Monthly Archives: June 2017

robbed

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Honestly, I really hoped my dive back in to writing, would be on happier circumstances.

Sometimes our greatest times of teaching and inspiration can come through those circumstances that aren’t so great.

This has certainly been one of those times

Thank God that my Joy(true joy) isn’t dependent on circumstances.

As most of you know, my dad passed away earlier this month. On the day of his memorial service, my brother-in-law took a turn for the worse with his asthma/lung problems and we were called to the hospital. A few mornings later, he passed away at 27.

I’ll be real honest. When June started, I had NO idea what would be in store for our family. I had just returned home from a conference where I was representing our district as a leader which was quite the honor, we had just moved into our beautiful new home, and we had high hopes of adopting a dog, as soon as our fence was fixed.

The night before my first day of my 10 days of freedom before Summer School, I made so many plans. Things to do, people to see, house projects to work on, and books to finally sit down and read.  I was excited for this break, as I had been going non-stop moving and traveling since school had been out.

I had one day of freedom. I slept in, went to a new exercise class at the gym, watched my shows, got some stuff accomplished. My husband and I went on a date, on a Monday, and I had edible cookie dough. Great Day!

At 10:30 that night, my world came to a halt, and from previous writing, you know the rest of the story. We planned dad’s service, got through that, went to the hospital to be with my brother in law, came home, everything was calm for a couple days, then my brother in law passed away.

I immediately threw myself into summer school, church, and trying to be “normal,” and my husband did the same because we honestly were tired of mourning. We invested our energy back in our house, and our beautiful new dog.

We have been doing good for the most part, with small storms of sadness, anger and disbelief.

Yesterday, as I heard a summer school student talk to me of a tragedy in their life, and how it related to mine, one word kept popping up,

Robbed.

Throughout the day, my internal conversation kept repeating this word.

Robbed.

Robbed of a chance to say Goodbye to my dad.

Robbed of seeing redemption in his life this side of Heaven.

Robbed of  my future children, nieces, or nephews having a Grandpa.

Robbed of the chance to let him know that we loved him, and had forgiven him of whatever he may have thought he may have still harbored.

Robbed of a chance to know my brother in law better.

Robbed of my brother in law and my husband getting to have a better relationship.

Robbed of pieces of my future.

Robbed of my free time.

Robbed of my June.

Honestly, if I had let myself, I could have stayed in that “robbed” place for a lot lot longer.  Instead, I was reminded of this truth.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10 (ESV)

In the midst of all this life robbery, I have been given an abundance.

Given a loving Christlike husband who shows grace to me even when I don’t deserve it. Who ministers to me, even through his sorrow.

Given a mother who listens, cares, provides, and brings moments of fun and laughter in the not so pleasant of times.

Given a brother whose adventuring spirit and love of life is inspiring in this time. He also gave me the cutest puppy nephew in the world and playmate for Annie.

Given many other family members who love and support us.

Given SO many friends that have prayed with me, talked with me, listened to me, sat with me, provided for me.

Given a church family both here and in Oklahoma who have given us wisdom, strength, and lots of encouragement.

Given a sweet, although crazy dog, who loves us unconditionally.

Given opportunities to further my education.

Given a wonderful new home to live in.

Given so much more than I could ever comprehend or imagine.

God is good to me. Even in the trials. Even when I feel selfishly robbed of things. Even when I whine, complain, argue, fight, or get angry, He still loves me.

When I look back on this month, June 2017, I will remember all the events that transpired. I will be sad and angry from time to time, but I will also remember this as a season of God’s faithfulness in my life. Even though I did nothing to deserve it, He has carried me through all of this.

“Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain othe salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. The saying is trustworthy, for If we have died with him, we will also slive with him;if we endure, we will also reign with him,if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful for he cannot deny himself.”  2 Timothy 2:10-12

People have asked us how we are dealing with this. Honestly, in the moments when it’s just us and God, it hasn’t always been the prettiest. It’s been downright messy at times. What motivates, encourages, strengthens, and carries Anthony and I through is simple.

It’s all God. The God who gives and takes away. He God who saves, creates, restores, and made a way for us. This same God has comforted us, provided us with friends and family, an unfailing love, and an unwavering Hope.

May the same God, the one and only True God, make Himself known to you today as well, in whatever circumstance you may find yourself facing.

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. “-Hebrews 10:23

I know their will  be days we feel robbed, but also days we see the abundant life we have been given in Jesus.

Prayers and blessings to all of you.

With Joy,

Mrs. Kim

the beautiful redemption

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“It’s not the news that any of us hoped that we would hear
It’s not the road we would have chosen, no
The only thing that we can see is darkness up ahead
But You’re asking us to lay our worry down and sing a song instead.” – Ellie Holcomb, “Find you Here.”

