I Feel Like a Fraud

As a pastor I’ve done my share of funerals.

They’re never fun.

People are hurting and are searching for answers.

Answers I wish I had, but rarely do.

This week I’m preparing to lead the memorial service of a close friend’s stepdad.

He died unexpectedly after 42 years here on earth.

Repeated heart surgeries were performed, but ultimately his body gave way.

As you can imagine the family is hurting and doing their best to comfort one another.

I’ve done my best to coach my friend through this horrible time. I’ve tried to comfort him with encouraging words. Tried to cheer him up in various ways, but the truth is I simply can’t relate to the pain he’s feeling.

I’ve never had someone really close to me pass away like he has.

After meeting with his family and planning the memorial service I’m struck by how strong his family is and how they’ve rallied together through tragedy.

I can’t help but personalize all this.

Acting strong for my friend and his family makes me feel like a bit of a fraud.

I have an infant son facing an impending open-heart surgery. How would I handle losing him? Am I willing to trust God the way this family is?

I hope so.

Until then I keep asking God for help.

Help me trust you. Help me bring comfort to others. Help me know you’re with me all the way.

All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy!

He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.

(2 Corinthians 1.3-5, The Message)

8 thoughts on “I Feel Like a Fraud

  1. There is NO CONDEMNATION to those who are in Christ Jesus! We are all human and if we were perfect as the world sees perfect we wouldn’t be on this earth. I totally understand where you are coming from and pray God’s perfect peace and strength for you and Stacey as you face this next big step in Nolan’s life. Our God is the God of peace and through His Word we live and move and have our being. Happy day to you and Stacey, Hug Mr. Nolan from another Grandma who loves him dearly.

    • Thanks for writing Shirley. You and your family are so amazing. We are blessed (Stacey & me, our kids, our church) to have you be a part of our family. Thanks for your support and love for us.

  2. Andy,
    I had absolutely no idea that Nolan was in need of surgery. You will all be in my prayers, constantly. When Ryan was in full-blown anaphylactic shock a few years back, it was a defining moment in my relionship with the Lord. To completely entrust Him with your child, a piece of your heart, is something we (thankfully) don’t plan for. Trusting Him when they’re well is very different. I hope this sounds like its meant to. It’s very scary to let go and let God’s will be done when it’s your baby. Rest in the knowledge that you have an enormous support group praying for you all. I know you know that 🙂

  3. Andy,
    You are allowed to feel emotions, I can relate. Our youngest who is now 5, had open heart surgery at 3 weeks old. Gracie had 3 holes and was born with 5 heart chambers. She wasn’t supposed to live but we prayed for her strength. She couldn’t make it to her 5 month waiting period because we lost her twice very briefly. Her heart team took a chance at 3 weeks and she survived and was released home after just 8 days. She is a true miracle and gift. That day changed us as parents and brought me closer to God. I pray for Nolan and your family through this difficult time. He is beautiful and looks so happy. He has been blessed with such amazing parents, siblings,family and friends who all rally for him. If y’all have questions about our experience please let me know.

    • Thanks for sharing your story Kim.

      We are praying and believing for little Nolan. He is our little miracle and we are blessed to have him.

      Parenting is an amazing roller coaster ride.

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