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The Road Where Steven Died May 23, 2009

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Counseling, Family, Feelings, Grief, Thoughts.
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I grew up going up and down Highway 38 to the coast. So many times I’ve traveled that road, and it has always been Highway 38.

Today I realized it is not Highway 38 anymore.

Today was the first day I have traveled that road in over 2 years. I haven’t been on it since before my son Steven was in his accident. I did not go and see where it happened. I did not want to. I didn’t want to memorialize where he lost his life, to see the awful sight. I wanted to remember him in my heart.

Today on the spur of the moment we went to the coast. A few miles outside of town it dawned on me that we were on ‘the road where Steven died’. Then the turmoil in my heart and mind began. Did I want to know where, did I not want to know where?

Did I search all the way to the coast the areas where I thought it could have been from the remembered description? Yes. And on the way back did I search again? Yes. All the while not sure if I really wanted to know or not.

When Steven died my daughter in law Shyla and I requested that no flowers be put there. No markers. I feel it is so morbid. Why do that when all it brings is more grief. Then going back again and again to relive it. No thank you.

Today is a day of so many mixed emotions. Do I bust out crying or hold it in. If you know me, you know I am a master at holding it in. For over 30 years I thought that I couldn’t cry…once is enough and the mourning is over. Thankfully I did go to counseling about 6 months after Steven died and learn that is not the case. It is okay and good. I do feel a little off now, I think that is why. It’s a weird almost sick feeling, and yes I’m going to cry. Again, mourning my children; Steven and Karen who he has now joined in heaven with Jesus. I cannot say that they were taken before their time, or taken too early.  I cannot say no parent should lose a child. I cannot say no one should lose a spouse. I cannot say my children should not lose a brother. I cannot say my grandchildren should not have lost their father. Who am I to say that? Only the Lord knows if it is 1 day, 1 year or 29 years.  Psalm 139.15 All the days ordained for me  were written in your book before one of them came to be. HE knows every moment, every breath we will take. HE knows the lives we will touch, in our living and in our dying. And in that, I will trust the LORD.

The road…one of these days perhaps I’ll ask one of the people who knows where it happened and have them show me. There are only 3 in my family that know. I’m not sure yet. I’m almost afraid to know. Afraid that will become a focus when I drive down the road and I don’t want it to be. I didn’t go see the pickup either for the same reason. Why have that in my head to replay the picture.   From the descriptions at the time I already have a picture, but not so graphic and one that will fade more as time goes on.

Highway 38 is now ‘the road where Steven died’.

One year ago today… August 27, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Counseling, Faith, Family, Feelings, God, Grief, Journal, Love, Prayer, Testimony.
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One year ago today our world changed. Our son Steven was in a horrible car accident on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2007. And he died one day later Monday, Aug. 27, 2007 without ever regaining consciousness. Did I pray over him, absolutely. Did I long to see his eyes open one more time, his smile? Yes, with all my heart, YES. Just one time. Was it to be? No. In that time I knew, God prepared my heart and gave me the knowledge that Steven was not going to walk this earth anymore. Is there still grief? Yes, at times unbearable. But, it doesn’t consume my life (at least anymore). I don’t walk around in a daze like I did for the first little while, thinking I was doing ok, but in reality looking like I was going to shatter into a million pieces any second.

How have we gotten along? I have no answers for the rest of the family, we are all in different stages of grief, some still very angry and confused, some have run from God because they don’t understand.

I can only answer for myself. My hope is in Christ. I am confident that Steven will be in heaven when we get there. In January I did go to counseling for about 3 months, and it was good! Good, godly counsel is so important.

And these last couple of months I have been spending hours upon hours with the Lord. Really searching my heart. Going outside, alone with Him, my journal, my bible. His Word is truth and He is drawing me ever deeper into it. He is my salvation.

