prepare ye


Where are you going?
Can you take me with you?
For my hand is cold
And needs warmth
Where are you going?

~ Godspell, By My Side


So no, it hasn’t been one of the best weeks in our history. I’m in a tough place. A very tough place. And yet, life goes on. The rocks keep falling, the phone keeps ringing, the bills keep showing up in the mailbox. The letters still need to be written, the meetings attended, the work done. The business of life doesn’t stop just because we happen to feel like we’ve been hit by a sledge-hammer.

And neither does the joy. Just because we stop seeing it for a while doesn’t mean it’s no longer there. Hidden really, really well maybe – buried really, really deep – but there.

Tonight, I will take my baby girl and hit the road. For the very first time in her eight and half years, she and I will be taking a road trip. Alone.

Our destination is New York City.

We have a reservation at a fancy hotel (thank you, online discount travel agent) and tickets to a Broadway show.

Not just any show, of course.

In and of itself, a ‘show’ is no gift to my daughter. In fact, she’s made it through exactly – well, one play in her life, and that was a dress rehearsal that we were lucky enough to be privy to. When we went back the next day for the actual show – not so much.

But I have high hopes.

My girl is different now. She is. I just know she is.

And there is nothing that I want to give her as much as this.

The show is Godspell.

If you don’t know the back story, please, please, please (I’m begging) stop here and read the following two posts before continuing. Please. Trust me. Please. I promise I’ll wait.

Godspell Part One

Godspell Part Two

We have front row seats. I paid a king’s ransom for them. I don’t care.

After we bought the tickets a reader wrote to me to say that she knows a member of the cast. What could they do for us? she asked. How could she make my girl’s experience even more special?

I stared at her e-mail and cried. Then I called her on the phone, hung up and cried some more.

I asked Brooke if she might like to go backstage after the show, to meet the actors. Her answer was all Brooke.

“I will go so I will hug Mary Magdalene. I love her and she loves me.”

It was settled.

I want so badly for this to work for my girl.

I want to give her joy.

I want to give her the thing that she loves so very much.

I want to give her Godspell.

Yes, it’s been a hell of a week. A week in which I have questioned my faith in a way that I haven’t in years. In which I turned to friends and my pastor and still – still the answer just wasn’t there. Faith wasn’t there – isn’t there. I don’t feel it. I don’t believe it. I’ve been convinced I’d lost it.

But suddenly, as I type, I have a feeling I might know where it is.

In a trip to New York with my little girl to watch a play about joy, about freedom, about walking with God.

Yes, the gifts are there. Even when they are buried really, really deep.



Brooke and Jesus watching Godspell together, Nov, 2010

44 thoughts on “prepare ye

  1. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of wnat we do not see” Heb 11:1.
    “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Phil 4:13.
    “Anything is possible” Kevin Garnett.
    What? He rates right up there with the bible, IMO!
    Oh and “One love DOAM” SRR.

  2. The fact that have tickets this weekend of all weekends speaks volumes to me. I pray that while you are going for Brooke, you discover this night was meant for you too. I love you so much.

  3. There is nothing more beautiful and wonderful than your gift of Godspell for Brooke. Have a phenomenal time, my loves. I can’t wait to hear about it. …and remember, too, that this year she sat through Katie’s play and said that she didn’t want the intermission because she was enjoying the play so much!

    Love you,

  4. Jess–heads up. Sure you’ve thought of it already but bring earplugs as front row is right in front of the pit (my son discovered this the hard way this past weekend at Billy Elliot!). If there is anything you need, let me know–recommendations, etc. As always, you are welcome to come over here for anything you need (a break, etc..). You are even welcome to stay here, but a hotel sounds more comfortable. Will e-mail you my personal details. xo

  5. Jess, will be thinking of you this weekend and hoping all (well, mostly all) will go well. And this … well, I just may have to use this as my FB status. “The business of life doesn’t stop just because we happen to feel like we’ve been hit by a sledge-hammer.And neither does the joy. Just because we stop seeing it for a while doesn’t mean it’s no longer there. Hidden really, really well maybe – buried really, really deep – but there.”

    Wishing you and your girl moments – even small ones – of joy this weekend

  6. No matter how far away He seems, He is with you. Praying for a safe journey and a blessed time! Big hugs all around! Hope that Luau and Katie enjoy their time together as well. gail

  7. If you need anything while you are here please don’t hesitate to contact me phone is always at hand to grab emails. Have the trip of a lifetime!

  8. I don’t believe in God, I lost my faith a long time ago. I gain my strength from my faith in people.I believe the people we surround ourselves with are more powerful than we allow ourselves to know. The faith I have in my children is indescribable. I know all is possible when I look at the perfection in my babies faces. It carries me…. Brooke, Katie and all the people you have will carry you too, keep faith in that!

  9. I’ll be sending you both all my good thoughts and prayers for a GREAT time!! I can’t wait to hear all about it!!! Big Momma HUG!!!!

  10. There is joy. There will be so much joy this weekend, even if there are moments of struggle-there will be jOy. I am excited for the both of you. Keep breathing mama. Onward!

