I have the chills right now. Not because it is cold in my office right now, which it is, but I am overwhelmed with God right now.
His creativity. His order. His design. His detail. All inside something that is too small for the human eye to see.
Someone posted this.
Snowflakes. I dont know how one can deny the existance and love of a God when they look at one of those!! Can you imagine all of the creativity when you realize no two snowflakes are a like? Think about the meticulous designs that are there. The perfect symmetry that is present from the God of order. The Creator God!
The phase that keeps swirling in my head is How Much More?! My creator God cared enough to design each one of those. How much more does he care about me. How much more detail and design and love is there when it comes to us?
Those snowflakes are screaming I love you from a God who knows most of them will melt or be trampled on! Oh How He Love Us!
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
I haven’t written much lately. For a while, there was just nothing to say. Recently, there is too much to say and I just don’t have the words for it.
But here I sit, forcing myself to put words down. If I don’t, I will forget. Even now, I am forgetting the pain and heartache that led to experiencing love and grace in ways I hadn’t before. I want to remember the deep laughter that made its way out of a broken heart, the joy and rest that came from a weary soul.
Thursday, September 5, I laid in bed, staying up longer than usual, because I had the next day off. I was getting together with my friends from high school! For six months we planned this little weekend away in Calabassas. We were all going to be in one place for longer than 2 hours. It was going to be such a sweet time.
About 1130 that night I got a text from Rebekah asking if I was up. It was strange to get a text from her that late at night. I thought something happened to her or she was in trouble. She called a little later and told me about Brad. He was gone. He did it. All I could get out was “WHAT?” “Are you sure?”. I sat there stunned. I knew that it had to be true because no one would make this up. But I couldn’t believe it. Not Brad. Not this way.
That night I understood what it meant to weep. Not just cry. It was tears that came from so deep inside me it hurt.
Sleep eluded me that night…what was left of it anyway. The next morning I lay around before going to pick up a friend at the airport and I wrote this, “Today I’m reuniting with my oldest friends while grieving the loss of someone. Sitting in the tension of the now and not yet. Pain and privilege. A heart that is full and a heart that breaking.” I was so excited to be with my friends, but my heart longed to be with my family.
That weekend and the days to follow were filled with tears as we gathered together to remember Brad. Each Facebook post made me ache. But as always with my family, there was laughter, healing laughter. I love that my family shows up. Good times or bad. They are there. We can cry together and we can laugh together.
That next Monday was the first day of Seek Week. I love seek week. But I didn’t have it in me to sing that night (and for a while after). I sat down because I didn’t even have the strength to stand. My dear friend sat next to me and asked if I was ok. I said no as I started to cry. All he said was, “Im just going to sit here next to you, ok?”
The theme that night was God’s goodness. I rolled my eyes and thought, of course it is. But even in that, whether it was through my friend sitting with me, or the words to the songs that I couldn’t sing, God was reminding me that he is still good. He hasn’t changed. And He is with me.
A week or so later, I met up with that same friend for coffee to discuss some life group things. He asked how I was doing and in typical Andrea fashion, I didn’t really answer the question. But he looked at me and said, “You’re not ok.” I looked back at him and agreeing, I said, no. I’m not.
I felt as though I had nothing left in me. Nothing left to give. Brad’s death cut my heart open and it laid there exposed, bleeding out. Not only was I grieving, but God was showing me things that needed to change. Areas of my heart that needed to cleaned out. And he was doing that. He was gently cleaned out that dirt, but it hurt!
That conversation with my friend led me to stepping down from where I was serving on Sundays. After 3.5 years, I was tired and needed a break.
Third Wednesday was the follow week and they were talking about God as our Father. During the response time they talked about how we need God to show up as Father in different ways, whether it be discipline, love, grace ect. I though, oh great, ok God, you have been showing me all of this crap, discipline me now. I went forward to receive prayer. The words my friend heard were, You are faithful, Andrea. I began to cry. God was giving me grace. He was loving me. Not disciplining me. He was holding me, encouraging me to keep changing, but he loved me anyway.
The next month at third Wednesday God showed up again. We had several stations set up around the room. The first was lectio davina. I sat there for a while trying to decide what passage to read. Psalm 23 came to mind and I brushed it off because I know that one and didn’t want to read it. So next came to mind was Psalm 62. Now I thought I was just coming up with random numbers. So went ahead with 23. And as I read it I began to cry.
He restores my soul.
He leads me beside quite waters.
My cup overflows.
This is what I needed to hear. I needed him to restore my soul. He is the only one who can fill my empty cup.
I went to the next station, Silence. I felt such pressure to quite my mind and hear God. But as I sat there, I felt as though all I needed to do was just rest. It felt so good to just be still. Be quiet.
The third station was prayer. Someone on the prayer team prayed over me and she got John 15 about abiding in the vine and the verse about come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest. There it was again. Rest. I wasn’t resting in him. I wasn’t allowing him fill me and give me strength. My heart was broken and shattered and he was the only one could put it back together.
The next day was my 29th birthday. As I sat in Starbucks waiting for my friend, I began journaling what happened the night before. I was curious if I had chosen Ps 62 if that would have changed what I got out of that night. The first line says “My soul finds rest in God alone”. If there was any doubt in my mind that God was speaking something specific to me and he gave me Ps 23, that cleared it up!
It was a month, almost to the day Brad died that I was finally able to sing in church again.