Encouragement · Faith · Grief · wounded Mother

Good news and Bad news

I mentioned last time that I am beginning to find the beauty in my scars and to honor that beauty. It’s easy to say, but it’s taken me 17 years (one day at a time) to get to where I can even talk to you about it today.

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I showed you what the fire did to my legs. That scarring has been hard enough to deal with.

But there’s another scar deeper than the scars on my legs, it’s the scar behind any scar on my body.

It’s the scar that won’t heal, that chases me wherever I go.

It’s the scar way deeper than any scar you can see with the naked eye.

It is the scar that Ryan’s death left on my heart.

I see the scars on my legs every day but they always lead me back to Ryan’s face.

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Ryan

I WILL NEVER OVERCOME THAT! How can a mother overcome the death of her child? She can’t.

Let’s say God came to me during the first days of my loss and said, “Dawn, I have good news and bad news for you, which do you want first?”

And I say, “Lord, give me the bad news first.”

And God says, “ It’s gonna take you 17 years to really begin to see the Light.”

And I say, “ I can’t make it 17 years, not 7 years, not 7 hours.”

And God says, “ But that’s exactly where the good news comes in. You’re gonna make it.  You’ re not going to kill yourself. We’re gonna go thru it together. And you’ll come out on the other side a stronger person,  with a Mission the size of which you can’t comprehend right now.”

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To you, friend, I’m going to say the same thing to you that God said to me, “ We are going to get thru this together.”

I mean it!

dawn

Stay tuned..

http://www.ryanshines.com

Encouragement · Hope · wounded Mother

Show and Tell

If I’m an authority on anything, it’s me. And what’s taught me more of myself than anything are my scars.

Dawn, the ultimate recycler!

It’s a funny thing about scars, especially physical scars, and I have plenty. My instinct is to want to hide them. I’m bombarded with commercials that tell us that a life without scars is possible. It’s a lie.

Everybody has scars.

Whether they’re physical or psychological. Early in our lives, we’re taught how to hide our imperfections(thank God for Clearasil). Which is strange because one of the few things that we all share in common is imperfection. In other words, in our scars.

I’m going out on a limb here to show you my legs, my scars from the fire that took my 7-year-olds life and burned over 25% of our other son, 2-year-old, Tyler, and my husband and me. What I’m showing you are the scars that I carried away from this tragedy.

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My Scars

I guess what I’m thinking is that if I show you mine, you might show me yours. Will you?

dawn

#myscars

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Encouragement · Faith · Hope · wounded Mother

Is there Light in every darkness?

When I saw Ron without Ryan in his arms, all I could see was a NO written across my heart in indelible ink.

I assume you’re familiar with ‘the big NO,’ right? I’m wondering if you found Light in your own darkness? Or is that too naive?

With time, I began to see a little Light, like a nightlight in the corner. It wasn’t as bright as I wished, but it was Light, and I decided to take what I could get.

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When I began to focus on the Light, instead of the darkness, I saw that the Light began to intensify.

That’s when I learned 2 things:

  1. There is no power in the darkness that can extinguish this little Light of ours.

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      2. And if you look closely, you will find that your Light has a face. In my case, it was      my 2-year-old son, Tyler, who became the human face of God for me.

dawn

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#ryanshines#lightindarkness

Faith · Hope · wounded healer · wounded Mother

From “Why me, Lord?” to Why me, Lord?

At first, I felt robbed when Ryan died. Like, “Why me, Lord?” Where’s my miracle since You are the Supreme Being on the Supreme Court?

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I grew up believing that God can fix what’s broken, or at least, give a heads-up. But we were hung out to dry. No warning. So, naturally, I began to look for who to blame. I finally said it face-to-face,

“It’s all Your fault, God.”

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This rocked my Friendship with God, and if I’m not mistaken, we broke up for a while because placing blame was the only way I knew to get clear of this. To shed my skin like a snake and move on.

But as time passed, I discovered the real Answer to the question, “Why me, Lord?”

What did I do to deserve this Grace? Nothing.

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That’s when I realized this is about God, not me. Grace is a gift from the hand of God whose face looks very much like my 2-year-old, Tyler, my little miracle worker.

 

Why me, Lord?

Dawn

If there is someone in your orbit who needs this, please share.

#ryanshines#grace

 

 

 

Faith · Family · wounded Mother

Everything happens for a Reason

If I had a nickel for every time someone told me there’s a ‘Reason’ for Ryan dying, I’d be rich. As if it was all part of the Plan.

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At first, it brought me comfort, because that meant that nothing was my fault.

It’s all ‘on God.’

But the older I get and the deeper I understand God, I realize that there is not a ‘Reason’ behind everything happening. Some things are just plain wrong and that’s all there is to it. Like the Holocaust. There is no good ‘Reason’ behind it. It’s insane is what it is! It is pure wickedness and you can’t clean it up by coming up with a ‘Reason.’

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It’s the same with Ryan.

I’m not denying that good things haven’t come from his dying. His 2 brothers, Trenton and Colton, wouldn’t be here if Ryan had lived.

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Trenton & Colton

But that ’s not enough to convince me that Ryan needed to be ‘gotten out of the way’ for our future to continue.

Be careful when you say that ‘God engineers everything that happens.’ Because, if we know anything about God, it’s that “God is Love.”

dawn

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Faith · Hope · wounded Mother

A Severe Mercy

Our tragedy shows us a clear picture of the Mercy of God when he entered the fire and took Ryan home just before the possibility of Ryan burning up in horrible pain.

God saved Ryan not ‘from’ the fire but ‘in’ the fire.

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Ryan was in shock so God came to him and took him Home before the fire could eat him alive. I have to believe that to survive this.  Besides, this is what God does, right? Mercy is God’s middle name.

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Nobody gets out of this life without needing Mercy on a daily basis.

When we hurt the people we love,  if there is no Mercy in the equation, then the relationship is often lost. We give Mercy, and we receive Mercy.

The clearest picture of Mercy I’ve ever seen is when Ryan was trapped in the backseat, in such shock that he couldn’t unlock his seat belt.

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So, in Mercy, God himself came to Ryan to do what Ryan couldn’t do for himself. God freed him, took him into his arms, and carried him Home before the fire got it’s wicked wish to destroy him.

I believe that at the end of time when I meet God face-to-face, he will smell like smoke. Because, to me, that’s how Mercy smells.

dawn

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#ryanshines#mercy

Perfecting Dysfunction · wounded healer · wounded Mother

Taking a bullet for your child

I swore that I would take a bullet for my sons.

But when it came down to it, I ducked. I knew I would take that bullet, but when it comes down to it our instinct is to save ourselves. That’s very hard for me to admit because I don’t want to be like that.

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I fully expected not to leave the fire without my babies in my arms. If I’m not responsible for my children, who is?

When you think about it, Life is a series of choices. And the choices are ours. Yours may not be as dramatic as mine but you have to admit every day and every night we are bombarded with choices.

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It’s why some of us can’t sleep.

There are things that happen to us in life that are not our choice. Like Ryan dying in the fire, or somebody ‘gets’ cancer. They didn’t choose it.

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But that’s when we learn the deepest truth about choices. It doesn’t matter nearly enough what happens to us as what we do with ‘what happens to us.’

dawn