All Lives Matter

I don’t usually write poems, and I have definitely never shared one that I have written. But I felt I needed to share this one. So don’t judge too hardly 😉

This morning my heart hurts, and I feel weighed down by all of the hate that I see. I wrote this poem to try to make sense of all of the grief I was feeling. Of course I have opinions, we all do. I just don’t think voicing them would make a difference right now. I think what the world really needs is a little silence. Some time to process.

So here it is (yes I am very nervous about this but stepping out in faith here):

Hate breeds hate

Fear begets fear

Lives matter

Son, daughter, father

 

Our hearts ache for what is

What is going to be

Begging for our lives

We shouldn’t have to plea

 

It is just the beginning

Hate always breeds

It will get worse

An unknown future is all we see

 

There is sin in the world

History has taught us this

It is devious

But somehow we dismiss

 

The bible has the answer

Love never fails

And only with God

Can we prevail

 

Conspiracy theories

And planned murders

I fear for my children

I am only a mother

 

Violence has always been

And will always be

 Prayer is the answer

From you and from me

 

Let’s not place blame

And judge what we don’t know

Don’t let the media

Entrap our soul

 

Each story has two sides

The truth in the middle

As children we are taught this

Let’s try to remember

 

You don’t know everything

Neither do I

We must be open to learn

Because opinions do lie

 

Black, white, brown,

Color shouldn’t be the factor

Civilian, officer, political,

All lives matter

 

Two wrongs don’t make a right

It only leads to blindness

What the world really needs

Is just a little kindness

 

~ C.C. Andrews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let God Bless You

Today, Pastor Randy of Life Restoration Church sent me a Facebook message inviting me to church service this morning. I immediately replied that I couldn’t come because I was moving my store. His response? “If you come this morning, I will send a team of young men to help you move today. And you can come to church, and get filled up by the Holy Spirit, get a word from the Lord, and get some help at your store today.” I immediately replied, Deal! Not because I expected anyone to help, but I figured that if he was that willing to get me to church, then God obviously had a word for me that I needed to hear.

When our lives are falling apart, church should be the first place we run. Me? I am hard-headed to the core. I try micro-managing every thing by myself. I become a doer. I think that if I work hard enough I can fix it myself. Of course I never do, and everything continues to fall down around me until I finally have to hand it over to God. Which I should have done from the beginning.

Growing up, I had to be tough. I learned to be independent and strong. It has gotten me through a lot of trials, but it has also been one of my biggest flaws. I don’t know how to ask for help. I just do it myself. Now ask me if I do it quietly or without anger? Nope, my feelings get hurt because people I love don’t want to help me. My anger just pushes me forward until yes, the job is done, but I am one bitter person. Did I mention I can hold a grudge? Like, forever? It is another one of those flaws I am working on.

After church, Pastor Randy messaged me and said, “Hey! I got about 10 men ready here!! Where are you?” I explained that he really didn’t have to help, I came because I knew God had a word for me. And he said, “You HAVE to let God bless you!!” Isn’t it amazing how God wants to bless us, but we are the ones in His way stopping Him? He was right, and I knew it. God can’t bless me when I won’t let Him.

Why is it so hard to hand things over to Him? I wish I could tell all you that almost losing my boys brought me to a place of total trust and faith. I am and always will be a work in progress. Did I mention that the message today was about faith? One of the things Pastor Randy said was exactly what I needed to hear, “The harder the thing is that you have to go through, the more magnificent your testimony.” God knew I needed the reminder. I needed to hear the words. Immediately after the accident God told me that He had a plan and a purpose for this happening. I held on to that Word and it helped get me through one of the most difficult experiences of my life. I knew then that what our boys were going through was for His testimony.

Someone reminded me this week that God is using me for His purpose. My story and my voice has helped others, and continues to do so. It seems like my dream of Vintage is ending, but God has bigger plans in the works. And that when you use your voice to give God the praise, the devil comes in to try to steal it. I refuse to shut up. I have said it from the beginning, and I still say it. God has done too much for my family to not get the praise He deserves.

Not just 10 young guys come to help, it was more like 20. They had trucks and they were ready to work! I had spent 4 days packing and moving what I could in the back of my Tahoe, and barely made a dent. What would have taken myself and Heather (who has been so good to me and agreed to stay to help me until the very end) 2 weeks to do took them a few hours. They literally moved my entire store with me. I cannot begin to express my gratitude.

