A Glorious Unfolding

One year ago today I had no indication that it would be the last time I would wake up beside Jason, hold him in my arms, kiss him, and tell him I love him. This was the day his fatal accident would occur late at night.

We returned home from out vacation in the early hours of the day and stayed in bed extra long trying to recoup from eight hour drive we endured all night. I woke up feeling very unproductive because of the mid-afternoon time we woke up but God had a plan unfolding in which, at the time, I knew nothing about…He was offering us extra time together that we had no idea would come to an end that night. I remember laying in bed with Jason recalling the fun times we had the past few days with our kids during our vacation. We made great memories and I believe God also had a hand in that as we spent six days together, uninterrupted by the daily grind back home. We had time to focus on loving each other and making memories with our kids. God again had a plan unfolding that we were unaware of by clearing our schedules to vacation at the time we did.

Today comes with unimaginable grief for me. Tears that won’t cease, a mind replaying memories, and questions with no answers. At some point we will all have unexpected pain, hardships, and for some of you, you may even meet/or already met a tragedy head on as I did. Hard times often come with many tears. Psalm 56:8 tells us, “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. you have recorded each one in your book.” Every time I shed a tear for my loss, I can’t help but envision Jesus collecting those tears in a bottle and placing the bottle on a shelf to be received when I get to heaven. I then picture myself receiving that bottle as a gift from Jesus and as a response to His beautiful grace, pouring those tears out of the bottle and using them to wash the feet of Jesus. I cannot think of anything more glorious!

This past year I have seen God reveal himself in ways that I could not have even dreamed up. I fall more in love with Jesus and his greatness every day. My pure joy and calm assurance tell me that through my tragedy God wants to bless me and he wants to bless you too. I choose to have joy and receive God’ gift of grace. There is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness depends on your circumstances and joy is a deep-rooted seed that says, God is in control, God cares, and He will work everything out for good.

Maybe you’re in a difficult situation right now. Begin now by strengthening your relationship with Jesus. Make it a habit to meet with him daily by studying and memorizing His Word, praying, and listening. Your faith will be tested the most when difficulties come your way. Will you choose joy, receive grace, and walk by faith? Dare to stake your hope on the gladdest news of all: if God permits the challenge, he will provide the grace to meet it. Sometimes our greatest blessings come while we are in the valley. And how we respond in our valleys determines how high our peaks. That has been true in my life and I thank God for the path He is leading me down.

There is going to be a glorious unfolding that my human mind cannot comprehend. I won’t know what that glorious unfolding is or looks like until I reach heaven and meet my Savior face to face but I know my God will show up and show off :)

Listen to the song, Glorious Unfolding by Steven Curtis Chapman. It reminds us that this is not the end but the beginning!

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Love, Daddy

Dear Pooter and Jaders,

I’m so proud to be your father, and I want you to know that I’m celebrating with you today. I will be watching over both of you and Mommy all day (and every day until the end of time). While you normally give me awesome gifts on Father’s Day, I thought I’d take over Mommy’s blog to tell each of you why I love being your Daddy!

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Pooter,

You are growing into the most beautiful young woman any father could ever ask for. You have such a sensitive, kind spirit and a fire and passion for God. Your light for God shines so bright that it lights up Heaven. Actually, it’s so bright, I get to brag about to all the angels! Don’t ever let anyone put that fire out!

I can’t believe how much you’ve grown in the past 11 months. Your hair is long, you’ve been doing an amazing job at softball – especially pitching (you look just like Mommy on the pitcher’s mound) – and you played so well at basketball this past season. I’m so proud of how much you help take care of Jaders (even though he’s ornery like me) and Mommy. I know that you will make a wonderful wife and mother some day. But stay away from boys! You’re too young to date. I’m thinking you can date when you’re about 30, maybe 29, but Mommy and I will have to talk about that first.

I also wanted to tell you how proud I am of the awesome student you are in school! I love how you are kind to other kids in your class, especially those who the other kids aren’t the nicest to. I’m proud of you for stepping up and being kind when others aren’t. And your grades? WOW! GREAT JOB! You are so smart, do so well in class and study so hard. I can’t believe you’re going to be in 6th grade in the fall. I feel old. But I know you’ll do so well!

