Monday, November 15, 2010


One word describes me right now and one word only: Homesick. Fortunately, MercyMe voiced my thoughts long ago...

You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times
And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you
But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry
Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I'm still here so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
I've never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbye
And in Christ, there is no end
So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have
To see you again
To see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face
If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place
Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow
Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

I've never been more homesick than now.

God is moving in my life right now. I don't necessarily see it or feel it, but I know He has to be, because I'm crying out to Him every day. If there's anything He's taught me, it's that even when I can't sense Him, I know He is working and has not forgotten about me. Elaboration later....

Sunday, May 2, 2010

See, Hear, Feel, Want...

I see you everywhere:
See you in the children,
In the games,
In the competition,
In the laughter,
In the tears.
In the letters,
In the surprises.
In the airplanes,
In the nature.

I hear you in the music,
Hear your voice in the phone,
In the thunder,
In the pounding rain,
In the darkness
And my scary dreams.
In the light,
And the awe of His majesty.

And I want you,
In my pain,
In my joys,
In my adventures,
In my excitement,
In my failures,
In my successes,
In my future,
In everything you cannot be here for now.
I want you in all that you’ve left me to experience without you.
I want you in this city.
I want you to be proud of me.
I want you to smile at me,
That smile that I know only you can ever give.
I want you to tell me I’m beautiful
And I’m your princess.

And I miss you in all of it.
I miss you in all that used to be,
In all that is now,
And all that will be.
You were so good to us,
The best I could have ever asked for.
I can’t put it any other way, but these words don’t do my feelings justice,
I miss you.
So, very, much.
Yes, indeed, I miss you, loved one.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The DTR (a short piece)

He spoke the words she sensed were rapidly approaching. She tried and tried to deny the feelings developing in her heart, but to no avail. And then came the moment of truth; there they stood. The world around her ceased spinning as he held the power to make her produce tears of joy or tears of sorrow. He never meant for it to come this far.

She closes her eyes, attempting to force time to freeze. He squeezes her hand to remind her of the reality. She pleads and begs, desperately, for it all to be a dream. But when she breathes deep, and her eyelids shoot open, the icy cold air stings her eyeballs--a blatant reminder of reality. The clock strikes twelve, and they stand there, staring, breathing, caught in suspension and disbelief. Eyes locked, fists clenched, hearts burning—hers for his but his for another. The tension is painstakingly loud and as visible as their breath intermingling between their faces.

They can feel the warmth of their breath mixing with the thick, cold air: birthing the storm. Here comes the thunder; she blinks, and the lighting strikes as he lets go of her clenched hand. A slap in the face; a gasp for air; a wind-sucking blow to her gut. One last look of deepest, sincerest, painful apologies, assuring her of the happiness they once shared, confirming it was all real. He lingers for a moment, letting their thoughts meld into an unwanted, mangled mess of shared history—now lost with one, solitary conversation. Then, as he blinks, he turns, destroying everything to her.

She stands alone, shivering, tears streaming down her cold, rosy cheeks. She weeps. Arms hanging limply by her side. Achingly lonely.

Why? She pleads. It hurts. But any response she longed to hear failed her ears. Hot tears roll down her face. However, as the cry of her soul rings out, a blanket of Protection swiftly wraps itself around her.

She whimpers quietly, as she feels Him—knowing He could have prevented this. But where else can she go? She relents. Their fingers intertwine as she holds onto His promise. He walks with her, and she knows that He will wipe away every tear, make her smile, and heal her heart. He saturates her with his unfailing, suffocating, eternal love.

There is Hope. And Healing. And New Beginnings.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Different World

A new year has begun. The majority of people have already given up on their New Year’s resolutions; or else they keep reassuring themselves they will start “tomorrow.” Seventeen days in and we lose hope of toning up, eating right, reading the Bible everyday, etc. We aren’t as ambitious as we thought, are we?

But for me, the New Year has different meaning. You see, I am more concerned with what quickly follows that New Year.

What I have found over the years is that months have meaning. There is special meaning, such as birthdays, there are holidays, seasons, special foods, special traditions, etc. Spring accompanies April; seniors and soon-to-be graduates prepare for a new chapter in life during May; June, July, and August are those glorious summer months—which kids love, because it means “freedom” for them. Plus, summer is the prime time for family reunions. And of course, in July, we celebrate the anniversary of our American freedom. September generally marks the beginning of college. October: Halloween, fall, candy, and costumes. November is the end of fall, the beginning of winter, Thanksgiving and all that entails (i.e. turkey, mashed potatoes, all that tasty and fatty food, tryptofan, family, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, Black Friday, Christmas trees, and football). December is a huge one; We all know what December means: everything Christmas, family, hot chocolate, warm fires, children hoping for what they’ve wanted all year from Santa, parents completing last-minute shopping and maxing out their credit cards because they think material things will satisfy the heart and soul, snowmen, vacation, loneliness, Christmas music, the celebration of the birth of our Savior, and whatever other traditions you and your family may hold. January of course welcomes in the New Year; February is the month of love, either adding to the cynicism of broken, bitter, resentful, and lonely hearts or creating a sweet occasion for you and your significant other. And finally, March. You may wonder why I didn’t start with January and end with December. Or you may not wonder—you may know exactly why. I ended with March, because it is the most dominant month of the year in my world.

