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Jun 21, 2010

Delivering the Mail

No mail on my Saturday or Sunday run! I was actually a bit disappointed. But I think I got the message last Friday.

Before the cancer diagnosis I was "launching" a speaking ministry. I cancelled a women's conference here in Florida and a speaking engagement in Maryland. Of course Andrew was our top priority for months. In the grieving, I questioned whether I had anything to say anymore. The prospect of standing before a group of people and saying ANYTHING felt very distasteful to me. I think part of it was my questioning as to why Andrew was not healed. (Of course he is 100% well in Heaven. Once you are in the presence of the Lord, no sickness exists for anyone!). I felt confused, hurt and let down. I kept thinking I have no answers! None. Only that Jesus is THE answer. And I don't need a microphone or a podium to tell someone that.

From the day in August when we got the results of the biopsy and on through the month of December, I cannot tell you how many times I heard from family and friends how my "ministry" was going to be "even greater."
I would nod politely (at first) but then it all just got on my last nerve! I wanted to shout, "Seriously! Do you think that I would trade the life of my son for a "ministry"?

Of course that is not what friends and family were implying but that's what this mother's heart heard. I even said on more than one occasion. "Jesus died so that others might be saved. My son doesn't have to!"

Perhaps you can, for just a moment, put yourself in my place and understand how all of that sounded to me. Often I find myself making some kind of retroactive deal with God. I think of what I would give up or what I would go through if none of this had happened. You see, it is a kind of relentless agony to wake up every morning and not see Andrew. I can't hear his voice any longer, except on video. I can't kiss him although I kiss his pictures. I can't see his smile except in photos. It's EXCRUCIATINGLY painful. When I am out and I see boys his age on skateboards, a knife goes through my heart. I see boys at church with his hair color and they are sitting with their families and I inwardly wince. For just a fleeting moment if you thought how your life would change if one minute your child was in your home and the next minute...NOT, I'm sure you would have a small taste of just how horrible that would be.

And some of you are in my place and you understand firsthand. And for that...I am sorry.

Back to the "mail."

In February and March I had a couple of inquiries as to whether I was available to speak again. I turned them down.

And then I found Andrew's Message in his Bible. And very slowly my heart began to soften. An inner flame flickered.

One of the ministry leaders I had turned down contacted me again. This time I said, "Yes."

I went back to God in prayer and very simply said, "If you open the doors, I'll walk through and I'll speak for you."
That's it. Where He leads, I'm willing to follow.

I remember very clearly one morning as I was running, I was talking to God and He placed a little seed in the soil of my spirit. From that a message was birthed. I can take you to the exact spot on that morning run where I began to cry and thank God that I could, once again, feel His rhema word fanning that flickering flame into a campfire.
Last week the mail incident reminded me of a scripture in Habakkuk.

Habakkuk 2:1-3
"I will stand my watch
And set myself on the rampart,
 And watch to see what He will say to me,
And what I will answer when I am corrected."

You see, this is the way I have been feeling for several months. "I'm here, God. What are you going to do with me now? I have nothing to give. Nothing to say. But I'm still here. And I'm not leaving. You're stuck with me because I'm sticking with you."

"Then the Lord answered me and said:
"Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time:
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it:
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry."

When I think back to my decision to start running again, I truly believe it was a desire planted by God. His word tells us in Psalm 37:4:

"Delight yourself also in the Lord,
 And He shall give you the desires of your heart."

A few years ago I was preparing a Bible study and in my research I found that the word "delight" (Strong's #6026) is from the Hebrew root word anag (aw-nag') meaning "pliable." To be pliable is to be malleable, to be softened to the things of God.

When the desire to run again came back, I had a purpose in the running ~ to carry Andrew's Message. And I did that, literally, in the Iron Girl 5k. I wrote it on tablets (posters). I made it plain so that as I ran, other runners could read it. I made it plain so that as I stood at the finish line and those running in the 15k passed by, they could read it as they ran. I made it plain so that the crowd around me could read it.

God sent His Message by way of His Messenger. It hasn't made it to some due to negligence. It was supposed to be delivered but on the way it was dropped.
I'm going to pick it up and make sure it gets to its intended recipient.
I'll help deliver the mail, will you?



