Sunday, August 21, 2016


A few weeks ago my friend Bud passed away.  He had been battling cancer for over a year (though I'm not sure what kind of cancer it was).  I hadn't realized just how sick he was honestly.  It came as a shock to me when I found out he had died the day after his birthday.  When we went to Knoxville for a couple weeks, I had hoped to visit Bud's grave since I couldn't make it to the funeral, but he'd been cremated so I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to him.

Bud was always pretty cheerful.  He played the keyboard and organ at church.  After he was diagnosed with cancer though, he wasn't really able to play anymore.  I was kinda in the church band too when he joined.  I got to sing one time at church and he was playing the keyboard then.  I would call him "Buddy."  When he started going through chemo he couldn't always make it to practice so we'd call him when we'd start the Bible Study portion and include him in it.  I always missed seeing him at church and was really happy to see him when he'd come.

Bud, despite your struggles, you were always really positive and I really admired that about you.  Thanks for being my friend, you are very much missed.  I'm sorry I didn't get to be there for you when you were really sick.  I wasn't able to say goodbye to you, but I know some day we'll get to say hello to each other again.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Thy Will

I was going to write about my friend Bud who died a couple weeks ago but I'm going to do that tomorrow.  Today was Steve's funeral, he died last week.  One of the songs at the funeral was "Thy Will" by Hilary Scott.  I decided while it's fresh in my mind I'd go ahead and write about it tonight.

I'm so confused
I know I heard you loud and clear
So, I followed through
Somehow I ended up here
I don't wanna think
I may never understand
That my broken heart is a part of your plan
When I try to pray
All I've got is hurt and these four words
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done

I know you're good
But this don't feel good right now
And I know you think
Of things I could never think about
It's hard to count it all joy
Distracted by the noise
Just trying to make sense
Of all your promises
Sometimes I gotta stop
Remember that you're God
And I am not
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will
I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Goodness you have in store
I know you hear me
I know you see me, Lord
Your plans are for me
Good news you have in store
So, thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Like a child on my knees all that comes to me is
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
Thy will be done
I know you see me
I know you hear me, Lord

This has been a very difficult few weeks for me.  Last year was very difficult and in February my husband and I had to move.  Part of the reason we had to move was to get away from some people who were making our lives miserable.  Since we've moved I've been trying to heal.

I don't always understand why I've had to go through the things I've gone through (I'm not claiming what I've been through is worse than anyone else).  Most of the time I'm left in the dark wondering why I am or did go through something difficult.  My heart is very fragile and breaks very easily.  I get hurt very easily.

I know God is good, but in the hardest moments it can be difficult to remember that.  I think of my friend Mickey - Steve's wife, and I ask "God, why are you making her go through such a devastating loss?  I know you're good, and everything we go through is a part of your plan in making us grow closer to you.  But why must you make people suffer so much?"  

When we go through tribulations, that's when we need to just throw our hands up and say, "God, your will be done.  Not my will, but your will be done."  He understands our pain and suffering.  Sometimes he relieves us from it, sometimes it's not until we meet with him.  Steve is no longer suffering from cancer now that he's with Christ, but those of us he leaves behind, especially his wife and mother, there is a hole in our hearts from the loss.  Somehow, this will all be used for good.

Saturday, August 13, 2016


In the last couple weeks I've had two friends die from cancer.  I will be writing a dedication blog post for both of them - separately.  For this entry I'll be focusing on Steve.

Whenever I thought of strength, the person that came to mind was Steve.  He was in great health and he was tough!  He was a martial arts expert and biker - he even used to be a bouncer at a biker bar!  He loved knives and the weirdest thing was under all that tough exterior, he had a kitten addiction.  He and his wife Mickey had a ton of cats and a few birds.  He had a remarkable story.

My husband and I met Steve and Mickey at church about a couple years ago.  They really intrigued me because they seemed like opposites.  As Mickey would put it, "He's leather and I'm lace."  Mickey had this bubbly personality and Steve at first seemed kinda quiet.  When I had learned he knew martial arts, I had asked him if he could teach me some and he was happy to do so.  For a couple weeks we worked on Bagwa, but then we weren't really able to figure out how to anymore, I don't quite remember why though.

