March 05, 2011

Heart on my Sleeve

I'm not a big music guy. I like music. I listen to music in the car, or when I workout. But I'm not big into all the latest artists and what they are singing. It's too much to keep up with. But not to long ago I found a band called Sanctus Real. Maybe you've heard of them. They sing a song called The Redeemer, and as I was listening to the words the other day, I identified with these:

Sometimes I just wish we could say
All the things that are easy to hear
Ignore the injustice we see
And explain every unanswered prayer
But I’d rather speak honestly
And wear a tattered heart on my sleeve
Cuz in the middle of my broken dreams
Redemption is here

A lot of people have responded to the things I've said on this blog. One of the things I hear a lot is "Thanks for your honesty and transparency." I never thought of myself as one who 'wears my heart on my sleeve.' I always associated that with more of a negative connotation - someone who outwardly shows all of their emotions, all of the time - complainers and whiners. But as we walk through this valley, I can't imagine not sharing with honesty all that we are going through. Not for pity, not so people will feel sorry for us, but so that we can walk together.

It certainly would be easier to pretend everything was fine, to say things that are easy to hear. But that wouldn't do me or you any good. We need honesty. People were created for relationship. We were created to be in community. God didn't put us on this earth to handle our problems alone. We need each other.

"And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our [worship] meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near." - Hebrews 10:24-25


Anonymous said...

Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2

Thank you - for your openess and willingness to share. We pray daily to honor God by supporting you,Nancy,Kara,Garren and Kelsey in any way we can. Thank you for allowing us into your struggles and celebrations and helping us do so!

Kelly Tyler said...

Stuff like this helps us become real. It reminds me of the children's classic The Velveteen Rabbit.
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

Much Love and Many Prayers,

Kelly Tyler

Anonymous said...

Hi Janes family,

I haven't met any of you, but I learned of Garren's story through my friends Hu and Sherril. And I wanted you to know that I am praying for Garren's recovery and praying for your family as you walk through this valley.

I read a passage in my devotional the other day that I thought might encourage your family.

The passage was written in reflection over a loved one's hospital stay. The patient had come to an amazing realization, he realized:

"I'll be praising God for all eternity...but only during my brief time on earth can I bring Him joy through praising Him in the midst of pain."

So once I was finished letting this notion blow me away, I figured I'd share it with you (hoping it might have the same effect) That you might be able to see this valley as a blessing and honor for the unique opportunity it has afforded you to praise our God in the midst of pain, something we will only have the opportunity to do on this side of eternity. While the pain of this situation obviously doesn't bring you joy, hopefully being reminded of this amazing, unique pleasure you're bringing our God will encourage your hearts.

That's really all I have, a simple, but hopefully powerful notion.

I hope many good days lie ahead for Garren and your family!


Anonymous said...

I think it's healthy to share and I'm glad you're not afraid to do that. Part of sharing pain, or experiences with pain, and talking about where you've been or where you're going, can often be a great testimony for others. Everyone's unique experiences touch another's life in a different way. The weakness lies within those who can't show their emotions. Pain and love go hand in hand; in order to truly experience love, you have to be able to truly experience the pain, which means deeply feeling the hurt and expressing the emotions.

I've heard so many times in my life "real men don't cry." I beg to differ! In John 11:33-36, just before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, it reads, "When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 'Where have you laid him,' Jesus asked. Come and see Lord, they replied. Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, see how He loved him."

My interpretation when I read that verse is that even though Jesus knew Lazarus would be raised from the dead, He was caught in that moment. He felt her pain and her overwhelming grief, and it hurt Him deeply to see His friend dead. His tears weren't a display of weakness, they were an expression of His pain for the genuine love He felt for another.

We were created with an intricately wired system that allows us to feel, think, love, hurt, and speak...and we come fully equipped with tear glands. If you don't let them spill down your face once in a while when you're overwhelmed, or when you're over joyed, then you will drown in your own sorrow. Thank you so much for continuing to share your pain, your love, your good days, and your bad, with all of us. In for the long haul, The Sisk Family

Anonymous said...

Another day...are you ready? Are you ready to relax? I pray that today will be a stress free day...a relaxing day...not an I don't care day, or we won't pray day, but a day that you will feel totally at ease knowing that your boy is involved in some sort of plan with God that we will never know the full extent of this side of eternity!!! Wow, after all that is said, I don't think I can relax! Hahahahahaha...we love you...praying until you stay to stop, Sandy and Russ

Anonymous said...

I say Amen & Amen to the 5 former comments made here . . . we want to stand with you and your family. We're blessed as we "do" what God has called us to do . . to encourage one another and to stand in the gap in prayer for one another. It's our privelege. We thank you for taking the time to keep us informed so we can pray effectively.
Chris & Rich C.

The Mowerys said...

I am empowered by your ability to stay strong for Garren and to hold onto God's every word! In this world today, it is very reassuring to witness your faith in Him!! This journey you are on has made me stronger in many ways! Please continue to share with us all the baby steps that you make along the way! It helps us too! I continue to pray for Garren and your family! I encourage my children to do the same! We all take each day for granted! With love, The Mowerys

Anonymous said...

Praying for you and your family! Redemption is here and He lives in Garren! I love that group. Hugs to all. In Him, Dave and Greta

wendypoovey said...

After reading your post from Friday, I actually had to digest this over the weekend. (By the way it was wonderful seeing Nancy on Saturday!) So, I am sitting at the computer thinking. You know, we all take things for granted every day, but think about all the little things we take for granted every hour, every minute and even every second. I am just so happy for and proud of Garren. He is working so hard to do the little things we don't even have to think about. How easy it is for me to sit and type this post. I don't have to think about it or put forth much effort at all. And here Garren is using everything he has to move his head, to cough, to move is fingers and toes, to stay awake and communicate with his eyes. Just imagine what we could to glorify God if we put forth even half the effort Garren is putting forth now. What an amazing son you have and what a fighter. I know our family looks forward to the day we can shake his hand, give him a hug, and let him know what an astonishing impact he has had in our lives. Praise God for working through Garren and reminding us all to remember to be thankful and humble and to rejoice! I am also so happy to know that you, Nancy, and your girls were able to spend some time together, the 4 of you, at home. We continue to pray for Garren and your family every day.

Austin's Momma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Austin's Momma said...

As many others, I don't know you but came across your blog from a friend posting it on his Facebook. Just thought I would mention that the son of the lead singer of Sanctus Real was born with Hypoplastic left heart syndrome and he has spent many, many nights by his son's hospital bed. His website is