What’s so special about March? Not much. Maybe the beginning of spring, the Ides of March (but I only ever learned of that when I read “Romeo and Juliet” in high school). One bonus in March for me is the birthday of some of my very special friends. But other than that, I dread the month.

I dread it, because when March rolls around, I have to face the music. I have to face the fact that I have lived one more whole year without one of the most incredible men I ever knew and loved. I am forced to remember that however many years ago (in this case, three), I learned on the fifteenth (which happens to be the Ides of March that I mentioned earlier), at 9:50PM, while waiting for my daddy to come home, he would never again come home to our family’s house in our small town in Indiana. Never again would I see him walk into the mudroom with a big smile on his face, ever so joyful to be home with his family.
In March, there is no getting around the recognition that he is gone. No matter how far I have come, and no matter how much progress I have made, my emotions and feelings and logic are twisted into a mangled mess of devastation and pain.

But it’s not even the remembering that specific day that he died that hurts the most. And I’ve decided to tell you what it is.

I was talking to a dear friend of mine recently, and she has experienced the same loss as I have, so we connect well. She, however, has been without her father for longer than I, and though it’s the same pain, she has more wisdom than I do. So, while talking to her, I mentioned that what I hate about it being another year since my dad passed away to that wretched heart disease, is that it reminds me that I have lived one more year of my life without him. This is a little bit hard to explain, and I was having trouble voicing my thoughts to her. But she knew what I meant. And she put it into more coherent language for me.

The problem is that it is like I am living in a different time period. There was the time when I had two parents, when there were five people in my immediate family. Now, I live in a time when I have one parent. Everything is different. What is incredibly painful for me is that my father will never share this part of life with me here on earth. I never saw that coming. He was fine one day and gone the next.

And since the day he’s been gone, I have met countless new people; I have grown in countless new friendships with people. My dad would love all of my new friends. The majority of new people I have met are my friends at camp (BSE ’09) and my friends from Moody and Chicago. I would give so much to have my dad meet these special new people in my life.

This is what I mean about living in a different lifetime. In this time of my life, every single new person I meet will see my family as having four members (aside from my brother’s fiancĂ©e). No one I met starting three years ago or will meet in the future will EVER know one of the most important people in my life. They will never fully grasp who he was to me. Granted, many of the people I meet will never even meet my family at all, but many will—especially those I am closest to. The idea of them not knowing him is almost inconceivable (does that word make anyone else think the “Princess Bride” every time they hear it?) to me.

But, inevitably, here I am. Almost three years from the day I lost him. And what do I do? I could go on to describe the pain. I could go on to describe how exactly my life is changed. I could proceed to talk about the things I miss about him. But this post is long enough, and I have written extensively about all of those things already on this blog and in my journals. And besides, there comes a point, when sharing things online becomes impersonal. Our lives are special and personal. They deserve to be explored and shared through more than just the Internet. So I am always willing to talk more, but this is enough of my thoughts.

So, what I want to conclude with—before all of you who want to criticize me for not being joyful in all the good that has come from this experience, and all the wonderful ways God has worked in my life—is the acknowledgment of the fact that I am healing.

As much as one part of me hates to say it, life goes on. Obviously it does, because it’s been three years. The earth keeps spinning and spinning. I hate the term “moving on” because it seems to imply to some that my dad is less important to me, and his death isn’t as major as it once was. So, I don’t want to say that I’m moving on, but I do know that as time goes on, the pain will lessen. It will take a long time. But I heard a quote last night that I think sums it up. I’m not sure who said it, so if you said it, let me know, and I’ll give you credit.

“Acceptance is not about forgetting, it’s remembering with less pain.”

Just because I accept that he’s gone, and on March 15th 2010, he will have been gone for three years, doesn’t mean that I’m leaving him behind. I’m just able to remember him with a little less of a sting. I will always wish he was here, and I will always talk about him. I will never let anyone forget him, and my heart will always ache a little bit. But the pain will become less—eventually. Maybe not now, but it will come.
And in thirty years, when I tell someone that I lost my dad thirty-three years ago, I know they will shrug it off more easily than they would have now. Honestly, that will probably bother me. I will want to shout at them, and tell them that I still love him as much as I did the day he died. I will want to pound it into their head that he is as much a part of who I am as he was when he was living. But I won’t do that. I’ll let them think what they want, and I will simply remember, with less pain.

