Asher Bradley Beyer

On November 21, 2016, what was left of my world as I knew it, crumbled.  Destruction. Rubble. Ashes.  I look back now and I should have seen it coming….but I didn’t.  Not at all.

2 1/2 years ago…at the beginning of a season of deep, deep pain, God set a little light in my life, in my home.  He saved me in ways that words don’t encompass.  And this past November, four days before Thanksgiving, he was taken away from me.  Abruptly. ..with no time to adjust or process.  He was taken to strangers and left to assimilate on his own…with nothing and no one familiar. We did what we could, not knowing who these strangers were, or if they were good.  Four days ago, a judge ruled against me.  She decided that everything I had done and been to that sweet light was nothing in the eyes of the law.  She decided I was just a grandma.  But I know differently.  I saved him.  And he saved me.  And someday he will know that I fought for him.

So where do I go from here…when yet again, everything I pictured for my future was blown to bits in a matter of seconds?

First, I grieve.  I am beginning the process of walking out the excruciating pain of what has been done to him.  To me.  To his Auntie Bug.  To his Opa.  To his sweet Jill.  To our whole family.

Second, I build relationship with these strangers….because they are truly, truly good.  I long for them to be family, no longer strangers.  They are not who I believed them to be. They love our little man.  And it is good for him to be part of their family now.

And finally, I learn to be a regular grandma.  My heart doesn’t want to be regular, normal, typical.  My heart wants my boy like he’s always been.  With me.  In my home.  In his bed every night.  But I see now, that he will not have to grow up wondering why all his friends’ parents are so much younger.  He will not have to wonder why he doesn’t have a dad.  He will have a regular grandma and grandpa, his Oma and Opa.

I will not live in bitterness.  I refuse to be a victim.  I will choose forgiveness.  I just need some time to find my way.

I know in my heart that Asher will never have just a regular place inside of me.  He will not ever be just a grandson.  He was the boy I was scared to raise but who became like a son.  I appreciated every cry, every tantrum, every sleepless night with him in a way I  never understood with my first four.  I was terrified to try again….but I said yes….and I don’t regret a single day.  And I never will.

Oma loves you sweet boy…..and now I will teach you how to Rise.


 

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Up Against a Wall.

Let’s just be real. I’ve been hurt. Over and over again. And then some more after that. By lots of people. Most of them family. But before you run away, thinking I’m going to talk about how sorry you should feel for me, don’t. Because I’m not.

But today I feel like I’m barely breathing.  The heart pain has become physical pain.  I feel like I’ve lost everything.  My husband, my grandson, my daughter.  They’ve all been ripped from my hands….and not by my own choice.  I cannot even tell you how easy it would be today, to just let it all fall to the wayside and give in.  Give in to the pressure, the pain, the void….and run far, far away.  Let me tell you, I am on the very edge this day, this moment.  So I go to God.  And I come to you.  And yes,  part of me (the flesh part, the need-for-justice part) wishes I could pour out all the ugly details of the past couple of years, but I can’t.  I won’t.  Because not all of it is my story to tell.  And none of our stories are finished.  There is much more to be written.  So let me just say this.  I am battling to face the fact that there are apologies I will probably never get, trying to let go of the need to be understood, that will never come.  I am clawing with the tips of my fingernails to keep on solid ground, to hold onto hope, and trust that everything comes to an end eventually.  I am fighting to forgive and love and walk with the wounds of being wronged. And they are deep wounds.  I am struggling to not lose sight of the beauty that is in front of me in this life.  Today, right now, I can’t see any of that, but somehow I know it’s there. I am fighting for healing.

So this morning I read something by James Goll, that struck me.  He was talking about his wife’s book, A Call to the Secret Place

When a swallow builds its nest, it will first find a barn or other structure with a supply of mud close by.  It will carry mud and twigs in its little beak, making trip after trip, carefully constructing a sturdy nest on joist, strut, or rafter beam of the barn.  The outside of the mud-dauber-type structure dries and hardens, becoming very solid and secure.  Yet the inside of the nest is lined with downy feathers and is soft, warm and inviting.  The thought struck me:  Swallows build their nests the way they do because, instinctively, they know that the safest place to build is up against the wall.  But we humans use the expression “up against the wall” to describe feeling timg_0198rapped or being out of options, when we have no place to run and no way out.

