Life and Loss

Life and Loss

Capture

I was 18 when I met you. You were this firecracker little cutesie thing, running across the crowded dance floor. You jumped into to the arms of one of the only guys you had ever trusted. He embraced you full heartedly wrapping his arms around you. He always had. And we now know, he always would. You giggled with such innocence cackling at his tickling fingers. He lifted you from the ground, swung your dangling feet around. And, he kissed your cheek while placing your little feet back on the ground. My heart pounded as he turned you to face me. You had such a sweet smile but, I was so nervous anyways. I knew you were so important to him. I knew you were so much more than special to him. And, because he was so important to me, I wanted you to know that there was also a place in my heart for you. As any loving older brother would do, he tugged your small hand within his and brought you in front of me. I waited, uncertain as to what exactly I was supposed to do. Unsure as to how this was going to play out. But, you didn’t even blink. You didn’t even hesitate. You threw your arms around me and pulled me against your chest. In that hug I knew, I’d found a friend.

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So many things unfolded within the next thirteen years. So many joys. So many adventures. So many triumphant battles. So many experiences full of life, love and laughter. But, with every sweet story comes a thunderstorm. With every bit of happiness comes the rushing rapids of despair eager to take you under. Anxious to drown you.

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We hoped that those rapids wouldn’t hold you. That the thunderstorm brewing within you would eventually subside and dissipate to a soft rain. We prayed that whatever had a hold on you from the inside, would lose its grip and fall to the pits of hell. We hoped and we prayed and we begged and we pleaded.

But, in the end … The struggle was too much. The cuts were too deep. The pain too torrential.

And, we watched you fade away, slowly inching into a place that was so hard for us to reach it was often unbearable to watch. It felt like rubberbands on our hearts, pulling and constricting against every single beat. It hurt to see you hurt. It seared our chests with a branding iron each time we watched you fall.

Knowing we were reaching, knowing we were screaming for you to take our hand … Seeing your desperation to catch your breath but not knowing how to help you.

You rode such an extreme roller coaster ride of a life. One that we couldn’t keep up with. One that we got tossed from on more than one occasion. Your twists and turns often giving us whiplash making every recovery that much harder to come back from. But, no matter what. No matter how bad it got.

We always loved you.

And, that love was fierce and remains strong to this day.

That love was always real and it will never go away.

I’m thankful for the good I always knew was in you even it often got buried by the heaviness of something you carried in your soul. I’m thankful you allowed me in your heart even if it was only for a fraction of time. Because you didn’t let many in. I don’t think there was enough room amongst whatever it was barricading your heart.

And, then I had a dream …

Your face was continually flashing in my minds’ eye. I tossed to the other side trying to rid the image from my system. But, it appeared again making me wide eyed at three am in the morning.

“What the heck? Why? Why now? Why am I seeing her face now?”

I silently closed my eyes hoping to have some semblance of peace. Hoping I could fall asleep for just a few more hours before my next workday began. But, once again … Your face flooded my dreams infiltrating any chance of going back to sleep.

I shot straight up from my slumber breathing heavily wondering why so much time had passed yet, your face was clearly lingering as visions within my dreams.

“Ok, God. I’ll pray. If you’re waking me up, then I’ll pray.”

So, I did. I prayed. I prayed peace over your spirit and protection over your soul. I spoke love and hope over the life of your daughter. I spoke truth even if you weren’t in a place to want to hear it directly.

Because, that’s what love does. It still has hope.

I finally rolled over releasing a breath of serenity. And within a few seconds my body relaxed and drifted into a quiet place of sleep.

dream

Two days later … we got the phone call.

You were gone.

Just like that.

It was over.

Your life had come to an end.

I felt like I was choking on my own weak attempts at breathing. Your brothers’ face fell and lost every single bit of color. His naturally flushed cheeks hollowed as he struggled to sort through the veil of emotions falling over him. We knew the ghosts you had ran from for years finally got the best of you. We knew you finally let go. And, although we knew we did everything we could to help you, to save you from yourself, we grieved letting out cries so loud I swore we shook the windows.

Because we loved you.

Because we still love you.

How do we understand the depth of despair you suffered from? How do we judge your choices when no one, I mean no one, could understand the gravity of grave desperation you clutched within your heart.

And, how do we let you go. How do we walk away and say goodbye?

I’m so sorry your end had to come at such a tragic expense. I hope your mind body and soul have found peace in the afterlife. And, always know that our hearts are forever connected to yours. You will always be special to both of us.

Miss

One simple act of kindness

Close your eyes and envision a time in your life where things haven’t been so great.

The lowest of low

Discouraged

Depressed

Disgruntled

Defeated

Deflated

Abandoned

Alone

::::sigh::::

Often those moments we bring upon ourselves because we’re what???? WE’RE HUMAN. (Don’t jump my ace. I said often as in sometimes. NOT ALWAYS.) And, we make terrible, reckless, thoughtless, selfish decisions that, at times, impact our lives drastically.

