Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Can Only Imagine....

Do you know that song?
"I can only imagine" by Mercy Me.
I heard it today. I actually listen to it a lot.
I played it at my sister's funeral. This morning all of the events around her death hit me.
And it hit me like a punch in the gut. I don't think I've ever put it together before the way it fell into place this morning. The night before she died she called me. She wanted a ride to church for herself and two random kids. It should have been no problem, right?
Yet...every time she called a moral war raged. Many times she would call for a ride to church(a 30min trip in the other direction)only to have me get all the kids ready, drive to her apartment, knock on the door and have her never answer. The times she did come she was mostly strung out and wanted money. Oh, how I miss those times.
After a while it got old. So when she called me in January hoping I would pick her up for church I told her," no" and that she would" need to get another ride". She told me she wanted to bring two little girls to church. I still said, "No". I wanted her to use" her resources" and if" it was important to her she would find a way". She called many people and they all said, "No". They too were tired of her "ways".
Later that day when we were close to her house I asked Adam to stop by her apartment. I hadn't seen her in weeks maybe in over month.
I knocked on the door and two little girls answered...
what do you know...
she was telling the truth about the two little girls.
I saw my sister and hugged her, and gave her money for food.
We talked about church.
She told me about the little girls, and I found out they were the kids of crack addicts next door and she wanted them to experience church and have a chance to hang out with my kids.
She seemed stressed about her TV, but otherwise totally oblivious as I was that she would never wake up again. Those two little girls were there when my sister took her last breath and died. They were in bed with her totally unaware she was dead until the morning until they tried to wake her to put on makeup and play dress-up. I am eternally grateful for those little girls. The life my sister chose to lead ....
unless those two little girls were there...
I have no idea how long she would havestayed in her bed without anyone knowing.
I shudder.
I cry.
I Mourn.
Only God would know
that the following week a crowd would be gathered to listen to the song I cried to this morning.
"I can Only Imagine".
What was the lesson taught at church the day she died? The one that she called me to take her to and I said, "No"
James 4: 13-16
13Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.

This is what I preached at her funeral a week later.
Where the parents of the two little girls, yes the crack addicts sat through and cried.
Now listen to the words of that song....
And promise me....
the next time someone wants a ride to church....
and
no matter how many times that they have stood you up...
take them.
It's never about you or what's convenient
but about a lost lady who is your sister that you miss desperately and two random little girls.
I miss her so much....







14 comments:

Emily said...

Wow Steffany....powerful. I am so sorry for your loss.

hotflawedmama said...

Amazing...I cannot imagine what you are going/went through. But I can imagine what that day will feel like, our very best day.

Lory Howlett said...

Oh Stephany. It sounds like your sister and my sister had some of the same struggles. My sister died in 2003....sounds like a long time ago now, but doesn't feel like it's been very long. She was my only sibling. How I miss her! How I would love to raise our kids together, to give my kids cousins! I really wish my sister was still here. I miss her so much. When did your sister pass away?

Kelly said...

OMG Stef, How did she die? Have you ever written about this before? I love that song too. It always makes me happy, the dancing part.

Anonymous said...
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Salzwedel Family said...

I'm so sorry Steffany. I can only imagine the range of emotions you feel when thinking about those moments.

Thank you for this reminder to seize the moments we are given.

Dani said...

I hate crying first thing in the morning...

I am incredibly sorry for your loss...

And I have no other words...because they seem trite...

Hugging you from a distance()

Beautiful Mess said...

Wow! I am SO sorry and surprisingly thankful for this post.

God uses the HARD things, brutal, things to teach us about HIS goodness and way.

I am sorry for your loss and grateful for your lesson. I am cut to the heart, in pain, over your distress and the cry of your heart... a heart like HIS. God bless you!

Jen

Ali said...

Thank you so much for sharing Steffany. Those are powerful words and very convicting.

Jen said...

My best friend and I were pregnant together in 2003 and her baby boy lived five days before He went home to Jesus. They played that song at his memorial service and I think about it often since then. What will I do? Will I dance, will I be still in silence and aww or will I fall to my knees or or or.....I pray your sister is there with you when you get there. Much love.

Becky said...

Honesty and conviction in one fowl swoop! So much I can relate to in this post but the person in my life who invokes these feelings is still alive. Thanks for the reminder again that life isn't ever about us! Love you

Anonymous said...
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Beautiful Mess said...

Just stopping by again to day to say this:

Happy Thanksgiving!! YOU are among the things I am thankful for!

Jen

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