Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lessons learned in church today...

In church today I learned/thought about several things:

I. There are 3 songs that I cannot sing, because they some how remind me of daddy..
  1. It is well with my Soul (because though it is with my head and my heart... it's still hard to say)
  2. How Great Thou Art (because when we were on vacation to Tennessee daddy recorded that song... and I loved hearing him sing it, and I always think of him singing it when I hear it)
  3. In Christ Alone (because we sang this song at church on the last Sunday daddy ever attended church... and though I love the song, the words, and the meaning... I can't sing it all without crying)

II. I adore the song Total Praise, and the choir arrangement of it. The first time I heard it was at a Gospel Choir Concert at Ole Miss... and I fell in love with the song then. It's one of those that just gives you chills when you hear a choir sing it live (which happened in church this morning). I have tried to find UMGC's version... but could not... But here's 2 videos of the song. One is of a choir singing it, and the other is several HBCU marching bands playing it. The lyrics are below:

Choral version (just a picture... but listen!):

Marching Bands:

Lord, I will lift my eyes to the hills

Knowing my help is coming from You

Your peace You give me

In time of the storm.

You are the source of my strength

You are the strength of my life

I lift my hands in total praise to You.

You are the source of my strength

You are the strength of my life

I lift my hands in total praise to You.

Amen, AmenAmen, AmenAmen, AmenAmen

III. 0ur pastor began a sermon series on the Attributes of God. He talked about the 3 ways that God reveals himself to man.

1) His Creation,
2) His Word,
3) His Son

The third one there hit me... because I realized that just as Jesus was used to reveal God to His people, I am my daddy's representation on Earth. From June 20, 2009 on, any new friends I make in life will not know anything about my dad, and will not have the option of meeting him. So it is my responsibility to reveal my dad to others through my life.

.... friends... that's pressure.

IV. One of the last things I found that Daddy wrote came from Isaiah 55:8-9, and I didn't know that till today:

my Heavenly Father's words:
{"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
and My thoughts than your thoughts..."}
Isaiah 55:8-9

my daddy's words:
{His ways are not like ours. His thoughts are not like ours. They are higher.
That is why God's plans for our lives seldom make sense in the early stages.
Only after we begin to see results of following His instruction do we realize
how wrong we are and how right He is.}
- Dannon Cole
V. 2 great quotes from my pastor Danny Wood today:
"It takes more faith to believe there is not a God, than to believe there is."
"You never quit learning about God - that's why you never graduate from Sunday School."

Les Amo,

Monday, September 6, 2010

Envy in Sorrow...

I figured I might as well write about something I have been thinking about a lot lately.

I am envious of many of my friends...

Not for what they have, or their jobs, or how much money they make...

... but for the good things that are going on in their lives and they people they have to share them with.

Now please, don't get me wrong... there are amazing people in my life, and I thank God for every one of them. But when I hear of friends getting engaged, see them getting married, or celebrate a new life coming into their families... I can't help but miss my daddy.

I have recently heard the happy news of several friends who will be welcoming babies into their lives throughout the next year, and I see pictures of newborns on facebook that belong to friends as well... and I don't just think about how much I anticipate that point of my life, but moreso I think about how Daddy won't be here to share that with me. In the past I always thought about the future, and how when I had kids I would send them to spend time with mom and dad on the farm during summers... because there are so many lessons that can be learned from working outside, Daddy taught me many of them. And though I know mom will be able to do that if God one day blesses me with a family and kids... but I want Daddy to be able to... this is one of the many things about his death that breaks my heart. I think that in life I learned more from my Daddy and grandfathers than anyone else on this planet... and the fact that now, none of them are here... none of them. Within 22 months they are all gone, and when I sit and think about this... this is when I ask why? Sometimes I think I have come to terms with the loss of them all, and other times I break... like right now. I started with a simple thought of how Daddy will never meet my kids or husband (If I am blessed with them) and now I am sitting here crying, looking at pictures of all 3 of them (Pawpaw Cole, Daddy, and Pawpaw Scarbrough) in the windowsill beside me. It's at this time when I remind myself of the blessing of having them for as long as I did... but I still can't help the sadness... The three men in my life that I was closest to... gone. The men I called when I didn't know how to fix something or do something or when I needed advice... gone. The thing is though... I know that there are other men in my life that will help me. I have Uncles who would do anything for me, a brother who I think I am growing closer to, and even the maintenance guys at Samford who all know what I have been through and are willing to help me out when I need them to. God has placed all of these people in my life to help me through this, but to be honest... sometimes that just doesn't matter. I know it should... but it doesn't make up for those I miss.

So back to the envy... I know that my daddy won't be able give his blessing to my future husband or walk me down the aisle one day, and that he won't be at the hospital to hold his grandchild and spoil them, and there is never going to be a photo of my future family with those men who will forever be so important to me. That to me is the saddest thing that is a result of their death. Those will be the moments in my life during which I should be the happiest. But I know that in those happy moments I will think about them (and Mawmaw Scarbrough) and shed a tear in those happy moments. For those of you who I am jealous of... you are blessed to have your Daddy, your grandfathers, your husbands... please don't forget that. I know that a lot of daughters are not blessed to have the type of relationship I did with my dad, but please please cherish what time you do have with them... because you never know when that time may be up. Take as many pictures as you can, tell them you love them as much as you can, spend as much time with them as you can... make up with them if your relationship is on the rocks... Be thankful for them no matter who or what they are.

For you have them still... and you are blessed.

Believe me, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about my daddy and the things we could be sharing. I know that he may be keeping an eye out for me from Heaven... but I can't talk to him... I can't ask him for his advice and more importantly his prayers (the most powerful prayers of anyone I ever heard). But ultimately, as I have said before, he had a relationship with our Lord in which I know he would not choose to come back to me even if he had the chance... and in those moments when I think of that reality, I appreciate him for who he was, more than my Daddy he was a follower of Christ and he lived that out every day, rain or shine. That's the legacy he left for me... to love everyone, to do what you can do and be what you can be.

So... I wish I had what a lot of my friends have. I anticipate the day that God places my future family in to my life... and I strive to always remember that no matter who may not be in the picture, that they taught me the things I need to help me go on without them... no matter how much it hurts, and no matter how many tears may be shed during celebrations. I pray for my future family just as I pray for sweet friends who are beginning their lives with new spouses or who are welcoming bundles of joy into their lives.

Love Y'all,