Faith, Grief

It Comes in Waves

What do you call a mother who loses her child when he is eleven years old? Is she a widow like when her husband dies? Is there even a name to represent her heart being pulled from her chest, like a heart attack that is associated with cardiovascular disease? There should be a name to call a woman who loses her child without warning or explanation. Maybe I’ll be the first to wear that name. I am after all a grieving mother and will likely be known by that until the day I die.

Most days, I wake up and do all of the things. But then there are moments when I see his lifeless body in my mind and I want to scream and cry and beg for it to not be real. Oh and then there are the times, when a friend will just simply ask, “how are you doing”, and the tears just start rolling down my cheeks before I even say a word. I know that people understand and they give me grace. But for some reason, I find it hard to give it to myself.

Since my dear Ethan’s passing in February, I’ve had time to sit with grief and ask why him he has been my companion for so many years. Why it seems, he follows me everywhere. Is there a lesson that I haven’t learned? Or have I not humbled myself enough? I wish I knew how to shake him or to travel a different route where he can’t find me. But somehow I don’t believe that is even possible. As soon as I let my guard down he takes someone that I love and need in my life.

My neighbor recently asked me if I thought I might date or find love again. My response, “probably not.” I reminded him that as a special needs parent, I wasn’t planning to get involved with anyone in that sense because my life was devoted to being Ethan’s mom, his person. I was prepared to take care of him. I am not prepared for someone to take care of me or for anyone to take up that much space in my life. That idea is so foreign to me at this point, that I don’t even entertain it.

What’s so interesting, is that being divorced didn’t and doesn’t feel like a loss. Losing my nana, my mother and my Ethan were losses, abandonment really and that is a visceral hurt that is indescribable. Those are the losses that make me question and wonder why I am still here. But grief won’t answer me, he just follows me and stares when I tell him to leave.

I guess this is the time where I have to accept what is and to be content with raising my daughter. She needs me and wants me to be the all in mom that she didn’t have for several years. So, that mom is who I will be because she needs me to be her.

In Christian Love,

AngelaChristine

Grief covered with a smile

Faith, Grief, Love

In My Grief, I Will Be Grateful

Two months ago today my son went to be with Jesus. Most days it is still so hard for me to process, even if I make it seem as though I am.
I still struggle with what could I have done differently that day, that would have kept him here. Then there are times I walk by his room and want to cry out in anguish that he is not here.
But then I remember who controls it all. The one who gives the birds outside my window in the mornings their song to sing. The one who breathes life into me and my daughter every single day. He is the one who gives peace we are too finite to understand.
In my anguish I can still have peace and know that every single tear that falls from my eyes he notices and catches in his hands.
I am never alone or forgotten, his hugs never expire.

I fall down on my knees in gratitude. I will never stop serving the Lord.

Always in Christ,
AngelaChristine

Belief, Faith, Family, Love, Sadness

Grief and Love

On February 7, 2022, my only son died. I don’t know why, the autopsy did not provide that answer. In fact, we are still waiting to learn what could have gone wrong. Perhaps, we will never know. Would knowing even quench my grief or would it just leave me wondering what I could have done to stop it?

My son was the joy of my heart, he was an amazing kid. Though he had autism diagnosis (vaccine injury) and epilepsy (another vaccine injury), his heart was so big! He loved so big! My heart grew bigger because of him. His challenges made me draw closer to God for answers and guidance, but after countless treatments, divorce and relocation, I arrived at acceptance. Acceptance that he would always live with me and I would always live with him. I was his person and he was mine.

This only came to me two weeks prior to his death, which was right around his eleventh birthday. I had finally come to accept the love that he always had for me and readily embraced it with my whole heart and soul. Though I had always led him by the hand, I had finally accepted that he would now lead me. And he did.

There is so much to write and say about my sweet boy; eventually I will. But today, I am writing about the grief and the gut wrenching sadness I feel because he is no longer here for me to drive to therapy everyday or to drive his sister nuts. I grieve because he never had the opportunity to reach his fullest potential. I grieve because everyday going forward won’t include him. Trips we plan to take and adventures we are sure to have will not include him. I grieve because my heart loved a little boy that was only with me for a little while. I grieve because I just miss him.

I know that he is perfect in the arms of Jesus. I know that he is doing all the things that he was unable to do here on Earth. I know that he is waiting to be reunited with me someday. But I also know that I will never be the same because I loved him and he loved me. That piece of my heart that is now broken will never be repaired because it can’t, it belonged to Ethan Evan and always will.

My life will never be the same nor should it be, but it will forever be changed. I can only hope, for the better.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. “ Psalm 34:18

Always Ethan’s mom,

AngelaChristine

Belief, Faith, Friendship, Mindset

I Get Paid To Do What I Love

Most people spend a lifetime working and building someone else’s dream. Planning one’s life around two weeks of vacation and that three percent raise. Oh and then there is the retirement, annual meetings to make sure you have enough to last through your golden years. That was me until I got divorced.

