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Jacksonville Senior Photographer // Scarlett Lillian Seniors: The empty spaces.

May 29, 2008

The empty spaces.

Oh. My. Gosh.

Tears can really catch you off guard. Mascara is completely running down my face right now.

I was writing in my prayer journal yesterday about how numb I feel to everything swirling around me. Everyone has been saying how hard it must be what I am going through, but honestly, I've almost thought something has been wrong with me because I haven't felt much of anything, other than walking in circles trying to wrap my head around everything. I think I've gotten so used to putting up walls around my heart when I feel pain coming on. It's like a defense mechanism to close off my heart emotionally so that I can think logically with my mind how to handle a crisis situation and be strong for those around me.

My mom called late last night after having her first real cry about the news about my dad. She has been going 24/7 tending to his down spiral the past 8 weeks, that it finally hit her last night as she laid in bed by herself. Without my dad. The emptiness set in. And her tears came flooding out.

I hung up the phone wondering when it would really hit me. Like, yeah, I had an initial cry when I heard about the mass they found on his lungs, but once the news became official that it was indeed cancer, I've been in my problem solving head trying to be strong for my mom, while trying to plug away at my photography business and distract myself from the realities of the battle ahead helping my family fight the cancer attacking my dad's body. The emptiness hadn't set in for me yet.

Until now.

I was editing these father/daughter dance pictures to get ready to blog tomorrow from Sarah's wedding.

Seeing how tightly Sarah's dad held her while Sarah cried holding her dad in return, that was it, my tears flooded out.

Suddenly, the emptiness hit me.

What if my dad isn't there for me to hold on my wedding day?

Also at the moment when I was editing the picture, one of my favorite Jeremy Camp songs came on my iTunes in the background. It's called "I Still Believe." He has always been one of my favorite Christian artists for an incredible testimony he has that I was lucky enough to interview him about in my journalism days. The song that was playing was the song he wrote after he lost his first wife to cancer just a month after they were married. As he held her hand in the hospital when she passed, he finally let go of her hand, and raised his hands to God praising Him right there in the hospital room, despite His sadness, despite His loss, knowing that in the hardest times of life, this is what Jesus died for, and He is still worthy of praise at all times.

That story has always stuck close to my heart and left me questioning, would I have the strength to do the same?

I still don't know the seriousness of my dad's cancer, he just went in for the biopsy today, and he could still survive the treatments living with his own amazing testimony. I guess the worry wart in me is just also being realistic about the other possibility as I wait in this gap before I know more answers from the biopsy. Though I don't know all the answers right now, I am still choosing to raise my hands and praise God knowing He can fill the empty spaces.

Thank you sooooo much to everyone who is praying with me. I am blessed beyond measure to have your support and strength and friendship!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your dad will be fine ... :)We are all praying for him.

May 29, 2008 at 7:06 PM  
Blogger Daniel & Candice said...

we will definitely pray for your father.

May 29, 2008 at 7:12 PM  
Anonymous sarah louise said...

the pictures were the last thing on my mind ... you were the first... i love you, we love you ... and pray for your familyand your dad...
thank you...-sarahlou

May 29, 2008 at 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in tears as I read your blog and have the song Hallelujah playing from your previous blog and all I can think and hope is that your dad will be ok! It's crazy we have never met and I feel like I already know you and my heart goes out to you as I would be heart broken to hear such news about my father! I have faith that God will heal your dad and he will get through this! May God give you all strength and peace to get through this hard time!

Jennifer Tucker

May 29, 2008 at 7:39 PM  
Blogger Heather Thorne Photography said...

Still praying for you and your family, girl.

May 29, 2008 at 8:26 PM  
Anonymous debbine said...


Continue to be strong, but don't be afraid to let your emotions out. I am praying for you and your family...hoping your dad will be fine.


May 29, 2008 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger Sentimental Visions Photography said...


May 29, 2008 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger Carla Jean said...

I'm thinking of you, praying for you, and awaiting those biopsy results.

May 29, 2008 at 11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise You in This Storm
words by Mark Hall/music by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms

I was sure by now,God, that You would have reached down
and wiped our tears away,
stepped in and saved the day.
But once again, I say amen
and it's still raining
as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain,
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away.

And I'll praise you in this storm
and I will lift my hands
for You are who You are
no matter where I am
and every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
and though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to You
and raised me up again
my strength is almost gone how can I carry on
if I can't find You
and as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
and as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise
the God who gives and takes away


I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth
I lift my eyes onto the hills
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth

Scarlett this is Christy. I just want you to know that God is always with us. He wants you to praise him in the worst of times. Press in and give it all to Him! I know completely how you are feeling.I lost my mom to cancer last September then my baby was born with a congenital heart defect 6 months later (what a storm I have been in).Seeing your baby in pain is so much in a different caliber of pain, its heart wrenching. He had surgery yesterday and God has carried me through.

Your daddy probably is hurting more for his little girl to see him like that. God want us to press in and praise him in the storm. You will soar with the eagles! You and your family will be in my prayers. Speak life to your dad, Gods promises. The word of God can move mountains.

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5


May 30, 2008 at 12:16 AM  
Anonymous Katie Thurmes said...

Hey girl-

This is my first word of this - so sorry to hear. If there were ever a girl to take hardship with such grace, it is certainly you. We will be praying for you, your Dad and the whole family. Big big hugs to all of you!

May 30, 2008 at 12:39 AM  
Blogger Diandra said...

Okay, now I'm crying.

I was not going to post this publicly on here but I cant figure out how to email you and so I decided to go for it.