Last year while Nick and I were playing and wrestling, Nick accidentally pushed me into the wall, he learned his lesson though because he found out you can't push a fat person into a wall.  There was a big hole in the wall.  Mickey helped fix the wall and Steve would come over with her.  Mickey even taught me how to fix burgers and tacos!  I'd also go to Celebrate Recovery with Mickey.  After Steve got sick though, she wasn't coming as often - which was understandable.

Last year in the spring, I had a massive overdose (for the second time) and had to be hospitalized.  Steve and Mickey were going to visit me but by then I was already out of the hospital.  Steve and Mickey knew my struggles and constant crisis'.  My problems with being suicidal, cutting, and even understood my weight problems too.  They never judged me for all my problems.  Some people give up on me because my problems are just too complicated to understand.  But Steve and Mickey never gave up on me.

Last year, somewhere between November and December, we found out Steve had stage four esophagus cancer.  He couldn't keep things down.  It broke my heart, but I prayed that God would heal him.  Eventually it spread.  It was so hard to see him so sick.  He had a feeding tube because he couldn't keep anything down.

Nick and I moved to Atlanta in February because we had to get away from some people who were making our lives very difficult.  Last week I saw on Facebook that Steve's cancer was terminal.  I completely lost it.  I guess Nick had told Mickey and she called me that night to check on me.  I heard Steve in the background asking if I was okay.  I felt really bad.  Here I was upset asking God, "Why are you doing this to me?  I've had two friends die from cancer this year already and now a third?  I've got friends who are suicidal and cutting I'm trying to help.  One of my best friends I've been friends with since I was a little kid wants nothing to do with me anymore because of politics.  Why is this happening to me?"  But Steve was the one dying and yet he and Mickey were worried about me.  Nick and I were planning to go back to Knoxville to see Steve and Mickey on Thursday - the day after my birthday.  When Monday came around Steve had gone downhill very quickly, so Nick and I went up to Knoxville to see them.  The man who when I think of strength, was fading quickly.  He was so sickly and weak.  He was on oxygen and just skin and bone.  He was mostly out of it.  I wanted to cry, but I knew if I cried, I would have urges to hurt myself, so I buried my emotions.  I wanted to be there for Steve and Mickey, just like they've always been there for me.  If I hurt myself it would've made things worse for them.  Nick and I visited Monday night, Tuesday, and a little on Wednesday.  By Thursday night at 11:45, Steve passed away.  It's been really hard for me, but I've been trying to bury my emotions at least until I return to Atlanta next week.  I have to be strong for the people depending on me, and for Steve and Mickey.  I can't be there for them if I hurt myself.  I know they probably wouldn't want me to bury my emotions, but I can't risk hurting myself.
It was so weird.  Here a year ago Nick had thrown a surprise birthday party for me and Steve and Mickey were there helping celebrate it.  No one had any idea that Steve had a cancer.  A year later he's gone.  I felt even worse when I found out Steve had passed because that night I prayed, "God, if you're not going to heal him, just end his suffering."  Around the same time I had prayed that, he passed away.  Part of me blames myself for that.  Part of me says, "If you had left that part out maybe he'd still be here."  But when I think about it, that's pretty prideful to think that way.  God making him die because I said something?  Besides, I really wanted him to be healed not die.

Yesterday I was talking to my friend Kevin who I've known since I was a little kid (our parents are best friends) about it.  He lost his mom to cancer when he was little.  I asked him what would comfort him and he said when he was little, he would ask God to heal his mom, but when she died, she wasn't healed.  Now 20-30 years later, he thought about in the last couple weeks and realized God HAD healed her, just not in the way he had wanted God to.  Indeed, Steve has been healed now that he is with Christ.  I wanted Steve to be healed physically.  Even though he was not healed like I had wanted him to be, he is healed in heaven.  Right now this doesn't really give me comfort, but, it is the truth and honestly, I would rather be healed with Jesus than suffering here on earth.

Some day, we'll see Steve again.  I know he'll be happy to see us.  We'll certainly be happy to see him.  Thanks for being there for me Steve, you are greatly missed.