really is not as easy as sometimes I make it seem.
The second thing I do, is when I write a blog, I write it just as much for me as for anyone else.  Just as yesterday I said that we may edit some of the pictures of Justin so that we can change them when we change Riley and Jacob's pictures so that we have "new" pictures of Justin.  I hadn't even thought of this until I was writing that blog, and also I was having a hard time while I was writing, that I was trying to convince MYSELF that I was going to have a good day, pretty much telling myself,  through my blog what I needed to do to do that.  Not that it is the same for everyone, everyones pain is real, and a lot of times very different than other peoples pain.  So here is a blog that doesn't just focus on the hope, but also gives a little insight to the despair and heartache we feel each day, and I'll be honest I'm going to have to do a lot of praying after I write this, because when I do face this part of it, especially seeing it written down, and showing my insecurities to the world, it tends to make the day harder, and the joy in everyday harder to find, but I feel that people need to know this side of it also, and once again, I need to do this for me that I can "deal" with it and not just cover it up.

I don't like to "talk" about Justin.  While it seems like writing about it comes pretty easy, talking about it is a whole different story.  When I write I am looking at a computer screen, I am not looking into the face of the person I am talking to and see the look of pain and sorrow on their face, as they empathize or sympathize with mine.  It is hard to talk to someone about it because they do feel that pain, not that they have lost a child themselves, but they may have a child or are close to a child that they couldn't imagine that type of heartbreak.  I don't like to talk to people, because when you are face to face, talking about the morning I went upstairs, or the nights I lay in bed wondering where my life would be if this hadn't happened, hoping that I can finally get to sleep and feeling sorry for myself, I can't hide that pain from them.  I can't smile through talking about it, I can't hide the tears, or stop them from coming when I "talk" to people.  I do ask the questions, sometimes, that I try to push away as soon as they creep into my mind, of why me?  Why him?  It is painful to hear Riley and Jacob ask if we can have another baby. It is painful to see other babies, Justin's age, happy and healthy and snuggling with their mommies.  The pain is real, and it is constant, and I will be honest it is a pain I will have my entire life, but like I said before you can have peace even while in pain.  I am still at peace with where Justin is; and knowing that he is happier than he could have EVER been on earth, and while this makes it "easier" to "deal" with, it does not take that pain away.  The knots in my stomach are there everyday.  Yes we have a "new" normal, but it's not "normal".  "Normal" families don't have children in Heaven.  "Normal" families have all of their children right there with them.  "Normal" families get to watch their children grow up, get to see them learn how to ride a bike, get a car, their first girl/boy friend, they get to see their children walk down aisle and marry the man/woman of their dreams, they get to see them have their own children, and enjoy those children.  We dont' have that, and I times I feel cheated!  We went to a wedding this summer, and while I didn't expect it, watching the groom dance with his mother, made me bawl.  I would never get that with Justin, and that's not "fair!" It's not "fair" that I don't get to see him do all these things that I watch Riley and Jacob doing everyday.  Justin would just be starting to  crawl right now, and that is heartbreaking for me to think about.  That while I sit here and write in HIS blog, I should be chasing after him!  I should be keeping him from going up the stairs, I should be calling people about Justin's great accomplishments of the day, and yet I sit here crying writing in a blog?! Doesn't seem to even compare! So please don't judge me for giving into my human mindset for just a minute and say this is not fair, this is not right, this is not where we should be, and this hurts.  It hurts to not have him, it hurts to see other babies, it hurts to think about possibly ever having another child, and it hurts not holding him, seeing him, cuddling him.  THIS HURTS! AND I HATE IT!