I love you so very much, Pooter!

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Dear Jaders,

I can’t believe how big you’re getting! You look more and more like me every day. You’ve definitely got the Hunt swagger. I love watching you play tee-ball. You are so good at hitting the ball and running the bases. You do so well at playing outfield, and I love watching you dig in the dirt. You should pay attention to the game, but you’re a Hunt, and Hunt’s can’t get away from playing in the dirt.

I’m so proud of how well you did in preschool! I watched you write your letters, color, play centers and I was even watching your special program. You did such a good job!

I’m also proud of how much you help Grandpa Carey pull trees from the woods. You are so good at helping. I even saw you help dig  bricks out of Nonny’s yard for her and Uncle Casey. I can’t believe how strong you are! I’m also proud of you for helping Grandpa Benji on the skid loader and running his equipment.

You are so good at doing things by your own self, and are growing up so fast. I’m so proud of you and the man you’re growing up to be. But don’t grow up too fast – you need to be my mini me for as long as you can!

Jaders, I love you so very much!

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To both of my wonderful children,

I hear your prayers, I hear you talk to me, and it sounds like sweet music to my ears. I love being your Daddy, and I will never ever stop watching over either of you. Every night after you fall asleep, I give each of you a kiss on the cheek. I miss being able to give you a hug but just know that I am right there beside you with every step you take. If you fall, I’m there helping pick you up. When you’re crying, I’m wiping away your tears. When you’re celebrating, I’m jumping up and down with you. I am so blessed to have such wonderful children! I love you so much that there isn’t enough space on this blog or words in the world to describe how much I love you!

Be kind to one another, keep your rooms clean and keep taking such good care of Mommy for me!

Love,

Daddy

PS – Aryin, even though I’m not your dad, I’ve always thought of you as more of a daughter than a niece. I’m so proud of how much you’ve matured and grown. I love you so very much, too! #Swag

Jaden Scott Hunt 3-25-10 032

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Help Me Find It

This past week was filled with trying yet again to navigate new waters. I returned to teaching full time after being off a whole semester after Jason’s passing. This was another huge hurdle for the kids and I. It was not easy but with lots of prayers and encouragement we survived! I think the realization of single-parenthood truly crept in over these past few days. I do not have pity for myself but meet this as a new challenge where I can grow in my faith and trust in God. God has brought me this far and I have no reason to question or doubt him now!

I’ve also met some other new challenges over the past week. God has asked me to wait. Waiting is difficult especially when you feel so certain about something. I have formed some new friendships lately and I see those as nothing short of blessings. Sometimes we need fresh eyes and opinions to help us see things we can’t. My new relationships have come with the promise of daily prayer and someone who can offer spiritual wisdom.

With all the chaos and new challenges I have endured these past six months I just want to feel like I’m in control. I had a vision of how my life would turn out and losing my husband and being a widow at a young age was definitely not in my vision. At the age of 34 (or any age)  you would think one would have an understanding of what is best for our lives. It is not a bad thing to have some kind of direction for your life but when you don’t seek God’s will in that direction disappointment can happen. I was met this week with that feeling again that I knew what was best for me. But, I was so reminded that I needed to step back and wait. Wait on God to show me if my plans were aligned with His plans. Oh, that’s so hard!! It is difficult to lay aside selfish desires but that’s what I promised God I would do this  morning. I have a confident hope that if I run to Jesus first, I will be met with the prize God has for me at the end. That may look differently than what I want, as I have already experienced but that’s where the waiting and trusting comes in.

Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.

My heart does have desires but I will take delight in the Lord first and wait for those desires to be fulfilled. My Bible explains Psalm 37:4 like this…How do we take delight in the Lord? We experience great pleasure and joy in His presence. Thus, to delight in the Lord we must know him better. To commit ourselves to the Lord means entrusting everything– our lives, families, jobs, possessions–to his control and guidance. To commit ourselves to the Lord means to trust in him, believing that he can care for us better than we can ourselves. We should be willing to wait patiently for him to work out what is best for us!

