If you are like me (and my oldest son), you want to know the ‘why’ behind something. I’m a deep thinker so I’m always curious about the origin of things. Today I figured I would give you the insight behind Releasing Arrows – my website name and the question of ‘what is God calling you to do’?
January 2017 was the time tides starting shifting for me personally. As our family entered into our annual 21 Day Fast I knew it was an opportunity for me to hear Gods footprints for 2017. What is the forecast? What steps need to be taken now for the year to play out as God intends?
We started the year off with a bang of a word from pastor Steven Furtick on December 31, 2016 literally taking us into New Years Day – Good Morning Midnight. I still have the quote written on my bathroom mirror.
As days pressed on the new series, Work Your Window, started. While listening to bits and pieces of this series, a certain component of The Power of Precision grabbed my ear. The scriptures used were in 2 Kings 13. A story not often told.
14 Now Elisha had been suffering from the illness from which he died. Jehoash king of Israel went down to see him and wept over him. “My father! My father!” he cried. “The chariots and horsemen of Israel!”
15 Elisha said, “Get a bow and some arrows,” and he did so. 16 “Take the bow in your hands,” he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands.
17 “Open the east window,” he said, and he opened it. “Shoot!” Elisha said, and he shot. “The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!” Elisha declared. “You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek.”
At the time of hearing the message I was wrestling with starting a website, blog, whatever. I knew God was calling me to write. During the course of the I Am ____ Journey series at Crossroads I was pressed to make a next step commitment in this area… who Am I? And what’s the next step I need to take to make this happen?
So there I sat. Wrestling for weeks on this topic. My husband and I discussed several names. The usual topic of Raising Arrows came to mind (Psalm 127:5), but God showed me more. We are not simply raising our children, we are releasing them into a great and mighty calling, individual for their life, placed on them by God. Then He showed me how that message applied to me personally.
If you want to take ahold of what I’ve placed in you, you need to pick up your bow (pen), take aim (write) and shoot (just do it)
What He was showing me was that walking in the call God had placed on my life is not simply looking at it from a distance, analyzing it, then determine it makes no sense how to get from point A to point B. As Tim Hill would say, that’s analysis paralysis. We would get stuck! Nothing would happen. Why?!? Because our calling is supposed to be bigger than us. Bigger than anything we could accomplish alone.
So I leave this nugget with you my friends… What is God calling you to do? What area are you stuck in? Ask God right now to show you the next step you need to take toward your calling. I pray and believe with you that He will show you. Amen
Today is one of those dates. For those that have lost a loved one, you understand. It’s a date that will forever be embedded on your heart. Today’s date represents Bill and I’s wedding anniversary.
As Facebook oh so kindly reminds us daily, there are a lot of memories. I took a moment today to read my posts over the past few years. This year would have been 16 years for us. However, God had a change of plans. Life should never be taken for granted and I pray that you hug on your spouse a little tighter after reading this. Let them know they really do matter and are the love of your life. I seriously could not do what I do without the support of my hubby, Tim. He’s an amazing man and I’m a lucky girl!
God has done immeasurably more than we could ask for and has brought such beauty from our tragedy. But for a moment today, I glance back. I’ve complied some quotes over the last few years and will leave you with a poem of sorts that I wrote in 2014, the title for today, The Tug of Heart.
2013 – 12yrs ago today I was giddy and getting ready to marry my best friend. I had no idea what would transpire over these years, but I was committed to my vows. Bill and I traveled some high roads and many low roads together. We stuck through thick and thin to see God restore our marriage. He was a man of his word and was our covering. Love this deep transfers dimensions and shifts into a different type. Connor was praying last night and thanked God for making his body a miracle. Connor is a miracle and was one of our greatest testimonies.
2015 – Last year I made a promise to myself to have a bucket list of items I’ve never done before to then do on our anniversary. Who knew I’d be saying that today, married to an amazing man and 28wks pregnant with baby Hill?!? Bucket List-check…God is pretty awesome and has blessed us beyond measure. I’m grateful for my past and looking forward to the future. Thank you Tim Hill for loving us as a package deal.
