Monday, March 30, 2009

Celebrating LIFE




This weekend we had the opportunity to travel to Memphis where my brother Scott and his wife Ashley live. This wasn't just any trip to Memphis rather the chance to celebrate Ross Alan Shows' 4th birthday! His actual birth date is March 13, but Saturday was the day set aside to celebrate the occasion.



Here is the birthday boy. Such a fun and sweet little boy. It was a great party and the kids had a blast. Jon Brent and Anna Lea have been looking forward to this for weeks! Months even. Going to Memphis is always a special treat for both of them. Anyway, the date chosen for the party couldn't have been better for me. You see, March 28, is another one of those significant dates for me. On March 28, 1992, Jason and I went on our very first date. Since we dated for so long (6 years), he and I celebrated this date every year as our anniversary until we married. During the first year of dating, we celebrated each month! I know...we were VERY young and SO in love! Jason usually brought me flowers or sometimes just a sweet and mushy card. Either way, March 28, will always be a special day for me. Usually these days are really difficult and I cry a lot, but I am so pleased to say that Saturday was different. It was a real celebration.

Saturday was great because I was surrounded by family which is always my favorite. More importantly, I was able to celebrate the birth and life of Ross. I have always loved birthdays, especially mine, (ha!) but since Jason's death, birthdays are even more important to me. Call me crazy, but I even get a little emotional when singing "Happy Birthday." Saturday was so special because as I looked at sweet little Ross, I prayed for him even amongst the organized chaos. I thanked God for his precious little life. I asked God to grant favor on him for all of his days. I prayed he'd always choose the path of righteousness. I prayed he would always make wise choices in who his friends were and ultimately the person he'd one day marry. I also prayed for his salvation and really look forward to the day we travel north to celebrate that! I am most grateful to have been blessed with such an amazing brother and sister in law. Being with them, my parents, Ashley's parents and ALL the kids was so good. I did miss Jason so much as I do each and everyday, but getting to celebrate LIFE was so good for my soul.

Enjoy the pictures of the weekend...



Mo and Anderson (Ashley's mom)

Bob-B and G (Ashley's dad and my dad)

Scott with one of his good friends sweet baby girl

me and Ash

Nana, Ally, and Anderson

Scott and Anderson on the slide

Bob-B and Anna Lea











Jon Brent and his best bud

May we all celebrate LIFE...even in the midst of grief. Each day truly is a gift!



"This is the day the Lord has made, let us REJOICE and be glad in it!"

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Below is a devotion I read by my none other than my favorite...Beth Moore. I know you are surprised. I want to share in its entirety.

God's primary purpose in healing us from our hurts is to introduce us to new depths of relationship with himself.

Lord, in my heart I plan my course, but You determine my steps. (Prov. 16:9) Life is not going as I planned. But I am so grateful that You are not caught off guard. You knew everything that would befall me. So please direct my steps as You determine. I need you, Lord. Carry me when I cannot walk. For though I walk in the midst of trouble, You preserve my life. Stretch out Your hand against the anger of my foes. With your right hand, save me. You will fulfill Your purpose for me. Your love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not abandon the works of Your hands (Ps. 138:7-8).

I thought a long time on these few sentences. I have cried out to my Lord A LOT since July 12th as to why this was the path He chose for me. I've questioned His ways, but knew His ways were not our ways. I tell people all the time that I certainly would LOVE to have my husband by my side right now and for us to be living the life we planned, but I can say with CONFIDENCE, I would NOT change the depth of the relationship I have with my Savior right now. I say that with caution as not to sound prideful.

I came to know the Lord when I was very young and for the most part I have tried to live a life pleasing to Him, but I have failed miserably in lots of areas. There have been lots of different circumstances and people that have stretched my faith. Things that have deepened my walk with the Lord, but NOTHING has allowed me to see how deep the love our Father has for us until this journey.

God's word means so much more to me now. It is ALIVE and ACTIVE in my life. I cling to it like I never did before. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed reading God's word, but I have never longed to hear His promises like I do now. So much of God's word is in the songs we sing and I do sing them differently because of this journey. I have come to know Him in such a deeper way than I did before. He's always been my Savior, but He has become so much more. My sustainer, my comforter, my peace, my ALL!

So, as I reread the first statement of this devotion I am ever thankful that my Lord IS healing my heart by "introducing ME to new depths of relationship with Himself."

He has a perfect plan and purpose for Stephanie Weathers. Marrying Jason was one of them and I'm forever thankful for that blessing. Losing Jason was another plan and although it hurts tremendously right now, I pray I will be found faithful to the One who ordained it all.
Oh Father, please don't abandon the works of your hands!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Just being honest

I come here tired. Tired of hurting. Tired of putting on a smile each and every day when inside I feel so very sad. Tired of being lonely even when surrounded by others. Tired from missing Jason so much that it physically hurts at times. Just tired. Not necessarily tired from lack of sleep. Maybe weary is a better word. Last Thursday we hit the 8 month anniversary of Jason's death. I really believed several months ago that at this point I would be at different point in the grief process. Sometimes I find myself very frustrated at where I am in the grief process. Not frustrated at God, but frustrated at myself.

