October 15 and 16
What a week we have had. Truly, considering all of the circumstances, it has been a wonderful week. I still can’t believe he’s gone, and the depth of my pain is so great . . . so deep . . . so unbelievable. My chest hurts all the time. It is as if there is a brick sitting on it. I miss him, and I know the kids do too. We all do. It is just unfathomable that he’s never gonna walk through the front door again, set down his keys, take off his sunglasses and say in his goofy voice, “Helloooo, I’m home.” Then, to hear the sounds of the “Daddy” as they all come running . . . . .
My friends, there are several things about today’s journal that I need to clarify.
At the time that Chad passed away, I had just released my first solo album called Gratitude. I had traveled for 7 years with a southern gospel trio called Sojourn. After we broke up, chad and I spent several years praying about where to go. In June of 2006 we heard very clearly from the Lord that it was time to make a solo album. We had spent a year writing and recording and had released Gratitude in August of 2007. One of the songs that was on the album was one called “Until the Very End” that was a love song my friend Paula Stitt, and I had written with another of Paula’s friends, Barb. As soon as Chad died the press glommed on to the song and it began to get radio play. Wendell Gafford is my radio promoter (he promotes my songs to Christian radio) and he was in charge of keeping up with what was already happening.
Today you will see the beginning of a long struggle we have had with the fact that my ministry kind of ‘took off’ the day Chad died. It was horrible and Krystn and I, in particular, have wrestled and wrestled with it. I didn’t want a ministry launch . . . I wanted Chad! Today you will see me begin to wrangle with that.
Krystn was my booking and promotion agent at the time that Chad passed away and she had many requests for my ministry but knew that I could barely function through a day – much less minister to the masses. She never knew what an appropriate ‘time off’ would be and felt such guilt for booking concerts along the way. (There just are not any manuals written for this . . . maybe this will become one!)
We had been working on a huge concert to benefit the Pregnancy Resource Center in Midland that was scheduled just two weeks after the day we laid Chad to rest. The day he died I told Pastor Joel to take down all the posters. He did, but, he also knew that I might change my mind. So, he saved them all. The day after the funeral I called and asked if we could still do the concert. I had worshiped, at the funeral. It filled me in a way that nothing else could. Raising my hands in worship and surrender – even when I had such question and doubt and fear – filled me in a way that nothing else could. I remember people being in awe that I was the first in the auditorium to raise my hands in worship during the funeral. My friends – I didn’t know what else to do. Someday I will share with you the amazing story of telling my kids that chad was dead. You will be amazed at the power of worship. So, today you will begin to see me pray about that upcoming concert – I had no idea what to say . . . but I KNEW I had to do it! I HAD to glorify God with our journey.
Lastly, in today’s journal I talk about a couple named Jeff and Kim. Jeff was a Baptist evangelist who lived in the Chicago area and spoke all around the world. He was running the race behind Chad. When he came upon Chad, collapsed on the street, he knelt over him and began to pray. As he prayed his prayer went from English to praying in the Spirit without him knowing what was happening. Remember – he was Baptist? Baptists don’t usually believe in the moving of the Holy Spirit in that way. But, as Jeff knelt over Chad in prayer it came out in a prayer language that he had never known – in fact, Jeff didn’t even know if he believed in praying in the Spirit. Now it was happening and he had no say in the matter. When Jeff learned that Chad went to an Assembly of God church (and was a board member there) he called Pastor Joel and asked him what in the world had happened as he had been praying. Pastor Joel asked Jeff if he would come and share his experience at the funeral. I am forever grateful for the sharing of their lives with our broken and hurting family. They are dear, dear people of God!
Thank you for continuing this journey with me, friend! The fact that you read my blog blesses me BIG time!
“Be still and know that I am God.” The song floods through my soul. Yesterday was hard . . . we found out that Wendell will release “Until the Very End” nationwide tomorrow. With a group of people around – I chucked my glasses across the room! I just would so much rather do this the hard way . . . little by little with Chad by my side. Yet, I think you, Lord. And, I trust you. Thank you that there is something to put my mind toward now. I know that Chad is in my heart and I feel that he is up there giving my ministry a huge push. Sunday, at church, we sold 111 CD’s – his badge # was 111. It was just like he kissed me from Heaven. Wow!
Last night Abbi cried – I just held her. She questioned a lot – like, “doesn’t Daddy miss us? How can he be happy up in Heaven if he misses us?” Such legit questions – please God, give me the wisdom to parent them all through this. She said she doesn’t want a step-dad. Lord, please don’t let me be alone forever. I really don’t want to be foolish . . . but I also have a lot of life to fill.
You know, Chad and I had a love that transcended earthly love. I had been so deeply wounded as a child, and Chad just poured Christ-like, selfless love into my wounds and through the power of God’s love in his life he healed all those deep hurts. He truly was my very best friend. I miss him so deeply!
Father, through all of this you have been so incredibly faithful and I thank you! Thank you for the gift of Jeff and Kim . .. thank you that I can always know that as Chad fell to the ground, someone was there praying – and in tongues, no less. You are truly, truly faithful.
Thank you for the numbers of loving, compatent people whom you have sent. Please bless them all. Continue to give them your wisdom. Please strengthen Krystn. Please keep these balls and all this momentum going. Lord, may I just be pliable to you. Show me your will for the concert . . . use me . . . work through me. Lord, I love you, I trust you. Bless us indeed, increase our territory, keep us from evil that we might not cause harm.