I found this video on a friends blog. It made me cry. I’m not ashamed to say it. It’s been an extremely difficult last hour in my life for reasons I can’t post on here. But I will say this…
Love is difficult. Being loving is difficult. And sometimes we are hurt by those who are supposed to love us the most. I hope you enjoy this song as much as I did.
I usually don’t like posting this much during a week but I cannot help but post today.
Today is what we refer to as MAPS day. It’s the anniversary of the awful accident that my two friends Jeff and Amy and I survived.
One year ago yesterday the three of us set out for Monterrey, Mexico. We were going to check out the place where Amy was going to move to and be a missionary. At roughly 12:30 a.m. on Feb 9th we were hit by a drunk driver head on on I-35. The three of us all had injuries but pretty minor when you take into account all that could have happened. Jeff, who was driving, was the worst with broken bones in both legs and a concussion. Amy, who was in the passenger seat, had shredded tendons in her ankle and major bruising from the seat belt. And I, who was asleep in the back seat (unbuckled) had a severe sprained ankle with contusions on my head, arms, and basically my whole body.
There is no doubt in any of our minds that God saved our lives. He kept us alive that night and also changed our lives forever. The next few months were extremely difficult for each of us in our own way. We grew very very close and they are my MAPS…which is spanish for BFF. (Literally … it means mejores amigos para siempre which translates Best Friends Forever).
I also appreciate the many people who showed their love and support of me the next few days when they got the awful news about the accident. The body of Christ was unbelievable in that time.
So today I celebrate life as well as a bond that cannot be broken with these two awe-inspiring people.
I know sometimes that I rag on the whole being unemployed thing, because quite honestly, most of the time I don’t like it. BUT, I will say that there have been some great fruitful things that have come out of it. Mostly, I have found a new kind of dependence on God. I’ve frequently used the phrase “God provides” without really having a working understanding of what that even means. I moved home in late August without the slimmest idea of how long I’d be here or even how I would stay afloat. I can honestly say that these past 5 and a half months have looked nothing like I thought they would, and neither do the coming 6 months.
So I’ve decided to comprise a sort of list. A “What God has provided” list for me to take a moment and look back on. Shall we??
There of course is the obvious …. Time. Time to spend with my family in a horrible time of our lives. Time to spend with my goddaughter in what is proving to be one of the most difficult and forming years of her young life. Time to wrap my head around what it means to be a Seminary student. Time to just breathe and not have responsibilities.
Then there is a different kind of friendship. Most of my time here is spent with a very small group of people and almost all of them are married and with children of various ages. I don’t know what exactly that means about the stage of life I am. What I do know is that I am being shaped by my time with these women (and men). I am understanding more fully the work that goes into having a successful marriage and raising kids. I am being exposed to several types of parenting and the pros and cons of them. I am enjoying having these influences and knowing that each of these friends love me for who I am and the place I am in right now. They are great.
Also in the friendship category is what I’m going to call new friendship skills. This one needs to be split into two…
I’m learning in this time, how to be a better long distance friend. Now I’m not cured, I still have a hard time and sometimes let long distance get the best of me. But I find myself valuing the smallest forms of communication like texting or facebook chatting to the longer ones like skype or phone calls. (time wise). I am learning to make the effort to be in better communication and to have a better relationship with people farther away.
Second half – I am learning to be more real and less assuming with my friends here. I am allowing myself to have emotions and feel them and share them with my friends. I have long assumed that I am a “burden” on my friends when I’m hurting. That if I share what I’m really thinking that they’ll be like, ‘I’m out.’ I shared this with one of my friends this weekend and she was less than thrilled to hear that I’ve felt that way and clearly told me that she never expressed that toward me. It was good to hear, even though deep down I knew it. I am attempting at being more present with my friends despite my mood and realizing that even when I think I want to be alone, sometimes I’d rather be with them.
Next up is financially. I am still amazed at how God has continually provided for me exactly when I needed it. Whether that be a house-sitting job, a babysitting job or helping my mom with her business or even a change in insurance to save me money. He has kept me afloat financially and that is more than I can imagine. He is a Great God indeed.
Lastly, He has provided me with opportunities. Opportunities to do ministry with a wonderful group of 5th and 6th graders. Opportunities to talk ministry (which I sorely miss). Opportunities to serve others, and to be served. Opportunities to grow in my own faith. This time has not been fruitless and has not made me feel worthless (as a whole) because of the things that He provides in this category. Some of which I have talked about on here and will continue to talk about.
Mostly I just want to be thankful with this post. Thankful for all He has provided for me and the chances I get to look back and say, Wow God, look what you did. I don’t think in our culture we look at the little things He gives us every day enough.
I realize that most people that have entered my life in the last 10 or so years have never met my dad, or really heard me talk about him or anything. We had a pretty rough last decade, he and I. So I think this post may help shed some light on a couple of things….
When my friends who know me first meet my mom there is always a pretty similar reaction… “She’s not what I expected … at all” is a common phrase. Mostly because my mom and I don’t really look alike at all. Especially those that knew me in KC and Michigan and know more of my “mexicanity” side, it comes as a shock when they meet my mom who is 100% southern white girl. She has light brown hair, she’s fair, and our features are not similar. My brother, on the other hand, looks a lot like her. It’s kinda scary how much he looks like her. He has her nose, her hair, her ears, her lighter skin. He is no doubt my mother’s son.
I, on the other hand, am my father’s daughter. My skin is more olive in color, my hair is dark and curly like his was. And much to my chagrin, I have his nose and his big ole floppy ears. Luckily I am a girl and get to cover them whith my hair. And the more I look at my life, the fabric of who I am, I am my dad’s daughter. I am loud like he was. A musician like he was. I like my music loud like he did. I love to cook like he did. I have a sense of adventure in me like he did. I love sports like he did. I’m stubborn like he was.
That’s not to say I don’t have anything in common with my mom, I do, but that’s not my point with this blog.
You see, for years I looked past the fact that I was like him because I was trying so hard to not be like him. things were so bad between us I couldn’t admit to having anything in common with him. But when someone is dying, especially when things have been rough, all those good memories come flooding into your mind. For me, in the last couple of days with my dad I realized that I had been supressing SO much. Yea, the last 10 years were harder than I’d have liked but the 14 years before that were almost magical. We were the happy family you see in commercials for bbq grills and baseball equipment. So after his death it was natural for me to start remembering those times which is when I realized how much I am like him.
Today as I was getting ready, I took a long look in the mirror. I saw my dad’s nose, those ears that I’ve hated since I was in middle school. My hair that was his hair. My eyes that look like his eyes. I tried so hard to be thankful that I have some of him in me. I prayed that I would be glad that I still have that memory of what he looks like, right there in the mirror. But I couldn’t.
Instead I was mad. Mad that I have to live the rest of my life without the hope of having him in my life. That if my kids look like me, they’ll look like him, the grandfather they’ll never know. Frustrated that my image in a constant reminder that he is not here.
Now, I know that sounds awful. I shouldn’t be mad that I look like him. And you may be reading this thinking, “whoa Alicia, that’s weird.” or whatever… but I’m okay with it. I’m okay with it because I am almost positive that God knows this is a phase I’m in. God knows that I am hurt and angry that my dad is gone. That it’s unfair that I have to live without him. I’m fairly sure that God is here with me, hating this reality I’m in with me. And allowing me to be in this place for just a little bit longer.