I've never actually put a blog on here, and to be honest I'm not good at it. If you know me at all, you probably know I'm not one to talk about my feelings. I tend to keep everything stored inside of me, which sometimes can backfire (possibly more on that later). It's typically hard for me to get all of my thoughts out while talking, but for whatever reason when I'm writing they just pour out of me. Now, that's not to say that what comes out is not the most random of random, it is - I tend to write in circles, I type what comes out of my head and my thoughts for the current moment.
Today has been an emotionally draining day however it has left me feel completely humbled and blessed (and with a headache, which is very rare for me). The whole day started differently than normal (which could also be the eventual cause of the head-ache). Ryan left at 5:50 am this morning for a Y Conference in NC, I am typically the one that gets up first, showers and leaves for work - I actually like it better that way. It's comforting to know that he is still there and I never sleep good when he's gone. This morning after he left, I felt slightly awake and knew that I really only had an hour of sleep left so I decided to get up and go into work an hour early. This is potentially reason number one for my headache. I'm HUGE on sleep! I wish i was one of those people who could get six hours of sleep and be ready for the day, but I'm not. I need ten hours a night and even then I don't always feel rested.
Anyways, I came into work early, got a lot done and actually got on here to read my friends recent blog. Her little girl just turned three and she talked about the blessing and joy of having that little girl in her life. Then she talked about the struggle they faced to finally get that little girl and while I was reading this my heart began to ache and literally feel the pain that they must have felt through that time. Obviously, no one knows that kind of pain until they experience it first hand and I pray to God that I never do, but my heart ached and my eyes filled with tears (remember I'm at work reading this) .. so I tried to pull myself together before someone came in and I looked completely ridiculous, but that feeling stuck with me - ya know, that feeling you get when you hold back your tears -- your eyes hurt, then your head hurts (potentially reason number two for my headache).
After reading this blog, I got a twitter update from Lauren Chandler, Matt Chandler's wife and it said this, "From Matt: Since coordination and strength are part of the creative order, they are primarily for God's glory and secondary for man's joy. My prayer today is that God would grant me, for His glory and my joy, both in my left side." On a side note of this, a few days before Matt's surgery he made a video and in that video he said something that has been with me ever since, "There is a part of me that is so grateful that the Lord would call me WORTHY for this ... He is good in ALL things and He will never send any of us things that He does not provide strength for." It is amazing that he can have this reaction in the mist of such a great trial. Through his sufferings and fear he is still able to find great joy in the Lord and he is still able to praise Him. I pray that they Lord would allow me to be this grateful during my trials, currently and to come, I pray that I would know with confidence that He will supply my every strength.
Regretfully, almost seven years ago I was faced with such a trial and could not rejoice in the Lord. I watched my dad take his last breath on the hospital bed in Dallas, TX after having an aorta transplant. The success rate of this surgery is very low and this particular doctor in Dallas was the best in the country. He made it through surgery fine (I didn't get to see him or talk to him, to this day I still wish I had been able to). Shortly after he woke up, he got a really bad headache and went into a coma. He ended up have a brain aneurysm (a result of the surgery).
At this time my relationship with the Lord was just me going through the motions, it wasn't personal. I prayed hard for my dad to live and there were people all across the world (literally the world) praying for him, so when he didn't live, I thought that God didn't answer prayer. I didn't understand why so many people had been praying and the Lord still took him from this earth. After that I couldn't talk about how the Lord answered prayer, because I didn't think he did. I couldn't sing about Him answering prayer, because I didn't believe it. I became so angry at Him for taking my father from me. I remember nights when I would scream out, "WHY?! WHY DID YOU TAKE HIM?!" I remember thinking: Why him? Why not me? He had such a greater spiritual influence on people and I wasn't doing anything for the greater good of the gospel. I sat idol.
It wasn't until a year or so after my dad passed away that I realized that God ALWAYS answers prayer, He just doesn't ALWAYS say "yes". And then it wasn't until this past year, on the date of my father's death (January 29) that I thought, "I bet the angel's rejoice on this day. They sing because it's a day that a saint was brought home." I still wish my dad was here, nothing will change that, but I find comfort and peace in knowing that he is rejoicing with the angels, sitting next to our Lord and Savior and that he will never be sick or hurt again. I pray that if suffering comes my way again (which it will) that I will be able to handle it with as much grace and peace as Matt and his family are. Lord, I know you will never give me more than I can bare, but my prayer is that you will give me the grace, comfort, peace and strength that I will need to face what's to come.
I'm not sure where the time went, but I am sure that I rambled on (see, I told you that I would). I leave today feeling humbled to have this day, to have second chances, to have health and to have a God that is the ultimate supplier of ALL our needs.
Collard Greens with Bacon
1 hour ago