As you could probably tell, Dan and I have been gone for awhile, hence the lack of blogging. Like I said before (I didn’t even look back at what I previously wrote), people were encouraging us to get away. That we did. A week and a half ago, Dan and I headed up to Stony Lake for 6ish days, then went to Cadillac for a night, then to Glen Arbor/Sleeping Bear Dunes for 2 nights (all in upper-lower Michigan). IT WAS AMAZING.
We wish we could come back and say all of our problems are solved – we can’t. Were we gone that long so that we could flee from our problems? No. We just went away to go on a retreat together. It wasn’t necessarily a vacation, but a retreat from our current life situations, that gave us time to actually deal with all that was going on. I was just reading in my devotions today about how Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray (to get some solitude). He needed quietness. He needed a place of rest. That is why we were gone for a little over 9 days.
The whole time we just felt so blessed. So blessed to even have the opportunity to do this. Without our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, we would not have been able to do this. People encouraging us financially, emotionally, and spiritually – that this is what we needed to do. It took us a few days to just relax. To just let go. We knew what we needed, but just didn’t know how to fulfill those needs – it was the retreat.
So what did this retreat do for us? First of all, we would both say that it helped us come to terms with the loss of our two little ones. You may laugh at this, but we took the picture of our two hooties with us, so that we could take our kids fishing. Please don’t think that we are going crazy and pushing baby strollers around, pretending to have children. One of the biggest things we were looking forward to with our kids was to take them fishing. We thought, lets just take the picture in the boat and say that we did – we know God knows our hearts desire and maybe it was just fulfilled in that. Who knows. We did not cry as much as we thought we would, but I think that was good. We needed to be able to talk about it and get through a conversation. We both read “Heaven Is For Real” and WOW was that an encouraging book. It just brought into perspective what our kids are doing and how they are just waiting for us in Heaven! I also read a book called “Holding On To Hope” (book about Job) that helped with knowing how to deal with loss. That book brought so much peace and comfort. I took lots of notes on that one! Not that we are “over” their deaths – far from that because I know we will never be “over it.” But we are in a healthy place with that situation. The other day we were in Leland and we saw these little Smartwool booties for little babies – I had to walk away because I was starting to cry. Little things like that trigger, but it’s okay. I don’t mind those – as Dan says, “we are not raw anymore – we just have triggers.” It feels good to not have that rawness anymore – tears still come, but they are good tears.
As for the house – God answered a lot of prayers during our retreat – answers we were looking for! We are for sure going through a property manager now and are getting it advertised this week. We are finishing packing up our things as well, as there is still PLENTY to do! We will definitely keep busy this week, but we are moving forward. We are just thankful that God has led us to where we are at in this process because we were just so unsure – mainly because we had no clue what we were doing – but we are just resting in God’s peace that this is what He wants for us. We know renting is the right choice for us – we can’t afford to sell. But we are thankful for this opportunity that God has introduced to us! Now we just pack, pack, and pack!
As for the church stuff – it’s still hard. I guess this is the best way to put it – we have more clarity on the confusion that we have, if that makes sense. Dan puts it this way: we’ve had time to think more about it, but the more we’ve thought into it, we’ve realized there is a LOT that doesn’t add up or make sense. We talked a lot about that whole situation and it is just plain hard. We don’t know what more we can do except just not lose our trust in God. We are trusting Him that someday the full truth will come out. That whole situation is honestly even MORE confusing because we’ve had time to really think about it – but God doesn’t ask us to understand it all – God just asks us to trust HIM and HIM alone. We feel our relationship with God is so strong – He has stretched our faith and stretched us – but we are just so in love with Him! We still have NO CLUE what our future holds – even though we are eager to find out, we are resting in Him. That is what we have been able to do!