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Posts Tagged ‘God’

When My Heart Stopped

It’s been almost 3 years since I last posted anything here. I don’t know if anyone is still following this blog, but if there is, I just wanted to explain my absence, and share my story.

On February 6, 2016, my 13 year old son, Christian, passed away in a tragic accident, and life as I knew it ended. My heart was still beating and my lungs still took in breath, but my mind went numb and my soul seemed to leave me. I was no longer alive.

I saw a post on a grief support group that said, “I died that day too, but they forgot to bury me”.  I thought, “how true”.

The “me I was” no longer exists, because that “me” had hopes and dreams for a future, one that included Christian in every aspect, a future that will never be. And so, that life ended.

A long time ago I said that my words were seldom polished or rehearsed, that I didn’t follow any fancy writing style, but that my writing came from the heart. But when your heart is shredded into tiny particles, words and thoughts don’t make any sense. Neither does life. So, I stopped posting. I did some journaling from time to time, but it was full of darkness and pain, not the kind of words to encourage hope and faith. I was dead inside.

CPR for My Soul

I woke up each morning and did whatever needed doing that day, but it was like watching someone else through a misty veil living a life that didn’t make any sense.

The next winter my Dad passed away and I slipped even further into the empty darkness. In just a few short years I had lost so many family members, I was beginning to feel like Job from the bible. And I kept begging God to take me too, but He didn’t.

About a month after my Dad passed, my pastor’s Dad also passed away unexpectedly. Being a pastor, he upheld a face of dignity and faith, and on the surface he showed great strength. But when I looked into his eyes one evening shortly after his Dad’s funeral, there was a reflection of pain that I knew all too well. When Christian died my pastor had said he couldn’t even imagine what I was feeling. But that evening as we talked about his Dad, I knew he now understood, and a connection was made.

I felt compelled to try to offer a sense of comforting, but I had none to give. Or at least so I thought. My pastor is a man I have always looked up to and felt a deep respect and admiration for (and still do). So when he told me that evening that he felt inspired and hopeful because of the strength and faith I had shown, I felt a little awkward and insecure. But I listened, and we exchanged a few memories and stories.

Later, I saw 2 memes on Facebook that I knew I had to share with him. One said, “Someone had to go into the fire in order for Nebuchadnezzar to see God” and the second said, “God uses broken people like you and me to fix broken people like you and me”.

I understand now that every one of us goes through all kinds of struggles, trials, and pain throughout our lives. But we have a choice in how we react to it. We can allow it to consume and destroy us, or, we can allow it to be used to help someone else, even if only to listen and try to understand on some level.

Many times in the past few years I’ve asked God what He wants me to do. I don’t know how I got the idea that He would speak to me in a loud booming voice and give me step-by-step instructions on what to do (probably too much Hollywood and not enough Holy Bible), but that is not how He answered.

I kept finding myself coming to these bible verses, and it finally occurred to me that these are God’s instructions for me:

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31 KJV)

“Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” (Proverbs 16:3 KJV)

Coming Back to Life

I have been broken by my grief and there are many pieces of my heart that are gone now. But it has opened my eyes to others that are hurting, and it has stirred compassion in a heart that I thought was dead. That spark of compassion led me back to writing, to share hope and encouragement in any way I can.

I know I will never be the same person I used to be. But in my heart and in my writing, I am coming back to life. It will not be easy, but the journeys that make good stories and testimonies never are.

My goal here is to make connections in sharing our journeys, to lift each other up with stories and prayers, to share hope and smiles where they are needed most.

Since I have forgotten practically everything about the functions on how to run this site, I appreciate your patience as I get reacquainted with the workings. I plan to begin posting a couple times a week and look forward to your feedback. As always, please feel free to share, leave any comments, questions, prayer requests, etc. I welcome the interaction!

God bless!

– Amber Lea

 

 

 

 

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An Easter Gift

There are many occasions throughout the year for celebrations, and Easter is one of my favorites!