I am in the midst of a messy and hurtful separation from my husband of 3 years due to 3 years of very heavy emotional and verbal abuse (and more that I wont go into) that began right after we got married. I hid it from everyone around me because according to everything I've ever believed, marriage is forever... no matter what. Because of my position in the church (Im a youth pastor), and because of the degree of the situation people do not have all of the information. I have been dealing with a lot on that side and it has completely stressed my parents out as well.

On top of all of that, my mom has been struggling with a horrible disease that keeps flaring up. It has a tendancy to get worse under stress, which this situation is causing and so its getting worse (which then makes me feel like it's my fault)...

I say all of this to say that I had never heard the story behind that Jeremy Camp song, but it is one that I love and hold dear to my heart. One among several that come as a huge comfort to me in times of hurt and struggle. I also say this: You are in my prayers. I do not know you, I have never met you, but I hurt for you. And I just want you to know that I am genuinely praying for you.

Thank you for your HONESTY!

Your blog touched my heart today.

May 30, 2008 at 2:31 AM  
Blogger April Hollingsworth said...

I know you've probably heard this a million times, but there is a reason for all this. Maybe you will cross paths with a lost person in the hosptial. It could be as simple as that. So just remember to keep the faith and share the gospel with everyone you possibly can.

May 30, 2008 at 5:27 AM  
Anonymous Rachie said...

You are strong, Scarlett. God is not giving you any more than he thinks you can handle. All this time, all the heartaches and tragedy you'e survived over the last few years...was God preparing your heart to handle the next challenge. Rest assured, God is with you and your dad. You have the opportunity now to be the shoulder for your parents to rest on and the "solid rock" in your family.

I'll be here if you need anything.


May 30, 2008 at 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Rachel S. said...

I have a question for "Jennifer Tucker" - did you graduate from Episcopal in Jacksonville, Florida? I knew Jennifer Tucker there....


May 30, 2008 at 10:32 AM  
Blogger Nichole said...

I don't know you but I love you, your work, your personality, your love for our Father in heaven, I want you to know I will be praying for you in South Carolina!

May 30, 2008 at 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Scarlett,
It is hard not knowing. My parents divorced when I was young (hence the different last names and why it took some people forever to realize who my mom was at school! good for me, since she was my teacher!), but I still always thought my father would walk me down the aisle. As it turned out, he ended up having a form of lung cancer and never even got to see me graduate from high school. I was devestated. Then I thought my grandfather could walk me down the aisle, as I always thought of him as my knight in shining armor. Unfortunately, God took him home in 2003. Again, I was upset.

But, I have my mom, my best friend, who has been there the entire time, who I am blessed to have in my life. And she will be walking me down the aisle, in a month.

So keep your chin up! I'm praying your dad will be fine, but always know you still have a great family around, through immediate family and friends. You'll get through whatever is coming your way, trust in that. And cry if you need to! I promise it's okay!

Take care, we're thinking of you.
Katie S.

May 31, 2008 at 12:19 AM  
Anonymous kayla said...


My internet has been in shambles for a few weeks now, and I am just getting to read your latest blogs - my prayers go out to you and your family. I can completely relate to all the events happening in your life right now with your father. About two years ago, I to would be faced with news that would forever change my life. My father was diagnosed with lung cancer. I spent many nights crying and trying to figure out what God's plan was for this to occur in my life. I've heard it happen to other people and never thought I could become a victim - and it always amazed me how his spirit never changed - as if he new there was something amazing waiting for him when he was finished with his life.....we had our ups and downs, and we made it through one year - my father went in for another check up and PRAISE THE LORD, the doctors couldn't find the cancer.....just when we thought we were in the clear we found out some unfortunate news, the cancer WAS still there. So many times in and out of the hospital I was unsure I could handle what God was giving me, but I wasn't mad at God - (my parents divorced when I was in the fifth grade) and my mom had said something so profound to me one day, something I had so selfishly forgot about - she said what a lucky guy, he knows when it's his time to go and he will be able to say "goodbye" and he will also be going to an amazing place and he will know all the unknown that we on earth can only dream about knowing. I thought to myself, that's exactly right, how could I be so selfish to NOT think of that. Now, I'm not saying your father is going to die, but I know it helped me in knowing that there IS something greater than us out there and sometimes it's best just to have faith and let God take control.

We celebrated his 1 year passing this April. He passed just one month and one day before I said my vows to my amazing husband. I knew that my father would not be there for me for that first dance and to walk me down the aisle. I still feel like I got the short end of the stick - my sister had those things. It wasn't fair. We ended up going to *VEGAS* to get married - it was still beautiful and I felt the presence of something great there too. And since we exchanged vows on a gondola at The Venetian, there was no aisle to walk down and afterwards, there was no dance to miss.

I live my life differently now, I appreciate every moment and every little detail I can. and I survive every day knowing that one day I will be reunited.

Keep strong, Scarlett. God is in control.

kayla :)

May 31, 2008 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Kelly Beane said...

I honestly cannot imagine what you are going through, but do know that my prayers are with you & your family!

June 2, 2008 at 10:22 PM  
Blogger Scarlett Lillian said...

Thank you everyone for your continued prayers!!

Christy- Yes, Praise You in This Storm is one of my favorite worship songs!

I appreciate too how everyone has shared their own stories to help me understand I'm not the only one going through this. It means a lot that you have each taken the time to share your stories, and I have read each and everyone. Thank you for the strength you provide through your own testimonies.

June 3, 2008 at 3:53 PM  

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