Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Strong Enough

Tomorrow is the the day that changed our families life forever.  The day that Derek and I chose to turn off the life support for our sweet Zechariah.  There have been many moments the last few days that I have had the urge to go and sit on the floor of the pantry and eat Oreos.  I however have not done that.  I have recognized my feelings and moved on.  I have not medicated those feelings with food.  I want to honor my son and his memory by being healthy, after all, he didn't have a choice in regards to his health, but I have a choice.  I have been choosing to live my truth as well as living a life where I am present and to do that it means feeling those painful feelings.

I truly believe Matthew West song "Strong Enough" describes my last few years.

I know I'm not strong enough to beeverything that I'm supposed to beI give upI'm not stong enoughHands of mercy won't you cover meLord right now I'm asking you to beStrong enoughStrong enoughFor the both of us
Well, maybeMaybe that's the pointTo reach the point of giving up
Cause when I'm finallyFinally at rock bottomWell, that's when I start looking upAnd reaching out
I know I'm not strong enough to beEverything that I'm supposed to beI give upI'm not stong enoughHands of mercy won't you cover meLord right now I'm asking you to beStrong enoughStrong enough
Cause I'm brokenDown to nothingBut I'm still holding on to the one thingYou are Godand you are strongWhen I am weak
I can do all thingsThrough Christ who gives me strengthAnd I don't have to beStrong enoughStrong enough
I can do all thingsThrough Christ who gives me strengthAnd I don't have to beStrong enoughStrong enough

Good news is God is truly strong enough to meet my needs, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  I just need to believe that God has not forgotten me, which I do, but in the midst of the excruciating pain it has been easy to forget.  I choose to remember that when the rains and storms come there is always a rainbow at the end of it all.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

2 years, 92 pounds, and a New Lease on Life

In 6 short days it will be have been 2 years since our sweet Zechariah passed away.  In the last few weeks I have been trying to focus on how far I have come in the last 2 years.  It has been painful.  God has allowed so many aspects of my life to be stripped away so I can learn to be truly dependent on Him.  I have had to rely on God in so many aspects of my life especially in the last 2 years but one aspect I am truly proud of is the journey to health I have walked through.  In the last 2 years I have lost 92 pounds (somewhere between 92-95, depending on the week).  It has been a hard.  Weight loss is hard.  Learning to cope without a vice is hard.  Learning how to stop emotionally eating has been the hardest lesson for me.  I love to eat.  I love to eat when I am happy, sad, mad, angry, you name it I love food for all reasons.  I am truly recovering from a food addiction.  I have had to realize that I need to start facing my stuff instead of stuffing my face.  Zechariah has been the driving force for this huge change in my life.  I remember sitting on airplane heading back to my home in Texas after Zech's funeral thinking life is going to be different.  I am going to be different.  It was then I realized that Zechariah didn't have a choice about his heart, his health or his life, BUT I DO, I HAVE A CHOICE!  So I chose my health.  I took my life back.  I got so many rewards in the process; I got my health back, I was able to have skin removal surgery, I became confident in who I am as a person, gained confidence in my body and living in my own skin, and I gained fitness.  I am now a person who longs for my morning cycling classes, Saturday runs, and a life full of happiness and health!

It has been amazing to watch my body and life change.  It is truly amazing to see how your life can change with a lot of hard work, dedication, prayer, and commitment.  As the 2 year mark of Zech's death approach's in 6 days, I can rest assured knowing that his life was not lived in vain.  His life was a catalyst for change in my life and my families life.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Running To Remember

16 weeks, that is the approximate amount of weeks that this family has until Derek goes to Afghanistan.  Derek and I don't spend much time alone together because we don't have family in Washington, we have many acquaintances but very few friends here so we definitely lack in the babysitting department.  Derek and I had been have been talking a lot recently about spending more time together and have realized that over the course of our marriage we have had so little help that we have neglected our marriage.  It wasn't something that happened purposely, I think it is something that happened out of life's circumstances and to some extent it is the price we pay for moving often with the military. In an attempt to have more one on one time together Derek and I have trying to find new ways to spend time alone together.  Last month Derek and I did the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Down and Dirty Mud Run Series.  It was so fun!  There is nothing like running with your best friend and acting like real life G.I Joe's (I guess I should say I get to act like a G.I Joe, Derek is a real life G.I Joe)!  

