I can remember what I was wearing and still feel the fatigue from rushing home from Ukraine. I remember who was standing where and recall the streams of sunlight coming through the windows. I can remember some of the thoughts and questions rushing through my mind. I am still in awe that God granted me the gift of being by my Daddy’s side as he entered the gates of Heaven 2 years ago today. Faster that the human brain can calculate he shed his earthly “shell” like a Sunday suit and appeared in the presence of Jesus!
There hasn’t been a day in the past 730 days that I haven’t had a thought of The Colonel. A lot of them are funny – celebrating or mourning a football score or team news, discovering a restaurant serves caffeine free diet coke, looking for him swimming in the ocean, tasting a new chocolate dessert, or watching the new Lone Ranger movie (Mark it down that I literally had Kleenex out crying in the Lone Ranger – good grief!). Then there are the serious ones – wanting to ask his advice about a dilemma, planning and making our first international vacation without him, celebrating Christmas, attending big family gatherings, exploring new cities, and wanting to tell him some good news (or some bad).
He was such a major part of our lives that there really isn’t a day that he isn’t missed for one reason or another. You can frequently here these words in conversations in our family… “Dad would have loved that!” We still consider his feelings, his likes and dislikes, his wishes and his opinions (well, on some things – and then on others, we just kind of “forget” what he would have advised 🙂 Mom had always wanted to paint Nina and Papa’s dining room table white. Dad wouldn’t hear of it. I will let you speculate as to what color the dining room table is right now in Columbia. (We were convinced that if that didn’t bring him back from the dead then he was certainly not coming back.)
Oh why do I ramble on about these same old memories about my amazing Dad? Because I have a very important message for YOU! Maybe you knew my Daddy and maybe you didn’t. Maybe you knew him as friend, uncle, colleague, brother in law, Big Tom, father in law, Colonel Sunshine, Dr. Fabian, neighbor, classmate, etc. or maybe you have never met him. His quick illness and death continue to show me every day that God is as faithful as His word proclaims!
Psalm 86:15 says “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
No matter what you battle – fear, an addiction, a bad relationship, financial struggle, physical pain, anxiety, anger, grief, pride, loss of a job, death of a child, sickness, confusion, doubt, strongholds, terminal illness, etc. etc. etc. – God wants you to turn to Him. Just talk to Him. Cry out to Him. He will hear you. He will answer. God is faithful and good. I never imagined that we would face the diagnosis, decline, and death of my father in 4 months of his 64th year on earth. But, we did. We didn’t do it alone. We still miss him beyond terribly. But, God is faithful and good.
One of my favorite songs right now is Even If (by Kutlass) – check it out on youtube. Powerful words that ring so true :
“Even if the healing doesn’t come and life falls apart and dreams are still undone…
You are God
You are good
Forever Faithful One!”
“You’re still the Great and Mightly One; We trust you always; You’re working all things for our good; We’ll sing your praise!”
The earthly healing of my Daddy’s body did not come as we had prayed and hoped. Oh but, sweet friend, the heavenly healing of his body did happen – just as the Bible promises! I rejoice in this promise and I can tell you that I believe more than ever that when it feels like life is falling apart that I can cry out to God – “You are God, You are good, and You are the Forever Faithful One!”
Today I miss my Daddy NO LESS but, I promise you that I love my God NO LESS either!
* Many thanks to my family and friends who have been used by God to carry us over the past two years. And I want to take this opportunity again to tell my amazing mother and awesome brother that I am so PROUD of each of you and I know Dad would be proud of your strength, faith, and determination every day!
** Also – if you have any questions about salvation or this faith that I write about – please comment or email me at email@example.com. I would love nothing more than to talk to you about this firm foundation and solid truth.