“and I know God has not forgotten all that’s lost and broken”
My heavy heart can’t hold those words tonight.
The sky was singing and the corn fields passed my window at 75 mph and I yelled at God. It wasn’t what I expected to come out of my mouth, but when those words played over my stereo I couldn’t stop myself from spitting them out.
“I DON’T UNDERSTAND YOU AND I SURE AS HELL DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE DOING IN ALL OF THIS MESS!!”
Since we are being honest, or at least trying to be, there were several expletives thrown in there as I pounded my fists on the steering wheel. The tears came and, no matter how hard I tried, I could not stop them.
~ ~ ~
I painted those words onto a dark green canvas sometime last week. I painted them, confident and sure, resting in the promise they held and the reassuring trust they spoke to my heart.
“Good news and bad news, Al. Pop does not have Parkinson’s. But he does have Alzheimer’s.” My aunt called just two days after the painting to let me know that the doctors figured out what was slowly stealing my Pop.
That was a Tuesday.
~ ~ ~
“Hey, Al. Pop is okay, but I have some bad news…”
On the following Tuesday morning my cousin took his own life.
It is no secret that I have battled my own mental health issues and this has hit me particularly hard. I don’t know why some people are able to walk away from the darkness and why others are overcome by it. I don’t know why God would let me survive my own attempts and didn’t save him. I don’t know why that wasn’t MY funeral today. I don’t know the why’s or how’s of a lot of things. All I know is that my heart is broken and I am left slamming my fists into the steering wheel as I cry on empty roads.
~ ~ ~
“God, you have got to remind me…I need you to remind me that you have not forgotten all that is lost and broken because right now, I DO NOT KNOW THAT!! Okay, well, maybe I know it…but I don’t feel it. Maybe that’s why the song doesn’t say ‘and I feel like God has not forgotten all that’s lost and broken.’ But really, God. I need you to help me with this…because WHERE ARE YOU?!
Where are you when people are taking their lives?
Where are you as this BRUTAL disease steals my Pop?
Where are you? Where are you? Where are you?”
~ ~ ~
My cousins memorial service was today. And I decided not to go.
I am not sure if that was the right decision or not, but I do know that I need to take care of me. His death has been triggering for me in a lot of ways. I do feel guilty for stepping back and not attending. But a friend of mine said this – “love is more than weddings and funerals…” and I am choosing to believe her.
Today, I needed to feel safe.
Today, I needed something to feel tangible and real and steady.
Today, I needed to feel home.
I drove three hours to sit with my Pop. I drove three hours to make sure he had dinner and company. I drove three hours to remind him that he is loved and seen and important. I drove three hours because, while he may be forgetting, I wanted him to know that I am not, that I am remembering for the both of us.
I drove south to attend a church, that someday I hope to call home, with the ones who have chosen me to be their family. And, I have chosen them to be mine. I stood and sang and lifted weary hands and bent weak knees. I was prayed for and I was prayed over. I was held and comforted and loved.
And God reminded me that He sees me
and He knows me
and He desperately cares for me.
~ ~ ~
So, while those words may be hard for me to hold tonight,
I am going to choose to hold them. (even if it looks like angry)
Because whether I feel it or not, makes no difference.
They are true.
He has not forgotten.
He is not forgetting.
He will not forget.