At times the weight of the mission is too hard to carry. You may feel like you want to give up which is exactly how I felt this morning.
This feeling didn’t stem from my lack of belief in what I am doing, but rather my ability to overcome technical and outreach obstacles. I felt defeated, then God provided a sign and hovered His love over me.
As I peddled down the path a dragonfly landed on my leg. He would not let go. He held onto me and I began to feel God holding me. I stopped and tried to allow him to fly free, but he clung tighter. I began to feel the love of Leo and Trent encouraging me, “Mom, don’t give up.”
Like a dragonfly hovers above the water longing to reunite with their loved ones, my boys hover over me longing for me to feel their presence. Providing me with the strength to carry on.
No matter how someone’s journey may appear, remember they too have moments on the mountain top and time spent in the valley. Nothing is always as it may seem to be.
But now, O Lord, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You our potter; and all of us are the work of Your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)
I laid still, like a lump of unmolded clay without form or shape. I trusted my own ways and was repeatedly broken in the heat of life. I resisted the wheel of His shaping, trying to live life on my own terms. I didn’t trust the rhythm of God’s hands to design the life He knew I could live. It wasn’t until I witnessed my sons in the hands of the Potter that I trusted His wheel and was created into a work of art.
I was so moved by the way Leo opened his heart to Jesus. The way he laid still on the Potters bed, but allowed Him to mold and shape him. Leo spun a repetitive motion each day. Consumed with pain as tears flowed from his eyes and my own. God captured each tear and then watered his stiff rigid frame with the Holy Spirit and Leo evolved into a masterpiece. He let God use his weakness and enhanced it with gold lacquer, highlighting the gold thread of love that connected him to a supernatural power, which ultimately drew awareness to Jesus.
Then after watching what God was capable of, Trent willingly allowed himself to be separated from the flesh and be remolded into a new form. He stepped into his walk of sorrow with cancer and waited for God to come through. His life was dry, longing for the Living Water to seep into the cracks. It required more. It took a shattering of his old self and his own ways to let the Potter bring him peace, while He pieced him back together.
On the Potter’s wheel, Trent spun into a new creation. He surrendered his life to live the remainder of it for Jesus. As my sons spun in the hands of God I was reshaped with them. Their heartache was my heartache. Their pain was my pain. Yet, as they continued to have the hands of the Potter upon them and were strengthened by His touch, I too grew stronger.
It has only been four and a half years since Leo left my arms and two years since Trent joined him to live with Jesus. Peace is what I have in my heart because God worked on me from the inside out and pieced me back together with His grace. Each new day that I step into, I see the love of Jesus looking at me through the memory of the eyes of my sons. The gentleness of their presence and the light that came from within them, was from the hands of the Potter. I want what they had. Therefore, I will rest upon the wheel and allow God to shape me. I will become a work of art because I was created by the One who creates Masterpieces.
“Mary treasured all these things and pondered on them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)
As the mother of Jesus, Mary was not exempt from suffering, yet from the beginning she trusted in the Lord. Mary seemed to realize that she could not hold onto her Son, but rather He held her and her faith grew deeper. When a child is placed in their mothers arms, neither one of them can anticipate the journey ahead. God knows. Wouldn’t it make sense to trust the One that can see it all?
I believe our grip on our children would be more beneficial if it was a gentle hold. One that allows us to guide and nurture while God lays out the way. For we can only see what is right in front of us, while God has an overview of the whole picture.
Both Leo and Trent showed me how to live like this. Accepting to let them go because they were going home to their Father. Mary accepted too, for her trust helped see her through. She stood and wanted to plead for it all to stop, but knew it had to be done. The pain was unbearable and wanted to protect and take it all away, yet knew it had to be. Mary had immense courage while enduring bitter anguish, knowing there was a purpose for all that was happening.
I too stood beside my sons watching. Witnessing the pain that seeped into their bodies, but what oozed from them was hope. The courage both of them demonstrated as their illness took hold of every inch of their bodies, while not letting the enemy take hold of them. My bitter anguish turned to peaceful surrender as a supernatural force settled upon me, knowing they would both be free from the sins of this world that brought pain into their lives.
Jesus’ love for us will not stop for anything. His example helps teach us the Way we are to live. Live with love for Him, ourselves, and others. Celebrate the beauty in life like the miracle of a child. Equally celebrate the life we are training for. The one that wipes away every tear and no longer experiences pain.