Spiritual storms, winds, and billows will blow into our lives, pulling us this way and that. Sometimes, in the face of winds and danger, we know there is a place of safety in God, but still we don’t fly to that safe place in Him.  Instead, we fly away, resisting the wisdom that tells us to fly to Him.  Why do we all seem to do this?  I believe that it’s because we all know in our spirits what flying toward Him will mean.  We know it will require first going to the Cross.

Peace, safety, comfort, rest are found in God, but testing and discomfort are also woven into His design.  Therefore, we should turn around and start running toward what is uncomfortable, because that is exactly where we are going to find Him.  We will find our rest only after we choose to nest on a crossbeam.

I. Am. Up. Against. A. Wall.  A really, tall, strong, immeasurable wall.  Everything in me wants to run away.  To get away from those causing me pain.  To extricate myself from this continual cycle of struggle.  And yet, I read this today and see that, yes, I am up against this wall.  Do I , yet again, choose to allow Him to help me build a nest of warmth and safety with Him or do I fly away?  Do I quit before He’s finished?  Today I want to.  But I won’t.  I.  Will.  Not.

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Thy Will

Can I just be done?  I’m tired.  I want to quit.

Sometimes this is reality.  Sometimes God asks me to do things I am all fired up and passionate about in the beginning, but when the rubber meets the road and real life happens, it gets really hard.  It’s a constant fight against what my emotions want and what God has asked me to do.  I think in the past, I have interpreted those kind of emotions as my release from what God has asked….when in reality, I needed to push through what I want into what God promised.  I think I’m supposed to be uncomfortable.  I think I’m supposed to want to quit.  And I think I’m supposed to keep going.  In fact, I know I’m supposed to keep going.

But this doesn’t feel good right now.

And right now, it’s not sadness I feel.

It’s anger.

And I don’t like it at all.  It makes me unsettled and irritable.

My emotions tell me that if I quit and walk away, I won’t have to deal with all the drama anymore and I will feel better.

Finally.

My emotions tell me that what is making me angry is about what someone else is doing.

It’s not.

It’s about me.

I am allowing someone else’s choices, words, accusations, make me angry.  Why?  Is it that I agree with it?  Is it that I feel unknown?  I’ve been working on that one for awhile now.  I think a lot of it has been that somehow I’ve felt that the accusations are correct.  That I really am the person I’m being told I am.  And maybe I was at one time, But I’ve done a lot of work with God in the last couple of years….and those things are changing.

I think it’s more about feeling unknown.

This is a deep, deep barrenness in me.  I have always desired to be known and loved, no matter what is in those deep places.  Most people are built this way, I think.  This has never truly existed for me, except in my sister.  I have somehow always fallen short of what others want in a person.  I understand this.  It is human to want to remove ourselves from people who do not meet our expectations.  Our culture tells us every day that if we are around people that don’t make us happy or give us what we need then we should remove them from our lives.  And we do it.  Because we think it will solve our problem.  Fix our unhappiness.  Relieve our pain.  It doesn’t.  We just keep running into the same kinds of people until we learn how to love. No matter what.

You see, no matter how I feel or how much I want to quit.  I can’t.  If I do, I will never get to the promise.  It doesn’t mean the path won’t look different along the way, it just means I cannot give in to what I think I want.  I can’t make decisions based on the anger or sadness I feel.  Today the feelings are big.  Today is a hard day.  Today I want to quit.  This is why I write this all out to you.  It reminds me of what is real.  It reminds me that my own voice is not always the thing I should be listening to.  It reminds me of who really has my future in mind.  I think maybe it’s like grief.  You just have to walk the road.  It may seem like it has gone on long enough and that it needs to be finished, but it’s never over until it’s all been done. Some  paths take just a little while to navigate, some are still walking on the road after years.

So I walk this road until I’m done…..

Thy Will

I’m so confused
I know I heard you loud and clear
So, I followed through
Somehow I ended up here
I don’t wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of your plan
When I try to pray
All I’ve got is hurt and these four words

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done

I know you’re good
But this don’t feel good right now
And I know you think
Of things I could never think about
It’s hard to count it all joy
Distracted by the noise
Just trying to make sense
Of all your promises
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that you’re God
And I am not
So

Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will

I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Goodness you have in store
I know you hear me
I know you see me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Good news you have in store

So, thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord

Songwriters
BERNIE HERMS, HILLARY SCOTT, EMILY LYNN WEISBAND

 

If it’s not about me, then what’s the point?

I had a dear friend tell me once, that what I was going through was about eternal things.  I thought I understood this.  I thought I knew.  I did not….

