Thursday, October 24, 2013

Today she is 21...

Today she is 21... her 5th birthday in heaven. For those that never met her, meet Rachel! For those of you who knew her, remember... her smile, her sweet spirit, her beautiful green eyes, her joy, her "blue mouth," the good times and most of all how much she loved Jesus... — at here, there and yonder...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Blog memories...

Reflecting and reading through my journal the first year... I wish I had new words, feelings, thoughts... still growing and healing in Him. I will say this though, the last four and a half years have been hard yet amazing. I've learned and grown more in my relationship with Him than I could ever imagine... Still so hard to say but thank you Lord for this journey with you!

March 14, 2008


As I am doing my Bible study, Stepping Up, I am learning about the word “blessed.” It has caused me to really reflect on the meaning of this word. I have always thought of blessed as just another way of saying happy. True, but there is so much more to this word. He continues to amaze me, I needed this today...

Blessed is defined as: consecrated; sacred; holy; sanctified, worthy of adoration, reverence, or worship, divinely or supremely favored; fortunate, blissfully happy or contented.

According to Beth Moore, “Biblically, one is pronounced blessed when God is present and involved in his life. The hand of God is directing all his affairs for a divine purpose, and thus, in a sense, such a person lived, coram Deo, before the face of God. Sometimes the circumstances of our suffering may not change, but the circumstances of our hearts are changed in the midst of them through a keen sense of God’s presence and a lively perception of His activity.

Blessedness describes the condition of a person who reveres God, steeps her life in Him, and follows His ways. She doesn’t just look to God in spiritual or religious matters. She looks to Him in every matter. He’s not just the most important part of her life. He is her life. The result of this divine invasion is that her life operates overall with joy, peace, hope and purpose.”

Blessed is what I want, it is what I desire, it is what I hunger and thirst for, it is what I pray for…

February 26, 2009

40 days of prayer and fasting… 

Prayer and fasting… just what does that mean? For me it meant examining my life, I mean really examining my life in Him. And examining the “things” that were getting in the way of going “deeper” with Him. I had to deal with some stuff… it was hard. Not the actual fast… dealing with the stuff. Sure I dealt with “wanting” what I had given up as part of my fast but really that was easier than I thought. It was even sort of fun exploring new foods as I gave up others. I have learned to like some new things and realized that I can live without a lot the junk that I was eating. That wasn’t the real issue though, the issue was the stuff that was getting in the way of moving forward with Him. But first, God intended for me to rest, rest in Him awhile…

Dealing with the “stuff,” now that was hard. At times I even felt like He was silent, even distant… now that was painful. I realized that He wanted me in a place of listening, learning and reflecting. I have also learned that some lessons, probably the greatest ones are learned when I am flat on my face with my mouth SHUT! I so want to see and hear Him every step of this journey. I have never longed for Him more.

The stuff or my thoughts as written in my journal…

February 2, 2009

~ Jesus gave up His rights for me, what right do I have to be angry or resentful ~ I don't
~ How can I be excited to spend time with Him or even be ready when He comes if I am angry ~ I want to be excited when He comes
~ the last couple of weeks I have felt blah, like I have been stuck with my wheels spinning and getting nowhere, the word I have been looking for and couldn't find is apathy ~ I don't like it
~ I have felt idle, even numb again ~ I don't like it. At first I thought and think that this idleness was so I could rest, I can't. I sleep and still don't feel rested, how can I when I am up at 1:30 for a couple of hours at a time or just sleep fitfully. The other night after being up for a couple of hours, I almost had a nightmare, if you can call it almost... It was my dad with blood all over his face and all I could think in my dream was that I was going to see Rachel next, as Chris found her... That scared me. I remember waking myself up and thinking please don't let that happen... I prayed myself back to sleep without seeing her that way, which is very selfish on my part. I also often pray that God would take that image from Chris.
~ I am not sure I will rest until I can let go of this anger/resentment ~ yet I can't
~ Before Rachel's death I had become complacent ~ I don't want to be like that ever again
~ how can I be "one" with Him, when I am angry at Him and her ~ I can't
~ my anger/resentment is keeping me from being "like minded" and surrendered to Him ~ I don't like it
~ I MUST surrender this anger/resentment, then I will have intimacy with Him again ~ I want to, I really do but I can't seem to let go. I longed to be able to do so yesterday, yet I couldn't
~ Now I am probably a little angry with myself too ~ I'd rather be mad at me than Him or her

