My move to Pittsburgh has been quite eventful since I left Orlando last Thursday. I spent time in Georgia with some friends for a couple of hours, then headed further north of them to Gainesville to visit and spend the night with one of my dearest friends. From there, I headed out for a nine hour drive to Centreville, VA to hang out with my cousins for a few days.
Spending time with my friends and family this weekend has been really wonderful, but there has been a looming cloud of sadness that has crept its way into everyone’s hearts. Late Friday night, when I arrived in Centreville, I got a phone call from my older sister saying that my Uncle Scott was in the hospital in critical condition. Scott had been battling lung cancer for a few months, but when we saw him about two weeks ago he seemed to be doing well. His time in the ICU was a whirlwind up until this afternoon when the decision was made to remove him from life support. He died sometime afterward.
In all this, my heart and my spirit have been heavy and burdened, some reasons being obvious. I saw my uncle at Christmas, and while even then I was wary that his treatments may not be going as well as we hoped, I never imagined that I wouldn’t see him again when I finally reached the Burgh and moved in with my grandparents. We had plans to hang out around his birthday, and I was going to ask him to help me build a bed frame, teach me how to drive in snow and ice, and look at my car and advise me on whether or not I should invest in some good snow tires. It’s this quick snuffing out of a life that really has shocked me and caught me off guard. I have thought many times over this weekend, “Did God move me to Pittsburgh to minister to my family because my uncle died?”
And that is a difficult question to ask, and even more painful for me to answer.
One friend answered that she can’t imagine that God didn’t move me to Pittsburgh for that purpose, that she doesn’t believe in coincidences. And you guys, I’m almost ashamed to admit that my response was “Noooo. You’re supposed to say it’s a fluke and that it wasn’t supposed to happen.”
I don’t want my uncle to be dead, you guys.
And I don’t want my move to Pittsburgh to be because of him being dead.
And I don’t want to have the responsibility of ministering to broken hearts during this season.
And that is selfish of me, you guys. Because if I have this hope for life and eternity, I should be sharing it and ministering to the brokenhearted. Because the brokenhearted are everywhere, and the wounds are not only in my family. The wounded and broken are all throughout the world, but how can I go love and minister out in the world if I cannot even love and minister to my family?
I am so very sad about my Uncle Scott passing away, and in such the manner that he did. I wish his last few days were more enjoyable for him and not so filled with pain and confusion. But I am thankful that I am able to be in Pittsburgh and live amongst the people closest to him, not that I would be able to comfort them, but that Jesus might be given space to comfort them through my being there.
Please, please, please. Please pray for my Aunt Nancy. I don’t imagine burying a husband is easy.
Please, please, please. Please pray for my grandparents. This is their second child to bury in 10 months.
Please, please, please. Please pray for my other two uncles, and for my mom. Losing two siblings in a 10-month span is remarkably difficult. Losing a sibling, period, is devastating.
*Sorry if this blog is here and there. My cousin and I took a break to go get Chipotle. 😉