• seasons •

As I get older, I learn that there are so many different seasons of life.  Some last a short time.  Some you are in for awhile.

I mentioned in my last blog post that we are walking through a season of loss.

I am honestly trying to find the words for blog purposes, for memory keeping purpose, but also to find the words to describe this season, my heart, and yet keep some things private as some of the loss isn't my story to share.  But, what I do want to make note of and never forget...

The love I have seen shown within our family and within our group of friends over this past month has been remarkable.  It has left me so very thankful to be a Tisthammer and so very thankful to be friends with those God has blessed us to do community with daily.

For probably the last three months I kept hearing God tell me that we were going to get hit, and it was going to hurt.  Now let me tell you at first it scared the you know what out of me... what does this mean?  Are we going to get into a car accident?  Is something huge going to happen in our family?  I then began doubting that it was my saviors voice I was hearing.  Was the enemy attempting to put fear in my heart?

So I prayed.

I prayed and I heard God say, yes you are going to get hit hard, but I am here.  I am near.

December started a season of sickness in our home... this lasted through the new year and into the first week of January.  Then toward the end of January the girls and I got sick again.  Then 2 weeks later, sick again.

So I was thinking, ok maybe this is it.  My family being sick is one of my HUGE anxiety triggers.  The enemy knows it.  But so does God.  And He used it to pull me closer to him and helped me to trust in Him more than ever.  He drew me in and drew me closer, as to say... hunker down.  This battle is not over. 

Around this same time, Rob's grandparents came out to CO to live with his parents.  His Grandma was getting weaker and weaker, and it was getting so hard for Grandpa to take care of her.  We were SO excited to have them here in CO.  For me, it looked a lot different than I had imagined.  Grandma was so much weaker than I had even fathomed.  The love and loyalty I have seen this past month from Rob's parents, his grandpa, his brother and our sister in law... even our little Harper.  Like I said.  I've never been prouder to carry the name Tisthammer. 

Flash forward a week or so, and I sat, rocking my precious Hayden asleep in one of my best friends homes while sobbing.  This is that... it's not my story to tell section.  But let's just say, there has been a lot of mourning.  A lot of feelings of disappointment and loss.  A lot of anger.  But God is Sovereign.  He is powerful.  He IS VICTORIOUS!  He is THE I AM! And we are not giving up.
and this is where I will pause to say... if you don't have community, you NEED to get plugged in NOW.  Because even with the strongest community, the enemy can attack.  But with that strong community, you are NEVER alone.  I have seen the selflessness of our community.  The selflessness of my husband.  We were not meant to do life alone.  

Around this same time, we found out that some of our best friends (which their little girl also happens to be Harper's best friend) are moving out of state.  We are so excited for what God is doing in their lives... but once again.  OH MY HEART!  They are our people.  And telling your 3 year old that her best friend is moving away... heartbreaking!  Although she doesn't really understand right now, she will soon when she asks to see her and can't.  But, it makes me so thankful that we live in such a technology advanced culture... most days I scoff at it and roll my eyes at technology.  But things like this make me so very thankful.

Then this week, Rob's grandma passed away.  Really, this whole last week with her has just been beautiful!  We had an idea toward the end of last week that she was in her final of final days (if not hours), so our immediate family quite literally stopped everything.  We all left work if we were working, we dropped everything and went to be with her. Last Thursday evening was spent gathered around her bed as scripture was read over her, songs were sung, praise music on and memories shared.  Friday I got the greatest privilege of sitting with her for quite sometime alone.  And even more of a privilege was that she was able to talk to me.  She took me through memories of their travels, memories of her kids growing up, and just memories... it was BEAUTIFUL!  She then cried and told me how thankful she was that I sat with her and talked with her for so long.  To which I bawled like a baby... to me I was the one who should be thankful!  It was SUCH a pleasure to help get her ready for bed that evening, and just connect with her.  I will treasure that time with her forever!  The next few days were filled with a lot of sleep for her, and just keeping her comfortable.  Then one morning this week, early in the morning, Rob's phone started ringing.  We both knew.  My heart leaped.  I was so sad that she couldn't be here with us anymore, but oh what a reunion she had in heaven this week with loved ones that had gone on before.
But again, telling your 3 year old.  I started sobbing like a baby before I could even get words out.  But her response I never want to forget... "Mommy, I am so proud!  I am proud of Grandma Esther that she gets to go live with Jesus!".  And that right there friends, that right there! 
The legacy that Grandma Esther has left.  Because of her and her example and decision to follow Christ.  Because of her love for her family.  Because of her... I have my precious Harper.  And because of her, Harper is able to learn about the miracle of the cross.  It is truly beautiful.  To be able to learn so much from someone in not only how they lived, but how they died.

& it doesn't end there.

This morning my parents had to put their sweet pup of 13+ years to sleep.  She had been having pretty serious health problems, my dad was to the point he had to carry her outside to go to the bathroom.  She wasn't eating.  It was time.  But this broke a little piece of my heart.  This sweetie has been a part of our lives for so long and has been such a marvelous companion to my mom.

Today, I called my mom and consoled her.  Talked to her about memories, reassuring her they did the right thing.  ....

Then spoke with another friend who was also crying over the phone.  She apologized for needing me.  For taking up my time because "I have so many people I'm ministering too right now...".  I stopped her right there!   No way I said!  You are too important to me!  I haven't been able to get that off my mind/heart...

Brokenness.  It is all around us, isn't it?  Its IN us.  And man how satan loves to use it against us... like my friend who felt that she was "bothering" me because I was "too busy taking care of other people's hearts" in addition to my family's hearts... when guess what!  In all actuality.. that is what friendship is about.  Being there for one another.  Besides... as broken as I've felt lately, the best way to heal a broken heart is to let love leak out through all the cracks (paraphrased from Ann Voskamp).  There's no more powerful force in the world than giving.  Giving of our time.  of our hearts.  giving grace... showing grace to one another, especially through the hard minutes, days, weeks of life.  And the enemy would love nothing more than to make you think you are a burden... that you are bothersome to someone.  To whisper lies to you, making you feel alone.  No.  Not today. 

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