I stayed here awhile; numb, angry, apathetic, idle, confused, angry some more… My anger and resentment are keeping me from being “like minded” with Him. That’s an uncomfortable place to be… I know that I need to work on the anger and resentment in order to have intimacy with Him.

February 3, 2009 

I was challenged to read and meditate on Job 28: 12-28 & 38-42: 1-6
Then the LORD answered Job from the whirlwind… Job 38:1a 

Just as the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm He speaks to me in the storm, when I need Him the most.

As I read and meditated further on these scriptures I began to realize: who am I to question Him? After I felt like He told me to “put my big girl panties on and listen up (38: 3b),” it was His turn to question me. His questions were tough… Did I participate in creation? Can I take care of the animals He created? Can I control the behemoth and the leviathan? What power do I have? What understanding? What control? What dominion? What authority? What wisdom? What providence? What knowledge? What freedom? What creativity? He demanded answers from Job and from me. Job felt unworthy and didn’t have any answers, neither did I. Who am I to question Him?

Job was honored by God ~ God could trust Job to remain faithful in spite of everything. Can He trust me like He trusted Job? I am trying to be thankful right now for this journey. At times it’s been easier, right now NOT.

However, I am learning and realizing the He has a purpose in all of our suffering. He wants to show me His wisdom. He wants the trial of our faith to work patience. Patience is not one of my gifts. I am learning… He wants to reveal character.

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will sour on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

February 7, 2009

I am up at 2 am. Again…

Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. James 1: 2-3

Remember the song Spirit of the Living God? Read the lyrics,
they became my prayer…

Spirit of the living God fall fresh on me
Spirit of the living God fall fresh on me
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me
Spirit of the living God fall fresh on me
Fall fresh, fall down on me
Fall fresh, fall down on me
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me
Fall, fall, fall, fall down on me
Spirit of the living God
Fall afresh, fall afresh, fall afresh on me 

Today in Exodus I am reading about the Israelites and their pilgrimage into the Promised land. It always amazes me how He speaks to me not only through song but more importantly, His word.

In all the travels of the Israelites whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift they did not set out - until the day it lifted. So the cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their travels. Exodus 40:36-38 

The cloud guided and protected the Israelites. They traveled and camped as God guided. I want to follow His guidance. I want to know I am right where He wants me even if it means staying put. I also know that I need to quit asking “what am I supposed to do next?” Instead I need to be asking “God, what am I supposed to be doing while I am here?” He has a purpose for this time, such a time as this…

I feel like the Israelites right now… the cloud is hovering and I am supposed to stay put for now. It’s hard. He is also reminding me that He never sends me into a situation alone. He always goes before me, as He did the children of Israel when He led them with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He always goes before me in any journey that I encounter. He is never caught by surprise, He has always been there. He is prepared to meet my every need and knows exactly what I need forthis journey. Even better, He is with me too. I am never alone.

February 9, 2009

Back to Job 28: 12-28

Trust and obey, it purifies our faith. Quit asking why ~ He is beyond my comprehension and I cannot begin to know why He allows this suffering. My part is simply to remain faithful. He may never explain why. I can’t have His wisdom. To fear Him IS wisdom. It’s better to know Him than to know the answers. This journey is shaping me for something special ~ something only He can do.

February 14, 2009

I feel like He is keeping His distance from me. These last couple of weeks ~ no comfort or little comfort. He could do something, yet He doesn’t. Why? Maybe it’s to deepen my desire for Him, for His presence, to strengthen my passion to pursue Him, to help me see how preoccupied I have been with filling myself with something less than Him. I know God has a dream for my life, why can’t I just be patient and wait? He wants me to have true joy.

