Tag Archives: God

The Mountain or the Molehill

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It is hard to believe in just a couple of days it will be 5 years since my momma went to be with my daddy in Heaven. Every year it’s hard and this year is no different. It has been a while since I wrote on here, but I thought this would be a good time to share something I had written a while back. I shared this as a devotion at my church recently. Maybe it can help someone else who might be going through the same thing.

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My mom and I in 2007

The Mountain or the Molehill

In the early weeks of January 2012, my preacher preached a sermon and encouraged us, in order to grow our faith and strength of character in God, we needed to ask Him for a mountain. In asking God for that mountain, we were acknowledging that God would walk the mountain with us or move it if we had enough faith.

I know the power of words and what a brilliant listener God is. I was afraid to ask for a mountain because I knew if I asked God for it, He would give it to me. So instead, I bowed my head that day, and I requested a molehill.

Just a few short weeks after that sermon, God answered the prayer. If what I received was only a molehill, I’m glad I didn’t ask for the mountain.

My mother was in remission, from stage-4 lung cancer with mets to the brain, for almost a year. We were planning a cruise. It was her dream vacation. On this particular morning, the day before we planned to leave, I walked out of the kitchen, where we just had breakfast together. Moments after I walked away, I heard a dreadfully loud crash. I rushed back into the kitchen to find my mother sitting on the floor with her leg and hip bent unnaturally. I knew when I saw it that my mom had broken her hip. The cruise was a trip she would never take.

Less than a month later, while she was recovering in the hospital, she began to talk crazy and say bizarre things. An MRI showed new spots on her brain. In February, they gave us the news. There was nothing more to do. They gave her six months.

I was devastated. I had lost my father in 2009, and now it was inevitable that my mother would join him soon. The brain mets combined with the hip fracture left her unable to walk, she was wheelchair and pretty much bed bound. Initially, she went to a nursing home, but it lasted merely a few weeks. I couldn’t stand the thought of my mother spending her final days in a strange place away from her family. My husband and I packed her up and brought her to our home. Hoping my two-year-old daughter, who my momma named Stormy, would bring her some joy in her final days.

It was hard. It was more than hard, I was working a full-time job from home and dividing my time between it, my husband, daughter, and mother. It was nearly impossible, without God it would have been impossible. But, I was now momma’s sole personal caretaker. I took her to the bathroom, bathed her, prepared for her and sometimes fed her meals. It was exhausting, but it was something I knew I willing to do, something I truly believe I was born to do. People would often ask me how I did it. My answer was always “Through the Grace of God.” Towards the end, mom weighed over 150 lbs. and lifting her was harder each time. Still, I mustered the strength through my God and did just that.

There were moments I would turn up momma’s TV and go outside on the porch and scream as loud as I could. I wasn’t screaming at God. I was screaming at this horrible Cancer that was taking my momma from me. There were times when I wondered how long I could do it. But, I knew what it would mean if I didn’t have to support her anymore. I knew that when I stopped having to do those things, then she was gone from me.

There was a moment at the beginning of the 7th month after they told us we had only six left that I could see she was declining fast. It was getting harder to lift her. Her strength was failing at an alarming rate. When I stood her up from the couch on this day, I held her close and hugged her. It was hard to hold her up. She was heavy, and I was tired. I had been her caretaker so much those last few months that I had forgotten to be her daughter. I hugged her close and told her how much I loved her. She held on as tight as she could. Her strength was gone by now. That day I sat at the breakfast table and fed her. She was too weak to lift a spoon of oatmeal. It would be the last time we talked because after this day she was too weak, even to talk.

I told her how much I loved her. I told her what a wonderful mother and friend she had been to me. All the things we hope we can tell someone we love before they die. She was by far the strongest person I have ever known. But, on that morning, I told her that it was okay for her not to be strong anymore. That is was OK. The last words besides “I love you” that my mother ever spoke to me were, “Now YOU will need to be strong.”

Less than a week later, my mom passed away surrounded by friends and family and totally at peace.

I often think back to that January morning when my preacher told us to ask for a mountain. Part of me wishes I would have asked for nothing at all. Part of me is glad I only asked for a molehill. And, yet the other part, deep in my soul, knows that even though I asked for the molehill God gave me the mountain because he knew that with Him I could cross to the other side.

 

I will leave you with this 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

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God Was Going To Drink Her?

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Today my brother and ten-year-old nephew were sitting in my living room looking over a photo book I had recently made of our cruise vacation.

As they looked over the pictures, my brother came to this one…

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His eyes lit up and his heart warmed. He said to my nephew,“and to think she was made in a cup.”

For those of you who may not know, my husband and I were married 18 years and trying for a baby before we finally sought out the help of fertility specialist. We had In-Vitro 3 times before one finally stuck.

That beautiful little girl who was made in petrie dish is our pride and joy.

My nephew, though he probably knows as we talk about it often, he likely doesn’t realize what In-Vitro actually means. Who knows if he even really knows how a baby is conceived the normal way.