  11. Enjoy it. There may be hard times but it will be worth it! When we were in the Magic Kingdom we walked through a tropical storm. Daniel didn’t care. Usually he freaks with a sprinkle or even a dark cloud with the threat of rain. He was walking through a TROPICAL STORM and if you ask him about it he pretends that part never happened. You are giving her a tremendous gift. These experiences help our children grow leaps and bounds. You are a good mama. Keep the faith.

  12. “We thank thee then, O Father, for all things bright and good,
    The seedtime and the harvest, our life our health our food,
    No gifts have we to offer for all thy love imparts
    But that which thou desirest, our humble thankful hearts!” All Good Gifts was always one of my favorites! Enjoy your moment! Bless you!

  13. I just wish you all the happiness and I look forward so much to hearing your stories. I am so sorry this week has been awful and hope this trip heals your hearts.

  14. I can’t breathe….my throat is so tight from trying not to sob at my desk…will be thinking about you and your baby girl all weekend….can’t wait to hear – have a blast!! 🙂

  15. Hey Jess,

    This is so exciting! I am probably telling you something you already know – but I had to share. For years my son would never walk into a crowded room of any size. He wanted so badly to go to the movies but as soon as we got there – sensory overload kicked in and so did the panic. The same went for birthday parties, holidays you name it. I found a trick that helped tremendously – to get there early before anyone else arrived, walk through the environment and talk through step by step what to expect – how many people would be walking in, when the lights would be going out and so on and so on – I can’t tell you how much this helped him cope and begin to enjoy the little things that we all take for granted like going to a party or the movies… Maybe you can ask the generous person in the cast if you could get to the theater early, before the show. Let Brooke see the inside of the theater before the lights go out and before anyone else is in there, before the lines start to form outside and it all seems very scary.

    Like I said, if I am telling you something you already know, I’m sorry! 🙂

    Oh, I really hope you have a wonderful, glorious time!

  16. Have a wonderful time! I LOVED broadway at her age, still do! I even went to college for musical theatre! My prayers are going out that all goes well and that YOU get a little restored energy and faith as well. Back stage is a magical type place! Treasure this opportunity!! I’ll be thinking of you and hoping for the very best! You’re a wonderful wonderful person Jess, and you deserve the best just as much as your sweet baby girl! Have a great weekend. If you need anything from me (not that you really would, but still, I offer)… You’re in my neck of the woods. I’m not far from the city at all so shoot me an email if there’s ANYTHING I can do to help. xo

  17. Faith is always there. It’s just that sometimes we can’t see it or feel it for all the other stuff in our way. It will be right there for you when you are ready for it again.

    I am so excited for you and Brooke. Broadway. WOW! I am so happy that you and Brooke will have this experience together.

  18. What a wonderful way to end a crappy week. Looking forward to the follow up story. We’re heading to Disney this weekend armed with
    your advice and a ratio of 7 adults and 2 kids. Fingers crossed for both our trips.

  19. I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now, catching up on the old posts while reading the recent ones. I live in NY and the first thing I thought of when I saw the ads for Godspell was “Wow, Jess should bring her Brooke to see this!” I am glad it’s happening for you and your girl. Have a wonderful weekend – the drive, the show, the hotel, all of it!

  20. my faith drifted through my fingers, like incense. at a certain point, i could no longer grasp it. dissipation, distant memory, then nothing.

    it’s another reason i like your blog, you’re a stronger person than i ever was or will be. if i can read your words and absorb even a fraction of your strength, i’ll be doing okay.

  21. First of all, you and Luau get twin comments from me today; here is what I said to him:

    “I have kept this window open after reading your blog, hoping something wise and prescient would come to mind to comfort you or contradict you. I am still drawing a blank. All I can say is we’re here for you and your family.”

    Aside from that, to pluck one more lyric from “By My Side,” you and Brooke are not going to NYC/Godspell Alone: In By My Side, Socrates and Jean Paul Sartre sing “Oh please, take me with you” *. You are taking all of us, with our hopes, good wishes, and yes – my prayers, to Godspell too.

    *thanks (I’m not that good at Bway lyrics :-)).

  22. Just finished reading your post from yesterday with my heart breaking. Now I am smiling. I wish for you for this trip to be all you can imagine. For once that all is wonderful. Sending the best thoughts your way.

  23. That’s going to be so awesome for Brooke! The first time I saw Wicked I cried literally the entire time. I hope you two have a wonderful time.

  24. Day by day, my friend. We all take it day by day. Sometimes with our faith and sometimes without. But you help us to see more clearly and love more dearly and I, for one, would follow you anywhere. Have a wonderful time.

  25. The play and the outing with just the two of you is wonderful but the greatest gift you are always giving your little girls is your love for them. Your love will move the earth just wait and you will see. You have moved it for so many already.
    ps. Have a great, great trip….

  26. I heard a few days ago that it was back on broadway and I thought of you. I will be thinking of you guys this weekend. I hope it is a wonderful experience for you and for Brooke!

  27. Pingback: the seed time « a diary of a mom

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