But with that, I am now going to go back to hope and peace, because I need to for me.  I get through everyday because I know I will see Justin in Heaven.  I get through everyday because as bad as it sounds, life goes on, and I'll be honest there are some mornings that I wonder why it does, but either way I have two other precious little boys that need me to be the best mother I can be, they need me to get out of bed, they need me to be happy, they need me to be strong for them.  I am so thankful that God has given me them, that he has blessed me with a wonderful husband, and a great family that I can call up at 2:00 in the morning, because I don't want the people reading my blog to see that part of me, I don't want them to see the breakdowns, and at that time I have to actually "talk" to someone and not just write.  Those times I need to call up family and here them say, "it's not easy, it will never be easy, but we're here for you" and just talk to me, sometimes not even about Justin, but just talk that things can fall back into place even for the night so I can get a little sleep.  While this pain is so real, hope IS just as real, peace is just as real, and faith....well it's bigger than my pain.  My God is bigger than my pain, and he gives me hope, and he gives me peace, and joy.  He carries me through this pain everyday, he helps me find my happiness in the morning that I don't have to dwell on the pain all day long, he lends me some of his strength to get through the day because if I had to rely on my own strength (or lack of)  I would not be here, so I am so thankful that he is stronger than any and all of this.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Only Yesterday

I wanted to first update everyone on the progress of Justin's Jesus.  I am blown away by the amount of exposure and support Justin's Jesus has received.  In less than 48 hours Justin's Jesus website has had over 1100 pageviews, and this blog has had almost 3000 in 3 months.  Thank you to all of my blog readers, my friends and family, my facebook followers...ALL of you have not only gone to the website, or read the blogs; but those of you also who have shared Justin's story, those that have ordered the book, and most of all those that encouraged me to share our story.  You all have been  completely amazing, and I NEVER could have done this on my own.  I was not expecting Justin's Jesus to take off as much as it has in even a matter of a couple of days.  So thank you so much for you continued support and encouragement.

Like I said in a blog posting earlier, this is the most bittersweet experience I have ever had in my life, and while I am so thankful for all of this, it can be a little overwhelming at times too, (in a good way).  It makes me sit back and humble myself that, while yes, this is exciting and amazing, it also too makes me look the situation in the face.  I posted Justin's video, that my little sister and her boyfriend so graciously made for us to play at Justin's funeral on Justin's Jesus website.  Even as I was adding it, as soon as it would start I would stop it.  It is one of those things that I would love to watch over and over again, but I just can't.  The other day I watched it for the first time in a very long time, but muted it.  The songs are what gets to me.  I can look at Justin's pictures everyday, and do.  We have pictures of Justin hanging on the walls in our house, and will never take them down.  Why would we?  We wouldn't take down Riley and Jacob's pictures, in fact we add to them each year as they grow.  While we don't get the pictures of Justin every year, I have decided that I have enough pictures of Justin, (thank you Lord, for having me take those pictures while I could), that each time I change Riley and Jacob's pictures I am going to change his picture too, I may even edit some of them so that they are "new" to us.  Today I watched the video for the first time, with sound, in I don't know how long.  I'll be honest, that was a couple of hours ago, and my stomach is still in knots and my eyes still burn.  While I am so so very thankful that Jack and Jill were able to make that for us, it is heart breaking to listen to and watch, and a lot of the reason is because it does capture Justin's essence, it shows who Justin was in the short time we had him, it shows how much he was loved, by so many people.  What an amazing baby God blessed me with. I think also why it is so hard for me to watch, is because I was there the day every one of those pictures were taken, and it seems like it was only yesterday.  Only yesterday was he sitting in his swing smiling at me, only yesterday was he making funny faces at his daddy, only yesterday did Riley and Jacob ask if they could hold him or feed him...all of it was only "yesterday".  It has only been 5 months...that really isn't much longer than, "only yesterday"

 I'm taking a short break just to reflect on the situation at hand, and praying that I get through the day with a smile on my face and peace instilled in my heart.  It's the bittersweet times, that make me sit back and make a conscience decision on if I want to dwell on the bitterness of it, (what brought us to this place), or realize just how sweet and miraculous all of this has been, (now that this is where we are). 

