Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Most Precious Gifts


December 2013



May 2008 at the wedding of CharlesAnna and Jonathan Williams
Our Christmas card picture for December 2009


December 2008, was the last time I was able to have a Christmas card with my entire family's picture on it.  In May of 2009, my son, Walker suffered a fatal accident while kayaking on the Tallapoosa River in Alabama, near Auburn University where he was a senior majoring in Forestry and Land Development.  It was graduation weekend.  Walker was lost at the river from Friday noon til 10:32 on the following Sunday morning, which also happened to be Mother's Day.  {continue reading after the break…}




I can't dig out the actual card from 2008, but the picture above was the one used.  It was  taken at my niece's wedding the weekend before the accident.  This photo been moved from computer to computer ,so  the quality isn't the best, but I wanted to share it with you anyway.  As you see from the group photo below taken at our family cabin this past Thanksgiving, my immediate family is huge.  The picture above of my family was taken out of the "group family "picture taken at the wedding.  My family was the only family  that stood altogether for the photo, which allowed us to be removed from the group photo to make our family picture. If you look closely at the picture, you will see a crown and cross over Walker's shoulder.  Originally my sister in law, was in the picture, but  she was photoshopped out to allow our family picture. Once she was removed, the paraments, with the cross and crown, were what were behind her.  It was one of many confirmations for me. 


The weekend we searched for Walker was one of the worst times of my life, but God was fateful.  He was there every step of the way and placed the perfect people in my path to guide me every step of the search.  The events of that weekend will forever be etched in my mind.  The details are too involved to go into on a blog, but they reveal a well laid plan.  God was in my life before the accident, but through blind faith.  I never in my wildest dreams, believed I would witness his power first hand, the way I did that weekend.   

 I have been very open about losing my son, but I have never shared one aspect of losing him that is both bittersweet and awe inspiring at the same time.  Each year when we approach the birth of Christ, I like many mothers, think about the birth of my own children, especially Walker's birth.  
I had a 24+ hour labor with him.  I eventually gave birth to a baby boy whose head was bruised and swollen from being in the birth canal too long, before being born by emergency c-section.  Still I thought he was beautiful and perfect.  I never dreamed on that day that he would only be on this earth for 22 years.  I sometimes think about what I would have done differently, had I known my time with him would be so short.  The one thing I know I would have done is spend more time with him, but you can't go back.  The last words Walker spoke to me face to face were "mom, you are too busy".   I think about that a lot.   Take time and spend with your children so there are no regrets.

While I am sharing my heart with you I must tell you that losing Walker made me realize even more, about Christ's love for me.  I lost Walker by accident, but God gave his son willingly, so that we could be forgiven for our sins.  I never understood the magnitude of his gift until I lost my own son.  Through much grieving and soul searching I evidentially realized that Walker was on loan to me, just like my other three children.  Our children are gifts from God.  We never know how long we will have them.  Not just as Christmas, but all year, we should treasure our children. As I get older, I also value the gift of my parents, and family.    I am blessed to have a large family who was there for me the weekend of my greatest need.    To have family by your side in your time of need is a beautiful gift.  This Christmas I am thankful for all the gifts God continually bestows on me.  


Our family at the cabin on Thanksgiving Day 2013


 Every year since loosing Walker, I have an angel on my Christmas Card to represent his presence.  This year I chose a star( first photo).   Walker's presence will always be felt,  though we can't see him or touch him.  

Here's hoping you experience the magic of the Christmas Season and the love of Christ!
Whether you have children or not, you have gifts that have been given you, make sure you take time to be grateful for those gifts.
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20 comments:

  1. You have a powerful testimony. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. What a beautiful and heartfelt post Lisa. What you have gone through touches so many people and you are brave and generous to share your story. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas. Thank you!
    xo Sherri

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    1. Thank You Sherri! Merry Christmas to you! I have enjoyed reading your blog this year!

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  3. Lisa-
    I loved reading and seeing this post. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    Teresa
    xoxo

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    1. Thank you Teresa! Merry Christmas to you! oxox

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  4. That was beautiful. I have been thinking about you a lot today- not a coincidence. My kids have been driving us crazy- as we try to clean our house and get ready for Christmas. I heard a quote that describes our day, "Cleaning the house with 3 little ones inside is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos". I needed to hear your words, more than your know. Merry Christmas Sweet Friend. Walker is always with you.

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    1. Your children are beautiful Kristan! I love to see them playing in the yard when I drive by. I want us to have our visit. Will you be here for Christmas?

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  5. tears! just hopped over here to let you know that you won the Tervis giveaway on my blog and the verse on it is 1John 2:25 And this is the promise which He himself made to us- eternal life. I knew some about your story but now all. wow! So powerful and brave of you to share so deeply. May the Lord bless you and your family this Christmas and always.

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    1. Yet another confirmation of God's love! Isn't it amazing that I won the Tervis tumbler with that verse! I am so excited! That will be my favorite gift! One of these days we have to meet in real life! We use our coasters everyday! Thank You so much and Merry, merry Christmas! Do you want me to come by for the tumbler so you don't have to mail it?

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  6. Lisa, each time I learn about the loss of your son my heart aches for you and your beautiful family. But I can see the closeness in this year's photo and I am sure that is enhanced by suffering such a loss together. I wish you and your family a blessed holiday and I look forward to all your beautiful posts next year.

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  7. Lisa...I cant imagine how hard it must of been looking for your son....I'm glad your faith carried you through...we are going through a personal tragedy right now and I don't know what I would do with out the Lord in my life....I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas...

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    1. Julie, I'm so sorry. It is the hardest time in your life but God will be good. I am going to pray for you. I know it is extra hard during the holidays. Much love to you and your family.

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  8. Lisa, a beautiful, heartfelt post. Your conviction is wonderful ... thank you for sharing. xo

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  9. Precious words I needed to hear as I woke up with my feathers ruffled about something else that doesn't really matter. Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family. I always love that you add the angel/star to your cards.

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    1. I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas!!!

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  10. I'm sure your story has been a blessing to many, I love how God is using you in that way. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas ! xo,

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  11. I loved that Lisa. I have goosebumps. Your pain is still so raw but you have a wonderfully way of sharing the lessons you've learned. How lucky you are to have a family that large to wrap their arms around you. oxox

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  12. You helped put in perspective how truly blessed I am. God bless you and your family. Merry Christmas.

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