Where in your life do you need to wait patiently for God to act?

I commit these things to prayer while I wait:

1. Understand what God wants me to do

2. Gain spiritual wisdom

3. Honor and please God with thoughts and actions

4. Produce every kind of good fruit

5. Learn to know God better and better

6. Be strengthened with God’s glorious power

7. Have great endurance and patience

8. Be filled with joy

9. Give thanks always

10. Trust that God knows what is best for my life

I have been overwhelmed with the words to the song, Help Me Find It, by Sidewalk Prophets. This is my prayer for now. Whatever your will, God, help me find it. I will trust, seek, pray, and wait.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIpIHfZ88PM

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A Change This Christmas

Change. Something that has been prominent in my life these past five months. I wanted this holiday to be no different. I dislike change very much but I’m learning to go with it. So, as Christmas approached I began thinking of how we could do things differently this year since Jason is no longer with us. I came up with nothing. I didn’t know how we would handle this day or how we would feel. Well, as always God knew and handled it perfectly!

Change. For the first time ever, in my 33 years of life I awoke on Christmas morning alone. Every year our church has a Christmas Eve service from 11-12 p.m. The kids and I went and after the service the kids begged to go home with grandma and grandpa to spend the night there. I was a bit surprised that they wanted to do this because they would not awake in their own home to find their gifts under the tree. “Sure, why not!” I responded and off they went to grandma and grandpa’s.

When I woke up this morning, Christmas Day, I laid in bed and spent time remembering all the holidays Jason and I had shared many times before. I recalled how we loved getting up together to watch the excitement in the kids as they unwrapped presents. I remembered the joy we experienced together along with our families. Time we spent with family was so precious to us both. With these thoughts in my mind, I just wanted to sense Jason in a big way on this special day we both loved so much.

My focus then turned to what Christmas is truly about. Except, I experienced this Christmas morning in a way I never have before. I was alone. As I lay in bed, I began thinking about how God sent his Son, Jesus to earth. He sent him knowing He would one day die a horrible death in order to save many. He knew that it would cause Him great pain to see his child suffer. He knew He would even shed tears over the events that would take place that crucifixion day. Usually, we focus on the birth of Jesus at Christmas but the death of Jesus was prominent in my thoughts this morning.

I was overcome with such love inside my heart. God too created Jason knowing July 15, 2013 would be the close of his day on earth. He knew that those who loved Jason would feel great pain, mourn his loss, and shed tears. God also created Jason knowing he would touch many lives and save many either through organ donation or the more importantly by impacting some so greatly that they chose to take Jesus as their personal savior. Jason is by no means comparable to the greatness of Jesus but he was a pretty great guy if you ask me!

As I emerged from my bed and finished getting ready, I loaded all the kids’ gifts into the car and headed to my parents. Do you remember that I wanted to sense Jason in a big way today? Well, I did in a brief moment. I have to think back to the short drive to my parents home with the kids’ gifts in tow. As I am sitting at a stop sign ready to turn I look to my right and notice an ATV heading my way. As it approaches I see that a man is driving it and it is the EXACT make, model, and color of the ATV that Jason had and in which ultimately, he had his accident in . It continued on, passing in front of me going the same direction I was headed (at 9:00 on Christmas morning…really?!). I turn left and follow it. Normally I would pass a vehicle traveling at a slow rate of speed but today I didn’t. I trailed behind and all the way remembering how much Jason enjoyed riding his and the many rides the kids and I enjoyed with him. That was perfectly timed by an amazing God I believe. I followed the ATV all the way to my parent’s road. I turned and it kept on going.

Change. Transformation. Sometimes God gives us change. Change can transform our minds if we choose to allow it. I have learned that change makes us more dependent on God and it has been my experience that I have chosen to see God working in different circumstances: like the ATV that I had a chance encounter with this morning! Where will you choose to see God in the midst of change in your own life? Are you hunting 4 jesus always?

