I was anxious about going to church on Sunday. It was the first time in 5 weeks that I was in our youth building with students. I would be lying if I didn't say I felt completely awkward at first. Interacting with adults is one thing, but I realize students don't always know what to say (and I do not expect them to by any means), but this was where my awkwardness was springing from. It's very obvious that there is a massively large pink elephant in the room, and I know it is hard for students to feel comfortable addressing the issue. So I just felt so awkward.
Okay, I'm going to interject a little message to our students right here:
Hey Studio 412 peeps! I want to say THANK YOU to all who have been praying for me and my family during this time. Thank you for all the prayers you lifted up for my Mom. God heard (and still hears) every single one! Janet is healed in the presence of our sweet Savior, and God is marching through the wilderness with me and my family.
I want you all to hear from my lips (or I guess in this case "read from my fingers") that it is okay to talk about Janet. It is okay to say that you miss her. It is okay to share funny stories about her. It is okay to share how she impacted you. I want to laugh with you. I want to remember with you. And I'm sure at times, I may even cry with you.
I just want you to know, that I'm okay. Please don't be afraid of me. That may sound super silly, but I don't want you to be afraid or feel awkward around me (well, actually, I know and many of you know as well, I just flat out am an awkward person, and I've embraced the awkwardness, we've all embraced the awkwardness) - okay so yeah, you can feel awkward with me.... but don't be afraid to come say hi! I love you guys. I really do. I miss your smiling faces. Let's just be real together. Let's talk about that big pink elephant that's sitting on my head, and let's keep moving forward.
Love you guys! I'll be seeing you around :)
Alright, so Sunday actually ended up being a really great day. I think the Lord came and strengthened my feet and my heart and kept whispering in my ear, "I'm right here with you."
We also kicked off a brand new part of our ministry on Sunday night. We started Home Groups for our 9th-12th grade students. We meet in homes for a time of fellowship and Bible study two Sunday nights a month, and David and I have the privilege of hosting some really awesome freshmen guys and gals. We had 19 students on Sunday, and it was so fun! John and Kristy Kalinowski are our support family, and I feel like we make a great team! I meant to take a picture of everyone, but I'll take one next time and show you our fantastic group.
I feel like the past two days God has given me a glimpse at the joy that lies ahead. I think I experienced for the first time in a long time, JOY. I know joy isn't just a feeling - it's a choice, and it's a gift - but can I just say, it felt so good! I know there is so much joy ahead. I also know there are still some really hard days ahead. My emotions are still so raw and so fragile, but I have hope. I have so much hope. Hope in my Savior. Hope that this is not the end and that I get to see my mom again. I am so thankful for hope.
I love these verses I read this morning:
O God, when you went out before your people,
when you marched through the wilderness,
the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain,
before God, the One of Sinai,
before God, the God of Israel.
Rain in abundance, O God, you shed it abroad;
you restored your inheritance as it languished;
your flock found a dwelling in it;
in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.
Just as God marched through the wilderness with the Israelites, He is marching through the wilderness with me and with my family right now. He will bring rain in abundance. We will find our dwelling place with Him. Oh, this is so good!
David started school yesterday! He already has a bachelor's degree in Biology. So he is taking two more prerequisites so he can start nursing school in May or June of this year. We are so excited about this new step! So we celebrated with streamers and grape juice last night.
I miss her smile, and I miss her laugh with all my heart.
"This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."