It’s always for someone else…

I have literally been trying to get the pen to pad for quite some time.  I have had so much to say and yet once I am at the computer, I just stare at the screen lost for words.  Before I even began a sentence just now, I stalled for hours.  It feels like you have a foggy head  and you are unsure where to start or even what takes precedence to even began to explain it.

The last few years have been a helluva ride and that’s putting it mildly.  These hills and valleys have been a force to be reckoned with and if I am being honest…scary.  Just when you think you have hit a peak, a storm so mighty makes you feel like you are suffocating, like your feet cannot reach the ground, and when you think you have it all figured out, a gust of wind knocks you flat on your back and you think the likelihood of recovering is nowhere to be found and just when you are ready to give up, the light shines so bright and you see the silver lining and realize it was all apart of the plan and you just had to trust the process.

For the past 2 years, I have been an emotional wreck.  For those that will read this, will probably be shocked to know that.  I’ve held that in and even uttering the words make me feel funny.  It makes me want to retreat, but that part of me, I’ve buried.  No more retreating, it’s time to face the music and be transparent because it’s never for us, it’s always for someone else.

I’ve been battling so many emotions.  I’ve never known what anxiety felt like until a year ago.  I hear people talk about anxiety.  I even hear people talk about the medicine they take to even cope with anxiety.  Thankfully I am not really into a ton of meds because I feel with the amount and severity of anxiety I have experienced, I would have been probably somewhere overdosed just to cope.

For starters, the anxiety began last year right after my family’s annual 4th of July vacation when my Grandmother was diagnosed with Lymphoma Cancer.  This was a blow that hit our family hard.  My Grandmother was always so vibrant and she lit up any room she entered because of her friendly personality.  My Grandmother along with my late Grandfather raised my brother, my sister, and myself.  Our family was so close and finding out she had cancer was scary for all of us, including her.

We were always with my Grandmother.  We were attached to her.  The relationship was different than most because as we got older, the relationship shifted.  She literally became our Best Friend.  She once told me, she thought of me as her Best Friend.  She raised her own 4 kids and then turned around and raised me and my siblings.  She even retired for the 2nd time at 79.  That’s how vibrant she was.  She couldn’t sit still.  She moved around better than most teenagers.  She was known for loving music and dancing.  So, to see her so down from being sick hurt and it hurt bad.

It hurt so bad, I developed anxiety.  No one knew this because I kept it a secret because I knew my role as the oldest was to make sure my family stayed positive and prayed up.  But, when I was alone, I was struggling bad.  I didn’t sleep good at all.  I was a walking zombie.  There were some nights that I couldn’t even catch my breath from hyperventilating so badly.  I cried so much that my eyes would be swollen and sore.  Even during the day I couldn’t focus because I was thinking about my Grandmother.  At night I was scared because every time my phone rung, I was in fear that it would be the “dreaded” call.  Did I mention months prior to finding out my maternal grandmother’s prognosis, I had just lost my paternal grandmother.  So, I had not even healed from that loss.  I was just not a good headspace. 

Did I also mention, my family lived in Atlanta and I had just moved to Michigan in 2015.  I was torn terribly.  A part of me wanted to just pack up and just run home and the other part of me had a life here with my husband in Michigan and I couldn’t just leave him.  I was riddled with guilt.  So, I went home as often as I could to visit my Grandmother.  My Grandmother and I had developed a routine over the years.  We talked every morning while on my way to work to get my daily dose of encouragement (she later revealed that it was I that was her encouragement) and I immediately would call her as soon as my work day ended to talk about my day.  Our usual greeting was “Hey Girl…..”  She really was my girl.  I could guarantee a good laugh because she was so funny and after our greeting, we talked about our day, and then next we would usually talk about my niece Zoe whom my sister had in 2014.  Zoe had surely awaken a different type of love in her because they became so close.  So close that Zoe didn’t even call her Grandma, she called her by her real name….Betty.

By now you can guess where this is leading up to.  But before we get to the ending, by the end of the year last year, my Grandmother had miraculously gotten better.  She was back to herself.  The months prior to that, we thought we were going to lose her so for it to just be 360, it puzzled us, but we were just thankful.  We wasn’t ready to lose her and clearly God was not ready to call her home. 

So many times while going this process we kept asking my Grandmother to fight.  She has been our strength, our backbone, our everything…..our Matriarch. We just was not ready to let her go and though she kept telling us she was tired, and though we couldn’t understand it because it was a side of her we just existed.  She was our everything.  She saved us so many years ago and later I believe she felt we saved her too.  So, I changed my prayers.  I asked God to give her the fighting strength but if He was ready for her, to help us to not be selfish and help us to see that her staying could not be because we didn’t think we could live here without.   But in true fashion, my Grandmother fought and because she had always put everyone before her, I knew she was fighting for us and she couldn’t go until she felt we would be okay.  She seemed to start improving and we all could breath just a little bit better. 

