Hoping to share the love, joy, and grace I have received in my own life.


on April 24, 2017

I’m not sure where to begin.  This is such an important thing to share.  I am struggling to find the perfect words that allow you to hear the pure joy in my voice as you read this stale typed print.  In my head I am hearing the song “Day One” by Matthew West.  The chorus goes like this…

It’s day one of the rest of my life
It’s day one of the best of my life
I’m marching on to the beat of a brand new drum
Yeah, here I come
The future has begun
Day one

I had an experience just over a month ago that I’m sure I will share at some point.  Today, however, I want to share the outcome of that experience.  God brought me from a dark place of pain and loss to a place of peace and joy that is difficult to put into words, if I want to do the story any justice at all.  In the past when I reflected on my past I saw a whole lot of mistakes and disappointment and pain.  Don’t get me wrong, I have had much happiness in my life, too.  I have felt for years that I wasn’t on the right path…that I was a little lost, that something was off, not quite right.  After Trevor died that feeling intensified.  I’ve shared before that my dad’s boss/friend, Jack, gave Daddy and I both a copy of Adam Hamilton’s book, “Why?: Making Sense of God’s Will” the week following Trevor’s death.  Don’t let the title fool you.  I don’t believe that it was God’s will for Trevor to die.  (We have free will in this world and that’s a whole other topic I can address at a later time.  Bear with me.)  After reading that book in just a couple hours, I knew that I had work to do.  I shared with Pastor Kim, our pastor who was with us when Trevor died, that I was so angry with God.  Pastor Kim told me that my feelings were o.k. and that God was bigger than my anger and that I just needed to talk/yell at Him about it and just not give up or give in.

The book Jack shared and Kim’s response to my anger with God set me on a new path.  Although I began this new path blindly, I know now (somewhat) of where it is leading me and so much of all of the 47 years of my life are beginning to make sense.  I have a peace that I cannot explain…a peace that really and truly passes all understanding.  I have a joy that is so deep in my heart I feel like I am just going to burst if I don’t share my news.  I have decided to follow Jesus.  No…really.  I have decided to follow the call that I received 6 weeks ago.  With the help of special people in my life, I am discerning how to best use the gifts that God has given me to answer the call.  At this point, I am anticipating returning to school.  I am looking at seminary and considering working on a Master of Divinity.  I want to share with the world the joy and peace that have come following a life of all kinds of hurt, disappointments and shame, followed by tremendous grief and loss.  God is real.  He’s alive, present, and active today.

I will still blog about the grief of losing Trevor.  That will never leave me.  In fact, I still spend a great deal of time working with my grief.  I have learned it is a part of me.  This is nothing short of a miracle to me that God has pulled me from the deep dark crevice of grief, picked me up, dusted me off and set me back on solid ground.  I feel under-qualified and sometimes get overwhelmed, but where He leads, I will follow.  I was reminded during my devotion time this morning of a story that I can see myself in.  As Joshua was leading the Israelites to the Promised Land, God instructed that the priests carrying the ark of the covenant should go ahead of the people and that when they reached the Jordan they were to stand in it.  The priests did as instructed.  The water was cut off and the Israelites all walked across the Jordan River…in the middle of the Jordan River on dry ground.  Not only that, but once everyone had made it across, one man from each of the twelve tribes was instructed to go back into the middle of the Jordan River and pick up a stone to carry with them.  The stones would serve as reminders of the time that the Jordan River water was cut off for the Israelites to cross into the Promised Land.

OK…maybe my story isn’t quite on that scale, but I am putting my toes in the water.  I have faith that God does what He says He will do.  I have Trevor in my heart as my symbol, carrying him with me always, reminding me of how God never let me go.  God didn’t leave me, no matter how I was feeling toward Him.  He didn’t forsake me.  He loved me.  His mercy and grace saved me and I want to share that with anyone that will listen.  Faith isn’t a noun.  It isn’t something we just have.  Faith is something that we do.  I am not positive where God is leading me.  I am absolutely positive that I am following His lead.  I know it won’t be easy, but I know He will get the glory in whatever I do.  I hope you all will stick with me through this incredible journey.  God is so very, very good.  I hope to keep this blog going as a journal, of sorts.  I will still write about grief and loss.  I will write about surviving and new beginnings.  I will write about fun things my family is up to.  Mostly, I will write about God and how he pulled me from the fire of grief, dusted off the ashes, and is helping me change the definition of broken.


2 responses to “Seminary…WHAT?

  1. Jennifer Bakener says:

    Amazing, Wonderful, Inspirational,Exciting,Wonderous,
    You Dana are all those things and so much more! So excited for you and your new adventure wherever that takes you! 😍

  2. cindy mein says:

    I am not surprised and very proud of ynot as you have but I feel thingschanging for ou and you can do anything thru God. I am finding that out

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: