Faith, Love, Reflections

Without You

Who would I be without You? Without You, my life would be a heap of ashes, without a hope and without a future. Without You, I would barely be hanging on. Without You, my words would have no meaning, my life a waste. Without you, I would be unsaved and destined for damnation. Without You, I’d never know that love is patient and is kind.

I pray that I will never forget, Who you are and all you have done for me; because I never want to live this life without You.

“With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!” Psalm 119:10

In Christ alone,

AngelaChristine

View during walk after dinner

Belief, Faith, Family, Friendship

Tiny Little Miracles

It’s hard to believe that we have been here for three weeks. So much has happened in such a short time that it’s impossible to not see God’s hand in this move. We have visited three churches of Christ, since we have been here and have already made good friends. Through these friendships, we have been able to connect with the homeschooling community. Emily is enrolled in piano, will start tennis lessons after Labor Day and will also get to participate in Fall planting at my sister in Christ’s home next month. Needless the say, as I sit here typing out this post, tears are streaming down my face as I reflect on how good God is and has been since we made this move. Though it was extremely hard in the preparation, I am appreciative that Huntsville, is woven into our journey to heaven.

Today has been busy, following worship this morning, we were invited to the home of a family from church for lunch. Not only was the meal delicious, but everything on our plates came from their backyard. Even the kombucha that was served with our meal was homemade. The meal was followed by a tour of their homestead, and if that was not enough, they gifted us with more wonderful vegetables to take home. The one surprise at lunch was the rabbit. I’ve always been hesitant about eating rabbit, but decided today that I would expand my horizons. So, I ate it with gratitude and to my surprise it was quite tasty.

If I had to put a cap on my day, it was that I was able to leave my daughter at the church building this evening after Bible study for her first youth event. She had a great time and made some new friends. She was the primary driver for this move, because I wanted to have her surrounded by other children her age, growing in Christ. God has taken us from isolated to invited and welcomed.

With all of this wonderful happening to us, my heart still aches because Ethan is not here with us to experience this too. In fact, I feel guilty that we are able to live this life without him. It seems so unfair. In fact, I still can’t comprehend that my life is so radically different now. That God would have me go on without my heartbeat, my precious boy. It still hurts so deeply.

Though, I don’t understand, I will cling to my Lord and Savior, trusting that one day I will see Ethan again as he should have always been, whole and well.

“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. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15&16

In Christine love,

AngelaChristine

Belief, Faith, Family

Sweet Home Alabama

There is so much to share that I don’t even know where to begin. My daughter and I embarked upon a journey that relocated us from the state that we had grown to call home to a place that seemed so foreign when God placed it on my heart. Probably like many of the early Americans when they left family to travel out west to set up a new homestead.

But here it’s different or maybe I am different. I am different. Or perhaps, it’s the relatability or the way we were welcomed into church on Sunday as though they had been waiting for us to arrive. Or maybe it’s just the door that opened because He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. Whatever that, it is, I am grateful that we can now call, Alabama our home. ❤️

Being a native of North Carolina, I would never have thought I could live in Alabama. Truth be told I felt the same way about Georgia.

Thank you, Alabama for welcoming us with open arms.

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

Belief, Faith, Grief, Love

Walking Through Sorrow

It’s been four months since my precious son left this life and there isn’t one day that I don’t think of him. It’s not possible for me to forget the joy that he brought into my life. He made me a warrior, a fighter, he made me brave.

I try to stay busy, because sitting with my thoughts for too long is too hard. I have to pack, but it seems like I barely get started before I stop. I know that it needs to be done, but for some reason, I can find a million distractions. I wonder if it’s because part of me feels like packing makes his death final or is just a reminder that this next journey doesn’t include him.

I know that God has him. There is no doubt in my mind that he is healed and happy. I’m just sad that it didn’t happen for me to see. Sometimes, I find myself calling him to come and give me a hug, I just want to hold him and snuggle. But he doesn’t come. Maybe he doesn’t miss me in the way that I miss him.

I still wonder why he had to leave and I know that I may never get the answers that I am seeking. I guess I just want to know why I had to go through another hurt so deep that breathing hurts. But God doesn’t owe me an explanation so I’ll accept that His grace is sufficient.

Besides I guess none of us gets to leave this planet without some amount of sorrow. Just seems that I have had enough for two lifetimes. Maybe there is a lesson in that for me to learn. I guess, I need to figure it out, because I am tired of walking through sorrow and having grief as a constant companion.

Perhaps, I’ll wake up one day and grief will be gone and if she is, I pray that I am ready for the day.