 The new year began and low and behold it all fell apart again. We were right back to where it started and it was a slow and painful process.  By February, the doctors told us there was nothing else they could do for her and we were given 3 options; rehab, hospice care at a facility, or hospice care at home.  We along with my Grandmother decided on hospice home care.  At that point it was all about comfort.  Even with hospice home care we were still hopeful because she seemed better than what she had been previously.  Even with her family and friends visiting, no one could believe she was sick.   

On March 1st, 2 days before my 36th birthday that dreaded call came.  I had thought about how I would react to better cope with the inevitable.  But, you can’t really know until you are faced with it.  The call came from my sister just as it had been 12 years ago when my grandfather had passed.  I felt like my soul left my body.  The only thing that was on my mind was getting to Atlanta to be with my siblings because I knew they needed me. 

My Grandmother was laid to rest beautifully on March 11th.  I thank God for giving me 36 years to spend with her.  I thank God for giving her 81 wonderful years on this earth.  It was her turn to rest because she had given so much of herself.  Even to the very end, she was thinking of others, but I know in my heart that she was not going to leave here until she knew in her heart that we would be able to continue on without her.  She was truly an example of how it is always for someone else.  She was the most selfless person I have ever met.  I have drawn so much inspiration for the life she lived and all the love she poured into me.  With everything she taught us, we can take those lessons and continue her legacy. 

Image-1

The title of this post was drawn from inspiration of a line said in the season finale of “The Walking Dead”.  Funny thing is the season finally was April 2nd and I have literally watched this episode specifically for the scene below between Sasha and Abraham several times.  It stood out to me and it stayed with me and I found it to be so befitting to my Grandmother and what she gave to not only our lives, but to so many other lives she had touched.

 

“It’s always for someone else”That line made mflower-blesse think about why we are placed here. I’ve always prayed for Blessings to Bless others.  I whole heartedly believe a lot of what we go through; the trials, the tribulations, the struggle, the ups, and the downs. It’s not always for us, but to help others.  How we get over can very well be the encouragement the next person needs.

My Grandmother is missed tremendously but I am at peace knowing that she is no longer suffering and that she can finally rest peacefully.  We will always carry her in our heart and remember all the good times.  I thank God we cherished her while we had her here.

Betty Collage

Betty Jean Williams                                                                

 September 16, 1935-March 1, 2017

 

It’s always for someone else…

I have literally been trying to get the pen to pad for quite some time.  I have had so much to say and yet once I am at the computer, I just stare at the screen lost for words.  Before I even began a sentence just now, I stalled for hours.  It feels like you have a foggy head  and you are unsure where to start or even what takes precedence to even began to explain it.

The last few years have been a helluva ride and that’s putting it mildly.  These hills and valleys have been a force to be reckoned with and if I am being honest…scary.  Just when you think you have hit a peak, a storm so mighty makes you feel like you are suffocating, like your feet cannot reach the ground, and when you think you have it all figured out, a gust of wind knocks you flat on your back and you think the likelihood of recovering is nowhere to be found and just when you are ready to give up, the light shines so bright and you see the silver lining and realize it was all apart of the plan and you just had to trust the process.

For the past 2 years, I have been an emotional wreck.  For those that will read this, will probably be shocked to know that.  I’ve held that in and even uttering the words make me feel funny.  It makes me want to retreat, but that part of me, I’ve buried.  No more retreating, it’s time to face the music and be transparent because it’s never for us, it’s always for someone else.

I’ve been battling so many emotions.  I’ve never known what anxiety felt like until a year ago.  I hear people talk about anxiety.  I even hear people talk about the medicine they take to even cope with anxiety.  Thankfully I am not really into a ton of meds because I feel with the amount and severity of anxiety I have experienced, I would have been probably somewhere overdosed just to cope.

For starters, the anxiety began last year right after my family’s annual 4th of July vacation when my Grandmother was diagnosed with Lymphoma Cancer.  This was a blow that hit our family hard.  My Grandmother was always so vibrant and she lit up any room she entered because of her friendly personality.  My Grandmother along with my late Grandfather raised my brother, my sister, and myself.  Our family was so close and finding out she had cancer was scary for all of us, including her.

