Tuesday, January 11, 2011



A color most people attribute with either love, blood, death, hate, anger, etc. This week the color red is going to be worn by hundreds of people around my county in honor and memory of a boy whose life was cut short. His name was Nick. He was a senior in high school. He had three siblings and two loving parents. He also had a ton of friends and touched countless lives. Little did he know that as a result of his car accident this past Thursday morning, that this was going to change not only his family's lives but the lives of friends, teachers, and countless people who had never met him before. I did not know him personally, but through church growing up and through my family who had contact with him through junior high choir and my brother's Upward basketball team.

It's funny how in times like these, people really come together. Why can't we always come together in unity? Well, it's because of our differences. We don't always look the same, feel the same, think the same, believe the same. But over the past several days, hundreds of people have been brought together as they earnestly seek the hand of God[who at this point was unknown to many]. They held prayer vigils and raised money in a desperate attempt to beg God to save Nick's life. The money was for the life support that Nick was on that cost around 2 to 3 thousand dollars a day. Yes, a day. To add to the stress of this, he was brain dead. So that left his parents with a very difficult and painful decision. Through this all, Nick had his story being played on television stations around the Piedmont area. His life and legacy were being told as his tragic story was played for thousands to see and hear. This 18 year old boy, who had his whole future before him, was laying in a hospital bed where he had no brain activity. In one instant, his life and many other's lives were changed forever.

Red. The color of love. The color of blood. For me, as I am reflecting on my own 24 years of life I think about what this color represents to me. For me, it represents love and blood which represent sacrifice. One sacrifice to be exact. Jesus Christ's. So, the color red also symbolizes hope, faith, grace, and mercy. It also means life. Eternal life. This eternal life comes when a person realizes that they are a fallen and broken creature in need of salvation from the only one who can give it, Jesus Christ. This hope can be found for anyone who is seeking it. This hope is a saving hope. One that will change your life forever.

So Sunday, when Nick's parents made the hardest decision that they ever had to make, Nick went home. Home to Jesus. Home to his Savior. So red is the color. The color of hope and love. The love of a Savior and the hope of a future that is held in God's hands when a life is surrendered. This color symbolizes a changed life that Nick had--one that his legacy leaves behind for so many people. His story will never be forgotten. And I have faith that many lives will be changed due to his story. It is a story of forgiveness. It is a story of a real life. It is a story of love. It is a story of hope. It is a result of one of the greatest stories of all.

I know that on Thursday, when his funeral will be held, there will be tears. For those that believe, they will be tears of hope--as well as tears of sadness. I pray that for those there that do not believe--that the Holy Spirit will work and touch their hearts as Nick's family and friends remember his life through testimonies, scripture, and song.

This challenges me as I look back on my own life. What have I done to show others the love of Christ that is in me? I hope and pray that everyone that I meet and come in contact with can see that I have hope and joy. And I hope my life reflects what Christ has done for me. Because God has done great things for me. He has blessed me beyond measure. Because He died for me. He LOVES me! That in itself, is something worth living for--as well as something worth sharing with others!

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2:4-9

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Okay, really?

So I'm sure you've heard the saying "Pride goes before the fall"--well here's my interpretation/personal experience with it--"Confidence in one's position/education does not mean security". I know that's a stretch--but here goes my story.

2011 started out just the same as every year--I was thankful for another year of life among all the other many blessings that God has so graciously given to me. Not to say I thanked Him everyday for certain things[ie--my job]. He quickly showed me how to end the misery that I had been experiencing for quite some time. Confession: I've been very stressed out and depressed for quite some time. I have tried to put on a brave/happy face--I don't want people to worry about me. [Disclaimer--I'm not "clinically" depressed--just super unhappy, tired, and struggling with life] There are a few things in my life that have lead to this feeling of 'depression'. One of those things was my job. Don't get me wrong, I was thankful for my job[yes that is the past tense], but I was not happy at all and couldn't understand why I was where I was[I see now I was there for the girls I worked with--and the kids I developed relationships with]. Well, I had had the opportunity to get out a while back--and turned it down--because I didn't want to leave because I WANTED to leave--but I wasn't completely surrendering my job and life to God and seeking His guidance--so major fail there on my part. But I knew that my job was very stable--because my boss expressed her "love" for me and how happy she was that she had hired me back in October of 2009. There were just certain circumstances and hard and trying situations that caused my stress and depression.

Flash forward a short 6 days into 2011 and BAM! my super stable job is taken right out from under me. Confused, saddened, and somewhat angry I sit here today writing this. I was totally taken aback. I am proud of how graciously I took my being "let go"--but still am so hurt by how 'burned' I feel. The general consensus[not the whole] of my fellow coworkers was shock and sadness. I felt very loved by the majority of the wonderful people I worked with on Friday--which was my last day. But it was a sad day for me. I had come to be very attached to a lot of the children that I worked with--they are so precious--and can really lift your spirits if you are sad. I also dealt with the quick end to work relationships with people who I really enjoyed working with. I made some good friends there--and there are those I know I could count on if I needed anything at the drop of a hat! These girls are so awesome! They would really go to bat for me--and seriously would have taken a bat to something if I'd asked them to! :) But there are some other unfortunate circumstances that leave me feeling betrayed and so confused. In my case, my comfort and confidence in my education[because you'd think someone with a four year degree would be pretty safe in an environment that encourages people to get and continue their education] my degree was one of the reasons I lost my job--money the other. It just doesn't seem fair that I'd get let go for that. But God clearly closed that door. Now I know that I am suppose to leave there--obviously?! :) It was the sign I needed--it didn't happen the way I would have liked it too--but how much clearer can you get? All is not lost. My world isn't ending. I'm just unemployed. Weird. I never ever thought I'd say that. I've got to stop saying "never"--things always happen anyway!

