Everything’s NOT Awesome

I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” Lamentation 3:24 (NIV)

Many of you have known Brooke and the Turner family for years, and have been following and praying for her story. Part of what I wanted to do on my blog was to put on paper the story of God’s faithfulness from the perspective of the Fisher family. This is something I posted about HERE (in a post I pulled over from Facbook) and will continue to add to under the segment called “The Fisher’s Journey.”

On August 24, 2018, our family took the kids to their first football game. We watched our local high school rival teams play one another and the kids got to high five the players as they ran out on the field to the backdrop of a gorgeous Florida sunset. It was August in Florida and our upstairs AC had gone out, so when we got home we opened the sofabed and the kids grabbed pillows and blankets and slept downstairs. 

Ponte Vedra High vs Nease High, Aug 24 2018

It was here on this on this sofabed that we’d all be sitting the next day, tangled up in a mess of sheets and afternoon PJs, that I’d tell the children that their uncle JJ had been hit by a car and had not made it. I’d watch as their young minds individually processed, asking questions as they tried to grasp. I watched as it dawned on them, and I think it came out as this question…”but what about Aunt Brookie’s cancer?” The children had gotten used to seeing mommy cry about Brooke’s cancer, but this was different and gut-wrenching as my mind went quickly to the ‘on paper’ outcome of this all. Widowed sister with stage 4 breast cancer. The kids reactions were proportionate to their age and understanding, My oldest caught glimpse of her shirt that said “Everything is Awesome” – the one that all the kids wore to Legoland for our visit just weeks before. Through sobs she said “mommy, everything is NOT awesome.”

“Everything is NOT awesome.” – Reagan Fisher, 8 years old

Legoland, Aug 2018

No matter how much a song gets stuck in your head, it doesn’t make it truth.  “Everything is Awesome” (from the The Lego Movie) is one of those songs that takes up permanent residence in your brain.  But the truth is when I was cutting those letters out and ironing them to those shirts, even then everything was NOT awesome.  The palm tree and ocean breeze backdrop did not automatically make for a pretty picture.   My job was as stressful as it had ever been, as I had to navigate one crisis after another. While we had wonderful friendships, we were craving the church community that we had not yet found. But the true tension that kicked off 2018 was the news that Brooke’s cancer has spread.  Now definitively Stage 4 – having moved into sternum and lungs – we were living in the reality that our time with her should now be counted in years rather than decades. Ever fiber of me wanted to pick up and move to Columbia then and there. I set up job searches, looked at houses, and school districts. But the Lord had other plans, and we were faced with some clear roadblocks that put a halt to that planning. I finally had to accept that the answer was “not right now”, and I did not accept it very well.

You see, in January of 2018, the Lord put the word “BOLD” on my heart, and I clung tightly to that word as my first ever ‘word of the year’. The accompanying verse was in Psalm 138 says “I called and you answered me, you have greatly emboldened me.” So when Brooke’s diagnoses came in February, it was obvious to me that THIS was the bold step the Lord wanted us to take, and that all of the rest would fall into place.   

When I called, you answered me. You have greatly emboldened me. Psalm 138:3 (NIV)

But in hindsight, God knew there was more work to be done, and over the first 8 months of that year, through many circumstances that arose, our faith grew stronger, and we were truly emboldened to face what was to come. By the time August came around, I had accepted that we needed to wait for God’s timing. In my journal from August 22 2018 I wrote: “Lord, thank you for your many blessings. I do not know what direction your will is for me, but I now see that you are lighting the way one step at a time. Let me not miss your voice Lord.”

Just a few days later, as we mourned and processes Justin’s passing, God’s spoke loud and clear in a voice that could not be missed. This was the time, and God had emboldened us for this moment.

This chapter and any chapter can be named accordingly: Everything is NOT awesome. We live in a broken world. But even in our darkest moments of despair, even if we cannot feel His presence, God is there, and He is working out His will in our lives.


  1. Tammy Delk says

    Sometimes everything is not awesome or even OK. Way to take bold steps and listen to the Lord. We are so glad you you all made it to SC. I remember R writing about that last year. ♥️

  2. Poignant and tender sharing of your heart through soul-penetrating words, dear friend.
    Thank you for transparently and boldly sharing your heart. For your journey and for the legacy of your precious sister and brother in law. Love you!

  3. Sandy Hall says

    Thank you, Liz, for sharing from your heart.