What Do I Do Now?

I don’t know what to do with my hands.
I don’t know what to do with my face.
I don’t know what to do with my heart.

I feel so lost and out of control.

Some things happen in your life that you just can’t wrap your head or your heart around. This is one of those things. Although I am now 39 years old, I can’t stop thinking the thought, “I am an orphan.”

When I was 19 years old, my biological father (who I had only met 3 years earlier) committed suicide.465791_129270637231923_88648518_o

My sweet mama took her own life on October 21, 2011.

On January 10, 2016 my daddy, the man who raised me and loved me with all he had from the day I became a part of his life, had a heart attack and died instantly.

I don’t know what to do with my hands.
I don’t know what to do with my face.
I don’t know what to do with my heart.

I feel so lost and out of control.

I know what scripture says. I know that God is a father to the fatherless (Psalm 68:5). I know He is Abba Father (Romans 8:15). I know that I am adopted by God into his family through faith in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26) I know that He is near to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).

I know God’s promises, and I hold onto them daily, sometimes hourly. But right now…in this exact moment, I am broken hearted. I am crushed in spirit. I feel alone and fatherless, and so forlorn.

There are times in our walks, times in our trials and tribulations and tragedies, where we don’t find comfort in God’s words and promises. It happens to every single one of us that call ourselves followers of Christ. That is not to say they are not true. That is not to say that tomorrow they won’t fill my heart with joy and give me the strength I need to get out of bed, to take another step, or to actually get up and go to work. But that’s what faith is. Faith is holding on to the promises of God, whether we feel like it or not. We allow the feelings of pain, the feelings of grief and loss, and sometimes we do have feelings of hopelessness and despair, and that’s human and natural. God himself feels (John 11:35, Psalm 95:9-10), and He created us in His image with the ability to feel. Some of those feelings we sit with for awhile, because it’s healthy and we NEED to, and it’s just part of the journey. But those moments of hopelessness, I will not not hold onto those. They are not true. They are not what’s real, and faith is not letting my emotions drive my actions or control my life. Faith is confidence in what we hope for, and it gives us assurance about things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1)

I know I am not an orphan. I know I am adopted in to the family of Christ, and I know that God does indeed father the fatherless…He is my Abba Father.  I am loved. I am treasured. I know these things, even when I do not feel them.

I don’t know what to do with my hands… I just may fold them in prayer. I just may hold them over my face as I despair in those moments when it feels as if I just can’t go on one more second with this pain. I just may hold them to the heavens and cry out to the God that is broken hearted for me and who promises to comfort me (2 Corinthians 1:3-4), who promises to never leave or forsake me (Deuteronomy 3:6). I just may put them to a keyboard and write.

I don’t know what to do with my face. I just may cry. I just may close my eyes and breathe in the life that still surrounds me and is such a gift every second. I may open my mouth and sing praises to my King, or I may wail in despair. I just may smile, even when I don’t feel like it (and I may not).

I don’t know what to do with my heart. It’s on its own program right now. So I will declare with my mouth and in faith that my heart is His, no matter what may come.

I feel lost and out of control, but the truth is that I am found and He is in control.

 

Day 27 – A picture of yourself and a family member

I’ve been thinking a lot about writing lately…journaling, actually. I’ve done it a little bit, but I had the notion to revisit my blog today. Then I realized I never finished my Photo Challenge. On day 27, lo and behold the topic is a picture of me and and a family member.

The picture is of my mom and me. It’s not the greatest one of her, it was on one of her “bad days”. I’m sure I’ll post some of her later on, but this is the only one I have of the two of us.

On October 21st, my mother took her own life. When I was 19, my father did the same. At 34 years old, I have no living parents, and they both chose how and when they were going to die. I go through various emotions every other 5 mins, and I’m sure that I’ll be doing this for sometime. I’m prepared for that. 15 years after my father died, I still ask questions, and I wasn’t even that close to him.

My mom, on the other hand, is almost impossible to process. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said as an adult “I want my mommy” and really meant it. I can safely say right now, I want my mommy, and I can never have her again. The fact that she didn’t just die, she left, makes that realization that much harder.