So I have sat here ALL day watching sappy “chick flicks” on TV and realizing Rachel would be parked in her bed or on the love seat snuggled up under a bunch a blankets watching all of them with me. She would laugh at me when I cry. After all they are pretty corny, but she knew what a bawl bag I am and got a pretty big kick out of it.

The feeling of numbness is wearing off, quickly I am afraid. The hurt, the pain, the missing her, the heartbreak of NEVER seeing her, hearing her sweet voice, seeing her precious and vibrant smile again all come flooding back. And no card with a five dollar bill in it from my daddy. I find myself in her room, in her closet taking her all in, looking at all the photos, touching her clothes. Her smell is still there. I know I will see her again someday, but I long for that moment right now!

February 18, 2009

You rejoice in this, though now for a short time you have had to be distressed by various trials so that the genuineness of your faith – more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. I Peter 1: 6 & 7

Dear friends, when the fiery ordeal arises among you to test you, don’t be surprised by it, as if something unusual were happening to you. I Peter 4:12

Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little. I Peter 5:10

Bear with me, I am all over the map today.

This month has been a struggle… I have walked silently though this valley of uncertainty. I haven’t always understood, but the longer He has walked and talked with me the clearer things have become. He has reminded me that this “shattered dream” is for my benefit. His presence has become more real than ever; it is only when my dreams are completely “shattered” that I am able to see more clearly, the only ONE who really matters ~ Jesus.

The memories are flooding back… the Sunday afternoon one last kiss before I left for work, calling one more time after I left, I heard her voice for the last time. I can almost hear it now. The phone call. The girls at work gathering around me to pray, helping me get my stuff together, making phone calls and taking me to my daddy, then to Parkland. Telling my daddy. The drive over to Parkland, telling Marianne she was going to be okay no matter what, even if we didn't get to keep her. I told her that over and over again. Arriving at Parkland at EXACTLY the same time Chris did. Seeing his face. Feeling his embrace and love even in his own anguish. Going into "that room" and hearing what the Dr had to say about my baby girl. Seeing her in the ER. Telling her goodbye, one last time. Telling her I love her and she was the best girl ever. Telling her to go be with Jesus over and over again. Resting my head on her chest until I could no longer hear her heart beat. Praying scripture over her... "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and For I know that plans I have for you..." Kissing her on the cheek on more time, kissing each of her fingers and yes her toes. Being overwhelmed by ALL the people that came to be with us. Telling Chris that we would not let Satan have us. Promising him I would NEVER blame him. Feeling his guilt. Seeing Andrew for the first time. Oh, the relief. So many memories, so many firsts... Watching "chick flicks" without her. Valentine's Day without her this year. Hard.

The anger, the apathy, the numbness, the resentment; all gone for now… Now there is just pain, the pain of missing her.

Why does it get on my last nerve when people say, “when you lost Rachel?” Why? Because we did not lose her, she will always be with us. She will live on in our hearts and memories, always. Always. I see bits of her everywhere. I see how she touched and changed lives and continues to do so. She is still changing mine. I love that!

I want to quit dwelling on her death. I want to dwell on the sweet memories and the life she lived with us. I want her life to change others. It is our hope and prayer that His story, her story, our story changes hearts to accept the love and protection that come only from HIM!

Have I been resigned or surrendered to this journey? Or to this grief? Honestly, at times both. I want to be surrendered. I don’t have to understand, I just have to be surrendered.

Back to Job 38 – 42, who am I? He is either sovereign in my life or not. This last month I have been resigned to it. I want to be surrendered. I am ready to be surrendered.