Thank you again for your support and thank you for continuing to share Justin's story, but please pray for us also that we are able to make the decision every day that this is a very sweet thing, yes it is tragic what brought us to this place, but we will see Justin again, and this is an amazing season in our life, after such a heart breaking one.  Thank you all!!!  Also if you have not watched Justin's video, I encourage all of you to do that, I want everyone to know just how precious, how beautiful, how sweet, and how loved Justin was  and continues to be.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Justin's Jesus is Ready to Order!

Hello everyone!!!! I have exciting news!  Justin's Jesus is ready to order!  I have put a link on the picture of the cover, (on this page), but you can also go to barnes and noble's website or amazon.com, or once again order it from you local bookstore.  ;)  If you order from barnes and noble here is a coupon code(R9V9D8K)  that gives you a 15% savings, I have also heard that you can get free shipping from both barnes and noble and amazon.  Thank you all so much for you support and I hope you like the book.  If you do get the chance to read it, please let me know what you think about, I would love any and all feedback.

I also have a website up and running.  www.justinsjesus.com has over 400 pageviews since I published it last night at 10 PM, that is AMAZING!!! I owe it all to you guys for spreading the word of Justin's Jesus, both the story, the blog, and the book, and of course to Jesus Christ himself, for taking something so tragic and turning it into a testimony!  Check out the website if you haven't yet, and feel free to leave feedback there as well. 

One more exciting piece of news.  As most of you know I am writing for Opentohope.com and my first article was published on their site on Friday.  I received an e-mail last night saying that my blog post, "Finding Joy" will be featured on their HOME PAGE this Saturday Jan. 21st!  God really is good.  I am completely amazed everyday with the blessing he brings upon us.  Thank you all again your support and sharing of our story has gotten us where we are, we couldn't have done it without everysingle one of you.  Please keep on sharing.  We really hope that our story will be able to bring peace and hope to others who may be grieving.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Life's Crazy Turns

This time last year we were anticipating the arrival of Justin, and getting ready for our ultrasound to tell us if we were going to be blessed with a baby boy or girl.  This year we are anticipating the arrival of a book about the death of our beautiful baby boy.  It is the most bittersweet thing I have ever experienced in my life.  While I am so excited to hold the book that contains such a story, I am still heartbroken that in order to have such a great thing happen in our lives, the worst thing had to happen to get us there.  It is crazy how life takes such drastic turns so quickly.  I do feel blessed though, that since we had to go through such a tragedy, that maybe we can help others with our story, through theirs. 

I will be receiving the very first printed copy of Justin's Jesus in just a couple of days, and to tell you the truth I don't know whether I want to cry from the pain of losing Justin that brought this book on, or if I want to scream out in joy that we have something so special to share with others. 

I wanted to let you all know that once I receive the book, and confirm that the printing is of good quality it will then be released to stores and available to order.  I have a favor to ask of all of you, and I know that this may be a hassle for some and for that I am sorry.  The biggest, biggest help would be if those of you who plan on ordering a copy of Justin's Jesus, would go to your local bookstores and request them to order the copy for you.  Because bookstores get their orders through wholesale discounts they generally order more than one copy, which in turn they would put on their shelves, making it more readily available for others who may not know our story, but are looking for a little hope and inspiration after losing a loved one.  If you are not able to do this, that is completely fine also, but if you can will you please do that for me.  

Thank you all once again, for the amazing amount of love and support your have shared through all of this.  I could not ask for a better support system.