Regardless of all that, my mama was an amazing woman. She had her struggles, she battled her demons, and sometimes she could drive you insane, but when she was HER…I don’t know a more wonderful person. She was compassionate, and passionate, and creative, and loved harder than I’ve ever known anyone to love. And most of all…  I miss her. I miss her, and I just want her back.

My rose-tinted glasses

I went to a funeral today. It was amazing. Now I know that most people don’t describe funerals as amazing, but this one was truly unique. Yesterday, I would have told you that a 13 year old little girl lost her battle with cancer. Today I will tell you that she didn’t lose her battle, her work on this earth was simply completed. I’ve met this little girl, and she was inspiring, strong, and always filled with joy. I don’t want to sound cliche, but I can’t tell you this story without expressing how much I have been and continue to be inspired by this little girl and her family.
My husband works with this little girl’s, Briana’s dad. We knew when she was diagnosed with cancer, knew when she was doing well, knew when she was in remission, heard about all that this family was going through. My husband is friends with him on Facebook, and every update on Briana, while asking for prayer, was always filled with optimism and praise for God. Not once did I see this man or his family feeling sorry for themselves. Throughout their ordeal, I was impressed and pressed upon by their joy for life, love for each other, and the strength they have in Him. Every step of the way they gave God praise, even little Briana, in a video she made from the hospital said, “Don’t you worry about me, God’s in control”. That sweet baby with her big eyes, wide smile, hair gone from radiation was so focused on what is true and real in the midst of a storm many of us will never have to face–God’s in control.
When I found out that the cancer had come back this last time and that the prognosis wasn’t good, I cried. I won’t lie, I cried for a day straight. I grieved for this family. I also tried to imagine how I would react if I were in this situation–if I were losing my daughter, my joy, the light of my life, would I be able to carry myself in the way these people were? I have to say, I really don’t think so. I have a hard enough time keeping my focus when the little sandstorms and drizzles happen. But seeing this family today, remembering how they’ve handled this traumatic experience, it’s touched something deep on the inside of me. It’s funny, because at the start of this new year I made a sort of a resolution. I was going to stop being so stinkin’ negative. I was going to roll with the punches and look on the bright side of things, because really, being negative is counterproductive, and I sure was tired of being miserable. I’ve been doing pretty good, but being sick last week had me feeling pretty beat up, and just, well… tired. I even let myself have a pity party for about an hour. It wasn’t fun, even though it didn’t last long. When I was able to refocus, I was that much more sure that I didn’t want to go back to that way of thinking. It’s kind of funny, because my Facebook status last night was “Kris has found her rose-tinted glasses. They got misplaced last week.” Life is so much easier and worth living when you can see and focus on what’s really important, what’s good and worth spending your energy on. Then I go to the funeral today and see that practice truly in motion. Focusing on God, celebrating a life, praising Him for the gifts He gives us, however fleeting they may be, and never losing sight of what’s important can get you through a situation like that. I’m humbled, and I’ll say it a 70th time… Amazed.
Briana’s dad, Larry, asked my husband if he would play at the funeral. Of course Trace said yes, but Larry made it clear that this was to be unlike any other funeral–it was Briana’s Homegoing. It was a celebration of her life. He needed some New Orleans flair, so Trace played “When the Saints Go Marching In” dixieland style. A perfect illustration for Briana, because this little saint also had the privilege of becoming an Honorary Marine just 2 days before she passed away. After that honor, she got to march on home.
One last thing I’ll leave you with before I let you watch the video of Briana’s Honorary Marine Ceremony and scenes from her Homegoing. I had some friends comment on my rose-tinted glasses status. They wanted to borrow my glasses, or wanted me to send them a pair, and I had to tell them… Mine won’t work for you. Just like Larry’s or Briana’s wouldn’t work for me, and I can’t hunt down your pair for you. You have to find your own pair of glasses, your own joy, find out who He really is to you, find out what you are to Him, decide what’s significant in this life and let the rest pass on by, and then the world will really be a whole lot rosier.