I want… ONE heart, ONE mind, ONE passion, ONE covenant. I want to be surrendered to His plan. I want Him to show me what is next. I want joy that permeates this sorrow. I want this…

You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, so that my heart may sing you to You and not be silent. O LORD my God I will give you thanks forever. Psalm 30: 11-12

He keeps leading me back to this:
to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of his splendor. Isaiah 61:3

February 21, 2009

Finally took down the Christmas stuff today. It was easier than I thought, until I got to her stocking… I gazed at it hanging there, I took it down and held it for a moment. I clutched it to my chest and cried. Then He gently reminded me that we are walking on new ground and He is doing a new thing… God is up to something big, bigger than me. I am reminded of the words to the song

“Whatever You’re Doing”
Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, but somehow there's peace
And it's hard to surrender to what I can't see,
But I'm giving in to something heavenly

Time for a milestone, time to begin again, re-evaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow Your will or just climbing aimlessly over these hills?

So show me what it is You want from me
I give everything - I surrender

Time to face up, clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out that I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to release all my held back tears

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, but I believe ...

You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life, something heavenly
Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, but now I can see
This is something bigger than me
Larger than life
Something heavenly

I am excited to see what this new thing is, it’s new ground…

February 22, 2009

40 days… WOW!

April 25, 2009

Beautiful ashes… 

I have been up, down and all over the place this week. I knew that the Lord was leading me to tackle something difficult and be done with a certain task one last time. I had so many questions and visions of what

happened that night a year ago. I needed answers. In January, with help from our pastor, Leon and others I went back to “that night.” Those accounts answered many of my questions and confirmed others. I needed it. It hurt, it was hard, it and made me angry. Angry at her, at Him and myself. It made me tackle feelings and emotions that needed addressing. It was very healing and a part of the journey that I needed. I put those accounts in a notebook and let them be for awhile. I knew back then that He would ask me go back there one more time and then He would ask me to burn them at some point. HE kept taking me back to this 

"a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.” 

I knew when I got up this morning that today would be the day and had prayed and prayed and prayed over it. I sat down to go over them and almost immediately felt Him tell me

Go to the cemetery

the cemetery?

Yes, the cemetery

I gathered up my things and went to the cemetery. I sat down by her headstone and began to read them aloud. All of them. I wept at times, cried out to Him at times, I even smiled and chuckled a few times.

Remembering those chipped “hot pink” fingernails made me laugh. I sat there for a bit and just enjoyed the breeze and time spent with Him. I smiled at the thought of Rachel meeting those family members that had gone before and her greeting her Papa Fred and of course my daddy. Those thoughts really warmed my heart. I have been at peace with Rachel since my dream last week but this time spent at the cemetery really confirmed that peace.

I came home not knowing when HE would prompt me to burn them. Honestly I thought it would be on April 28th. I came inside and wrote a few thoughts down and thought I was done for the




Okay, where? It’s awfully windy.

The only place I could think of without starting a neighborhood fire was the grill and yes I was worried about that. Again, I quickly gathered up my things, grabbed some matches and headed outside. I cleaned out the grill, layed the papers down and lit them. As I watched them burn, I thanked Him for the last year. I thanked Him for the journey with Him. It has been sweet. It has been a gift. I thanked Him for the gift of her life and yes the gift of her death. And yes, that is hard to write but I truly mean it. God is good. All the time!

And now I have these beautiful ashes… a wondrous reminder of how He has worked this past year.

April 28, 2009

All I need is Him...
Not sure where to start… so many memories, so many things learned, so many ways I’ve grown or should I say He’s grown me. Probably the one that stands out the most clearly because it was recent or maybe because it the greatest maybe most important lesson I have learned this year. 

I need to start by going back to the end of March. In dreading this month, even this day (April 28th) I had been praying for a dream ~ a dream where I could see her, hold her, talk to her or even hear her sweet voice. One evening early in April I had a dream, a horrible dream. I was standing before a big black conveyor belt ~ I knew it would take me to her but somehow it felt wrong. As I tried to pull my arms back it was as if they would not move. I knew I was not supposed to go wherever that belt would take me. The dream scared me and I really tried hard to wake up. When I finally woke up, I was afraid to go back to sleep for fear the dream would be “to be continued.” I wanted to see her badly but not like that, it felt wrong. I realized then that I should be a bit more careful with my prayer to see her, hold her or even feel her in my arms. 

