In loving memory ~
It has been eleven years since my dad passed away. This year, for the first time in 11 years, the calendar week is the same as it was the week my dad died. The memories , good and bad, (though faded now,) flood back. I still weep when I sing "It Is Well", one of dad's favorite hymns, and remember singing it 2-15-2002 at His memorial service. What a celebration that was! The Lord took His son home that week and now dad is enjoying the presence of Jesus in glory! I will also confess that the song "Butterfly Kisses " kinda melts my heart when it comes on the radio. Thoughts of what could have been, and the reality of what will never be flood back especially strong this time of year. I wrote a poem for dad's memorial service and it began like this.
"Daddy I will miss you,
All the smiles you gave;
All the times you made me laugh,
These treasures I will save."
February 11, 2002... It was a Monday night just like it is this year. I remember it like it was yesterday and yet the memories are beginning to fade. My world turned upside-down that night. I was awake all night once the call came. I wanted to hate God forever, but knew I had a choice in front of me. I felt alone, confused, angry and wanted to run from God. I also felt His presence that night and knew that everything I had been taught from the Word was true. That the Lord loved me and would care for me and wipe away every tear...somehow, some way. That was also the night I chose Him. My life took a radical course change. Christ came into my life and I was filled with joy and a Phil. 4:6-7 peace which surpasses all understanding. After hearing my testimony, a friend once wrote this amazingly accurate picture the Lord gave him.
"I have this picture of young girl hugging her knees for warmth, sitting in the darkness as it presses in around her. The darkness is strong, powerful, making her shake with anger and fear...but another presence is there as well. He is there...light, life, hope, on His knees before you whispering your name and your infinite worth to Him. His arms are open aching for you to run into them, where He can hold you and cry with you, letting you know that although the grieving and pain are real, He hurts along side you and in time He will wash every tear away and replace it with pure joy. I know too many who have run from those arms. Instead you came rushing into them that night." Praise the Lord!
It was Valentines week and a hard decision to let a loving husband, son, and father go. As confident as I am that I will see my dad again, I am also stuck in this human frame which selfishly grieves my own loss. This week as I remember and grieve the loss of my earthly father, I also rejoice in my Abba-Father. The Lord God is my Comforter, My Shield, My Shepherd. His rod and staff comfort and correct me. He is my validation and my affirmation. He is my Protector and the Lover of my soul.
Several sequels have followed the poem I wrote 11 years ago. (You can read the 7 yr memorial poem in a note on my fb page.) This is just one more sequel. :) This one may seem to be more on the sad side as I processed many "what could'a been's", and the raw and real side of loss and sadness. Please just know that these thoughts are always backed with a supernatural joy and thankfulness to a faithful God who has carried me every step of the way.
The years fly by and the memories start to fade, but I will always be Daddy's little girl.
Daddy, 11 years have passed,
And I miss you just the same;
My heart still hurts when I think of you
Though the memories start to wan.
Daddy, I still miss you,
Though time and pain have passed;
Many tears of what 'coulda been'
And the pain that seems to last.
Just hold me in your arms again,
Say you won't let go;
Tell me I'm your little girl,
And tell me that you know.
Show me your support,
As I learn and serve and grow;
Tell me that you're proud of me
And let some others know.
Support me, and encourage,
As I walk with God and grow;
Let me spread my little wings,
To the places God's said "go".
Daddy, I'm still your little girl,
Though I'm quite grown up now;
Still say you think I'm beautiful,
I'll stay your little girl somehow.
Ward off unwanted suitors,
And keep me as your own;
And give me away one special day,
To someone loved and known.
Walk me down the isle,
Dance that dance with me;
Bless me with your blessing,
All the things that cannot be.
It's hard to be one left behind,
It doesn't really seem fair;
I'm just thankful you are free from pain,
And enjoying God up there.
Though the years will come and go,
The memories fade and die;
God has ALWAYS been faithful,
And this I cannot deny!
11 years ago today, I surrendered my life to Christ. Spiritually, I was the one dead and my dad was actually alive, but the most amazing transaction happened that night. Christ rescued me from sin and the death I deserve and nailed it to His cross once for all. I now know that I too will one day worship Jesus in heaven, in the glorious presence of the Most High God. I cannot wait! If only I can finish strong and be found a faithful servant, daughter and disciple. I want to hear those precious words, "well done, good and faithful servant".
Yes, the memories have faded, but with each passing day the eminent approach of Christ's return or my journey home draws nearer. Looking back over the past 11 years, and remembering all God has done and all His faithfulness, my only response is thankfulness. Gratitude for the Lord's faithfulness, mercy and grace wash over me anew. Great is Thy Faithfulness!
"Praise be to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In His great mercy He has given us new birth, into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish spoil or fade, kept in heaven for you who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last days. In this you greatly rejoice, though for a little while you may have had to suffer trials of various kinds, these have come so that the testing of your faith, of greater worth than gold, may be proved genuine and result in praise glory and honor when Christ Jesus is revealed. Though you do not see Him you love Him and though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls." 1 Peter 1