Yesterday…Today…Tomorrow

Yesterday…

I am a creature of habit. There is not a day that goes by that I do not check my Timehop app on my phone or look at my memories on Facebook. Some may think I am dwelling on the past. Believe it or not, the past holds sweet memories that help me get through the tough days of the present.

Today on Timehop, I discovered several memories that just touched my heart revolving around my children. Doesn’t everything revolve around our children? Collin returned from Kia Kima (scout camp) 13 years ago very sick. After taking him to the doctor, we were told he had pneumonia. He was such a sick little boy and I was scared out of my wits. Even our Labrador Retriever knew something was wrong and didn’t leave his side in our bed. Collin’s remarks stick in my head, “I told you I was sick.” Yes, you did. I learned to listen, listen to him and to my instinct as a mother.

Nine years ago, Bretta Cochran and Kari Coudriet returned Collin and Trey’s best friends to Memphis from New Orleans after learning Trey would possibly have a life-altering surgery. Trey wasn’t going to face this possibility without his brother at home (or his best friends). What do you do first? You build a fort, of course. I have no idea why this was on Trey’s bucket list, but it was. Once everything was built, Trey, his brother, and his friends crawled under the blankets, played video games, and told Trey about the mission trip. There was a lot of laughter, exhausted kids, and plenty of donuts from Paula Williams. If walls could talk.

Today…

Collin had his first appointment today at West Clinic. I was told that only one person could go with Collin, so I volunteered Jay since he is also a patient and knows the ropes. It absolutely ripped me up inside to not be able to be with Collin, to take care of my little boy. As Dr. Tauer said, you aren’t a little boy anymore, you are a man, and we will proceed however you feel comfortable. Collin agreed to move forward however Jay and I thought best.

Dr. Tauer explained to Collin the importance of preventative treatment when you have a hereditary cancer gene. I cannot count the number of times Dr. Tauer repeated himself to Collin saying, “I know this is so much for you to handle and I just can’t imagine how you are doing it.” I wanted to jump in the conversation and brag on how the little pneumonia boy whose brother died of cancer has grown into a strong (handsome, I might add) young man. He is tough, hard-working, independent, but still knows he needs his mom and dad. Did I mention he is handsome?

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12

Tomorrow…

With all of the yesterdays and todays rolled together, Jay and I have learned not to depend on the promises of tomorrow. I never imagined this would be my life. You think you have learned from mistakes, planned for your future, and sometimes God shuts the door on your plans and dreams. Do we stop dreaming because God changed the direction? Absolutely not. We still build a fort because it is on our bucket list. We still plan on our trip to the Mediterranean because it is our dream cruise. God doesn’t close the door on our lives, only things we pray are not under His will. He wants us to hold our plans and dreams loosely so that He can work through them.

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Ps. 37:4

God is in the smallest and largest of details. If we will only listen to the still, small voice in our spirit, He is faithful to reveal a glimpse of the blueprint for our lives. If I would have seen that blueprint 10 years ago of what our future would hold, I would have been tempted to beg God to change His direction for our lives to avoid the pain and sorrow. Oh, BUT GOD! He knew I would not be the strong person I am today without yesterday. That also goes for Jay and Collin. It gives me HOPE for tomorrow. Our frustrations of today should be our pleas to God for a different tomorrow. I have a friend going through a very difficult medical situation and all I can promise her is that He DOES hear! What our tomorrow will be, only He knows. I cannot imagine not being able to rest in His hands.

Yesterday…Today…Tomorrow; sweet memories to cherish, opportunities to grow and learn, and promises only God can give for what is best for our lives. Simply put…faith changes everything.

1. Remember, Jesus overcame even death. Whatever seems worst to us now is, in fact, surmounted by Jesus eternally. Even death is no match for our Savior.

2. Know that God is with us in the midst of pain. While we wait for a problem to resolve itself tomorrow, Christ demonstrates His comfort now. We are reminded to make Jesus the object of our longing today. His “yes” isn’t as important as His presence.

