Yesterday and today have been quite the roller coaster. A roller coaster complete with ups, downs, twists, turns, loops, you name it. There's not a roller coaster on this planet that I don't love. But this one... I'd be okay to get off at any moment and never get back on.
Work was much harder for me yesterday. It's the first time I've interacted with anyone outside of my family, or Hutch and Maegan, and I had no idea just how hard it was going to be. When I was at work on Wednesday, it was almost too easy to be there. It was just me, Hutch and Maegan, and for the past couple of months that has been very normal. We had been getting used to being there without her. So this past Wednesday was not much different. Thursday was a different story. We had a meeting with a few ladies about a trip we have coming up this summer, and something about it just struck my heart in a way I wasn't expecting. It's like reality came tumbling down on me that life goes on even though she isn't here anymore. She isn't going to walk around the corner. She isn't going to have a part in planning this trip. She isn't going to be on this trip. It doesn't seem fair. I wish it could all just stop. It just seems so gross and stupid and wrong that we have to keep going.
A few people have asked me about what my job is, so I will answer that question here. I work at a church in NW Arkansas in the student ministry. My job title is the "Youth Girl's Associate." I work under our student pastor and am over the 7th-12th grade girls ministry - planning events, leading Bible studies, hanging out and investing in teenage girls lives. My mom was the "Student Ministry Assistant." And Hutch is the Student Pastor. We have been a very close team. I've known Hutch since I was only 11 years old (before I was in the youth ministry), and then he was my youth pastor all the way through from 7th-12th grade, I left for college for 4 years, and then I came back in 2010 and started working alongside him and my mom. We were like a little family. My mom was already working at the Studio (our student ministry is called Studio 412 - taken from 1 Timothy 4:12) when Hutch became the student pastor, and they worked together for 11 years. She is the only assistant he has ever known, and she was so much more than your typical "assistant." Did I mention she ran the place? She held the place together. She knew all the ins and outs. She was our sanity. Our team at Studio 412 was a very tightly knit bond.
To give you a little more of a glance at just how close my mom and I were... When I graduated college I moved back in with my parents until David and I got married. I lived with them for three years.
I lived with my mom.
I worked with my mom.
I ate lunch with my mom.
I ran errands with my mom.
I came home with my mom.
I went shopping with my mom.
I did everything with my mom.
Where Janet was, I was. I was her shadow. And I adored every second of it.
And now she is gone.
And this is why I'm having a hard time realizing "the show must go on." Work must go on. Planning and meetings must go on. Trips must go on. Life must go on. kjavpoiugriehqgrjk;aj (<-- that mumbo jumbo you see is the only way to express the groanings going on inside of me). Oh, it makes my stomach churn.
But I made it through yesterday - thank you, Lord.
Today, Maegan and I met up at the Studio to clean out my mom's office. Some may think, What?! Clean out her office? It's too soon. No. It's not. My mom is gone. Our Janet is gone, and the Studio is so different without her there. It is painful to look and see where she once sat and to know she will never sit there again. It's painful to look and see the couch where I sat so many days and ate lunch with her. We didn't clean it out in an attempt to forget. She cannot and will not be forgotten. Her mark will forever be in that building and on our hearts. This is a new season for Studio 412 - for our staff and for our students - and so it is time to make things new.
I had such a good day with Maegan today. We went through old pictures and reminisced about lots of wonderful memories. I think it was good for our souls and cleansing for our spirits to be able to do that together. I am so thankful for this dear friend of mine who has also become family.
Here are a few pictures to wrap up these past two days...
Usually when I add something new to my house, it would only take me seconds to get things situated, take a picture and send it to my mom. She was my biggest fan and loved seeing all my newest projects and additions. My heart broke and literally felt like it fell to my toes when I couldn't send her this picture. So my new normal is to now send the pictures to Jenna and Maegan who know this heartache just as heavily as I do.
Lots going on. Lots of emotions. I realize this is all normal. All part of the process. But can I be honest and say this is a really stinky process!
But I still don't doubt that joy is indeed coming, and that He is working all this out for our good and His glory.
"This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it."