April 14, 2012


"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."  Phillippians 4:13

This verse has certainly been my strength over the last few weeks.  I am not sure how people without Christ in their life make it through life's tragedies.  Even with Him in my heart, I have had weak moments where I just haven't been sure if I would make it to the next hour but with a little prayer, my strength is back and I'm fighting again. 

We all struggle with battles and sometimes life brings them to us all at once but I am a believer in the knowledge that He will not give us more than what we can handle.  My battles started for me a few weeks ago when my doctor wanted me to get an Echo done for the murmur I have and for the problems I had been having with feeling tired and sometimes having a hard time catching my breath.  This was scary for me but I knew that no matter the outcome, I would be and will be in His hands.  My sweet friend Tyler went with me to the Echo and it was so good just knowing she was out there in the waiting room waiting on me.  Tyler is another amazing way that God works.  She has become a very important person in my life and our "coming together" is one that is kinda unbelievable when you really think about it.  haha..... 

My Echo results wouldn't be back for another week, so in the mean time, Doc advised me to get as much rest as possible and to try and not get stressed out.  Not get stressed out? hhmm..... again, I knew God would be with me no matter what, even if stress were to enter my life, which it did.....

I received a phone call from my cousin, Ramona, advising me that Raul, her brother, was on life support and it was not looking too well.  I immediately left work and took off to Texas.  The whole drive felt like a dream.  So many thoughts running through my mind.  See, we lost Rachel, Ramona and Raul's sister, ten years ago to liver cancer.  Rachel was not only my cousin but also my best friend.  Her and I lived across the street from one another when we were going to college and losing her literally changed my world.  I ended up moving to Arkansas to be with my sister because the memories were just too much to handle there in Lubbock.  Going to school was hard and I was having a hard time adjusting to life with out my best friend.  So, the thought of losing Raul was more than what my mind could grasp.  Haven't my Aunt and Uncle endured enough heartache with losing Rachel?  In my mind there was NO way this would happen to our family again......but it did.

As I watched my Aunt and Uncle holding their son's hands as his respirator was taken off just broke my heart all together.  As I watched him take his last breath, I thought about how easy it would be for them to be angry at God and how much I admired them that they were not.  I admired their grace through it all and their faith in God.  I remember my uncle saying, "Raul, this isn't what we wanted for you but if this is God's will, we accept it, and you can let go now and go be with your sister."  As I heard him saying these words, I thought, how strong this man is.  How faithful and trusting of God he is. 

My cousin took his last breath at 12:50AM, on Good Friday.  I thought about how God gave up His own son for our sins.  It made me honor my Uncle Raymond and my Aunt Ofelia, for the strength and grace they were exhibiting.  I know their hearts were torn and I knew they were hurting but not once was there a question mark for what God's will was for my cousin.  Not once was there any anger towards God for what was happening.  They exhibited strength like I had never seen before. 

"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Phillippians 4:13

The next few days would be unbearable but I knew our family would stick together.  My Aunt on my step-dad's side was then put on life support.  I wasn't sure how much more my Mom would be able to handle.  Just a few weeks ago our cousin and her best friend, Steve, was also put on life support.  I honestly couldn't believe so much was happening all at once.  Today, my Mom got the news that a former co-worker of hers passed away.  I called her to check on her and it broke my heart completely to hear her cry.  She was crying for Nicole's mother and for Ofelia.  She could feel their pain even though she had never been through it.  I guess all Mom's have that ability, to feel something another Mother is going through. 
I don't know why certain things happen to us but I do know that God's plan is always the right plan.  Sometimes it hurts us and sometimes we have to live with that unbearable pain in the pit of our heart but the strength He gives us will help us to fight through the days and to fight through the pain. 

"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you." Psalm 55:22

My drive back to Arkansas from Texas was a very lonely and empty one.  It was hard to leave my family and I still feel this overwhelming emptiness being so far away from them and having no family here in Arkansas but like I said, God has His reasons.  I know I am here for a reason this very moment.  There is a reason why I'm in Arkansas with out my family during a time where I feel like I should be with them and I trust Him.  When fear sets in when I think about being here alone if I do have to have surgery starts to creep in but then I remember who I serve and WHO I trust!  I trust Him with my life no matter what!

Sometimes, that's all we can do when we have no idea WHAT we are doing....is TRUST!

I trust that Raul and Rachel are together now and I trust that one day, my whole family will be reunited in Heaven with them.  I know this isn't goodbye and I know that God is loving on the hearts that are mourning Raul.  He loves us more during these times because He knows and honors the pain we feel when we lose loved ones and He wants us to trust Him with it. 

I saw my family pull together once again during a tragedy and I'm so blessed and honored to be a part of such an amazing and God loving family!  Love you guys!

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