I Might Not Actually Post This…

I think I need to…Idk. Prayer/Fasting probably. I was watching a bunch of P4CM (Passion for Christ Movement) videos on youtube (PLEASE check them out, if you haven’t. I really like them and their videos) and got to watching a bunch of their “Ex” shirts. I have been thinking for awhile that maybe I would like one, but I haven’t been sure which one I would get. Sometimes I think people are of the opinion that I haven’t been through/don’t go through things since I haven’t been through what a lot of people had, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have struggles/insecurities or whatever. Anyway, I stumbled across one that Mali Music did (check him out also, his music is great) for the Ex-Doubter shirt. I just got finished watching his interview on that and it sort of got me to thinking. Actually, the shirt itself got me thinking. I think I’ve written on here before that I don’t think I’m where I was in my relationship with God when my mom first died. Then, I was…almost ready to just be done with Him. It hurt too much and I didn’t want to deal with it, I didn’t want to deal with Him. I blamed Him for not stopping it. That was my biggest issue with God at the time and it is still a hard thing to get over now. But I locked up my heart and my mind and tried to separate myself from Him. Fast forward…a few months and I ended up going to Campus Harvest and the cage around my heart opened a bit. Fast forward a 2 yrs and I’m where I am now..I recently decided (and wrote here, I think..maybe) that I was tired of fighting God. And that I was going to stop. So I did. And I’m not fighting Him anymore..but..I think instead of me fighting Him, doubt has entered my heart a little. And I think that’s why the shirt resonated with me a bit..because I don’t want to doubt Him. The pain that I feel from my mother’s death is unlike anything I have ever felt before. I keep thinking that I shouldn’t feel this way, the truth is, it was/is an enormous event in my life..she is a big part of my life, so…Idk I guess this is “normal”? But being me, being human..my brain wants to understand. I don’t understand why this happened…I don’t understand why it happened the way it happened..when it happened..why He allowed it to happen..and sometimes because I know I may not ever understand until Jesus comes back or I get to heaven, it’s like, well..if I can’t understand it, what else am I to do?

In the video, Mali Music said, “All doubt was erased, BUT by love, it wasn’t erased by knowledge…Love conquers all.”

He touched on some other aspects of his relationship with God that I could also identify with, like having trouble believing in/seeing God as a personal God for him. I think I have grown in that aspect too, but it is still something I struggle with sometimes..believing/seeing that God loves me on a personal level, not just on some grand “God loving humanity” thing. But..I think my doubt, in part, stems from fear and hurt. If I want to step out of this, I have to be open to God’s love and comfort. Fear is kind of ridiculous in that sometimes it can almost paralyze you…not only in the sense that it stops you from doing something, but it can stop you from doing one thing and do something else instead. Heading down a path you shouldn’t be going on in the first place. That combined with hurt/pain..It’s tricky. But God is able. I believe there is a way out, it is just hard to see it sometimes.

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This is how I felt…

Being at your funeral service…

Put this off for awhile..guess I may as well continue with them. It’s long..so..sorry but..it’s my blog, right? lol 

As dramatic as it may sound, I’m pretty sure I felt like it was the worst day of my life. It was worse than the wake, to me, because the funeral had a sense of finality to it. But even at the wake, I remember looking at you and thinking that you didn’t look like yourself. Ace came  (HUGE s/o to Intrinsic Force for helping her come btw) and I remember everyone thinking she was a cousin because apparently she looks like us (“us” being the family lol). But, yea, at the wake, I remember Ace and I went in there and I held her hand and we walked up to the casket. I thought to myself, it doesn’t look like her..odd because it was/wasn’t. The whole, “absent in body is present with the Father thing”. But then it was weird…so weird seeing you in that context. I remember tears welled up in my eyes and I told Ace that we could leave now. So we walked out. A lot of people came to the wake because you knew SO many people. Some of my friends from kindergarten came..one friend of mine said that she didn’t cry until the wake. I think everyone was shocked. We all were. I was.

