Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving

I have never cried through a sermon before like I did Sunday. Geez Louise. Usually I cry during the worship, but can listen (or zone out depending on the day) during the sermon. Not this week. First, the service started out with Never Let Go and I wanted to scream "Really?!" I want to feel like that, and today I do, but yesterday I was being attacked with thoughts that He did let go of me. Then, they showed a video on Thanksgiving and how even though it has been a tough year , we should think beyond our circumstances and be thankful for our life in Jesus Christ. I know in my head it is true. I know I should be thankful and I know there is a lot in my life to be thankful for, but my heart just won't let me feel thankful. When I try to count my blessings or really thank God for things, I get this empty pit in my stomach. It just feels hollow.

This quote was on a blog of a girl I know that lost her husband around the same time I did; When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed,When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,Count your many blessings,name them one by one,And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Then, they announced that the worship leader and her wife, April, will be leaving. Poo. When HeeJun and I were searching, with great discouragement, for a church, we were debating between Rocky River and Christ Community. We loved the worship at RR and the pastor, so we decided to attend RR regularly. Ironic. April and Brandon will be going to CC. April seems like the kind of person that would be a great friend.

Then Pastor Jimmy began his sermon on Jonah and how during trials we need to look for God's hand. He also said that God brings trials into our lives to draw us closer to Himself. I wanted to scream, "If that is true, then I HATE HIM." Oh, that brings tears to my eyes. But it is how I felt at the time. Of course, my head knows that God will use trials to bring us closer to himself. I hope hope hope that He did not plan the death of my love, my best friend, my husband, my true companion, so that I or his sister or my sister or anyone would be closer to him. Selfish and so human of me, right? But God does things that are way beyond our understanding. Pastor J said that God cares for us during tough times and carries us along. He said that God provides for us during those times. True, I know in my head. But at that time, it seemed like a big lie. I just have to keep speaking the Truth. This too shall pass, right? HeeJun would be so upset and scared that these feelings are whirling around my head. Even during his darkest and most scared times, he knew God was in control. I remember the night that we thought we had lost a family member tragically. He said without a doubt, that there are no coincidences and that God is in control and loves us. He had a great faith.

Trying to be Thankful....

1. Family- My parents have been so strong and loving and wonderful. I remember calling my mom the day it all happened and all she needed to say was "We're on our way". They have let me cry and let me laugh and held me through all of this. I called my dad and told him I needed his logical brain because I had no idea how to plan the funeral or do the bills. Neither did he, but he has been so organized and supportive and encoraging. When we settled the estate the clerk said he was more organized then most attorneys. I hate that they are having to go through this too. I hate how stressed this has made them. I love them.
My sister, Brittany- it has always been wonderful to have a sister so close in age that almost shares a birthday. It makes us special. Through all this, she has been such a stronghold. Like a rope I can grab onto. She is noctural, so I can call her every night right before bed to keep the yucky thoughts away. In that, I guess I am thankful for her job, that she can sleep in late and stay up late to talk to me.
My extended family, Noni, UB, Elke, Gramps, Uncle Bill, Aunt Sue- They have all been so loving and encouraging. They have such kind words for me and continue to pray for me. Even though we are separated by distance I still know that they are thinking of me.
My in- laws- We love each other. My sister in law and I seem to be on opposite rough day schedules, so on the day when I need a shoulder, she is there. There are some things that have gotten in the way or caused tension, but we all recognize that we are grieving together and that we are family. They can remind me and tell me stories of HeeJun from when he was a kid. They are a part of HeeJun. He loved and respected his family so much.
2. Friends- My gratitude for my friends goes deep. Friends I haven't spoken with in years have surrounded themselves around me. It's been three months and I still don't need to cook food or clean my house because my friends are constantly caring for me. Amy calls almost daily just to chat. My crusade friends have been constant reminders that i am not alone. My friends from WCC have loved on me and cared for me without hesitation. Jacquie and Sarah call almost daily and have been outstanding! All I need sometimes is for someone to tell me a funny story or help distract me. No one needs to try to make it all go away or to make me better. I hope they all know how wonderful they have been. They do not need to worry that they will say the wrong thing, or that they can't make it better. All I need is them.
3. Church- RRCC has wrapped their loving arms around me. On Sunday, when they saw that I was a mess, they invited me and encouraged me to join them for lunch. Some of them have been through this, or know what it feels like to lose a husband, so they have been great mentors. April has been such an encouragement and is so fun. I think this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
4. Alexander Youth Network- My work family has gone above and beyond anything anyone can expect from a workplace. They let me take all the time I needed to come back and have been supportive and understanding that I can not lead groups right now. On days when I just have to lock myself in my office, they understand and come to give me hugs. On days when I need to just rock it out and dance, they are there right next to me, shaking it like a salt shaker! I have some strong friendships there that are not usually made in the workplace. It's hard not to bond when a kid is throwing chairs, spitting on you, and cursing you out. We have to be there for each other.
5. Juneau the Dog- Yep, he is great. Such a fun distraction.
6.. Jesus Christ, My Lord, My God, My Savior, My Comfort.

3 comments:

daniela said...

I love what you wrote,Erica. BE strong, I understand exactly what you are feeling. Going to church was not an option for me the first few weeks after Jason passed away. WE always went together.Even now,I am having a hard time sometimes....

Tara Ansley Niebaum said...

Erica,
Keep writing and know that I am crying with you and praying for you. Keep believing and know that God is using you...
The earth holds no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal. I tell myself this everyday.
Tara Ansley Niebaum (Jason's sister)

Pr. Péricles Costa Dantas said...

O mesmo Deus que te salvou dos teus pecados, é o Deus a quem sirvo, Deus-Todo poderoso, dono do universo, e de tudo o que nele existe. fraternalmente, em Cristo, meu irmão.