I found myself sitting at her memorial service Monday night, numb. Everything had happened so quickly since I returned from Canada. On the way to the airport I received the call telling me mama wasn't doing well. Of all the times I had flown, this time God's provision had already given me a direct flight home. I believe He allowed mama and I to cross paths in the sky, for when I arrived at the hospital she had already gone to be with Jesus. Maybe it was mama who had caused some of that turbulence up there. (smile) God's perfect timing!
It was extremely difficult for Joy to refrain from getting on a plane and following me home. Her compromised immune system determined she should not travel. I don't know if you have ever had a person willing to stand in the gap for you, but this is truly the basis of our friendship. I pray you will experience this type of friend sometime during your lifetime, if you don't enjoy such a relationship already. Not being able to travel, Joy could pray, and that is exactly what she committed to do.
We both have an amazing group of friends where we live. I love how Joy's friends accept and love me and my friends do the same with her. One of Joy's specific prayer requests for me was that I be surrounded by loving friends. Her request was answered. My friends surrounded me with love, caring for my every need, and they continue to do so. Thank you to all of my special peeps here at home, afar, and in cyber space who ministered to me. I wish I could hug each one of your necks.
I keep thinking the Lord is alternating days of emotional emptiness with Joy and I. It seems like just when one of us has almost caught her breath, the other looses theirs. The Lord continues to give us each strength to offer the other support, even in our own brokenness.
I was thinking back on the memorial service Monday night. As the words of the old, yet timeless hymn "It Is Well With My Soul" washed over my heart, the pain and emotions of the day caught up with me. I stuggled to keep my feelings in check, but no longer could the tears be denied. The heartache rushed through my soul and I felt so out of control. The emotions I had been trying to surpress since mama's death found a way to breathe. Why is it I feel I have to contain my emotions? Is it Fear? Pride? Control?
Honestly none of us have control over anything in our lives. God does! "It Is Well With My Soul" was written by a man who lost so much in his life. It is so easy sometimes as Christians to praise God in the good times, and not so much in the harder times. I sat there during the service gripped by emotion, yet saying to my Heavenly Father, "It Is Well With My Soul." The irony of this song being played that night, was that it is my favorite hymn. No one in my family knew this until after the service.
If you are struggling with a "season of difficult times" maybe these lyircs might help make things "Well With Your Soul."
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul!
It is well ... with my soul!
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It was only the very next day and Joy needed me to stand in the gap for her! "IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL!" Sisters, Joy needs all of us to stand in the gap for her! It has only been 2 1/2 weeks since chemo began and her greatest fear is coming to pass. Joy's hair is falling out! No matter how you have prayed, or felt you have prepared, this has taken Joy by surprise because it came too soon. Again I pose the question, "What do we really have control over?" (Nothing) Women, regardless of what people say, let's face it, we are vain. Maybe it is the whole Eve and apple thing, I don't know. But just imagine if you woke up tomorrow and were suddenly bald. What would your reaction be? For Joy, she knows it is part of the healing process, but she still must go through this valley.
Tomorrow, Friday, at 10:00 a.m. she will be having the hair that hasn't fallen out, shaved off. I appauld your courage my friend. I know what strength it took to pick up the phone and make that appointment. Will you stand with Joy as she takes another step toward healing?
Please leave a comment on the blog letting her know you will stand with her as well. I know it will encourage her heart.
"It Is Well With My Soul"
Standing in the gap for Joy (Faith)
I just talked with Joy and she said things went better than expected. In fact we shared a lot of laughs as she
recounted some of her adventures and blessings this morning. Check out her Facebook page for some fun conversation on her wall. As of noon she had chosen not to look in the mirror, but that will happen when she is ready. Thank you for all your prayers. Please continue standing in the gap as she adjusts to her wig and "no do."
Standing in the gap for Joy "Faith"