I remember my sister and I went shopping for something to wear to the funeral..I specifically did not want to wear all black, so I just wore black slacks, but I had this like..almost maroon colored button down that I wore instead. I probably halfway bought it because I thought you would like it. It is now one of my favorite shirts. Anyway. I talked to my #8 the day before or earlier in that week and told her that I would probably be calling her because that week was going to be a lot. I also think almost every day that week I talked to Lyrical Wisdom. She stayed up with me my first night home..until like 3am…I think all I did was cry, but I appreciate her staying on the phone with me, especially since she had an early class the next day.

The funeral was held at a church we used to attend, I think because it was bigger than our church was at the time.  My sister and I wrote part of the eulogy and added to what was in the program. We also put some music on a cd to be played..I remember walking into the sanctuary and up the stairs to give the CD to someone and looking over the balcony. Maybe then it hit me why we were all there, I don’t know. Now that I think about it, it almost seems like I remember that day in parts..patches of time, not a fluid motion. The next image that comes to mind is sitting in the front row. My cousin sat next to my sister, then Ace, then me. Then I think my stepfather and his kids later came and sat next to him. My uncle (our pastor) and the pastor of the church where we had the service kind of led the whole thing. A few people who knew you well and for a long time came and spoke about you and my aunt too. A common thread throughout everyone’s words were how nice you were, that you love(d) the Lord, how bright your smile is, that you loved your kids, your husband, and your family. And you were/are so dedicated to your job and touched so many people.

My cousin read the story thing in the program..it was a nice, long..and yet too short summary of your life. But it was written well, I think. It had stories and facts and some funny things in it. 3 girls from my church, 3 sisters, sang “He Is Exalted”. I LOVE when they sing that and so do you..it definitely had me in tears. As immediate family, we were first to walk up to the casket at the end. I think my sister and I went separately, each of us with whomever we had chosen to sit next to us. I don’t remember if I went first or my sister..but I remember walking up there,holding Ace’s hand tightly and staring at the casket..and then walking back to my seat. She could probably tell you my reaction(s) throughout the day because I definitely don’t remember. I know/assume I cried, but I don’t know when. Knowing me, it was a silent cry. After awhile we walked out of the church, got in the limo and headed toward the cemetery.

I guess I’ll stop here. Sometimes I replay the funeral and the wake in my head. I think it happens, sometimes, almost without me willing it. Mostly, though, I replay the night it all happened. I have to stop it sometimes..stop myself from doing it if I can’t handle/take all of the emotions and memories. I know it really said ‘how did you feel at the funeral’. I just told the whole day. Sometimes I just want to tell someone about it.

> Writing

I’m a little upset because I want to write but I have a serious case of like..writer’s block or something. I want to write something for me, for others, and then I have to write something for class. But I can’t get to it and it is really frustrating. and the due date is looming ever closer. I have like..first lines, but they don’t go together and all the subsequent lines I don’t like. Actually..maybe part of the reason I can’t get to it, some of it, is because I’m not being honest with myself or God about some things. That could be part of the block. Guess I should work on that, then.

Just My Thoughts…

Someone once said (they know who they are…maybe lol) that learning/realizing things about yourself is an amazing process. I’m paraphrasing of course lol But it really is. The last few years I have really come to know myself. Sometimes I feel like up until fairly recently, I went my entire life suppressing who I was in some aspects. It was a combination of low self-esteem and just wanting to be accepted. I’m only now really allowing myself to disagree with people, for example. and even then, it is usually with people I really trust…and even with them, the disagreement is slight, but if I trust you enough..I will do it. It isn’t to be difficult, it’s more of something I have to do for me. And I’m not obnoxious about it, I don’t disagree just to do it. But I think it is that for so long I didn’t let myself disagree with people…I have spent my entire life thinking I’m always wrong (still working on that) and there are times that when I disagree with people, I have to make my opinion known…for me.

