Last night was tough, and today will be challenging…

I’m going to be cleaning out the house tomorrow that I’ve always called home, no matter where I’ve lived.

We will be bagging stuff up to throw away, and gathering things to sell to people who have no idea the precious hands that touched and held and used these things — things that are all that is left of so many sweet memories.

I listened to and sang Simple Man by Skynyrd last night and it just broke me when I realized that I’m so much the opposite of that song. I’m so much the opposite of the “Simple Man” that he was.

I’ve spend so much of my life “chasing after the rich man’s gold” — pleasures and niceties — willing to use credit when I couldn’t yet afford something thinking that “I’ll pay for it later.” It’s stupid the traps we can get ourselves into — even when we think we are making wise and reasonable decisions — much worse when we are just being foolish, selfish and greedy.

I wish that I had just learned to live simple like Bill.

“Don’t buy it unless you can pay cash for it.”

“Take care of what you have.”

“Fix what you have instead of buying a new replacement.”

“Don’t rely on the big comforts, extravagant meals and entertainment and vacations — save and give generously and consistently — and learn to live off of less and appreciate the little things in life.”

He was the type of man that makes me ashamed of how little I can compare myself to him in those things that I admire most about him. I feel like I’ve let him down in almost every way that mattered to him.

Last night, as I wrestled with the anticipation of what would come today — I found myself sobbing, weeping, writhing on the floor, howling like a hurt animal. I couldn’t even lay in the bed, but preferred the cold, hard floor and the closet floor away from even my wife who was doing her best to be there for me and pray for me as I found myself brokenhearted before myself and before God.

The anticipation was killing me last night.

It’s like Mia said about riding Fury 325 at Carowinds — the worst part is the slow click, click, click as you are climbing the hill, waiting for the drop — the anticipation. The drop isn’t even as bad as the anticipation.

My mind just couldn’t seem to handle it last night. I just wanted to go somewhere, hide somewhere, escape to the woods or to the bottom of a bottle somewhere!

I know that’s horrible to say. I know that someone is going to say, “But doesn’t he talk about Jesus and now he’s talking about drinking?” I am tempted too– you can believe that! Sometimes my faith is hanging on by a thin thread, but even when I doubt and I fall on my face, He’s always pulled me back up before I drown.

So I cried out

“Lord, help me please!”

And I remembered and prayed:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake. Though I walk through this valley, in the shadow of mourning Bill’s death, I will fear no evil. You are with me, and your discipline and your guidance comforts me. Even in the midst of my enemies who surround and attack me, you prepare a table for me. What they meant fir evil, you will turn to good. Your grace and mercy anoints me and my cup runs over with your blessings, Lord. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell with you forever. Amen.

And I remembered the song lyrics:

I’ve stood on this stage night after night
Reminding the broken it’ll be alright
But right now, oh right now I just can’t

It’s easy to sing
When there’s nothing to bring me down
But what will I say
When I’m held to the flame
Like I am right now

I know You’re able and I know You can
Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

They say it only takes a little faith
To move a mountain
Well, good thing
A little faith is all I have right now
But God, when You choose
To leave mountains unmovable
Give me the strength to be able to sing
It is well with my soul

Hoping that the last line of those lyrics would be true, I found a friend’s testimony about how her life has been filled with loss, but that the Lord has always been there for her:

I hope this helps someone. There is something in my life that I never seem to get use to. Losing the people I love. Around 5 my father left. He was abusive and drank. My mother never got over that. We lost her to depression and bipolar disorder. My oldest brother went to live with his biological father. This left me and my little two year old brother to really form a bond. We were both physically and emotionally abused. We moved a lot not making friends. The times we lived with our grandparents were the best. We had Nanny and Papa and Anita across the street. I never made friends in school. Kept to myself, always feeling out of place. I tried to commit suicide and spent 3 months in a comma. At age 12 I moved to Connie Maxwell Children’s Home. Didn’t make friends there easy either. I was use to adults and people older than I. I formed an amazing friendship with my houseparent “Ma”. My administrators were like parents. An old soul they called me. Had the same boyfriend for 6 1/2 years. We went to the same college and my world once again fell apart when we parted ways. I finished college in 3 1/2 years with a BA and two minors. No this girl didn’t party or have too much fun. Explains the nut I am now. LOL! Got married, divorced, very short marriage. Married again moved back home to Inman…..another broken heart. Once more 20 years later my very first boyfriend from Connie Maxwell and I married. Lost him to drugs, alcohol, abuse, and adultery. I almost lost my son to Leukemia, my little brother died in 2016..went to sleep and never woke up. My oldest brother called on the day of his celebration of life to let us know he would no longer have anything to do with me. Ma passed away. Dakota the baby I lost…his birthday is this month…the 16th. This is just part of my story….and not much detail. This life brings lots of pain and loss. I am so grateful that I have always known Jesus was with me. I use to talk to him when I was small. I called him my best friend. He still is till this day! No matter how many people leave, how much loss, how much pain, He will NEVER LEAVE MY SIDE!

So if I post a lot about my Savior! It is because he has saved me not only from eternal damnation! He has saved my life so many times on this earth! So many times my life should have ended but I have more time to serve my KING!

OUR FAMILY IS GRATEFULLY BLESSED

And I thanked her and she prayed for me, and I was finally able to calm down enough to return to bed.

This morning, I awoke to what the day has for me:

And the following scriptures prepared me for my day. The anticipation is over and the day is here:

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1‭-‬8 NKJV

Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
Matthew 5:4 NKJV

The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
Psalms 34:17‭-‬19 NLT

Praise the Lord ! How good to sing praises to our God! How delightful and how fitting! The Lord is rebuilding Jerusalem and bringing the exiles back to Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension! The Lord supports the humble, but he brings the wicked down into the dust. Sing out your thanks to the Lord ; sing praises to our God with a harp. He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the grass grow in mountain pastures. He gives food to the wild animals and feeds the young ravens when they cry. He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse or in human might. No, the Lord ’s delight is in those who fear him, those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Psalms 147:1‭-‬11 NLT

Thank you, Heavenly Father! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Holy Spirit! You are always true and faithful, and your Word proves true time after time again.

Thank you, brothers and sisters in Christ, who are willing to share your testimonies, encourage each other, serve each other, pray for each other, and bear each other’s burdens.