You can clearly see that my life has had it's share of trials but just as it says in the book of James 1:1-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trails of many kinds, because you know the testing of you faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. We all have trails in each season of life. It's just how are you going to deal with those trials when they come? Just like Jesus, his life did not come easy but the greatest gift in life came through his difficulty. I feel the same way... there is not one thing I would change about all the obstacles God chose for me in life so far. He has formed and transformed me to love Him even more.
After a few weeks of my mom being in the hospital, the doctors called me in and gave me her diagnoses of Schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder. It was not a shock and just a relief to know medications can now help her. If you have ever experienced someone with a mental disorder you would know it's hard to have options for them. My mom falls out of most options but one I found the best for her was to be in an assisted living facility. They would be able to keep her honest on her medications and watch over her closely. Within 24 hours of the hospital releasing her (it was a mad dash because they only gave us 24 hours notice that they were releasing her), I had found a great place for her to live where the director had a degree in mental health. She was a God sent! It was a rough road and my mom definitely had her up and down days of not liking or trusting me, but it was better than I expected. It had been a roller coaster ride but she was finally somewhat stable and most importantly safe! God had carried me and provided the way... I trusted Him with every step!
My wedding was approaching (only a month away!) and I knew attending my wedding would just be too much for my mom. I had to let it go and understood she just couldn't be there or be a part of it. I was worried about the details and wasn't sure I was going to be able to pull everything off with all that had happened. Why did I have doubt? God showed up in big ways! Our minster we found happened to know my mom's family and was a pastor in their very small town many years ago, an aunt on my husband's side did all the flowers for us, another family friend did all the invitations, my uncle filled my dad's shoes and was there to walk me down the isle, and just about every family member was going to attend! It was the biggest moment in my life and I just couldn't believe the outpouring of love all around me... God knew I needed the love:) Families were united on both sides... to me it was just pure joy to feel so much love! Our rehearsal dinner was very emotional and gorgeous to look out at all the amazing friends and family... truly a gift! I knew Scott and I were going to have a blessed life. Our wedding day was here and I woke up early to enjoy time with the Lord... Thank you Lord for this blessing, it was more than I had ever dreamed of! I couldn't wait to call Scott my husband... to start a new life together as a new family was something that I had desired all of my life. All the hardships brought that day together to be so wonderful and made me appreciate all that I had.
Of course every wedding has it's set of problems but I didn't let them bother me as they weren't what represented the day. Occasionally throughout the day my mom and dad would cross my mind wishing they could be here to experience this. Even though my mom and I had our differences, God deeply rooted my love for her. Roles had changed and I realized it's now my turn to care for her. That afternoon the bridesmaids and I were in the church sanctuary taking our last pictures before the guests arrived, and you would never believe who came walking though the front door of the church... my mom! My aunt had brought her to surprise me... needless to say, there wasn't a dry eye in the place. I gave her a huge hug and just couldn't believe she was there! WOW it was a miracle! Many bridesmaids were able to meet her for the first time. She said she would sit in the back to avoid too many people which was GREAT with me... I was just so happy she was there! I couldn't wait to share it with Scott that she had made it. Just when I thought I couldn't have felt anymore loved!
Before I walked down the isle I felt the warmth of Jesus when the sun shining down on my face. My dad was watching and I knew he was so proud of me that day. I know he was thankful for taking over his role and caring for her. It was a pivotal moment in my life because I was closing a long difficult chapter and I was starting a new life... one with a wonderful husband and mom that I had a renewed love for.
This picture was taken right after we got married... we grabbed my mom before she could sneak away.
We have been married almost 7 years now and I have continued to care for my mom all these years. We have had our set of difficulties and there are days it's really hard and I hate to have to care for a mom that needs me. I think "why do I care for a women that sometimes doesn't even look at me as her daughter?" Because God cares for me even when I don't turn to Him as my father! God continues to be faithful and renew my love for her each time I struggle. I don't get much back in our relationship but I do have an unbelievable compassion for her! That could only be from God... He has given me eyes to see her as a child of His and that He calls me to care for her. I will be forever dedicated to provide the best life for her I can... she deserves that. I know it's hard to love people unconditionally but just think, Jesus does it every minute of the day. In the last few years she has had a few health setbacks but I can honestly say she is doing much better today than ever before! This last month I have decided to move her to an more independent living. She's really been wanting to do this for awhile and I'm finally taking that leap of faith. The building still has assisted living in case we need it but I do feel she ready. Which is amazing she's come so far!! Please join us in prayer that she can handle it all.
Last week was the first time I have been to the beach with her since I was a child. I stopped to enjoy the moment with her in the pool (first time in a pool for her in more than 10 years)... as I watched her my heart melted and I said to myself "thank you Lord, for she is a gift and I have learned so much through her and she challenges me to be a better person, I do love her, I do love you mom... forever! and I'm here for you until the end no matter what!"
James1:27 to look after orphans and widows in their distress
Thank you for sharing your story. Your hearts are beautiful.
Yay Heidi! Thanks for finishing. I hope it was like therapy. That is amazing.
Heidi, thank you for sharing. I'm sure it was difficult but I know it will help so many other people who are going through similar or even very different situations. They will be able to relate and see that compassion and forgiveness is the only answer. I know you've given me a reason to love my family more and accept them unconditionally.
Thanks for sharing your story, Heidi. You had told me bits and pieces about your mom but I never really knew much about her. You have a lot on your plate but you're right that the Lord will always guide you!
wow, what a beautiful story you have told...I"ve learned so much from it...thanks for sharing, kj
Thank you so much Heidi for sharing that. All the words I can think of to say are superficial, so please just know you touched my heart, and your story will be on my mind and influencing me for a long time to come.
Thanks, Heidi, for sharing your heart and being a living testimony of God's love, no matter what.
You Rock! I'm a very proud husband. God truly spoke through your fingers as you typed.
I second every other comment made! You have proven what a testimony really is...it's Christ's story of redemption in us. I am so proud of you finding freedom in your story. It makes us love you even more (if that's even possible) I just see the fear that has long been a stronghold in your life being completely destroyed by a trust in a Father who is who He says He is. You are living proof of that and I can't thank you enough for being the rockin' example that you are! I love you!
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