But, somehow in the deepest, darkest hole of the well we’re trapped in … Someone walks in love, reaches their hand toward you and helps you up off the ground. They’re like your breath of fresh air. Your oasis in the desert. Your warm embrace of sunshine when you’ve felt so frigid cold for so long.

Now, think about who that might have been. Think about the smallest act that may have saved you from your circumstance. Think about the most generous thing bestowed upon you when you knew you deserved nothing.

THINK ABOUT IT, SOAK IT IN, LET IT RESIGNATE THROUGH YOUR SYSTEM. (Because we’ve all been there even if you say you haven’t. I just happen to be open and honest enough to admit it.)

There are so many situations within my life where I can pinpoint gestures of kindness that have significantly helped redirect my crummy circumstance. A friend offering a ride, a family allowing me a place to stay, a random stranger paying for my meal, my extended family paying for my gas, an employer giving me an extra bonus, a church leader listening and understanding my imperfections, a mother silently crying but face 2 face, boldly praying over my life.

Which leads me to this …

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At the beginning of November, I was asked by a friend for a favor. A pretty extreme favor. A favor not to be taken lightly. A favor that could radically impact a young girls life as well as the life of her 18 month old daughter and the child soon to be born within her womb.

A favor for a young girl who was so close to the age of a child that it took my breath away.

She was a baby, with an 18 month old baby and she was about to birth another baby.

Oh, sweet Jesus.

She had nothing. Absolutely nothing. No clothes. No blankets. No food. No diapers. No place for this baby to sleep.

NOTHING. NADA. ZERO. ZILCH.

In that moment, the rational “human nature” side of my brain could have started spinning like a rabid hamster wheel. It could have started throwing accusation, blame, and condemnation in the direction of this young girl. Questioning every bit of reasoning on why “I” had to help. Why it was “my” job to fix this.

Afterall, it’s not my problem, right?

WRONG.

It only took a few seconds for the tender voice on the inside to silence any confusion I had. It wrapped my stirring turmoil and all my troubled thoughts in a blanket, stilling the whirlwind of irritation with peace. It reminded me of this one simple fact:

Who are you to judge?

Didn’t people help you when you felt like you didn’t deserve it?

How many hands were extended to you in your time(s) of need?

Don’t harness blind judgement.

Let go of accusation. 

Walk in love, Kim.

Love never fails.

That’s it. That’s all I needed. That gentle nudge catapaulted me into overdrive. I quickly messaged my friend, letting her know that I would utilize every single resource available to me. Every cotton-pickin’ source I had, to find things for this girl.

I mass texted, I plugged multiple posts on facebook, I emailed, I called. Whatever I could do, I did. Because, although I may not have all the money in the world – I could at least use my big mouth to gather things for this poor girl.

And, ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh did the donations pour in.

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We ended up with so much stuff, it brought tears to my eyes.

Hundreds of diapers

40 plus cans of formula

Boxes and boxes and boxes of clothing

Boxes and boxes and boxes of blankets

Binkies

Bottles

Toys

Bath products

And, we even had some extra resources to wrap some of the new stuff so it made this young girl feel like she was getting her own presents.

WOW

And then … On, November 16, I received the sweetest picture with the sweetest caption:

“She says thank you”

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Oh my GAH!

::::Cue tears::::

Big fat torrential downpour tears

Look at that sweet little face.

I knew. I totally without any tid bit of doubt, knew what I did was right. And with the help of so many generous people, we provided a step within this sweet young mom’s life, a bridge for these young babies to cross, when things seemed so grim for them. And, it was all because of a decision to follow the Voice of Love on this inside instead of my natural judgemental human nature.

LOVE WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BUT, WAIT …

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Shortly after this lil’ munchkin was born, I received this short message from the friend who organized and put this plan in motion:

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OH

EM

GEE!

I’m completely blown away. Utterly Mindblown. And, this isn’t even about me. This post isn’t even about MY abilities. This post is about the decision to follow that “Nudging Voice” on the inside that continually accepts you regardless of your short comings, continually stills the storm with peace, continually reminds that His love is Perfect Love and if we choose to walk in THAT love, we’ll see through people’s imperfections. And, we’ll focus on their need. This is the Love humanity needs to thrive. This is the Love the world needs to touch so many lives.

Read between the lines, folks.

It IS hard because it naturally is dang near impossible.

But, it’s not impossible if you follow Your inner voice.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 8Love Never Fails.

****This post is dedicated to the community outreach done within the walls of the http://www.streetschool.org/.

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Their ability to see beauty through ashes is changing the lives of so many discarded young teenagers.

Please visit their website and contact their donation department if you feel compelled to help.

OR reach out within your own community to something you feel tugging on your heart. It’s never too late. Never. Especially during the season of giving.

LAST TIME I CHECKED, HATE NEVER WON THE RACE. BUT IN THE END, LOVE CONQUERED ALL.