Tag: A Grief Observed

where feet may fail – revisited…

Thank you all for the birthday wishes! This day ~ these past three years have been bitter – but always end up with a sweet lining. I often fret, and worry about this day – leading up to it… You see… today is not only my birthday – but also my Dads…

I swear… I was the luckiest gal to see the Outcry tour with my great friend Vanessa last April 2016. We saw Elevation Worship, Jesus Culture, Kari Jobe, and… Hillsong United LIVE – front – row. Yes – Taya Smith in all of her God given vocal glory – belting out Oceans, literally 50 feet from me.

To say that wasn’t a moving experience…. well – there are just no words…

I’ve now been reviewing these lyrics on a near daily observance since 2013, and…

I thought it would be good to review this song once again – especially since it holds such anchors in my life, and within my own story.

By now, you know the story,and if you need a little history lesson you can always rewind, and take a peak here.

The lyrics of Oceans are still playing out wildly in my life. God never fails. I can say this with assurance. Though He doesn’t always play the chords I expect, the notes he chooses are always right, and always deliberate.

{I Invite you to hit play and listen to this song for the rest of the post}

Sometimes this is hard to swallow.

I often grow and birth such an anxiety about today… worrying relentlessly that my dad is not here to celebrate with me…

I know he is in a better place, but I long to see him. Though intellectually I know he is in a far better place, I want him here. Everything you LOVED about Zeek, you loved about my dad.. If there was ever a TV show about MY family ~ it WAS Parenthood, and my dad WAS Zeek. He was the bedrock of our family… our Zeek to our Parenthood.

He was my anchor – here in the flesh – here on earth.

But I realized today that I need to trust God in this area of my life too. I never saw it before – but right now – right here, he is asking me to get out of the boat, and I’ve been terrified like the other disciples, and stayed put.

Several days leading up to today leave me wondering, and drunk with fear on how am I going to get through today… but.I.always.do. I need to capture these thoughts of anxiety, because today – I realized these feelings of fear and anxiety are not from God.

Today – when things went amazingly well – I realized I can be Peter. I can get out of the boat, and walk on water too. Because Jesus is here right with me. Right now – during these times. God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity (2 Timothy 1:7). 

Today I renew my prayer.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
                  Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Lord – I trust in you – that I can and DO still have a happy birthday. Thank you for those people that you’ve placed around me – that hold me up, and remind me that You’re right there waiting for me… on the water… with Your hand stretched out… ready to catch me if I should fall. Take away these feelings of fear and timidity.

Thank you – that Heaven is a real place – where my dad actually is. Though I have to remind myself that today is my birthday…. July 2 is my dads birthday now. When he entered into heaven – to an eternal celebration that is far better than I could ever imagine.

Help me to celebrate that you granted ME life, for a purpose – and I can feel okay celebrating that – and enjoying that. 

Thank you for your truth- and for speaking so clearly to me today.

I will call upon your name…
and keep my eyes above the waves…
My soul will rest in your embrace…
I am Yours… and You are mine…

You taught my feet to dance…

So yeah – I heard this song not too long ago… which – really God? Really? Goodness you have such a way of speaking right to me through song.

First Oceans… then Anchor- and now Heroes.

Around this time of year – I grow anxious, and think about the disappointment that I feel – that I often keep bundled up inside of me.

You see, today is my 35th birthday and would have been my dad’s 67th birthday.

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He passed away very suddenly July of 2014.

So you see… I grow anxious – and think about the disappointment that I feel surrounding today. Its a real reminder to me that my dad isn’t here any more. More so than any other time of year.

To not blow out the birthday candles together
Playfully bicker about what kind of cake to have, or meal to eat.
And sing obnoxiously to each other on the phone.

And I feel incredibly guilty – or ashamed almost – for feeling sad and disappointed. I know my dad is in heaven… I know he is in a better place.

The brain understands – but the heart still hurts.

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I’m trying though to trust God with my whole heart… not just my mind… and let go… open that clenched fist of my understanding and trust that God has this whole thing figured out. – Proverbs 3:5. Just as I trust intrinsicly that the sun will rise each morning.

The good Lord in heaven is teaching me something this year.
Dancing.

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Life throws up disappointment every where we look. For me – I’m disappointed to end my 33 year tradition with celebrating my birthday with my dad. Maybe for you – you didn’t get into the college you wanted, your future husband is lost and has yet to find you, a job fell through, or someone you know – got that terrible diagnosis.

But learning to dance – on top of that. In spite of that – produces Joy.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers [and sisters] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. (James 1:2-3)  I have a good Teacher.

Deep joy is rooted not from the things of this earth, or even relationships on this earth, but with my Father in Heaven.

 

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Today I’m singing a new song and dancing a new dance. Old traditions may die – and the bitter sting of knowing that I don’t get to celebrate with my dad for a while still hurts – but I can still choose joy today.

I asked my friends in my house group to surround me in prayer last night – as I was feeling especially sad… and this morning I woke up to a peace that I can’t quite explain. God is so good.

