Tenth Avenue North

Several months ago, I grabbed some tickets to see a very special band Tenth Avenue North. For those who don’t know the story. Their song By your side was the last song playing in the car the night Sydney met Jesus. I hadn’t ever heard of the band prior to that but I immediately had to go listen. I cannot tell you the peace and comfort the words brought me, and then I came across Hold my heart and that song literally described my heart. Music was the tool God used to help me survive. The words to these songs were the truth I needed to be reminded of. Music somehow made me feel connected to God and heaven, which connected me to Sydney. I also know that God specifically chose this band to be a part of my journey. I had no idea when I got the tickets that this would end up being the last tour they would do as Tenth Avenue North. I can’t explain to you in a post all the ways God worked all around us the past several years through them. God is so good and these guys were so amazing. We got to sit on the bus and have coffee with them and just talk to them. There were only 6 of us. We got to share a little of Sydney’s story with them and thank them for the music they created and the sacrifice they make to be away from their family. We got to ask them about their lives and where they find encouragement when times get tough for them. I had 3 Play For Jeter bracelets with me and after the small group got through talking, I asked them if they would want to wear one of Sydney’s bands for my picture. They all said of course❤️These little small things mean so much. They actually kept them on throughout the concert. I know it’s just a bracelet but seeing it on someone’s arm never fails to make me smile. I always feel like Sydney is there with me but I couldn’t help but feel God gave her the opportunity to be there with them. Thank you God! My cup runneth over. Wishing them lots of luck on their next chapters and some much needed family time. Here are some pictures and videos from the night. Yes Mike personally made our coffee, yes he stood in our chairs, yes he played both songs By your Side and Hold my heart. #PlayForJeter #missablekindofgirl #tenthavenuenorth #noshametantour

I can only imagine

I’m not sure if anyone else has done this but I think a lot about the moment Sydney met Jesus which in a few short hours will be exactly 5 yrs ago. I can only imagine the peace he brought to her after being thrashed around. It’s a blessing for me to know that she didn’t have long before the accident began and she was standing present before The Lord perfectly new with not one single injury. Healed in a way we think and try to understand but can not. Her life upon earth may have ended at that moment but her real life was just beginning. As much as I’d like to think she stayed around the accident watching us, worried about us and how we would make it, like the movies would show..I know she didn’t. Instead she was standing with The Prince of Peace, she was not holding on to Bible versus..she was experiencing him personally. Can you imagine the amount of love she felt at that moment. Anyone who knew Sydney knew all she ever wanted in this life was to be loved. She loved others so deeply because that’s how she wanted to be loved and at this moment she would no longer have to try and get that from broken people who were incapable of providing it. No more heartbreak or heartache because God’s love is perfect. Her hearts desire truly standing right before her offering his hand however I’m sure she probably talked him into giving her a piggyback ride💞I find peace in knowing she is free from the pain and heartache of this world and at the same time ache to the depths of my soul because I want so badly to share in these moments as I know her smile and laughter would be far greater than what she experienced here. So thankful for God’s promises and the sacrifice of Jesus. I can’t wait to join her and sit as she tells me the real story of when she met Jesus because I’m positive my imagination and thoughts can not come close to the truth of her actual experience but I find peace knowing it wouldn’t be less than my imagination but instead abundantly more!

