It's been a challenging 2011.
I have a friend in the throes of the frustration of trying to sale her home (I do not envy her, it is its own hard); and while they are trying to sale theirs, my mama is trying to figure out how to keep hers (She more than likely (unless God performs a great miracle ~~ which He so very much can if He wants to) won't). She's so alone, so scared, so overwhelmed, so uncertain, so "lost" (as she puts it).... so has no idea what's she doing or what to do. She misses my daddy so very much and the security that she had in him. She hates that he's gone when she needs him so! But then again, it's not really our daddys or our husbands or our (whoevers) that is our security at all. Only God. But, too, it sure is nice to sometimes have someone with skin on to do the scary things in life with, rather than feeling so all by yourself alone when the scary things are happening.
There's so much that I've yet to write about concerning my year. This has been such a hard one... for so many reasons! Daddy's death tips the top of the scale... but there are loads more lesser hards that are daily ones all still affecting our worlds. The main reason I've not blogged about it is because it's been too hard to speak of. I suppose if I could have hidden daddy's hurt (the hurt feelings felt in his sickness and death) under the rug, I would have failed to speak of that too to all those who knew. I would have held the hurt all by myself longer. I would have rocked it and nursed it not telling a soul, and cried in my stilled insaned-yet saned silence, cocooned in hurt's hole and sadly sorrowing alone. I didn't have that option, it was too open, too loud, too exposed, too 'everybody knew'.... But I probably would have if I were given the alternative. It's what I do... ball up in solitary muteness, weeping unaccompanied in my lone-confinement, travailing quietly in my labored detention all by myself inviting no one else in with me... until I've healed a bit and its hurt is less tender.
Ugh, I don't know that I do very hurt well. :)
I cannot tell you how much I've thought of Elisha and his feelings on the day that he knew that Elijah would on that very day be taken by God (2 Kings 2). Over and over everywhere he went the prophets would remind him, "Do you know the Lord is going to take your master from you today?"... and his reply each time was always the same, "Yes, I know. But do not speak of it!" There are things "I know" too.... that I don't feel ready to "speak of." Things that God has already took.... but things, too, that He is going to take from us that He's not taken just yet.
My daddy was taken.
And that's how I felt about him. On the very day that the Hospice nurse gave him 24 to 48 more hours to live, I heard her saying as Elisha did, "Do you know that the Lord is going to take your daddy from you today?".... And I wanted to tell her, "Yes, I know. But do not speak of it!" Another version, "Be quiet about it!" Another, "Yes, I have knowledge of it: say no more!" Another, "I also know it. But be silent!"
I knew. But I wanted her to hush. I didn't want her to verbalize it. I didn't want to hear the words. I wanted to be childish and sing, "nah nah nah nah nah nah..." with my hands held tightly over my ears. I wasn't ready to hear them. The vocalizing of it was harshly too painful.
Yet even in our sorrow of my father being "taken", we KNOW that he was "taken" from here only to be taken to a better Home! Still, the loss is hard! The being left behind is devastating! The knowing of where he is pampers our feelings tremendously... but the knowing of where he is not, and the one that is here left without him, is an excruciating agony daily that won't quit its anguishing.
Before my daddy, earlier this year, our company (my daddy's construction company of 35 years) was "taken."
But woe... not without a fierce fight!!!!!!!! We did everything that we possibly could to keep that boat afloat. But the storms that raged against it, the continual winds that wouldn't fail in its blow, finally succeeded in huffing and puffing and puffing and huffing until finally knocking that house of ours down. We mourn its loss! It was a financial security to many (though we've established earlier that our only real security only is in God). Due to the recession, the lack of jobs available (might we say NONE!), the spiraling economy, we couldn't keep it living. For months (as we fought) we watched the organs slowly shutting down. It's death was a devastation to many. What it once offered, it offers no more. And with its ruin, like the sinking Titanic, it took so much more with it than just its hull when it went down.
So many faithful employees that we'd grown to love lost their jobs, their income, their way to make a living. I lost mine. My daddy (before his death) lost his. My sister. My brother-in-law. My uncle. Our friends. And, adding to that loss for my sister and her husband (vice-presidents in the company), they lost their house, as well. Might I say, it's been a humbling season!
Daddy's sickness prolonged the devouring destruction for my parents. But now that daddy's not here anymore, the jaws of that post-poned lion is reaching out to my mom trying to devour her. Like I said, she'll probably lose her house too. Not only that, when the company went down, it took with it any and all of the insurance policies that my daddy had. Meaning, my mom at dad's death was financially left with nothing.
Talk about hard! She not only doesn't know how to do life without her husband anymore... but she's also wondering how in the world to now do life without a living?
Earlier still... before daddy, before the company.... my husband and I (due to a quick "short-sale gone bad" on a Gatlinburg cabin) filed bankruptcy (Chapter 13). Ugh, how I hate that word! Never have I imagined that I would be wearing it! In order to keep our house, we were basically forced into it. The saving grace of that one is (like all of the others), is that we didn't have to decide, because of the circumstances it couldn't be helped and thus was basically decided for us. Still, I don't know that that makes it any easier. It was another blow, a huge hit from the enemy, I feel like we've been in the fighting ring.... our bones (bones we didn't even know we had before) have been broken, our noses and lips are profusely bleeding. Someone get us a towel, some water, some bandages... but don't forget to stitch us up first! Be tender! Because we hurt!
Another one of my sisters, her husband is threatening divorce... which if that happens would leave another sister without a home. It's my feeble mom though, that's been hit the hardest. Newly widowed (after 56 years!), soon to be homeless, and basically broke... there's not much left in her bank. We're studying the Book of Ruth in class on Sundays. I see my mom when I look at Naomi. Or, I now see Naomi, when I see my mom. She's not Job, though she resembles him. It could be worse. But she's feeling a greater compassion for Job, and she's feeling a little as if she's walking in some of his shoes.
All that...and still.... though this year has been unspeakably hard, the wonder and awe of God's blessings have been threaded all through. We couldn't have done life without Him! We've seen His sweetness. We've experienced His GOoDness. We've sustained on His mercy, His love, His compassion, His grace, His shepherding, His provison every day! He's shown up in corners and crevices and in cracks and crannies that we've never seen Him before. He's done the most precious things. He's been all over the place. Through it all, He's not hidden His face. We've seen Him! And we've been whoa-ed too many times to number in so many things that He's done! Little things! Big things! And all kinds of in-between things! The list is endless! And still it continues. How can we complain, when He's loved us so?
It's been hard. It's hard still. But "Fear thou not... I will strengthen thee... I will help thee...." And I believe Him! He has. And He will.
My wonders of Him never cease... even in our "take away" season.........
In our "I don't know"s... He does! And that's how, at night, I can lay my head down peacefully to sleep. He gives me songs in the night, songs of deliverance... and, again, as I said before, I hear Him whisper (for me, but also very much for my mom), "Fear thou not... I will strengthen thee... I will help thee.... I will strengthen thee... I will help thee.... I'll help thee.... I'll help thee... I'll help thee..... I will ..... I will..... I will........ I will.............."