I woke up recently in the middle of the night so angry that it was cardiac arrest that ultimately killed Jason and not the actual leukemia. I found myself googling cardiac arrest and respiratory failure all over again. I needed to know more medically. If I could have phoned a medical doctor at 2:00 a.m. to get a better explanation as to what happened, I believe I would have. Why? What would that change? Not a thing. I guess it is just how I have to work through this whole experience. I continually remind myself that my Lord is sovereign and His ways are perfect. I guess in my selfishness I wish I didn't have to hurt so deeply for His will to be accomplished.


I have thought of the cross a lot lately. Please hear me when I say that I am NOT comparing my loss to what Jesus experienced in the cross. I do however find great comfort in knowing that my Lord is acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). He knows suffering like no other (1 Peter 2: 21-25). The Jesus I cling to each moment is fully aware of experiencing great pain in order to accomplish God's perfect will. Praise Him!

So, I continue to hold on tightly to my Savior knowing in His time sustaining JOY will return. In the meantime, these precious gifts from our Lord keep me going.











Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness!
Lamentations 3:22-23

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Steph, it's all good!

My Lord never ceases to amaze me. He always gives me a time of JOY before I am blindsided by some part of grief that I wasn't expecting. I think that has been one of the things that has surprised me the most about the whole grief process. Some moments I am doing ok and then out of no where something hits me and I am paralyzed for a time with my pain. The past few days is the perfect example.

I was able to spend the weekend with my great friends Laney, Amy and Macy in Memphis at Macy's house. Remember, SLAM? (Stephanie, Laney, Amy and Macy...we've been friends since middle school.) Anyway, we had a fabulous time. Laughter is always such great medicine. I think we are probably very obnoxious to others, but we haven't grown weary of laughing at the same memories over and over again. AND there have been new memories as well.


We are dressed in pink boas because we had tickets to see Broadway's Legally Blonde at the Orpheum in Memphis. Let's just say we were stopped several times in downtown Memphis by onlookers thinking we were celebrating someones birthday or a bachelorette party. We've never been known for drawing attention to ourselves! ha!

I was very excited to see the kids on Sunday, but while driving home the loss of Jason crept in again. I knew I was returning to my reality of life without him. Then on Monday evening late I went to the mailbox to get the mail. When I opened the mailbox, I knew immediately what the long tube held. Jason's diploma. Remember, Jason was 4 months from graduating with a masters degree in nurse anesthesia when he was diagnosed with leukemia. I remember thinking so many times during Jason's battle with leukemia...so close yet so far away! However, Wolford College so graciously bestowed a posthumous degree to honor the work Jason did.

I opened the mailing tube with with a very sick feeling in my stomach. There it was...all of his hard work printed on a piece of paper. Immediately I thought in my flesh, "what a waste." I allowed myself to have a pity party for Jason and myself. Other thoughts such as, "all that work for nothing...he'll never even reap the benefits of all he did." In my selfishness I even thought, "I'll never reap the benefits of all the sacrifices we made for this piece of paper." Ouch. I am certainly not proud of those thoughts, but just being honest. As I sat there looking at the diploma with tears flowing down my face, it was as if the Lord spoke very clearly to me. "Stephanie, Jason IS reaping the benefits...just not the benefits you are thinking. He is reaping eternal benefits!" Wow.

I am so very proud of Jason and IF by chance Jason saw me last night opening his diploma, he would have said to me, "Steph, it's all good!" It is more than good for him now and one day it WILL be good for me again. Right now, I'll continue to trust in my Lord's sovereignty and believe that He will continue to work this pain for good!



One last thing...I am SO overwhelmed by the many emails I received in my inbox after my last entry. Please be patient with me as I intend to answer each one. I am so very humbled by so many that continue to walk with me through this journey. You'll never know how very encouraged I am by your prayers and presence. May God bless you all!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Two Part Blog Entry

PART ONE
Ally's 1st birthday party was finally accomplished after 2 cancellations due to a lingering stomach virus that would not leave our house. Family gathered Sunday night after church for cake and fun. Just thought I'd post a few pictures as well the actual Happy Birthday song to Ally. NOTE: I've been told by some friends that it is obvious we are from the south by the way we sing DAY. :) I think you will hear when you click on video.

video

























PART TWO


I don't want my words to get in the way tonight of what I really want to share. And I really struggled with whether I should even include Ally's birthday pictures, etc. in this blog. I recently heard Chris Tomlin's new song entitled "I Will Rise" and was totally blown away by the words. Then, I saw a video clip of how the song came to be and once again was blown away by how our Lord has used man to minister so deeply to my soul. Please click on the following and listen to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fa8w7mGug0c. You really don't want to miss this video!
As I listened to this song the words..."Jesus has overcome and the grave is overwhelmed...the victory is won! He is risen from the dead. I will rise, when He calls my name. No more sorrow, no more pain! I will rise on eagles wings, before my God, fall on my knees.

I can only imagine when Jason's name was called by our Savior...he rose and there was no more sorrow, no more pain! Oh, how I long for my name to be called one day! Friends, because HE overwhelmed the grave, it CAN be well with your soul! Do you know Him? Is it well with your soul? How I'd love nothing more than to introduce my Jesus to you! Please email me at stephanieweathers@hotmail.com so I can share more with you or pray with you. Nothing would thrill me more!