Saturday, December 15, 2012

Be courageous! I have conquered the world.

My heart thudded in my chest. I had not been to a women's event in quite some time. I forgot the emotions that swell up when surrounded by kindred spirits, our stories all intertwined into a single thread that makes up the joy and heartbreak of womanhood. Angela Thomas was speaking to my soul. My senses were heightened, everything felt heavy with meaning. The college girl beside, her bible lovingly worn and highlighted open on her lap. My prayer for the past few months for a vision and a hope for the future. The vagueness I saw ahead. My gapingly empty wallet. The oaks and FL sun above. My mom by my side, her phone in her lap, awaiting any news on her brother, Dennis, who lay in a hospice bed back home crippled by cancer they discovered just 6 months ago, a 52 year old father of three. No news. Heaviness. Life.

Thud. Thud.
Thud. Thud.

Angela, in her effortless and beautiful way was telling a story of one of her sons who was running his first 5k at age eight. His older brother had left him behind early in the race and now the eight year old was running alone. After awaiting his arrival at the finish line, scanning the horizon for painstakingly long he topped the hill and made is way to the cheering crowd and the arms of his adoring, relieved mom. Breathless he musters up his analysis... "Mom, it was soooo hard... And it was all up hill at the end."

"let us run with endurance the race that is set before us," Hebrews 12:1

It was all I could do to hold back weeping.

Thud thud.
Thud thud.

Why does it have to be soooo hard?

If there is one thing that I have learned over the past few years is that good or bad, rich or poor, inside or outside of faith there is no escaping the hardness of life. And God never promises this either. No matter how many rules you obey, how devote you may be, how careful you play your cards, how many good deeds you do, the heartbreaking, oftentimes crippling, hardness finds its way through. Heaviness.

John 16:33 "You will have suffering in this world..."

Pslams 34:19 "Many are the afflictions of the righteous..."

It has been over a week now since I sat beneath those oaks and under the teaching of Angela Thomas. And today my entire family came together to mourn the loss of and celebrate the life of their brother and father, my uncle Dennis. You see, on December 9th, 2012 more hardness settled into our lives. My mom did indeed get the call with news that her brother had slipped the surly bonds of earth and was now in the presence of Jesus, his Jesus.

Today our hearts broke for his young family and yet we were filled with laughter of the memories of this comical, curious and thoughtful man's life and were filled with joy for the knowledge of what and Who we knew Dennis had lived for here on earth and with Who we all knew he was now spending his eternity with in heaven.

You see on the other side of every verse in the bible that speaks of suffering there is hope.

John 16:33 "You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world."

Pslams 34:19 "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all."

In the end, on the other side of every struggle, every heartbreak, every battle, every long, grueling race "that was all up hill at the end," the Lord prevails. Jesus wins. And we have hope.

4 comments:

Devon December 18, 2012 at 3:08 PM  

So good.

Aunt Cathy, you biggest fan December 26, 2012 at 10:47 AM  

Beautiful. So beautiful. You ARE a writer.

Heidi December 27, 2012 at 12:13 AM  

Your words are so full of heart. And so eloquent.

So sorry for your family's loss.

terrellmama December 31, 2012 at 8:40 AM  

Beautiful Carrie. <3

About Caroline

I decided my destiny was to be an artist at age five when I won an honorable mention in a art competition in kindergarten. Ever since then I have been following a dream that has manifested itself in a variety of rewarding and delightful ways. I have practiced in the field of graphic design for over 8 years and recently acquired my Masters in Graphic Design at NC State University in Raleigh, NC (check out my design portfolio by clicking here if you like). But a passion that has stuck with me ever since I got my hands on my first Nikon camera in my undergraduate art education at Florida State University is photography. The instruction I received there was but a seed in what would develop over the next years of my life. Recently I have begun photographing people in their celebrations of life and could not feel any more blessed to be a part of capturing those memories.

About This Blog

A great american writer once wrote, "If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world, and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan my day." EB White penned the thoughts of my own heart. One part of me is a graphic designer working to challenge the world, seeking out problems and striving to create avenues for change. The other part is seeking out the beauties of the world and working to capture them in our memories forever through photography. This is what you will find here. Me enjoying the world. I have been truly fortunate to photograph such incredible people at truly beautiful moments in life. I can only hope that the images I've collected will forever keep alive those thoughts and emotions that swelled in their hearts and minds that day.

If you are interested in having me capture your life moments you can contact me by clicking here.

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