Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Incompletely Perfect

I was looking at some pictures of us; some BEFORE Joseph's death pics and some AFTER... (funny how grief causes you to measure life by the before and after).  I saw one in particular and immediately heard, ‘that’s a perfect picture.’  In the same instant I turned away from it and said “No, it’s not, it’s incomplete.  Joseph is missing.”  And then God said, “Just because the picture is incomplete does not mean it's not perfect.”  This was April 3rd.
Since then I’ve been struggling with that thought and even mentioned it to my husband the other day.  I have been asking the Lord to reveal to me what that could possibly mean, because in my own head it makes NO sense.  How could a picture be complete if someone you love is not in it?  How could the picture be complete knowing that Joseph is not here with us? 

Anyway, I was reminded of a photo that I saw that a Facebook friend posted of her and her daughter.  She is a beautiful young lady around my youngest daughter’s age, and she takes a lot of pictures.  But this picture in particular was an absolutely perfect picture, I thought.  Though they posed for it, you can tell it was random.  Not "set up." You could see the love in her eyes she had for her little girl and the admiration and love the little girl had for her mom.  It radiated from the inside. 

God spoke this to me.  We try so hard to take what we deem a “perfect” picture with our cameras and even with our life. We have to make sure the lighting is right, the setting is perfect, and even how we look, choosing to delete the photos we say are not so good.

Real life isn't like that, though. We are not perfect. We don't always have the right setting or conditions and don't always look the way others think we should (or even ourselves). Sometimes things are just ugly.  Sometimes we have blocked the lighting, allowed other things to interfere, or things happen that keep us from smiling so “perfectly.”  

Pictures are moments frozen in time.  An idea captured with the eye of a camera lens.  Some of those moments are good, some not so good.  And we deem them so or incomplete, because in that moment of time things are just not the way we want them to be.

But if we were to prepare for the picture, the beauty of being who we are on the inside will be lost, the reality of what we are feeling won’t be seen, because the photo has been set up.

God said yes the picture is incomplete, because that is how you see it.  But the picture is yet perfect, because perfection (and He had me look this up) is a process or condition where things are presented as faultless as they can POSSIBLY be.  Perfection is a state of creation, it is active.   

We smiled in the picture.  And our smiles may not have been what they were before Joseph, but the love that we have for each other yet radiates from within and that is what makes for a perfect picture.

We as a people, we as a family are not perfect, but the picture that we took, is presented as perfect, because we, in our life after Joseph, in that frozen moment of time, are being as free as we POSSIBLY can be from all the defects in our life. All the things that are not so perfect, having to live without Joseph. 

Just because the picture is incomplete, does not mean it’s not perfect (or beautiful).  A very hard saying as Peter said, but one I choose to believe and walk in. By faith.

So today, May 18th, as I walk in the shadow of grief, I purpose to live to allow for that random picture (even if it doesn't look too good) and learn to value the moments that are captured that couldn't come out more perfect if I tried.

A servant of the Lord,
Sis. E 

With and Without Joseph

Copyright 2016 Evelyn Fannell
All rights reserved.

Friday, May 13, 2016


I had another dream about you last night
I actually had two.
Just like the others, this one seemed so real.
I touched you.
I was actually able to lay my hand on your skin
And feel your smile.
I saw it too.
It was so big and so pure.
Your smile really did light up the room you know.
And this one,
This one was glowing,
So much so that it illuminated the dark areas of my heart,
Of my life…
Even if it was only just a dream.

When you opened that door
I watched you as you walked in
Such a confidence in your walk,
It wasn’t how it used to be.
No, you were standing up straight.
Proud of who you were
Proud of who you had become
There was a quiet confidence in your stride
As you made your way towards me
I said, Wow.  Look at my Joe.
Then you spoke.
There was a boldness in your tongue
That I only heard when you were performing
Yeah, I thought, this is a different Joe.
This time you COMMANDED attention
Which I was so ready to give you.
Even if it was just a dream.

Your face was so clean.
It did not have the marks or the blemishes
That you so often worried about.
A bit too much, I told you.
“How could I get rid of this mom?”
You would ask.
A question many a young person had asked of their own moms,
I’m sure.
It’s gone now, Joe.
Except for the one scar that reminded me of how 
and when you left.

Then you touched me back.
You extended your hand towards me
As if you were trying to reach my heart,
But you were already there.
And for a moment everything felt alright.
Because you were alive.

But it was just a dream.


Copyright ©2016 EvelynFannell

To learn about my Joe, visit