Now, I will actually conclude with telling you that I love the Lord, and I am forever grateful for the time he gave me with my dad. He never promised me I would have more than seventeen years with him, and I recognize that. So before you think you need to tell me that God will bring good from this, and I need to stop grieving my loss. Let me assure you that I have already seen God’s goodness in my father’s death. Just because it’s painful, doesn’t mean I’m living in misery and self-pity. I have already witnessed God’s sustaining Love and Power in my life and the lives of those around me, and I know I will continue to witness God working. I haven’t walked away from God, and I never will. I know I could not survive this without him. I’m striving to use the experiences He has put me through in order to bring serve Christ and glorify God.

Seventeen days into the New Year, means approximately 307 days closer to the third year anniversary I lost my father. But it also means it’s 307 days closer to the third year anniversary that he went home to live with our Heavenly father who never has and never will stop loving me and you. March might be extra painful, but it will also be a reminder of how God has blessed me through the roughest of times in my life. A lot has happened in three years, and a lot will happen in the years to come.

God, let me always glorify you no matter what you allow to happen in my life. No matter what your sovereign plan involves, no matter the pain, and no matter the joy, may you always receive the honor and the glory.

And Daddy, I miss you. I always will. The day you died is a day my heart broke in a way that will always cause it to ache. But you brought incredible joy to my life. You were a gift from God. You made sure to always acknowledge that you were my earthly father, and you told me, I need only to rely on God—because he is the only Constant, and the only One who will never let me down—because if I do that, “everything else will shake out fine.” Thank you, Dad. I love you.

Monday, January 4, 2010


It is always a difficult thing to watch the ones you love grow old, weak, and dependent on walking aids and what not. As a kid I didn’t think about the fact that as I grow, everyone else is growing as well.

My grandpa Magers died when I was young; I remember him, but I never had a relationship with him, as he died before I could really get to know him. But as I grew up, I became very close with all my other grandparents. My mom’s parents were divorced when she was in middle school so I’ve always had two sets of grandparents on her side, because they both remarried.

Recently, my grandpa Leichty—my mom’s step dad—died. Grandpa and I were close with each other. He loved to talk, and I loved to listen to him. He wrote me a letter when I was in eighth grade that I couldn’t read until I graduated, and it is one of the best letters ever written to me. He was always full of wisdom and knowledge. I remember, when I was younger, playing with my Grandpa; he was lively, active, and strong. My brothers and I always had fun with him. But inevitably, he aged and grew weaker. He had a stroke or two, and was left very weak and dependent on others.
His wife, my grandma Leichty—my mom’s mom—has endured much in her life. She is a strong-willed woman, and she supports others. She doesn’t slow down, and she really cares about others. She is such a servant.

I also remember my grandma Magers being very spry and independent. But I have witnessed her being forced to sell her house and living in an assisted living home. She can’t even write her own letters anymore. She does have a very good memory and can still have coherent conversations. Visiting her is one of my favorite things. But it’s been hard, watching her get old. Seeing her cry at my dad’s viewing and funeral was one of the most painful things I have ever seen. She lost her baby, and you could see the anguish in her eyes.

My grandma Martin—my mom’s step mom—has always been a wonderful woman in my life. She cares so much about her grandchildren. She always checks up on me. She has always been one of the strongest women I know. Over the past few years, as I have grown closer to her, I have realized what a wise woman she is. She has endured quite a lot of difficult circumstances in her life—things I won’t get into now—yet she still has faith, and she still serves others.

Grandpa Martin—my mom’s dad—has also always been very strong, but recently he was hospitalized for a heart condition. He is out now and doing much better, but it is still scary.

Now, the other day, I was at my grandma and grandpa Martin’s house and my grandma began talking about my cousin who was recently hospitalized at Riley’s for a heart condition. She was describing what happened when they visited him at Riley’s. While they were in there, my cousin began slurring his words and having other complications. As my grandma described the situation, she started to cry.

It was heartbreaking to me. As a kid, you just think they are invincible. But I am facing reality now, and I’m not saying I’m going to lose any of them soon. It has just been hard to see the way they change. They can’t do as much as they used to, they are more open with you, you find out things you never knew. It’s difficult for me to handle. I want them to never be hurt. I want them to stay young forever. I want them to be exempt from the effects of ageing. But they aren’t, and no one is.

