oh my word
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real motherhood. real marriage. real life.
The Girl Version {I'll Get to the Point Eventually}
Posted on September 30th, 2015


Sometimes, in the random middle of things, you look up and realize that God has answered the prayers buried deep deep {DEEP} in your heart.  It's those prayers that you really weren't even aware that you prayed, that Jesus prayed for you on your behalf {Romans 8:26}, knowing better than you what you needed, and when, and how, and who.  Has this ever happened to you?

And sometimes this realization happens when you are supposed to be feeling other things...

For me, this happened last week when my precious father-in-law passed away - a time when I am supposed to be grieving, and sad, and sorrowful, and maybe even a little hacked off and confused.  Yes.  All of those feelings.  But also...Joy.  Praise.  Rejoicing.  Thanksgiving.  It is so strange, death.  So odd.  So unfitting with our souls.  So sickening and fuzzy.  I just kept thinking all last week that this is not the way God intended for us to live.  Death was never supposed to be a part of our story.  That's why it feels so foreign and wrong to us.  It just doesn't fit with the image of God placed in our souls.

But God.

He is in the business of Redemption. 

I love it when I can tangibly see God working to redeem what Satan took from us.  Death took our dad.  But God.  He is redeeming and healing.  He is working and does not waste our grief or our lives.  Any life.

So...because I'm a Word Girl...it's going to take a lot of words to get back around to my point.  I think my husband would be the first person to tell you that I use too many words sometimes.  It might take me 30 minutes to explain to him why I snapped at him at dinner when I could have just said, "I'm tired."  That's okay though...I'm always telling him that I could use the Girl Version of the Man Version. 

I now present to you, the Girl Version of this blog post.  Buckle up.
So the beginning of this story makes me sound kind of like a pathetic loser.  But what I've learned is that I'm willing to look pathetic if even one person can say, "Me too!  Me too!"  So, whatevs.  I'm lame.  The end.

I'd say it was roughly seven years ago (math is hard after two kids)...somewhere deep in the cobwebs of my heart I whispered a desperate prayer...sort of.  It was wordless, but if I had to put it in words it would go something like this...

Dear Heavenly Father -

WHAT THE HECK?!  God!  I'm lonely!  I have a great husband and I have a wonderful daughter and amazing family and I love them.  I'm #crazyblessed and #countingmyblessings and all that jazz and THANKS for my people.  But COME ON!  Is a friend or two too much to ask?  My daughter can't talk yet and my husband...well.  You made him!  You know.  He doesn't use All the Words.  I need to talk.  Chit-chat.  Coffee sipping.  Back porch wine cooler sipping (sorry mom).  Random phone calling.  A venting partner. 

K.  I'll be waiting.  Probably impatiently.  And I'll probably put on James Taylor's You've Got a Friend and sob quietly on Friday nights while watching Friends reruns. 

Thanks a bunch.  Love, Me.


I know some of you can relate.  (This is what I'm telling myself so that I can keep my self-esteem intact.)  It's that awkward stage of life.  Too old to hang with the college crowd (they stay out past 10 p.m., which is insane), too awkward to hang out with your friends who don't have kids yet (they just don't understand yet why you smell faintly of baby poo all the time and look like you just woke up no matter what time of day it is), and too new to hang with the married-with-kids veterans (because they tell you things like "you just need to go on a date" or "take some time for yourself" and hearing these things kind of makes you want to punch them in the face pretty hard).  Your college friends all left town and you never really had to make friends because you graduated high school with the same people you ate glue with in Kindergarten.  They were just always there. 

So seven-ish years ago, that's where I was.  I was teaching full-time, had a new baby, and my husband was finishing school and starting a new career as a band director (we'll save The Band Director's Wife post for another day).  And I had no friends.  We had just joined our church.  Here is where I need you to know something if you don't already...I'm a total introvert that is really good at faking being an extrovert.  So while my Extrovert Side told me to "Just go make new friends," my Introvert Side said, "Crawl in a hole and maybe just stay there forever." 

Now that you know me, you can play a fun game with me the next time we talk.  I'll be smiling and laughing and talking on the outside, but if you look really close into my eyeballs, you'll see sheer panic.  Look for it.  (I've had therapy for this...so I'm fully trained and you don't need to be frightened.)  It's ALL genuine, I promise.  I just have to focus really hard to be normal.

I wasn't expecting to share the therapy part.  That was a surprise to us both :) Yay, transparency! (Also, that is sarcasm.) 

Okay, back to the point.  Friendless. 

Then God showed up and did some CRAZY awesome work in me and my family over the past almost-decade.  Those are all stories for another day, but I can say with tears in my eyes and a song in my heart that My God is so faithful and so good and so loving.  He gives amazing gifts.  Jesus groans to the Father on our behalf.  He heals places we didn't know were broken. 

And He gives us friends to walk this journey with us...
‚ÄčI'm almost to my point!  Are you still with me???

Last week was awful.  I cried.  A lot.  Weird things like not having enough cheese for Taco Tuesday kind of made me freak out.  Emotions were just under the surface.  And, true story, I kind of cussed at some people at work.  By accident.  And I apologized and repented immediately.  But, yeah.  That happened.  It was a really hard week.  For me and for my people.  And it's not over.  We are kind of in that day-by-day, moment-by-moment phase still.  (This is good to remember if you see me in the grocery store, perhaps, and I am yelling at my kids or crying on the chip aisle.  Or if you see John and then you don't because he needed some space.)

And here is what I'm going to tell you I realized through Rick's death...

God has exceedingly and abundantly blessed us with dear friends.  These are not just "so sorry for your loss" friends.  These are "I'm bringing over food and you are not going to argue with me about it" friends.  These are not just "I'm praying for you" friends.  These are "I'm stopping my entire life at this very second and getting on my knees to intercede for you" friends.  These are not just "let me know if you need anything" friends.  These are "I'm showing up no matter what you try to tell me" friends. 

They are the kind of friends who know not to buy you a plant because you will just kill it and instead, buy bibles in Rick's memory.  They know us.   They are the kind of friends who take your very specific Chick-Fil-A order and bring it to your mom and kids when you aren't even at home.  They serve us.  They are the kind of friends who get on an airplane and fly hundreds of miles to grieve with you and hug you.  They love us.  They are the kind of friends who will still be your friend and will pray for peace when you text them that you maybe just cussed out your coworkers.  They understand us.  They are the kind of friends who will drive to a little country church on a Tuesday afternoon to be there as you say goodbye to a parent.  They show up for us.  They are the kind of friends who buy your daughters Elsa dolls while they are here and get the honorary "Uncle" title.  They are our family.

I have shed tears of gratitude for these people all week.  The thing is, I knew they were great before we experienced grief.  I've been grateful for them to the point of weeping many times before.  This event did not teach us that we have friends.  It's not like I was wondering about them and am in awe that they came out of the woodwork.  No.  They HAVE been awesome this week, but these are things they do on a daily basis.  They are faithful friends in joy, in sorrow, and all the in-betweens.  No, Rick did not pass away so that I would be smacked upside the head with realization.  His death has reminded me of God's redeeming love.  All those years ago, my heart cried out in desperation and hurt.  And this week, God allowed me to step back for a moment and whispered into my heart, "Look at what I have done.  See how I have provided.  Breathe it in and hold it tight.  I love you."  I am humbled and overwhelmed.

To our dear friends....thank you.  Thank you for loving us well and serving us with care and grace.  We do not deserve it.  You are God's gift to us.  Words are insufficient.  You are loved. 




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