Mud Run!  Derek and I holding our participant coins!

Derek and I enjoy running together, and our love for the outdoors, as well as running and hiking is something that we have always had in common.  So, in my effort to spend more time with my hubby I planned a date for us each and every Saturday.  I signed Faith up for hourly daycare for 2 hours each Saturday and Derek and I joined a running group.  We joined a group in DuPont, Washington called Wear Blue:Run to Remember. The group was founded by Lisa Hallett.  In 2009 Lisa lost her husband in Afghanistan.  In an effort to survive her loss she turned to running.  She found that there was a need among the military community, a need for support and a way to deal with grief and way to move on.  So each Saturday Run to Remember gathers at a park in DuPont and the names of the fallen soldiers for that week are read off, a prayer is said, and a sea of blue shirts run through the streets of DuPont.  Each Saturday Run to Remember runners run with the purpose of remembering the fallen, the fighting and the families. (Run to Remember is actually spreading nationwide and chapters are popping up all over the United States.)

Wearing Blue, Running to Remember!

Last Saturday as Derek and I ran through the beautiful town of DuPont, Washington, I thought about the fallen, those I know who are in Afghanistan fighting right now, and I thought about my family.  Because the fact of the matter is, as a military family, it could be me.  It could be me answering the door to 2 soldiers standing there on my doorstep to deliver unthinkable news.  So, it is my honor to lace up my shoes, put on my blue shirt and to run each and every Saturday.  It is my honor to remember.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Transitioning and Finding Balance

Hi friends, it has been a while since I have blogged. Life has been in such a transition these last nearly 2 years. We have lived in Washington for a year now and I would love to say we have adjusted and life is wonderful, however, that isn't the case. My family is in such a weird place and it was only until recently after having a conversation with my in-laws that I realize what it is that has been so hard for us. I was having a heart to heart with my mother and father in-law and I was able to share my heart. They aren't Christians so they don't understand our life from that regard however, I was able to tell them how lonely we are. My mother in-law understood where I was coming from but my father in-law didn't quite get it. I think the issue for us has been there is really no one that understands what we are going through, not even our families. We have been so lonely, in the last nearly 2 years since Zech's death. We have walked this life after Zech's death pretty much alone. Very rarely has our family or friends called to check on us. I have one friend from California that has called regularly but other than that we have lived a life that has been falling apart piece by precious piece. Putting together the pieces of our life back together has been the hardest thing we have ever done, especially alone. We are a military family, we lost a child, Derek is going to Afghanistan, and moving away from Texas and all the people that walked through Zech's death with us has been heartbreaking. Since moving people have often said they know someone who is a military family and the husband is deployed, or they know someone who has lost a child. I can appreciate those people and them wanting to be kind but the truth is my life is compounded by the military, the loss of a child, and truly not having any friends here in Washington. I have a lot of acquaintances but I have not made any friends here, no one to have coffee with, hang out with, shop with, go to a movie with. I don't say this to make you feel sorry for me, it is just a lonely place. This place in life is lonely. I have realized lately especially with the day of Zechariah's death approaching that I have been stress eating and my weight has been going up and down. Don't get me wrong it has only been 5 pounds or so and I am still hitting the gym but I have been dealing with my feelings with food. As those feelings of Zech's death begin to suffocate me, the memories begin to crush me, the thoughts and flashbacks of holding him as he took his last breaths, the feelings of how we chose to turn the life support off, the thoughts of what would happen if something happened to Faith, those thoughts have had me running to the fridge or snack cabinet. I have to chose better for my life rather than being swallowed by sadness and sorrow. I have to chose health because my little Zech didn't have a choice. I am rather proud though that I can recognize what I am doing...stress eating. So I realize now that this season has been the darkest season. It has tested my faith, broken my heart, and shattered my dreams. However, I am choosing to remember that God is still good, and instead of food, I will pray, exercise and reach out more. Life will get better, and God has not forgotten me, even though at times it has felt like He has. Hug your children a little tighter friends, because life is so precious.