Actually, I try to celebrate every day, being thankful for all the blessings in my life. Still, there are certain days that feel extra special to me.

The reason for celebrating Easter is the gift given freely by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The gift of salvation because of His great love for us, is very precious to many, including me.

I used to think that miracles like being raised from the dead only happened during the biblical times. Even after I became a believer and my faith began to grow, I never imagined that I would see a miracle. But that all changed in November of 2010.

When my youngest son, Christian, was killed in an accident and then brought back to life over 40 minutes later, I knew, along with many others, that it was a miracle! But the miracles didn’t stop there. As Christian began sharing his experiences of being in heaven, more miracles were beginning.

Our family began an unexpected journey, which later lead me to write a book. In my heart I knew, it was a story that I wanted to share with everyone. I did not write it to become rich or famous, but rather to give God the honor and glory that He alone deserves. I wrote the book to share with others the awesome power and love of Jesus, and what He did for us.

It has become sort of a tradition for me now, to give away the E-book “Faith, Hope & Miracles” during Easter weekend. It is my gift to anyone that may be searching, hoping, doubting, or just curious about whether or not modern day miracles exist. It is my way of sharing our blessings with others, and to give thanks and praise to God.

From today through midnight Sunday, April 20th, anyone can download the book for free from Amazon. And you don’t need a Kindle to read it. There is a free app for computers and i-pads to read it. I encourage everyone to share it with family and friends, as it is a message of hope. And please help me to spread the word! I really want for as many people as possible to have the chance to read it for free.

Just click here to get your free copy.

1 book cover

I pray that you all are blessed, and have a very thankful and happy Easter! – Amber

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Dear Friends,

As some of you may know, I took some time off for a vacation to visit with my son and daughter-in-law in Texas, and then off to Virginia to spend some time with my parents. I arrived back home on Friday morning, then received news that my Mom passed away Saturday morning. I have returned to Virginia and do not know when I will be posting again.

I know my Mom is with Jesus now, no longer in pain or suffering, but free. It was said that she had been holding on, waiting to see Christian and I again. It had been almost 7 years since our last visit. She went peacefully in her sleep, and I am so very thankful that we got to spend time with her before she passed. I will always treasure our memories and the love we shared with her.

I allowed distance and cost to become obstacles preventing more frequent visits with those I love, and it is now a deep regret. Even though money was still an issue, God stirred my heart with a sense of urgency to come. Then He provided a way to make it happen, proving once again He is all knowing and a compassionate God. My Dad told me that our visit gave Mom peace and comforted her.

My heart is aching, but I know I must be strong now, for my family. I do not have any more words right now, except to say: never take the moments you have for granted because they will never come again, and never pass up the opportunities to say “I love you” because it may be your last chance.

Rest in peace Mom, rejoice in the presence of Jesus, and we will see you again someday. You are forever in my heart! Thank you God, for giving me the privilege of being her daughter!

 

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I just wanted to give a quick update, and a VERY BIG THANK YOU for all your prayers!

I just received word, my son is out of surgery and in ICU. He is doing well!!!

He was born with Aortic Stenosis, a defective heart valve. They have waited for many years for the technology to improve in replacing these valves. He now has a mechanical valve which should last a lifetime, and without further surgeries.

I am a very thankful mother this morning! God blessed me with three beautiful sons. My oldest went Home and walks with Jesus. My youngest went Home for a visit, but was returned to us. Now my second son has a new heart. And I pray it will always be filled with a love for Jesus!

With all my heart, I thank you all so much for your prayers! I know God hears, and answers. He has surrounded with caring and kind hearts that have lifted me up and encouraged me with hope! He gives me courage to face the storms, and strength to go through them. Thank You Jesus! – Amber

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I have a prayer request this morning.

I’ve seen and felt the power of prayer, I know that God hears and answers. So I’m asking for as many as would join me, to pray for my son Daniel. He’s not the type that would ask on his own, so I’m asking for him. He’s having heart surgery in a few days. I’m praying for his soul first, and then his heart.

