“You’re Gonna Be OKay”

I remember sitting in Corey’s ICU room one night and Crystal, one of the Respiratory Therapists, said to me, “You’ve been here for two weeks and I’ve never once seen that TV on.” I chuckled and said, “Yeah, I’ve got a lot on my mind. A lot to pray about.” If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you know that I’m a processor. I have to work through things in my own mind before I can express them, and I typically like to do that in silence. My drive over to Coeur d’Alene this past weekend for Corey’s graveside service was quiet too. The kids were in the back watching movies, reading, drawing, etc., and I mostly drove in silence.

There’s a lot to process these days.

Corey’s funeral service was…beautiful. Is that the right word? It kind of sounds strange rolling off the tongue, but I think it was. The church was full, which didn’t surprise me. Corey made friends everywhere he went, and, as several people remarked that day, he just made people feel special. The people I asked to speak, from friends to colleagues to family members all captured and conveyed Corey’s spunk and love for life perfectly. We laughed, we cried and we remembered well this larger-than-life guy who will be so, so missed. Pastor Rob delivered a beautiful message and the blessed hope we have in Jesus was front and center in everything we did that day. I was so touched by all the people who came to offer their love, support, their shoulders and their strength. I had tons of family come, most of whom flew in from out of state, friends from near and far, people I’ve never met but have heard lots of stories about, so many of Corey’s colleagues that it felt like an Edward Jones event (I guess that’s why we always refer to them as our Edward Jones family). Half our neighborhood skipped school so the neighborhood kids could come support their friends who’d just lost their dad, and even the kids’ teachers both skipped school to be there. Some of Corey’s amazing ICU care team was there and it was oddly comforting to spend that day with people who had walked through such a deeply life-altering experience with me. It’s all still a bit hazy, but as the fog begins to clear a bit, I’m looking back on that day with deep, deep gratitude.

J

All of my family and friends who came from out of town began to head home Wednesday and Thursday, and Friday afternoon the kids and I headed for Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for the graveside service at the family cemetery and a memorial service at Corey’s hometown church. Now, anyone who knows Corey (especially his Idaho friends) knows that his favorite place to eat on the east-side was Dick’s drive-in in Spokane. Every time we drove to Coeur d’Alene (and I mean every time, no matter the time of day) Corey would call his parents and brother as we approached Spokane to see if they wanted to drive in and meet us at Dick’s for a whammy and fish-n-chips. This is one of those old-school, greasy-spoon, walk-up window kind of burger joints (not exactly my favorite spot) but to honor Corey’s memory I called and asked his family to come in and meet us there. Of course they did and we had a greasy dinner, malted milkshakes and told funny Corey stories while feeding french fries to the seagulls and enjoying the warm spring night. That may be the last time I ever eat at Dick’s drive-in, but I know Corey was smiling down at all of us and I’ll never pass through Spokane on my way to Coeur d’Alene without thinking of him.

The weather changed late Friday night and by Saturday morning it was gray, rainy and cold – which, honestly, matched my mood a little more than sunshine and chirping birds would have. We headed out to the cemetery ahead of the service and I can’t remember ever wanting to be anywhere less than I did that place on that day. I blamed the weather but it was probably more than just that that kept me sitting in my car for a good half hour when I arrived. Some of Corey’s family was milling about but I couldn’t make myself get out of the car. It wasn’t until my kids arrived (they’d gone home the night before with their aunt and uncle) that I forced myself to walk through the little gate into that little country cemetery. If I’d been at someone else’s graveside I may have been able to appreciate the quaint beauty of the setting. But I wasn’t at someone else’s graveside; I was at my husband’s. And that was a hard pill to swallow.

The service was brief but nice. Corey’s parents and brothers took care of all the arrangements for the two services in Idaho and Pastor Dan, the pastor at the church Corey grew up in, did a great job. He knew Corey well, they were good friends, and he honored Corey’s life well. The close friends and family who attended the graveside service filed by and left flowers on the casket, giving hugs and hushed condolences to the kids and me, some even sharing their favorite memory with us. I placed a rose on the casket when everyone had gone, and had one last moment with my husband and the father of my children. I know Corey’s spirit wasn’t there, that the body being laid to rest was just an empty shell, but driving away from that cemetery, “leaving” him there, was about the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Yes, I was there when he took his last breath, but this had such a finality to it – and I felt pretty alone in that moment.

JAM JM

The memorial service followed and once again the church was full of people who knew and loved Corey and came to honor and celebrate his life. Friends and family spoke and told mostly funny stories and Pastor Dan delivered a great message honoring Corey’s life and, once again, reflecting on the assurance we have that we’ll see Corey again because of the promise of eternal life through our Savior, Jesus Christ.

We spent some good time together with all Corey’s family on Saturday night and the kids and I headed home early Sunday morning. It’s a 5-6 hour drive and, once again, the kids were in the back, this time sleeping, and I mostly drove in silence. Again, there’s a lot of praying to do about this new life I’m embarking on. Being a single mom wasn’t really on my radar. Especially not in my mid-forties. About 2-3 hours into the trip I put my ear buds in and turned on my favorite Pandora station. The first song that played was a song I’d never heard before called “You’re Gonna Be OKay.” I listened to the song probably half a dozen times and then turned it off and drove on in silence again.

You’re gonna be OKay.

Do you remember a few blog posts back (“Stillness & Knowing”) when I was talking about the different facets of God and what I’ve seen of Him through this journey? I distinctly remember that night, sitting in Corey’s ICU room looking up the different names of God, and El Roi jumping out at me. El Roi means the God who sees. The God who sees. The God who sees my hurting heart as I drive away, looking back one last time at the pine box I’m leaving behind in a little country cemetery in the foothills of northern Idaho. The God who sees me while I’m driving west on I-90 into a new life as a single mom, wondering how in the world I’m going to make this work. And then, the God who sees me put my ear buds in after 2-3 hours of silence, and cares enough to deliver a tender, personal, perfectly timed message directly to my spirit: “You’re gonna be OKay.”