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

Morning Kisses
Belief, Faith, Grief, Mindset

On The Edge of Nowhere

Where do I belong? Where should we go? Should we just buy an RV and travel from state to state? Those are questions, I ask myself almost daily. You see when Ethan was alive, we knew. We knew where we had to be and when. But now, we’re nomads. Anchored only to the belief that, if we live faithfully we will be reunited with our Ethan someday.

When I show up online, people see the bright shiny Angela doing her best to serve and inspire. What they don’t see is the pain, that still permeates my heart. Though it’s been nearly four months, I am still not okay that he is gone. I will likely never be.

I guess what I struggle so deeply with is the not knowing. Why he had to go and not me? Why am I still here to mourn the sweetest, purest heart that I was blessed to nurture and care for? What lessons does God want me to know? Why do I still not have the faith of Job? Why do I still not know where I belong?

I started the “75 Hard Challenge” on May 9, and knock on wood, I’ve been able to meet the challenge so far. But one of the things that I am learning or I guess I have had to face is the me looking back at me in the mirror. Truth is, this is a mental challenge and it has brought forth some hard truths. Number one, I am not in control, God is and He is the ultimate decision maker. For me to think otherwise is arrogant and rebellious. Two, He loves me and has only the best plan laid out for me as long as I listen to his voice and step out of the drivers seat and sit in the passengers seat where I belong.

Three, Job was not blessed abundantly because he did not sin, but because he never wavered in his belief that God was the giver of all that he had and that He would provide and was worthy of praise, no matter the circumstances. He just trusted and believed, even when he lost all of his children in one day! He grieved but did not stop trusting God. That is the lesson, right?

Just like Job, I may never know why God has allowed me to experience so much grief over the years. But what I do know is that, God has a plan for me, not one of evil, but a future and a hope. I just have to believe that He will and to live my life according to will and to seek His counsel daily.

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” I Peter 5:10

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

Nowhere

Grief

Lonely

I am lonely. There I said it. Not in the way that most people would think. I am lonely in the sense that the one constant that anchored me, my son is no longer here. I feel like a boat with no real direction or a place that I should be. No real sense of belonging.

Before I knew that Ethan he was a he, I knew that I was pregnant with a boy, I knew he was my son. I had dreams of all the things he would do and would eventually become and I was grateful. I was grateful that once again, I would be a mother. Two children to love and nurture. That would be a blessed life.

Even when he received a diagnosis of autism and later, epilepsy and PANDAS, and my dreams changed for him, I still knew that he would be here and whatever he would need, I’d in some way be able to provide. That’s part of a being a mother, right? I mean it never would have occurred to me that I was only meant to be his mom for a short time instead of a lifetime.

Most days I am fine since his death. But lately, I find myself sobbing before I drift off to sleep each night. I know that God is with me and He sees me. I am comforted daily by His loving hands, but it is in those moments that I miss Ethan the most. I miss his hugs, I miss his smiles, I miss his innocence and his unconditional love. I miss my boy, my only son. I miss being his person and holding his hand. I miss talking to him, though he could not talk back. I just miss him.

This is my new normal. This is my normal and what I must accept for the sake of my daughter. She missed so much of me when her brother was here and has grown up so much; but she still needs me. She needs me to teach her all of the things that I thought she would just pick up because I told her or showed her one or two times. Turns out she needed me too, she just didn’t ask because she knew that Ethan needed me more.

While I don’t understand, why Ethan had to go or why I still have to navigate my life without him, I will accept and be assured that Ethan is with God and is waiting for me to be reunited with him one day. That is my hope.

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

Thank you Lord for allowing me to be Ethan’s mom for eleven years. I will always be grateful.

Always in Christ,

AngelaChristine

The three of us
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, Mindset

We Are What We Believe

What occupies your mind? Does your work align with your values and beliefs?

I spent nearly 24 years of my life trading my time for a paycheck. In that time, I sacrificed what was most important, not because i wanted to, but because I thought that I had no choice. Ultimately, my only son died as a result of choices that I thought we right, but later learned that they were wrong, it was a hazard of the profession that I had chosen.

Since my son’s death I have had many sleepless nights and more time to study the Bible and to remember what my purpose is here on this earth. I have had the opportunity to speak to my sisters in Christ about maintaining their physical health and the best gift was witnessing my daughter commit her life to Christ through baptism into his kingdom. Acts 2:38.

We only get one life and in the grand scheme of it all, it is short. So while there is still breath in my body, I will heed the advice of King Solomon, who penned, “ The end of the matter, all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.”
Ecclesiastes 12:13&14

So again, I ask, “what occupies your mind?”

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, 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