Wherever You Go

When my life was completely shattered during my battle with double brain tumors, I began to write in a way I never thought possible. I could care less what others thought of my words. Yet, my story was like a fire within me that literally had me longing to push through the pain to get my words out on my blog each night. When my mouth failed to pull out the right words, my typing fingers could tell the world how I was feeling. I posted my thoughts publicly. It avoided the initial awkwardness for friends starting the conversation each day. It also eliminated my need to retell my saga of events countless times. But it allowed something even bigger, deeper perhaps even something life transforming to occur. Others started reading my posts. Complete strangers. God used my words to reach out to people I will never meet face-to-face during a time in my life I could barely express verbally what I was feeling.

Why?

Because God is indeed with us, wherever we go. Through the storms. Through cancer. Through tucking our kids into bed at night. God shines through our vulnerable moments in amazing ways. When we break apart, He holds us together in ways we never knew existed. Don’t be afraid to shine in your brokenness – let others in to see Who holds your life together when it matters the most. 

Here is my blog post originally shared as “Our Song” published in February 2012

It’s late and I almost headed to bed without updating, but this song, mine and Josh’s song just could not get off my mind…I just had to update.

My day today was…and still is, rough. My stomach literally HURTS. Sprite wouldn’t even stay down today and my amazing husband ran to Walgreens at 8:30 tonight to grab some Gatorade. I went from feeling really good last night to, well, back to my “normal.” BUT it was a nice break! I was up early with the kids, watched the boys so Steve could go to worship practice, my eyebrows fell out (seriously…Josh was picking up hairs off my pillow trying to put them back on my eyes…kinda cute but kinda not), my stomach hurt, I was exhausted…and patience was not present with me or the kids today. It was just one of those days…I know you have them too!

So tonight when Josh begged me to put him to bed, of course I agreed. I knew I snapped a few times today and although everything in my body was telling me to stay right where I was lying, I got up and prepared for our nightly routine. Both boys brush their teeth, both boys get Jammie’s on and both boys join me on Josh’s bed to watch a Looney Toons video on my iPad. The boys LOVE this…and they aren’t on tv anymore. Tonight as they were watching Tweedy run for his “little life” I glanced over and saw Josh lying down with his arm cuddling Caden…both boys were smiling. It was one of those moments that you want to grab a camera, but you know you’ll miss the shot. The boys LOVE this special time with mommy…oh and mommy really likes this time too!

Caden is reluctantly escorted by daddy into his room to be put to bed. Josh and I lie in his bed together and read a book, then we pray together, then we make up a short story (this story involves Josh picking up some friends and taking any mode of transportation to a fun place and then returning all of his friends IN ORDER back home). Josh gets the order right…I really don’t try anymore. Then I lay with him and eventually him and I both end up asleep. I usually hear the coffee maker going, which wakes me up and tells me it’s 9PM (Steve’s nightly coffee time).

But tonight we made it to that part where we drift off to sleep…I was halfway there, but Josh hadn’t even started. I heard him talking, but I really wasn’t listening.

Finally he asked, “Mommy, are you STILL sick?”

Oh I HATE that question. I understand why he asks, but I hate answering it.

I sighed and said “Yes buddy, but the doctors are working hard to make mommy all better again.”

He knew the drill and he knew the answer. Usually that did it, but not tonight.

He rolled back over and asked, “Mommy, are you scared? Are you going to die?” Okay…you moms out there no EXACTLY how I felt at that very second…but how was I going to answer my 4 year-old son, who really doesn’t understand the complexity of what’s going on.

I didn’t know how to answer and I didn’t need to…God did.

No sooner had I been thinking of what to say, Josh chimed in, “Mommy, why don’t you sing your song to me anymore?”

MY song could be anything from Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to The Wheels On The Bus. There for a few short months MY song according to Josh was, “Baby Baby Baby Oh”….ummmm, no.

“Which one?” I asked him.
Josh sighed, “Mommy, you know! The song you sang to me when I was little. I would close my eyes like this and you holded me and rocked me night night.”

He remembered our song! I was dreaming of this day when I started that the day he was born. That first night in the hospital, when it was just him and me, I held him and I sang our song. You know it…and I think you will know why I decided to sing it to my son Josh. It goes like this:
Have I not commanded you
Be strong and courageous
Do not be terrified
Do not be discouraged
For the Lord Your God will be with you
Wherever you go
Wherever you go

When it was just weeks away from his appearance, he would kick and stretch inside of me to the point I would almost be in tears. I remember sneaking into the nursery one night and sitting in the rocker and just rocking, singing softly this song to this miracle in my womb. Immediately he calmed down inside of me and I ended up falling asleep in there…a few times before Josh was even born!

