When God closes one door, he always opens more!!!
So just over 10 years ago I found myself going through a divorce with two young children while my mom was dying of cancer. She had been to a three day weekend called cursillo 25 years earlier. It changed her life. So as her dying wish, she wanted my brother and I to go through the weekend. Strings were pulled and we were added to the list. Now picture me... Recently moved home from Birmingham Taking care of my mom in her last months of life with a 2 and 4 year old whom I had never left over night, helping my father maintain their photography business with a calendar full of weddings to shoot, and trying to accept the fact that I wasn't going to get to be the stay at home mom I had planned to be. All this and the date comes... The three day weekend. Mom had taken a turn for the worse and I was worried she might not make it through the weekend, so obviously I didn't want to leave, but she insisted we had to go. She wasn't having it any other way. She had fought to be here to see this.
So my childhood friend Mary Leigh picked me up and drove me to camp. The anxiety was high. I was a nervous wreck but on the drive as I worried then prayed, worried then prayed, and something amazing happened. A peace came over me. It was as if God said to me. Go. I have everyone else, do this weekend and open your heart and mind to it all! Give your mom her last wish.
Those three days changed my life. I always knew God loved me, I grew up in church, but now I know I began to really know him that weekend. It began the close relationship with him I have today. I took from that weekend more unconditional
Love than I'd ever known. I had seen God in every face. It gave me a new perspective. It gave me a new peace. It was another door opening, and hence my inspiration for this blog, It also gave me Darrell!! That weekend was a new beginning to the rest of my life!!!! So rewind back to when I arrived, you have a table you are assigned to and you sit there the whole time. It is your group. You have a leader to guide discussions and u get to know these people so well. So can anyone guess who was siting at my table? A sweet guy by the name of Darrell Todd. He went to the church I grew up and lived here in the shoals. Surprising, we didn't know each other but we had some mutual friends. From day one Darrell and I hit it off. It was friendship at first sight!!!!! So the third day came and we headed home to what they call your fourth day which is the rest of your life with this newfound love and spirituality That we now knew existed in bigger scales than we realized. We got home that night. We came in singing the songs to our mom. She was elated! Thrilled and beyond happy. She had peace. She loved it!!! We told her all about the weekend and how much It meant to us. She knew it changed us.
We thought we were going as our last gift to her but it really was her last gift to us. My fourth day began with my mom dying. She lived just long enough to know she had given us all
She could give us, and died the day after we got back. I was so blessed to have had this amazing woman as a mother and a friend. 32 years was a true gift. It was Gods will for her to go after a good fight. So many people asked me how I was so strong through it all. It wasn't easy but it was sooo simple. I grieved with gratitude. The past ten years God has placed so many children in my life who dont have mothers or who have had mothers that simply didn't care. I was blessed to grow up with one that cared and loved me to her fullest. I lost my Mom but God was flooding me Open doors. I truly believe God gave me Darrell at that cursillo weekend because he knew I would need him! He was Another new door. He has been my friend through heartbreaks, struggles, triumphs, good days, bad days, kids growing up, and lots of fun times. Darrell is one of the best people I've ever met. He is truly just good. We are a lot alike in so many ways yet different in many things that actually tend compliment each other... . We both tend to see the good in everyone and every circumstance. He is a little more logical than I am yet I am more daring so it's a perfect mix!!! Darrell is so positive and he has been the cheerleader I
Needed. My mom always told me that I
Could do anything I set my mind to. She encouraged me at all times. Darrell stepped in and cheers my kids and I on as she would have done. Wilks and Maddox adore him and he is like family to all of us.
You guys know him as my Friday faithful! I still miss my mom but I choose to just be grateful for the time I had with her and I know that she is up there cheering us on everyday!! I was asked to say a few words about that weekend as it ended and I said.... After this weekend I have no doubt there are few if any coincidences in this world. I truly believe everything happens for a reason. When God closes one door, he always opens another. Today I chose To just stay grateful for the doors he has opened knowing It's all in
His plan. At moms funeral I quoted Dr.Seuss. "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." I did cry, but there are more smiles than tears. I smile because of all
The gifts I received because God blessed me with one amazing Mother. And if you knew my mom, then you know she is smiling about all
The pictures Darrell and I have taken. She would have Loved him as much as we all