She Stood at a Fork in the Road

Blessed is she

Luke 1:45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her. 

Ryguy, I know one thing for sure. God promised NOT to leave me nor forsake me.  He also promised I would not be alone when trials of this world towered over me. & my oh my, I would definitely say that the trial of your passing has towered over me.

Your death could have meant one of two things for me. 1. Living in complete and utter darkness.  2. Allowing the Son to brighten my path and my heart.  It was up to me which path I would take. My choice. 

It was as if I was standing at a fork in the road. The road signs read, “<—darkness/despair —-> light/peace”.  When looking at the different roads in such openness, it is easy to chose the right path. However, what happens when the road names change? What if instead of darkness it read…revenge? Instead of despair…vengeance? Would it have been just as easy to turn down the other path?

It’s amazing what allowing God to direct my path has done for me. Because when He is directing my steps, I do not have to wonder if I’m making the right choices. That morning of such chaos and heartbreak…that was the only time since you’ve passed that I have ever questioned God in all this. Why? Simple. I don’t need to question the One who only wants good things for me.  He did not do this TO me.  He did this FOR you. & oh my what a difference that makes.

I cannot explain the peace that overtakes my soul when I speak of you, when I think of you. It’s just there. Phillipians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

I am blessed because I know my God works for me. Loves me. Wants good for me. & I will trust in that & walk in that for the rest of my days.

I love you, Ryguy and I will always miss you until we meet again. 💚

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Flesh Vs. Spirit

Ryguy,

Emotions were running high the past week. No real reason though. Other than, you are not here.  I just want to scream at the top of my lungs, “It’s not fair!”. But I know that that is not my soul speaking, it is my flesh. & I know that my spirit is in constant battle with the sinful nature of my flesh.   For my flesh lusts after all the things of this world but my spirit, oh my spirit, it craves my Jesus.  I also know that anytime thoughts of blame towards God, or unfairness from God, etc. start entering my mind that it is the enemy’s way of trying to separate me from the unwavering love of my Jesus. The unending Hope. He will always be my anchor, my hope.  The very minute I begin to think of how unfair it is that you are gone, my soul steps in & says, “but he is with Jesus”. & all of a sudden my soul is calmed, even if my flesh still weeps. I think that is okay. I think it’s okay for me to cry even though I know that you are Home.

I miss you.  Those three words do not seem to convey the brutal emotion that is behind them. I don’t think there is anything to truly express how I feel without you here. All I know is that it feels as if there is a literal hole in my chest.  As if, somedays I cannot truly feel anything. As if, the joys and sorrows of the days just pass straight through me. Then other days come and it is as if I can feel quite literally everything.  An overload of emotion. And then there are days where I’m just, content.

I think that’s all for today.

I love you, Ry. Always.

-Chessie ❤

When I’m Overrun with Sorrow

Ryan,

It’s been a while since I’ve written. It seems the storms of grief has let me alone the past few weeks. That’s not to say that you aren’t constantly on my mind and that I don’t miss you; I’m just not as broken. Doc came in the house the other day with Lurch and said there was a cardinal outside…we both instantly said you were visiting. ❤

Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

What a powerful passage. What powerful words. When I am so exhausted, mentally & spiritually, that I cannot seem to function, my Savior gives me rest; gives me grace. A shoulder to lean on, cry on, rest on.

In this verse, I think rest can mean peace too. Because when my soul finds rest, it also finds peace in Him & Him alone. I cannot find that rest through anything, anyone, else. I could search to the ends of the Earth and never find what I can find in one second with Him. & I think that is an important realization. This Earth cannot cure what my Jesus can. This Earth, after all, is not my home.

My mind can be the devils playground if I let it. Allowing thoughts of pity to race through my mind and eventually into my soul. I’m starting to learn that what I think controls what I feel, what I do. So, if I can control the thoughts in my head; I think that means I can learn to control my behavior(feelings) better. If I concentrate on Godly words and actions I seem to be more at peace with everything.

Romans 8:38-29 says, For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present andthreatening, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Nothing, not drugs, not alcohol, nothing can separate us from His love. So. Much. Love. Sometimes, my small, human self cannot fathom that type of love; that type of Grace.

Oh, Ry. How I wish you could be next to me. How I wish you would still be living life with me. Death is so final. No one tells you that.  That is something that each individual has to face themselves.  I mean I know that death is death. The person is gone. It’s so hard to put into words what I mean. I can literally do nothing to bring you back. I feel so helpless.

I love you, Ryan. I hope you would be proud of me. I live for you. I truly do. I know you would only want the best for me. I am doing my best.

Save a place for me. †

-Chessie

In my deepest pain, I saw God’s glory

Ryan,

I stood in front of your grave on Monday. Making sure your flowers were still there; it had been extra windy that day. As I walked to you, this image took my breath away. It was as if God was telling me, “He’s okay. He’s with me. Let’s worry about you now.”.  It hurts so much to have to visit you here. But this view makes it a little better.

I stood in front of your grave.
I wept.
I stood in front of your grave.
I begged to know why.
I stood in front of your grave.
I cried out to my God.
I stood in front of your grave.
I praised God for His salvation.
I stood in front of your grave.
I saw Jesus.
I stood in front of your grave.
I found peace.
I stood in front of your grave.
I saw God’s glory.
I stood in front of your grave.

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Jeremiah 31:13

“I will turn their mourning into joy, give them consolation, and bring happiness out of sorrow.”

Ryguy,

Oh, the sorrow I feel today. Don’t know why. Can’t explain it. I just feel it…deep in my soul. Maybe it’s the gray clouds outside, the rain falling from the clouds. Or maybe…maybe…it’s because you aren’t here. The sun could be shining. Blinding my eyes with its light. Birds could be chirping. & my soul would still feel this sorrow.

Some days the sorrow is more overwhelming than others. Some days I can laugh, I can smile. Some days, I can’t seem to even put one foot in front of the other. & yet my body continues to move. My feet continue walking. How? My sweet comforter. My Jesus. He turns my mourning into joy that you feel no pain, you cry no more, you suffer no longer. He consoles me because God knows what it is like to lose the One He cherished the most. He brings me happiness from my sorrow because He loves me.

So, while I feel this sorrow, I can smile because you are with Him. You are free of every Earthly burden. My heart aches to hear your voice. My soul rejoices you are free. My eyes will overflow with sorrow; my soul will overflow with joy. And at the end of the day, I am reminded of the love, the compassion, my sweet Beloved has for me.

I love you Ryguy. Save a place for me. 💚

Fly High, Ryguy.

-Chessie

Waves of Grief

Ryguy,

I know it has been awhile since I wrote to you. Truth is, after the first anniversary of your death (that word leaves a nasty taste in my mouth) I felt…numb. Didn’t really feel much, to be truthful. Today for some reason, my chest hurts. It feels heavy, like I cannot take a full breath. I know grief comes in all shapes and sizes. I understand that, I do. Yet, it still surprises me when I get hit with a wave. Knocked from my feet. Staring up at the large tidal wave before me. I know the only way to get back on my feet, is to let the wave crash down over me. Let the water run over my shoulders, down my back, across my feet. Until…it’s washing back out to sea and I am able to make it to my feet again. & then I wait. I wait for the next wave.  Sometimes it comes a few days later, sometimes weeks, and sometimes even months. But I know another wave will come. And I know I’ll get better at navigating them. Maybe one day I will be able to stand under the force of the water.

I miss you. Sometimes I can’t breathe because I miss you so much. I know someday we will be reunited. Save a place for me, Ryguy. I’ll see you soon.

Fly high, Ryguy. ❤

-Chessie

Stars in the Dark

One year. 365 days. 8,760 hours. 525,600 minutes. 31,540,000 seconds. My lungs have continued functioning. My heart continues to beat. & I’m not really sure how. I’m not sure how I kept breathing after that morning. My insides felt like they had been set on fire. My chest felt like it caved in upon itself. And yet, the world kept turning. The sun kept setting, rising. The stars continued to shine in the darkest of nights. & that is what stuck out to me. Even in the darkest of nights, there are still stars to light the way.

Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters,I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

You know what always sticks out to me about this verse? God says, “when”. He does not say, “if or maybe”. But WHEN. The flames and waters will be different for a lot of people. A lot of people will not suffer through the loss of a child, a brother. A lot of people will never have to experience that pain. & thank you, Jesus for that. There are so many families that do have to suffer this pain. & so many are left with the obvious angry question, WHY?!

Ryan, I remember screaming my lungs out on the way to the house that morning. Screaming at Jesus to give you back. To breathe life back into you. Because the moment I got the call I just knew deep in my soul that you were gone. & I was so empty at that moment. So, so, empty. However, let me say this. Had Jesus listened to me and gave you back that morning, what would your life had looked like? What pain would you have endured? Because in that moment, when I was demanding so much of my God, all I was thinking about was the soul-crushing pain I was feeling. I was not concentrating on what your life would be like had you been brought back to us. But JESUS WAS. He was concerned with your suffering. With your pain. & He did what I could not. He SAVED you. He RESCUED you.

So, on the days where I cannot see straight & the tears are poring down my cheeks, I am grieving for my loss. Because, my dear brother, you are engraved into my very being. You are part of me. & learning to live in a world where you are not is so very difficult. It’s navigating a foreign world without any maps, without instruction. It’s difficult. It’s painful.

But my Jesus, my sweet, sweet, Jesus is my star in the darkness. My guiding light. He is my map. My instruction. Leading me closer to Him, and closer to you.

I love you, Ryan. You are my heartbeat. Fly High, Ryguy. Ryan