So nearly two years later, I was having a deep conversation with a dear friend and God dropped this on me.  Like a TON. OF. BRICKS.  It has become so real in just a few days, that I am completely consumed by it.  It’s all I can think about.  I just keep asking God to keep me here – in the realness of it.  I don’t want this to fade.  Because it changes everything.

“He has specifically placed me in this family….My own family, my husbands family, this life.  He put me here because He knew that I would do what I am doing.  He knew I would say yes.  He knew I would stand.  For love.  For life.  For healing.  For restoration.  He made me for this.  For this season.   If I had said no or I had decided to quit, how many generations would it take for Him to raise up another to do this thing?  Would it take one, would it take four, five generations?  Who would choose to learn love?  Who would choose to stand for my husband?  Who would choose to stand for healing for all of the things that have wounded our generations, for all of the things that are dark and ugly that have created such damage and brokenness?  Who would stand for my children?  Who would fight for their lives before God…fight for breakthrough so that they won’t have to battle the things that our histories say are inevitable?  Is there another who will pick up all the ugliness and bring it before God without caving beneath the weight of its darkness?  It’s not about me being comfortable!  If I have to suffer to change things for my sweet husband, my children and their future generations, then I must to do that. I have to!  My kids will have enough of their own issues to deal with!  Why do they need to have our junk and all the junk of the generations before us?  They don’t!  If I have to suffer for that, then I can finally say I’m okay with that!  It’s about eternal things…not about my momentary comfort in this life!  I’m willing to be uncomfortable in order to affect the lives of my family!”

Does any of this make sense?  It’s not about me and my story.  What is your story?  Are you suffering?  What if you learned how to love in the middle of your suffering and God changed the course of your life and the lives of your family?  What if, by choosing to accept your “thorn” as Paul did, you opened the door for God to completely transform what you have accepted as “impossible”?  What if by choosing to say yes to Him, you made it possible for Him to change everything?  What if?

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I probably don’t know you.  And I probably don’t know your story.  But I do know that God placed you in your family, in your marriage, in your life for a specific purpose.  For real.  That purpose is not just to live a “status quo” life and die.  You are meant to change destinies with your “yes.”  You are meant to be powerful in your stand for God.  Your pain, your suffering…are meant to move mountains. They are meant to change history.  Can you do something hard, something against your grain?  Can you choose to quit running from what hurts and ask God what He is trying to do through your suffering?  Can you stop looking for someone to tell you how to make the pain go away and ask Him what the pain is for?  When we are in physical pain, it is an indication that something is wrong and needs to be dealt with, not avoided.  What if you were the one that God placed right here, right where you are, to change an entire family, an entire generation?  What if?

So this life I’m living, this season I’m in, is not about having the perfect marriage, the perfect family.  It’s not about having a white picket fence and happiness forever.  It’s about eternal things.  It’s about God going to ANY (and I mean ANY) lengths to save a single soul….and probably a lot more. It’s about love.  Period.  And I know the end of the story.  God Wins.

 

Rest…

It’s time for me to rest.

I’m not so good at this.

I have been focused and battling and standing for God’s promises over my life for so long that resting is foreign.  Resting brings quiet. Resting brings stillness. Resting brings guilt.

Ohhhh….there it is.  I said it.

Resting brings guilt.

I’m a mom. I don’t rest. Even if my physical body is still, my mind is always, thinking, planning, organizing, solving, preparing, praying, pleading, talking, fixing.

Resting means none of this.

However…..Resting does not mean giving up.

For years, I have been living in constant anticipation in my head – and not necessarily the good kind.  I’ve either been waiting for God to break in, in an extremely dramatic way, or waiting for the shoe to drop.  One could say that both of those things have happened.  But those events did not occur within the box I had placed them in. God has definitely broken in….and He surely broke in because the shoe I feared the most, dropped.

So resting means letting go of the warrior in me for a season and letting God deal with it. I don’t know how to do this.  He had asked me to be still for a very long time, but in that season, He was talking about my mouth, my words, my actions, my thoughts. My mandate was still to pray and fast and intercede for my family….and I could do that. That was something.  It was action.  It was movement. But…

Resting means I stop focusing on the promise and focus on the One who promised…

Resting means I stop holding on to the ideas of how this all is supposed to “end”…

Resting means I choose to stop waiting to be chosen

Resting means I love…

Resting is choosing to just hang out with God and not ask for a thing…

So now what do I do when God tells me to “Let it all go and let Me handle it from here?”