3. Entrust tomorrow to Jesus. Jesus wants our trust. He makes many promises beginning with “I will” (future tense). Do we believe God when He says “I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am”? (John 14:3) When Christ says “you may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it,” (John 14:14) can we rest in that right now? Yes we can.” Candace Lucey

30 Years Unplanned

img_2668Climbing the ladder.

That is exactly where I was 30 years ago.  I was working at Union Planters National Bank where I had been for 5 years.  They had graciously paid my tuition to State Tech were I earned an Associate’s Degree in Banking and Finance.  I had my life planned out.  I was going to work my way up the ladder.  But, for some reason, I kept finding myself hitting dead ends.

I was moved from department to department.  I was promised one promotion after another.  I even had a position created for me because they did not want to see me leave.  I worked with the best people.  I even worked with a man named Jerry Erwin.  Yes, my future father-in-law (which I did not know at the time).

In the summer of 1988 at age 23, my mother said to me, if you do not stop living the way you are living, you will need to find another place to live.  Well, talking about ruffling feathers.  I wasn’t doing anything wrong except struggling to find my independence.  A couple of days later, my mother said to me that she had prayed about it and told me that I could stay at home.  I didn’t know what had changed.  She just said she had prayed.

Prayer.

Gradually, Union Planters was finding less and less work for me to do.  I was not happy in my job and my spiritual life was in the tank.  My personal life wasn’t too bad because I was juggling three relationships – none of which were Jay.  Until one day, my sister called me at work in late October 1988 and said that her friend had to quit her job at a law firm and she thought I would be perfect.  It was a small office and only two attorneys.  I jumped at the opportunity.

Change.

I must have wowed them with my long brown hair, black plaid suit with satin purple blouse, and black stilettos.  I got the job immediately.  November 1, 1988, I began my career in the legal field with Henrich and Jetton.  Yes, 30 years go.  Everything I had worked for, dreamed about, and gone to school for I threw out the window and pursued the legal field.

During my ten years at Henrich and Jetton, I received several certifications and I have a lengthy resume from serving on local and state legal association boards.

I don’t want to let it pass that my first date with Jay was December 10, 1988.  In the early years, his dad and I had plenty to talk about when he would come on from work before he retired.  But I knew I had done the right thing by leaving Union Planters and banking in the past.

On March 1, 1999, and very pregnant with Collin, Burch, Porter & Johnson hired me to continue to work in the estate planning and divorce field.  I had many friends at Burch, Porter & Johnson at the time and the fit with Joe Duncan just seemed right.  Even though I was told – “You better not work for him.” Almost 20 years later, I am so glad I didn’t listen to them! I work for a christian, compassionate, loving, praying man – and yes, he IS an attorney! He has mellowed, trust me.  There are many jokes about THAT!

Purpose.

I have watched God move in the most amazing ways over the last 30 years.  I have befriended many divorce clients and felt that God has used me to be their “light at the end of the tunnel” when they have felt they could not go on.  Since I have experienced the deepest groanings with death, I have been able to share with my divorce clients that divorce does mimic death.  There is grief.  There is mourning.  There is change.

This also applies to estate planning.  When appropriate, many have such a hard time deciding life-ending decisions.  I truly believe God opens the door for me to mention Trey and his peace at the end of his life.  The client usually always know who Trey is and our story.  God is so good to give me the prompting to share our story.

Lesson.

Listen to God. Be ready for change. You might have that piece of paper, but that might not be where God wants you.  I never thought that I would be at this same desk 20 years later trying to keep the same man organized (and a few others – Charlie Newman and Scott Crosby – whom I love dearly).  I never thought I would experience the loss of my first boss, Ernie Jetton, who taught me so much in 10 years.  Then there is Ed Mullikin.  We shared an office.  “Ed, what’s a NTBF!” “ED! GREG COTTON CALLED YOU AGAIN!” And that’s where my journey began.  November 1, 1988…30 years ago.

Always be ready for a journey.  Your life is a journey.

(P.S. Can you tell I have a migraine in this picture? Ugh. – with Joe Duncan)