Several weeks later, I was having trouble sleeping again. Up & down, up & down trying to sleep. I was trying to pray myself back to sleep, I had been up since 2am and it was now almost 5am. I was praying about many things but what I remember specifically was praying about my need to see Rachel, hear her voice even if just for a moment. Yes, I can be a little stubborn and hardheaded, even a little persistent. God very gently reminded me of my real need ~ I need MORE of Him. It was as if I heard Him say it. More of HIM... that is my real need. He is always so faithful to gently remind me He knows better, He knows my real need... My want is not always what He wants for me, I need more of Him. I agreed with Him and let what I wanted go... if He wants to let me see her, hear her, feel her touch then He will allow it to happen. I gave up my desire and kept thinking to myself... I need MORE of you Lord, that is ALL I need. I easily fell back to sleep and was able to sleep for a few hours before getting up to go to church. 

We came home from church that afternoon and laid down for a nap. I had this dream: I was sitting at my desk upstairs, Rachel was sitting in the rope bottom chair that my great-great grandfather made for the woman I am named after, Georgia Burgess Copeland. Rachel was talking to me… she had this plan to go back to school in the fall. She was talking ninety to nothing like she always did when she was really excited about something. She seemed to have a really good plan and was really excited about it, she was even very proud of herself. She finally asked me what I thought of her plan and it broke my heart to explain to her that it was not possible legally. Her social security number had been recorded at her death. She was heartbroken… she cried, I cried. She asked me “did she hurt us?” I told her yes and she apologized for hurting us so much. “I am so sorry momma.” Oh baby ~ it’s okay, I love you so much. It felt amazing to hold her and comfort her as we wept together. For some reason I asked her if I was hard on her, she replied “yes.” I too apologized and told her it was because I loved her. She understood and we both just held each other and cried. It felt so good to “talk to her, hold her and tell her I love her.” She does live with us forever, in our memories and our hearts. I can still almost feel her in my arms and hear her sweet voice. She even seemed a year older and more mature. Her hair was wavy, she was wearing a t-shirt and shorts. She even smelled like Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea. I also remember thinking that without a SS # she would have to live with us forever. Amazing! 

The timing of this dream is no accident, it was ordained by God. Less than 24 hours before I gave up my desire and realized His. When I was obedient to Him and realized that ALL I need is Him and MORE of Him, He gave me the desire of my heart. That is the GREATEST lesson I learned his year. What a precious gift. Thank you Lord! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012



Yes, my blog got a makeover. Thank you Franchesca! I hope to be more intentional and blog more… for now it is still a work in progress.

But for now, grab a cup of coffee and possibly a box of Kleenex, sit down and read for a bit… I’ll warn you, it is raw, it can be painful to read…

As my dear friend Daisy says, “To live out our grief with faith is not the same as being strong. In fact, 2 Corinthians 12:9 says that His grace is sufficient for you, His power is made perfect in your weakness. Weakness leads to surrender. And it is in surrendering….not understanding that we find peace.”

Please read and see the amazing things HE has done… I’m praying you experience HIM just as I have on this journey! Praying you find peace!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

where do I start???

Wow, I am not sure to start or if I can even express what He has been up to this weekend at the She Speaks 2011 Conference... It will take me a while to "unpack" all that I have learned and all the "gifts" He has blessed me with this weekend. A lot of you know my fear of public speaking... another fear He helped tackle this weekend. Thank you Jesus! I know this is what You have called me to do, I am not sure how that looks right now but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt this He has called me to step and out and speak for Him! I want to share with you what I shared with my Speaker Evaluation group this weekend...

