How Do You Embrace The Future While Struggling Through The Present?
Have you ever felt lost in familiar surroundings? Have you ever read a book, finished a chapter, turned the page and the next chapter was blank. No title, no words. That’s how my life feels right now. Just blank; clueless about the next; filled with wonder. This sight impairment has left me with a nagging question for the last six days. How do you embrace the future while struggling through the present?
On Tuesday, May 3, 2016, just after 10:00 am, my niece Loriel called and quietly said, “Auntie, I’m just calling to tell you that my mother passed away.” I said, “Wait a minute Lori. Are you saying that Angie, my sister Angie is dead?” She started crying and said, “Yes Auntie.” I fell to the floor, screaming, “Nooooooooooooo. Lori, no!” We both cried; and she gave me the details that she had. I told Lori that I was on my way to the hospital, hung up and called my son Justin, screaming, “Angie is dead!” I called my Pastor, crying and asking for prayer. I also contacted a few more family members to give them the news and tell them to pray. The shocking news of Angie’s death was overwhelming.
Tough love in three different ways.
Before I could contact my son Melvin; Justin called me back fussing; saying, “Mama, get yourself together! Jordan is there with you. You don’t want to scare him!” I screamed, “Don’t be lecturing me at a time like this! MY SISTER IS DEAD!” ….I hung up, and kept crying; even though I knew that he was right. The phone rang again, and Melvin calmly said, “Mama are you alright? What happened? Where is Jordan?” I was still crying profusely while telling him the little information that I had. Both my sons told me in their own way, to think about my grandson Jordan and my health. They just displayed their emotions in different ways.
Even though their words helped me to consider how my tearful tirade affected Jordan, the tears still flowed. Then, the latter clause of the scripture in Isaiah 11:6, where it says, “And a little child shall lead them,” took on legs. Jordan ran around crying, while I was screaming. My tantrum scared him. Yet, in the midst of my tears and his fears; this five year-old’s bold words got my attention. Jordan stopped crying and quietly said, “Gaga, you need to pray.” I stopped crying and listened to him. He said, “Somebody was hurt, and when they prayed to Jesus; He helped them to come back. Gaga, my mommy was real sick for a long time, and she went to live with Jesus.” I said, “Jordan are you scared that Gaga is going to get too sick?” He quietly said, “Yes Gaga!” I said, “Jordan look.” I did two and a half jumping jacks. Then I said, “Gaga is fine. I’m not getting ready to die. Okay?” He said, “Okay Gaga!” Wow! It took my young grandson basically saying, “Look, get yourself together and pray. I don’t want you getting too sick and dying. Only Jesus can fix this!” It took a child to remind me to pray.
The Lord used my grandson to snap me out of hysteria and to break through and do jumping jacks for the first time since the brain aneurysm and brain surgeries seven years ago. It was less than three jumps; but that’s a milestone when you have difficulties with numbness on your entire left side. Praise God. But with all of this, I still felt so lost. How do you sing Zion songs in a strange land? What do you do when your entire original immediate family is gone?
One by one; they left.
My oldest brother Bobby died from a single gunshot wound in July, 1981. My mother ran away from the law in 1987; and we didn’t hear from her for years. She died May 2, 2002, after suffering debilitating pain from cancer. My other brother had a brain aneurysm in February, 2003; and we watched him slowly die all night. My daddy, died November, 2007; after having multiple strokes. My only daughter, who suffered from Sickle Cell Anemia her entire life, became gravely ill in January, 2014. We watched her suffer even more for six months; and she spent the last month of her life in the hospital dying. She died June 3, 2014. And now Angie. My precious sister Angie. She suffered emotionally and physically for so long. Now, as of May 3, 2016, that loud contagious laugh will never be heard again. My last link to the entire 2699 Webb crew that I knew from birth on March 27, 1961, vanished from life as we know it. They’re all gone now. The house has been abandoned for years. But, my friends, there’s a question that yet remains.
How do you embrace the future while struggling through the present?
How do you embrace the future, especially when the lyrics to the song, “I Wish,” by Stevie Wonder is bombarding your thoughts. Even though it’s a secular song, I must admit; its’ words have resonated for the last six days. I started looking back on when I was a little girl. I even drove to the old neighborhood, parked in front of the house that my brothers, sister and I grew up in with our parents. I cried, downloaded the song, and started singing. “Then my only worry, was for Christmas what would be my toy. I wish those days would come back once more. Why did those days ever have to go?” I listened to that song and thought of when mama told me not to go outside; and how we played alley and street tag with our friends. One of the song’s stanzas talks about how he spent his Sunday school money. It caused me to remember how, as children, we would skip Sunday school, and go to a store called Kelly’s Corner. Memory lane was bringing pseudo comfort. But God!
….The Lord spoke to me and said, “Rochelle, don’t forget the terror that you felt watching your daddy beat your mom. Don’t forget the turmoil. It’s okay to think about the love that your mama had for you all. It’s alright to miss helping your mama cook Thanksgiving dinner, and wrapping Christmas gifts for your eons of cousins. It’s okay to miss your parents and siblings; but don’t dwell in those days. Stop wishing for those days!” Praise God! The Spirit of the Lord combatted that spirit of melancholy and placed a song in my spirit by the group Grace, entitled, “Jesus Did It!”
Confirmations will help you through the present.
The other day, the thought of quitting blogging plagued my mind. But God is so gracious. He gives us a word through multiple ways. My son-in-law James, who is truly ‘my son,’ called and said, “Hey Gaga!” He jokingly asked if I had taken a drink. Laughing, I said, “No, I’m not going to get a forty, James. I’m still trusting God.” Then I sadly started talking about how all of my family began to leave when I was twenty years old. James said that he wonders what God would say to him if he gave up. He said, “God would probably tell me, ‘Do you see Rochelle Lampkin, and all that she has gone through? She’s still trusting me!’ ….Gaga you are such an example for me.” That brought tears to my eyes. I thanked James for encouraging me by sharing his thoughts; told him that I love him; and we hung up.
My friends, even though the pages in this new chapter of my life are currently blank, I yet have a mind to serve The Lord. Even though my heart aches for my mom, my daughter, my sister, my dad, and my brothers; there is so much to live for. …Justin, Melvin, Jordan, James, so many loved ones who have called crying; you, and the many more whose lives The Lord will have me be a blessing to, are reasons to keep going. The desire to spend eternity with Jesus is a reason to keep going.
So, I f you are struggling through the present; the key phrase is, “struggling through.” You’re not stagnant. You’re moving. The pages in this new chapter may seem blank or blurred, but this is temporary. God is filling them as you continue your journey.
While in church yesterday morning, as I listened to my Pastor preach the Word; the enemy attacked my mind and said, “Just walk out of here now! The Word is not for you. You may get joy, but it won’t last. It never does for you.” But as Pastor told us to believe and worship God, I struggled through and asked God to please help me. AND that’s exactly what He did. I found myself worshipping The Lord in an entirely new place. My friends you can embrace the future while you struggle through. Just embrace God in your present.
Thank you for sharing with me. There’s a scripture that is pressing in my spirit. Psalm 121:1-2 says, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.” (KJV) Tell me, “How do you embrace the future while struggling through the present?” What are your thoughts on this question? I’d love to hear from you. We’ll talk soon. Love you!
Originally posted 2016-05-09 00:37:08.