  1. HE is so good to weave it all together... and THEN share it with us.
    I remember after Columbine thinking - I know not to ask why - but why- and I did not get an answer- what I got was the palpable reality that He shares in our grief like a brother He become concretely real and shared HIs heartbreak with me - and I recieved more revelation of His purposes through the intimacy of grief than at any time before or since...His broken heart was sacred to me and I knew how much more was mine to Him... who oves infinitely. Run Girl and tell your stories...

  2. I have been waiting for this post. I didn't know how or when it would come, but I knew it would come.

  3. Melanie,

    Your thoughts always touch my heart. I needed to read this, today. THANK YOU!

    Blessings, hugs, and prayers,

  4. For different reasons, I understand so much of what you described about grief and your responses to it. Our griefs have different sources, but some of the experiences are so similar. Ongoing illness and pain is an ongoing grief, as well. I am sorry for the knife thrusts that you are still bearing, but glad that God is leading you with tenderness and mercy through this journey. And glad that you can still follow.

  5. I’m reading If God Is Good by Randy Alcorn that speaks in part why does God allow terrible things to happen. It’s so … uncomfortable to read it because it reads sensibily on paper but when that hurt and pain comes, then will it make sense? It’s hard for my mind to make sense of what he’s trying to get across, but as I’m halfway through, I think I really see where he is going. And really it was the only answer. One you just said yourself. Look to Jesus. Only Jesus.

    My heart dear Melanie still aches for you, mom to mom. I have NO idea the pain you are in, I wouldn’t insult you to say so. But let me say to you, I think you’re awesome for being so honest. We, your bloggy friends, can see the real heartache and anger in your words, and you let us into that, but yet you still hold fast to that one and only…. Jesus. And I’d say that’s something to speak about. God bless you as you continue on your journey. The Lord cries with you, but he also must be so proud of you. XOXO.

  6. You are a wise woman, Melanie. I'll pray for the strength that it takes to walk in your shoes and for your speaking ministry. I know you have much to share!

  7. Walking with God is never really predictable. Which is sometimes an adventure and sometimes just plain hard. I'm so thankful that God is speaking to you and you are speaking for Him...delivering the love letters that have been lost. Run, Bella Mella, there's a crowd cheering you on.

  8. Oh Melanie, you are "there" and I am so happy for you. You have found an inspiring purpose through your Faith and by listening to and hearing God's message, and letting him guide you I just know you will go on to help so many others. I have cried many times for you over the past months, your heart was breaking then it broke....today I cry tears of joy, your heart though still carries the scars and always will.....is healng and being made strong through all the pain with God's word. I am finally able to relax and enjoy the fact that my blog girlfriend is on her way. God Bless you Mel, I will still continue to pray for you and your family and todays prayer is one of thanks and gratitude........:-) Hugs

  9. Melanie:
    Tears are running down my face as i read this post. I haven't 'been there', but if I had... I know I would feel so many of the same things you've felt, including the well meaning encouraging ones on ministry. I feel them FOR you!! And yet... here you are... just like you said, and you're 'sticking with God'... I can't tell you how those words have blessed me today.

    You just keep running... He already is leading the paths that you take... not one jog will be wasted.

    And always, on the sidelines, you KNOW that Andrew is cheering you on!

    Love this Melanie... I'm watching from the sidelines too... there is much ahead.



  10. I have been asking God to place you here, and I praise Him for answering my prayer. Spread His word sis. I love you.

  11. Thanks, as always, for stopping by to chat with me on my blog. I am so sorry to hear that your mama is ill. Even more sorry that the bad days outnumber the good. But I'm glad you told me. I'll think of her and pray for her when my own illness rears its ugly head.

  12. I've told you before, I cannot imagine what anquish you have been through, and if I even begin to think about it, I cry. Oh, honey. I am so sorry for your loss.

    But so glad that our God is constant and fanning his flames in you. My love to you, Beautiful Melanie, Bella-Mella!

