So we went on vacation this past week to Sedona, AZ. It was beautiful and wonderful.
The Lord really provided some time to relax and enjoy one another. For me, the Lord gave me a lot of time to think and start to process some of the implications of my father’s death. We had been so surrounded by so many people the past few weeks, that I had been unable to be alone, so I was not able to process very much at all. But with all the driving we did this past week, I had some “alone time” in the car. (I sat in the back seat most of the drive, so it was just me, myself, and the Lord.)
Often I would just start up a conversation with God about how much I missed my dad. Then there would be other times when my heart would cry out lamenting everything that my dad was going to miss in my life. I would also spend a lot of time thanking God for the 22.5 years that I did have with him. I would remember something my dad had did or said, and I would sit there with silent tears running down my face as I thanked the Lord for His goodness in giving me those special times with my dad.
I am really struggling. I don’t understand why this has happened. I don’t understand why someone I loved so much was taken away from me. But I do understand that during this time of sadness and pain, I must lean hard on God. I cannot afford to look to someone or something else for support and comfort. I have to look to the cross and remember His love for me. I must remember that this life is about bringing Him much glory. And He chooses how glory will be brought to Him. I would not have chosen for my dad to leave this life, but in His incomparable wisdom, God saw that He would receive more glory at this moment through my dad’s death. This is not easy to swallow. I don’t understand. But I have to choose to trust in God.
A lot of times, my feelings are overwhelming. This whole situation is overwhelming. And I know that I can’t handle it. But I’m thankful that I serve One who is able.
While driving back from Sedona, I read through Romans. Mostly because I needed to for a Bible study I’m doing with one of my friends. But I’ve also been drawn to Romans for the past 6 months or so. I’ve been wanting to read through it for a while, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it for the longest time. So, Friday, I read through it. And I felt like a hurricane came through my life and started ripping things out. I still don’t know exactly what the Lord is going to teach me through Romans over the next few months, but I’m excited to see what He’s going to start changing and stuff. All of Romans 8 really hit me hard. And I’m so thankful for that. I’m thankful for the truths in Romans that I will be able to cling to as I go through this hard time in my life.
The vacation really showed me how broken I really am over my dad’s death. The first week or two I was pretty numb to what had happened. But as we stepped away from our lives for a little while, I could start to feel the pain, confusion, and brokenness rushing in. The Healer has a lot of work to do in my hurting heart.
So other than discovering how deep my wound is, we had a lot of fun on our vacation. I mean, it was a lot of fun. (You’re about to get a play-by-play.)
We arrived Sunday afternoon, got settled into our hotel room, and then we ate dinner at the fancy restaurant in the resort. Then we spend a good chunk of time in the hot tub at one of the pools just relaxing. It was wonderful.
Monday morning we got up bright and early so that we could go to our Pink Jeep Tour! Oh my lanta, it was crazy fun! We went on the Broken Arrow Tour, and the sights we saw…I just can’t describe it. God has created a beautiful world, and we saw a little bit more of it on Monday. After the tour, we ate lunch and walked around a little bit. (I think that’s the day that my mom and sister got some of their souvenirs.) And then we went to the spa that afternoon. We were each scheduled for a Reflexology massage. It felt so wonderful. Then we went and got some dinner. And after dinner, we went to a different pool and sat in the hot tub for a little while.
Tuesday was one of our “down days.” Meaning we didn’t really have anything planned. So my mom and I participated in one of the exercise classes at the spa. We did a Aquacise class. (For those of you who didn’t know, I love Water Aerobics. It’s so much fun. And because of my bad knee, I can get a good workout without being in pain later.) After the class, we sat in the hot tub for a little bit, and then we went to get some lunch at a local pub. The food was amazing. It was located in this little craft market, so we walked around the craft market for a while afterwards. Then we found a metal shop with all kinds of beautiful things in it. We were there for two hours looking at everything. But it was so worth it.
Wednesday, we went to Out of Africa. It’s similar to a zoo, but a little different all at the same time. Anyway, it was pretty cool. I got to feed a giraffe!! (It’s one of my favorite things to do at a zoo. I’ll tell you a story about feeding giraffes at the Abilene Zoo another time.) And we got to see so many predators–lions, and tigers, and bears. (Oh my!) One cool thing about this place, though, was the Predator Feed. We followed a truck around all the predator exhibits that had all kinds of meats in it. And the animal keepers would throw the meat over the fences. So we got to see how the animals would go after their foods. Way. Cool.
Also, while we were at Out of Africa, I choked myself and gave myself whiplash. Go me! Here’s the story:
My sister and I were walking around looking at more of the animals while my mom went to a snake show. She was getting tired and hot, so we sat down to catch the next bus. Well, I looked at my handy-dandy map and saw that there were sloths not too far away. And I really wanted to see the sloths. So I convinced her to go with me and keep walking around. She was not very excited. But I was! So I hopped up off the bench and went to start skipping away when my purse strap caught me around the neck and yanked me back down to the bench. (The strap of the purse got caught on the metal part on the back of the bench.) Needless to day, it choked me. And the next day, I could feel the effects of whiplash and my neck hurt a lot from where the strap caught me. My sister just laughed.
Thursday was another “down day.” We ended up just driving down the road and stopping at all the scenic stops. We took many pictures. It was beautiful. We also spent some time at a pool and then we went to the jacuzzi in the spa itself. Won-der-ful.
Aaaaannnnndddd Friday we packed up and drove home. It really was a great time away. I’m thankful we had that opportunity.