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Jacksonville Senior Photographer // Scarlett Lillian Seniors: 4 months.
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Jun 21, 2009

4 months.



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 to Jesus.

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
forever."

Labels:

10 Comments:

Anonymous Amy Clifton Photography said...

Beautiful post, Scarlett. Simply perfect!

June 21, 2009 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger Nicole Monique said...

I woke up this morning thinking of you and praying for you to be comforted today. Reading this entry makes me tear up and smile at the same time. I can only imagine the pain you have been through and yet you stand strong as an example for others! You have impacted so many people and you might never know how deeply your words have touched me. You should know you can come to me for anything. Thank you Scarlett for being such a strong God fearing women! XOXO We miss you here in Monterey!

June 21, 2009 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Rene Williams said...

Well.......I almost got through today without crying....and then I read your blog. I could not have expressed things more perfectly. Daddy loved you with all his heart and I know today he is smiling down from heaven........his father "Jr.", and grandfather Norsworthy and step-dad Arthur are all sharing a dad's moment in heaven together.

I still see blue butterflies almost everyday and I feel him with me. And God still sends me birds along the way to remind me of the miracles possible everyday.

Every day is Father's day as far as I am concerned. I encourage each of you reading this to tell your Father frequently how much you love him. And don't forget your heavenly Father who is always there waiting to love you and help you.

I believe it is possible to find heaven on earth and to make every day a heavenly day!

Blessings,

Mamma

June 21, 2009 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger Katie Leonard said...

I loved Ginny Owens and Jennifer Knapp in college!!! They helped me get through a ton of stuff.

Goos luck this father's day. It seems to be a rough one for many people.

Cheers,

Katie
See you at the next PUG meeting I can make it to :)

June 21, 2009 at 9:19 PM  
Anonymous Rachel Absher said...

Scarlett,
Thank you for your transparency, your honesty. Thank you for opening up your heart and allowing us to see inside your world. I believe God is using you for a greater purpose through your blog, your work, your life. May you be blessed.

June 21, 2009 at 10:33 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

I am so happy and relieved that you had a joyous and remarkable day. I know how hard the last few months have been and you seem to be emerging with a new and refreshed outlook on life and our place in it. Your words are inspirational as I fear I am coming upon a difficult time with mom. I am happy to have been able to be here with you through this time and may be doing a little leaning myself sooner than I realize or would like to admit. Thanks for inspiring so many.

June 21, 2009 at 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bless you Scarlett! This was a beautiful post! I am praying for Lorainne and David with you! Bless you all!

Love,
Annie

June 22, 2009 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger kelly said...

funny how time can feel both so fast and so slow in the same moment...

i have resonated with ginny owen's song as well as i've walked through my own valleys.

thanks for sharing where you are finding your joy again...i've found that i can begin to worship again too. it's amazing how God is so patient with us, waiting on us to return to Him. just another sign of His deep love for us

June 22, 2009 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Laura Lu said...

hugs, dear! prayed for you lots and i praise Jesus for the ways in which He has captured your heart and how you've been abandoning yourself and falling into His arms over these past months! He is doing an amazing work in you!!! i'm standing next to you, mark, david, and amy in prayer...together we will storm the gates of heaven on loraine and david's behalf!!!

June 22, 2009 at 11:34 PM  
Anonymous Denise Saucedo said...

You are such a beautiful person. Wow. What a gorgeous post. I lost my father to cancer 6 years ago. I know the hurt, I know the pain, I know the memories you speak of. And I know how I dealt with it by praying to the Lord to give me the strength to go on and to give me joy to fill my heart's emptiness. May God Bless you.

August 17, 2009 at 1:51 AM  

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