I mean I was comfortable climbing the corporate ladder. It was okay to have a company car, travel and vacation once or twice a year; but when I was faced with two life altering experiences, autism and epilepsy followed by divorce. I had to rethink what I thought made sense because in my new life, it no longer made sense.

So I made a decision to walk away from my comfort zone. To push myself out on the edge, because now that I am 50, sitting in the easy chair, isn’t easy. It’s hard, it’s lonely and it’s meaningless. Serving others gives meaning. Six years ago, I moved to Georgia for the sake of my son. I asked my daughter to make a sacrifice and my husband at the time to do the same. The transition was harder than I imagined, painful actually. The struggle was real. We endured and we still endure. My children and I endure, my ex-husband decided he was done, so he moved on.

But there is light, fortunately there is always light, if you’re willing to walk into it. So I did. I decided that time and financial freedom were worth every bit of pain and sorrow I’ve experienced these past six years. What I have to look forward is only going to get better. Not because I have a crystal ball, but because I finally get to do the one thing that really matters, and that is to love and to serve.

Today, I received a comment on a post from one of the individuals, I have been fortunate to serve through Plexus. She reminded me as to why I love this job so much. It is to give hope through health, gut health specifically. I don’t have to create the products, I just have to share how everyone can benefit, if taken properly and consistently. That was just the boost that I needed to push myself these final weeks of 2021. So I will. Will you join me?

“But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.” Deuteronomy 30:14

It is and I will do it!

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

Testimony
Belief, Faith, Family, Holidays

Why I No Longer Celebrate Christmas

I’m sure that this post will come as a bit of a shock for most people who know me personally as well as those who read this blog, I will no longer be celebrating the holiday known as Christmas. My reasons are simple, there are no scriptural references to this holiday and two it is rooted in idolatry and not the gospel. Christmas was first celebrated in 336 AD, three hundred and three years after the church of Christ was established in Jerusalem. https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/301-600/the-1st-recorded-celebration-of-christmas-11629658.html

Sure, I celebrated Christmas as a child with my family. I have the fondest memories of Nana(my mother’s mother) coming over first thing in the morning to open gifts and have breakfast with us. I remember waking up before the sun came up just to see what was under the tree for me and to make sure that my brothers didn’t receive more than I did. Oh and of course there was Christmas dinner at my other grandmother’s house every Christmas evening, until we moved to Florida. So many beautiful memories are tied to that holiday. But when I shifted from child to adult, the real celebration was my mother’s birthday. She was actually born on December 25.

It’s been thirteen years since her death and the idea of celebrating another commercial holiday without her is just not something I am looking forward to. If you’ve read this far, you’re probably saying to yourself, what about your children, don’t you want to make the holiday special for them? Of course I would, but what made this holiday special for me and for others is the joy of family. They don’t have that. There is no family nearby to celebrate with. Not even close friends. There are no gifts from their grandfather, uncles or cousins to put under the tree. It is once again just us.

If I were to decorate the tree and plan out the day, the only people that would be present would be just us three. There will no gifts or invitations to celebrate the day. Always us. While I could create traditions of our own, what would be the point? Their only memories of the day they don’t have to celebrate would be of their mom stretching herself and running herself ragged just to place a few gifts under the tree. What would be different then about that day than any other day of the year?

So yes, we will create a new tradition and that it will always include spending time together, traveling and perhaps doing something that we have not done previously. It might even be a day of watching family movies and cooking and eating family meals that we prepared together. But it will not be spending like crazy on a day that has absolutely nothing to do with my salvation or theirs.

I will never criticize anyone for celebrating Christmas, because it is certainly a personal choice. But as for us, we will abstain and do something else. We will rejoice and be glad that Jesus came to earth and died on the cross for our sins and rose from the grave so that we might have salvation. And that is worth celebrating!

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

Faith, Family, Reflections

Why Isn’t He Enough?

When my life doesn’t reflect Jesus Christ, I have to ask myself why isn’t he enough? I am sure that most Christians have asked themselves that question at some point on their journey too; so in that respect I am not alone. But why? What keeps us from full devotion and commitment, when Jesus has given us salvation through the shedding of his blood. How do we look at the Messiah, who bore all the sins of the world on the cross and still think or act like he is not enough?

Obviously, I know that he is more than enough, that he is perfect and divine. A light so bright that the world could not contain him. But when I sit down at the end of day and question whether my life truly reflects him, what I see, at times is not his reflection but my own.

It is not easy being a single parent, let alone the single parent of a child with special needs. While also trying to parent a child who just wants to live a typical pre-teen life but can’t much of the time because of how much she has to help me. I think often of how different my children’s lives are than my own upbringing. I was raised with both my parents in a solidly Christian home, yet somehow that is not the life that I have managed to provide to my children. I ask the Lord daily to help me, to guide me to do all the things that I am required to do. But I have to admit, there are times that I am inadequate and fall short.

I know, I can never be perfect, but I can be complete through total surrender to the will of Christ. It is that space between my will and his will where I challenge him and make him not enough. I wrestle with submission, not that I know better or that I can do better, but that I haven’t learned to trust. You see, I am the one that will not leave my burdens on him, because in my mind, I should have to live with the consequences of my choices. That’s right, my choices, that were most likely not rooted in him.

