Do you use facebook, twitter, instagram or some form of social media to share what’s going on in your life with friends and family? I’m sure most of you do just as Rachel did. This is something that you don’t think about when someone dies. It’s like the timeline just stops and what they last posted is a reminder that they are gone. I tried logging into Rachel’s tumblr and facebook but each password I knew of didn’t work so I contacted both to explain what happened. I’ll never forget that email they sent back saying, “To verify the person you’re speaking about we need to see an obituary. Can you please provide this for us?” I just sat there and stared at the screen knowing that it was just another punch in the gut that everything was real.
I didn’t have an obituary nor did I ever care to see it or read it. I googled Rachel’s name and found one to forward on to the support people. I got an email back the next day saying, “Thank you for sending us this link and confirmation but we apologize, we cannot issue a users information if you are not the actual person.” I had to re-read this several times while thinking to myself, “You just made me send you my sister’s obituary and now you’re telling me it’s as if it’s a joke?”
I sat there and just balled like a baby as it was just another reality check of what happened.
In the last post I mentioned the DVD’s that came in the mail that Rachel ordered but never made it to her. Instead they came to mom…Well, after mom did more research on the the “Women of Faith” organization, it turns out they were going to be in Orlando in October. Mom knew that she wanted to go and asked Leah and I if we would go with her too. We signed up along with Leah’s friend Chelsea. When mom and I drove to Orlando for the conference we had no idea what to expect but were ready for anything and surprisingly we were doing okay. We met Leah at the parking lot Friday night and headed inside the arena. As we walked in, there were a ton of happy and smiling women all over the place. Everyone (and I mean everyone) was as kind as could be and introducing themselves to even strangers they didn’t know. It was an overwhelming feeling and it felt like we were home. In today’s society, it’s not easy walking around the streets, malls, city etc. because so many are selfish, unkind, heartless and in a hurry but it’s like all of the nicest people in the world were in this arena around us. For me, it took my mind off things as I saw others around me who had pain in their eyes but were still filled with joy just as I was.
We went to get our seats and as the lights went out, all of the sudden the place started to rock out with the Women of Faith band along with children’s voices in the background as if you could hear a piece of heaven. After the music they had the speaker Andy Andrews speak. He is one hilarious and amazing speaker. If you haven’t heard him, I highly recommend you check out his books and podcasts. He shared a few stories but the last one he spoke about was, “everything you do matters.” This is the same thing that Matt shared at Rachel’s funeral. Mom, Leah and I all looked at each other and had chills. It was another obvious reason we needed to be there…
After they had a short break, they had a group of dancers take the stage to dance to as the band sang. The dancers were young ballerinas and all I could picture as I watched was that was Rachel up in heaven right now. I tried holding back the tears but they just started flowing as the words in the music hit so many emotions.
At one point, one of the speakers started talking about how her husband passed away a few years ago from cancer and how he’s now in heaven warming up the coffee pot for her. She then asked the audience a question – “Have you ever felt like you’ve been cheated in life?” Of course I was thinking yes. Rachel was too young, it’s not fair because I want her here and we are suppose to have many more memories…She asked again and then said if you believe this to stand up. As people began to stand, the lights came on and you saw the entire audience stand up and it sent chills down my arm. It reminded me that everyone has something going on in their life but also that we weren’t alone.
My question to you is, do you feel like you’ve been cheated in life? – You’re not alone.
I know the Lord has a plan. Maybe sometimes I don’t understand it but I trust it. Hearing these speakers share their stories, you begin to see how He takes certain people and uses them in ways they never thought they would be used either. Now I may not stand up on a stage and speak to a stadium audience but I’ve seen just in these past months since Rachel passed away where I’ve been put in situations where things come up and all I can do is look up and say, “Okay, I see where you’re going with this and why I’m here at this moment.”
If something is happening in your life right now and you have not a clue why or a tragedy has just struck, I promise the Lord will get you through it. As hard as it is to not be sad or angry, you have to remember that through your weakest moment, that’s when He shines through. And yes, I have to remind myself of this daily too.
A friend sent me this that weekend and it’s stuck with me ever since so I’ll leave you with this: