“…It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.”—Luke 6:12
For those who don’t know me outside of this blog and church, I am a complete adrenaline junkie. I rarely say no to adventure. I spent the summer training in Mixed Martial Arts, I am an avid stickball player, which is a Native American contact sport similar to field hockey, only more intense and at times, a little more violent, and I run and hike in geographical areas that most people wouldn’t enter. I also have experience with being interrogated by Communists in Nicaragua back in 2008. It’s safe to say that I am pretty much fearless. This post will be about my experience yesterday at Sparrowhawk in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and will most likely be another emotional post.
Yesterday was difficult. I stook in spirit with the Bacone community as we celebrated the life of and said goodbye to one of our own. Dr. Sein still means a lot to me. I was not taking his death or funeral well at all. I had a weighted-down spirit and a heavy, hurting heart.
Today was an emotional day. I stood in prayer with the Bacone community as we celebrated the life of and said goodbye to one of our own. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to be at the service. I went to praise team practice yesterday morning with a lot of heartache, pain, a weighted down heart and a heavy spirit. I made the last minute decision to go off by myself to Sparrowhawk to clear my head and get away from reality for a little bit. I am so glad I did.
I used the verse at the top because, like Jesus did, there are times where I need to go off by myself to decompress, pray, search my heart, and allow God to speak to me where I’m free of all distractions and can really focus on Him. The drive to Sparrowhawk was a lengthy one. It involved driving on Highway 10, which is where my grandmother passed away in a car accident many years ago. The whole drive up, I was asking God “Why”? I got to the Primitive Area of Sparrowhawk Village and still felt heavy.
I began hiking up the trail, which was a challenge. While I’m not afraid of a lot, I’ve had ankle and knee injuries and re-injury from something like this is always in the back of my mind. I changed my mindset and with each rock and obstacle I had to climb over, I began meditating my own life and my own mortality. I thought of choices and decisions I’ve made in the past and the implications/consequences of those choices. The main thing I kept going over and over in my head was this:: “Okay, God. It has been said that while I was free to make my own decisions based on my own free will, You let me do it, but you wouldn’t let me die. When I was close to death, You intervened. Why is it that my life has been spared so many times but Gideon is gone? Why did you let me suffer so many times and wait to intervene when I was at the point of no return?”
God let me have my little tantrum. I reached the top point of the mountain and was blindsided by how peaceful it was. I sat down on a rock overlooking the Illinois River and it felt like all of the anger, bitterness, resentment, grief, hurt, pain, everything instantly went away. I began pouring my heart out to God like never before and I spent a lot of time crying and grieving over Dr. Sein’s death. I was looking ahead at the view and began changing my thinking. The question was never “How did You let me get to a place where I thought suicide was the only way out” but “How do I live my life for You?”
The response He gave wasn’t groundbreaking, but to simply continue being obedient to the calling on my life. There have been so many doors that have been opened for me in ministry and I am forever thankful for all of the amazing opportunities I have been blessed with. While most my posts up to this one have had some sort of Scripture application, this one doesn’t. I’m still figuring out exactly how I want this blog to run. Some posts, like the last 3 have a Scriptural principle attached. Others, like this one, are just little glimpses into my life.
I spent a little more time just thanking God and admiring the beauty and peacefulness He created. When I finally decided I had had enough and was ready to make the climb down, I realized that the grieving process for me is going to be a long one. It’s going to be difficult but I left so much of my pain and sadness at that point. I know God is my heater and my restorer.
I identify myself as biracial. I am part Caucasian and also part Cherokee. In the Cherokee language, there isn’t a word that translates to “goodbye”. In my culture, we believe that it’s too final and that we will see our departed loved ones again when the Creator opens the Heavens for us. While I’m not fluent in the language, the word we sometimes use is “Stiyu”—Be strong. (also used as a way of saying “until we meet again”).
Stiyu, Dr. Sein.
Love and light,