Since I started this little blog here I have always had a button on the right side that says "Prayer Requests" that when you click on it opens an email to send directly to me for any prayer needs anyone would have-whether I know you or not, whether you want to share details or not-makes no difference. Today, I'm pressing that button myself and humbly asking you to pray for me. This weekend will mark the 3 year anniversary of my aunt's death and to be honest I have found myself struggling with it a lot these past few days as my mind has gone back to the pain and suffering that was our nightmare. My only consolation is my living hope (1 Peter 1:3)...she is home with the same God that will continue to carry me, she is whole, she is well, and someday I will be too. Until then I'm grateful for every good work He has prepared for me in advance to do and for the grace and the strength to do them (Ephesians 2:10).
I have shared before this part of my story, but for any new friends (I'm so glad you're here, by the way) let me give you a bit of background. My aunt was every bit my second mother. She was a gifted pianist and music teacher. She never married or had a family of her own, so she moved in with my family before I was even born. So I was blessed immensely with the gift of having 2 mothers really, neither lacking, both incredible women who made me who I am today. When I started school I thought it was strange none of the other kids had a dad, a mom, and an aunt. As an adult I know now that arrangement doesn't work often and it's probably rare that it worked so well for my family...but it did. 4 years ago she got diagnosed with colon cancer and to say my world was rocked is an understatement. I would be the world's biggest hypocrite to act like God was not faithful, because He was beyond measure, but it was undoubtedly one of the darkest valleys of my life to this point.
Yesterday my mind went back to the day the doctor called with the results of blood work and said she was dangerously low on blood, as the tumor was taking it all up, and that she needed to get to the hospital immediately. She literally had hours left at that point and they wondered how she was still functioning as she was. My sister immediately called me that morning and let me know what was going on, I ran out of my house and jumped in my car and flew to my parents house to try to get there before they left. My parents happened to be remodeling their house at the time and their driveway was full of construction crews and trucks. I cluelessly parked down the street and just started running (in my husband's sweats) down the road to their house. I ran through the front door, up the stairs and straight to her bedroom where she was still calmly packing an overnight bag. I sat on the edge of her bed and willed myself to hold it together until she left. I remember thinking...don't you dare cry...don't you dare cry...if you do you'll never stop. A single tear escaped and she rushed to me and sat down on the edge of the bed next to me and held me so tightly I thought I would stop breathing, and the floodgates broke. I ugly-cry-sobbed hysterically into her arms. I still look back and hate that I did that to her, but am also strangely grateful for that moment where it was just the 2 of us, sitting, hugging, and crying. Nobody knew what would happen next but in my heart it was one of those moments I knew I would never forget. Want to hear something embarrassing? Yesterday that memory came over me so strongly that I drove back to my parents house, climbed the stairs to her bedroom, and sat in that exact same spot. And sobbed my heart out, knowing this time she wouldn't be there to hold me. It was one of the most painful, loneliest moments of my life. My sweet mother found me and came and held me and cried with me instead. I felt 5 years old again. It was just what my grieving, aching heart needed.
I apologize for the "down" nature of this post. I think about you reading this and wonder if you're struggling too, with something much bigger than this. Please know, I am tender towards you. I would love to pray for you also. It's tempting to not write this today, to act like everything is fine in my world and try to make you smile. But today, I hurt. I grieve. I ache for someone very special. And I have always made you a promise-you all are my friends, seriously if you lived down the road from me we would be doing this over a cup of coffee and a pile of tear soaked tissues...and I'm always real with my friends. My mother raised me teaching me that if you can't be genuine around someone then don't be around them. So here I am guys. Real and genuine.
This morning in my prayer journal I wrote these words...
There are times in life that are so painful we worship the Lord from the rock bottom, tears streaming, teeth gritted-telling our soul to praise Him, reminding your heart-He is yet worthy. I have to believe He will honor these praises-yes, even these.
With that, I'm signing off for the weekend. I thank you so humbly for your prayers. He is still so good, sweet friends, and in the midst of suffering I see His Hand at every turn.
Linking up with: Rebecca