I thank you all in advance for joining me in this. If you could pass it along to others, I would appreciate it greatly.

God bless, Amber

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New Beginnings

 

I’d like to take a moment to wish everyone (a day late) a very happy and blessed New Year! My son Christian and I were able to spend some time celebrating with some very good friends that we don’t get to see very often. It was a wonderful day, and we will cherish the memories.

Over the past several weeks, I have had many thoughts of family and friends and the importance of our relationships. I had been battling with many frustrations, feeling like I was always behind on something and yet always too busy to do the things I wanted to. And I realized that I was too busy.

My priorities had become out of whack, which tends to happen from time to time. And I had taken on more obligations than I could actually accomplish. As I get a little older, I’m realizing that I don’t have the same energy levels I did when I was a teenager. But my “to do” lists seem to have grown longer, making it impossible to complete all the things I want to do. And this was causing a lot of frustration for me. I don’t like to leave things undone.

So I took some time off for Christmas and New Years, and I spent some of that time going over my responsibilities and obligations. I realized that there were some things I was spending too much time on, and not enough on others. For one thing, I was spending too much time on frivolous things like TV and the internet, and not enough time on my relationship with God. I also had not been spending enough time with my family and friends. Most of my family lives far away, and it’s been many years since I’ve been able to visit. And I’ve been so busy with working on projects and chores, etc. that I have not even spent much time visiting with the family and friends we have near us.

I started considering my priorities. Not the obligations of what I am supposed to do, but the real desires of my heart. Spending time with God, my family and friends, and my animals are my top three desires. Writing is also a passion of mine, but without any of the first three, my writing becomes forced and begins to lack any heart. In college we were taught that there are certain basic principles of how to write well: specific elements of style, grammar, methods, etc. To be honest, I always hated that part of the courses. I know it’s important to learn how to write properly, but for me personally, it’s about putting the feelings in my heart down on paper to share with others. The stronger the passion and emotion in my heart, the better and stronger my writing is.

With that being said…as some of you may know, I completed and published my first book, “Faith, Hope and Miracles”, last July. It’s the true story about my son Christian and the horrible accident he had back in 2010 that earned him the nickname of “miracle boy” by our local newspaper. The trauma that our family went through over that next year and the thankfulness in my heart for his revival and recovery led to a strengthening of faith and hope that I never would have expected. I learned more through that year, than all the years of schooling put together. And it stirred such a passion in my heart, that I could not contain it. I had to share it! I had not written professionally before, but I let my heart pour out onto the pages and before long, there was a book. Writing the book was not the hard part for me, it was having to learn everything from scratch about how to get it published. But with a lot of determination, relentless research, hard work, and most of all, God on my side, the book was released for sale on July 9, 2012 on Amazon.

One of the things I learned about during the publishing process had to do with marketing and publicity and social networking. This was a big drawback for me in many ways. For one thing, it led to many hours more than I care to admit, on sites like Facebook and Twitter. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, (actually it’s a very necessary part) it became very easy to let precious time slip away very quickly. Thankfully I have realized this, and am now limiting my time on the internet and learning to make the most use of it.

For this new year of 2013, I have set some very specific priorities of what I will be spending my time and energy on. God will always be first, as He should be. And my loved ones, (including the furry ones) will come next. I have set aside specific times for my writing in order to accomplish the goals I have for my next book, and I have decided not to worry so much about the little things. I will achieve whatever I have time to finish, AFTER my priorities are taken care of. I guess that is my New Year’s resolution, a new beginning for me.

What are some of your resolutions for this new year? Or some of your new priorities? Please share any ideas or solutions you have in maintaining a schedule to accomplish your tasks. And here’s to a bright, beautiful and blessed 2013!

 

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Every since I heard the news yesterday about the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, my heart has been in a whirlwind. So many feelings and yet, no words to say.

