Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Today I feel the need to write. I haven't composed a blog entry for months letting the busyness of my life get in the way. But...today...I need to write!
At the moment, I'm a huge jumble of emotions, thoughts, dreams, aspirations and feelings. I feel that Stacey is entering a new chapter of life, yet am uncertain if that chapter has started yet....is mid way through...or is just a few rough notes jotted down waiting to be transformed.
I've felt a tad frustrated with my day to day routine for a few months...but have really been questioning what I'm supposed to be fulfilling with my existence, since the tragic death of one of our church youth girls 6 weeks ago.
Annie had just turned 19 and was at the end of her gap year before heading of to uni when she she died in a car accident in Wales. I have known Annie for around 5 years after meeting her one Sunday morning when I joined children's work. Annie and one of her best friends Laura had been on the team a couple of months already and despite being eight and a bit years younger than me at just fourteen, were a welcome duo for me, a nervous twenty-two year old who had never felt called to do "Gods work" before and was quite new to the whole church community scene. This led to a few fun(!) years of Promise land material, Kids2Rocks and the odd performance chucked in!
I don't think I have ever really told Annie and Laura just how fantastic I think they were and how it was such a privilege to witness them growing into two amazing young ladies. I don't to this day know how they feel/felt about me...but Annie and I spoke more the last year than we ever had before as during her gap year she worked alongside our childens pastor Yvonne...as I'm also on the core team for children's work we regularly emailed/texted or met up and planned Konstruction Krew activities. We managed one coffee date a few months ago and she was adamant that one day she would take me to her fave shop in Windsor - Cath Kidston, as she found it quite insulting that I hadn't yet visited it! Annie was a breathe of fresh air...fun, chatty, bit moody and very pretty with a huge air of cheekiness thrown in. I don't know if she liked me as much as I liked her, but a few of my recent favorite memories of her were sitting next to her to watch the Vigil and giggling stupidly at a line in it - for WAYYYY too long, discussing how we could be Doug Horley backing dancers...and if at 28 I was too old(!), and the big debate over her taking my photo at 11pm for the kids work notice board - she just didn't get that one did not feel ones most attractive after a 13 hour day with my kiddies followed by a 4 hour ministry meeting...the photo did get taken...and published! :/
That Wednesday whilst in K2 for FiC, hearing the words "Angharad Clague was killed in a car accident this evening" knocked the breathe out of me. Shock, despair for her family and friends, heartbreak for her being so young...so full of dreams and plans...confusion as to why this had happened, deep sadness that I hadn't told her that I was proud of who she had become....yet relief and peace that that she was with Jesus - who she loved so very much.
I wasn't sure if it was okay to openly grieve Annies death...afterall I wasn't related to her or one of her close friends. I wondered if I would look silly...or if people would judge me......one evening whilst praying for those close to her, God confirmed it was okay and good for me to cry...to miss her...to feel sad too. Being in K2 on Sundays is still hard as she was such a natural fixture in there...I can't imagine how it must then feel for her family and friends..
Annies death has made me toughen up to life I think. I believe I am learning to understand God on a new level, pray in a different way. I feel I need to press into what He wants me to do with my life, not take it for granted and waste it with silly, unimportant worries of what people think of me, my family, my house, my figure, my face, my talents.
Having a handicapped sister has always made me appreciate the gift of having a fully-abled body and mind. Being able to choose what I do, and not take it lightly when blessed with new opportunities....Annie dying has reconfirmed that to me. I now really really really pray for people I know who don't yet know Jesus for themselves. I realise how important it is that they should accept Him into their lives... experience Him for themselves.
I am still so sad about Annie, but I thank her that in that short time of knowing her, she has made an impact on me that will only encourage me to do my best to be happy, stay happy and make God happy.
I have realised our time on earth is limited and precious and I'm determined to make sure I use mine grabbing every opportunity, adventure and blessing God will throw my way!