I was standing next to my papa John when he passed away. I was giving him his medication that would help ease the pain as he left this hectic world and went to dance with angels. Moments before, I listened to my aunt Terrie read a passage. A passage that was so important to my papa and I.

The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want.

I heard the words and I reminisced to a time when I would memorize bible verses. I memorized for AWANA’a (if you know, you know), I memorized for Christmas programs at church when I got to say my three lines that I had practiced for E V E R Y D A Y for weeks, I memorized because I had someone so godly in my life to show me how important digging into the Bible was. We watched Jack Van Impe weekly at dinner then undoubtedly, he would turn off the news, the westerns, the infomercials and read a chapter or two of his bible and then go to bed.

As my papa passed, we all gathered around, shedding tears of sadness- but knowing he was finally no longer in pain. My papa was on hospice, so we called his nurse and then the funeral home. It took them a bit, so my aunt and I sat in the room with him. We read psalms 23 over and over. I’m not sure if it was to give him ease or us, but I think it worked all around.

There’s a part in the the passage that talks about your cup running over. Your cup being so full, you have more than enough. There was a season in my life where my cup did not run over. It seemed everything was wrong and would never go right. This time was so hard and I kept to myself, but held the pain. When I got in the car to drive home, when I had good news, when I needed someone to vent to, I wanted to call him- but he wasn’t there. This was a hard concept for me. I felt as though I would never feel happiness or joy again because I felt so lost and knew if I could just have one more phone call, one more hug, or one more Oklahoma goodbye that consisted of saying “okay, bye I love you” twelve different times then it would all be okay.

It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to have hard seasons. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to realize your sadness is more. It’s okay to realize maybe it is time for depression medication. It’s okay.

Although I am sad that papa isn’t with me any longer. I remember him in everything I do. When nursing school seemed like too much for me, I remembered how papa always encouraged me to do my best and never give up. I just officially graduated nursing school without my papa Friday. My friends and family were there, my support was amazing- but I still missed him every minute. This morning, when I heard what the verses for the church message were going to be, I heard the 23rd psalm, and I knew he was giving me a shout out.

If you’re having a hard season and think it won’t get better, I promise it will.. it may feel like an eternity- but time heals all wounds. Time, prayer, forgiveness, love, understanding. It all heals.

I’d like to say I’m not broken 3 years later, but I am. I’d like to say I never cry, but I do. I’d like to say I have it all figured out, but I don’t.

It is so important to find a tribe. Find someone to talk to, someone you can text at 3 am and tell them how rough life is and how much you need help, prayer, and love. Find joy in the small things. Give yourself slack, you’re doing the best you can. Whatever season or struggle or hardship you’re in right now- it will pass in time and you will remember how strong you are.

As hard as it may be when there is pain in the night; I know joy will come in the morning. ❤️