I woke up this morning to one of my favorite posts from Shea. I haven’t shared much about her here because I just wasn’t ready. She was a dear precious soul. An amazing wife, wonderful new mom, great big sister, daughter, friend, photographer….I could go on. Truly. She was the very best of us. And, although I could write an entire book about her, I am going to direct you to her blog. Where SHE was brave and real and silly and wonderful. Where she shared her beautiful photography with the world. Where she shared her diagnosis with the world. A place where she wrote about the really hard stuff and her journey with Cancer.
On a warm sunny day last year, we sat on the patio at Chuy’s and talked about this life and how it’s truly terminal. How her diagnosis made her look at everything with fresh eyes. Things didn’t matter liked they used to. And, she prayed that once she beat it, she’d feel the same way. I loved talking about Jesus with her. How He came rushing into our hearts picking through every piece and ridding it of whatever broke His.
And, how my heart broke on that day she was called Home, August 25th of last year. Broke in a way I really didn’t know how to handle. I was so sad, hurt, angry, confused. I had a dear friend send me a beautiful poem and I just feel really convicted to share it with all of you today (It’s below). Maybe you’re going through some really hard stuff. Maybe it’s coming. I can tell you that I sat at dinner with my 3 dear friends last January and shared before I knew of Shea’s diagnosis that “I just really feel like God is preparing me for a hard year”. One week later I heard about Shea’s diagnosis. So much other hard stuff happened in 2016 that I cried to our pastor last fall that I was done. I really needed all the hard stuff to stop. I cried out to God all of the time. But, through all the valleys, I could still see the mountains. There was so much wonderful stuff happening to, that I couldn’t forget to cry out to God with sincere thankfulness. He is the God who gives and takes away.
‘Some days, the hardest days, it feels like the ugliness of the world will surely drown us. As the waves of grief, sadness, disbelief and anger crash over our heads so very quickly it is only natural to try and fight our way to the surface. It is human to be so painfully overwhelmed that we think, surely, we will never again breathe the sweet air of God’s peace. But. Even still. He is with us. In the hurt. In the questions. In the anger. When everything in you says run away, He says rest. Rest in ME.’ I pray this for you today my sister. That you could learn to float on days when the sea is just too rough for swimming. And so, my prayer for you is quite simple: float on.
I did float on. And, over time I have found my way back out into the sea of hope where I learned to swim again. Life will happen and sorrow may come. When it does, I know I will meet Jesus there, too. Shea taught me Psalm 90.12, Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. So, every day I open my eyes, I thank God. Tomorrow could look very different than it does right now. So, I treasure it. I treasure them. For all the days of my life.