If tomorrow isn’t promised… What would you do with today?

I heard that saying at church this past weekend and it stuck with me. I just kept thinking of Nate and how quickly life can change. Tomorrow is not promised. Sunday, I attended service at Lifepoint Church and listened to a sermon titled “One Word”. If you would like to listen – here is the link. . It affected me profoundly. I will fully admit I think it was the first worship and sermon that I have listened too since Nate’s death that I really felt fully and deeply connected. I felt like I could hear God speaking to me. I did not set a New Years Resolution this year and really can’t think of many years that I have. I know that resolutions don’t work for me. I don’t stick to the goals and usually within a few months have forgotten what the resolution was anyway. But I like this idea of picking a word to live for in 2013.  As I was listening to the sermon I thought immediately that my word should be Hope. But as I worshiped through music at the end of service and I sang “Arms Wide Open” and “Great I Am” with my hands held high in worship I pondered if that was the right word for me.  I already had hope.

Yesterday was our baby girl, Kaylee’s, 2nd birthday. We really had a great day. We enjoyed every minute with our sweet baby girl and we had a fun day just spoiling her and loving her. This morning, though, I woke up with guilt. I felt guilty for feeling joyful yesterday. I felt sad that Nate hadn’t been there to celebrate with us. I felt fear that Kaylee will never know Nate’s love. How he held her and helped take care of her. How he sat with me the night I brought Kaylee home, the look of pride the day she was born, the way he hugged her, played with her, and followed her every move. The way he would of loved to tear open presents with her and how he would of asked for his cupcake with “no” icing. The way he would of stood so close to her as we sang Happy Birthday and we probably would of been asking him to step back but he would of nudged closer anyway and he would’ve helped her blow out her two candles. This morning as I got her out of her new big girl twin size bed I thought of how Nate would’ve come popping in this morning to see if Kaylee had slept good in her new bed. He would’ve smiled and climbed right in with her with a grin on his face talking in that baby cheesy voice for her. He loved her. She won’t remember that. That breaks me. I will tell her always of how much Nate loved her but will my stories be enough?

I don’t know why hard days hit me like a ton of bricks are thrown at me all at once? Maybe because some days and weeks are just so busy that I don’t have time to really stop and think. Maybe it’s that now that Nate’s birthday, Christmas, New Years, and Kaylee’s birthday have all passed I have time to think. Or I have time to let the emotions hit me. But I woke this morning full of guilt for feeling joy and then sadness for missing Nate. I came downstairs and immediately turned my ipod to shuffle for my Christian mix. The 2nd song to play was “Arms Wide Open” by Hillsong. I can feel the emotions rise within me as I write the lyrics… Here I stand, Arms Open Wide… My whole life is Yours, I give it all, Surrendered to Your name, And forever I will pray, Have Your way.

After packing lunch and getting breakfast started for Kaylee I went upstairs to wake Drew up for school.   As I opened Drew’s door, I could see this ray of sunlight shining straight across Nate’s bed.  You see, Nate had this thing with propping his window shade open with a book or a truck so that the light would shine in and hit him directly in the face.  It was like he needed to know it was morning and let that sun in.  Well, this morning, when I saw that sun shining in the way it used to shine in on Nate I felt overwhelming since of love.  Love for Nate and the Love of God.   I actually had to check the window shade to see if it had been propped open, then I leaned down, stroked the ray of light where it hit Nate’s bed, and as tears hit Nate’s bed I whispered to Nate of my love for him.

Some days I find joy and some days I find guilt in that joy. Some days still feel like a dream I’m waiting to snap out of. Some days are just plain hard. Today felt like an impossible day. Today made me question how I will get through each day for the rest of my life without Nate. But this morning when Arms Wide Open played in the background and I heard again the words … Surrendered to Your name… I decided I will surrender it all. I decided that my One Word for 2013 is Surrender. On the days that feel like I can’t bear another burden, another ounce of pain, I will hand it to God. He will carry me through it.  I have given so much of this to God but I know there are pieces of me that I haven’t let go of yet…  I’m still trying to hang on to a little bit of control and it’s time I surrender that too. I remember thinking during the worship at church on Sunday that although I do not understand this path I have to walk and I have no answers to a bazillion questions about September 2nd, 2012 that He is still the only one that can give me peace in the future. Peace to turn 2013 into a year of Hope by surrendering everything I am to him. He will give me the strength I need when I feel like I can’t take another step. He gave me the strength today and I made a good day out of a hard day.  He showed me a ray of light when I needed it so badly.  He makes me ponder the question … If tomorrow isn’t promised – What will I do with today?