Nothing I can do will keep them here with me longer; their lives are not in my hands. Therefore, the best I can do is just cherish the time I have with them. I can be grateful for the time I have with them, and I can remember their precious, valuable words to me. Thank the Lord they are even in my life at all. Each one of them has played a very important role.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sara Dawn Mundy [a blessing]

Last year, the summer before my freshman year here at Moody, I was praying frantically that Sara (my roommate) would get into Moody for that semester. Two days or so before orientation began, the chances seemed slim. However, Moody admissions finally realized what an honor it would be to have Sara attend the Institute. So, that was awesome that she got in, but we wanted to be roommates, and it didn’t look like that would happen. Fortunately, though, her volleyball coach convinced Student Residence Life that it was absolutely necessary for Sara and I to room together. Cha-ching. Everything worked out!

Now at this point, Sara and I knew each other fairly well. We had been friends for a while, since we grew up in the same (small) town, same church, and one of my best friends is her cousin, but we had just begun growing closer over the past year and a half or so. Thus, I was very excited to get to know her more on the level of college roommates!

Boy, was I in for a treat. Let me tell you a little bit about Sara Dawn Mundy. She is incredible. My friendship with her is a blessing for which I am forever grateful. Sara is constantly encouraging to me. As I watch the way she lives her life, I see how much she cares about others. She has a compassionate heart and is very passionate about what she wants to do with her life. Sara is wise, though she may not believe it. When I ask her for advice or her opinion on things, ranging from fashion to theology, I feel confident with her responses. I know she speaks honestly, and I know she takes me seriously. Now, Sara has endured some extremely difficult and painful things while here at Moody, and I hate to see her hurt. But it’s a privilege to be able to walk through life with her, to be able to pray with her and for her, and just to take part in her life. This girl has a heart for the Lord, and she takes on trials and obstacles with great faith. She keeps her eyes on her True Love, and she rests in His love and comfort. I am incredibly excited to see where God takes her in this life.

On a different note, Sara is one of the FUNNIEST people I know. I am going to live ten years longer just because of how much she makes me laugh. I mean, she doesn’t even have to try. She is hysterical, and hearing her laugh brings joy to my heart. Oh, and she makes delicious food!

Another thing I love about Sara is that she accepts me for who I am. I can be myself around her; I can tell her anything that is on my mind without fear of being condemned or judged. I know she loves me, and she has proved that to me countless times. She serves me in many ways, and I definitely don’t deserve it. She puts up with my overreactions and my obnoxiousness (That’s actually a word!). She gives me wonderful, warm, loving hugs. She really is a gift from God.

I told her last year, “I love that no matter how my day went, I can always come back to the room knowing you’ll be there.” And it’s true; it’s always comforting to know I can come back to such a wonderful friend and sister in Christ. I love serving alongside her and growing with her.

Sara is beautiful internally and externally. She will go far in this world, because her ultimate desire is to serve her Maker. She knows what she’s been given, and she wants to give back to Him as much as she can. It’s an honor to be her friend, roommate, and sister. ☺ She is absolutely great. I really love this girl—from the depths of my heart.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Unrecognized Sin

This is a story about a girl who thought she was doing pretty well. She was content with where God had her, and she wasn’t dealing with too much. She was preparing for her future at a nice little Bible college. It was a new year full of new friendships, new classes, new professors, new passions, new ideas, etc… Everything was new. Life was exciting.

But then, through a series of events, she realized something about herself. She was selfish, jealous, dirty, sinful, and not at all put together. The only reason she thought she wasn’t dealing with much was because she wasn’t allowing herself to see her sin. She couldn’t see the blackness in her heart. She couldn’t see her pride or her brokenness.

So, instead of continuing to live in ignorance, she knew something had to be done. Her solution: pray that God would continue to open her eyes to the ugly, filthy sin in her life. She prayed that God would help her purge her heart, mind, body, and soul of all the worldliness she allowed to infiltrate and didn’t even realize.

The incredible thing was, as she prayed, she saw herself begin to clean up. She could see her soul being sanctified, dusted off, and cleansed. But the unfortunate thing is that the process hurt. It was painful to see her sinful nature despite all the blessings and goodness God granted her. How could she hurt her Maker like that? How could she treat him like that? How could she treat others like that? It hurt to see just how depraved she was.

This process brought the girl to her knees; it completely and utterly broke her. With nowhere else to run but to the arms of her Creator, she fell before him while he looked on with love. His cleansing, bittersweet breath rushed all around her, surrounding her with warmth, protection, assurance, hope, and love. She was being purified—washed, rinsed, and rung out. And it hurt; in fact, it was incredibly painful, but in the end, she knew the pain took her right where she needed to be. It led her back to her first and True love.

I’m sure you figured out fairly quickly that this girl happens to be me. This is the story of what I am dealing with right now. Why share it? Because this is how I process. I write, and I share. And as of now, God is still revealing my unrecognized (by me) sin, but it’s good. I can the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel.” God is refining my faith. Being brought to my knees, with an ache in my soul, and tears streaming down my face, is not a bad thing. It’s where I find God.