Hallelujah – Hallelujah- you are making all things new….
Hallelujah – Hallelujah- you are making all things new….

I will
Trust
Here in the mystery
I will
Trust
in you completely

Awake my soul
to sing
with your breath in me
I will worship
and you taught me feet
to dance upon disappointment
and I will worship.

 

One Year. One Month. One Day

It has been one year – one month – and one day.

Since my dad passed from this life unto the next

The day when hugged so tightly by my uncle I had no other feeling but to run away.

I wanted to run. Run from that room. Run from the nightmare. Run to Him.

I still miss my dad each day.

I find that I want to call him and tell him something that I love that we loved together. Gardening. Wine. Good food.

Instead I listen to a song and remember my dad – and think of God – where he is now.

I find it to be no coincidence that God speaks to me through others encouragement.

Through songs. Through my time at church.

This past weekend was no exception.

The words I’ve been longing to say – the feelings that are deep within me – were captured so beautifully in this video that they played yesterday at church.

I’m learning to live One Year. One Month. One Day at a time.

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/135388129″>Andrea's Story</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/eaglebrookmn”>Eagle Brook Church</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Proverbs 3:5

Since my last post I have gone out to see my dad’s grave site which now has a marker on it. It sets things in, and makes this whole ordeal real. My daughter and I laid in front of the marker, and stared up at the heavens. I asked her what she thought “Poppie” was doing at this moment, and she thought perhaps that he was watching Snow White with all the kids that were already in heaven… (a favorite past time of theirs).

“I sat at his grave and cried for my missing friend and for all the lost opportunities.
God is good and God is sovereign, but sometimes he’s so hard to understand.”
-Sam Childers ‘Another Man’s War’
Compliments of Danielle Conley

Proverbs 3:5 comes immediately to mind, when reading the quote above –  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. (NLT). Isn’t that so true. In these precious moments I have nothing BUT to trust in the Lord with all of my heart. I dare not depend on my own understanding because nothing about what happened makes sense. But I feel a sense of calm come over me anytime that I just repeat to myself that God is good… and God is sovereign. He is in control and someday I will too will understand.

I honestly try hard not to think about it too much. – the why’s and the what ifs… It hurts my head, causes me anxiety and puts in me a fearful heart. Do not confuse this with “stuffing it down” which I certainly am not…I’m being a realist. I could search this world until the end of time, and I am convinced I will never have the answer. So why dwell on it and waste emotion on unanswerable questions.

I’m currently living with forgetting. Not forgetting my dad in general of course and not flat out denial that he died, but just forgetting that he did die. Just yesterday a friend of mine wrote a post on Facebook about a housing inspection she needed to get through and I almost commented stating that I would ask my dad if he could do it… In a blink I smirked to myself forgetting for a moment that he was no longer on this side of heaven.

In his book “A Grief Observed C.S. Lewis talks about this. “Its not true that I’m always thinking of H. Work and conversation make that impossible. But the times when I’m not are perhaps my worst. For then, though I have forgotten the reason, there is spread over everything a vague sense of wrongness of something amiss. Like in those dreams where nothing terrible occurs – nothing that would sound even remarkable if you told it as breakfast-time – but the atmosphere, the taste, of the whole thing is deadly. So with this. I see the rowan berries reddening and don’t know for a moment why they, of all things, should be depressing. I hear a clock strike and some quality it always had before has gone out of the sound. What’s wrong with the world to make it so flat, shabby, worn-out looking? Then I remember.”

Each day brings me something new. Most days I have purely blissful moments, and now, more often than not I am generally happy. But I still feel this cloud looming over me, as if it is following me, raining down, getting me wet, ruining my plans, and being generally annoying.

I’m learning to dance in the rain though… and make the most of it. It’s my new normal as my cousin’s wife pointed out to me shortly after my fathers passing. She shared,

“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but, you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to.” – Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and John Kessler.

So what am I learning from dancing in the rain? I have grown so much closer to God in this place. Though I am wet, and damp, and frustrated that my plans didn’t turn out how I thought they should go there is a beauty here that I wouldn’t have known had I not been here.  I feel a sense of newness in my relationship with Christ that is stronger than ever before. I feel so deeply dependent and in love with Him, not as a crutch, but in gratitude that I don’t have to figure any of this out on my own. I don’t have to do this by myself, or try to understand it. I can cast all my cares on to God who will sustain me, and not let me be shaken. ~ Psalm 55:22. (My paraphrase from NIV)

I am learning through Philippians 4:13 (NLT). “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength”. I can get through this grief and see the sunshine of tomorrow behind the veil of the rain. I can rest assured that my father is joyfully praising our Creator face to face. I feel strengthened by Christ, and closer to him and more thankful to Him than ever before. I will pour out praise to Him over and over again because it is His breath in my lungs.

You give hope, You restore

Every heart that is broken

GREAT – ARE – YOU – LORD