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Friday, May 26, 2017

Semester 4: Why I've Been Gone

Hi friends.

I feel like I can't really move forward with blogging before I explain why I've been gone for the past almost 5 months.  So, herein I shall explain what happened two weeks after my last post.

January 19th was the Thursday of my first week back at college after Christmas break, and that evening I was at the first meeting of the semester for the fashion show at my school.  It was going fine, but I didn't feel too great, as I was getting over a cold.

After the meeting, I felt a sense of urgency to get home, a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach which I dismissed as nothing more than my own exhaustion and maybe a hint of a fever.  So, in a daze, I rushed back to my car, drove home, and promptly put myself to sleep when I got there.

That evening, my family found out my dad had passed away.

All I could think was, "Dear God, don't let it be real" -- but it was real.  It was all too real.  He had been down in Georgia, where he worked 3 days a week, and had caught a really bad cold.  None of us thought too much of it, including him.  But that evening, when the policemen came to our door, we were hit all too severely with how serious his condition had been.

To say I've never cried so hard is a gross understatement.

As that night wore on, my family and I did our best to just breathe.  Before I went to bed, I tried to read the bible -- but I couldn't.  I hurt too much, had too many thoughts and questions racing through my head.  So, instead, I continued to pray and cry.  As I lay in bed, a peace, God's peace, beyond any understanding gently swept over me, and by His grace, I slept for the first time without a father on earth.

That next week was the darkest of my life.  It was a fight just to be able to laugh again.  I didn't go to school.  I journaled.  I grieved.  Family and friends came in.  Funeral preparations were made.  Cards and flowers and food entered our house in a never ending and very welcome stream.  The funeral was the next Thursday.  People said their goodbyes...

And then it was time to go back to "normal," somehow.

Monday hurt so much, as I went back to school.  I was so scared.  I felt fragile, and anything so much as a loud word might have shattered my eggshell-thin exterior.  I felt invisible, and no one could see the unwelcome tears that seemed to constantly lurk right behind my eyes.

I went through the motions of school the best I could -- I took notes in class, I talked to friends.  I told them I was "okay," but that wasn't true.  I hurt. so. bad.  I wanted to quit school.  All I wanted to do was cry my eyes out and die to go be with my dad.  But instead, I went through classes, drove home, and cried once again.

I went through it all again the next day, and got through it as best I could.  But that evening, something changed.  First, I recalled one of the best pieces of encouragement someone had given me:

"Deal gently with yourself."

So, I stopped.  I prayed.  And then I did the next easiest thing I could think of: I took a shower.  There, I continued to pray.  And to cry.  And continued to pray some more.  And in the midst of the warm water, a phrase began to grow stronger and stronger in my mind:

"You're going to be okay.  Not right now, but soon."

An unexplainable joy began to burn in my heart -- deeper and stronger and more assuredly than I have ever known, EVER.  The pain and the hurt and the weight finally lifted from my shoulders, and I knew God was working in me, like never before.  That phrase was the most wonderful thing I had ever heard -- and I clung to it.  It was God's faithful promise of hope -- and, by His name, I knew it to be true!!!

So, I shouted out loud.

                 I went back to school.

                                    I began to heal.

                                                      I spread His joy.

                                                                          I watched movies.

                                                                                           I laughed with friends.
 
                                                                                                               I completed the fashion show.

                                                                                                                                     I finished the semester strong.

And through it ALL,
GOD
WAS
AND
IS
FAITHFUL.

So, friends, there it is.  That's why I've been gone.  That's what took place in the past 4 months.  That's where I am now.  And there's still a long, long way to go.

But, now, I think I'm ready to push forward with blogging.  I've missed it dearly, you know.

I will be seeing you very soon to tell you all about the things I've been working on this semester, and what I will be working on this summer.

Here's to God's faithfulness!!!

12 comments:

  1. I love you. thats all I can say. I want to be you when I grow up.

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  2. That gave me the chills...

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  3. Beth, I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. Thank for sharing your heart and being such an encouragement amidst your deep sorrow & pain. You've probably heard this before, but trials like these grow us closer to God. I've learned that firsthand. You & your family will in my thoughts & prayers!

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  4. I will be praying for you and your family, Beth. Praise the Lord that He's given you such joy and peace during these past months. Indeed, here's to God's faithfulness!

    ~Lizzy

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  5. Oh my word, Beth. I'm so very sorry. <3 But so very glad to hear that God held you through it and is giving you joy in the midst of it. I can't imagine what you're going through. Prayers. <3 <3

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  6. Oh no! I am so sorry for your loss! I'm praying for you and your dad <3

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  7. Beth, may God give you strength to go pass hurdles of the life.
    -Sarfaraz

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  8. So sorry to hear this <3 Our hearts go out to you and your family. It's tragic losing a loved one, and so sudden. I'm so so glad you have found joy and happiness again. May your father rest in peace. I didn't know him, but I will pray for him <3

    I'm kinda new here and I adore your blog, I hope you keep it up, it's awesome :)
    You are such an amazing and talented person.
    Erin

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  9. Dear Beth, may your dad's soul rest in peace. I will say a prayer for you and your family. It is so wonderful that you received God's healing grace. Remember that with His faith, love, and grace, you can persevere through anything. Please be assured of my prayers as you carry this cross with Christ. <3

    God bless,
    Sarah

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  10. This is very sad, and I am praying for you and your family. I'm glad God is bringing you to a place where you could share this, and I know this will continue to be difficult journey filled with bumps and even horror, but through it all God is working.

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