While I was watching them fellowship with one another and moving furniture, God reminded me that what I was witnessing was church. Church is belonging to a family that loves one another. Belonging to a family of believers that loves people that they don’t even know. These people didn’t have to spend their Sunday afternoon in the sweltering heat to help someone they have barely met move. Yet they did, full of love and with no questions asked. They loved on me and encouraged me the entire time. And God did I need it! At the end of the day, they prayed with my husband and I. This group of young men are what church is all about. If you don’t have a church family, I highly recommend Life Restoration Church.

As I showed them the car that the boys were in the accident in so that they could see why we were having to close my store and move furniture, God reminded me too. My heart aches because I had to give up my dream, but I must have faith and trust in God that this isn’t the end. Our journey isn’t over. We still have a long way to go. We have had to make many sacrifices as a family, and I am sure there will be more to make in the future.

Do I wish that our lives were back to “normal”? Absolutely. Would I love to be without all of the stress I have endured for the last 10 months? You bet I would! But I also would have missed out on all of the good things that has come from the accident: Hearing Jackson talk about his trip to heaven. Watching God work miracles time after time. Learning to let go and allowing Him to bless me. Hearing from people who’s lives have forever more been changed because of our boys story. And having a group of young men show up to not only help me move, but to love on me when I needed it the most and to remind me that I should have handed it over to God from the very beginning.

Love and blessings,

C.C.

Yesterday I experienced one of the most embarrassing moments of my life, in front of customers nonetheless. I don’t usually cry, but yesterday the tears just wouldn’t stop. 

I have been praying ceaselessly for God to give me direction on what I should do with my store, Vintage. It takes time to establish a business in a new location and because of the accident we simply don’t have the capital we need to sustain it. My husband’s auto repair business just isn’t making the funds to provide for itself and our family so their has been added pressure for Vintage to provide an income, which it has not been able to do. 

This weekend was a make it or break it opportunity. We would either make enough money to get ahead or we wouldn’t. I poured everything I had in to it. As it is only myself and my assistant, we worked tirelessly in the heat preparing for the RC Moon Pie Festival in hopes that we would have a profitable weekend. My body aches like it hasn’t in years. 

In the meantime, I have also been seeking a job. There are many reasons why this wasn’t my favorite choice, but the most important reason is I will be unable to be with my family. For me to make any type of money, I will have to take a job in Nashville or somewhere equivalent. This means leaving home at 6am and returning at 6 or 7pm. I will not be able to take our boys to the doctor. Pick Jackson up from school when he isn’t feeling well, which happens a lot. I will also not be able to continue writing my book. As luck or fate would have it, I was offered a job on Friday in Nashville, while preparing for this make it or break it weekend. 

Sometimes God answers us, and it isn’t always what we want to hear. That embarrassing moment was the final nail in the coffin so to speak. My heart simply cannot continue to take that type of embarrassment or disappointment. I can’t continue to strive to do what I love while not being able to provide for my family. Right now we need money more than my children need me. 

I know some think that this is a road block and there will be new beginnings. You can take it to the bank, but there will not be for me. That was my one leap of faith to follow my dream, there will not be another. My heart simply cannot handle it. When this door closes, it will not open again. 

Someone made a comment on my post about how blessed I am. I should remember that I have my children and a husband who loves me. Yes, I am beyond blessed to have my children and thank God for them every single day. But there has been so much more heartache in my life that most couldn’t begin to imagine. I know that God is using me to help others, but I pray that people also remember that in order for me to have this voice and and this level of faith, it has taken insurmountable pain and a lifetime of experiences to earn it. Not just from the accident, but even as a little child. 

I am not perfect. I wish I could be positive and uplifting while I give up the one dream I have ever had the courage to go after. Right now, all I can feel is heartache and sadness. I know that God has a purpose and a plan for my boys. For them I would do or give up anything. And I am, but it doesn’t mean that my heart enjoys making sacrifices. I will do my best to process this as best I can and overcome as I always have, and I know that God will help me through. I just ask that if you can, say a prayer for me in the meantime. 

Love and blessings, 

C.C. Andrews