Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Anonymous....not so much

“Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.” Albert Einstein 

A few days ago I received an email from a neighbor. She wanted to confirm before she wrote, that she was not crazy. Crazy? Lately, I think I am crazy, so I am not one to judge anyone else:) She woke up from a vivid dream the morning of October 26th, the day David pass.

Her email read.............
I was in a  quaint town… the kind that has cobblestone roads. I was running some errands and as I walked out onto the sidewalk I see  David. Your David… He looked like his normal self-- all smiles. I looked at him and said “ David, Hi!” He didn’t seem to know who I was so I said “its Priti… Vik’s wife and he nodded and said “ oh Vik’s wife- Hi.” ( we think he looked at Priti like this, not because he didn't know her, but because he was wondering what she was doing there:))  
So then I said “How are you?” and he said “ I’m good and you know Dana’s good now” I said “ that’s great... but  what are you doing?” He said “Oh I’m just saying my goodbyes” So I then hugged him and said “ please be safe” and he smiled this huge smile and said  ”I will be” I then saw him pushing two glass doors open of a red brick building. Through the glass I could see a room filled with people… young and old. I also vividly saw a tall older man with a full head of white hair with kahki pants and a white button down shirt.   It was like they were waiting for David to come in. Like a get together of sorts and he was the Guest of Honor.I don’t know anyone of those people and I have never been to a town like that. As soon as he started to push the doors open I woke up and saw that it was 7:00 a.m. and I immediately felt that feeling that maybe David had passed. I quickly looked at my  emails and your blog…just to see if anything had happened. I don’t usually remember my dreams and I don’t think much of the ones that I do… But that dream… felt so real…

When I received this from Priti, I thought long and hard. What does this mean? The past three weeks I have learned nothing is of coincidence. Yes, it is easy to choke it all up to that. But, where is the beauty then? Where is God? Life is much more amazing and God is much more alive when we stop, look and feel his every day prescense. So, what does this dream mean............

First off, I have said since the day that David passed I felt he was entering the spiritual realm way before his body let go. The reason being, he continued throughout the day to raise his hands to the air. Thinking of Priti's dream I think about the ways his hands were raised and it was almost like he was giving hugs. I believe that is exactly what he was doing. What about him referencing saying goodbye? Saturday, October 26th was the day that I said goodbye. I said all I ever wanted to say and released David the best way my heart knew how. It was also the day that I called some of his closest friends from out of town, put the phone to David's ear, walked out and let them spend time saying goodbye to their friend.... so far everything to my neighbor's dream could be true? Right? OK, you are thinking...sure...where are the facts? The tall white haired man?

This can go a million directions. But, I choose to think one. I thought long and hard about this man and then I remembered one of David's best friends father. He is over 6 foot tall and has white, white hair. He passed away a year ago. His name was Bob. He was always the first to welcome anyone to any gathering:) What always stood out about him, beyond his smile, was his height and white hair:) I got a picture and showed it to my neighbor and she said that is him! That is the man, Dana. Who is he??? Well, I was sold then. Another come to Jesus moment:) But the rest of you may think, come on...we need more. We always do right???? 
So, I called the family members of Bob. I shared this same story that I shared with you today. Only, each of them stopped me with one important fact. And let me remind you...I called them at different times. Each one, wanting me to share the story to the other. And THEY ALL stopped me at one part of the story, the kahki pants and white shirt. The outfit he wore every day to work. They said, Oh my goodness Dana!! That is what he wore every day. A fact to you and I, that we simply look past like nothing. And no, the picture I showed Priti he was not wearing this. And no, there is not one picture of Bob in my house that would give her his look or outfit. Instead a fact, not mere coincidence, that God knew would seal the truth of his story and Priti's dream.

I don't believe this was heaven that David experienced, because he had not yet pass.  But, believe it was just the beginning. We know we will never understand all of it...but once again...it gives us hope on the reward of life after death. I think about how tall Bob is, and how David is not:) I think about David's hands reaching up so high to give Bob a hug and I remember. I remember one of the times David reached so high like he was giving  the biggest hug.This story is only one to the many other's I received from people I know and don't know. Stories where they have felt David's prescense and his life of love, hope and faith. I am so thankful for this gift they share with me. It reminds me of the beauty of whats to come. But , most importantly it reminds me how much God loves us. 

