As I write today's post I am heavy hearted. I really kind of feel like I needed to get that out there on the table. There are days, weeks, and seasons when things just are hard. God never promised that this life would be easy and He never promised that we would not have heartaches and storms but He did promise that He would be with us; that He would never leave or forsake us. So, right now, I am asking for God to be near - to me and to all of those that I love that are hurting.
Last Monday started off like normal...got the girls ready and off to school/work we went. The thing is that I had a friend on my mind. A friend that I don't talk with much, but the fact that I could not get her off my mind was not alarming to me, really, but I just knew I needed to tell her I was thinking about her. So, I did. We texted and then I called her. We got to visit for a few minutes about life...nothing specific but just conversation like we usually have. Neither of us knew what that day/week would hold for her. You see, at the very moment that she and I were talking on the phone, her brother was in a tragic accident that would soon take his 15 year old life. Devastating...for all involved. BLD is a friend that I cherish and love with all my heart and she just went through on of the hardest weeks of her life. I did what I could. I texted, sent flowers, TRIED to get to the funeral, and above all prayed and loved. God knew she needed to be on my heart that day and I am so thankful that I was obedient to His gentle nudge to call her. I will continue to pray for the coming days.
Thursday morning. I got a message on Facebook about another death. Mrs. Nancy, or Mamaw, as I liked to call her. I texted Audra, her daughter to confirm that she had, in fact, passed away. You may (or may not) remember the untimely death of her grand daughter last year - Rachael Beard. She was 24 and like a sister to me and was in a tragic car accident. Poor Audra - her daughter and a little over a year later, her mother. This death was sudden and unexpected as well. The arrangements were made quickly and I did not even have time to send flowers. But, I prayed. And I loved from afar. Sometimes I want to be able to do more.
Thursday, I also reecived a text from my best friend, "Can I see you tomorrow?" My heart sank. I knew what this was about. I knew yet I didn't want to know. I knew yet I tried to not know. I put a few "clues" together to determine that she was about to tell me what I had already suspected. "We are moving to serve another church 2 1/2 hours away." Yep, that's what I thought. I really feel like God has been preparing my heart for this change for quite some time but it was still hard to hear. She has been my best friend for 6 years. We have done life together. We have been pregnant together, 3 times. We talk about things that I don't talk about with ANYONE else! She is my "go to" person....the one I know that I can always count on despite how long it has been since we have talked. We have had our share of challenges, as most long time friendships do. The great thing is that we can still be friends and I think those times make our friendship even sweeter because we can overcome obstacles. Our oldest children are the best of friends and have been since birth, really. I love her children like my own and I know that she feels the same about mine. I had someone say to me that she is moving, not dying. Yes, but it will change things. I have done this before. I am not new to the change. Things will be different. I am not saying that the change will not be good; both for the Clarks and for our church, but I am sad. I am selfish and I am sad. Everytime I think about how silly we can be together or how we have prayed, laughed, cried, and rejoiced together my heart starts to hurt and my eyes fill with tears. This season in our lives is coming to a close. Will we still be friends? Of course. Will it be different? Yes. I thank God for the time we have been able to be close in distance. She will always be my friend but things will be different.
Sunday. I got word that a really good, childhood friend got horrible news about her father. He had a stroke and had to be med flighted from a hospital in Arkansas to Missouri. He is unresponsive and not doing well. She is a Daddy's Girl and just devastated. My heart goes out to her and praying for healing...whatever and however God wants to do that.
Sunday night I was reading on Facebook and found out that my pastor in high school was very sick and would only make it a few more hours. Brother I.V. Hight....a man of small stature but of BIG words! He was such an instrument for Christ and led others to Him for many years. He has been sick for awhile and Heaven became just a little sweeter last night with his presence. My heart goes out to his family - some of the sweetest people I have ever met. Also, my friend (above) who is struggling with her father after the stroke, was like another daughter to Bro. Hight. She called me last night and texted me this morning: "I cannot handle all of this." To her, I would say, God's grace is sufficient...lean on that!! I love you, Jill!
So...with all of this my heart is a little heavy and my mood a little subdued. I know that the victory is in Jesus and that although we mourn for these losses that Christ's plan is so much bigger than ours. Death for a believer is a victory!!! That is not to say that it is not sad for us left behind. For Krista...I will miss our close friendship but I am excited for what is to come for you and for our church.
God be near.