I don’t want to live in the shadows of this world, trusting in what is only temporary. I want to live in the light of His love, believing in what is eternal. I want the belief that Mary knew and the one that both Trent and Leo had. I will believe, and I pray that my redemptive story can, and will, help others believe too. After all, it is God’s story. Share your life with others and see how you help them step into the Light of God’s love.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
I discovered not only myself, but God through my struggles and pain. I watched as He took all of my experiences, good and bad, and molded them into a message of love. As the layers of myself were stripped, they were rebuilt on the foundation of God and my mess became a message.
This process of growth is not one that happened over night. It is one of continued awakening as trials and hardship come into your life. My pain didn’t destroy me, but rather, it drew me closer to God. Thanks to Leo’s acceptance of suffering and patient guidance I found my way. With only three words, “I See Jesus” my life was changed forever. A new sprout formed from the ashes and blossomed into a life meant to live for God.
The shackles of shame no longer had a hold on me. The overwhelming amount of grief in my life could not weigh me down. The enemy may have tried to get a foothold on me, but he failed. For I was lifted by the overwhelming amount of love I felt from Jesus.
If you desire to be a new creation, to be filled with the peace of God, be still and sit in the presence of His love. Don’t hide from God. Let the wings of His shelter cover you, protect you, and shield you from what may be hurting you.
Let God plow over the old ways in your life and cultivate new beginnings. Let Him pluck out the weeds and replace them with seeds of new growth. Let your tears of pain pour out, for God will capture every teardrop and water your heart with His love.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Luke 9:23)
How do you love? By loving others. How do you heal? By helping others to heal. How do you move forward in life while you are grieving? By helping others move forward to Jesus.
Dying is something we have to do alone. There may be others gathered around as a loved one transitions into the next life, but they have to go alone. I remember this was one of Trent’s fears. He was afraid, yet he trusted in the plan God had for him.
With this trust came peace, peace in the midst of his storm. Trent was able to live his life during his illness because he was no longer living for himself, but rather for God. He pushed through unthinkable challenges and circumstances because he believed in his calling. He saw the opportunity to be a visual representation of God’s love.
His love for Jesus radiated through him and others grew to love Jesus. As Trent became fully healed in the transition to eternal life, others healed their own brokenness while witnessing Trent’s acceptance. While Trent grieved the loss of the life he knew and hoped for, others found peace by seeing the way God carried him closer to Himself.
Like a slow drip from a faucet, to the steady flow of a stream, pour out your heart for others to see. Lead by example through your actions so that your words don’t fall on deaf ears. For the power of what is spoken can only be taken to heart if it is believed.
“I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” Genesis 9:13-16
As a symbol of God’s faithfulness and mercy I find peace in my heart whenever I see the beauty of a rainbow stretch across the sky. I felt God faithfully remain by my side as I cared for my sons. I saw the mercy of His love fall upon them when their struggles became more than they could bear on their own. God remained before them, by them, and within both of my sons until their final breaths. Their strength became my strength and together we preserved through our storm until the rainbow of Heaven called them home.
Through the journey of Leo’s life, the rainbow took on new meaning for me as he described “earning” the colors of the rainbow. Working alongside Jesus, Leo expressed how he was training with the Master Angel. The rainbow of God’s love was actually bestowed upon Leo. God’s gracious gift of redemption was not only for Leo, but for all, as Leo expressed the meaning behind each color obtained and the supernatural gift that it held within it.
I was captivated by Leo’s expression, “Although Jesus’ wings appear white, they actually have every color within them.” As I sat with this one sentence, it revealed to me the beauty behind color and that Jesus sees purity in our differences and together we are one. The outskirts of color that make up the human race embodies together what Jesus makes whole. We are one. We are all children of God.
Leo provided so much insight in the Rainbow Bootcamp chapter of, I see Jesus, it left me wanting to know more. My curiosity had me ask a few questions in which Leo replied at times, ” Some things I can’t tell you.” This comment brought me back to a childlike faith, trusting in what is unseen.
Sometimes it only takes a sign to bring peace to our mind. Whether it is a cardinal signing in a tree, a feather floating by, or a rainbow of love outstretched across the sky. God is communicating with us, we only need to be alert and open to His ways. Choose to see what He is sending you.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” Luke 9:23
Leo was only two years old when the weight of his cross was placed upon his tiny frame. He seemed to understand early on that his life was not his own and allowed God to use him as a visual testimony. As Leo pulled and struggled his way through life, others watched him try to find his footing. The burdens came fast, yet he clung to the cross keeping his focus on Jesus and the call of home.
Leo’s body was beaten down, distorted but never broken, his faith remained strong. He was stripped of all he knew, yet grew to know more than many ever manage to believe.
He was nailed to his limitations for all to see, unable to hide being lame. He was drained of life, while filling others with belief upon releasing his final breath. His body, transformed and purified, as a radiant glow overlaid all his imperfections.
