My dad and I on Father's Day 2007.
God's timing always fascinates me.
Today for instance.
Today marks exactly 4 months since my dad passed, which equals half the time from the time we found out he was living with lung cancer to his last day here. How quickly those 4 months have passed. How long those 8 months slowly went by wondering how many more days and months I would have with him until he went home
And of all days, this halfway point falls on Father's Day.
There's been a weird peace though that has filled my heart today. I expected to be sad and cry most of the day, but instead, I got up, went to church, and for the first time in many years, rose my hands again in worship to my Heavenly Father. As we sang "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord Almighty", I simply wanted to praise God for how good He is. It was a turning point of healing for my heart. The 8 months leading up to my father's death, I felt like I was holding on to a string of faith trying with everything inside of me to proclaim that God was still good, when really I was full of worries and fears and doubt. It was a lot of walking through the valley moments as one of my favorite Christian singers, Ginny Owens says in her song "If You Want Me To"
"The pathway is broken
And the signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why You brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I'm gonna walk through the valley
If You want me to "
And now as each month passes without my dad, I slowly feel the sadness turning into peace as God heals my broken heart into a heart that is more trusting, more patient, more hopeful. Today as others celebrated their earthly fathers, I didn't want to be sad, I only wanted to be in the presence of my Heavenly Father, remembering my earthly father's love and example of God's love that he gave me in the 28 years that I knew him.
My dad wasn't perfect, but he loved me perfectly. He cherished me. He adored me. He fought for me. He delighted in me. He believed in me. He worked hard to set me up for success in ways that he never had in life. He truly spoiled me in ways I didn't appreciate at the time, but now as I get older, I appreciate the value of all he sacrificed to provide a beautiful life for me. And if anything, that is what brought tears to my eyes today, seeing that parallel of God's love for us, and all that He sacrificed for us. He allowed His son Jesus to die for us so that we might live. Simply because He loved me, and He loved you. It's moments like today that it really sinks in as more than a story in the Bible, but a true act of love from the greatest Father of all.
Not only am I continuing to believe for the healing of Mark's mom
, but I'm also believing for another friend. On my old blog, you might remember the girly pictures of me in a frilly white dress
. They were taken by the oh so talented Amy Wenzel
. I found out recently that her husband David discovered a brain tumor in his head, and now he is boldly believing God for healing. I read his blog
in awe wishing I had had that much faith to believe for my own dad's healing. Sure, I believed and hoped, but a bigger part of me always felt like a scared little girl wanting to just cling to her daddy as he left for work each day. I just didn't want him to go. I wanted to him to stay here, and go fishing on the lake and get chocolate milkshakes together like we used to do when he would pick me up from kindergarten. I didn't want to accept that there was a reality that my dad was actually sick and might leave and never come back.
But in reading David's blog, and praying for Mark's mom, I find my faith being tested all over again. Yet, this time, it's the opposite. My faith DOES believe God can heal. I don't know, maybe it's easier to believe for other people than it is for yourself or direct family. But then I read David's blog, and it challenges me.... if David can have that kind of unshakable faith about something as huge as his own brain cancer, why do I let pesky little everyday things shake my faith?
So in addition to Mark's mom, Lorraine, I ask you to lift up David Wenzel and his wife Amy as they walk through their own valley right now. And I dedicate Psalm 23 to Lorraine and David... which ironically enough is a Psalm from David... my parents used to recite it everynight before bed as they walked through my dad's cancer journey
, and it will forever be close to my heart because of it.
"1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD