Encouragement · Faith · Family · Relationship

Count your Blessings

I started counting my Blessings: being a mother, enjoying a long and loving marriage, our healthy sons, and a purposeful life.

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We’ve all experienced tragedies that we thought would follow us forever and stop the beating of our heart.

When Ryan was killed in the fire, my heart stopped and all I could see and hear was, “NOOOOO!”

There was no Blessing there on the frontage road in South Texas.

And it was emotionally exhausting to search for the Blessing.

It took me 14 years to get my ‘focus’ back.

But once I found it, it was like hitting a gusher.

I let it run down my face like oil and all the way down to my toes.  

A record-breaking gusher of Blessings!

One big “Yes” overpowering the “NO!

I want to tell you the secret of how I found my big “YES!”

blessings

The Blessing that’s bigger than any Curse.

We’ll look together here next time.

Dawn           

Faith

Caught in the Crossfire

I believe that death is basically random and most of us are simply caught in the crossfire.

frozen cartoon man

Many of us are frozen in the right place but, at the wrong time.

They tell us that if we can just get to the right place we’ll be safe.

Ryan
Ryan

But you read about victims who are innocent bystanders. 

“She didn’t mean to get in the way. But she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.” 

Here’s the thing, some think that God lies on his flat belly, taking potshots at us from a cloud. 

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We even say the death of those we love is the “Will of God.”

I’m saying, Corral your paranoia, God is Love. There’s no target on your back.”

Dawn    

 Feel free to drop into my daily Instagram posts @dawnraymondhirn

Faith · Hope · wounded healer · wounded Mother

The first heart to break

I believe that life is not selective and that all people, no matter who and where they are, are not singled out for disaster.hurricane

Think about Katrina in Louisiana or 9/11 in New York.

Are they SERIOUS when they call those disasters ‘‘acts of God’’?

When a disaster is so beyond explanation, ”It must be God-at-work.”

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Think about it, we look at the destructive power of Nature, and we see that it’s out of control.

So we blame it on god. Even the insurance guys peddle protection against “acts of God.”

Do you really believe God singled out New Orleans and Manhattan?

Let me ask you a personal question.

Be honest.

Do you believe that God did and does all that chaos and damage, not to mention the killing?

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Ryan’s roadside cross in Texas 

I said it last week and I’m saying it again.

God’s is the first heart to break.

God’s is the first tear to fall.

dawn

 

Encouragement · Faith · Hope

A love that overcomes punishment

To set the record straight, I don’t think that “punishment” is God’s M.O.

spanking

God’s great Heart overflows with love.

That has been believed again and again through the centuries.

After the accident, it got so frickin’ hard for me to steer clear of fear of the Wrath of God.

Like I needed to carry around a lightning rod.

It’s easy to think that when we do something wrong God is eager to punish us.

Why would we think that?

Because we think God is like us, and we are a sad girlpunishing people!

Despite my battle scars, I have realized that God was not punishing Ron and me for something we’d done that caused Ryan’s death.

Original Love
Original Love

Underneath every tragic thing is “Original Love.”

Dawn    

To be continued…

Daily Instagram inspiration @dawnraymondhirn      

Faith · Family travel · Hope

My questions / Hopes’ answers

I’ve told you some of my deepest questions. Now I want to show you some of Hope’s answers:???

– I no longer believe that God is punishing Ron and me for Ryan’s death.

I no longer believe that God arranged our accident or any accident. God is LOVE.

–I believe that life is not selective. All people, whatever their color, creed, or cash are not singled out for disaster.

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Trenton and Colton in Jaipur, India

-I believe that death is basically random and we are simply caught in the crossfire.

These are my blessings, and sometimes my curse.

Dawn   

I want us to unpack each of these gifts in the next few weeks.  

Join me daily Instagram@ dawnraymondhirn

Faith · Family travel · Hope · Relationship

My heart / God’s home

Pre-accident, I only knew God from a distance, more like a ‘sky-God.’

Many of us were taught how to pray to the ‘sky-God’ in heaven. woman & cross keem-ibarra-560576-unsplash

After the accident, I found God, or God found me, and I learned that prayer is conversational.

God had come to live in my heart, not in the sky.

As my Faith grew, I began to grow too.

I was given Wisdom, a spoonful at a time.

For instance, I realized that Ryan was a Gift given to me, not a Gift taken away. 

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Ryan ’94

From the beginning, I felt honored that God entrusted Ryan to me, but more than that, God entrusted himself to me in an intimate ‘horizontal’ relationship.

dawn

Feel free to comment or add your story.