As I’ve read through the Facebook posts and other media, it occurred to me, so many people are hurting and confused and angry. There have been divisions between pro and anti gun groups, people pointing fingers at one or more specific groups, grief and blame galore.

Will any of this bring those children or teachers back, or undo any of this tragedy? NO! It just keeps adding more fuel to a fire of hate, insensitivity, confusion, and it just keeps causing more hurt.

I know people are looking for answers, trying to make some sense of it all. But there is no simple explanation or solution.

But if I may, I do have a small suggestion. When a massive earthquake or hurricane hits and causes much destruction, I’ve seen firsthand how people reach out to each other, to help and support and comfort. I’ve seen total strangers step up and offer a safe, warm place to stay to those in need. And I know the power of prayer and what an effect it can have on so many, near and far.

If the same kind of energy and effort that is being put into the accusing and blaming were to be put into true compassion and helpfulness, the hurting would be so much more bearable. The healing and recovery would be more hopeful.

Tonight as my heart goes out to all the families of the victims and everyone affected, I wanted to say a prayer. But I can’t seem to find any words that would be of any real help, my mind simply draws a blank. So instead, I ask God to hear our hearts, from the deepest pain and know our needs. I know He can hear the words we cannot speak, and He will answer.

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“Am I at home on earth, or am I still in heaven?” This was the question asked by a little boy after being revived from a fatal accident. Do you believe in miracles?

In honor of Thanksgiving, “Faith, Hope & Miracles” by Amber Leggette-Aldrich will be made free on Amazon.com (Kindle version) November 22 and November 23, 2012.

This is a true story of a family’s journey from tragedy to miracles and blessings. After witnessing the death of her 8 year old son Christian in a tragic accident, Ms. Aldrich describes in detail his miraculous revival, followed by more miracles in his recovery.

“In 25 years of being a paramedic, I have never seen anyone with these kinds of traumas that survived”, said 1st responder Glenn Stevens of Matanuska Borough Emergency Services during the 2012 Alaska EMS Symposia. Dr. B.J. Coopes, head of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Providence Hospital in Anchorage Alaska said, “There was nothing normal about the resuscitation or recovery in Christian’s case”.

But perhaps the most astounding elements are Christian’s encounters with Jesus and what he saw in heaven during the 40 minutes before he was resuscitated.

Christian slept for about an hour and then woke up again. As soon as he began to stir, I took his hand and he opened his eyes and looked at me. He asked, “am I at home?” I said, “no honey, you are in the hospital”. He said, “no, am I at home on earth, or am I still in heaven?” A chill went through me as I began to realize the full scope of what I was hearing. I told him he was on earth and that everything was going to be alright. He became extremely agitated and grabbed me. He looked me right in the eyes and said, “Why did you take me away from Jesus? I didn’t want to come back, I wanted to stay with Jesus!”

In her 1st book, “Faith, Hope & Miracles”, Ms. Leggette-Aldrich shares the emotional impacts of her son’s journey in a way that is sure to inspire and encourage the reader. Is Jesus real? Does He still do miracles? Is there hope? You be the judge.

5 Star Reviews for “Faith, Hope & Miracles”:

“…The strength of this family’s faith was awe inspiring, as it was apparent from the start that the writer’s belief and trust in God is what kept her going. It made me reconsider just how strong my own faith really is…I used to wonder if miracles really happened anymore, but now I am positive they do! Thank you for sharing this beautiful work with the world Ms. Legette-Aldrich!” (Jason Robinson)

“I could not put this book down. I could actually feel the fear, pain, suffering, and yes, hope, of Christian’s parents. My heart went out to them. What a miraculeous recovery!…” (Yvonne Leggette)

“…Amber Leggette-Aldrich, (with her gift of superb authorship from God), is the gracious, fluent, flowing, experiential and narrative author of this wondrous story…As you read this marvelous story, you will be so blessed and will feel the emotional experiences of life-accident-death-miracle—>life.” (Don & Clara Zachary)

For a limited time only, get a free Kindle version of “Faith, Hope & Miracles” by Amber Leggette-Aldrich at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008J0Z2FQ

 

 

 

 

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Don’t Cry Me A River, Help Me Dig A Well!

