As the mama bird in this nest, I often feel that pieces of me are going in a million different directions; paying the bills, balancing budgets, schooling the chicks and accompanying them to dance and piano...in essence, keeping the nest. I flit and fly trying to get everything done. I was unusually unsettled Thursday evening, more preoccupied than normal because a piece of me was hurting. I spent the early hours of Friday in prayer and woke to preoccupation, checking texts and twitter, keeping the phone close.
In the late afternoon my phone rang as I was working on piano theory with Little Bit. It wasn't a number I recognized so I let it go to voice mail, thinking it was simply a mistake. Five minutes later, same number. This time I picked up, the question mark in my voice. My stomach dropped as my heart broke; all I wanted to do was take flight. A piece of me was hurting.
The call left me shaken and ready for action, but what was I to do? I prepared dinner with barely a murmur. My chicks watching me and trying to figure out what was ahead. The meal on the table, an "amen" said, I headed up to the sanctuary of the bedroom to breathe for the piece of me that was in agony.
A piece of me...
The piece that resides in Iowa.
The piece that has made her home a haven and has graciously accepted the changes and challenges that come with a chronic illness that just plain stinks.
The piece that loves a furry guy named Riley, adores Padma, and hitches a lift with George.
The piece that has been so ill for the last month that she's barely audible on the phone, but when she laughs I can feel it over the 800 mile spanse that separates us physically.
The piece that shows Jesus in every single word she utters and types and with each action she takes.
The piece of me that outside of my God, the professor, and my sweet little chicks makes me feel whole.
The piece I didn't know I'd been missing until she showed up, full of joy, in my life.
On Friday, this piecethe woman I am honored to call my heart sister named Sara (aka Gitz, GitzenGirl and Fritz) got a call that her Dad had died suddenly of a heart attack. Sara's dad, Mike, was a light; he shined so brightly one almost needed to wear shades in his presence. He was joyful, giving, kind, gentle, incredibly hard working, and full of life. Sara tells me he didn't know a stranger and everyone felt better just being with him. For those of you who know Sara, I think you'd agree that his qualities are mirrored in his girl. He was her first boyfriend, her favorite dance partner, and the man she cuddled with during movies on slow Sunday afternoons. Her Dad. This piece of me was in agony and there was nothing I could do but pray and lift her up to our heavenly Father, the One who sustains her through every peak and valley, the One who gave her to all of us to love. Sara inspires love. She unites people. Glorifies God. I would bet and I'm not a gambling woman that if you know her you'd claim her as a piece of you, too. Gitzen Girl doesn't just choose joy, she exudes it.
Which is why it is physically painful for me to watch her go through the valley she has to now travel through. She's not alone...she's surrounded by an amazing group that is loving on her when the rest of us cannot. Alece immediately hoped a plane and took flight to be at Sara's side just 48 hours after returning from a 12 week fundraising trip for ThriveAfrica. She's being His hands and feet. Susie, who let the world know with both grace and beauty of the events that were transpiring via the blog was waiting at her doorstep as she got the news, and has made sure that Sara isn't alone, even for a minute. Susie is His hands and feet. I know she's not alone, but I so want to be near her. I'm sure that everyone who loves her does...But right now she's ill physically with an infection she's been fighting for weeks and she's heart broken. A piece of me is hurting...and I can't make it stop.
I usually don't plead with my Savior. I am a go with His flow kind of gal. I trust His plan and His amazing design for my life and the lives of others. This weekend? Well, that whole train of thought went flying out the window. I begged. I pleaded. I grovelled. May have done a belly and face plant; a piece of me was hurting. I wanted her healed. Pronto. I wanted her physical pain and circumstances to not interfere with her ability to grieve. I wanted her body to be whole so she could have the opportunity to mourn alongside her family. I wanted to just take it all from her, every fuse, ache, infection, labored breath. I'd take it all because she is a piece of me.
There has not yet been any miraculous healing hey, a chick will continue to hope but perhaps a more fitting and Gitz-like story has been unfolding daily. The infection that has been plaguing her for weeks isn't progressing further than it had on Friday even though she's talking and crying and more active than normal, she's not shown signs of other infections even through she's been around a multitude more than she usually sees, she's been able to participate in the family viewing, in the wake, and will attend her dad's funeral virtually because others like Katie who was able to help set it up and Alece who will sit beside her and Susie who has done more than any of us realize have been His hands and feet. All of this for a piece of me.
Alece posted on loving our Sara here , so please go check it out and participate if you feel so led; she's come up with some amazing, tangible ways we can all show our support and affection. (In) Courage , where Sara is a regular contributor, gives an amazing way to show our love here . Jessica's site encourages prayer and describes how to send her an honest to goodness ink and paper card.
Which lead me to the following conclusion...she's not just a piece of me, she's "ours". We love, come together for, and support her. She inspires this in each of us. By her reflection of Jesus, she claims pieces of us. Her joy, her passion, her determination, spunk and humor all reflect Him. Even while grieving, Sara's life reflects her relationship with God and draws people to Him. At her lowest, He is still glorified. Sara reflects Him in each situation and circumstance.
I hope someday people desire to claim a piece of me...because like amazing, strong, beautiful, loved beyond measure Sara I want to reflect all of Him.