Friday, March 22, 2013

3 Years Later...A Prayer From the Journey

Three years today. I never dreamed I would have made it this far on a journey of so much heartache and pain. My prayer below depicts the honest cries of my heart along this hard road. This was shared last fall as part of a sermon by my incredible boss and pastor, Billy. You can watch the entire message here.

"I can do all THIS through Christ who gives me strength." ~ Phil. 4:13


Here I kneel beside my bed again, a place so empty without my Tony. I miss him. I miss us.

Tonight, my heart aches so much it physically hurts. I’ve never felt such heaviness in my soul. I’m desperate for you to relieve it, even just a little. Can you just sit with me a while and lift the pain?

The ironic thing is that day after day well-meaning folks keep telling me I’m so strong. I feel like a big imposter because the reality is I am not. I’m weak, Lord. I’m so weak. I’ve got nothing left, I’m barely hanging on.

So I beg you, Lord, please be my strength.

These same folks keep asking me what I’m going to do now, in the aftermath of my tragedy. My honest answer is “I don’t know.” My life is in shambles; my dreams are shattered. I’m still reeling from the question, “How could the entire trajectory of my life change in a matter of seconds?”

I can’t even think past these next few minutes, Lord, much less the days ahead. I’m overwhelmed by my circumstances. I’m so scared. I don’t want to face this tough road alone. I need you.

I need you to meet me in my fear. I need you to meet me just where I am. Though I don't see the end of this journey or what is on the "other side" of my pain, I know you do. Give me courage. Be my courage.

And in this moment, as I fear another sleepless night, give me courage to just crawl into bed. Should I awake sobbing, be there to hold my hand, be as close as my next breath.

And for tomorrow, give me the grace to rise out of bed, put one foot in front of the other and just walk. Help me trust you to handle the rest. Help me to trust you to handle even the tiniest details of my day.

Thank you for being big enough to know my every need before I even ask. But thank you even more that you speak to me in the quietest, smallest whispers of your voice…”I am with you. I am for you. You are dearly loved, Melissa.”

Amen. Amen. Amen.

Dearly loved,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

He Washed My Feet

I vividly remember the first time I encountered Tony's feet. We had barely been dating a month. One night we were sitting next to each other on the couch at his house watching a movie, and he had taken his shoes and socks off. All the sudden, I felt him nudge his feet up under my leg.

Mind you, he had yet to make a move on me otherwise, no hand-holding, no arm around me, nothing other than that awkward Christian side hug at the end of our dates. He was such the gentleman, and I respected him so much for that.

Apparently feet did not count. My face informed him otherwise. I reassured him that I liked him, I did not like feet. Period.

Yet, I grew to love those feet. I learned that one of the ways to love him was to allow him to put his often ice-cold feet under my legs to warm them.

Love. Feet.

I'll never forget the day he washed mine.

It was the afternoon of our wedding rehearsal & dinner. I had spent the day with all my best girlfriends, having a blast. I received a call from him to plan to be at the rehearsal 30 minutes early.

Early? I've never been early a day in my life; I was already behind, entertaining friends, finishing up last minute honeymoon packing. I didn't have time to be early.

He asked me to trust him that it'd be well worth it.

When I arrived, my soon-to-be husband was nowhere in sight. Instead I was met by our sweet wedding coordinator who ushered me inside the old Southern home where we were married and into a private room. Tony was there waiting for me, a basin of water and a towel on the floor.

He gave me a beautiful flower and proceeded to read the verses in Scripture where Jesus washed the disciples feet and challenges them to do likewise. Tony said to me, "Melissa, this is to symbolize how I want to serve you all the days of our marriage." Then he knelt down and washed my feet.

I can honestly say that he spent the rest of his days from that moment forward (and many more before that day) serving me with such selfless love and sacrifice. He washed my feet daily in more ways I could ask or imagine.

I am forever grateful.

Dearly loved,