We were always with my Grandmother.  We were attached to her.  The relationship was different than most because as we got older, the relationship shifted.  She literally became our Best Friend.  She once told me, she thought of me as her Best Friend.  She raised her own 4 kids and then turned around and raised me and my siblings.  She even retired for the 2nd time at 79.  That’s how vibrant she was.  She couldn’t sit still.  She moved around better than most teenagers.  She was known for loving music and dancing.  So, to see her so down from being sick hurt and it hurt bad.

It hurt so bad, I developed anxiety.  No one knew this because I kept it a secret because I knew my role as the oldest was to make sure my family stayed positive and prayed up.  But, when I was alone, I was struggling bad.  I didn’t sleep good at all.  I was a walking zombie.  There were some nights that I couldn’t even catch my breath from hyperventilating so badly.  I cried so much that my eyes would be swollen and sore.  Even during the day I couldn’t focus because I was thinking about my Grandmother.  At night I was scared because every time my phone rung, I was in fear that it would be the “dreaded” call.  Did I mention months prior to finding out my maternal grandmother’s prognosis, I had just lost my paternal grandmother.  So, I had not even healed from that loss.  I was just not a good headspace. 

Did I also mention, my family lived in Atlanta and I had just moved to Michigan in 2015.  I was torn terribly.  A part of me wanted to just pack up and just run home and the other part of me had a life here with my husband in Michigan and I couldn’t just leave him.  I was riddled with guilt.  So, I went home as often as I could to visit my Grandmother.  My Grandmother and I had developed a routine over the years.  We talked every morning while on my way to work to get my daily dose of encouragement (she later revealed that it was I that was her encouragement) and I immediately would call her as soon as my work day ended to talk about my day.  Our usual greeting was “Hey Girl…..”  She really was my girl.  I could guarantee a good laugh because she was so funny and after our greeting, we talked about our day, and then next we would usually talk about my niece Zoe whom my sister had in 2014.  Zoe had surely awaken a different type of love in her because they became so close.  So close that Zoe didn’t even call her Grandma, she called her by her real name….Betty.

By now you can guess where this is leading up to.  But before we get to the ending, by the end of the year last year, my Grandmother had miraculously gotten better.  She was back to herself.  The months prior to that, we thought we were going to lose her so for it to just be 360, it puzzled us, but we were just thankful.  We wasn’t ready to lose her and clearly God was not ready to call her home. 

So many times while going this process we kept asking my Grandmother to fight.  She has been our strength, our backbone, our everything…..our Matriarch. We just was not ready to let her go and though she kept telling us she was tired, and though we couldn’t understand it because it was a side of her we just existed.  She was our everything.  She saved us so many years ago and later I believe she felt we saved her too.  So, I changed my prayers.  I asked God to give her the fighting strength but if He was ready for her, to help us to not be selfish and help us to see that her staying could not be because we didn’t think we could live here without.   But in true fashion, my Grandmother fought and because she had always put everyone before her, I knew she was fighting for us and she couldn’t go until she felt we would be okay.  She seemed to start improving and we all could breath just a little bit better. 

 The new year began and low and behold it all fell apart again. We were right back to where it started and it was a slow and painful process.  By February, the doctors told us there was nothing else they could do for her and we were given 3 options; rehab, hospice care at a facility, or hospice care at home.  We along with my Grandmother decided on hospice home care.  At that point it was all about comfort.  Even with hospice home care we were still hopeful because she seemed better than what she had been previously.  Even with her family and friends visiting, no one could believe she was sick.   

On March 1st, 2 days before my 36th birthday that dreaded call came.  I had thought about how I would react to better cope with the inevitable.  But, you can’t really know until you are faced with it.  The call came from my sister just as it had been 12 years ago when my grandfather had passed.  I felt like my soul left my body.  The only thing that was on my mind was getting to Atlanta to be with my siblings because I knew they needed me. 

My Grandmother was laid to rest beautifully on March 11th.  I thank God for giving me 36 years to spend with her.  I thank God for giving her 81 wonderful years on this earth.  It was her turn to rest because she had given so much of herself.  Even to the very end, she was thinking of others, but I know in my heart that she was not going to leave here until she knew in her heart that we would be able to continue on without her.  She was truly an example of how it is always for someone else.  She was the most selfless person I have ever met.  I have drawn so much inspiration for the life she lived and all the love she poured into me.  With everything she taught us, we can take those lessons and continue her legacy. 

Image-1

The title of this post was drawn from inspiration of a line said in the season finale of “The Walking Dead”.  Funny thing is the season finally was April 2nd and I have literally watched this episode specifically for the scene below between Sasha and Abraham several times.  It stood out to me and it stayed with me and I found it to be so befitting to my Grandmother and what she gave to not only our lives, but to so many other lives she had touched.

