I wasn't planning on sharing with you about my Dad this week, but felt God impressing on my heart to write...so I did.
When I was 13 my Dad was rushed to the hospital one day after he had passed out at work. He had been complaining for a long time of bad headaches but never went to see the doctor. Now we were being told he had stage 4 brain cancer and had to have immediate surgery.
In a moment my world turned upside down.
This kind of stuff happened to other people, but couldn't be happening to me.
The next year; which is mostly blacked out in my mind, was the worst year of my life.
My dad was dying; slow and painfully.
He was no longer the Dad I knew.
Although he was still alive, he was not himself. That was the worst part; seeing my Dad turn into an old, incoherent man before his time,who could no longer take care of himself or communicate.
The day came when he was no longer stuck in his cancer ridden body and finally free from sickness and pain.
As I write now all the painful memories of his sickness and death resurface and still bring me to tears.
It still hurts.
I still miss him.
I don't often rehash all those sad memories. I like to think of him as I remember him; before he was sick.
When someone you love dies, you go into shock. It is so hard to believe someone you love so much is not there anymore. Our lives are based on so much of what is tangible. It is really difficult to comprehend. It is a long hard road to find healing.
I am so thankful that the deep wounds of my dad's death have been healed; healed by time...healed by Jesus.
I can truly say that even though I lost my Dad 18 years ago... I have never been fatherless.
I have not always understood or comprehended the why... but I have never been without peace.
I have felt pain, sorrow and heartache... but I have never lost hope.
I have been poor, needy and alone... but I have never felt forsaken.
My dad is no longer here to be my dad, but God has shown himself to be a perfect father to me.
He has taken care of me in ways I never could have imagined, he has been there for me when no one else was, comforted me when I was heartbroken and protected me when I was scared and in trouble.
He has not always answered my prayers or given me what I've wanted; he has answered my prayers according to his will; he has given me what I've needed.
He is my heavenly father.
I still miss my Dad and wish he was here but God has healed the pain of his death and filled my heart with the hope of heaven. He has taught me to value the important things in life and not take anything for granted.(Though I often fail at this) He has given me compassion for those who have lost loved ones and has shown me that he is sovereign and most of all... I can trust him.
I look forward to the day when I will not only meet Jesus face to face but see my Dad again. Until then I am so thankful that I have such a great memories of my Dad here on earth.
I always will remember how he loved the three stooges and was always joking around. I will remember how I used to sit on his lap and snuggle. I will remember how we would cook and go grocery shopping together. I will remember how he disciplined me in love when I was misbehaving. I will remember how he shared scripture with me when I was afraid. I will remember how he apologized to me when he was wrong. I will remember how he loved God and served him with his whole heart.
He wasn't perfect, but he was my dad.
Maybe you have lost your dad or a loved one also to cancer, sickness or tragedy. Maybe you had a dad, but have far from good memories with him. Maybe you never knew your dad.
Whatever your experience; know that God wants to heal your heartache, comfort you in your sorrow, fill you with his peace and give you hope beyond this world...he wants to be your father.
"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling." Psalm 68:5 NIV
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