Monday, December 23, 2013

But Who Has Rich?

It was 5 days before Richard's birthday when I answered the phone to a familiar voice on the other end, telling me that he had something he wanted to give me.  It was one of Richard's old AA sponsors.  A man that I have gotten to know since his death and a man that I have found comfort in.

Would I be able to meet him on Friday?  Yes, of course, I said.

"My dad's birthday is also the 16th and every year I make a chocolate fudge cake.  This year I thought I would make two and I wanted to give it to you."

Yes, I'd love that!

We came up with a place to meet on the Friday before Richard's birthday.  After some miscommunication and re-communicating, I met up with him on Friday night.

He handed me a massive chocolate fudge cake.  "Your mission," he said, "should you choose to accept it, is to eat through the entire cake and see what is on the bottom of it."

Oh, okay!  Absolutely.  I mean I can't eat the whole thing, but I'll see what I can do.

We talked a little more, and caught up a bit.  And then he proceeded to tell me some of the most beautiful advice I had ever heard.

"We have a saying in AA, you know, and that is 'let go and let God.'  It's okay to let go.  Remember in the movie Titanic and they show Rose at the end of the movie and how she had gone on to create a beautiful life.  It's okay to let go."

Yes, yes, I said as I laughed.  I'm just so ready to get through the year.

And then he said, "I know.  But who has Rich?"

God, I said meekly.

"And who has you?"

God, I said as I began to cry.

"Yes, so, really, you guys are not that far from each other."


We wrapped up and said goodbyes.  I proceeded to walk to my car and as soon as the door shut I proceeded to SOB.  I'm talking UGLY CRYING, Y'ALL.  It lasted for a solid 30 minutes.  It was such a beautiful moment and it made my heart ache in the most beautiful way.

By the next night I had given enough of the cake away (which was freaking delicious by the way) and cut the rest of it up into squares.  I needed to know what was on the bottom.

Assuming it was candy or something else baked into the cake, I kept searching in the actual fudge.  Finally I realized that what was on the bottom WAS ACTUALLY ON THE BOTTOM.  It was what the cake was on.  I unwrapped layers of aluminum foil and cardboard to find a canvas.

I flipped the canvas over to find the most gorgeous painting.  AND IT WAS A PAINTING OF RICHARD AND I.  And it is accurate, y'all.  It's detailed and serene and just damn beautiful.

Commence breakdown number two.  A lovely, genuine, thoughtful gift that will be cherished forever.

I have officially learned more about living out God's love and grace from recovering alcoholics than I have from any church sermon.  What a beautiful way He communicates his love to us, through angels on Earth.

R - you're an absolute gem.  Thank you for your constant love and care.  Rich would be so grateful and would expect nothing less.  PS - I've been asked for the fudge cake recipe. :)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Joyful, Grieving Heart.

My heart has been heavy lately.  Heavy with sadness and grief and the weight of others' burdens.  My personality is one that drips with empathy; it's who I have always been. 

It gets really annoying.

Sometimes I just want to flit and float around and pretend like nothing is wrong with anyone.  I just want to feel light and free.  However, often times I feel exactly the opposite.  But it is who the Lord made me so I continue to embrace it and figure out how to use it and when I can't figure it out I just pray through it all.

This morning I prayed for the Lord to continue to show me how to have a joyful AND grieving heart.  Seems impossible to me.  It's been hard for me to figure out lately; it's a confusing things longing to be joyful, yet carrying around so much sadness for others. 

This afternoon he gave me a little reminder via Ann Voskamp's Advent book, The Greatest Gift.

"In the press of a dark world, laughter comes to the Sarahs (see Genesis 21:1-7) and the sufferers and the stressed as the reliever and then the reminder - that ache is not the last word for those who believe in God.  Jesus is.  Jesus is the last word, and we rejoice and rejoice again and re-joy again because grace is our oxygen now."

Ache is not the last word for those who believe in God.


We must remember what our end goal is.  Who our end goal is.  We must trudge forward and bring the joy of the Lord to all who surround us.  Even with a grieving heart we can laugh and share the joy of a Savior that came in the form of a teensie little baby.  We need not be fake about our emotional state.  We must cry when we want to cry and laugh when we want to laugh, and rejoice in the fact that Jesus is the last word. 

Last week I cried almost everyday.  We are nearing the end, friends.  Only about 5 weeks left until the 1 year anniversary of sweet Richard's death.  I am so ready for the one year to be over, but I continue to pray for a joyful, grieving heart. 

Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
-Genesis 21:6-7

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Issues with Santa.

Santa’s Village & Memories - Shattered Magazine