When a parent leaves, the impact they left behind is significant.

My dad left when my parents divorced  when I was 9 years old. We continued to see him through the years, and made memories, both good and bad. I can remember events he missed, times he didn’t pick us up, or embarrass us with a stunt he pulled. I even recall when he came to ask to live with my husband and I, but we couldn’t take the risk because of his addictions.

All of those hurts, fears, and disappointments I placed deep inside my heart.

My whole life I have been the quintessential first born child. High strung, always wanting to be overly kind, appearing confident, joyful, and “together.” I tried not to let anyone see that under the surface life wasn’t perfect. I overcompensated for not having an involved father by depending on my own merit and strength.

Finding Jesus as a teenager, helped this greatly. I have a heavenly father, more complete than any on Earth.

Even as an adult with an amazing husband, career, great family, and wonderful friends, the impact of losing a father is significant.

“And I didn’t know I’d find You here
In the middle of my deepest fear, but
You are drawing near
You are overwhelming me, with peace.” Ellie Holcomb- “Find you Here,”

Now I am faced with a new reality. My earthly father is now gone. I am finding that in that revelation that all that remains is LOVE.

I now focus on being 3 years old and fishing. Eating out every night for a week in Kindergarten because my mom was gone  and my dad burned everything. I remember the good years of him showing up at my wedding, family holidays at my Poppy’s and camping. I remember him visiting us in our first married home, bringing smoked turkey, and fixing my car several times.

My dad was flawed, there is now doubt about that. Then again, aren’t we all? He owned his own company at a young age. He was married to my mom, who is probably the most awesome lady that ever lived. He let his addiction to pride become an addiction to alcohol and drugs. Several times he would recover, only to fail again

You see, my father had addictions. Addictions that threw away a marriage, a successful business, and years with his children. Addictions he could recover from, only to relapse again. As his family we had to toe the line between being supportive, and not getting caught up in the mess.

By the grace of God, we were blessed with amazing grandparents on both sides, aunts, uncles, cousins, family friends, and of course our amazing mother. My mother kept us strong our whole lives. She continued to support my father. She knew that as soon as she learned of my father’s addictions, she had to remove her children from the situation. She made a new life for us and continues to bless us more than we deserve.

As she explained to me what happened she said, ” We can only hope he is with God now. I prayed every night he would be that dad you needed him to be.”  She helped us greatly with the arrangements and has shown more grace to my father in this time than anyone could have imagined.

In my heart, I always hoped for the redemption story.

You know the one where he finally kicked his demons for good. I always hoped when Jordan or I had our own children, that they would get the BEST of him. I hoped he’d get another shot.

It’s not quite the ending we’d hoped for but, instead I have relief, thankfulness, and joy.

Relief that he passed away without suffering. Relief that the police were able to notify us quickly. Relief that he was in a better place, as he had made a profession of faith years earlier.

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor. 4:17-18

Joy that he was no longer suffering. Joy that my family and friends were surrounding us. Joy that we only had to remember the good memories now. That the disappointment was over. The worry was over. All that remained was joy.

“Count it all joy, my brothers,[a] when you meet trials of various kinds,for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” -James 1:2-4

Thankfulness. We are thankful that so many people care about us and want to come beside us and support us. Thankful that I have a heavenly Father that loves me best. Thankful for the best family in the world. Thankful for my amazing husband who has been my rock, my comfort, and my guide in processing all these emotions.

“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. “- Phil. 1:3-5

If you are struggling with loss, or with a family member that suffers from addiction, I know my story may not look like yours. Even so, I am here for you. I feel like God led me through this valley to help others and to bring comfort and joy to them. Please let me know how I can minister to you.

My desire is to use my pain for a purpose. I want to put God right smack dab in the spotlight of this story.  My prayer is that he is glorified in this time of my life.

“You say that You’ll turn my weeping into dancing
Remove my sadness & cover me with joy
You say your scars are the evidence of healing
That You can make the broken beautiful.” – Ellie Holcomb, “The Broken Beautiful”

Read more: Ellie Holcomb – The Broken Beautiful Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Here are some verses/songs that have encouraged me this week.

  1. “The Broken Beautiful,” Ellie Holcomb
  2. “Be Still,” Hillary Scott
  3. “Find you Here,” Ellie Holcomb
  4. Psalm 62:2
  5. Psalm 18:30
  6. James 1:2-4

Now all that remain is LOVE. Love for a father that did the best he could. Love for a family that has shown more kindness and grace than one can imagine. Love for a risen Savior that sustains me, draws me near, helps me be still, and Loves me the best.

With joy,

Mrs. Kim