So my brother said, “and to think she was made in a cup.”

And my nephew immediately, and with complete seriousness followed with, “So God was going to drink her?”

Oh, how I love that boy!

Happy Anniversary, Honey!!

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It is hard to believe, that twenty-two years ago today, I said “I DO” to the man of my dreams, Tony.

Young Love 22 Years ago today!

Young Love 22 Years ago today!

Thinking back we were such babies. I had just turned 21 and he still had a few months to go. I know we were way too young to get married. It took years for us to really figure out who we were. But, I wouldn’t change it for a thing. I would marry him again tomorrow.

We met the old fashioned way, cruising. No not the kind of cruising you do on a boat, but cruising around in our cars, hanging out with our friends. Well, at least that is the way we did it here in Georgia back in 90’s.

He was with his buddy in little pick-up truck. I think it was a Ford. I was driving the big brown 1977 Cadillac that had belonged to my grandfather. It is important to note that the dragging muffler, which was annoying, was actually the only reason I met my future husband. So here is to all those dragging mufflers out there! CHEERS!

His eyes were the first thing I saw when he looked through the window and into the car. There was something in those eyes, familiarity, hope, intrigue. A short while later we began dating.

Ours was a rocky relationship. During our first year of dating were broke up as often as we were together. And they were HARSH break-ups. But something always seemed to pull us back to each other.

Our last break-up ended with him doing something stupid (they always do right!). But I didn’t let it go and cussed him out in a very populated area where his and my friends were. It was brutal. And we went our separate ways.

Fast forward a few months. I was dating 3 guys, not serious with any of them, but I was “OVER” the dating scene. I am not perfect but I have a faith in my God and when I realized that I was ready to settle down, I laid down one night and before I went to bed I prayed that God would show me which one of those boys it would be.

Imagine my surprise when I woke up the next morning and realized I had dreamed about Tony.  “It was a fluke,” I told myself. That is crazy. There is no way Tony is the one!

And so, the next night I prayed the same prayer. Guess who I dreamed about? Yep, Tony.  I was actually a little ticked at God. I mean why would he keep shoving Tony in my face when he clearly wasn’t one of my choices.

Day three and you guessed it, I dreamed of Tony again. By now I was like, “whatever”. I knew God had good intentions, but I mean Tony and our break-up was brutal. I mean, severe. But, since I do believe that God answers prayers, I finally found the nerve to call Tony later that day.

It is funny, I don’t remember the call word for word, but it went something like this.

“Hey, it’s Shelly.”
“Hey, what is up.”

“Not much, just thought I would call and say hi.”

“Cool, you wanna come hang out tonight?”

Yeah, after humiliating him in the parking lot, he asked me to come and hang out that night.
I went.

Later that night while we were hanging out, before I had a chance to tell him about my dream, I heard him tell a buddy of his that this was the girl he was going to marry. I knew that to be true. I mean, I had inside information.

His proposal came a few months later.
We had gone shopping for Christmas presents, but he dropped me off at the mall and then went his own way. I knew he was looking for a ring and expected him to ask me on Christmas Eve.

When he picked me back up from the mall that day, I asked him if he found what he was looking for and he said he did.

The drive home from the mall to his parents’ house, which is where we were headed, was only about thirty-minutes. But about half way through on the side of the East-West Connecter in Austell, Georgia, he pulled the car over.

He said he needed to “check” on something. After going to the trunk, he came around to my side of the car and opened my door. He got down on his knee, in the grass, on the side of the road and asked me to marry him. I, of course, said YES!

Some people may think that it wasn’t a romantic proposal. But the truth was it was extra romantic, because he wanted to ask me “SO BAD” that he couldn’t even wait until we got home. He was so excited to ask me to be a part of his life that he pulled over on a busy road. If that isn’t romantic, I don’t know what is!

And today we celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary!

I love you babe and I am so happy that God chose you for me! — The picture below was in 2012 but I love it!!

2012 Cruise

2012 Cruise

A letter to my Pastor

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I wrote a letter to my pastor today and I realized when I was done that it was more than just a letter to him. It was my testimony and it deserved to be shared with all of you. So here it is:

Pastor Rick,

I just wanted to write you and tell you how much I appreciate you and Tonya. I have been telling my husband “I rebuke his thoughts” for years when he says stuff like. “I am getting sick.” “We are never going to get out of debt.” “We are never going to have a child.”

Your declaration sermon this past week really hit home. Tony (My husband) is better now. He doesn’t talk the way he did in the past but sometimes I hear those negative words coming out of his mouth and I rebuke them.

To tell you a little about us:

I was raised in a FIRE AND BRIMSTONE — HELL AND DAMNATION Church of God. And while I do admit I got saved because it literally SCARED THE DEVIL out of me at a very young age. I found it tiring and mentally exhausting to go to church every Sunday. I then went the opposite way and changed to a United Methodist Church (where I graduated high school) the sermons here left me lacking and wanting more. In the Church of God the Flock was at least lively and active. In the United Methodist the Flock simply sat staring and the man talking on the stage. Occasionally you would hear someone whisper an “Amen.”

