3 years…..

Lizz and boys superheroes156 weeks…..1,095 days since that horrible day.  A parent’s worst worry becomes reality.  As I go through this day, a few thoughts and reflections:

Time does not heal all wounds.  Time softens the grief but I have come to accept it will never go away until I am in the presence of the one who gathers my tears and heals all wounds…..Jesus Christ.  I wouldn’t want anyone to walk this path, but because this is my reality, she and they are so worth any pain.  My love is enough to cover any pain.  God has shown me in a small way the love he has for us that he would send his only begotten Son….love so amazing.

I still cry.  There is still a tenderness where the tears come.  I tell people it is precious memories that are falling from my eyes.  I don’t think that will end….and I am pretty sure I  don’t want it to.  Because it is in these moments, God does his best work in me and keeps me close to him.

I have joy.  There are definitely hard days…..today is one…..but I now understand what the apostle Paul wrote about in Philippians about joy.  Paul’s joy is not at all dependent on his circumstances. Although he has been imprisoned for almost four years (1:12-18), he still rejoices (1:18). Even if he should be sentenced to death for his ministry, still he would rejoice (2:17, 18). Paul had learned to be content in whatever his present condition (4:11).  God has taught me alot about the difference between joy and happiness.  God has also blessed me the most through the precious relationships in my life.  My husband, our surviving children and their spouses, and our precious grandchildren Ava, Eli, Nate and Drew.  We are blessed.  Yes, even through it all, God has and continues to bless me.

God’s grace is sufficient.  I have learned over the last three years it is the only thing that is….period.    His grace has gotten me through this so far.  I don’t have this loss of a child all figured out, but I have never felt the closeness to my Lord as these last three years.

This has become one of my life verses over the last 3 years…..2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

I would have never…….believed I would join a throng of parents who have buried their children/grandchildren.  The cycle of life is not suppose to work this way.  But if this is my life….I consider myself so blessed to have been Elizabeth’s Mom and the boys Nana.  God has prepared me for this and I lean on him for strength.  I would have never thought my life would be one involved in bereaved organizations, making memorial wreaths to honor loved ones, raising money through wreath sales for scholarships or working with Methodist Children’s Home.  But yet it is through these efforts where I feel led. Love truly does change ourselves and the world.

To honor their lives I placed memorial ads in the Lexington Leader and the Salado papers today:

3rd anniversary Memorial Lexington revised3rd Anniversary Salado revised

And over 70 people requested random acts of kindness cards who will join me today and celebrate their lives in being the hands and feet in small ways through random acts of kindness.  I mailed out over 1,000 cards to people as far as Germany and Washington state, Indiana and all across the Lone Star State.  To those that are doing the random acts of kindness, thank you for joining me on a day to share the light, joy, laugh and smiles of my daughter and grandsons.  Those of  you that had the honor of knowing and loving Lizz and the boys we should share that joy, laugh, smile and light to others.  May you all be blessed as you give of yourselves.

Lizzrandomfront

Here is the video I made for this 3rd anniversary.  The music is “It is Well” by Josh Wilson and “Bookends” by Simon and Garfunkel.

Here are their memorials wreaths I made this year.  I always use sunflowers on their anniversary wreaths.  Lizz loved sunflowers and the boys would pick them for her.  This year, I wanted to recreate the flowers from their homecoming service with the Hulk hands and Spiderman mask.  I made Hayes’ wreath with another favorite superhero Captain America.

IMG_1894 IMG_1892 IMG_1895 IMG_1896And to honor the life of my baby girl and my grandsons, my front door:

IMG_1897

What’s next?  I’m not sure.  I continue to follow God’s leading.  My heart has changed, my passions in how I want to make a difference in this time I have left on this earth are starkly different than they were three years ago.  But this I do know.  I know where Lizz and the boys are….they are not “lost”…..and I have hope in a risen Savior.  Therefore, because of love……I will continue on.

It is well and LOVE ALWAYS WINS……

Julie

11 thoughts on “3 years…..

  1. I can’t believe it has been 3 years… Doesn’t seem that long ago… What a beautiful bunch! Can’t wait to see them again!

  2. God bless you Julie! Know that there are many others helping to carry your grief. Continue on as that is what Liz would want.

  3. I still show this picture and tell the accident to many. They deserve so much more than just a memory left behind and you definitely have filled that. I have enjoyed the beautiful pics. For those of us that didn’t know them- I have enjoyed knowing their personalities through your postings.

    YOU have been not only been their loved one left behind but their voice that has educated many through this process of emptiness.

    YOU are amazing Julie for keeping their memory alive and never forgotten.

    YOU continue to show a lot of us how to put energy back into the memory of loved ones by finding projects you love.

    MAY the LOVING Memory of these 3 BEAUTIFUL individuals who are now ANGELS of the LORD continue.

  4. I gave a card of Fisher and a bracelet to my mail carrier. Mail carriers have a very thankless job. But until you reminded me of the need to do kind deeds did I stop and look around. Thanks for the reminder.

    Then yesterday I took Tabitha to her doctors appointment in Corpus to have stitches removed. We then went on a short shopping trip to the mall followed by a dinner trip to the Olive Garden. As I sat and looked into my Granddaughters eyes I thought of you Elizabeth. I have so much to feel blessed about. As I reach for my wallet I see Ben peaking out at me. With his big blue eyes. I reached deeper into my wallet and gave the card and a large bill attached to a well deserving young man. As we walked out he and three outer waiters were looking at the card. God Bless you and the lives you have touched.

    Brenda Gary Lane

    >

  5. To this day I still remember your sweet bubbly spirit and your kind nature. How you always made people laugh and smile around you. I never got the pleasure to meet your little boys but I could tell they had you in them. So glad I knew you. Miss ya girl.

  6. Julie, I gave a card of Fisher and a bracelet to my mail carrier. Mail carriers have a very thankless job. But until you reminded me of the need to do kind deeds did I stop and look around. Thanks for the reminder.

    Then yesterday I took Tabitha to her doctors appointment in Corpus to have stitches removed. We then went on a short shopping trip to the mall followed by a dinner trip to the Olive Garden.
    As I sat and looked into my Granddaughters eyes I thought of you Elizabeth.
    I have so much to feel blessed about.
    As I reach for my wallet I see Ben peaking out at me. With his big blue eyes. I reached deeper into my wallet and gave the card and a large bill attached to a well deserving young man. As we walked out he and three outer waiters were looking at the card.
    God Bless you and the lives you have touched.

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