I've been trying to ignore it since yesterday. But it still sits there making itself known. The lump of grief.....it's there....right in the middle of my throat sitting there so thick and heavy. Even forcing its way up in the middle of the night while I lay trying to sleep. I try to shove it back down. With force I keep it at bay so it won't turn into the ugly cry. You know what I mean....the one you can't control.
Stopping my mind over and over from thinking of the details that happened on January 13th 2008 that led to my father's death. 3 years ago today. So long ago...yet so fresh on my mind it feels like yesterday. So, rather than recalling raw and painful memories ....I am choosing to reflect on the precious ones today. I am resurrecting some words (below) I typed 2 years ago in memory of my sweet daddy. *Sigh*. How I miss him so.
Lead Me to the Rock
A Psalm of David.
1Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; 2from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
Psalm 61 was a similar prayer my father had been offering up to God for about five months. At the news of his cancer, he began calling on the only one who could rescue him. All of us were crying out to God for deliverance from that evil disease. However, God didn’t answer quite how we expected. As I type this letter, a year ago today, this very minute my father left us and was delivered home to be with the LORD.
In his last few days, the cancer had taken its toll on my dad’s body and left him bed ridden and very incoherent. While watching him slowly slip away from us, my mom and I received a precious gift from the LORD the day before my father’s death. We witnessed miraculous things and experienced incomparable joys!
Dad had woken up from a deep sleep and began carrying on coherent conversations with us. His personality came to life as he began his joking and playing pranks on my mom which brought us sweet laughter. We got to huddle and love on one another and talk for long periods of time. We were able to express fears as well as provide assurance of provisions for mom once dad was no longer with us. We spoke of the difficult situation at hand and of how much he would be dearly missed. Precious conversations!
Later, to our surprise, dad sat up in bed and requested his glasses and the news paper, not hesitating for a second to go straight to the sports page. We even enjoyed a playoff football game together where he was happy to share his thoughts and opinions on players and teams as he always did. To our delight, dad didn’t waste a minute to ask to enjoy the sheer pleasure of swigging down 2 chocolate (milk chocolate Bluebell of course) milk shakes. Don’t think for a minute that he didn’t exclaim, “Mmmm, that’s so good!” one more time.
We laughed, we cried, we reminisced, we prayed together, confessed, forgave, loved deeply and reconciled all things. All of life’s earthly pleasures were enjoyed to the fullest one last time. As well, all eternal questions and decisions were completely squared away as we thoroughly discussed salvation in Christ alone, by faith alone. Dad reaffirmed his trust and hope in the LORD as he uttered the sweetest words, “who else do I have?” God demonstrated great mercy and grace to us. Never had we experienced such loving presence from the Father.
But, one thing left mom and I stunned that day. Dad spoke of a dream he just had that morning. As he described the dream, he told us he found himself walking down a long path. At the end of the path he sat on a rock and there he began talking to God. At the time it didn’t make any sense to either mom or I. We pondered it, then accepted it and moved on.
Today we fully know what was happening in what seemed to dad as a dream. It was the answer to the prayer he had been praying all along. “Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I”. It was not an answer of temporary deliverance. Jesus led dad down the path to The ROCK of his salvation, where he would find himself just the next morning, talking with God face to face, permanently. I praise you FATHER for letting us enjoy him one more day before you delivered him home.
Dad, I love you and miss you dearly.
With love always,
Your daughter, BB
Tuesday, January 13, 2009