I would continue this tradition, before books, videos and even prayers came to be a part of our routine. One night, probably around the time Steve and I agreed the rocker needed to go, Josh informed me that he was a big boy now and he didn’t need that baby song. So, it stopped. I accepted…eventually, that he was growing-up and he needed to tell me these things.

So you see, tonight when he asked me about Our Song, my excitement was there, but this song wasn’t meant for Josh tonight…I believe it was Gods message to me.

I would sing this as a prayer over my son…from that first night there in the hospital, to nights I felt like sleep was an oxymoron, to the night he went to sleep without a bottle, to the night he walked into my arms, to the night he got his first big boy cars bed, to the night before his first day of preschool, to the night he started asking about girls, to the night he asked me if I was “scared.” Every step of my sons life I wanted Him to know God was with him and to be courageous. One day he will start a relationship and he will understand this love the Father has for him first hand.

But until then…like God told me tonight, my son Josh can learn courage through me.

I get my courage through Christ.

As I sang that song to Josh tonight, he asked me to sing it again. After the encore he sighed, comfortably and drifted off to sleep. I was wide awake watching my son trust in me for his protection…his source for strength.

I guess bad days are allowed because “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying I WILL TRY AGAIN TOMORROW.”

I will try again tomorrow…and you should too.

Have a great day friends. I will update soon regarding my new treatment plan as I know many of you have emailed me with questions. Just thought somebody out there needed God singing this over them.
Have I not commanded you
Be strong and courageous
Do not be terrified
Do not be discouraged
For the Lord your God will be with you
Wherever you go
…Wherever you go.
(Joshua 1:9)

 

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11 thoughts on “Wherever You Go

  1. I’m glad you took the courage to share your story. More people need to hear about God’s faithfulness, and you tell it so beautifully. Thank you for sharing. I’m your neighbor from #coffeeforyourheart.

  2. I love this tender story. Your heart for your boys. I’m glad Josh want to hear your special song again … Certainly not a “baby” song … But one we all need. I love “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying I will try again tomorrow.” Blessings to you, Bethany!

  3. A beautiful & encouraging post. This right here >>> ““Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying I WILL TRY AGAIN TOMORROW.” Oh Amen & Amen!

  4. Hi Bethany, thank you so much for sharing this post. And that song you sang to your son for his protection and strength? Amazing! It’s what God sings over you, over me, over all His children.

    “I guess bad days are allowed because Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying I WILL TRY AGAIN TOMORROW.” God bless you, Bethany. I hope you are doing well.

  5. That Joshua verse is one of my favorites! And I so know what you mean about being vulnerable and sharing your story. When I joined the Write 31 Days challenge, in October, I never knew how incredible it would be. I have met so many others that have similar experiences to my families story. There is something so great about hearing “me too.” Yes courage is that voice that says I will try again tomorrow.

  6. Oh praying with you… standing beside you, holding you up, my friend! I was just singing the song Where You Go I Go by Brian and Jenn Johnson last night… God is good, and with every breath, He loves to hear you sing! Singing a song of healing and grace and victory over you now! Let it be so, Lord! Let it be so!

  7. I too believe God uses our storms for so much more good than we can ever imagine. So grateful there are people like truly live that out. I’m always glad to see you link up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

  8. I needed my Bethany fix before I went to bed tonight and I’m so happy I read this. I want to know your whole story! The song? YES, LORD! My grand daughter and I have sung, “Be bold Be strong for the Lord your God goes with you” since she was 5 years old – Saturday she is graduating high school and she still sings it when she is afraid. Lifetime songs. God songs. Songs of hope and deliverance. Songs of love – God’s unending love.
    I love BB…
    Signed SS
    PS: not sure I like those initials put together. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Wow, tears streaming down my face as I read. How courageous to teach your son to trust God in such a scary, unknown situation. Thank you for sharing, you really inspired me today.

  10. Bethany….so grateful to have stopped by and read your beautiful reflection. ““Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying I WILL TRY AGAIN TOMORROW.” <—Thank you for this. I love the testimony on your lips and how you grab the small moments and listen for that still, small, beautiful voice! Keep telling your story! Love reading what you have to say! Blessings!

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