A 1am Phone Call

It's never good when the phone rings at 1am.  This morning was no exception.  We had not been in bed long when the phone rang.  Steve, being closest, answered.  And the minute he spoke, I knew.

Last night about 11pm, my only surviving brother died of an apparent heart attack.

He was only 52 and he wasn't sick.  He had what everyone else has at about that age...high blood pressure and cholesterol, but other than that, he was fine.  What I know at this point, is my sister in law heard him up (she'd already gone to bed) and thought he was sick at his stomach.  When she made it to the hall, he was there on the floor.  She called 9-1-1 and gave him CPR, but he could never be revived. 

My comment to Steve last night was "God must think I'm some kind of a super woman to be able to withstand all that's happened and now this".  To be honest, I wasn't sure how God and I were going to get along going forward.

I know that makes some of you that know me cringe.  But after 4 family deaths in the past 20 months, the last 3 of them MY family, I just honestly was not sure how much I could take. 

My 2nd comment to Steve was a question... "What am I supposed to do now?"  He told me that I didn't have to go to church in the morning.  To just try and get some rest and he would take Jenna and I could rest.

But I couldn't.  I serve in the nursery at 9:30 and I look forward to seeing those babies.  And I wasn't in the frame of mind to sit at home.  I needed to go.  I thought maybe God and I needed to have a chat.  So I got up and went to church. And those sweet babies were my respite in a storm of emotion for 90 minutes. Rather than dwelling on my loss, I gave what little I had to love on those babies.  And  they gave me peace in return.

In service, I listened to the music.  It was good, but quite honestly, I was feeling stoic.  I wasn't sure I was in the mood to worship.  God had taken from me yet one more thing that I loved.  And then came this song...these words...

As morning dawns and evening fades
You inspire songs of praise
That rise from earth to touch Your heart and glorify Your Name

Your Name is a strong and mighty tower
Your Name is a shelter like no other
Your Name, let the nations sing it louder
'Cause nothing has the power to save
But Your Name

Jesus, in Your Name we pray
Come and fill our hearts today
Lord, give us strength to live for You and glorify Your Name

Your Name is a strong and mighty tower
Your Name is a shelter like no other
Your Name, let the nations sing it louder
'Cause nothing has the power to save but Your Name

And as that song was sang, I did.  I called on His name.  I called Him to come be with me because I know without a doubt, I cannot do this again.  I cannot let go of something I love.  And I felt Him.  I felt His peace.  I watched those on the stage singing and those around me worshipping and I felt like I was anchored in the midst of the storm.

As the tears flowed...tears of sadness, tears of grief, tears of gratefulness...my friend Rachel reached out her hand to mine and I felt like I'd had a cold drink of water.  These are the people that love me.  These are the friends that grieve with me.  This is the family that even though they might not know what I was going through at the moment, loved me through words, hugs and gentle conversation. 

These are the hands and feet of Christ.  Living and active in my life.  Right.  Now.  And I cannot thank God enough for them.  I will need their prayers and support.  And they will be there to give it in a variety of ways.

This, my friends, is what Church is about.  I'm grateful to be part of the people known as The Church at Station Hill.

Arrangements will be forthcoming, but until then, I covet your prayers.

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