The part of my story that I want to share with you began on April 28, 2008, a journey to beauty instead of ashes…

First you need to meet Rachel… She was 15. She was vibrant, chatty, bubbly, funny, a little dingy and yet so smart. She was passionate about her family and friends but more importantly she was passionate about Jesus. She loved all things teenage girls do; hanging out with friends, laying out, sleep overs, chick flicks, texting, and shopping. She loved everything hot pink and neon green including the walls in her room and of course mani/pedi’s; again always hot pink. And how could I forget her blue ring pops? Her favorite candy.

She had the prettiest green eyes, captivating and sweet smile ~ a smile that lit up the room and the sweetest way of saying I love you momma. She ended every phone conversation with a “muah” her way of blowing a kiss over the phone. She always said “sleep sleep,” her way of saying sleep sweet as I tucked her in every night. She answered to Rachel, Rache, sis, busybus, cricket, Lizzy, punkin and sweet pea. How could I forget sweet pea? Her favorite lotion and my nick name since the first time I gazed at her sweet little face.

April 28th started out like any other day, a nap and then work. I was about to head to yet another delivery when one of my co-workers came to me with a concerned look on her face and told me there was a phone call for me. My heart sank… it was the phone call every mom fears. A policeman telling me Rachel had been in an accident. I remember screaming at him, JUST TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED! At that point he told me she had attempted to take her life and was being taken by care flight to a trauma center in Dallas. A little over an hour later Chris and I arrived at Parkland Hospital where we would be told there was nothing they could do, she was alive but not be for long. We were then allowed to be with her as Jesus came to take her home. So many people came to be with us… her friends, our friends, teachers, people we had never met… It was all so overwhelming and very humbling.

April 28, 2008 is a day etched in my memory and carved in my heart forever and one that set my feet on the most intimate journey with Christ I have ever experienced. I never dreamed that day would set my feet on such an amazing journey. A journey to beauty instead of ashes…

Journey to Beauty Instead of Ashes
*original post April 25, 2009

As I mentioned last night my journey to beauty instead of ashes began on April 28, 2008. On the way to the hospital that night I remember repeating over and over “she is going to be okay no matter what.” I truly meant it, whether God let us keep her or if He took her home. And you know what, she IS perfectly healed. What more could a momma ask for? In the week of planning Rachel’s funeral God kept taking me back to Isaiah 61: 3 "and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor." Isaiah’s words are a prophecy of the coming of Christ and the work that He would perform in His ministry of Salvation. What I didn’t realize at the time was how God would intricately weave that scripture into my journey of grief.

Since I was at work that night and Chris was at home with Rachel, I had many questions as well as visions of what happened that night. I needed answers. And God knew my need. During counseling with my pastor we agreed that it would be healing for me to “go back there.” In January 2009 with his help and the help of others who wrote letters about that night those questions were answered and things I imagined confirmed. It hurt to go back there, it was hard, it made me angry ~ at her, myself, even at God. It made me tackle feelings and emotions that needed tackling. More than anything it was very healing. I put those letters away knowing He would take me back there again…

Fast forward from January to April 25, 2009… I woke up that morning knowing that we were going back to those letters. I could feel the Lord nudging me, telling me go to the cemetery. The cemetery I asked? Yes the cemetery. I gathered up the letters and went to the cemetery. I sat down at her headstone and began to read them aloud. I wept, I cried out to Him, screamed at Him, screamed at Rachel, I even smiled and laughed a few times… remembering those chipped pink finger nails and her blue mouth “disease” acquired from eating blue ring pops. I enjoyed the breeze and time spent with Him. I went home with the intention of a nap. I thought we were done for a bit, I was exhausted. Burn them, the Lord told me. Now? Yes, now. As I watched them burn, I thanked Him for the last year. I thanked Him for the journey. It has been hard but yet sweet and intimate. It has been a gift. I thanked Him for the gift of Rachel Elizabeth Fulenwider and I thanked him for the gift of her passing.

You may not have lost a child but we all experience loss in some way: loss of a job, divorce, home, health, miscarriage, a child who seems to abandon their faith, a friendship and even the loss of a cherished pet. We can allow ourselves to be defined by those experiences, we can even ask “why Lord, why me?” Or we can allow Him to fulfill His purpose in our losses; and that is to glorify Himself.

