Tragedy

My heart hurts right now. I did not think I’d be in this position.

Let me back up for a second. The first 3 weeks of YWAM DTS have been truly amazing. It’s been challenging too but it’s also been great. I’ve learned a lot. Though I must confess, I’ve been arrogant over the first week. I felt that I knew what they were teaching, how could I possibly learn anything new?

Sensing the arrogance, I stopped myself and asked God to break me (A dangerous prayer). I needed to be humble.

A few weeks later, at the end of October/beginning of November, I got one of the worst calls of my life and my biggest fear was realized. My dad was in the hospital and my family wasn’t sure if he was going to make it. This was something that came into my mind the first week I started YWAM. My school leader share his experience in YWAM, a similar story to mine, and I remember thinking, “Oh God, please don’t let that be me.”

Now, I knew when I said yes to God in joining YWAM, this was a strong possibility. My dad got sick a lot over the past two years with hospital visits and there was a downturn in his health. For those who don’t know, about 11 years ago, my dad was diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF). For nine of those 11 years, you would have never known. He was a champion. The only thing he really changed was no added salt and he started to walk daily. In those years, our relationship grew and he really became a rock in my life. In the two years leading up to now, I saw him grow weaker and thinner as he entered end-stage CHF. I subconsciously knew that he wasn’t going to be here for much longer. But I was in denial thinking that he’ll be fine or that he would be miraculously healed. It wasn’t until I came back home for Thanksgiving Break that I saw the reality.

In between the time I received the first phone call and Thanksgiving Break, I prayed for healing. I didn’t go back home. God told me not to. I was to stay. That was a time of mourning and heartache. I learned so much. God poured so much into my open heart and mind. My arrogance was no more.

Even though I asked not to, I became that person. The person with a serious family emergency that had to go home a day earlier. I’m still home helping my mom and family during this time. It is THE hardest time of my life. Watching a parent die is heartbreaking. There is no other words. And the grief is heart-wrenching and it comes at random times.

I’ve essentially become broken.

I don’t know why God allowed the timing of this to happen, but He did. And I have clung to Him so hard. There are times where old habits try to pop up and I’ve tripped a few times, but God is still my solid foundation. I can always rely on Him when my world’s been crashing down. There are times where I feel happy. Even though watching dad slowly fade away is heartbreaking, there’s also an undeniable peace. God is in the midst of this, watching over my dad and my family. His presence is strong in the hospice room and I feel like it’s a Holy place when I come in. It’s a special time in a believer’s life, for both the dying and the living. My dad gets to be the first one in the family to see Jesus. He’ll be in a place where his disease will no longer exist, no sadness or pain exist in Heaven. He’ll have his new body and he’ll be in the presence of God forever. It’s incomprehensible.

The grief and pain is still there. It still hurts. But I’m also rejoicing. Praise God! Thank You that this isn’t the end.

The race is almost over in his life and my dad is almost to the finish line but the reality is that this is just the beginning.

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One Door Closes…

Becoming Surefooted is a blog that chronicles my own personal growth. Well, I just achieved a major milestone in my life and I am celebrating it despite the circumstances. The circumstance is being back on the job market; but the milestone is having a new found confidence. I’ve prayed and hoped for this “can do” attitude for many years. Yes, it’s very hard going back to the job hunting, but I won’t let it defeat me. While I don’t know where I’m going to end up, the person who just sat there waiting around is NOT me anymore. In fact, I have a new end goal.

A while back I had another goal which was to travel and possibly joining YWAM. While I still want to travel, God hasn’t given me any peace about joining YWAM just yet. This new end goal is career-focused. I’m feeling pretty confident in this. Now, I understand that this may just be a feeling and feelings fade. I just hope that the fire doesn’t fade. Yes, there will be more setbacks and discouragements, that’s life. Hopefully I will respond the same way when I said goodbye to my previous job. I smiled and said thanks for the growth.

For the record, this confidence doesn’t fully come from me. I need to thank God for building this fire in me. He promised to give me a future and I believe it… for the first time since college.

~AJ

Hinds’ Feet

This week I’ve decided to start my second attempt at reading “Hinds’ Feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard. This book is a big inspiration for this blog.

The story is meant to be an allegory for a personal journey to “becoming as surefooted as a deer”. It follows a character, Much-Afraid, and her journey through the mountains and to the “Realm of Love”. During my first attempt at this, I didn’t finish because I got distracted. It was during a difficult period where time was devoted to escaping reality rather than facing it. This is a daily struggle. However, this concept and verse always stuck with me. So I decided to try reading it again and complete it.

Given the blog’s name, I thought posting about the readings would keep me accountable.

Here goes nothing…

hindsfeetpassage


I John 4:18 – “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”

1 Month Update

Not so good on updating anymore, sorry.

This month I’ve realized two things. 1) The S3 phone is pretty cool even though it’s almost 3 years old. It’s good enough for me. I may be the techie of the family, but there’s no need to get the newest and latest tech. 2) My attitude needs to be fixed.

For the past month since getting the temp job at the local big business, I’ve noticed a change in attitude and I don’t like it. And I know where it’s rooted (fear of failure and rejection) and where it will go (self-sabotage actions).

Luckily, I’ve caught myself on multiple occasions before I did something stupid. Now that I’ve identified this, it’ll be easier to get back on track.

Here’s my new mantra; I will get hired. I will succeed. My eyes are set on a goal.

Success!

It’s my last post for NaBloPoMo. Aside from 2/3 days, there was a post for every single day of the month in November! I’m so happy about it! In celebration and just random chance, I went grocery shopping to buy tons of fresh foods and snacks for work this week. Here’s to good health and feeling better!

My family and I are really looking forward to December. My brother and his family are moving into town. Christmas season is here so it’s always festive. It’ll be my second month of work. I really hope and pray that it’ll lead to more opportunities.

It’s been a good month overall and even though I wanted to do more photography, it’s hard being motivated when you’re exhausted. I’ll go back to my weekly blog and hopefully find some structure (again). These daily blogs are hard to reach an audience because I’m still trying to figure out what my blog should be about. So far, it’s mainly an online journal which isn’t bad but I dislike the unstructured format. Somedays I talk about this and then the next day I talk about that. It feels cluttered. So for now, the plan is to figure out what I’m passionate about and focus on that with the occasional random post.

Anyway, thanks for reading whoever’s out there. Thanks for liking a few posts and I hope that everything was enjoyable.

~AJ

The Verdict

My heart is heavy tonight at the situation in Ferguson. Not because of the verdict but because one man is still dead, a family is still grieving, a larger divide has been created, and peaceful protests won’t be heard in the midst of violence. No matter what the verdict would’ve been… the city and it’s people are hurting.