My husband on the other hand was not raised in Church at all. It was a loving home but not a Godly home.

When we got married at the tender age of 21 I simply quit going to church. I was not happy at church at that time and Tony wasn’t used to going anyways. It was easy to justify not going to church. I mean I watched Church on TV on Sunday that was good enough, right……

When we got married I said that GOD was going to be my birth control. My mom had come close to getting Cancer from Birth Control Pills and I didn’t want to take that chance. A few years into our marriage and we wanted to have children and it just wasn’t happening. We went to a specialist and eventually found out my tubes were blocked. GOOD JOB GOD! That is one way to apply birth control. But now Tony and I wanted children. The only problem was in order to fix this we would need In-Vitro. This was in the late 1990’s and coming up with the $100 it took to go to the doctor was a hard task for us, much less trying to come up with $40K for In-Vitro.

We went back to our lives, knowing now that God really was our Birth Control. I prayed every day that God would open my tubes and give us a child. Tony began to drink. He escaped into the world of alcohol and gave up on the thought of a child. Maybe it was the woman in me but I could never ever give up that thought. I knew I was going to have a child even if that meant adoption. I WAS MEANT to be a mother. I KNEW it as well as I KNEW my own name.

Years passed 1996 turned into 2006 and Christopher Reeves (SUPERMAN’s) Wife died of Lung Cancer. She was not a smoker but a heavy drinker. Something inside Tony Clicked when this happened and he put down the Alcohol. Cold Turkey. DONE.

Things began to change; we started to work towards getting our finances in order with DAVE RAMSEY. In July of 2008 we were able to move out of a home that was eating us alive in payments and buy a home that was almost double the size and half the payments. GOD WAS GOOD.

In October of 2008 my company changed insurance plans. They are based out of NJ and when I read through the new plan at first I thought. This can’t be true……But it was. In NJ it is mandatory that you get the option of full coverage IN-VITRO and all other infertility treatments in your insurance plan.

I remember when I realized that this was true and about to happen. I sat down on the stairs of our new home that GOD had given us and cried like a baby tears of happiness.

It wasn’t easy. Satan threw things at us along the way. In 2009 while I was getting my tubes removed in preparation for In-Vitro my dad was in the hospital going through Kidney failure and in the process getting kicked out of their home (a small trailer near the lake – they said they didn’t want him to fall and sue them…). My parents moved into my living room.

They had told us that my tubes were THE ONLY thing wrong with me so getting pregnant should be easy. The first time it failed. I was devastated, HEARTBROKEN. I wondered WHY God had opened all these doors for us only to shut them in our face. The second time it failed again. We tried a 3rd time this was going to be the last for a while. I was tired. In case you don’t know IN-VITRO is hard work. There are bi-weekly doctor’s appointments multiple self given shots in a single day. It is a physical and emotional rollercoaster. But when I saw that word “Pregnant” come up on a home pregnancy test I have never been happier in my entire life.

During all this my mom was diagnosed with Cancer (She died September 2012) and my dad would die in 2009 when I was only 13 weeks pregnant. Bittersweet heartbreak but I knew the child I was carrying was my reason for living. She gave me hope again.

Our sweet bundle of Joy that we named STORMY was born on APRIL FOOLS DAY! After she was born Tony and I both agreed that we had to thank GOD for what he did for us, what he gave to us. We took our baby girl to my mother’s church (The HELLFIRE AND BRIMSTONE Church) and had her dedicated to Christ. We knew this wasn’t the church for us so we began to search for ours. We went back to the United Methodist Church I graduated from and although I love the pastor and he had good messages, the congregation was so sullen. It felt like they were just going through the rituals for getting to church on Sunday morning.

My best friend’s mother-in-law sweet Gail Yarbrough had been trying to get us to come to Bethany for years. Too bad we waited until she was gone to do just that.

I remember that first Sunday sitting in the parking lot and watching everyone I MEAN EVERYONE come in wearing jeans. I remember being judgmental and wondering what we were doing at a church who didn’t bother to dress up for God. This was how I was raised in BOTH churches after all.

But once inside I knew. I had the answer. They weren’t dressing up to please the other members; they were going to church in WHATEVER they had to worship and LOVE God. To simply hear the WORD of GOD. The GOOD NEWS…. Live life and HAVE GOOD Days.

I am so Thankful for you and Bethany and mostly to MY GOD who placed us there.

18 years after we were married and made that vow that GOD would be my birth control, I had my daughter. Truer words have never been spoken, “God’s ways are not our ways.” But I am so thankful that he is a GOOD GOD. And by DECLARING those words “I WILL BE A MOTHER.” For so many years, it came true.

I am sorry to have rambled for so long but I thought it was time I shared our story with you and thanked you for what you and Bethany are to us. Home.

Filled with God’s Blessing even in the darkest hours,
Shelly & Tony Taylor (& Stormy too)