I choose Him over my will.

I let him shift me.

I don’t give up.

I just let go.

I choose the yes.

And I rest.


 

Choosing

Shame.

Today I feel it.

Today I want to hide.

Today I miss human touch so much.

Today I feel broken….

Too broken to love….

Too messed up for reconciliation.

Today the void is really big.

I haven’t felt this in awhile but I know I can’t let it progress too far or I will be under water before I even notice.  So I fight this fight because I know that it is not truth.  I talk about it because I know that we all feel these things at one degree or another.  It is such a hard thing to feel something and yet tell yourself that the emotion is the one lying to you.  It is a hard thing to know truth but feel the opposite.

I need to throw it off of me with these words I write because I hate the way it makes me feel.  It’s like a blanket that is smothering me.  It makes me feel as if I am covered in fine dust that clouds everything and refuses to let my skin and nerves and mind breathe.  It is a perpetual pit in my stomach.  An argument between what is real and what is not.

I hear the words that I am not good enough….That there is  a better choice than me….That I am hard to love….That I make poor decisions….That I am not worthy of walking through darkness with….That I am not special enough to be in the trenches with…..That my history will always dictate my future….That somehow I always fall short. These words are feelings.  And these words are lies.

When I began to understand that I was not chosen anymore, when I began to see my failings that helped lead to this pain,  there was a choice that was laid before me.  And I’ve realized it’s not a choice that I only needed to make one time….It is a choice I must make over and over and over again, until God moves me forward into another season.  And that choice is whether or not I am going to believe what I am feeling.

The truth is, God doesn’t think I’m hard to love and He’s been in the trenches with me since my first breath.  He is not ashamed of me, even when people are.  When I make a poor decision, He walks with me until I find redemption.  He never believes that I am a hopeless case, that I will never get it right. He knows I am the right choice because He is the one who chose me.  And He chooses me every day, even when not a single person notices my existence.

So, even though, in this moment, I don’t see how all this brokenness could possibly be put back together, I am choosing to believe that my feelings are just that.  Feelings.  And feelings are not facts.

So while I am still trying to find my way in this maze, and reconcile what I know to be truth with what my emotions tell me, I will feel and speak and choose breath.  I refuse to live in dust and ashes.  I need to say it over and over again.  I refuse to live in dust and ashes.  As an act of my will, I WILL NOT live in dust and ashes.  I hope you choose the same with me.

Timing

It’s coming. I know it’s coming. The thing I have feared the most for more years than I can remember. 

I feel it. 

I am afraid but I’m reminding myself that I will be okay. Reminding myself that Sarah had to stand on what God had promised Abraham for decades. Having Isaac seemed so impossible. Far away. Surreal. Her mind could not wrap around how God was going to do what He promised. 
Sometimes, when I think of her as a real person, not just a story in a book, I can feel her pain. Her struggle with Gods timing. Her deep longing for something that was just too far out of her reach. Her body had moved into old age for heavens sake! How could she keep seeing Gods promise? How could she not have doubts?  God had promised Abraham, right? What if she wasn’t really part of that promise? What if it was to come through another avenue?  Of course! That had to be it. So she tried to solve the problem. 

Hagar. 

Ishmael. 

Trouble. 

I have so many questions and no answers. None. Trying to be still and learn what God is trying to show me. He shows me an area in my life that is out of line and I work hard to grab hold but I have never struggled with His timing so much in my life. I think that is my biggest ache. When I look at who God has been in my life, I believe with everything in me that what He promised, He will fulfill. It’s the middle that I can’t quite conquer. In the middle I question whether I heard Him right. Whether I have put Him in a box and His promise is really something different.  I question how the heck this is all going to look in the end. I question my ability to love like I really want to. I question my ability to keep rising. 

Loving without be loved in return is the most painful thing…I don’t know if I can make it. Some days I feel so weak. My nature screams at me to reject so I can just stop feeling rejected every day. Every minute. I struggle with the constant ache. The constant pain that sits just below the surface. Even in joy I feel it there.  I want something that I feel like God promised but in some ways, because I have a picture in my mind of what that is, I feel like it is pulling me.  How do I rise when I’m being pulled at the same time?  How do I keep going?  

Maybe I’m just in a more emotional state. I just left from visiting my son before another deployment. My youngest is about to graduate from high school. There is so much going on. I just don’t want to fade into hopelessness. So this, I must do. I have to process to keep it from drowning me. I have to write to keep it above the waves. Thanks for surfing with me…