As the 5 year mark slowly creeps up on me

As the 5 yr mark slowly creeps up on me..my heart starts to beat faster and the anxiety begins to flare. How in the world is this possible. It still seems so unreal. There have even been days I’ve had to stop and voice to myself She was real, she was here, and this did really happen. How have I lived this long without her? How do I keep going? How does my heart continue to beat? I’m exhausted from missing her. In the first couple of years, I dealt with the trauma of loosing her, then slowly moved into a deep depression as I struggled with the loss of joy and happiness she infused into my life. Not many changes happened in the first two years, but as year 3 approached the “she would have’s” started as the kids her age began the next steps of life like graduating and going off to college. I tried as hard as I could to focus on the blessing it was to have her instead of the pain of not having her but as hard as I try the pain is simply impossible to diminish. I slowly learned how to manage and balance the weight I constantly carry around. I can promise you TIME DOES NOT HEAL but you do learn with time what makes it better and what makes it worse. Time teaches you that you survive despite the fact that you aren’t strong enough. Time teaches you that the pain doesn’t ease but you get use to carrying the weight. Time is our biggest enemy yet is also our best friend. Each day is another day we must live missing them but each day is also a day closer to seeing them again. It is time that helps you to process the trauma of what happened, and time that forces you to face the reality that they aren’t coming back. I remember in the beginning I thought I would never see the day when I thought about her without thinking about the accident but it was time that got me to the place where I remember her and all the things she’s did without thinking of the accident. The thing that makes time unable to heal is the fact that time can not take away the missing her part. It is the one thing that over the last 5 years hasn’t changed or even slightly eased. I miss not only everything about who she was but I miss all that she would have been and all she would have done. I’m 100 percent positive I will never conquer the missing her part so I am more than thankful for the people in our lives who continue to help us remember her and keep her memory alive. The memories of our last 3 months together are filled with some of the hardest moments I ever had with her but also some of the best. I’m blessed to know that by the time..”Time” takes me to the 5 years mark, my memories and Sydney’s post and writings will continue to remind me of her heart, where she put her trust, and the faithfulness of God. It was May 10th I made a call to a friend seeking some godly wisdom..May 12th (Mother’s Day that year) that we followed the push of the Holy Spirit and walked into a church Sydney said she felt God called her to attend. Confession-Sydney had told me she felt called to go there about 6 months prior and I said NO and left absolutely no room for discussion because selfishly I didn’t want to go to a new church or a small church. I think back now and wonder what blessings my stubbornness and control stole from me in those 6 months because what followed in the next 2 months couldn’t have happened without us surrendering and trusting God to work and BELIEVING that living obediently to the scriptures was our missing piece. What a blessing to have witnessed something I can find no other words for then Agape. The ultimate, incomparable and unconditionally love God has for humankind. The next couple of months will be as impossible as they’ve always been but I know the cure to my impossibility and I will do in the next couple of months exactly what I did 5 years ago just two short months before she died..I will surrender and trust God to work but this time when I fall backwards I’m not hesitant, I’m not making sure he’s behind me, I don’t have to ask him “are you sure you going to catch me” I know without a shadow of a doubt he will be there because he hasn’t left my side. I hope you see me Sydney! I hope you see me living out the truth we were studying. You don’t need it now, but so many others still do. I love you and promise to continue using “time” to work for God, hoping to see him do for others what he did for you and for me.

Our relationship

This day 5 yrs ago is a perfect example of mine and Sydney’s relationship. It was filled from sun up to sun down and I was with her the entire time. I helped her with her make up and had previously convinced her that I could do her hair better than a salon😳 Even though I was stressed it wouldn’t look good enough, we still laughed and smiled the entire time. Most 16 year olds would make sure they shook their mom at some point before the dance or at least after. Not my girl😊She had me chaperone and when they weren’t dancing she would skip over to me to stand next to me until the next song, and I sat with them at IHOP after. She never made me feel like she didn’t want me there in fact it was just the opposite. I’m thankful God allowed me to have these memories and this very special day with this amazing girl. Thank you Sydney Lisa Jeter for loving your momma so well. It was a gift to be included, a gift to be able to smile and laugh with you and a gift to do your hair and makeup. You looked beautiful as always!! My #missablekindofgirl

That smile!

I didn’t take many pictures of her on the side of a soccer field so this is such a rare treasure to me, however I could have taken a million and it wouldn’t be enough. Her passion for the game was as beautiful as that smile! My #missablekindofgirl #PlayForJeter 

Reminders!

Sydney posted this 4 years ago early in the morning before we headed out for the beach. She wanted nothing more than to share Gods love with others and encourage the people around her. We have continued to go to the beach every year on this day. Its a trip that yes may be filled with some heartache but the memories and love that flood us are worth the pain. For the past 3 years Kristi’s boys have helped Cameron fill this day with adventure and fun. I’m still so thankful she posted this. It continues to encourage me and reminds me of how happy she was walking with God❤️

What is really important!

As I sit with July coming at me full speed I find myself desiring her encouragement. The kind of encouragement I’m looking for is anything she highlighted or wrote which is built on truth and is linked to an overflow of love from her heart. As I start opening drawers and opening her bibles praying to find something that will speak to me God never fails to give me just that. Finding this treasure reminds me to stay focused on God leaving NO room for doubt. I am continually blown away by her wisdom and the scriptures that spoke to her and now to me. As I continue to press into him he continues to bless me and remind me that he is near and that she IS with him. I have learned so much on this journey and I continue to share with others so they may learn from my experience without having to go through it..There is one thing that I believe is the greatest lesson and that is..the importance of teaching your children no matter what age that God is always the answer..he is always the only answer. He is the only reason I have any hope of seeing my precious girl again and that hope is the only reason I continue to fight each day. The peace of knowing she believed and loved God is the biggest blessing of all. If growing your family’s relationship with God isn’t your number one priority..CHANGE IT..I don’t care if your children are infants, toddlers, elementary age, teenagers, college students, newly married or grown adults raising their own family..It is not too late..don’t waste another minute on things that can’t survive beyond this world. Give them the only thing that secures an eternity with them. Make sure their foundation is built on God because it will be the only that will matter at the end of this life.

