April 8, 2009

For the Moments I Feel Faint

This week has been completely weird. A bit dizzying and confusing, and painful. It all started on Sunday morning. I had to walk out of the sanctuary during first service because my allergies were acting up (they still are) and I was coughing. I was scheduled to play my flute with the children's choir, and I wondered how I would be able to pull off the song with a plugged nose and an itchy throat. As the service closed, I put my flute together and sat on the second row, mentally thinking through the song like I usually do. Then I got a text message from Ashley that completely caught me off guard- my allergies and song were the last thing on my mind. Jason's brother Jeremy had died. She asked me to tell James, so I ran to tell him and then back to the sanctuary. As we sang the hymns before the offertory, my eyes watered up despite me sternly reminding myself that I was about to play my flute and could not let myself lose it. I walked to stand behind the pianist, and I just felt weak in the knees. My lip quivered, which is the worst. I just wanted to get through the song, but my mind was in a whirlwind and my heart hurt. What do Jason and Ashley need? Maybe I can help watch Tyler. Where's Tanya, does she know? Do they need us? I can't imagine how they're feeling. Maybe we should bring Del Taco. Those were all thoughts running through my mind. (Yes, I think Del Taco is a cure-all...) The children sang, "Fairest Lord Jesus" and as the song ended I couldn't wait to get out of the sanctuary and find Tanya so we could figure out what to do. We wound up going to lunch with my family and Mr. E and getting some Del Taco for Jason and Ashley. There was a difference I could feel as I stepped into their house on Sunday afternoon- a difference from just the night before when a group of us got together to watch a movie. Stephen, Jason, and I were walking to the convenience store in Old Orcutt and Jason was telling us about how just a couple days prior he got to hang out with Jeremy and chat, just the two of them. We watched the movie, happy. We talked quietly on Sunday, different.

I didn't really know Jeremy. I saw him a lot in passing at Jason and Ashley's. Sometimes he was with our group of friends that would go out to Applebee's for dinner on a random weeknight. I do know that he loved ice cream. And he came to Late Service a few times- he'd stand on the stairs by the stage and talk to Jason afterwards- the very first time I met him we talked about the music and I was happy he liked it. He just seemed like a calm, nice guy who cared about his family and friends. I never heard him say anything negative. And always with a carton of ice cream, but so thin! I guess that's what I remember most about him.

For some reason, I don't know how to handle death and people I know dying. I mean, their body is here but they aren't? Where did they go? I mean, I know about souls and what the Bible says about where we go when we physically die, but I don't understand it. Maybe no one really does. I've never really had anyone really close to me die, which is a blessing. I can't imagine losing a brother. It hurts just thinking about it. And it hurts thinking about Jeremy. A small part I think is because he was someone who, although I didn't know very well, I did see pretty consistently over the last months and I just can't wrap my mind around him not being here. Mostly I think it's because I love Jason and Ashley, and Tyler- I hate seeing friends hurting, and there isn't anything anyone can do to fix this. It's one of the things that heals with time, and I don't know how to deal with that either.

These last few days have had me thinking about how much I treasure my loved ones and what a gift each day of life is. And how important it is to not go to sleep angry at anyone. This is where trusting God comes into light. Even if we do our best to be at peace with everyone, people will still die. But God is still in control and it's His timing. And His plan is so perfect that I'll never understand it. I'm working on trusting Him more and more each day.


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