Who’s That Girl?

There is a picture we have on a shelf in the living room of us when we were dating.  We were boating with Jamin’s parents in Clear Lake. There’s also a picture of us from the day we got married. I love those pictures.

I’m almost done with this huge project of scanning in old photos from my childhood (it’s only taken me about 2 years!!). I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and will likely reach it this weekend or early next week. It’s been fun and strange all at once, looking at those old pictures – looking at who I was and who my siblings were.

I look at pictures from when I was very young with my grandpa. I can see the gradual progression of his cancer. He looked really sick towards the end.

I look at pictures of me and my siblings when it was just 5 of us – before our youngest sisters were born. We had no idea how limited our time with Krissy would be; everything was just our normal life. I see pictures of 8 year old me and try to remember my life before EVERYTHING changed, but sometimes I see those images and think, “Who is that little girl?” I know it’s me, but it seems like a lifetime ago.

Then I see pictures of us growing up. Dee and Becky were born, and we all went through awkward phases. I see pictures of 16 year old me and ask myself the same question.

“Who is that girl?

That girl who’s experienced so little and so much all at once. A lot of healing took place in the 8 years since Krissy died, but that girl who was so changed when Kris died is about to change all over again. She will have to relearn how to navigate a whole new world very soon. It’ll hurt, and it’ll be hard, but she’ll do it.”

I look at that picture of me and Jamin on that boat, and I remember how happy we were. I loved spending time with him when we were dating – I still do! Our relationship was so young and lacking any real hardship.

Then I look over to the picture from our wedding day. What an amazing day that was! We both had ideas about what marriage would be based on our parents or based on things we’d seen or been told. I don’t think either one of us could have anticipated what our first few years would look like. I certainly never would have predicted the losses we would endure, but I also never would have expected to grow as much as we have so quickly.

I look at any picture that was taken before a life changing event in my life, and I have such a hard time remembering the girl in the photo. Sometimes I wonder if I have changed so much that she’s not even here anymore…that maybe I’m someone else completely now. It’s all happened so quickly.

I used to be a little girl whose legs had never been swiped out from under her – who had never felt the sharp pains of grief in her body. It’s so strange how life changes us. I can never be that girl again, but what I can be, what I have become, is more whole than I have ever been because God is in the business of restoring, and He has done just that.

 

 

Dear Childless Mama

Dear Childless Mama,

You know who you are. Whether you are like me and your child was taken from your arms by that nasty thing called death or miscarriage robbed you of that baby in your arms, or that adoption you so eagerly awaited fell through, or infertility has, it seems, built walls around you, so you can’t conceive, or you are still single and wondering if you’ll ever get to build a family with someone – you know who you are, and when I say, “Dear Childless Mama,” you know I’m talking to you. Even if you’ll only call yourself a mom in the depths of your being because the world might not recognize it in you. You know. So hear my words: Continue reading “Dear Childless Mama”

Oceans

I listened to Oceans for the first time in a while a couple days ago. Every time I hear it I think back to when it first came out towards the end of 2013. I loved it immediately. The bridge goes like this: Continue reading “Oceans”

For He Know the Plans

Jamin and I have been reading one chapter in the Bible, discussing it, and praying over a list of what started out as eleven items and has turned into something a bit larger every day for almost 3 months. It has been so good for us. For a long time, we weren’t good at consistently praying and reading together, and I think it is so important in keeping God the center of a marriage.

We’ve been in Jeremiah for about a month now, and recently came across a verse that anyone who grew up in the church has probably heard. It’s the go-to verse to write on high school graduation cards. Continue reading “For He Know the Plans”

Hopefully the Last Test

As we were sitting in the waiting room, I looked at my hospital wristband where it said, “26yr.” I told my husband I could remember being 16, and at that time 26 seemed so far away. It arrived quite quickly, though. He said, “I bet this isn’t what you thought 26 would be like.” He was right.

My life has not at all been what I expected. I don’t really know what I expected it to be like, but I know this isn’t it, and I’m sure I’ll still be saying the same thing 10 years from now.

It was about a year ago that my doctors started doing tests to figure out what was going on with my body. First they thought it might have been a tumor. When that couldn’t be confirmed, they referred me to the University of Iowa Hospital. They did more tests and figured out that I did, indeed, have Asherman’s Syndrome as a result of a D & C. Continue reading “Hopefully the Last Test”

New Orleans Part 1: St. Louis

Last week, Jamin and I helped lead a high school mission trip to New Orleans. We got back last night around 7:30pm, and we have used today to rest and regain some energy. The trip wiped us out, but it was amazing.

About a month before the trip, we were asked if we could go along because they needed two more leaders. The students were from a Lutheran church in our town. We aren’t Lutheran, but I love having opportunities to work with other denominations and be unified with the body of Christ! Continue reading “New Orleans Part 1: St. Louis”

Pray Without Ceasing

A few nights ago my husband and I changed our routine a bit.

We normally pray together a few times a week, not counting quick prayers in the morning or at night, and our Bible reading is usually done independently.

We are reading through the book of Isaiah together and praying together every day. We made a list of 11 things that we are going to pray for every day. We want to make this a regular thing each day. Continue reading “Pray Without Ceasing”