Mark and I are learning many lessons from our trial of losing Miles.
We have both grown in ways that we never imaged.
We are grateful for these life lessons and the way we are being shaped and molded each day by our Heavenly Father as we endure the refiner's fire. We pray daily that we as we endure the heat of the fire we are becoming the gems that he intends us to be.
I just wish these learning experiences weren't because of the loss of our son Miles.
But I suppose we don't get to chose our trials.
We are truly being changed each day.
Our perspectives in life have changed, the way we view others has changed and most of what is important in this life is more clear.
We are not the same people we were 8 months ago.
We are changed for forever.
Sometimes we mourn our old selves a little.
But most of all we are grateful for who we are becoming.
I appreciated the words in a devotional recently by Jo Anne Kay who said "We … will never be the same after going through our trials and challenges in this life, and that is the whole purpose. We skin our knees and bloody our hands as we struggle against the sharp rocks. But in the process, we are transformed into stronger, more loving, more compassionate, more sensitive individuals. Trials, when viewed from an eternal perspective, bring wisdom and gratitude."
Throughout this trial our faith has been and is continuing to be tested greatly.
I never would have imaged that the loss of my first born would be one of my greatest trials in life.
There are hard days, good days, happy days, and sorrowful days. Sometimes all of them in one day.
But within each day we try to keep the faith.
It's truly what we hold on to with all our strength.
Faith in our Heavenly Father.
Faith that if he trusts us with this trial then we can endure it.
Faith that we will not only see, embrace and love but be fully reunited with Miles and our entire family again.
Having faith isn't always the easiest to exercise.
Often times fear is overwhelms us during our trials.
It's ever present during trials and sometimes much easier to focus on.
Fear of the future, fear of the unknown, fear of the exact trial we are facing.
With fear comes confusion, frustration and hopelessness.
It's hard to combat.
Mark and I have learned that fear and faith cannot coexist.
This is a new slogan in our life.
We have to chose to hold onto faith.
We have to chose to exercise faith.
We have to rely on and live in faith.
It's a choice we have to make everyday of our lives.
Although it's not always easy to live in faith, we have to chose faith over fear each day.
It's what keeps us going.
It's what Miles wants us to do.
I know we all have trials in life.
Some are harder than others, and come at different times in life.
It is through those trials that we become our better selves.
We become what we are intended to be; if we allow ourselves to be molded and refined.
It's not an easy process.
With it comes pain that is not only physical but also mental and emotional.
But if we chose to exercise faith over fear I know that we will become stronger and better people.
Harold C. Brown said "Our goal must be to find the good that can result from our challenges. God in His great wisdom and love will do what is best for us and those around us, if we will but turn to Him and have faith in Him. It will often require enduring experiences that are not pleasant or easy, but enduring them with faith will eventually result in greater blessings for us and certainly a blessing to those who watch how we handle these difficult challenges."
I believe this with all my soul.
I pray that as people watch us endure our trials they may find the strength to endure their own with faith.