I love how God’s word promises to comfort us in our in our loss. I love how Isaiah’s words prophecy about the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who comes to heal the brokenhearted. He wants to heal your broken heart.

No matter what your loss; He wants to bestow on you a crown of beauty instead of ashes, He wants to give you the oil of joy instead of mourning, and He wants to clothe you in garment of praise instead of despair. What satan tried to destroy in my life God made beautiful. These ashes are a reminder of the journey, an intimate and beautiful journey with Him.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Scholarship Presentation

Scholarship Presentation
First I would like to start by saying to the Class of 2011

Chris, Andrew and I would like to express our deepest gratitude to each and every one of you and the families you represent for your love and support the last three years. It has not gone unnoticed nor will ever be forgotten. I see glimpses of our sweet Rachel in your smiles, hugs, and even sometimes just a simple wave. It is our prayer that God may richly bless and continually guide you as you begin this new journey in your lives.

I remember it like it was yesterday, my daddy called to check on us after Rachel died. He asked us if we would award two graduates with a scholarship in Rachel’s memory, one for academics and one for sports. We of course said yes… so at the suggestion of my daddy, Harold Griffith we present these scholarships in memory of our sweet Rachel. Both of their lives continue on, even though they are not physically present with us and they continue to touch lives through the scholarships presented in Rachel’s name.

So tonight we honor two graduates that excel in academics and sports. Rachel loved school and she loved making good grades. I can remember the first “bad” grade she ever received, it was a “B” and she was devastated. The student we award tonight for academics also excels academically and one that Rachel competed with. When this student got a better grade than Rachel, she seemed even more determined to do better than she already did. This student also wants to be a nurse which of course is near and dear to my heart. I think Rachel would be proud as well, as she told us on more than one occasion she wanted to be a nurse, a doctor and an attorney. She set high expectations for herself as does this student.

Rachel didn’t really decide that she loved sports until 6th grade and after that nothing could take away her drive to be the best at volleyball and track. Volleyball was not surprising to us, but track? We thought the coaches were crazy when Rachel came home and told us she would be running relays, and not just one but all three! The Rachel we knew at home she was slow as a turtle. As Chris and I watched her run for the first time, we discovered that the girl could run and she was FAST! The student we honor tonight has a love for sports and has ever since he was a little boy. This student is also a hard worker and excels at most any athletic activity he puts his mind to. He is also an active and vital member of his church and community.

In honor of the Class of 2011 we have chosen to award a third scholarship. This student is involved in various extracurricular activities and volunteer work. She is also an active and vital member of her church. She balances her church activities, school, extra-curricular activities, job, friend and family time well. I have gotten to know her better this year and grown to love her, as I do many of you, as my own. Each and every one of you are special to us, you are each a part of Rachel and make us proud.

With all that being said it is our honor and privilege to award

The Rachel Fulenwider Academic scholarship in the amount of $500 to Taelor Duckworth
The Rachel Fulenwider Athletic scholarship in the amount of $500 to Bryant Threadgill
Class of 2011 scholarship to in the amount of $1000 to Taelor Williams

Monday, April 4, 2011

a Facebook post from my pastor...

I had to read this one a couple of times to let it soak in, really soak in...

"There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person it. It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve -- even in pain -- the authentic relationship. Further more, the more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Posted by Georgia at 8:02 PM 1 comments:

Jimmie said...
Brother Leons' post is so very true...
Keep being still befor the LORD, Georgia, and listening for HIS voice of guidance!
I love you, and think of all of you, often!
Patricia Bridges

April 4, 2011 7:10 AM

Friday, March 11, 2011

A turning point and She Speaks...

Bear with me, there is some background that I need to set up...

After delivering our first baby, Andrew, I knew that God had called me to go back to school and become a labor and delivery nurse. I went back to school in 1989, graduated in 1992 and I have worked as a labor and delivery nurse since Rachel was 6 months old. It is a ministry... And I thank Him for the privilege.