This is what He asks us to do. And these are His promises.
Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. NIV
James 4:8 Come near to God, and God will come near to you. NIV
Psalms 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call on Him, yes, to all who call on Him in truth. NIV

Psalms 73:28 But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge… NIV

God is so faithful, as I woke this morning I didn’t feel the sadness I had expected to feel. Just peace. His peace which passes all understanding.

Will I feel sadness today at times? Without a doubt.
Will I cry? Without a doubt, as right now testifies.
Will I dwell in that sadness? No.
Will I run to the Lord to comfort me? Yes
Will I pray for my family? Yes

Will I praise Him today? Yes – and everyday.

My journey through the I AM…so you don’t have to be bible study. March 12, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Bible, Counseling, Faith, Family, Feelings, Friends, God, Journal, Love, Ministry, Prayer, Testimony, Thoughts.
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1. Are there any circumstances or relationships in your life where you can see God has intentionally placed you? What do you perceive may be at stake if you do or do not speak out for Him?
Yes, my daughter in law…the death of my son last August and ministering to her during this time. She is not a believer and I am the only one speaking the truth to her. The only way to make it through this time is with the Lord, I can only pray that she sees Christ in me.
2. Can you honestly describe yourself as a woman with a ‘yes’ in her spirit? If not, what keeps you from this?
Yes.
3. Do you recognize any circumstances in your life which could be described as an ‘unrecurring event’? Have you ever said ‘no’ to one and watched God use someone else instead?
I will have to ponder this one for awhile. Nothing comes to mind.
4. Are you in an emotionally and spiritually healthy place? If yes, how are you using this freedom to minister to others? If no, what do you feel is holding you in your Egypt?
Yes to the spiritually, and I’m working on the emotionally right now. I do believe though that I am growing, hugely in the last couple of months as I learn what it means to “feel”, seeking the Lord to reveal those feelings to me, so that I can put a name to what they are, and dealing with them. Some normal good feelings, others lies of the enemy. He sets me free more every day, and as that happens those around me can see the healing, the change. As the Lord has asked me to step away from active ministry during this time of mourning I believe that my obedience is a testimony that ministers to those that know.

Forgiveness March 12, 2008

Posted by Theresa Madden in Counseling, Faith, Family, Feelings, God, Journal, Ministry, Prayer, Testimony, Thoughts.
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Forgiveness comes into our lives in so many ways. The two most obvious are 1)When I say/do something wrong and need to ask someone for forgiveness; and 2)When someone says/does something to me and asks my forgiveness.

I have had issues for a few years with a couple of people, they both said something (different times and places) along the same lines. They were in ministry and these things they said truly shocked me and I’ve looked at them differently ever since. They did not blatantly do anything to me, so that they would have a need to seek forgiveness. I have many times asked the Lord to forgive me my judgment of them, and prayed for them. Still, what they said colors the way I see them, distracts me, and I can’t figure out why.

Last week in counseling (another post and time) I mentioned it. No names or what was said, just my issues. And what was wrong with me that I still have those feelings? He said “Do you have a hard time forgiving?” So immediately I switched to another topic, as it went right over my head he was talking specifically these two. During the course of this week in my time with the Lord and in studying His word, He has revealed to me that I do need to forgive them. What?!? But Lord, they didn’t do anything to me. His answer was that the words they spoke harmed me. Unaware that they were, they were still harmful. I do not need to go to them, as that would serve no purpose. I only need to forgive them, in my heart and mind so that I can move on. Blimey! Who would have thought that I needed to forgive?

Forgiveness does not always mean confronting the person, sometimes it is just confronting the issue. Realizing what it is, putting a name to it.  When we forgive, when we ask forgiveness, it is for our benefit. We cannot make someone forgive us, we cannot make someone ask us to forgive them. When forgiveness does happen all the way around if necessary, it is truly a blessing.

Stuck in the same place? Having issues? Searched out the root? Is there someone you need to forgive? Don’t be afraid to ask God to reveal the truth of the matter to you. Then when He does, be faithful in doing as He asks. Forgive…