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Archive for February, 2012

Manna

I have often wondered what manna as found in the wilderness by the Israelites must have been like. How weird must it have been the morning when the first person woke up to see this answered prayer of provision from God. What relief must have followed this discovery.

I realize that we live in a different day and age today, but I am experiencing the same sort of blessing in my life these days. More specifically, today is a prime example. It was my first Sunday back leading the congregation of BCC in worship since Dad died. I had been struggling all week with the prospects of having to stand before everyone and lead them to a place I wasn’t sure I was capable of going. However, God showed up in a real and powerful way throughout the rehearsals and services and YET AGAIN reminded me that He is my sustainer and true provider.

What a relief.

I don’t have to pretend to be “strong enough” or know exactly what to say. God is strong in my weakness. He has been steady though my heart is heavy and my emotions are like a roller coaster. I’ve felt shattered and yet this morning I could really worship God for literally holding me together.

…still missing Dad, don’t get me wrong. Really missing him. We all are. I reckon that won’t be changing anytime soon. But what is new is a stronger-than-ever confidence that God is truly up to something good: really good. Better than good. For now, I have no idea what that will look like or play out in my life. But I am quite grateful for the “manna” he is giving me each day. It may come from a new passage of scripture He shows me, or through encouragement from fellow believers, or in the way I know He is working out all the details of my day-to-day life in such a way that I am able to move forward, albeit still at a slow and steady pace.

Thank you, God. You are so good to me.

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Well…it’s been just over 2 weeks since Dad passed. It’s still not real to me and I’m wondering when or if it ever will be. Tonight is a big night in the process of me returning to life “as usual”. We’re rehearsing for Sunday morning in just a few minutes. There will be about 20-25 people at rehearsal, all eager to praise God together. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally for praising God and I know He is worthy of my praise, but in all honesty, it’s hard to get excited about much of anything these days.

Also, I don’t want to make it weird or awkward for anyone, and I’m sure they’re all going to want to tell me how sorry they are that Dad died, which is apt to make me sad – obviously that’s no one’s intentions, but the result is typically the same. I start thinging about losing my father and I get sad all over again. Anyway, I’ve been in my little office praying that God will give me the right words to say and the right way to react to everyone. I’m pretty much clueless as to how I’m going to get through this but am excited to see how God will show up to be strong in my weakness.

On another note, I’m really missing Mom. We had a great 45 minute Skype conversation last night, but it’s not much good for hugs. I know she’s an amazing woman and much stronger than we give her credit for being, but I also realize that as hard as all of this is for me, it’s exponentially more difficult for her.

“God, please comfort mom right now and help her feel your arms holding her close. Lord, please let someone call her tonight just to visit and see how she’s doing. Help me to be the son I need to be for her and give me the encouraging words to say that will give her strength to go on and to know that things are going to be okay. Different, but okay.”

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A New Normal

So…the slow process of reestablishing my life before “the dreaded phone call” which has spun my world off kilter is commencing, beginning with the trek back to northern Virginia. If day 1 is any indication, we’ll be alright. Of course, we only made it as far as Little Rock but I’m not complaining. We had the chance to visit dad’s grave before leaving town and it was totally worth the time. Parker caught a huge typo on the temporary grave marker: they had the death as 2011 instead of 2012. If we hadn’t caught it, the actual tombstone would’ve been wrong. 

Found myself flowing effortlessly between “fine” and “a mess” all throughout the day. I think I’m getting used to it now, so the sudden tears no longer surprise me. Wondering now when they’ll subside…or maybe they won’t. 

The kids are doing okay. Parker is having the hardest time, which isn’t a shock. How he has been dealing with it ranges from sad to angry to silent. My heart is breaking for him.  We all miss granddaddy so much and it’s still so new. I look forward to smiling again-on the inside. It’ll come. I keep telling myself things will be different, but good. A New Normal. I’ll take any kind of “normal” right now. 

 

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It’s been a week since Dad didn’t wake up last Tuesday morning. 1,500 miles, 7 days and sleepless nights and countless tears later, I am struggling to wrap my mind around all of this.

It’s not like I’m in denial that Dad’s gone. I saw his body…I held his hand…I wept on his chest…I spoke at the funeral and was there at the cemetery…I know he’s not here anymore-but my heart is taking it’s sweet time catching up with my mind. My heart yearns for the way that dad would hug me (where his hearing aids would always squeal a little bit when he got super close to whisper “I love you the most”). I miss the silly facial expressions he was famous for:the ones that I try to emulate to my own children and friends. I miss the sporadic phone calls that could come any minute, but would have no doubt come at least 4-5 times in the last week, if not more. I’m struggling with seeing his truck outside, his keys hanging up on the hook by the door, and yet he’s nowhere to be found. He brought so much life to this simple little house. He was the one who could always make Mom smile…she’s not smiling much now and it’s killing me.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our moments of laughter, recounting some of the many great stories and memories, but it’s just not the same and it never will be. But more than anything else, I’m struggling mightily with the little things; the simple things. For example:

Watching TV – not only is it hard watching a show I know he enjoyed, but I almost feel guilty for doing it.
Eating – nothing really tastes good to me so I won’t eat; then I wake up at weird times super hungry and eat junk food which I know is totally unhealthy for me, yet I find I don’t care all that much right now.
Sleeping – I’m writing this at almost 1am even though I’m sleep deprived…enough said.
Going anywhere – It’s literally like every single place I go reminds me of something that totally makes me think of Dad.
Talking on the phone – Most people who know me know I enjoy talking on the phone. I’d much rather talk than text and I’m also a people-oriented person who is energized by being around other people. Not so much right now. I am avoiding the phone since I will invariably be asked about my Dad or be told “I’m so sorry…” by the person on the other end. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the sentiment because I TOTALLY do. It’s just so raw for me still that I don’t know how to respond to the other person. Therefore, I’m not using the phone much.
Music – I’m a person whose life revolves around music, yet there is a quiet in my heart right now like I have never felt. I am praying for God to give me a heart to praise him vocally and musically during this time of grief and sadness, but it’s pretty quiet at the moment.

It makes sense to me that I would feel this way, but it is so hard for me to accept. I am the person who’s usually “up” when everyone else is “down”. But everyone is REALLY DOWN right now, including me, and I wish it would change for the better. On the other hand, I might actually feel guilty if I felt different right now. See what sleep deprivation does to a guy? Not pretty at all. Speaking of which, it’s “lights out” so I can lay here and let my mind wind down to the point where I can actually sleep. Praying for rest; God give me rest.

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