The haunting images of eyes glazing over with death as a child dies in your arms; the shrieking and wailing of mourning announcing the death of another family member; the sickening stench of contaminated living areas; this and much more is a daily way of life for too many.

The main culprit of this devastation is the lack of access to safe, clean water and sanitation. 1.1 billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water. And 2.2 million people, most of them children, die each year from diseases related to unsafe water and unsanitary living conditions. This is a global water crisis, but there is a remedy.

There’s an old saying, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for lifetime”.  What if that same principle was applied to the need for clean water? What if in the process of helping to provide the water, we could also provide skills to provide employment? This process could then be duplicated by the very people being helped, which in turn could be used to help others.

There have been technological advances that have created the means to install safe water wells and pumps, in a very affordable and feasible fashion. The materials used to build these wells and pumps are available nearly everywhere at a very reasonable cost. Once the local people are shown how to dig the wells properly and install the simple pumps, they not only have the means to provide fresh, clean water for themselves, but they can use the skills they have learned to help provide the same for others. This increases the rate at which this water crisis can be resolved.

If you could save a child from the agony of slow death, wouldn’t you try?

All too often the general response to this issue is “Well what can I do about it” or “What difference can I make”? Believe me, there is so much that can be done! It all begins with having the heart to care enough to want to help.

Many Christians consider the phrase “What would Jesus do?” when seeking guidance and direction. I think it’s fairly obvious what He would do here. I imagine He might also say, “Don’t cry me a river, help me dig a well”. While it may not be possible to go and help physically dig, you could sponsor a well with only a small donation. Be a hero, save a life.

For more information and to find out how you can help, please visit http://water4.org/simple-solution/

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The Trials of Life

By Amber Leggette-Aldrich

 

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” (1 Peter 5:10)

“…May your character not be a writing upon the sand, but an inscription upon the rock! May your faith be no “baseless fabric of a vision,” but may it be builded of material able to endure that awful fire which shall consume the wood, hay, and stubble of the hypocrite… May your whole life be so settled and established, that all the blasts of hell, and all the storms of earth shall never be able to remove you. But notice how this blessing of being “stablished in the faith” is gained. The apostle’s words point us to suffering as the means employed–“After that ye have suffered awhile.” It is of no use to hope that we shall be well rooted if no rough winds pass over us. Those old gnarlings on the root of the oak tree, and those strange twistings of the branches, all tell of the many storms that have swept over it, and they are also indicators of the depth into which the roots have forced their way. So the Christian is made strong, and firmly rooted by all the trials and storms of life. Shrink not then from the tempestuous winds of trial, but take comfort, believing that by their rough discipline God is fulfilling this benediction to you.” (Spurgeon’s Devotionals)

Suffering. Not so pleasant a thought. Certainly it is not something that anyone would desire. Yet it is through the suffering that we, as Christians, are made strong. Think about a chunk of coal. After many years of tremendous pressure, it becomes a beautiful diamond. It is from the pressure put on us during our times of trials and suffering that we are being perfected for God’s Kingdom. It is through our faith and trust in God that we have the strength to go through the storms, knowing that there is victory on the other side.

In my book, “Faith, Hope & Miracles”, I shared some of the toughest trials a person could go through. But my faith gave me the strength to go through it all. I endured the suffering because God gave me hope in the knowledge of His eternal love. There were times when I said, “In spite of the storm, I am strong”. But now I know that it is because of the storm that I am stronger.

After the storm comes the rainbow. God gave me the privilege of witnessing and sharing in a precious miracle. It has been a privilege and joy for me to see the impact in people’s heart in sharing that miracle. What a blessing it is for me to share God’s love and goodness, not only when life is good, but even more during the trials!

“Faith, Hope & Miracles” is available at  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008J0Z2FQ

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