2016 – It was at 1:30pm 15years ago today that I said my first ‘I do’…. I heard ‘I do’ spoken to me… Two became one. As I’ve pondered through the day, it’s not forgotten, it’s on my heart. I remember each detail of that exciting day. The reality is I had no clue the gravity of the vows I took before man and God. Tonight I’m reminded all to well how that covenant turned into a blessing with our only son, Connor. As he and I sat this evening we talked, remembered and cried… I was young and in love! Our future awaiting us. Talking to Connor tonight had me speak words I needed myself to hear and remember. Gods plan isn’t our plan. But if we turn from Him and remain in anger/bitterness, we can’t heal to see the beauty for ashes. This is our journey… Not to forget but to honor and remember. Thank you Bill Powers for your/our legacy…Connor’s becoming an amazing young man.
The Tug of Heart (2014)
Pulling, pushing, pulling, pushing.
Can be exhausting, exciting, confusing, thrilling all within in moments of each other.
Until you release control.
Take one step, small if needed, a shuffle sometimes.
It will move you in the right direction.
Photo by vidalia_11
I still have pictures. In my closet. When ‘that moment’ hits, the pretty frame draws me in to remember.
Possibly you find it odd that I still have pictures of my late husband around after being re-married for over 2 and a half years. I however do not. Bill and I were married for 12 years. Imagine yourself in my shoes. Pictures are what we have left and how we keep his memory alive for Connor.
It may also shock you that I still have moments of grief-like ugly crying, in my closet grief. Usually my moments come when I realize something Bill is ‘missing out on’ in Connor’s life or when my heart feels really raw, like sharing about the accident. I hit the literal floor in our bedroom closet where that picture frame sits. I look at Connor as a baby and toddler. Then I look at Bill playing bass and us as a family.
I know beyond a shadow of doubt that today is where we are supposed to be and God has been with us through the tragedy. But moments hit. It can feel like a swinging pendulum, back and forth.
I have been reading Option B for a few weeks now (sorry reading a book around here takes some time!). This past chapter has been about building resilience in our children. As I read a few paragraphs about photos, video clips and general nostalgia it hit me about our photos-how we do it here. Sheryl Sandberg says:
‘Nostalgia’ comes from the Greek words nostos and algos, which mean ‘return’ and ‘pain’. Nostalgia is literally the suffering that we feel when we yearn for the past to come back to us, yet psychologists find that it is mostly a pleasant state. After people reflect on an event, they tend to feel happier and more connected to others.
I can sometimes feel the gasp when I mention Bill or when Connor talks about him. Then I realize it probably is a tension, it’s tough and a hard conversation. But here’s the thing, it’s our reality. We have no desire to carve out that part of our history or family, rather build on top of it.
In Heida’s thoughts of the day, I caution those that stay in nostalgia all the time though. I would say God is always moving us forward, we can look upon the past with a smile as we take our next step forward. Take the breathtaking moments as they come, review the nostalgia, and then review the beauty God has placed before you today.
Three years ago this week I was wrestling with one of my biggest leaps of faith yet… to leave my job or not.
People say a picture is worth a thousand words…while scrolling through my Facebook ‘On This Day’ feed the picture popped up and my heart skipped a beat. It was a picture I snapped quickly in the wee hours of a work morning showing my son Connor’s hand ever so lightly touching my shoulder as he slept. Just last night I had grabbed a picture of Connor snuggling with Tim right before bed. Today I starred at both of these pictures simultaneously. These pictures show the heart of grief, change and amazing love.
So back to that huge leap of faith I had ever taken… turning in my resignation as Executive Director. God had showed me He would provide even though I had no clue how. That original picture of Connors hand on my shoulder tells a much deeper story only my heart will truely understand but it’s a picture of a grieving boy, my son , so afraid to sleep in his own bed-so afraid to leave mommas side, that he may too lose me. During his sleep he always found a way to touch me to make sure I was still here. Just weeks after this picture our lives dramatically changed. After weeks of sleepless nights due to Connor’s night terrors, I jumped. I took that huge leap of faith of leaving my job and then only weeks later Tim Hill and I ‘were a thing’ and the rest is history.
Yesterday when I snapped the new snuggling picture, I was already crying… crying with joy, amazement and wonder at how God works All things out for His good. Connor now has a ‘daddio’, as he calls Tim, and Tim has a heart full of love to give.
Many ask how do we do it? How do we blend? Honestly, it’s God. I often think (actually always) what would Bill Powers have wanted? For Connor? For Me? I honestly believe he would have wanted us to have provision, overflow, love for others, to follow Gods Will and happiness. That gives me unbelievable peace.
Loss is hard, beyond hard, almost unbearable at times. However, we have been given life here on this earth to live out. Live it out in their honor if needed, but just live!