The children and I spend countless hours talking about daddy. All the conversations have been about love and our hope of seeing daddy one day. But, I am reminded. David is the bonus...God is the ultimate reward.  I asked Parker and Audrey how much they loved mommy and daddy? They said, to the moon and back. I said, do you know God loves me more then you love me??? No way, Audrey said.  Oh yes! But, that doesn't mean your love isn't needed and important to mommy, Audrey. Your love is! But, I need God's love too and he loves me more then just the moon and back. He loves us more then we can even say or know.  To outer space and back a million times over. And I think Daddy is experiencing all that love right now. Let's just say a little hard for them to wrap their minds around. Which I fully understand, because it is hard for me too. The amazing things that have happened, admist the loneliness times these past few weeks, I am reminded....I am not alone, God's love is enough and it is more abundant then I will ever know and understand. 

Because of your love! We have started to carry on David's memory! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Tonight was the opening of the new Baylor/Scott and White Cancer Center at Hillcrest hospital in Waco, Texas. The kids and I gave a blessing over the remission bell, thanking all of you and reminding people when patients ring this, it is for Team Hurst! You did this!  You showed what a community can do together when it involves love and faith. This bell is to give hope to each person that completes treatment! To remind them of their gift of life and the joy they can find in it.... thank you....we have just begun with the Memorial and will update with our progress. Tonight we honored David and glorified God. Thank you. 

Taking steps by faith,

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Taking Steps by Faith ....baby steps

Proverbs 3: 5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge
him ,and he will make your paths straight. 

I don't know what the next few weeks, months hold. But, when I look into the future I feel emptiness without David. At the same time, I feel an overwhelming amount of anticipation for what God has planned for myself, Audrey and Parker. 

My heart is eager to live and to share our story with others. I don't know what this means? These past few days I have felt comfort and encouragement that only comes from each of you. You all are what make our story. You are the community that has surrounded our family and has continued to pray for us and encourage us.  There have been an abundance of emails to encourage me to continue to write. I have read these and disregarded, as nothing in my life has ever defined me as a writer. I am pretty sure English was my worst subject and if it is one of your better subjects,  you can read my grammar errors all over. But, what I am good at, is knowing my story. Knowing the foundation behind it. Knowing when God sends you enough emails that says....  My child, just wait, just listen....I have just begun..........."  Have you ever read a story in the bible and wanted to yell? What are you thinking! How do you not see God all over this? How did the Isralieties see the Red Sea part and STILL NOT BELIEVE!? Well, I think David and God are up there right now having their own..." Come on Dana! Open your EYES! " moment. 

If the emails weren't enough it was like a flash of history that flashed before my eyes one morning this past week. I was reminded of some of the things David did within the last 24 hours before his death. He would casually raise his hand to the air and look up. Never saying a word. He did this maybe a total of 5 times. I really believe he was making the transition already. But, one thing he did do, right before he fell into the non responsive state, he raised his hand in the air and started writing. The hospice nurse and I looked at him and thought maybe he thought he was writing perscriptions. Going back to his doctor days? I mean.... what else would he be doing? We had never seen him do anything like this. It is now that God once again says,.." Open YOUR EYES! " I believe God was telling me through David to share our story and continue to share. I mean? Writing in the air. Craziness. 

If it doesn't get weirder then that...a nice girl sent me an email a few months back. She said she had a dream.  I was sitting in a room with a green journal and was so eager to share of David's healing, I kept writing. Once again, I disregarded her email and her dream, because I knew at that time David would not be healed and I would not be sharing that story. I never shared this email with anyone. Just a few weeks ago, my friend bought me a journal. A journal she said to just write and let it flow. I set the journal aside as I have never been one to write in a journal. What did I find myself doing this last Saturday?  Sitting in a room....just writing. Just like that sweet girl said months ago. I did not remember her email until later that day when I was going through emails and ran across the archived ones. Because, facebook never fully deletes. Thank goodness. Once again.... " Oh Dana! OPEN YOUR EYES! " 

What does this mean? I have no idea? Maybe nothing? Maybe something? Will I continue the blog? Will I share our story further? Will our story be a platform for something else later? I don't know? All I know is God is not done...he is just beginning.  And this story belongs to him. All of you that follow, I ask that you continue to encourage me. Provide me with truth, prayer, wisdom and understanding. 