However, since Rachel died there have been so many things I realized that I have lost... one of "those" things is experiencing the miracle of birth with my daughter. It is so hard to see my patients with their families, especially their mom's. It is such a special experience. I can work OB triage all night long but to labor and deliver a young woman having her first baby is so hard... So, OB triage is it for me right now and I am okay with that.

A dear friend of mine delivered her "surprise" baby girl on March 4, 2011. She and her husband were one of so many that supported us and got us through that night... getting Chris to the hospital as our sweet girl was Care Flighted to Dallas, saying "goodbye" to our Rachel as if she were their own, keeping our Andrew posted, in the loop, he was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC at the time, comforting him, comforting us, going to the funeral home, calling the Red Cross to begin the process of getting our boy home, making and fielding jillions of phone calls and the list goes on...

Long story short... I took her to the hospital, stayed the night and was with her and her sweet husband when they welcomed sweet Delaney into this world. I saw their boys faces light up as they watched their daddy bathe their baby sister for the first time. The memories came flooding back... Rachel's birth and her death... getting to experience the labor and birth of Delaney Grace Harris has really been a turning point for me (at the moment anyway.) It was and still is a precious moment. A moment I will cherish forever. Seeing Delaney, breathing her in, holding her and smelling her sweet baby breath, her breathe smelled of heaven, a moment that was a bit overwhelming and bittersweet but so precious. It was one of those moments that that I will ponder in my heart until I see my precious Jesus and then my sweet Rachel. The experience brings tears to my eyes all over again. I left the hospital that morning breathless and sobbing and spent a lot of the weekend doing the same. Not just tears of grief and missing Rachel but thankful tears for the experience with Rachel, her birth and her death and the journey that I know will continue even with its ups and downs. On my way home, I stopped by Kroger bought her some flowers and took them to the cemetery, some beautiful pink roses and a wildflower mix in vibrant hot pink, yellow, purple and green, her favorite colors! She would love them and she would love Delaney too! I am still amazed by the experience of Delaney's birth. And so thankful!!!

I was scheduled to work labor on Sunday night and for the first time I did not dread it. I got put on call and then got called in late Sunday evening. Of course my labor patient ended being a stat C-section but nevertheless it was all okay for the patient, her baby and for me emotionally. And for that I am thankful too! Thank you Lord for a turning point...

In one of my emails or twitter, the Lord led me to this... the She Speaks Scholarship Contest 2011.

Here is a quote from their website... "The She Speaks Conference is where you will receive the tools and the confidence to answer God’s call on your life. You will learn how to make the most of your messages, the nuts and bolts of speaking, writing, leading and influencing, and have the opportunity to meet with some of today’s top Christian publishers. She Speaks is not just another conference … it is a true experience with God and a revival in your calling!" I have been praying for God to open a door and I believe He has. I have known and felt for quite some time that the Lord was going to use this grief experience/journey in an amazing way. I have also felt that He was calling me to speak or write and I feel in my spirit like this is a door that He is opening.

As a mother, I have always thought that there is no way that I would ever be able to survive the death of one of my children. But you know what... I have and I am stronger for it. Do I still have hard days and do I feel weak? Yes! But His word tells me that "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

If I were to curl up in a corner and shrivel away or become bitter and angry, how would that honor her memory? It wouldn't and Satan would win. More importantly how would that honor HIM? By sharing this journey with Him, our baby girl will live on forever in the hearts and lives of many, many that never even knew her. Is it because of anything that I did or said? Absolutely not! It is Him, all Him. This experience is not and never has been about Rachel, my family or me it is all about Him! His word also says "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

I am still praying about what I am supposed to do... write or speak maybe both... the thought of both scares me but with Him I know I can do anything!

A few weekends ago, the Lord told me that He wants me to do what I fear the most... and that is speaking, yes She Speaks... am I comfortable with that, no! Am I scared, nervous etc.? Yes! But am I willing and open? Absolutely yes!
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