 

Faith · Hope · wounded Mother

When Faith comes to town

One of 2 things happen when we decide to trust God:ff at 9:11.jpeg

  1. It can blow our private world view apart, shaking the foundations of the world we live in and the world that lives in us.                                                                            Sometimes it shoves us down under the rubble at our private ground zero, searching for any signs of life there.

Or,

      2. Faith can gather together all our loose ends.

Funny how Faith is like Crazy Glue.

It holds everything together.

I know it seems like the coming of God into our lives would be a peaceful, easy thing.

But consider what Faith has blown apart in our lives. IMG_5046

For me, it was the old world I’d been living in. It was the world that was not working in my present life.Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 3.35.33 PM

My adolescent Faith with an adolescent God was not working anymore.

Faith blew it apart and made a space for Grace.

Grace in the shape of an Accident.

dawn

 

 

Hope you’ll join me on my daily IG @dawnraymondhirn

Encouragement · Faith · Hope · Parenting

My God was too small

My relationship with God had never been challenged before the accident.

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Tyler’s baptism ’99

My faith was on autopilot.

I never really needed that much from God.

My life was mostly of joy.

Ron and I baptized the kids, said our prayers, and went to church.

We even put two kids in religious school.

What more could God want?

We were a happy household until the accident.

That’s when I learned that my God was too small and If I was to survive everything I had to find a bigger God.

It all started with the question of heaven.

I knew that if I didn’t believe in heaven I’d never see Ryan again.

So I took a leap of faith.Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 2.38.24 PM

It seemed like the next natural move.

We’ll dig into it next week…

dawn

 

Encouragement · Faith · Grief · Hope

Our Journey together on the Grief Train

Remember every STOP:   Denial. Anger. Depression. Survival. Acceptance.

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The Grief Train

 

So, here’s the first stop.

Denial.

Which means, “This is a nightmare I’m going to wake up out of, and Ryan will still be here.” Don’t be shocked at that. None of us are prepared to entertain the thought, “it never happened” for very long. You’ve thought it, now feel it. Nobody knows how long each Stop lasts.

Maybe, for some of us, the rest of our life.

rail stat eric-muhr-636819-unsplash.jpgFor instance, we build a home at the next Stop(the Anger Stop) because we ’re still mad at God, or someone else.

Of course, we are!

Don’t deny your anger!

Feel it…

The church often tells those of us in grief, “don’t be mad at God!”

I say, “Be as mad as you need to be. God can take it.”

So, spend as much time as you need there.

You might even find you need to return to this Stop again and again.

It’s OK. You’re the engineer.

There will always be the opportunity to move forward or return to this Stop.

God built that into our Journey together.

girl thinking railroad kyle-broad-29486-unsplash

So maybe you’ve left the Anger Stop for now, and Depression has set in. (Mine lasted twelve years.)

You’re on the pills longer than you wanted.

Don’t stew over the length of your stay.

Just survive. It is enough just to survive.

Stop at the Survival Stop. There’s a red light there. Stop. Don’t run it.

And remember God doesn’t take shortcuts, so stick as close to Him as you can.

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Where you are right now is not necessarily your ultimate destination.

 

And if you need to invent a world where tragedy doesn’t happen, invent the world.

 

Or, reinvent your world.

 

I’m wondering where you see yourself on “The Grief Train?”

dawn

 

Monday..  my personal journey…

 

Encouragement · Faith · Hope · wounded healer

Scars On Jesus’ Hands

 

A major turning point for me came when I tied together the way Tyler held out his hands to me and the way Jesus held out his hands to his friends.

Focus on those hands for a minute.  See the holes in his hands and remember the giant hole in his side from a well-aimed Roman spear? There’s nothing he could do to make the scars go away because, just like ours, his scars are permanent.

Think about the way he honored his scars.

I’m thinking about “Doubting Thomas.” He told them that he would not believe unless he saw and touched the scars. Because somehow Jesus’ scars are at the Center of his life story.

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And my scars are the Center of my life story and I can’t get away from them.  I don’t need to tell you that people do not want to look at our scars. And they even encourage us sometimes to hide them, as if Jesus wore gloves for the rest of his natural life.

Jesus had scars like ours: Physical scars. Emotional scars. Mental scars. His scars were the proof of his single-minded Love for the whole world.fullsizeoutput_3dc4

Our minds don’t tell us the truth always.

 

But our scars always do.

They tell us what is most perfect about our body and soul.

There is a story behind every scar that we carry. 

Listen to your scars.

 

dawn

Share this freely.

#myscars #ryanshines