But Jesus was there beside him, as was I, and together we saw him through to the very end. Leo rose, the weight of his burdens lifted. He stood before the Lord and He expressed, well done my faithful and loyal son.
In life we will face hardship, pain, and sorrow, but if we try to look beyond the darkness that may burden us in the moment and look rather to the promise of eternal life, we can possibly find peace within our circumstances.
Our limitations are only from the limits we put on ourselves, for with God all things are possible. Save your life by losing it to God.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3
I strongly believe that where your focus lies, your life will be led. Even through our trials and tribulations we can choose joy. Every morning when we wake up we have the ability, to some extent, to direct how our day can go. Not necessarily by the events, but rather by our actions and response to the events that come our way.
For twenty years, as I cared for my two terminally ill children, my own life was in a sense stripped away from me. My time was needed for someone other than myself. These circumstances could have caused me to become bitter if I focused on what I was “missing out” on.
Rather, these events opened my eyes to a portion of what Jesus was expressing when He said, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Life wasn’t about me, it was about what I could do to serve God. In that moment the best way to serve Him was to help one of His children. I am grateful that God softened my heart causing me to choose not to suffer, but rather find joy in the trial before me.
Every day I faced uncertainty. The trials that my sons endured made it hard to know what we would encounter. We had days that the pain was so severe that we prayed through our tears to seek comfort. Exhausted from the tireless routine, we found no rest as our circumstances looped over and over on replay, testing my patience. Yet, the whisper of God’s love fell upon my ears and into my heart. He gave me the strength to persevere and I grew stronger in my weakness.
Only God can walk you through the trials of life. Only God can help you to have joy within your sorrow. He cultivated my heart and a garden of hope flourished as He poured His love upon us. God was a loyal Gardener and as He shined His light upon us, the weeds of worry shriveled and gave way to the blossoms of His peace.
“On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:37-38)
There was a stillness in time that we found while sitting outside by our Koi pond. Leo stretched out beside me, relaxing from the sounds of nature. Trent seeking serenity from the warmth of the sun. The calming rhythm of the water flowing down the waterfall and around the rocks soothed us and put our minds at ease. As the water filtered and pumped back to the surface it reminded me of how the Living Water flows in us, through us, and back onto others.
I witnessed this example, day in and day out, as I looked into the eyes of both Trent and Leo and saw Jesus looking back at me. Although the sorrow weighed heavily on my heart as I watched the suffering that my boys endured, it was the Living Water that filtered through me that lifted my sadness away. It was then replaced with the peace of His love.
I saw the highest level of love bestowed upon my boys. God gave Leo the strength to persevere through his illness, while shining light onto others. God provided Trent with the strength to accept it, while inspiring others. This resulted in me gaining the strength to push through my own day, while encouraging others. Their faith became my faith and God became our shield.
In my stillness I was awakened to time. Time to see what really matters in life. Time to know God’s heart. Time to feel God’s presence. I recognized that I was in a moment of earthly time, but it was God’s timing that I needed to align with. Just as Jesus boldly proclaimed the truth of His Word and God protected Him until it was His time, I will boldly proclaim my trust in God’s plan. Accepting the loss of my two sons, who were ultimately always His, was part of me trusting that the clock ticks on God’s pendulum and not my own.
As we walk in the will of the Lord, nothing or no one can touch us. Fear of the unknown can’t shake us. Only He knows our time, and until then, I will spend time in the river of His love.
“In the beginning, darkness was over the surface of the world and God said, “Let there be light.” God saw that the light was good and He separated the light from the darkness.” Genesis 1:3-5
As I step into the fourth anniversary of Leo’s death, I could choose to walk in darkness, but Leo was lit with the light of God’s love so I chose to follow his flame.
In our own lives we can often feel like we are in the dark searching for the light. Our circumstances that we face can often weigh us down. God wants us to know that He is with us through every situation that we encounter. Although God didn’t cause the situation that we are in, He wants you to be aware that He can help us through it.
I had a light enter my life with the birth of my son Leo. His love for Jesus beamed out of every pore of his broken body. His belief and trust in God’s plan helped me through the wilderness of darkness and gave me the ability to step into the light of God’s love.
Your circumstances don’t have to define your happiness. As a mother that watched two of her sons be planted in a garden of hardship, I was transformed by witnessing the way they plowed through their trials and cultivated a garden of glory. They both looked past the mountain that was in front of them and found peace in the promise of eternal life.
It is during your darkest moments that spending time in God’s Word is so important. His light will cast over you and be a lamp to your feet. It is the light that will keep you from sin. Flip the switch on and step into the space filled with the light of His love.