Saturday, June 4, 2011

Come Home!

For the past 2 months, I've been pouring my heart and energy into a special celebration/benefit created to celebrate Jonnae's 3rd Heavenly Birthday. It's a day long event to celebrate her life and help raise funds to grow We GET To as a nonprofit that will implement Wacky Wednesday into children's hospitals across the country. It all started with a friend's want to help me raise the funds necessary to take Dr Patch Adams up on his invitation to join Wacky Wednesday with his mission trip to Russia in November. She suggested a telethon with 25 callers, each with a goal to raise 500.00. Broken down that way, the fundraising didn't seem so daunting and I'd have the necessary funds to stock the current Wacky Wednesday cart at Kosair for a year, cover the state/federal/membership fees to apply for 501c3 status to grow We GET To as a nonprofit and be able to join Patch in Russia.

A new energy and enthusiasm fueled my spirit as ideas continued to sprout forth from the seed my friend had planted. When we first discussed a day/date to hold this telethon, Sunday night was thrown out as the best possible time to make calls asking for financial support. It would likely be the best time to reach supporters by phone. However, since Wacky Wednesday is what this vision is all about, it felt better to me to have the telethon on a Wednesday. Then it occured to me that Jonnae's 3rd Heavenly Birthday was coming up. A Wacky Wednesday FUNdraising party would be a great way to celebrate her, her life, and "Heavenly Birth"

My youngest son came up with "Wack Attack" as the name for the event. It has indeed turned out to be a plan where Southern Indiana and Louisville will be attacked with 'wack'iness all day this Wednesday, June 8. So many across the for that matter...have been impacted by Jonnae's courage, faith, and want to replace sorrow with joy. Based on the Celebration of Life we had for her one week before Jonnae's birth into Heaven, it was easy for me to imagine that as many who helped and participated then, would for the Wack Attack now. Through the promotion, planning and preparations, it doesn't apprear that will be the case.  Not many tshirts were bought, 25 callers haven't been secured, I've 'heard crickets' when I've put out calls of action. But the Wack Attack isn't until Wednesday. Donations will be made at, people will show up to celebrate her at the Creative Workshop in Louisville, Cluckers is behind this mission 100% and many of our friends will go eat there to support them  in supporting us. I GET TO wait and see. I'll probably be pleasantly surprised.

A most interesting revelation has come of this experience. Since Jonnae's "Heavenly Birth" I've been busting my tail. First, I poured myself into editing and publishing the blogs I'd written the last nine months of Jonnae's life. (To date nearly 1500 copies of "Heavenly Birth. A Mother's Journey. A Daughter's Legacy." are in circulation.) I've been desperately seeking the person, group, or company that will embrace the book and help get it out to the world in a larger way. In addition to the book, I've exhausted myself in trying to build a career out of inspirational speaking. I can't explain the gift given and received when I GET TO speak to audiences about the lessons and blessings that have come wrapped in this tragedy turned triumph. Through the book, the speaking, the planning of the "Wack Attack" I've continually lost my way.

Most of the time, I wasn't aware I was lost. If I was, I seemed to have no idea the way back. Until...a couple of weeks ago God decided to reign me back in. He began at my niece's dance recital during the final routine. As OneRepublic's song, "Come Home" played, a montage of each dancer saying "Come Home" played on a big screen. I didn't think much about it at the time. Later that evening, I was reading "Inspired Women Succeed" - a book of stories by 40 women (I'm one of them) who share what's inspired them to succeed. (book can be ordered at Typical of my nature, I decided to pluck stories in a random order. Since I've not had much structure in my life of late, Prioritize was the subtitle to jump off the page at me. I read the story where a woman tells of a time she called her husband in distress and he simply said, 'Come home'. After hearing "Come Home" so many times earlier in the day, I did think something of the words this time. Since it just so happened that the day these words were ringing over and over to me was May 21, the day the 'rapture' was all the hype, I lightheartedly said to Our Creator, "If today's the day you tell me to Come Home, I'm ready."

On the way back home from the dance recital earlier, I had stopped and rented the movie "Secretariat"  I decided it was a good time to pop the movie in and watch it. Not far into the story, Diane Lane calls home to update her husband on the happenings of her recently deceased father's business. Her husband pleas with her to "Come home"

What is it your telling me Lord? I don't understand. I'm home all the time. I'm trying to figure out how I get out in the world and support my family while serving you. What does "Come home" mean? 

A couple days later, I awoke with a song in my head. A song we used to sing in church often when I was young..."Come back to me, with all your heart. Don't let fear keep us apart. Trees do bend though straight and tall. So must we to others call.

Long have I waited for your COMING HOME to me and living deeply our new life. 

What I wouldn't give to hear God talking to me this way all the time. I still didn't know what 'come home' meant, but without a shadow of a doubt, He was trying to get through to me. It was in talking to another of my dear friends that I realized God was asking me to return to Him, completely, whole heartedly, without fear. I didn't think I was living in fear. I didnt' think I had ever left home/Him. But truth is...I had. It was fear that had me seeking someone to show me the way to getting my message out there through the book and speaking. I've been scrambling around in desperation to find others to join me in the Wack Attack. I've been far from home...the peace I have in the center of God's grace - His Word, my faith.

When I was 'working my way' through life during Jonnae's illness, I cleared every hurdle with ease simply by keeping my eyes on God. In the eye of the storm, in the hospital stays, in the face of  her death "Heavenly Birth", I never left 'home.' I naturally defaulted to God, letting Him show me the way. I didn't exhaust myself scrambling to find someone else to help/show me. I didn't rely on anyone joining me. It was simply me and God all the way. 

Tonight, once again, I began to get distracted by the amount of people who've not stepped forward to participate and celebrate Jonnae with the Wack Attack. (for those of you who have, you have no idea the depth of gratitude I have for you) A visual popped up in my head to set me straight. I didn't literally see Him ofcourse, but the thought of God taking His two fingers like we do when we point at our own eyes and then to someone elses, as if to say, "You and me. I'm looking at you. Don't take your eyes off me." That's what came to me.

Home is where your heart is. When mine is with God, in faith, there's nothing that can distract me offcourse. There's nothing to interfere with my peace. My exhaustion comes from being 'homesick.' God's calling me back home. Oh how I've missed Him so. As I attend what would have been Jonnae's graduation today and the Wack Attack and Jonnae's Heavenly Birthday this week, it is the perfect time to return 'home' and stay with Him. 

1 comment:

  1. My dear friend Denise-- This post, as always is so honest and full of emotion. I so adore you and your ability to share your most personal insights, highs.... and struggles too.

    No room for distraction--- laser focus.... You are just where you are meant to be--blessing all the side roads you have taken---after all they led you right here... to THIS moment, this event, this blogpost, this FUNdraiser....

    I think you are unstoppable--and how I celebrate you, your tenacity, openness, huge heart and all the good you do each day, not just on Wednesdays, but everyday.

    XO LYG