October 11, 2019

DEEP - A Five Minute Friday post.


I don't want to shock you... but here I sit, ready to write. I know it's been a while -especially if you don't count the Colossians posts (which you totally should, of course!) In fact, the last FMF post that was written in this space was all about taking two steps forward, and one step back and included a prayer request for my sweet sister and her Jackson. It's been a week ago today that he took one step forward into eternity... and we took several steps back, grounded here without him. But --we'll get to that in a moment... 
This is a Five Minute Friday post... which simply means I set a timer and free-write for five minutes flat on the one-word prompt: DEEP... so let's go and let's see what spills out, shall we?


I got the call.  

I have been telling my oldest sister that all she needed to do was call me
and I could get to her in 2-1/2 hours!  
She called last Thursday with no words really to be said. 
It was the call we all dreaded and refused to see coming...
the call saying,  'If you want to come to say goodbye
-now is the time.'  

Only we didn't want to...  We didn't want to say goodbye... 

We didn't want it to come to this... and also - we had just been there
and had a really great visit, plus we actually had plans to be
on the opposite side of the State with my other sister the next day. 
It had been the one thing on the calendar for months
and we were really looking forward to it.  
We considered canceling. In fact, my other sister called just to say: 
'Cancel with me and go to her!'  
But we just didn't feel like we were supposed to do that.

It made no sense... but we packed the car
and headed in what felt like the 'wrong' direction.  
We needed this trip away with all that has been going on...
and we had been praying for a miracle and still fully expecting one!
We knew Hospice seemed surprised every day that Jack was still there...
but he was a fighter and as much as Heaven was calling his name,
Karinna held his heart and I know that even with
the promise of eternity beckoning him home, he was torn. 
Theirs is a love to be written about... 
hoped and prayed for... driven to model after. 
Theirs was a true picture of Two Becoming One Flesh.
He had already held on so long... we weren't sure if what they thought
was hours could really be not hours, but more days and weeks, instead!
So we headed West, excited for what laid ahead,
and broken for what seemed to be unfolding behind.

Then, on Friday, halfway to our destination, 
we pulled in to a sleepy little Stars Hollow-ish town
and found an old historic church. It happened to be open
(which we later found out is not normal!)
and so we wandered in to look around. 
This is where we were when we got the call.
The other call. The one you want even less than the one before!

Jack passed on to eternity on a Friday afternoon. 
There he goes again, being like Jesus! 
How fitting that we sat in old wooden pews
before a pulpit and a Cross... 
Jack always has and always will
point us back to Jesus! 
Even in death, 
God is in the details.

There is so much more I could share
but it's not my story to tell.

As much as deep despair
threatens to overtake at times,
we know the God of Hope draws near... 
even when and even if hope feels far away*
--we know HE never is!
He is close... and He is listening...

"For he has not despised my cries of deep despair. He’s my first responder to my sufferings, and he didn’t look the other way when I was in pain. He was there all the time, listening to the song of the afflicted."~Psalm 22:24 The Passion Translation

I will just wrap this up by saying this:
As wretched and awful
and horrible as this is... 
it was also beautiful and anointed and holy. 
Oh, so holy.

Something about Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.

Something about If we died with Him, we will also live with Him

Something about neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

While I was across the State, on my way to my other sister, Kelly arrived at my sisters' side. She is one of Karinna's oldest and dearest friends --in fact, she is the one who led both Karinna and Jack to the Lord! She was quite literally holding my sisters' heart and assuring Jackson that his beloved Karinna would be taken care of.

It was minutes later that he entered Heaven hearing, "Well done, my good and faithful servant!  ...Enter into the joy of your lord."

Kelly had the honor (but not the joy... not yet anyway!) of being present both times our Jackson died. First, when his old man died... and second when he went onward to be with Jesus! 
And now, as my sweet sister posted shortly after it happened, she has to remember to breathe.


So... half of her heart now resides in Heaven
and yet, we do not mourn for Jack. 
He is good and playing his guitar and leading worship
and no longer wracked up or in pain...
It's those of us left behind that we mourn for.
It's us... It's my sister and her girlie and little grandson...
It's Jacks' sister and the amazing church that surrounded them
and prayed with and for them who have loved them so well
and who continue to surround them and pray with and for them
and love then so well! 

Now we begin the hard and holy work of grieving...
of not having the answers to any of our Whys...
of not entertaining too long the doubts and second-guesses...
of being fully present with our emotions and giving ourselves grace
to feel them without letting them boss us around.
Of being sad and mad and confused and numb...
Of leaning in and crying out and shaking fists, if need be.
Now we give space for the parts of us that died, too... 
while learning a new way to live... to breathe... to carry on...
even if... even when... even though...

The Lord spoke something to me awhile ago and I hadn't really paid attention.
He whispered something to me about being both Anchored and Tethered...
And isn't that just how it is? 
More on that later...

Until then, let's purpose to:

Linking up with  Kate Motaung and the #fmfparty Community today.  Five Minute Fridays give us the chance to dive right in and share what He puts on our hearts! Click HERE to read what others have to say about "DEEP"!

* This is when my 5-minute timer went off.

The FMF lowdown: 
The gathering happens on Twitter on Thursday nights & then we write our hearts out & hit publish all over the interwebs on Thursday & Friday (& sometimes on Tuesdays!) It's where we encourage & uplift... where we share prayer requests & praise reports... where we talk about food & friends & we find support & kindred hearts. It's where we are reminded that life is good & God is good & we're not alone... & then we all write for five minutes flat, a flash mob of wordsmiths letting our hearts & our fingers do the talking tapping & we hit publish before we can second-guess it all away. We'd love to have you join us!

I'm also linking up with the lovely writer communities linked below:

Mary Geisen for #TellHisStory

Kelly Balarie for #RaRaLinkUp

Needless to say, we still covet your prayers for my family... for my sister and my niece and her son... for grief to have its' holy way and to usher in healing with time... for hope to not fade and despair to not take root! For supernatural provision, peace, and Presence! We can't tell you how grateful we are for the Body of Christ and for how She rises up in times of need! 


  1. The hard and holy work of grieving.....which is oh so important! Grief is honestly, I think, one of the hardest things we do on this side of heaven. Love you, sweet friend!

  2. For so long I thought that grief
    was something to be hated, loathed,
    but I know now, sincere belief,
    it's a vital part of faith betrothed.
    We cannot love with any depth
    if we are not shattered by the loss,
    and robbed of our very breath
    by its hard and awful cost.
    But in grief's absence hearts grow cold
    and hard and stony to the touch.
    We banish ourselves from the fold
    and lose so very, very much.
    Lord, please hold my heart so broken
    and in it place your Love as token.

    1. Thank you, brother! For your words and prayers!
      Praying for you!

  3. I'm so sad for the loss your family has gone through.

    1. Thank you so much, Elizabeth! It's been a rough few years ...but God, right? Even if... Even when... Even though! We trust Him!

  4. What a testimony of life, death, and hope.

  5. Thanks so much, Stephanie! We are all just passing through, right? Holy, indeed!


Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!

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