 

“It’s always for someone else”.  That line made mflower-blesse think about why we are placed here. I’ve always prayed for Blessings to Bless others.  I whole heartedly believe a lot of what we go through; the trials, the tribulations, the struggle, the ups, and the downs. It’s not always for us, but to help others.  How we get over can very well be the encouragement the next person needs.

My Grandmother is missed tremendously but I am at peace knowing that she is no longer suffering and that she can finally rest peacefully.  We will always carry her in our heart and remember all the good times.  I thank God we cherished her while we had her here.

Betty Collage

Betty Jean Williams                                                                 September 16, 1935-March 1, 2017

 

Living a Hebrews 11:1 Life in 2016

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  2015 for me was learning to trust God and understanding how being faithful works.  For 2016, it’s time to take my faith to the next level.

Join me on my journey to remaining #Faithful and activating a movement of faith for 2016.

What better way to kickstart your journey than a cool T-shirt to rock!  You can purchase your #Faithful T-shirt, Log sleeve shirt, or Hoodie at Faith2016.

Head over to Faith2016 for more color choices.

Happy New Year from Lovebugsworld,
~Let’s be #faithful for 2016

Dear Terry….

A long time ago, 6 years ago to be exact there was a girl who was traveling through life with a new found love for God. She once was lost but she found herself again when she put God back into the forefront of her Life. It was as if she caught a second chance at Life. Life took on a new meaning with God as her focus. As she started this new journey with God she started seeing the Blessings pour into her Life. One particular Blessing was reconnecting with someone she had known a good part of her adult life who as well was walking on a spiritual journey. Never would she imagine that this person would be her God intended mate. 6 years later she is still living her life with God and her wonderful Husband of almost 4 years. Life is not always what we think it will be but with God it can be all we Pray for and much more! 



Confessions of a Writer….Understanding the TEST in the TESTimony

Today is November 13, 2014.  A very special day.  Today is the day I walked down the aisle. Today is my 3 year Anniversary.  The same feelings that engulfed my mind, my heart, and my spirit 3 years ago are the exact same feelings I feel today…..3 years later.  I was full of love and excitement.  My life was beginning and I was ready.  Today was the day that I got to not only share with the love of my life, but with family and close friends and yes….God! Marriage is a major step and you have to be mentally ready. You can read as many books and get as much advice from seasoned married people, but you don’t fully get it until you are living it.  It all makes sense once you live it day in and day out.  This is the person you wake up to every morning and the last person you literally see before you close your eyes at night. Before the “I Do”  during the ceremony there is a part where you take your vows.  Some of us chose to go with the traditional vows and some of us chose to say our own, but you do take vows.  I can remember really thinking about what I wanted to say, but most importantly what it all meant.  Vows are what you are committing to.  You are held accountable to these vows.  You are saying this before God, your family, your close friends, and your spouse.  Never would I have imagined 3 years later that the “for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health” would be knocking at our door.  

Over the past 3 1/2 months I have felt like I have been on a roller coaster that did not have any brakes.  I have felt every loop, twist, and turn.  There have been days that I didn’t even know if I was going or coming.  There have been days where I didn’t even know what to think or even do.  Everything was spiraling and it was spiraling fast. For the first time in my life, my Faith was wavering.  I did not know what to believe.  3 1/2 months ago I found myself rushing my Husband to the emergency room where we would spend 10 solid days while he was clinging for his life.  We didn’t know what our future held.  All we knew we were headed to St. Louis one minute on a new journey, only to have that short lived when we came home to Atlanta for a quick visit.  In an instant, we were sitting in a hospital room full of uncertainties.  After 10 days things started looking hopeful.  My husband wasn’t 100%, but he surely was not how he was 10 days prior to.  Even the Doctor’s were in complete awe with the turn around.  All I could think of…But, God!!  

After he was released 2 weeks later we were headed back to St. Louis.  I had never been more scared in my life.  I was not looking forward to taking this trip back there because in my heart, I knew he was not ready.  I knew he was not healed. Everything was still so uncertain and I was so unsure of what was to come.  Well, as sure as I thought it, we were only there for 3 days before his company decided to bring us back to Atlanta while we wait on a 2nd official start date of his job.  By now, I was tired, I was exhausted, and I was developing so many emotions that I didn’t know if I could even endure any of it.  At this point, I had became a nurse and the prominent driver.  All those road trips back and forth to St. Louis from Atlanta was on me because my husband was too sick to drive.  I learned how to administer antibiotics through a PICC Line and check blood sugar all while driving.  In a months time, I didn’t even know what sleep was.  The first 3 days of his initial hospital stay, sleep was not even an option.  It was too much going on and too much information to absorb and I was scared.   Here we were driving around with our SUV packed because we had moved.  We decided to stay with my mom while we wait.  Imagine trying to live in a one bedroom apartment.  I felt so horrible that my mom was on a couch because she insisted we take her bedroom.  Talk about sleepless nights. I don’t even think my husband slept much because he felt horrible.  Not only from his sickness, but because of the living situation.