One of my sisters emailed me this really good sermon on fear. Fear is so powerful and so real. It has kept me from doing many things…something “simple” as calling or texting someone, to thinking/doubting my dreams or ambitions, doubting God…it’s dark or else I would share some of the quotes. Maybe later. One thing I was thinking about tonight was keeping a journal. An Honest Journal. Or as honest as I dare. I don’t really like writing things down, on paper, sometimes because I was always afraid that at some point someone would come along and read it. To me, the safest thing I could do, was keep it in my head. Share it with some people, if I really needed/wanted to get it out. But rarely write things down. Usually I start writing, but end up tapering off. For a few reasons, including this one. I don’t know. It’s a thought. I really want to try combat this fear that seems so rampant in my life sometimes.

I talked to Speakerboxx today…talking to her is always wonderful. I told her something and she made me realize I actually had an epiphany. I didn’t even realize it at the time. Amazing how..names..apply even when processes are over. Before and after. It’s interesting. Anyway, I think this is a new journey I’m about to embark on. I know I have support…and as always, I’m grateful and appreciative for them. I wish so badly my mom was here too, though. At times, even when things aren’t…horrible…it’s like the faster I move, I can almost unconsciously trick my mind into thinking she is still here. Right now, for example…the world is quiet, so it leaks in…washing over everything. But earlier, when I was doing things, a few things at once, as I tend to do..it’s like there was no room. Of course I hadn’t forgotten, but I wasn’t focusing on it 100%. Looking back a few hours, now, it’s like that was a time when things could have been different. Somehow. Some way.

Just my thoughts…

Finding Rest

Something I find hard to do is ‘resting’ in the Lord. Partly because I like to analyze and understand things. In that order. If I analyze and don’t understand…it tends to throw my whole equilibrium off. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” In the next verse, He even goes on to say that He will give us rest for our souls. Have you ever felt restless? Not even just physically, but mentally, emotionally, spiritually? I do sometimes. I need/want to learn to rest in God..I came across (through like 3 other people) some new music today. The artist’s name is Bryan Pound. I listened to two of his songs and was hooked. I bought the album off iTunes and I do not regret it. The two songs I listened to were “Midnight” and “Find Rest”. As you can probably tell, “Find Rest” is the one I want to share here. The words really resonate with me. Hope you enjoy it.

 

Performance

My favorite memory of you is…

I’m not sure I have one favorite memory, but when I tried to think of something that happened often, of course what came to mind was you singing.

My sister has a 20 second vid she posted of you singing The Temptations’ song, “I Wish It Would Rain”…you always loved to sing. Pretty much anything, but let The Temptations, The O’Jays, Aretha Franklin, Patti, Otis Redding, or the like come on and you grabbed a mic and started belting out all the lyrics..or all the words you thought should be lyrics.

I’m pretty sure I would give you this look like, “Seriously. Right now?!” But as I got older, I just sang along or watched in amusement until you finished. The songs were complete with dance movements and facial expressions. You hit (or tried to hit) every note, from falsetto to tenor. Which also reminds me of how you constantly refer(ed) to yourself as sounding like Barry White! Without fail, at church when you gave the announcements for Children’s Church, as soon as you got the microphone, you would say, “I know I sound like Barry White”…and I would always roll my eyes and think, “NO ONE THINKS THAT!”

Like I wrote in an earlier post, I’m pretty sure I got my early start towards old music from you and, looking back, I enjoyed the times when you sang..even if I was embarrassed sometimes.

Never Forget

Something that I remember you saying that I don’t ever want to forget is:

I think there are a few things I could put here. Or I could be generic and say ‘everything’.

You always encouraged me in whatever it was that I was doing and always, always told me to include God in it. I think that’s what I won’t forget. Even when/though I was/am mad at God throughout this whole thing or whatever issues I would be having with Him..in the back of my mind, I hear you saying that even still He is the only way that I can make it through..even being mad at Him.

Maybe I can say that’s the one thing…to always keep God first, keep God in it, keep God with it, and seek Him first  above all else and above all others.

Matthew 6:33 (NLT) says, “Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

You lived that everyday, to the best of your ability. That isn’t to say you didn’t make mistakes, because you did…not perfect at all. But I believe that you tried your hardest to live as God would have you to and you were truly a woman after His heart. I will never forget that.