  13. Melanie ~

    As I read you words I am just praising God. No matter what came ~ the storms, the trials, the unthinkable, the pain, the torment, the doubt...you cried out to HIM and HE was with you and although you asked for a different outcome as did we you never turned away! Like JOB nothing could make you curse God or turn away but in your honesty and in the most vulnerable moments of your life you clung to your Heavenly Father! I KNOW you would never trade Andrews life for a ministry but what I received in my quiet time this morning goes along with this.....Your heart, your pain, and your message will be able to minister to those who have walked in your shoes because you have met with God and received HIS tenderness and compassion. HE will work powerfully through you and Andrews message will go forth
    and will bless you and all those who hear it!

    Love you Melanie & praying for you always!

  14. If there is anything worse than losing a child, I don't know what that is. I think any mother can relate to your feelings, because we all fear the worst at one time or another. Thanks for being so honest, and know He will do much more than you can ask or imagine.

  15. Melanie,
    I have tears streaming down my face reading this precious post.
    I loved going back and reading about the highlighted verses in Andrew's Bible. How special is that?!!!
    I know you miss him like crazy. It won't be long & we'll all be together in heaven. What a day of rejoicing that will be. We truly will understand & have all of our questions answered then.
    I am keeping you in my prayers as you minister to others. God is using you in a mighty way. I hope if you're ever in the OKC area you'll let me know. I'd love to hug your neck. I'm thankful for you and I love you with the love of the Lord!
    Bless you!!

  16. Melanie,

    I love you.

    I just happened to think today, "I haven't talked to Melanie in a while!!" :( I needed to check in and see how you were, and I am so proud of you!!

    Let's talk soon.

    Have a great day.


  17. Melanie,

    There are no words. Tears stream as I read your words, from the heart of a mother. I can't imagine how you are feeling, but your strength and grace, from God and displayed through your life touches my heart. I am praying for you. Even now as I type this, I pray that God will continue to strengthen you daily. Thank you for your testimony. You have truly inspired me today.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. I am very honored to have you visit. I am following and looking forward to reading more about all of the wonderful ways God is using you because I know He will.

    In His precious, unfailing love,

  18. This is amazing! You and I were writing about an open door at about the same time! You've already answered the question at the bottom of my post! I am happy to hear that God is revealing more and more about what all the mail delivery was about!

    Keep listening and walking through whatever door He opens up to you!

    Blessings, Stephanie

  19. Thanks for sharing those thoughts, my friend. You are just amazing. I know God will use you mightily. Love you ~

  20. We love you Melanie! It would be a blessing to hear you speak.

    One day closer!

  21. Melanie~
    As I was reading your post I thought...God is birthing something fresh in her...but seriously you have had a ministry all along. You have ministered through out your painful journey to me. The grief was real but so was your faith! God will bless that faithfulness my friend!
    I can't imagine the soaring pain of your loss! I am sure it is still so intense and one that you will never outgrow.
    I am praying for you now!
    Love, Rose

  22. Oh Melanie this is such a beautiful post. I had to go back to the related posts to grasp the whole picture and I did. I know you are still hurting but I'm also glad to see some healing taking place.

    These days are only for a little while compared to eternity. Keep running the race with all that is in you. HE and he will meet you at the finish line.

    Love to you my friend!

  23. A wonderful post and message, dear Melanie. God gives each of us something important to "say". After a crisis, it takes a little while to get our "running shoes" back on. But our willingness, does not go unnoticed by the Father. He's so faithful.
    love you, dear,

  24. Much love to you Melanie as you continue to run the race set before you.B

  25. Melanie, I don't even know how to say to you what I want to say. It would be impossible for me to explain to you how (or even why) I have mentally and emotionally tried to put myself in your place many times, and I knew when I was doing it that I couldn't even begin to know the unbearable pain you were experiencing and I'm sure will continue to experience. There is no way that God, in his love for you and all of his creations, would take sweet Andrew from you, so that you might be a better minister for Him. I realize that you already know that, but I also realize that well-meaning people can say things that make us question ourselves and our relationship to God. Almost every time I have visited your blog, I have left praising God for your amazing faith. I cannot imagine a mother having to suffer what you've suffered without faith and knowledge of God. I'm sending you a big hug, and my prayers remain with you and your family. laurie

  26. Oh NO! I didn't realize I'd written you a book. I'm so sorry. By the way, your blog design is so cute and so fun. laurie