 

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I Can Face Tomorrow

It’s early Thanksgiving morning. The days leading up to today have caused great anxiety for me as I tried to prepare myself for my first major holiday without Jason. There is no way to prepare. This day is about giving thanks yet I’ve had fleeting thoughts that I want to crawl back into bed and sleep this day away. Last night was especially difficult trying to get to sleep. I released much of my fears through tears. I wanted so bad in that moment to turn my thoughts to giving thanks but my mind would just not go there. It has become habit that I fall asleep listening to a playlist on my ipod titled, “Inspire Me!” It has many of my favorite songs by christian artists. One of those songs is Better Than A Hallelujah by Amy Grant. These are the words to the chorus:

We pour out our miseries, God just hears a melody. Beautiful the mess we are, the honest cries of breaking hearts are better than a hallelujah.

This is part of what God wants from us. We face trials, heartache, pain, and with that comes tears. Our worldview is drastically different from God’s view. God saw the honest cry of my breaking heart and heard it as a hallelujah. I could not utter words from my mouth but my tears were an offering to God. An offer for Him to comfort me. For Him to be present with me. To know that even in my dark moments I still trust Him and know He holds my future.

A perfect transition into a moment I had this morning! I woke early and could not get back to sleep (not what I had planned for a day I could actually sleep in!) so I laid in bed focusing on the presence of God. The words to the hymn, Because He Lives, entered my mind (do you see a pattern here? I love to worship through song and God tends to bless me through song! I love it!) I began pondering the words:

Because He lives I  can face tomorrow. Because He lives all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future. Life is worth the living just because He lives!

This season of my life is filled with much grief, anxiety, and at times sadness but this life is not all there is! I CAN face tomorrow because I know the one who holds my future.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

What an amazing promise! God’s word is so full of great promises for us. Take time to write the words of God on your heart. I am thankful that I have taken steps to memorize scripture and spend time daily with God in prayer and in silence. These moments with God encourage us when trials abound. My faith and reliance on God are what get me through these troubling times. I want my thanks to pave the way for abundant joy that lies ahead in my future. Because He lives, I will face tomorrow!

For anyone that lays eyes on this blog entry I earnestly pray this for you from Ephesians 3:14-20:

“…I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work withing us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Amen!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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The Thief Comes To Destroy

Sort of a gloomy title, I know! Especially the day before I am trying my hand at preaching! As a Christian I understand that when you take on tasks that glorify God, Satan attacks. I, along with others, have been in prayer this week as I prepare for tomorrow.

Switching gears for a moment…the unexpected death of a loved one leaves so many things “undone.” So many questions that may leave us searching for answers to. Did I do this or that, say this or that? What could I have done better? That’s just our humanness. In all honesty sometimes these thoughts are hard to let go of and can become consuming. With that said…

Around 2 a.m. this morning I awoke from a dead sleep. I was crying uncontrollably. So hard that I almost lost my breath and I was sweating. These symptoms were from a dream that I was having. I was dreaming that Jason and I were warned that he only had about a day to live. I was trying to cram in I love you’s, time with him,  and time with our kids all while trying to come to terms that he was going to die. My heart was torn when Jason wanted no part of time with us. I was so crushed. I remember time ticking away and telling him that we only had 2 more hours together. Still, no response from him. Nothing I said or did could convince him to want to be with us in his last moments.

As I laid there something in me said that the Thief is trying to destroy. In an instant I said out loud the words, “Jesus.Jesus.Jesus.” My body immediately relaxed, tears subsided, and I almost fell back asleep. As I laid there very still, I heard so plainly what sounded like a chain falling off my bed and hitting the floor. I have to admit I was a little scared :) But then I was overcome with the thought that God was releasing those chains that Satan had on me in that instant. Those thoughts that Jason was so distant. It also came to my mind that I knew other people were praying for me as I prepare for this Sunday and Satan was probably trying to bind me with chains (what I haven’t mentioned is that Jaden came down with a high fever yesterday also.I felt like Satan began to try and weasel in at this point.But, am happy to report that with many prayers he is feeling better. Winning!!) I sensed that someone was going to let me know they were praying for me. I fell back to sleep. I know this seems like a lot but all of this transpired in a matter of a couple of minutes or less.

Well, I woke up this morning and sure enough I had a message on FB from my friend, Rachel. Here is what she wrote: Just wanted you to know that on my way to work this morning you were in my prayers, and hope God blesses your lips tomorrow! Love you guys!! God’s love and timing are always so perfect. I do not expect anything less!

I debated on whether or not to blog about this because it sounds so crazy. Then I had to remind myself that sometimes as a Christian we may look or sound crazy. I wish I was creative enough to make up stories like this. However, I’m not!!

God has given me great encouragement throughout this week. The first came in the form of an amazing, Spirit-led church service last Sunday. Another came in the form of an essay written by Jenna, one of the girls Jason coached. The essay was about servant leadership and how she saw those qualities in Jason. She shared how Jason impacted her life. I was so truly blessed by her words.

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10

When you feel like the thief is trying to destroy. Just say Jesus! I’ve made this a habit over the past few months and He has always satisfied me!

Hear these encouraging words from 7eventh Time Down. The song is “Just Say Jesus”

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“The Letter”

I have waited for this day with great anticipation! Today I received a card from one of Jason’s donor recipients. He received his left kidney and pancreas.

IOPO Envelope

I checked the mail as I do everyday and today my mailbox held that medium-size envelope with a return address from IOPO (Indiana Organ Procurement Organization). I knew instinctively what joy this envelope contained inside! I held the envelope for a few moments and then took a picture of the unopened contents for I wanted to hold on to the memory of a wish-come-true! Then, I opened it. The card was adored with heart-felt, grateful words. As I opened it, on the left hand side were 3 short entries from 3 different people. The first from Steven, the recipient. He expressed gratitude and that he hopes to pay if forward to someone else one day. The second entry was from his girlfriend. She too expressed gratitude and condolences for our family. The last was from Steven’s mother. She was also thankful and in her words, “The gift of wonderful life you have given my child is beyond great.” My soul immediately thought, God gave us, HIS children, wonderful life that is beyond great. I re-read those 13 words but this time they seemed to morph into words from God saying, “My Child, I have given you a gift of wonderful life that is beyond great.” God too, has given you the gift of life that is meant to be great. Although sometimes difficult to believe due to circumstances we face, God has always promised to walk beside us which I think is pretty great!

And here’s the rest of the story…

As I mentioned, the card was adorned with beautiful words. What I didn’t mention is that it was also adorned with glittery butterflies. Nothing exceptionally great, right? Or maybe…

Butterflies and Thanks

In August I was mowing the grass and just began to sob. I was just missing Jason and couldn’t put thoughts of him out of my mind. I was praying and talking to God. Then, I quietly asked Jason to send me a sign that would reoccur to remind us that he was still with us. No sooner than I finished saying it a butterfly flew directly in front of me. Those who know me well know that I have always had a “thing” for butterflies. They remind me of the awesomeness of God. How a caterpillar can transform into a beautiful creature with wings just amazes me! Jason knew I loved butterflies and when I see them I can smile and know that it’s Jason’s way of being with us.

Well, 3 days after the mowing incident (it was a Sunday) the kids and I arrived at church. Caylee got out and stood on the sidewalk as I was unbuckling Jaden from his car seat. As I was about to get him out I hear Caylee saying, “Mom, look!” As I approach the sidewalk she is staring down at her feet. And what do I see? None other than  a beautiful butterfly perched on her big toe! She and I looked at each other with beaming smiles. We didn’t even have to exchange words. We knew her daddy was making himself known!

So, when I received this card today adorned with glittery butterflies I just wept.  The inside of the card pictured 3 butterflies; a large one, medium size, and small one. Maybe one for Me, Caylee, and Jaden? Maybe I’m grasping here but I’ll leave that for you to decide. Is it a coincidence that this card revealed butterflies? I think not :)

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