Tuesday, May 18, 2010

abundant life

Life has been crazy at the Chastain household lately... Boy, do I have some stories to tell, but for this post, I will share about a short trip.
This past weekend I flew to Dallas for a friends wedding. I had a wonderful time. (hopefully pics to come soon.)

It was my first time in the big D.  I was without Captain and without Rigg... a mini mommy vacay. It was SO refreshing. I was privileged to be part of the wedding party and spent my entire weekend with the other girls in "the line-up".  I was one of 2 mommies in a 7 bridesmaid party.  It was nice to step out of my mommy bubble and spend some time with girls who have a bit more freedom then me...or at least a different schedule and perspective. It was so neat to see what God was doing in their lives as well as learn about each one of them. I love it when you meet people for the first time and it feels like you have known then a lifetime.

The weekend was spent in deep conversation, good food and MUCH laughter.(as well as me and another girl pretending we were in a musical for awhile!)  God was glorified in the random errands as well as the ceremony. Prayer was abundant and joy overflowing. I was blessed by being a part of it all.

Mostly joy and laughter flooded my soul this weekend. I am happy beyond belief for my friend and her new husband, her new name, the start of her new future...
there was only one moment of self-focused sadness. During the rehearsal dinner a beautiful slideshow of the couple was shown. Starting with the bride-to-be from an early age and watching her grow through snap shots of her life. As pictures after picture of my beautiful friend filled the screen, my heart sank a little and my eyes started to tear up. Pictures of her swinging, playing with her sisters, cheerleading, dances, trips, with friends and family... all flashed by with the clarity that I would never get the joy of sharing Caden's life in pictures at her graduation, or on her wedding day. I will never have pictures of all my family together, or my children. I'll never see her arms wrapped around friends and loved ones, I will never hear her sweet voice whisper words of love and encouragement. The thoughts and realizations of what I will miss out on and what I must live without weighed heavy on my heart as I watched a Godly woman live out her life in pictures on a screen. I was grieving and jealous for that life for my daughter...and me. I struggled in the corner of the room trying to calm myself and keep control of my emotions as I watched the slideshow roll into the grooms photos. I prayed God would grant me joy for my friend and quickly mend my freshly broken heart. I dabbed at my eyes so my makeup wouldn't run and I could look half way normal. I took deep breathes and my sadness started to ebb. Big hugs and shared tears of a friend helped to apply the final band-aide for the evening. The reminder that although God has chosen this path for me, He does not want me to crumple under the weight of pain and hurt. The night was topped off with belly laughs and more singing... I am happy to say that my life contains much more joy then sorrow and more laughter then tears.

John 10:10
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.


Just Me - The Champion said...

Can I just tell you how much you bless me? This story is such a testimony to the power of God in your life. Your sadness... normal. Your yearning... normal. Your love for your baby girl... sweet. And the fact you have this abundant joy wrapped around it, people who love you... "belly laughs" and love for your friend just amazes me. You are a special woman Cari. I am blessed to know your story and hear your heart. I pray that when I have such deep sadness in my heart... may there also be a great abundance of joy to wrap itself around my sadness. Caden is on my fridge and I pray for you daily. Love you girlfriend, Jen

katherine said...

if we're both going to cry, i'm glad we get to cry together occasionally.

i love you.

CaliGirl said...

When I think my heart will break reading about your sadness and unfullfilled wishes for Caden, then you write about your love for God and it heals me. Your Caden is the cutest baby ever. I know you can't wait to be with her again. I love reading your blog.
Your California friend.

Heidi @ Indy Photography said...

I think Blogger needs a 'Like' button. Because I'm lazy like that.

Big 'likes' for this post, Cari. Glad you had a good time! :)