Many have asked to see the Funeral Service. Below is the link. Some behind the scenes info. At minute 40 you will hear music and see the Pastor sitting there. This is when the tribute video is being played. I am so thankful we have this link. I spoke at the end of the Memorial service and do not remember much of it. But, the kids and I had the chance to ring the Memorial bell that you all have graciously supported. Can't wait to update you all on the progress! 

Taking Steps By Faith..............baby steps 


Friday, November 8, 2013

Happy Ten Year Anniversary

David is not far.......... I am amazed at the ways God continues to show his prescence in our lives. Again, opening my eyes to the little things to see the big. Last week, minutes after I told the kids of Daddy's passing we went outside. Audrey came back a few minutes after playing in the dirt, her favorite, with a leaf. A leaf that she told me daddy gave her. I asked her where she got it? She said," From daddy, mommy!." I asked, " But where?"  I guess you can say I didn't believe it with my own eyes:) She took me to a pile of acorns. Not a leaf around...just dirt, but there, daddy gave her this leaf. To see the big, you have to see the little...........

That same night the kids and I did our bible devotion. And if the leaf wasn't enough. 1 Samuel Chapter 17 was our devotion for that night. The David and Goliath story. The story that each of you wear on your green bracelets. I started crying...how I felt David more then ever, ( and a couple goosebumps). He.......is........... ok.......... 

Isaiah 41:10
'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'

Mourning with hope....would be the phrase as I celebrate our ten year anniversary today. Ten years. The kids and I woke up and we looked through Daddy and Mommy's wedding album. Parker wanted me to get my dress out and wear it....don't think that would be such a pretty sight anymore. He had the ME bag for school and he wanted to take a picture of Mommy and Daddy to show the class on Mommy's princess day. Princess day it was. Today, not so much. Ten years......a big milestone. We celebrated two birthdays, an anniversary and mourned a death all in the matter of weeks. 

But, mourning with hope. What we are encouraged to do. Mourning....it is necessary and needed to experience hope. This week as everyone left and David's ashes arrived I felt the loneliness I needed to feel. I need to feel today, I need to feel the sorrow so I can have the hope. Mourning with hope..... I never yell out to God why? I never say why me? I just plain old miss David. And I mourn. I cry. I miss him. I miss waking up this a.m. and seeing one of his cards he wrote for me. I miss seeing the cards he always had the kids make for me on birthdays and anniversaries. I miss the flowers and I miss whatever gift or trip we would be doing. Last year we told the church for our ten year anniversary we wanted to go overseas and do mission work. Our first mission trip ever. No better way we felt to celebrate our love then to spread love. Today, we are not overseas, David is not here, but he is in an amazing place, but he is not with me. And selfishly I want him here. 

I have grown in my faith and learned so much. I believe with all my heart that heaven is not as far as I always thought it was. I believe David is very much apart of our lives. Granted, not sitting right next to us:) That would be freaky:) But, he is not far. So, I mourn today, I say happy anniversary and I have hope. Hope on what is to come, hope in the eternity in heaven he is living. Living. I am reminded, that life is a gift. David believed this and lived this.  Life is a gift....Not all gifts last a life time. Not all gifts are always our favorite, gifts can be taken, and everyone experiences gifts. Life is a gift. I don't find joy in my circumstances, but find joy in my faith and that the prayers from all of you will get me through this. This week as I Mourn with Hope and see David's testimony still shine through his memorial...........God keeps telling me, " My child, just wait, just listen....I have just begun..........." Today I focus on Hope.

Because of all of you, we are able to carry David's memory on. Through Waco, North Platte and even MD Anderson. We will update you daily on the progress we make. Next week we begin the process of naming the TEAM HURST bell at the HillCrest Cancer Center. Through the Memorial Fund we will share the story of David and community. Each of you are a part of our story.  But, most importantly we will share the story of someone who lived. 
At the end of David's Memorial the kids and I got the chance to give David an early anniversary gift. To ring the remission bell for him. For he is Cancer free. He is free.

The day of the Memorial it was beautiful weather. It was beautiful all weekend. But, monday, as the last guest left it started to rain and rained for several days. I believe Jesus wept tears for  all of us that wept the loss of David. John 11:35 " Jesus Wept ." We left a celebration to go back to life but process the loss of a wonderful person. Below find the link to  a video that was played at the Memorial. I hope you can watch this with me today and see all that life has to offer and the gift of it and the joy you can find in it, but before you find the joy, mourn with me as we continue to miss a great soul.......
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those you mourn, for they shall be comforted.