Monday, January 9, 2012

How 'Big' and Becoming Fearless

Lately a lot of people have been asking me how 'big' I think Justin's Jesus is going to be.  I never have an answer for this question because I have absolutely no idea of what God's plans are for this story he has placed in our hands.  Now that we are in the marketing phase of Justin's Jesus, it is hard to decide how much to do and how much we simply let go of knowing that God is in control of everything, that Justin's Jesus will go where ever he wants it to go.  Thankfully he has laid things out pretty clearly for us these past few weeks when it comes to what he wants us to do.  Once again, he has placed people in my life that otherwise I probably would never have crossed paths with, that have more knowledge than I, when it comes to marketing.  After pondering this question though, I think I finally have an answer to the "How big" question:  Once again, Justin's Jesus will be as big as God wants it to be.  We are going into this expecting nothing, it is what it is, a story God has given us in hopes to help others find peace, hope, joy, and solace, after losing a loved one; therefore it doesn't matter if Justin's Jesus sells one copy or 100 copies, if it reaches one mom, dad, brother, sister, grandparent, etc, and it helps them find peace and comfort after a tragedy, and leads them to a life full of the light of Jesus Christ, then that's when it will be big.  One person, one life, is all it takes to make Justin's Jesus BIG.

 Here is an exerpt from Justin's Jesus: Becoming Fearless

My greatest fear has always been “losing” a child, and anybody that I am close to knows this.  I spoke about it often, and the fear was so nagging that it ate away at my soul and wouldn’t let my mind rest.  In fact, when my children were infants I frequently had to talk myself out of guarding my heart, because my fear was SO great.  It took a sort of power over my life that, at times, made it so I did not want to get too emotionally attached to my children for fear that if something happened to one of them, that I would not be able to go on.  I was constantly telling people, “If something happens and I should lose one of my children, God had better take me too,” and in a sense He did. He took away the biggest part of me, the one thing that I had let consume my life, my actions, and my heart; he took away my fear.  What do you have to fear when your biggest fear has come to pass? 

I had been so consumed with fear t tt  hat I had lost sight of God’s promises.  Somewhere along that road, I had obviously stopped trusting in God, his plan, His purpose, His promises.  I did this unconsciously, of course, as I had been working hard on trusting God in all other aspects of my life.  Looking back on it now, my children are one of my greatest things in life, I know that and if I wasn’t trusting Him with them, was I really fully trusting Him?  The answer is no. 

The Bible tells us over and over again, “Do not worry,” “Do not fear.”  I was not listening, I was not trusting, and I spent my life worrying about my kids, my finances, and my career.  Because I was worrying, I was not putting my trust in God.  How freeing it is, to me, to realize this.  I now live my life without worry.  I am God’s child.  He loves me even more than I love my own children.   He is not going to do anything to harm me.  He is my protector, my Savior, my Jesus, my Father.  My children are His children.  He did not take Justin away from me to hurt me, even though, yes, it hurt.  He received him into Heaven with a bigger plan for him, for me, and for my other children. 

I can now live free because of the lessons I have learned about life through Justin’s death.  I am more aware of the need we have as humans to have God in our lives, and to let Him have complete control.  This is a message I want to instill in my children.  All of these lessons had to be taught to me, just as a parent has to teach a child to ride a bike.  You cannot stand there and hold onto the handles or keep the training wheels on, and expect them to take them off themselves and start riding a two-wheel bike, on their own.  As a parent, you have to let go, take off the training wheels, and watch them fall. Does this hurt as a parent? Oh yes, no one wants to see their child crying, in pain, or discouraged, but what do you do?  You stand back, you kiss their owies, pick up their bike, dust off their pants, and encourage them to try again; they will get it.  The child gets back on the bike because he trusts what his parents said to him.  If the child’s parents were to have said to the child, “Oh no, let’s put the training wheels back on, you are not ready for this, if you get back on you will fall off again and hurt yourself,” that child would trust what his parents said and not learn how to ride the bike, at least not then.

The feeling a child gets the first time he takes off on that bike, by himself, is how I feel now.  I am free; I have nothing to worry about, because I am not in control.  What is worrying going to do for me?  It’s going to take away my joy daily, it is going to hinder the time I have here on this side of Heaven because I am not able to fully enjoy my life, if all I do is worry.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Keeping Everything In Perspective...