Don’t tell me God is some enigmatic being out there who doesn’t know or care who we are or what we’re going through. The God I serve is the God who created galaxies and oceans and holds back the tide, but is gentle and loving enough to know when the silence needs to be broken and I need to be reassured of His loving presence and that he sees me. And if He thinks I’m gonna be OKay, then I think I will be too.

36 thoughts on ““You’re Gonna Be OKay”

  1. God bless you. Been praying for you guys. He is faithful and will never leave you or forsake you. As a single parent I can tell you, one day at a time.

    Like

  2. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. My heart is broken for you all and Corey will never be forgotten by anyone he touched with his friendship and Corey-ness. Love you guys!

    Like

  3. Mindy,
    I continue to pray for you, Jayden and Abbie. And what an amazing song…The Lord’s words specifically for you. His reassurance and His love poured out in every word.

    Like

  4. Sue,
    Boy God (and I think a little bit of Corey) could not have given you a more perfect song. As I sit here listening to it (with tears streaming down my face) I can’t help but think what an amazingly strong woman of God you are. You have walked some very tough roads in your life but your Faith never waivers. Thank you so much for taking us on your journey with you. Though it did not end how any of us where praying for God knows better and yes you’re going to be okay! In fact God doesn’t just hope for us to be okay but to thrive and grow stronger than we can ever imagine. I love you so much and won’t stop praying for just that… strength beyond okay! 😊

    Like

  5. True strength comes only from the Lord! He will always, always be with you every second of every day and will get you through whatever you have to face! Am here praying right now!
    Psalms 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.

    Like

  6. Beautiful song Mindy and you will be ok, as a Single Mother of 3 at 27 through a divorce, it was only by the grace of God I made it, and now as I look at my grown children and their children I know He never left my side through the thick and thin of single parenting! Jesus will hold you “through it all”, Which by the way is another great song! God Bless you and you are in my prayers!

    Cathy Richardson (friend of Angela Coles)

    Like

  7. Oh, honey. Your words are so moving. In your pain you minister to so many others who are hurting. And What A Song. And what timing. You’re so right, the God who made the galaxies holds your heart and spoke tenderly but directly to you. You and Jayden and Abbie are gonna be OKay. Your tears won’t be dried for some time, but even in your sorrow, or especially in your sorrow, God is so near, holding you and guiding you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Praying right now!
    2 Samuel 22:2-3 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.

    Like

  9. No greater comffort than knowing that He hears! Praying right now!
    2 Samuel 22:7 In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears.

    Like

  10. Know that I’m here praying!
    Psalms 139:3-4 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

    Like

  11. There is no other God or Rock. Turn to Him always! Continuing to pray!
    2 Samuel 22:31-33 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. For who is God, save the LORD? and who is a rock, save our God? God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.

    Like

  12. No matter what trials you’re going through, the Lord is with you to give you strength. Praying!
    Habakkuk 3:17-19 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places…

    Like

  13. Always here praying!
    Lamentations 3:21-23 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

    Like

  14. Know that I’m here praying right now.
    Lamentations 3:25-26 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.

    Like

  15. The Lord knows every breath you take. He hears your cry! Lifting up prayers to Him on your behalf!
    Lamentations 3:55-56 I called upon thy name, O LORD, out of the low dungeon. Thou hast heard my voice: hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry.

    Like

  16. May these words sink deep down into your heart! Praying right now!
    Lamentations 3:57-58 Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not. O Lord, thou hast pleaded the causes of my soul; thou hast redeemed my life.

    Like

  17. May your roots go down deep into the Lord and His Word. Praying right now!
    Jeremiah 17:7-8 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

    Like

  18. You are in the Lord’s thoughts! Am here praying as always!
    Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

    Like

  19. Continuing to pray!
    Jeremiah 29:12-13 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

    Like

  20. Continuing to pray for you!
    Psalms 143:8 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

    Like

  21. The Lord is always with you! And I’m here praying!
    Psalms 142:1-3a I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication. I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path.

    Like

  22. Trust the Lord for all things! Know that I’m here praying!
    Psalms 20:5-7 We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions. Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

    Like

  23. When you feel overwhelmed, the Lord is still with you, wrapping His loving arms around you! Lifting up prayers to Him right now!
    Psalms 88:1-3 O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee: Let my prayer come before thee: incline thine ear unto my cry; For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.

    Like

  24. The Lord knows all the “whys.” Leave then in His Hands. Know that whatever He allows to happen, He’ll be with you to get you through! Am here praying right now!
    Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

    Like

  25. Mindy, I think about you & the kids so much…
    my first day covering the branch for Michelle was May 3. Needless to say, it was very hard. I cried on the way to the office in the morning, knowing Corey wouldn’t be there & at least three more times during the day. It did not seem right for him not to be sitting in his office. I miss him & his humor so very much!
    I know you have many close friends & I’m sure there is a “handyman” amongst your circle but if you are ever in a bind or need anything at all… my husband can do anything & everything! We would be more than happy to help you out with anything you may need! Please do not hesitate to reach out to us. I truly mean it! You have my number!
    Carol Janssen

    Like

  26. There is only One who truly hears and is capable of helping! Am praying to Him for you right now!
    Psalms 5:1-3 Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

    Like

  27. There is no true help on this earth. The Lord is our only Help and Rock! Know that I’m praying!
    Psalms 61:1-2 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

    Like

  28. These are such special words! What tremendous comfort! Praying so right now!
    Psalms 61:3-4 For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s