BUT--I have hope. Faith. Confidence. Security. First, I know this--God is in control. He had a plan this whole time. He was working. And it was time for me to see how He really does have control. I don't always take note of this fact--I like to pretend sometimes that I've got my life under control--because of me. Yeah, you see how well I do with that. And second and MOST THANKFULLY--I have a super awesome dad who is going to hire me--but I can't start until March--so until then--I'm helping pack up the house--yeah, the other news, we're moving! Finally! :) I'm pretty excited about it!

So anyways, to end up on a good, positive note. I'm not in a difficult work situation anymore. I can get back to my normal happy self! :) I'm working on my attitude about the whole thing still--and some feelings of ill-will. But these things take time, I'm not perfect. It's not going to happen overnight for me. I do promise to work on them. No need to let bitterness take root in my heart--it only leads to destruction and more unhappiness. I can't change anything that has happened--all the times I felt disrespected and when lies were attempted to be spread about me. God had perfect timing in getting me out of a situation where things were not right and away from a couple of people who try to bring harm to others everyday.

So--in my last post I said stay tuned for the craziness in my life--I totally didn't expect this--but I'm sure no one did. So 2011--already topping my list of crazy beginnings. But it's what I like to call a 'blessing in disguise'. :) Now onto getting some of my resolutions started---since I have so much time on my hands now...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


January 4th, a day that will forever mark my family's heart as a day they lost someone that was very special and precious. My Nana, Virginia Dare Gardner Wilson. She lost her battle with cancer this day, 23 years ago. Has it really been this long? I knew her only a short time, and I don't remember her at all. What I know of her is from what has been told to me by my family and the pictures and very treasured family videos--and a couple of recorded tapes. I know she was a very godly and sweet woman. And she has been missed very much since her passing. I have hope and peace because I know that someday I will see her again. Although, it will not be the same on that side of heaven, it brings me joy and great comfort to know she is there, safe and waiting[although I'm sure she has much better things to do there!]

It does sadden me though, that I don't have memories of her. My own personal memories. I don't have a memory of her voice, scent, touch. I also don't have this for my other grandmother who passed away just two weeks after my Nana. I never had the pleasure of growing up having my two very loving grandmothers around at birthdays, Thanksgivings, Christmases, or any other holiday. I don't remember what their chocolate chip cookies or mashed potatoes tasted like or what the sound of their voice when they sang a song or blessed the food. They had their view of my life from a window in heaven[I'm not so sure how that works--I guess someday I'll find out] They were only here for a very small part of my life. I know I would have loved them dearly--just knowing what I know about them, I love them--but it's a different kind of love. There are times I wish I had a time machine and I could go back at the age I am now, so I could talk to them, hug them, and hear their voices. It would be pretty awesome if I had a time machine, I have a couple other people who I'd like to go back and hug again and hear their voices. But I don't have that luxury. All I have are all my memories[or the memories and stories of others] to carry me through--to make me smile, or cry, whenever I think or hear about them. I'm so glad that I have pictures, videos, and recorded tapes. What precious treasures to have so I can remember the rich heritage that I have in my family.

So, my challenge to anyone who may read this. Don't forget your family. Cherish every second that you have with them. Tell them you love them. And for those that have passed--go back down memory lane. Look at a picture. Read one of their favorite books. Make one of their famous recipes. Then thank God for them. Because He knew how we would need our families and that's why He gave them to us.

So cherish all the moments and make lots of memories in 2011.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

happy 2011.

Welcome to the new year folks. I pray it is one filled with many blessings. I know for me it's going to start off as a super crazy busy year with many changes. There are going to be some firsts for me this year, so stay tuned to hear about the craziness in my life! :) Okay, maybe not THAT crazy. But new and exciting things are happening. Some things are going to be difficult, and of course I really have no CLUE what God is going to do this year--He could completely change my direction--so we'll all see won't we?! :)

I will say it was nice to have a group of great people to ring in the new year with. My Lifegroup had our annual Christmas/New Years party last night. We had a progressive dinner that included tons of yummy food, lots of laughs, and a dirty santa gift exchange. [I got a Nickelodeon Super Slimer!] :) I'm so blessed to have some amazing Christian friends in my life. God really has spoiled me. On that note--I also have been super blessed with an amazing family--especially really awesome parents who have spoiled and continue to spoil me in so many ways. I'm so blessed to have parents who love me so much and want to see the best in life for me. It really is quite wonderful. It saddens me for those who don't have parents who show them love the way everyone deserves to be loved by their parents--the way God intended parents to be--like Him of course! I just hope that someday when I have children I can be just like my parents. I hope that I can be a godly example to my children the way mine have been to me over the past 24 years of life. Through thick and thin, the good and bad, the major ups and downs that we've had in our family--my parents have stayed strong and remained faithful to each other and to my brother and I--for that I praise God! I know it hasn't been easy--but I know that in this new year, He's got some amazing things planned for all of us!

So HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! I hope it is filled with lots of love, joy and blessings!