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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dear Brother: THANKFUL

I honestly can't believe it has been a whole year.  I can't believe this many days have passed since I've seen that mischievous smile or heard that voice.  I truly can't believe it.  I don't know if I actually ever will.  This has been one hell of a year that is for damn sure.  I don't even know where to start.

I thought that I wanted to erase this year from my memory. I thought that I would never get it.  I thought that there would be a Rob sized hole in my heart forever.  I thought that I would forever want to punch Jesus in the face.  I thought that we wouldn't be tough enough to do this thing right.  I thought that God let me down.  I thought that I would not be able to say good bye.  I thought wrong.

This has been the hardest and most painful thing to walk through.  I hope that I (or you) never have to again.  But we will.  I can't tell you the amount of times that I just wanted to have 2 more minutes.  Just two minutes.  What I wouldn't give.  I want to tell him how much he means to me. I want to tell him how much I love and value him.  I want to tell him how special he is.  I want to tell him he is the strongest person I know.  What I truly want to tell him is that he has changed my life FOREVER.  

It's hard to put into words something like this.  Never have I felt so desperate or sad.  Yet, I felt a closeness to God.  I felt horrible and disappointed, yet I felt like somehow (out of my own comprehension) God has had me the whole time.  I will never understand why, but I understand something else.  I understand that it is worth it.  Rob is worth it.  God is worth it.  I understand that to love greatly is to risk greatly.  To love greatly is to lose greatly.  Following God and loving people is vulnerable.  It is one of the scariest risks we take.  But, we do it.  We do it because He first loved us.  It is what we were created to do.  It is how we were created to live.  

Losing Rob is the hardest thing I have ever experienced.  When Rob died I had never been so truly heartbroken.  I had never been so completely out of control.  I had never been so desperate or faithless.  I had never been so sad.  I had never been dependent on God. In fact, I had never needed God. I had never trusted Him fully.  I had never doubted more. But, I am different now.  Things are far from perfect, but things are different.  There is a depth that I never knew before.  There is a knowing that I have never known.  And for that I am eternally THANKFUL

I am thankful for hope.  I have never had a real hope for something more.  I know our boy is whole and healed and is truly living the way he was made to live.  That is where my hope is.  I am thankful that I had to come  to the end of my own self to realize that I had to die to self and rely on something greater. I realized that self sufficiency was getting me absolutely nowhere.  I am thankful for a peace that passes all understanding.  I am thankful for relationship.  The friendship and love that has come through this year is truly an act of God.  And I am forever grateful.  I am thankful for so many things.

I am thankful to have known the toughest boy ever.  I am so thankful for the boat rides, the grilled cheeses at Pitt St, the terrifying truck rides and the jokes.  I am thankful for having to have gotten to have our last Thanksgiving breakfast and listening to your complete nonsense on crocs and online shopping.  Those are things that I will keep with me always. 

What I cherish the most is knowing that Rob is not gone.  He is far from it.  Rob is a part of my heart.  We are so lucky to have gotten the chance to know him.  I want to be a better person because of him.  I want to be strong and tough because he fought harder than I ever could. Rob fought the scariest fight.  I want to love people because he did. I want to have hope.  I want to know and believe that God is sovereign and that He has us.  Always.  I want to fully trust.  I want to love greatly.  Because he is worth it.  God is worth it  We are worth it. We have a chance to do life with each other.  Every single day.  We have a chance to save lives.  We have a chance to change lives.  IT IS WORTH EVERYTHING. So that is where I am right now.  I'm still heartbroken.  I miss him everyday and think about him all of the time.  I don' know that I will ever be able to say goodbye.  I'm still angry and I still have questions.  I miss him every single day. But, I know that its ok.  I know that he is a part of me forever.  I know that it was worth it and my heart has been changed forever.  I know that God has Rob.  And I know that God has me. And for that, I am forever thankful. 

Missing you Rob Shore.
Love you brother.


Monday, February 24, 2014

The let down

Oh Monday.  I've decided that you are not in my top ten today.  I'm diagnosing myself with "the let down." This past weekend we had our St. Andrews Women's Retreat.  We journeyed back to the grand strand. And now I'm back in the real world and I am dragging along..


I love the retreat for a whole lot of reasons (like eating cinnamon pop tarts). I wish I could say it was solely based on the talks and the super spiritual stuff, but that would be a big fat lie. Don't get me wrong because I do like those, but they are not my main deal.  My main deal is the people.  Most of my people are located in one spot. This NEVER happens.  I forget how excited I get to see lots of my favorites in one geographical location.  I was standing on the hotel porch and could see everyone coming in and I was about to explode. The retreat is my favorite because it doesn't matter what happens except time with my people is always amazing.  I don't think I went to bed before 2:30 am Thurs through Sunday.  I couldn't bare to miss a minute.  I love hanging out in every one's rooms, eating together and then jaw jacking way past my bed time with the world's best roommate.  I got to have one of the BEST car rides of my 28 years so far. Imagine a suburban full of Becky, Susalee, Dot, Marilyn, Anne and Beth M. Getting lost in the most intense fog and having the most hilarious conversations. I thought I was going to keel over.  I wrote a blog about "the table" a while back. It was about being in community with each other and having a place to gather.  Being with the friends I love is my table. (And I would love to sit at it 24/7).  It could be in a kitchen or it could be sitting around a sketchy hotel laughing until you literally CAN NOT BREATHE.  We can talk and pass the time like champions. Plus all of the funny side things that happen are priceless.  I can't even begin to tell you.  If you haven't had the pleasure of hearing a Mandy Norris story than you haven't fully lived.  Seriously. I feel sorry for you.


Lately I've been learning about the Body of Christ. Sorry, I'm about to take this spiritual. (Just for a sec)  I knew I always liked my people, but I never realized how important they are.  God made us to be in community. He made us to need each other. Even though our culture craves and demands independence, we were created to be dependent on God and one another.  He actually wants us to need help and to need each other.  We were created to serve and receive. God made us to love one another.  Knowing that this is actually in the Bible is freaking awesome.  I could not have survived this year and learned what I learned without my people. I truly think that friendship is one of the most precious gifts. (I sound cheesy and I know it. Sorry I'm not sorry)  We have a chance to change some one's life.  I think that's pretty dang cool. 


Any ways.  That's all I've got.  I can't believe I have to wait a whole nother year...


Stay Cool.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Happy

Happy belated to some of my favorites:)
 


Friday, February 14, 2014

in the Woods

Ok, so I have fallen off of the blog wagon...  I'm a bit behind.. lots to fill you in on, but I'm way too tired tonight.

Sometime in January some of my favorite fams and I got to head down to the Wallaces place to play in the woods.  It was awesome.  We ate lots, rode four wheelers and just hung out.  I loved it.  Except for the part when Virginia, Meg and I were lost on the four wheeler on neighboring property. Ranks up there in my top worst life experiences.. but, alas we found our way back..  Here are some of my favorite pics: