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John Crawford - Journal

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Posted 2020-03-12T15:40:00Z

Announcements, Update and Anniversary (Oh my!)

I recently loaded up my car with Inheritance of Hope supplies and headed off to Florida once again, but not for a Legacy Retreat.  Instead, we were serving families after the diagnosed parent had passed away at a special C.A.R.E. Retreat, which we now offer to families who were all signed up and ready to go on their trip with their loved one, but that parent was too sick to travel and passed away before they could attend.  C.A.R.E. is an acronym, and stands for Celebrate, Acknowledge, Remember and Embrace.  On the retreats, our focus in on teaching the families tools for healthy grieving and also trying to help them have some fun and enjoy their new normal.  (Sidenote, even though it is so accurate, I despise the phrase “new normal.”)  Anyway, this retreat was incredibly special, and seven families not only enjoyed the magic of Disney and opportunities to process their feelings, but we also got to share with them the hope of Christ.  At the closing ceremony, I had the privilege of telling a bit of my own story and experience.  I’ve included it below for those of you who would like to read on.  (I’m long-winded as usual. 😉)[...]

Posted 2019-12-16T21:03:00Z

Anniversary Thoughts

I know the pain and shame of divorce and have experienced the consequences of quitting, though unfortunately, Erik lives with the impact of that sin much more.  However, we got a second chance when I married John.  Things were going to be different I was sure, though I had no idea what the difference was that we would need the most, but God did.  Between 2011 and 2013, He was teaching me the importance of surrendering to Him through parenting and shortly after, He did the same for John through ALS.  Though our marriage was pretty good, five years in, with two hearts totally submitted to God, it began to fulfill the primary purpose of marriage; though imperfectly, we were glorifying God by depicting the mysterious and beautiful relationship of Christ and the church.  Two years later, I experienced the end of another marriage as John took his last breath with me by his side, but this time, there was peace, purpose and beauty. [...]

Posted 2019-12-13T03:34:00Z

Learning to Grieve with Hope

I haven’t posted anything in a while, quite honestly, because I don’t feel like I have much to offer.  Not that I did on my own before, but I was better at focusing on God and allowing Him to teach me lessons that I could perhaps share with others, and that was the best thing about them. [...]

Posted 2019-03-13T00:26:00Z

There is Still Hope - Third Annual Hope Marathon - March 26th - Come walk some if you can!

Ten years ago, at a little bed and breakfast in Stanley, Virginia, Erik, John and I secretly became a family.  We didn't know God very well, and definitely had no idea of what was in store, but we knew we would need Him.  He was the third cord that would keep us from being easily broken.  Over time, God drew us closer to Him through our church and challenged us to grow in our faith by living it out a little at a time.  He was gentle.  He gave me simple faith, but John was a little more resistant, much more analytical and in need of answers.  I prayed desperately for his salvation and remember clearly the moment I told God I was ready for whatever it would take... the moment my head and my heart truly surrendered the "normal" life we had come to know for whatever God had planned for us instead.  Within months John was showing signs of ALS, and on January 6th, 2014, he was officially diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.  All I remember thinking is, "God's not surprised, and He is so much bigger."  Throughout John's illness, God repeatedly reminded us of this truth as this path that would seem so horrific was revealed to be the most beautiful, intricate and purposeful adventure.  John realized he didn't need all the answers and gave his life to Christ.  He openly professed his faith through sharing his testimony and being baptized on Easter Sunday and proclaimed that he was at peace with "whatever God wants," and he was.  Over and over, God provided even more than we needed practically and physically as we did our best to trust Him and act accordingly in obedience. I have no doubt that God gave our family special favor as He blessed us with unity, hope, peace and joy, even as John took his last breaths on March 26th, 2016.  Our seven years of marriage were amazing, but the time together after John's diagnosis was a gift I would never even consider exchanging.  In those last 26 months and 20 days, our marriage was what God had in mind when He created it, not despite ALS, but because of it.[...]

Posted 2019-02-28T17:59:14Z

Who Told You?

Wow, there has been so much new in our lives!  So much, but over the past six months or so, God has been revealing just how much I still need to surrender and see differently in this new season of life and family.  He has been leading me to focus on seeking a local, authentic community of believers, learning to find rest in Him in this demanding life, and reevaluating my fitness goals and routines.  For too long, I have been depending on what this looked like in what now seems to be a different lifetime.  It was like God said, “You can still have and really need these things, but you’ve got to think outside of your old box.”  Right as the final piece of fitness was revealed, the opportunity to learn a new approach popped up out of nowhere…. A Bible study that focuses on authentic community, rest in Christ, and new ways to move our bodies and live healthier, but all of it working toward wholeness (spirit, soul, and body) and begins with (and relies on) seeking God first.   I was intrigued, and I was in; and I am grateful that God is teaching me more about His love for me through Revelation Wellness.  Alisa Keeton, the founder of this organization, asks a poignant question in her book:[...]

Posted 2018-11-23T07:17:00Z

NYC Legacy Retreat - Purpose Revealed

Tuesday marked the end of my 10th Legacy Retreat, the first I enjoyed as a participant, and the other nine brought joy through volunteering.  On the last day, volunteers and staff share some of their experiences on the retreat with each other, this time, through summarizing through one word and a few sentences to explain it.  I wasn’t able to be a part of debrief this year (and truth be told, a few sentences is not enough for this one), but I do have a word to share, so I thought I would do it here. [...]

Posted 2018-07-13T05:58:00Z

Selling a Place of Peace

In April of 2008, after searching over 100 properties, John and I bought a beautiful piece of land in Pisgah Forest and began plans for building our own home.  We chose a modular based on a layout I drew, and we were so excited when we were finally able to move in on December 23rd.  We didn’t even have permanent power yet, but that didn’t matter; we had our Christmas tree and a propane heater.  We were set, and it was a beautiful gift, one we enjoyed for nine years.[...]

Posted 2018-05-09T18:59:46Z

In the Space Between

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8:14-16[...]

Posted 2018-03-25T19:05:00Z

Tomorrow's Marathon Schedule

This year there is no fundraising, no bib number, no finish line and no goal of running a marathon, but I am planning to walk 26.2 miles tomorrow around Brevard to honor John's memory and remember the ALS marathon we "ran" together for 26 months and 20 days.  Most importantly, tomorrow is about setting apart time to celebrate and reflect on God's faithfulness through it all and to praise Him for the gift of Jesus, our hope for the race we run.  All who would like to and can join us are definitely welcomed!  Here are the times, locations and distances that are planned for the day.  (These are the loops planned, but feel free to join us and turn back around whenever you need to also!)[...]