By this time, August rolls around and we decided that we would split our time between his parents home in Ninety Six, South Carolina and Atlanta. Plus we wanted to give my mom some space.  So, we headed up the road to South Carolina to visit. We stayed a few days and we were headed back to Atlanta for doctor visits that turned into a nightmare and we found ourselves right back in Ninety Six at the emergency room due to not being able to get the proper care in Atlanta. We would spend 4 days this time in the hospital. By now I was beyond exhausted. I literally couldn’t think straight. I feel like I slept the entire 4 days while my husband was in the hospital and I couldn’t tell you anything that happened. My body and mind had shut down. The only thing I know we were getting answers to this sickness and things seemed like they were going in the right direction.

Now it’s September. We were still in Ninety Six while he recovered and things were going ok. I was still tired because my husband was on a schedule with medicines and I had to make sure everything was being taken care of with the meds.

11 days into September the newest addition to my family was born so I came home to Atlanta to help my sister out for 2 weeks. I was there in body, but mentally I was back in Ninety Six with my husband. My mind was clouded with worry. I didn’t know what was going to happen. It was hard for me to not think about the fact that he was sick, we both were not working because I had quit my job when we found out that he had gotten the job in St. Louis and he hadn’t worked going on 2 months. Reality was sinking in….fast! My Faith was shot. I found myself being angry with God. I had never felt that before. I was ashamed of those feelings, but it didn’t stop me from being angry. I was giving up. I had made up my mind that all the praying was pointless and that we had failed. I felt like a failure. Which made me resent my husband. I was bitter. I was lashing out at him. I was being reclusive. To add fury to the fire, right before I came back to Ninety Six we finally got word from the doctor the solution to his illness. And boy was we not prepared to hear that it would require him to have open heart surgery to repair or replace one of his heart valves.

It’s October now and we are meeting with his doctor to discuss options if his valve can’t be repaired. That was a Wednesday. We had an option for surgery to be that Friday or that Monday. I don’t know who was in more shock. My husband or myself. My husband decided to go with Monday to buy him just a little time to try and mentally prepare for it. Monday rolls around like the blink of an eye and it’s 5:30am and we are headed to the hospital. My mind was all over the place. The night before I was reading the Bible and I stumbled upon Job 23:10. From that scripture I could only hear God saying, “You shall come through”. The entire time my husband was being operated on I felt this heaviness in my heart. My heart was hurting. Every time the nurse would open the waiting room door with an update, I was scared. I could not mentally think what I would do if my husband did not pull through. As the day went on my mind relaxed and I remembered the scripture I read the night before. The surgery was successful. And the recovery road would begin…..

Despite the angriness and bitterness, I would still find solace in turning to God. When it is all said and done, God will never leave us nor forsake us. The crazy thing is as bitter and angry as I was with my husband, I never turned my back on him. I knew he needed me and in the back of my mind those vows we took still meant something. I have been right by his side through all of this and I love him today even more that I did 3 years ago when we said “I Do”. I worked through all of that anger and bitterness. I am free from all of that.

And here it is November. Our anniversary! Today I was ready to share our testimony. It’s been a month since my husband had open heart surgery. He is doing excellent! He is recovering well. We have an awesome support system from his family as well as my own. We could not have gotten through any this without them. Our closest friends have been a good support as well. And Our biggest cheerleader God has showed us that together we can get through anything. Without this test, we wouldn’t have the testimony to share with the world. God is good! We never know why God places people in our lives but when it is revealed…..My God! We never know what the next person is enduring or going through. We think our problems are bigger than the next. We just have to remember to be thankful. 3 1/2 months ago I could have been burying my husband when he first got sick. A month ago I could have been burying him when he had to have open heart surgery. My God had other plans. So, I am thankful and we are Blessed!

To my Husband:
Happy 3 year Anniversary. It has been an interesting 3 years, but I can’t think of anyone else that I would have wanted to spend the last 3 years with. Thank you for believing in me, accepting me flaws and all, and loving me unconditionally. I thank God for saving us for each other and I am looking forward to the rest of our lives together.

Love Always,
Shira❤
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