If you had to pick one word for 2013 to live by… what would it be?

All my love,


13 thoughts on “Surrender

  1. Lynn Frazier

    You don’t know me…I’m Tony’s aunt and I live at SML. I think of you and your family often. I just want you to know that I am inspired by you and your husband. You are handling the loss of your much loved child in a way I can only imagine. May God continue to comfort you and bless your lives. Kaylee will know Nate loved her because you will live that love.

  2. Amanda Gayler

    Just beautifully said, Katie. As a mother, I sit here as my 2-yr-old son drifts off to sleep, in tears reading your words, and feeling your pain. Your strength and your love for Nate are nothing short of inspiring.

  3. Jan Snow

    Children develop influences starting at birth and I am sure the love Kaylee felt from Nate since birth is in her heart and will always be a part of what makes her that loving precious little girl. Go out and be great today..and happy is what Nate would want you to be !!! I love you Jan

  4. kelly quickel

    My word is Trust. The only way we can trust is to wholly surrender to His plan and purpose for us. We all struggle with this as is goes against our sinful nature but the joy and peace that accompanies this is the ultimate state of being we can have on this planet. By you sharing your journey it helps to encourage us all on that same journey towards Christ. That shining warmth of His light on Nate’s bed was His smile for you as you continue to shine His light and His love on this community. Soak it up, along with all of the joy He gives you…He loves you and you deserve it. Keep on being Great.

  5. Mary

    Your faith and strength inspire me. Jennie and I discuss your blog posts together, often crying together. These personal stories are incredibly difficult to share, I am sure, but thank you for allowing all of us into your heart. Even on the “ton of bricks” days He is faithfully supporting us. You are the kind of woman of God I aspire to be. You and your family are always in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Jack

    Katie – What you and Justin do every day must be unbelievably hard. Faith is the evidence of things unseen. Sometimes it is a view of heaven from a seat in hell. It is to do the next right thing because that is what survivors do. It is to get in the wheelbarrow, not just watch a Higher Power push it across an impossibly deep and wide chasm on a thin tightrope. I think about you guys all the time, and hug my kids, and thank God for their mess and noise. I celebrate your ray of sunshine. My word this year is faith. Thanks for continuing to talk here.

  7. Teresa Burke

    I love you. Your openness and trust in God is awesome. I know you have so many questions. Please know that you are reminding so many people that you don’t even realize to put their trust in the right place. You took a horrific event and turn it into hope for so many people through your vulnerable confessions. Feel joy, feel anger, feel sadness, feel happy. Feel all of the feelings that God allows you to feel. They are a part of you.

  8. Jan Snow

    It took me a couple of days…and alot of thinking…..could not get this out of my mind…..but I think my word needs to be “Time”……to remind me of what is important in life…..because you can not control how much time you have. so you need to value it and spend it doing the things that matter!!! Thank you again for being such an inspiration !!!!

  9. Jennifer

    I think of you and your family often and I feel pain for you….your blog post are so raw and beautiful and they put life in perspective. My word is “aspire”. I aspire to live each day trying to be a better person! I aspire to be forgiving! I aspire to be grateful for all things and for all moments! I aspire to continue to grow as a parent and be the best parent that i can be, I aspire to bring church more into my life! I aspire to learn how to let go and accept things for what they are, I aspire to not sweat the small stuff, I aspire to push forward even if I fail….and to try all over again….I will continue to aspire to be better!

  10. Joanne

    Connie gave me the link to your site. I’m a writer but most importantly a mother. and your words were anointed tonight. Tears rolled down my face while reading. Continue to write what God puts on your heart. While memories are fresh and emotions are raw, they will not be wasted….they will be used in BIG ways. God bless you and your precious family as you maneuver the unpredictable road of grief. No doubt, God will shower you with much joy along the way. Never feel guilty about that. In His Love, Joanne


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