Last night I was lying in bed thinking about the next blog I would write.  I have had a lot of friends lately have loved ones that were very close to them pass away, and if there were ANY words I could say that could offer them even an ounce of peace and hope.  Last night I had it all in my head what I would write, what has given me the most peace after Justin went to be with Jesus.  I am not sure if I have already written it in my blog, or if it is Justin's Jesus, (anymore I get them confused, so if I am repeating myself I am sorry).  The thought that keeps peace in my heart and hope in my soul, is knowing that my perspective is miniscule compared to God's. While we are on Earth, our perspective is "here" and "now", we cannot fathom what "eternity" really means.  I had a pastor one time say that in the grand scheme of things our lives here on Earth are just a "blip on a screen".  I have thought about this a lot when thinking about when I will see Justin again.  Again, if I can accept that God knows all, and his plan is bigger and better, I need to also remember that today doesn't hold a candle to eternity.  How I feel about this is that, Justin will not be away from us for long, once I get to Heaven it will seem like no long than if we had taken him to my parent's house for the weekend.  God is that big, eternity is that long, so once I get there I feel I will realize, I didn't miss out on much.  So for those of you who are missing a loved one this new year, please remember, it won't seem that long once you get to hold your loved ones again, please try to keep in perspective that our perspective is sooo completely off what God's perspective is, which in turn is also the "right" perspective.  So while we are missing our loved ones now, please have peace in knowing it is not as long as it seems right now, that we will be with them again. 

I thought about getting up and writing the blog last night while it was still fresh in my head, but then decided not to.  I don't believe in coincidences and I feel that there is a reason I waited until today to share this story. 

One time in college, while I was working at Walt Disney World with my best friend, I woke up and told her that I had a dream about her brother, who had passed away a couple years prior.  I had not had the privilage of meeting her brother and had never had a dream about him.  All of a sudden she started crying, telling me that she also had a dream about him and she and her family always felt as if when they had dreams about loved ones who had passed on, it was them visiting you.  I didn't think much of this before this incidence, because I had never had anyone really close to me die.  She then went on to tell me that she also had a dream about him and in her dream she was upset and had told him that she wished he had had the chance to meet me, he told her he had.  She hadn't told me yet about this dream, when I told her I had had a dream about him.

Then last week, a family friend, who's son is also in Heaven wrote me a message about being visited by her son in a dream, which doesn't happen as often as she'd like it to, but when it does it is an amazing feeling.  I told her about the story of my best friend and I, and also that I had only had a couple dreams about Justin, one in which I woke up and it seemed as though he was lying next to me, I could almost feel his weight and smell his baby skin.  I kissed the air next to me, rolled over and went back to sleep, quite content. 

Last night after I had thought about this blog, I had a dream about Justin.  He wasn't much bigger than what he was when he left us, but he could talk, (I knew this was weird, but hey it was a dream), I was cradling Justin in my arms, when he looked up at me and said, "Mommy, don't worry I will see you soon." "I know, honey." was all I said back. 

I know that there are a lot of people who will read my blogs, get to this one and think, "yeah, this girl is just crazy, a mom in mourning looking for every sign that may help her in her grieving process," and that may be true.  I actually had thought of this, and contemplated not putting it in the blog at all, but then thought back to other moms, wives, girlfriends, dad's, etc.  who do know what I'm talking about, have the same feelings, and want to hear real stories of hope and peace.  I may be a mother in mourning looking for every sign, but you know what?  That's okay.  It doesn't hurt anyone else for me to look deeper into the things that are happening in my life, nor does it hurt me to share my stories of hope. 

I hope that those of you that are mourning look for the little things, look deeper into things that normally you would just write off, make those experiences big ones, even for yourself, that you will find hope and peace in the smallest of dreams, or the faintest of smells.  God Bless you all, and I pray for hope, peace, and joy for all of you in 2012.