Victory in Jesus

Today I celebrate the resurrection of Jesus with a humbled thankful heart. I understand the victory like never before because I am already reaping the benefits of his sacrifice and victorious win over death. Because he LIVES my baby is not only alive but she is with The Prince of Peace, her redeemer, her bridegroom, The Son of God and she has received her crown. She is in a perfect place where time doesn’t exist, for her..the blink of her eye will be a lifetime for me. This is the reason I continue each day..this gift this promise this victory will also be mine one day and I will be reunited with my girl and will live eternity with her and God. I may not have the a window into heaven like I asked for but God blessed me with the gift to create pictures that seem as if I do❤️

Beauty out of Ashes 

‪I remember the day I stood face to face w/my faith..face to face w/my belief in the word..the day I had to answer the question Is God alone enough..just days before Sydney and I were discussing this very subject. I assured her that as long as she had God the rest didn’t matter. Honestly at the time I was thinking that if you had God then everything else in life would fall into place. I was encouraging her to trust that if God was asking her to remove people from her life that even if he didn’t replace them, as long as she had God she had all she needed. So she began putting space between the relationships she felt didn’t honor God. Some she knew would die completely but some she felt she could still hold onto as long as she was wearing the amour of God when she was with them. If she was keeping the relationship her sole desire was to bring them into a relationship with God alongside her. She purposely and strategically thought about how when and where she would hang out with them. She decided one on one would be better than the usual group atmosphere as it was easier to protect herself and keep her focus on God. She made sure the environment she hung out with them in was a safe place for her..she invited them to her house and asked me to help her continue to honor God even when the get together wasn’t a bible study and the person didn’t know God. So the day I stood face to face with not only my faith and belief but death and a separation I could never have even imagined was 7/11/13 not 7/10/13 because yes Sydney took her last breathe on 7/10/13 but it wasn’t until 3am on 7/11/13 when I was told my daughter didn’t make it and it was 7/11/13 when I sat at my kitchen table wondering how I could survive..scared I would never feel joy and happiness again..the day the question started roaring through my mind “Is God alone enough?” I knew what the right answer was and began to realize the real question roaring through my mind was.. Did I BELIEVE God alone was enough. Before this moment in my life I had not ever had to truly answer this question..Don’t get me wrong I surely thought I had answered it I thought I had stepped out in faith but I was whole unbroken and strong. I had never faced a moment where I didn’t feel I was sort of in control. I’ve never been a materialistic person. The things that made me happy we’re people not things. I had all I needed in my life..life was not perfect..it was not a fairy tale..but my family was taking our issues to God and solving them with the word of God..so I felt at peace protected and was watching God sweep Sydney off her feet. The love and light that shined through her was nothing I had ever seen before. Sidenote: (For all those moms who want your daughters to be loved..stop teaching them they need to find this love from the world or a man..the love that will change their life is simply the LOVE OF GOD ALONE..but they can’t believe it, if you don’t believe it) I’ve always said your faith grows not in reading the word but instead when you experience God, when you live out the word when you see and feel God working in and around your life and there was no doubt God was everywhere we turned. So that day I sat there with Sydney it was easy for me to tell her God alone is enough because I had never stood face to face with the reality of it..I had never had to stand before the Giant with only a stone and I had never had to step into the burning fire trusting and believing that God would fulfill his promise and bring me out alive or walk into the raging Red Sea trusting God to separate the waters and I had never had to face a day without one of the most precious gifts I had ever received. She was everything I dreamed of and then a million times more..I continually asked God how..how was I suppose to survive when he took one of the best pieces of me..the question continued to roar in my head “Is God alone enough?”..thinking continually on my moments with Sydney knowing whole heartedly I did believe it..I believed it when I told her and I believed it now because his word says it..and if his word says it then it is truth..My relationship with God changed at that moment b/c starting this day I could not move without him..my baby was gone and the devastation was all consuming..I didn’t want to spend a day away from her and certainly not years..but I survive because of God and God alone..I survive because I know God is real because I can’t survive this yet I am..I survive because my faith and belief are REAL..I survive because it may be years but it won’t be eternity..I have seen the beauty brought out of the ashes..I have seen God bring good from the bad..He continues to allow Sydney’s life to touch people he continues to allow her to share wisdom truth and her testimony with people and she’s not even here..the beauty that comes from the ashes wont make it right and it will NEVER be ok..but it is real..it is a gift..It is Gods way of reminding me of his faithfulness..reminding me that HE ALONE IS ENOUGH. My life continues to change and be a challenge but I face each day knowing I can silence the roaring question..I may not have battled a giant or faced hungry lions but I have faced death and just as God was with them and brought them through it he is with me and brings me through it..mine is not a short fight..one throw of a stone and I won..it’s a long journey but I’m thankful I don’t live in circumstances but instead I live in truth and that truth gives me hope for something more than the circumstances I face in this life. That truth reminds me this life is temporary therefore this pain and suffering will not last forever. That truth is the reason I continue.