I am grateful for a Savior who forgives and redeems and knows in my heart, that I love him. As a wild horse has to be broken in to be ridden, it is my prayer that from this day and for as many days as I have left, that I will finally surrender my all and make him enough.

The Bible says, “Let is hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

Belief, Faith, Family, Mindset

Long Overdue

Joy in the Lord

It occurred to me that I haven’t written in quite some time. Not because I can’t but because I haven’t nurtured this space as I have needed to do. In this season of busyness, it was important for me to sit down for a few moment to capture a few thoughts, particularly around the topic of consistency.

Two weeks ago, I made the conscious decision to walk away from my 23 year career, well actually almost 24 years in the pharmaceutical industry. There are several reasons, the primary one being what is happening in the world today. It has been quite painful to watch regulations not be followed, people not receiving full informed consent and governments across the world manipulating its citizens to take a medical intervention that they do not want. This has been excruciatingly painful to see. And let’s not even forget about trying to open the eyes of the people I love and care about to these crimes. It has been utterly heartbreaking.

But to my original point about being consistent in all things. Consistency in my walk with Jesus, growing my faith, pouring into my business with godly intention and raising up my children to love the Lord will all of their very beings, is what I can do. And one important piece of that is writing this blog. So, while I may touch on different topics or ideas, my heart is always to serve and it is my prayer that what I put out into this world serves.

In my opinion, there is no greater gift that I can give than to serve in love.

In Christ,

AngelaChristine

Belief, Faith, Family

While I Wait

Soar Like Eagles

I want to tell you that everything is okay, but if I did, I’d be lying.

I want to tell you that my leg is all healed up and I’m back to life as usual.

I also want to tell you that now that I am no longer receiving round the clock care, that I’m managing it all, but again, I would be lying.

You see on Friday, when the weight of it all hit me, I broke down. I cried like I haven’t cried in a while. I even screamed, asking God, why does it have to be this hard? When my daughter broke down and cried and asked me the same question and I couldn’t give her an answer that a 12 year old would fully understand, I cried even more.

Friday, was a sad day for my family. Sorrow filled. But then we woke up on Saturday morning to the most glorious sunshine and weather. It was God’s promise that mercies are made new every morning. It was also Him telling me that He sees us and we are not forgotten. It was Him hugging us. I so desperately needed that hug.

Then, today as we sat and listened to the message preached by my dear brother in Christ, Chad Garett, about sorrow, “ The Sorrowed Soul”, it resonated so deeply because of all the emotions over the past two days. He had no idea, how much I needed that message; not because it captured all of my emotions right now, but because there is absolutely nothing that I am experiencing right now in this moment that Jesus does not understand and cannot relate too. Every tear, every pain, every doubt and every fear, he feels and is moved by. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15.

So, while this weekend has had a lot of tears and sorrow, I am choosing to trust that God is holding me and my children. “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

Belief, Cancer, Faith, Family, Mindset

Standing In That Space

Valley of my life

What I try not to remember, is exactly what I need to remember, not to relive it or even give it a place in my life, but to finally say “I am done, these memories no longer serve me.” It is time to say goodbye and bury them once and for all.

Since my surgery six weeks ago, bits and pieces of past trauma have crept up into my brain. Almost taunting me to give up a little more of my protection, my shield, my independence. These feelings are so foreign to me now because I have built up a hard shell almost impenetrable to anyone even my children.

At some point in my childhood or maybe as a teenager, when I don’t remember, I made a decision, perhaps self-consciously or otherwise that emotion and feelings were for the weak. Maybe it started when my childhood friend, James committed suicide when I was in the ninth grade. That was my very first experience with death. I can remember that day, like it was yesterday, the kick in my stomach when the words rolled out of my dad’s mouth.

Or perhaps it was the following year, when the funniest guy in my class, Mark, was killed in a car accident, while joyriding with some of our classmates. He was the only in that crash, who did not survive. Then there was my dad’s promotion that required him to relocate at the start of my junior year in high school. New state, new school, no real friends. Once again, another layer of protection applied.

Somehow I managed to get through college and graduate school and start my career before the people closest to me began to die. My aunt Martha, Nana and the ultimate blow, my mom. Of course by the time my mom died the shell around my heart was titanium or some substance that only God could pierce, but only when I wanted him too.

What I have determined is that I do a great job of compartmentalizing to prevent myself from collapsing into the sheer pain of it all. To allow myself to feel that pain would leave me vulnerable and open in a way that would let the world know that I am really not as strong as I want everyone to believe that I am.

I am at my core, the woman that always wanted someone besides my mother and father to say everything is going to be just fine, with conviction. For my husband to say you have a purpose, a hope and a future designed by God. He (God) is standing in the doorway waiting for me to finally give it all to Him.

Though my legs are still wobbly and weak from these weeks of recovery, I will trust in Him. His plans for my life. I will stand in that space until all the pain and sadness have been stripped away from my heart and my mind.

For I know the plans, I have for you declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine