It’s No Marathon

I. am. tired. It’s been a long few days. But I’m boarding a plane, that will take me to another plane, that will take me to another plane, that will take me home. And then I’ll rest. So I can get through the next 11 hours, thinking about that.

I wish I could see the place and time of rest ahead in other aspects of my life. I see no end to Michael’s battle with CVS, though there is hope of a breakthrough one day or a medication that helps. I see no end to our search for Austin, though there is hope of a search with results or maybe even a call with his voice one day.

I sometimes wish Michael had an illness with more risk but more possibility of cure. I sometimes wish we could have a funeral for Austin, with not the answers we wanted but answers regardless.

I think it’s one of the hardest parts of having a missing loved one, that there’s no rest in sight. This isn’t a sprint, isn’t even a marathon- you know how long a marathon is- it’s long, but it does end. For some of us, our search will never end and we’ll never find that time of rest here on earth.

But there’s always hope. It may not be forever, it may end tomorrow. Or we may be on the first leg of a long trip, one that takes us to another point, that gets us closer to yet another point, that eventually gets us there.

But you can’t get there unless you start moving…. time to move.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tarnished Hope

Our mischievous Ben has a new fun place to play- he climbs onto the bathroom counter and gets into anything he can.  Yesterday morning as I put him on the ground once again, and surveyed what he had been playing with, this is the mess I saw.

In the last four years, we’ve used the word ‘Hope’ a lot, and have reminders all over, including this ornament that I never put away with the Christmas things.  I’d honestly forgotten it was there and overlooked it daily.  After Ben ‘rearranged’ things, I saw it there, covered by other random things of our lives, with much of the glitter rubbed off and looking a little tarnished.

It immediately struck me how much that is like real hope.  We can get so buried by things that our hope is dulled.  Maybe we even miss seeing it altogether.  It can get buried due to time, feeling unplugged, sweating the small stuff, or just rubbing against rough things over and over.  It happens, just like with the ornament.

Then one day, someone rearranges things a bit.  You may not have even wanted them to.  But there it is, peeking through the mess, reminding you that hope is never lost.  God is still there.  He still has a plan. 

Look in your own mess.  Can you still see hope?  If not, keep looking.  It’s there.

Room 533

It’s a rough week in our house, with Michael in the hospital as a result of a CVS episode that is kicking his butt.  We’ve battled this for a very long time, with the first episodes just before we met.  At the time we knew so little, and had no idea how many years, hospitalizations and tests he would endure.  Like just about anything else, I think our whole family battles it.

the good stuff

I’ve become as much of an expert on his treatment and illness as possible, his voice and his reminder when he’s pushing himself too hard. Our kids know that Dad gets sick a lot and his hot baths and our frequent quick escapes from dinners out are part of their routine.  My mom picks up the slack when he needs to rest, and especially when he’s in the hospital.  As tough as it is for us, it’s unimaginable for him.  And when we’re in the midst of it, I can’t even believe the world keeps moving outside our hospital window, keeps going without us.

It’s so much like our search for Austin, where we spent the early days not seeing how the world could keep moving, how we would keep moving.  But we each did our part.  In both, some days feel like giving up is the way to go.

But we have to keep battling, have to keep finding real hope in each day.  I sometimes wonder what God has planned for us, when we have so many situations where hope can be hard to find, with so many days of exhaustion and heartache from it all.  Some days are overwhelming.  Today is one of them.

But I still know where my hope lies, not in the outcome but in God being there no matter.  Knowing that God can use even us, even this.  That is hope. 

Tonight I just needed the reminder.

I Refuse

I just heard a song that talks about refusing to ignore what God has called us to do. I’m constantly amazed by people around us who have refused to allow us or other families of missing to face this alone. They’ve refused to allow excuses, troubles, or naysayers get them off their path. They’ve refused to ignore the need they see around them.

I’m refusing to allow circumstances to keep me from telling our story, from sharing the message of hope that I have. Just needed the reminder, and it came in this perfect way.

What are you being called to do? It may be a small thing or may be huge, but we all should refuse to be so focused on ourselves that we can’t see the needs around us. Maybe you needed the reminder too, if so the lyrics below may help.

I Refuse lyrics
Songwriters: Benjamin Glover;Joshua David Wilson

Sometimes I
I just want to close my eyes
And act like everyone’s alright
When I know they’re not

This world needs God
But it’s easier to stand and watch
I could say a prayer and just move on
Like nothing’s wrong

But I refuse
‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care
I don’t want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse

I can hear the least of these
Crying out so desperately
And I know we are the hands and feet
Of You, oh God

So, if You say move
It’s time for me to follow through
And do what I was made to do
Show them who You are

‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care
I don’t want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse

To stand and watch the weary and lost
Cry out for help
I refuse to turn my back
And try and act like all is well

I refuse to stay unchanged
To wait another day, to die to myself
I refuse to make one more excuse

‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care
I don’t want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse

To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse

I refuse
I refuse

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:I Refuse

Fighting Hope

Hope. It’s a word we use so flippantly in so many simple daily ways. We ‘hope’ it doesn’t rain, we ‘hope’ for a win, we ‘hope’ someone has a nice day. It’s not an action, not something we feel deep inside, but a wish thrown into the wind.

I’ve come to see hope much differently. We now hope through action and prayer, hope with our very souls, not into the wind but directly, truly to God. But what we hope for has sometimes divided our family.

My true hope is that one day we’ll have answers, will know where Austin is, no matter what those answers are. I also truly hope that through this, God will use me to have impact on people. While I have a small flicker of thought that he may be alive, it’s not where my hope lies. To me, hope is the belief that God will be with us, holding us up, and will give us peace- if we can allow through our pain. Truthfully, I don’t believe I’ll ever see my brother again on earth, and I can’t place my hope in something I don’t believe. That has caused division at times, as some see it as giving up.

As I write more about my only brother, the one I thought I’d grow old with, please don’t see me as having given up. I have true and lasting hope, that will always require me to put my feet to the ground and take action, but hope that doesn’t fail if one day we confirm he’s gone. My hope is in Him, regardless of the outcome. One day I ‘hope’ that I’ll be able to share that message with many, but it can’t just be a wish, so here’s my start to putting my feet to the ground, or pen to the paper.

Lyrics to a song I love:  In Christ Alone (My Hope Is Found) by the Newsboys

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Till on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost it’s grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Brought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
‘Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone